PicoAPRS-Lite: popular PicoAPRS' little brother.
A tiny APRS tracker weighing just 7.2 grams*!
Even though the PicoAPRS-Lite was developed with balloon flights with APRS payload (Pico balloons and stratosphere balloons) in mind, it can naturally also be used for many more APRS purposes.
Thanks to its small measurements of just 27.8 x 66.9 x 6.3mm this tiny tracker can, for example, be installed nearly invisibly in cars. This allows for APRS usage without annoying wiring in the car or too short antenna cables.
You can even carry the tracker around in your pocket!
An SMA antenna jack is offered separately since its weight of about 2 grams is an unnecessary extra load for the light Pico balloons. This is also the reason why the tracker is being delivered without a case.
Special functions of the PicoAPRS-Lite:
- Automatic or manual frequency tuning on request. E.g. automatic for worldwide balloon flights.
- In areas without APRS coverage and with automatic frequency tuning the ISS APRS frequency is used to be heard even in these situations.
- Temperature and air pressure sensor. The values will be sent as an APRS comment in every position.
- As an energy source a small solar cell with buffer capacitor can be used, as well as single-use or rechargeable batteries. Voltage range ca. 3.2 - 5V.
- When using a solar cell the PicoARPS-Lite will stay in battery-saving mode use only about 0.1mA until the buffer capacitor has stored enough charge, then sends a beacon and will go back into battery-saving mode to recharge for another beacon if needed. Even with just one solar cell which supplies the buffer capacitor with just a tiny amount of current it can operate forever in sunshine! Ideal for a world trip with a balloon.
- Even when using batteries the energy-saving mode will be used between beacon transmissions to extend the battery's lifetime.
- Micro USB port for settings configuration with a terminal software.
- Integrated GPS module with balloon mode up to 80km height, ideal for stratosphere balloons.
- Transmission power configurable between 0.5 and 1W.
- 7-pol lowpass filter to eliminate unwanted spurious emission.
- Status LED
- Firmware updates via USB possible. Future wishes of users and product improvements can be uploaded later.
Beware that this device has no voltage regulation!
When operating with a solar panel and buffer capacitor the service voltage will usually drop to zero at night. With sunrise the device will be operational soon again.
It's important that the tracker can be used with as little power as possible. A voltage regulator would cause a voltage drop which would be inconvenient during sunrise/sundown.
To limit the maximum operating voltage a beacon will automatically be transmitted when reaching about 5V in balloon solar mode to use up stored energy. Doing so the maximum operating voltage won't be exceeded even when the idle solar cell provides too much voltage.
*1) Weight without antenna jack, case or any energy source.
- SMA jack for circuit board mounting, upright, with long thread, for single hole fixing.
If the device should be in a case and used with a regular antenna.
- Lithium polymer battery 3.6V/800mA, as well as compatible connector cable for an external energy source.
Beware, the PicoAPRS-Lite has no voltage regulator for batteries! Never charge batteries via USB!
- Small USB charger for 4 LiPo batteries max.
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