Tracker 4 setup/review

#1
Hey all, setting up the Tracker 4 I made a review about it on YT as there is so little out there demonstrating. APRS Tracker4 Setup
I plan to build a self-contained 'go-box' that sits outside in my shed while i-gate/digipeating. Not sure whether that is realistic given some of the early impressions.

I will create the next video on some issues I've run into thus far, and some 'usage' tips,
1) The Tracker4 will just stop for no apparent reason. The web portal should have a logging interface to view system messages. I've determined that if WiFi goes down (again for an unknown reason) the Tracker4 goes into a state that is powered but no other activity.
2) The WiFi command has an option to re-enable WiFi if for some reason it has disconnected (it does this randomly) - need to re-learn the command, not documented - but using the command will kick-start everything back up again.
3) Need to play with a basic script. Don't know if there is a chron job function I can watch for local network availability. Use basic script to run different 'configurations' i.e. field, mobile, home
4) Seems like digipeater is not working consistently, but logging tools are sparse - need to figure this out. Troubleshooting this is very tricky with lack of feedback in UI or command-line
5) Seems like the Tracker4 misbehaves if both USB & Power are connected - which is not a problem, except that you need Console for debugging and troubleshooting, i.e. why the i-gate is not working, to find out that the i-gate is trying to connect to a non-functioning aprs server/service.

Nice to haves that I have so far:
1) Distance of received packets is in Km and not sure how to change to miles
2) Sending and receiving messages via aprs should be possible - need to look into this more
3) Rudimentary map view should be possible given we are receiving and sending coordinates

These last two were a feature of an old Garmin Nuvi so 10 years later should be capable now I would think.

4) re: sometimes i-gate goes offline, the UI should tell the user why at a glance and a way to re-connect manually. So i-gate 'connected to' should be more discrete rather than just saying it is enabled but offline (yellow)
5) digipeater activity view should be more verbose like received packets (we should be able to check ourselves somehow but not sure yet)

Willing to help but this is a black box of course, so not able to get in and see what's under the hood - but at least with chron and more verbose logging, it would be more manageable through scripting, etc.
 
#2
I overlooked a few things in my first YT review and made a follow-up to discuss the firmware issues that we are seeing with the latest firmware update, and how to downgrade firmware versions.

Tracker setup:
Tracker troubleshooting:

I'm sure as we play with this there will be much more to learn and share.
 
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#3
Hi Conrad -

Thanks for doing this.

Perhaps in your efforts so far you may have insight that you can share about the following questions:

1) On the GUI, under Info, there's System Information. What does the supply voltage value actually mean? Is that the output side of the internal 78M05 regulator? If so, that seems of little value except to give one an idea of how overworked the 78M05 is %^).
2) On the same list, I have Packets Received, Packets Sent, and FCS Errors. After ~16 hours of operation, with just a 1/4 wave antenna mag-mounted to a 3rd floor balcony rail, I have ~6800 packets received, ~1900 packets sent, and 102k FCS. Please note that the radio used is in open-squelch mode, and the T4 is set to NOT use VOX for the receiver (that's according to the manual, I believe). Is the ratio of packets received to FCS (0.067), or one packet "received" for 16 frame check attempts, reasonable in your opinion? I'm in Central PHX, and don't have a direct view of the nearest digi W7MOT-3, about 30 miles WNW, and hidden behind my building and several high-rises on the other side of Central. In addition, I have a beacon echo success rate of 32% over that same period, all from MOT-3, so that's not bad given a 5 W radio.
3) In my old ADS OT3M, there was a telemetry command that allowed the T3 to read the analog inputs on the T3, and transmit them as a telemetry packet, complete with sequence number. So far, I cannot find the same thing on the T4, although telemetry is mentioned several times in the manual. Have you figured out how to enable telemetry for the pins on the 10-pin connector?
4) The temp value transmitted when enabled via Settings>Tracker>Send Temperature is always really high; right now, with an ambient temp around 21C, the case is warm to the touch, and the transmitted temp is 50C. That's a crazy ~30 C hotter than ambient. This make me think the sensor is on the board near the regulator, which is currently reporting a voltage of ~7.5 Vdc, pretty loaded for an 8 V regulator. It'd be nice to replace that sensor with a 1W version, but I didn't yet see a way to enable that.

Thoughts?

Cheers and 73 - Jon N7UV
 
#4
Just updated to the latest version now the Tracker4 is not working. First, all the data fields were cleared in the Network settings. Then, when I attempted to enter the Name of the network, Tracker4 required me to enter the network IP address and Gateway. Even though the "Help" icon states to enter values in these fields if no DHCP server is used. I use a DHCP server so they should be empty. After spending 3 hours on this tonight, I'm quite disappointed that this device is non-functioning. Yes, I have reset this device back to factory settings more than once. The app on my phone for APRS is so much easier to update and use. I had wondered why a user had to create YouTube videos to show other users how to set up the Tracker4. Now, I know why.