Compass Repeaters / Tripmasters

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by schattat, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    FOR ALL NEW READERS, PLEASE READ THIS FIRST
    Ever since this thread was started it has grown with many pages showing the development and growth of my devices. So, if you don't really care about all that and want ro cut right to the chase, I suggest you skip ahead to here where you can find some pics of the final products as well as the final prices!
    Otherwise, please feel free to read on (you'll be able to see many computer generated 3D models of the devices before they were ever made :D
    ).

    Hey guys,

    Well, they're finally done!:clap
    As you may know from my Africa Race thread (see my signature below), I was asked by a number of people here at ADVrider whether I could make a couple of compass repeaters, just like the ones used at major rallye events, such as "Dakar".
    Well, I did. I custom designed and fabricated my own circuit boards, and depending on which components are mounted, they work as a compass repeater, or a tripmaster. These repeaters are a cheaper alternative to the Touratech ones for almost 700€!

    In order to have the compass repeater working, you'll either need your own GPS (such as a Garmin), or a simple GPS antenna, like the ones for PDA navigation. To see whether your handeld GPS device is compatible with these repeaters, take a look at your user's manual, and see whether it supports "NMEA Output". If this is the case, check whether is has the "$GPVTG" as one of its output sentences (the majority of the modern devices do, but just check in case :wink:). I can already confirm that the GPS 60 series (CSX, CX, CS, C) are 100% compatible with my repeaters. Many of the other Garmin GPSs too, but as I said, check beforehand! You'll just have to get hold of the appropriate connection cable for your device.

    If instead you want to operate the repeater with a standalone antenna, like ones for PDA navigation, I recommend antennas, such as the Rikaline 6010 GPS Mouse. This mouse is waterproof (the majority of other mice aren't!), and fairly accurate (accurate enough for your average joe :lol3). I've used it before on several occasions, and was very satisfied with it.

    Now, to the circuit board. I've kept the concept simple, to avoid any trouble that may arise during use. 1 microprocessor controls averything, unlike other manufacturers who tend to use more than 2 (more chances of a fault). The highlight of the whole thing is obviously the LCD. It's a special transflective kind, which means it can be perfectly read, whilst having the backlight running (which runs all the time). It still stays perfectly readable during very strong sunshine, (LED backlight still running).

    As you can see on the pics, the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) has several pads made to solder a few wires on to. For the compass repeater, you'll only need 3 wires to operate it with. Positive power lead (10-18V), GND and data. It's also possible to power your GPS/antenna from the device. Whatever you prefer...
    The primary job for the reapeater is to show the current true compass course. But several people have asked me to add a feature for speed (also taken from the GPS data). If you want this feature enabled, you're going to have to solder a push button on to one of the designated pads (the other pin to GND). If there is no button attached, the repeater will only show the compass course.
    For the tripmaster you'll need 2 buttons to operate it. For this, there are 2 designated pads. The wheel sensor is a standard reed switch (2 wire operation), like the original ICO uses. Again, another pad.

    Soldering these few wires shouldn't be much of an issue. A soldering iron costs, what $10?? A bit of solering wire, $2? If you can't solder, I'm sure you can find some helpful videos on youtube, or I can always be of assistance.

    Just to be sure, for sale are only the fully soldered circuitboards, without a casing. You'll have to make your own casing for it!
    The PCB come ready to run (race?), meaning all necessary parts are mounted, and the device is programmed. You just need the solder a few wires...

    I currently only have 20 pieces available. If there's a greater demand, I'll make a couple more...
    Mode models were successfully tested during the Africa Race, with no faults whatsoever!


    Measurements: 72mm x 49mm x 11mm
    Price:
    Compass Repeater - 160€
    Tripmaster - 80€


    :earIf there are any open questions, please do ask!!! :ear

    Oh yeah, some pics :lol3

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    Great product, though it will be a bit of a chore packaging it.

    Can you confirm that it works with the GPS unit used in Dakar? What type of connector is needed to make that connection to the Dakar GPS? Pinouts?

    I didn't find a convenient source to purchase the Rikakin GPS receiver you suggested. I did find a similar waterproof unit for a very good price on eBay: PolStar GPS on eBay But, I can't tell if your unit is compatible with the PolStar GPS receiver voltage levels. Can you check the specs and let me know. Does the repeater have a 5V output to power such a GPS? At under US$20 with shipping, this PolStar GPS seems like a good choice, if it would work. Better yet, if you provided an option to purchase your repeater packaged with a GPS receiver like this, that would be even better! I'm not sure a lot of people are ready to take on the project of packaging the repeater, finding a compatible "mouse" GPS, building their own cables, and figuring out voltage compatibilities and how to wire everything up. But I'm ready for it!

    I don't fully understand the pricing. Does your Compass Repeater also have the functions of your Tripmaster, or are they completely different units? Ideally, I would like to see one unit with both functions (with pushbutton to toggle between functions). Is that possible?

    Do you accept Paypal?
    #2
  3. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Hey HogWild,

    Thanks for taking interest! Now to your ???s

    Sort of... Let me put it this way: My dear friend Ken (BAZZER450) was kind enough to lend me his original ERTF repeater, so I could make him a custom converter to allow the repeater to work with his Garmin 60CSX. Because of that, I now know how the original repeater works... So basically in conclusion, I can say the it will be compatible with the ERTF GPS, but can't ensure it 100%!

    The original cable is a round 3 pin connector, mostly used in the industrial industry. I'm sure I can source one up if you need one.

    Yeah, it'll work without a problem. One thing is still unclear, as it says in the description, that the "VTG" sentence is optional. Better to ask the seller, whether it's already turned on by default.
    As you can see in this pic, you'll only need to connect 3 wires: Red(+5V), Black(GND) and Green(RS232 TX, i.e data). In fact you won't need the connector. Just cut if and use the 3 mentioned wires.
    http://usih.merchantrun.com/ImageHosting/ViewImage.aspx?GlobalID=1003&MerchantID=206&ImageID=1998&DisplaySize=400

    Yes, I extra made sure of that! There's a small pad designated to it...

    Good on 'ya :thumbup

    Actually, they're 2 seperate units.

    Interesting idea! Maybe if a couple more guys are also interested in this option I can write the appropriate code for it. Shouldn't be all too difficult, though.

    Paypal or international bank transfer is fine.


    If you've got any more questions, you know where to reach me :norton
    #3
  4. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Hey guys,

    A buddy of mine here has been able to source up a nice casing for his repeater. Take a look here:
    [​IMG]

    They're milled out of an aluminum block. If a small qauntity isn't too expensive, I'll order a few. This should make it a lot easer for you guys :D
    #4
  5. Tomaz

    Tomaz Adventurer

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    Nice piece of work! Congratulations Schattat!
    Can you tell a little bit more about Tripmaster functions ?
    How many counters (total and parcial?)
    What are the two button functions ?
    Increment/decrement/reset functions available?
    Thanks in advance,
    Tomaz

    #5
  6. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Thanks a lot for the congrats! :D

    Sure thing! It has a very basic setup. 3 main modes: Trip (obviously :lol3), speed and time.
    Each mode has at least 1 "submode". Such as...
    Trip: Put device to sleep
    Speed: Top speed, wheel circumference setup (in mm)
    Time: Adjust time

    I must say, that the clock is EXTREMLY accurate!! We synchronised our tripmaster to an atmoic clock in mid-December. It's still running to the exact same minute :eek1!!!!:eek1
    Also, it has been running on the same set of batteries since then, too!!! OVER 3 MONTHS NOW!!

    I've only built in one entire trip counter, as I have never needed a second one... Use it for one stage, then reset it to 0 the next morning.

    Trip mode:
    Up -> Increment trip
    Down -> Decrement trip
    Hold Down (when trip is 0) -> Go to sleep mode (saves heaps of power)
    Hold both -> Switch mode to speed

    Speed mode:
    Hold up -> Show top speed
    Hold down -> Set wheel circumference
    Hold both -> Switch to time mode

    Time Mode:
    Hold down -> Set time

    See above!


    If you need any more info, you know where to reach me :D

    Kind Regards,
    Tony Schattat
    #6
  7. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    ooohh did you sell a ready to connectpacket?

    regards
    Mikael
    #7
  8. DaveRMS

    DaveRMS Long timer

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    I'd probably be interested in a combo unit.

    Will it connect to the GPS that rally providers make you use? I mean, the same GPS that the ERTF unit connects to in a sanctioned rally? Sorry if that is covered above and I just don't understand--I'm still a "wannabe".

    Dave
    #8
  9. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Yeah, I could do that. Just tell me what GPS you have, and I'll order the necessary cable for it, and wire up the rest of it. You'll only need to attach power and the data cable to your GPS and your ready to go!
    #9
  10. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    That makes 2 of you now. I'll think about it!

    You see, the problem is that I can't get hold of one of their GPSs to test it. I'm pretty sure (99%) that it'll work with the ERTF GPS.
    I'll be heading to Marseille on my bike the weekend before the start of the Rallye de Tunisie. Maybe I can meet up with somebody there, who'll let me test it on his GPS. That is if I can find somebody!
    #10
  11. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    Hep

    GPS: Garmin 60csx
    if i´m to buy this i will need the repeater boxed/cased in the alu block.

    regards
    Mikael
    #11
  12. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    I had a talk to a couple of CNC fabricators here, an it looks like the casing won't be all too expensive!:clap About 30€ a piece, if I order 20 pieces.

    I'll just have to make a 3D design of it, and send it to them! Of course, the designed ones will look 100x better than the ones shown on the pic above!!!:lol3 Maybe I'll take the original ICO casing as a reference...
    #12
  13. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    #13
  14. HogWild

    HogWild Scott Whitney

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    I vote for that. Your current PWB is a bit "tall". I was studying the photos to see if the top and bottom edges could be trimmed down without hitting any traces. If you were able to make it fit in the same spot as an ICO, including the size and mounting bolts, that might get a few more people interested. Keep up the great work!
    #14
  15. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Hey guys,

    I'm back from my first bike trip through France/Germany! :clap

    Anyways, back to the topic... I spent the last couple of days working on a 3D design for the casing for the circuit boards (took me only 3 days to learn how to use the program and design it):
    Tell me what you think :evil


    Natural Aluminum Look:
    [​IMG]

    Traditional Red (Anodized):
    [​IMG]

    Anodized Yamaha WR Blue (my dad's favourite :D):
    [​IMG]


    I had a talk with a few CNC fabricators here to let them be made, so we'll see what'll happen!
    #15
  16. BAZZER450

    BAZZER450 Been here awhile

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    Tony how goes the factory ico/ road book switch ??
    #16
  17. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Hey guys,

    After weeks of a P.I.T.A here and there with many CNC shops here, I was able to find a good supplier, who is currently working on my 3D designed cases as we speak.
    I'll be getting my 3 samples next week. If all goes well, I'll get the remaining 12. They are also producing the rear lids for me, so no need to find another supplier! :clap

    Here some pics of the FINAL designs (1 button = compass repeater):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, both devices will come fully cased (100% assembled with rear lid and front glass), and ready to work (wiring not shown here, though!).
    The colours available are Yamaha Blue, KTM Orange and natural aluminum.

    I have made some minor/major changes to the design. E.g. the battery pack from the 1st version was designed to hold 3xAAA batteries. Due to the huge overall breath of the casing, I have decided to go for 2 button batteries (2x CR2032), just like the original ICO has it. Obviously, this is only needed for my tripmaster, and not the repeater.
    Not to frighten you, these button batteries will last just as long as the AAA's!

    Not just the breath, but both length and height were minimized as much as possible, making the entire setup as light as possible!

    Measurments: (LxHxB) 85x42x33mm (The breath refers to the size from the rear lid all the way to the front of the glass!)
    Comparison to original ICO size: (LxH) 91x46mm

    The pictures show an orange LED backlight, but I currently only have lime-green available. I'll be able to change them on request!


    Obviously becasue of the casing, the old prices are going to be changed :evil
    Still have to crunch the numbers...

    Once my samples arrive I'll post new pics!


    :ear???NOW, WHO'S INTERESTED??? :ear
    #17
  18. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Due to my home mill being broken, I'm no longer able to make them...
    But since I've been able to find a really good CNC shop here, I could make them. That is if there is enough demand! :wink:

    If you want one, that'll make a total of 3 (me + dad, one each). I'll check with the shop, but to make the effort worthwhile, I think we'd need about 10 pieces made... If you can gather that many people, I'm sure that something can be arranged!
    #18
  19. LocuL

    LocuL Gnarly Infantry

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    I´m in.

    ICO and repeater
    #19
  20. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Great!!!:clap

    Anybody else?
    #20