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TrakBox

This product is no longer available.


The trakbox is a self-contained, stand-alone accessory for use with satellite stations. You simply select the satellite you wish to track from a front panel control and the TrakBox will steer your antennas in both azimuth and elevation to track the selected satellite when it is or above your horizon. In addition, if you have a radio with a computer interface, the TrakBox will tune your transmitter and receiver and correct them for doppler shift.

Trakbox includes a serial port to allow you to set the real-time clock (which is battery backed), your station location (latitude, longitude and elevation) and the keplerian elements for the satellites you are interested in (up to 40 satellites may be loaded, and the elements may be uploaded in ASCII in either the AMSAT or NASA formats). A two-line LCD display is updated every second, showing the azimuth and elevation of a satellite, along with the satellite ID and GMT. Once set up, TrakBox no longer needs to be connected to any other computer to operate.

TrakBox is set up to directly interface to Kenpro, Emmoto, and Yaesu dual-axis rotators which include a computer interface. It may also be interfaced to other rotators as long as simple relays (mechanical or solid state) are added to the rotator control box. It has been tested with the KR500 elevation rotator and the CDE/HyGain series of azimuth rotators (HAM-M, HAM-II, HAM-IV, TR-44 and TailTwister series).

The radio tuning mode has been tested with Yaesu FT-736, Kenwood TS790 and ICOM 970. It is designed to handle any ICOM radio with the CI-V interface as well as the Kenwood TS-711 and TS-811 models. ICOM radios with the older CI-IV interface can be used with an accessory converter available from ICOM. An optional tuning mode that utilizes microphone up/down buttons is also incorporated. This requires inputs from a modem (PSK or 9600 bps FSK) and is only for digital operations. This has been tested with Kenwood and Yaesu radios.

    Picture 1: Shows the different segments of the Kit
    Picture 2: Shows the kit assembled in an enclosure.
    (The enclosure does not come with the kit)
    Picture 3: Shows an assembled board with the LCD display in the bottom right corner


EPROM Upgrade

Upgrade EPROMS are available for the TrakBox. The current version is V3.50D.

Ordering Information

The price for the TrakBox EPROM is:

  • $ 15 US for members of TAPR

  • $ 15 US for non-members

    + shipping/handling if applicable.
(Place Web Order)

Shipping and Handling

Shipping and Handling within the US will be by USPS Priority Mail.

International shipping costs are calculated as closely as possible. If the actual cost exceeds the estimate by more than $5.00, TAPR will contact you to get approval for the additional funds. TAPR uses insured Priority Mail International, unless the purchaser requires something else.


Documentation

    Download TrakBox Assembly Manual (pdf format, 146K)

    Download TrakBox Schematic

    Download TrakBox Software Reference Guide (pdf format, 176K)

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