Cheat_TT4 20Byonics_v1 1a by 5249nxok


									Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4

       Larry Higgins, W5EX, Dink Stockert, WA5LNL and Dennis Rogers, N5VRP
                          Intertie, Inc., San Antonio, Texas

Introduction The Byonics TinyTrak4 is a recently introduced update of a series of
GPS Locator/Messaging devices intended for use in the Amateur APRS system.
Enhancements to the original PIC-based design include compatibility with KISS TNC
operation, as a digipeater, mobile tracker, and use as a weather station that reports into
the APRS network. It can be used with a Y serial adapter too give all these modes
of operation at the same time.

This product has gone through several design upgrades and as this is written is not yet
fully featured. We are at v.0.63 of the software and v. 0.6 of the hardware. This is a beta
version: those wishing to use final products should consult Byon Garrabrant's web site.
This is If you go for an earlier version, avoid v0.62
and its associated graphical user interface (GUI).

While on the subject, the software Zip file contains the v. 0.63 software, instruction and
firmware manuals and the appropriate GUI. The latter can greatly simplify
programming, but sadly, arrives without instructions. We will try to fill that gap here.

As on other APRS entries on our Web page, we have concentrated on the KISS protocol.
This arrangement let's your laptop do the heavy hauling, while allowing a very good
map presentation for station locations. We use UI-View32 (
combined with Precision Mapping Streets and Traveler (Instructions for downloading
and installing PMapServer7 for using Precision Mapping Streets and Traveler 7 with UI-
View32. ) This British/American software
remains the standard of comparison for ease of use, adaptability and multi-
applications, including I-gating.

Until now, we have used John Hansen's KISS board (QST Nov 2000, pp. 53-56) married
to a Motorola Micor converted to the 2-meter band ( A
TinyTrak3 rides in the same radio. I used a toggle switch to select KISS operation Now I
can use a single unit for GPS positioning with or without a lap top on board. KISS is
now a simple software toggle.

The UI-View program comes with a schematic for splitting the serial port input and
sampling incoming GPS signals for processing. You won't need this with the Tiny-Trak4.
Instead, purchase Byon's Y-cable for this purpose. The TinyTrak4has two serial ports,
wired to pins 2,3 and [the other] pins 7,8, with 5 ground, Pin 4 is a jumper-selected 5-
volt line for the GPS. Unlike the Hansen's unit, GPS goes to the TNC directly, rather
than through the computer.

Construction. You have a choice of a kit or a finished Tiny-Trak4. These are really
classy PCB's, very compact, rugged and well thought-out. There's a DB-9 male g'zinta
and a DB-9 female g'zouta. You will need a double female DB-9 and a null modem
adapter for ALL computer interconnects. Again, Byon will sell you these, if you don't
have any. Radio Shack and Altex have 'em too. Follow the instructions in re jumpers,
cables and so on. In some cases ferrite beads are needed on the dc power and tx/rx
lines to eliminate rfi/emi in mobile applications. Also, shielding the Tiny-Trak4 may be
required using a metal enclosure shipped by the user. Byon offers a SMT version which
allows you to simply attach a back light LCD Display and PS2 Keyboard for text

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4
messaging and configuration parameters changes without the need for a computer.
Other functions are provided via Fx function keys and more being added at the time of
this writing. Byon sells an adapter to attach to the header connector on this model. The
kit is very simple to build with minimal skills inn a step-by-step instructions provided.
Also, Byonics sells a GPS2 which handles up to 12 satellites with fast access timing and
acquisition. The power for the GPS is powered via a 5v dc regulator onboard the Tiny-
Trak4 in all versions.

Programming. When you call up the Web Site ( with
the sales info and pictures, ignore the "Downloads" in the left-hand column. Scroll to
the bottom. There will be a long list of downloads. Scroll way down to "Firmware" and
click on tt4_alpha_v0.63zip. Unzip this file and you get 4 more files:
 A Readme.txt, which tells how to load the firmware and has a history of upgrades
 Byonics TinyTrak4 Alpha Firmware Manual v0.63 pdf. Check to see that you
    have the right manual, whose title should read," Manual Version 0.63 for Firmware
    version 0.63"
 TinyTrak4 Alpha Config v0.63.exe This is the programming GUI. If you click on it,
    you see the 1st of several available programming option panels. You can't copy this
    file, so it has to reside in the computer that you will use to load the firmware. The
    GUI is preloaded with the default values for each command. You may want to scan
    these entries, and enter them in your command glossary found in the instruction
    manual. (There is no listing of defaults provided in the current manuals).
 TT4_alpha_v063.TT4. This is the actual firmware to be loaded into your unit.
 TinyTrak4 Quick Start Guide v0.4.pdf - Quick-Start guide for TinyTrak4 users.
    Download, open and read this excellent info. Don't just push on. Read it and save
    yourself hours of grief. Read the instruction manual later, if you are in a hurry.
 TT4_firmware_load v0.1.3zip-TT4/MT-TT4 A special Loader program is needed to
    send the data to your TinyTrak4. Scroll around until you find: and download it.
 Follow the instructions on page 2 of the v 0.4 Quick-Start Guide referenced above.
    We ignored Tera Term Pro. The LEDS flash and your screen will announce the
    uploading process. Note: Make sure you upload the proper version as in
    Tinytrak4...TT4 and not MT-Tinytrak4...TT4. This are two very different models

When you try to run the Loader, your computer may spit out a nasty note that says you
need an add-on called net framework v2.0.50277. In Win XP, reference to this stuff is
found by clicking on Administrative Tools, then Microsoft .Net Framework. Readers
will doubtless know much more about this soft ware than I do, Anyhow, I e-mailed Byon
on this one, and he came back with a Microsoft URL:
4A14-83F5-25634C3BF043&display lang=en

I looked in my Program List (Win XP) and found an earlier version of .net framework
there. The URL wheeze above gets you to v2.0.50277. In the menu, ignore v3.0, you
don't need it. Don't clutter up your computer with it.

With the TT4 Firmware loader running, you will be able to run TT4_alpha_v063.TT4.
The way this happens: When you click on the loader icon, a little box shows up, that
has a panel asking for the file to be loaded. Left click this box, and another panel with
My Documents appears. Select the unzipped firmware file by clicking on it. You will be
told to cycle the TinyTrak power. Select Com port to be used, power up, and you will see
"update firmware." Then follow the instructions shown.

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4

Configuring your TinyTrak4 Alpha Firmware. You can make this job really hard, if you
want to. Try it this way, first.
 Your TT4 should be powered up w/ 12vdc and a serial cable hooked from it's output
   port to your computer via a double female adapter and a null modem.
 Pull up the GUI icon that you parked in My Documents. It is labeled : TinyTrak4
   Alpha Config v0.63.exe.
 Click on the icon and you will see a gray thingy with about 9 available tabs,
   arranged like this:

    Basic |    Ports | Position |   Position Timing |      GPS
    Beacon/Digipeater | Telem/WX/Other Packet | Display | Comms

   Click on Comms. Select COM1, unless you know better, in which select as you
    know better.
   Click on Read Config
   Cycle the 12vdc power OFF and ON. Watch very carefully for things to magically
    appear, followed by a statement of what got read, changes, etc. Any config items
    that were pre-loaded will now show up when the other panels are clicked.
   Click on Basic. If a call was previously loaded, it will be shown, else, type in your
    call, such as W1AZ-1. Fill in the blanks:
               Click on Splitter, which you must have to marry your GPS to Tiny-Trak.
               Send position every 300 seconds
   Click on Close at the bottom right corner.

   Now, click on PORTS. This pops up a fresh screen. Fill in the blanks this way, if
    they are not already pre-loaded.
              Port A: AMODE TEXT              ABAUD 19200
              Port B: BMODE GPS               BBAUD 4800

You'll want to select:
                      Send decoded packets to serial ports (PKTICOM)
                      Send generated packets to serial ports (PKTOCOM)

   Click on Close at the bottom right corner.

At this point, providing you found defaults filled in on the other panels, you can
probably fire up and see if the whole gizmo works.

To short cut for now, just click on COMMS again and then click on Write Config.
Again, you'll be flipping the power off and on, while watching the LEDS on TT4 and the
computer screen for response.
You may want to click on Read Config, cycle power and see if your call sign is written
on the BASIC tab. That confirms that TT4 read your input. You can save the config to a
file shown, or to a floppy.

If the BASIC panel still says NOCALL, instead of your call, you're in trouble. Stop.
Check your hookup. Did you forget to put a Null Modem in the serial cable line? Did
you see an acknowledgement when you did the firmware download? Does the blue LED
light glow steadily after all 4 LEDS flash when you turn on the power? Did the LEDS
flash sequentially during the firmware loading process?

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4

I tried going to the GUI directly when I received my unit. I could not effect any response
when I clicked on Read Config on the COMS page. The unit is supposed to arrive with
the PIC programmed. Perhaps, mine did, but got corrupted somehow. Whatever the
reason, I went ahead and loaded v0.63 as described above. Furthermore, I failed to
recognize there are 2 GUI's on the web page. Do not try to use TinyTrak4 Alpha Config
v0.62.exe: it won't work!

To examine the programmed PIC, without the GUI, you must load a terminal emulator
from Windows. In XP, click on Programs, Accessories, Communications,
HyperTerminal. When this program loads, there will be a panel to set up a telephone
or whatever. Click EXIT.
A panel with a toolbar will remain. Click PROPERTIES. Screen will say "New
Connection Properties." Click Configure. Name it TinyTrak4. Read down to "Connect
using" and type in COM 1. The computer will only then allow you to click on Configure.
On the Configure panel, fill in 19,200 Bits, 8 Data, None parity, 1 Stop bit, and Flow
Control None.
On my computer, when I call up HyperTerminal and click on Cancel in the first panel,
the tool bar already says "TinyTrak4". On my Win 98 laptop, I have to cancel the new
connection panel and click on OPEN and select TinyTrak4.

OK, so now you have HyperTerminal running 19,200, 8N1. With your TinyTrak4unit
connected via double female and null modem adapters, turn on your unit. LEDS will
flash and screen will show a "?". Press ESC 3 times to get to command mode. Do this
quickly and you'll get a ":". You are ready to talk to your PIC. See the instruction
manual for available commands. You will probably want to list the config file: this is
done by typing, DISPLAY [Enter]. The file is longer than the window, however, the up-
arrow can be used to scroll through the entire list. End your session by typing QUIT
[Enter]. If you have working radio running on the TinyTrak4 input, the TT4 will begin
sending data to your screen. If you programmed AMODE as TEXT, it will be readable
stuff, else KISS, it will be 90% gibberish.

Completing configuration. I found the GUI very helpful in configuring Tiny-Trak. I will
march you through the remaining panels now. With TinyTrak4 hooked to your serial
port via double female DB-9 and Null Modem, power it up. In My Documents, find the
GUI logo and click on it. This brings up the gray thingy as before. Click on COMS and
select Read Config, cycle power when directed. When finished click on Basic tab and
look for your call. It is not necessary to call up HyperTerminal for this task. The GUI
automatically places you in command mode, when needed.

1. Basic. You have filled in your call, such as W1AZ-1, and checked Splitter. Position
   reporting rate can be 300 sec. However, during ring-out, you might want to enter 20
   sec., so you can see the results later in HyperTerminal, without a 5-minute wait.
2. Ports. You've already selected the operating mode of each of the available serial
   ports. I recommend leaving AMODE TEXT, until you are confident all is finished,
   then switch AMODE to KISS, if you're going to run this mode. Be sure to check the
   PKTICOM and PKTOCOM sentences.
3. Position. Scroll TPROTOCOL down to APRS TEXT, Select Send TSPEED and
   heading. Select TALT and deselect TOSV. By deselecting TOSV, you will see that the
   Blanks for QTH and altitude are no longer grayed out. Fill in a LOCATION and its
   altitude = GALT. The numbers used for the lat/long must be shown exactly as in
   the default, including leading zeros. I enter a QTH and altitude away from my shop,
   in order to distinguish GPS output and to keep my QTH off the Internet. TSTATUS
   can be left in the default, or you can place a personal message here, such as your e-

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4
    mail address, or whatever. Set STATUSRATE to 3. Avoid the MIC-E stuff for now,
    and leave the time stamp as HMS. Leave TSYMCODE with >, as shown; / for
    TSYMTABLE. When you get ready to play with the little UI-View icons, the list is
    available at symbols htm. Note that there are 2
    tables, toggled by TSYMTABLE, wherein you enter either a right slash (default), or
    left slash to access the other table.
4. Position Timing. Set PPERIOD to 300 sec. Smart beaconing can be useful,
    especially for complex navigating tasks, as in car rallies, and, if checked, the details
    should be left in the factory defaults. Smart Beaconing pre-empts PPERIOD, if
    checked. Ignore ENTS and TSOFFSET, unless you understand them. I don't.
5. GPS. Set GWAYMODE to NMEA. Check Send way point for self (TSWPT) .
    GRELAYBITS selects the GPS code you are using. Default is 1, which is $GPRMC.
    This command can be useful, if you are having doubts about your GPS receiver. Set
    to 1, if you want to see raw GPS in your HyperTerminal display. Unless you are
    interested in seeing the raw GPS data in HyperTerminal, set GRELAYRATE to 0.
    Beacon/Digipeater. Set BPERIOD to 1300, and avoid irritating your APRS friends
    with excessive beacons. Leave Digipeater settings blank. I believe that filling in the
    Alias here will activate the TinyTrak4as a Digipeater. You don't want to do this now.
6. Telem/WX/Other. We think telemetry is cool. Hence, activate this feature by
    following our suggested choices. Set TPERIOD a minimum of 600 sec. During check
    out use fewer seconds, so you don't have to wait so long. You have an opportunity to
    calibrate the voltage and temperature readings with the Tweak commands. Here is
    what we are using, just for a starter for you: Check TELREAD, TELVOLT,
    TELTEMP. Select 163 for TVOLTTWK; 119 for TTEMPTWK. Ignore the rest of the
    page for now. Note in passing that BANK 0 is checked by default. Stray not from
7. Packet If you started with the BASIC panel, your call will always be filled in here.
    Stay in sync with Bob Bruniga on the PATH selection - leave the defaults at WIDE1-
    1 and WIDE2-1. Avoid the use of "RELAY" or "TRACE"! . For mobiles depending upon
    terrain, use no more than WIDE1-1 for PATH1 and WIDE2-2 for PATH2. This yields
    totally WIDE3-3. The first number is NOT used before the dash only the second. DO
    NOT over position report as it is not necessary and clutters up the frequency for
    others. Set CDMODE to PIN2. We are using 12 for RXAMP; 128 for TXLEVEL and
    50 for TXTWIST. See instructions for more. Leave all the remaining defaults as is.
    Be careful with TXLEVEL. Read the instructions and follow. Avoid over-deviation, a
    main cause of APRS communications failure. These parameters is tweaked on a
    radio-by-radio basis so it may vary. Use the calibrate mode to tweak it.
8. Display. Leave this page as-is. Be sure LEDS is checked.
9. COMMS. We've been here already. After checking the Com Port you've selected and
    all your entries, page-by-page, click on COMMS, then WRITE CONFIG. Cycle
    powers as directed and watch as the panel shows your entries going by and the
    LEDS on TinyTrak4 merrily flashing. You'll be told when finished. I suggest clicking
    on Save Settings, so that your hard work is backed up. The settings are a Text file,
    which can be printed off for a record. After closing, you can also print off the Default
    values by going back to the GUI, clicking on COMMS and then "Save Settings". Of
    course, you will want to title the file "Default". The instruction manuals do not show
    the defaults. Keep in mind you can save multiple configurations by the naming of
    the file. We do this for archiving different sites configurations versus mobile
10. You can now click on READ CONFIG, cycle power when asked and see your
    handiwork displayed on each GUI page. When satisfied, Cycle power again and you
    are good to go. I'd suggest watching the whole machinery play now, by calling up
    HyperTerminal as before and watching the incoming stations, as well as your own
    location and i.d. Your GPS may not work in the shack. Using a DB-9 extension cord,

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4
   position it outdoors on a chair under clear sky. GPS LOCK is achieved only when
   the green LED stops flashing and goes steadily on. In the absence of valid NMEA
   data from a locked GPS and TOSV TRUE, you will never see the mobile icon on the

Editing your GUI work. You can edit easily with the GUI. However, it may be simpler to
call up HyperTerminal, select TinyTrak4 turn on TinyTrak4 and hit ESC 3 times to get
in the command mode. Using your instruction manual, refer to Parameter Commands.
There is a complete glossary of all available commands here. Messing with CDMODE is
convenient here, for instance. Also, changes in PPERIOD and BPERIOD, GRELAYBITS,
are all easily accomplished, as well as screen readout with DISPLAY. We use
HyperTerminal to toggle from Tiny-Trak AMODE TEXT to AMODE KISS, only after
satisfactory ops are seen with the TinyTrak4 chip alone.

Notice that the current status of each command pops up when that command is typed,
followed by [Enter]. Type "QUIT" when you want out.

Problems and unanswered questions. We are a bit uncertain of the relationship of the
setup embedded in the UI-View software and that you've entered into the TinyTrak4
PIC. Right now, it seems like both configs are running, when AMODE is KISS. The serial
output certainly writes into UI-View, but the I.D, programmed into TT4 wins over that
typed into UI View Station setup. We're wondering how much of the Comms and Station
setups influence the overall operation of TinyTrak in KISS mode.

The digipeat function appears to toggle on when Alias 1 is filled in. When we assigned
an alias, such as WIDE1-1, we saw our call in the string of stations digipeated here in
town. (UI-View Terminal Mode toggled). However, when TinyTrak4 is digipeating, the UI-
View display sometimes fails to show my current QTH, while transmitting the
information by RF just fine, as confirmed by other stations. When using as a
tracker/digipeater use WIDE3-3. This gives you extra position reporting in case of
mountains and valleys blocking your transmissions.

We are unclear as to why a response to My Call must be filled in twice. Are 2 different
calls expected? The GUI fills your call in for you, after it is once entered on the BASIC
panel. Other items appear to be a pre-fill-in, suggesting that you just do COMMS and
BASIC and then try the System out, before entering the multitude of commands.

We were dismayed to find the GUI has glitches. In particular, it is wise to print out a
text file of the commands you entered and check them there. The GUI read back may fib
to you. We had difficulty with CDMODE defaulting to LEVEL, after we sent PIN2. The
LOCATION may revert to Default, even if the correct format is entered. This makes error
correction necessary w/ HyperTerminal. We did try repeating the GUI read-in. Some
times it worked, but not always. Another approach would be to make corrections in the
text file and then read it back in using the GUI COMMS page command. Be sure to use
the correct version of GUI (0.63).
The configuration tool may help here Larry and Dink. I'm using this more now than
Hyperterm with good results since last version release of the LOADER/CONFIG tool.
REMOVE after reading....

In summary, do a text file of all commands and print it out. Enter commands of interest
into HyperTerminal, in order to check their state.

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807
Intertie, Incorporated
     Cheat Sheets: Byonics TinyTrak4
TOSV TRUE prevents publication of invalid GPS packets. At first glance this seems like
a good idea, and intuitively, this should be set TRUE. However, this invalidates
publication of an assigned stationary QTH. The GUI panel will gray out when TOSV is
TRUE. So we select TOSV FALSE. There may also be an undesired interaction with UI-
View, when TinyTrak is run in the KISS mode. (We're exploring this)

We are very anxious to pursue brief messaging. Will acquire Byon's keyboard and
display ASAP.

The Weather function will be addressed in another Cheat Sheet. When time permits, we
will explore the possibility of a one TNC weather-digipeater. The check program is next in line at our bench.

Mobile operation. We are using a GE/Ericsson Monogram 2-meter transceiver trunk
mounted. A Panasonic Tough Book computer rides in the back seat with the
TinyTrak4. A DB-9 cable with ferrite chokes (Available from All Electronics) feeds the
signal from the trunk. I used a toggle switch on an extension cable to control the 12-vdc
feed. You may wish to wire the unit through your ignition switch in order to save the
car battery. My GPS unit is a Radio Shack "DigiTraveler". I stuck it up under the dash
with double-sticky tape. With the glove compartment door snapped down, I reached up
in front of the air bag and pushed it up into the Fiberglass dash. In that location, good
signal strengths arrive through the windshield and Fiberglass from the GPS satellite
array, I power the unit with a 7805 regulator. See:
If you use Byon's GPS, the TinyTrak4 can provide 5 volts, so you don't need to build a
supply, as I had done.

Conclusion. TinyTrak4 is a very sophisticated multi-purpose digital communications
device. We hope that we have smoothed your learning curve. Comments, criticism and
corrections should be addressed to You will receive a reply!
We recommend that you check the Byonics web site frequently. Your questions may be
answered there.

July 13, 2010

Copyright 2010, Work in progress

P.O. Box 100807, San Antonio, Texas 78201-8807

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