CatTrack v3.0, Posts 0 comments on CatTrack 3.0 Minimising Current Consumption…

CatTrack 3.0 Minimising Current Consumption…

It’s been a couple of months without an update, but I have been busy with CatTrack. I’m currently waiting for oshpark to send back an issue 2 PCB.

The only real change from the issue 1 PCB to the issue 2 PCB is a change in voltage regulator. I have spent a long time over the last couple of weeks scalpeling my existing board and isolating everything in order to measure how much current each of the devices on the board is consuming.

I initially measured the current consumption of the whole board with everything in ‘sleep’ mode as 3.5uA. This didn’t really add up with what I expected, so I isolated each device in turn (MUCH easier said than done!) and measured the current of the PIC, RF95W and regulator seperately.

I started with the PIC. There are plenty of guides around the Internet detailing how to reduce the current consumption of a PIC to a minimum. Microchip themselves have a good guide.

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CatTrack v3.0, PCBs, Posts, Schematics 4 comments on CatTrack 3.0 Schematic, PCBs and Software!

CatTrack 3.0 Schematic, PCBs and Software!

Motivation and dedication are still high!

I’ve managed to complete the schematic and PCB, get it sent off to oshpark (my favourite PCB fab!), get them back, and solder them up, phew. I went for oshpark’s 0.8mm board thickness in order that my stacking heights would work inside the case, so they took a little longer to arrive than normal.

The schematic is below (click to enlarge). It’s quite simple and comprises the following:

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CatTrack v3.0, Posts 6 comments on CatTrack 3.0?! It’s August 2023!

CatTrack 3.0?! It’s August 2023!

It’s been over 2 years since CatTrack 2.0 was “on it’s way”….

Well… umm… it hasn’t progressed much since the previous post. I’ve had some good email chats with a good guy called Robert, who has been working on something very similar over in the Czech Republic. He has made many prototypes and has shared his thoughts with me around getting decent GPS reception. In the end he has settled on a Quectel LC86L GPS module and engineered the box such that the antenna sticks out a little, drastically improving reception.

I was having some reception issues with the u-blox GPS module I was using for CatTrack 2.0, which caused me to think about making a slightly different device…

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