- learning the position of a craft using an onboard or dedicated GPS receiver
- activation via call from UHF handheld radio or by timer
- transmitting voice with GPS position among classical beacon tones and unique Proximity search mode
- built-in bright LED and a buzzer to aid searching in close proximity
- external voltage sensor: reports the voltage of the main battery during the flight
- equipped with a small LiPo cell (60mAh) which provides about a week of standby time
- built-in LiPo charger to charge it's own battery
- easy configuration and calibration through a PC app
- *power button*
- *automatic turn on together with the aircraft*
- *protection circuits*
- size: 20x30mm
- weight: 5-6g (with 60mAh battery)
* - differences from tBeacon Green.
- tBeacon Amber (assembled, calibrated and tested unit) with wire antenna
- LiPo 1S 60mAh
- 2 x cable for connecting to a model's GPS system and for configuration of the tBeacon
- heatshrink tube
It is highly recommended to cover the beacon with water-resistant coating: a specialized lacquer or a "liquid tape". Then you should solder the LiPo battery an put the assembly into the heat shrink tube.
Ground input (black wire) is located closer to the edge of the board.
Avoid installation locations where the beacon may be subject to strong deformation (for example, in front of a heavy battery) or may be buried under the radiopaque objects.
Powering ON and OFF
Manual switching on
The beacon can be turned on manually by a short (0.5 sec) button press. Startup of the beacon indicated by LEDs, a short buzzer signal, broadcast of a welcome tone and LiPo voltage announcement.
Automatic switching on
The beacon turns on automatically when a charging voltage (5V) or phantom power through UART lines (RX, TX) appears. I.e. when you turn on your aircraft, the beacon will also turn on.
To turn off the beacon press and hold the button for at least 5 sec.
The beacon is equipped with a voltage monitoring circuits: it can monitor the voltage of its own battery and an external (main flight) LiPo battery. It is possible to monitor batteries of 2-6S.
The voltage monitoring will blocks the beacon startup until its own battery voltage is higher than 3.0V. It blinks with red LED waiting the voltage to raise up to 3.3V
During normal startup the beacon reports the voltage of its own battery. For example, "three eight" means that the battery voltage is 3.8V.
Assuming a non-zero value of the "External battery thresholds" parameter the beacon will try to detect an external battery at startup and so forth every 15 seconds.
In the presence of voltage at the corresponding input, the beacon will determine the number of cells of the battery and the buzzer will emit a corresponding number of "beeps". For example, with connected 3S battery the beacon will emit three "beeps".
Then the beacon will report the average voltage of the battery cells. For example, "four two" means the average voltage of 4.2V of the cells.
Next, the beacon enters the external battery monitoring cycle: it will check once per second for excess of a specified thresholds.
When the "WARNING" threshold is reached, the beacon reports the current average voltage of the cells every 15 seconds.
When the "CRITICAL" threshold is reached, the beacon reports the current voltage of the cells with an intervals of 1 second, and uses light and sound alarm.
The beacon consider the average cell voltage of 2.5V as an absense of battery. It will signal it with a short double "beeps" and three "zero zero" reports.
By default, the value of the "External battery thresholds" parameter is set to "0", i.e. monitoring is disabled. Recommended setting: "3533". Which means "WARNING" threshold is set to 3.5V, and the "CRITICAL" threshold is set to 3.3V.
When using this functionality it is strongly recommended that you connect the beacon to a 5V source to keep its own battery charged.
5-pin JST SH connector is used for connection to the GPS, charging voltage supply, an external (monitored) battery and for all service operation with the beacon.
- Vext - optional connection to the positive side (+) of an external monitored LiPo battery.
- RX - UART input. Used for connection to a GPS location source and to a PC
- TX - UART output. Used only for connection to a PC
- +5V - 5V input connection. Used for the beacon's own LiPo charging
- GND - Ground.
- EXT_BUTTON - External button. Should be pulled to GND when the button is pressed.
Configuration and flashing
Connect black, yellow and green wires with corresponding GND, RX & TX pins of UART adapter (Note that RX should be connected to TX), but do not connect cable to the beacon yet.
There two ways to connect the beacon to the configuration utility:
1. Click "CONNECT" button and connect the cable to unpowered beacon. The beacon will turn on and will be switched to config mode by the configurator.
2. If the beacon is already powered on, press and hold the power button for 5 sec, then click "CONNECT" and release the button.
Firmware flashing is also can be done in two ways: 1. Click "FLASH FW" button and connect the cable to unpowered beacon immediately after the black terminal window appears. The beacon will automatically turn on and starts fw flashing.
2. If the beacon is already powered on, press and hold the power button for 5 sec, then click "FLASH FW" and release the button immediately after the black terminal window appears.