Quick start

 Congratulations! You have received your tBeacon, which will help you in the unpleasant situation of losing a model. This article covers the basic info you need to know in order to get started with the beacon fast and smooth.

Basic information

  • tBeacons are shipped with the battery disconnected for safe transportation. The beacon cannot operate without a battery, therefore, the battery must be soldered before turning it on for the first time. The polarity is indicated on the board, the basic rule is: the ground of the battery (black wire) is always at the edge of the board. Be careful: do not reverse the polarity, do not short-circuit the battery leads, do not touch the board with metal objects;
  • In case you are going to waterproof the PCB with a waterproofing coating, it is better to do it with the battery disconnected. Be careful, some liquid coatings are very fluid and easily seep into connectors, buttons, etc. Coating tBeacon Black, try to apply the minimum coating on the GPS antenna (it's rectangular green component above the QR code);
  • Placing the battery on the tBeacon Black, keep in mind that the battery must not fall into the GPS antenna area (rectangular green component above the QR code) on both sides of the PCB (on the bottom side this area is marked with the "keep open" marking;
  • The heat-shrink tubing is greatly reduced when shrinking, so it is better to have some margin and cut it later. Use a hair dryer to shrink, as it is safe for LiPo batteries;
  • The frequency the beacon tuned is 433.075 MHz (by default). The radio should be tuned to this frequency. All sub-channeling technologies (DCS, CTCSS) on the radio should be turned off;
  • The default calling tone for the beacon is 1750 Hz (standard Tone-burst). For Baofeng UV-5R this signal is activated by pressing the PTT + A/B  (or PTT + BAND for older versions);
  • The beacon turns on by pressing the button, or when connecting an external power supply. The beacon can be turned off by holding the button for ~5 seconds, or contactlessly using the "Contactless shutdown" feature (only for Amber starting version 6.7 and Black starting version 7.7). This feature has to be enabled via the configurator, it is disabled by default;

–°hecklist for a quick tBeacon testing

  1. Solder the LiPo to the PCB and put it all together into heat-shrink tube;
  2. Turn on the radio and tune it to 433.075 MHz;
  3. Push the tBeacon's button. The unit will beep, and you should hear the welcome tones and the LiPo voltage in the radio;
  4. Trigger the beacon by sending a calling tone (Tone-burst, 1750Hz, check the radio's manual) for 3-4 seconds;
  5. The beacon should respond with a calling signal power level (most likely you will hear 99 - the maximum level) and will enter the activation cycle (see below);
  6. Hold the beacon's button for 5 seconds. The beacon should turn off.

The activation cycle includes::

  1. Buzzer signal and flash (only if calling signal level is above the threshold, 60 by default);
  2. Three radio beeps with decreasing transmission power;
  3. GPS coordinates report (in form xx.xxxxx yy.yyyyy). If the coordinates were not acquired, three "bells" are transmitted before the coordinates. This means that they may not be relevant. If the beacon has never acquired its own position, it reports 000.

It is highly recommended to read the description of the corresponding model in the Descriptions section and the User's Guide in the Documentation section.


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