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WRAPS Tracker Circuit Board

The January 2014 issue of QST contains an article on the WRAPS system by Mark Spencer, WA8SME It is an inexpensive, portable azimuth and elevation pointing system for use with a simple tripod and light weight antennas such as the popular Arrow and Elk handhelds. Four related videos of the WRAPS system and operation may be found on the AMSAT YouTube channel.  The full article may be downloaded here and additional information on the QST-in-Depth page for ARRL members.  The WRAPS Master CD which comes with the board includes detailed parts information, PIC software, construction information etc may be downloaded here.  The WRAPS system is ideal for easy transport and setup of educational demonstrations such as the new FUNcube/AO-73 and upcoming Fox-1, as well as Field Day operations and grid square expeditions.  AMSAT-NA is pleased to be able to offer the key electronic components.

What you get:
Unpopulated circuit board
Programmed PIC chip
CD-ROM containing instructions and support materials to complete the project

WRAPS requires a tracking program supporting the EASYCOM protocol to provide pointing information.  Programs, including free versions, are available for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems.  AMSAT-NA has fully featured programs available for Mac and Windows machines at the .  

Since the publication of the article, Mark and other experimenters have developed an upgrade of the WRAPS system which will support two small antennas.  This opens the way for switchable antenna orientation, or circular polarity, depending on the owner's interests and creativity.  This upgrade requires some additional hardware components, but the existing controller and firmware may be used without modification.  An article outlining the changes, and required parts list may be found here.

Mark has also developed a simple, inexpensive way when using two Arrow antennas to obtain switchable Circular Polarization.  This often provides dramatic improvement in the signal.  A possible upgrade to the preamp is being considered, but has not been decided on.   A full article will be published in a future edition of the AMSAT Journal, and a version may be downloaded here.

Making complete systems or full kits available is not currently contemplated.

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