Uputronics have released a companion to their successful radio tracker, the Pi in the Sky; based on the popular Raspberry Pi computer. At the centre of the new tracker is the cut down Raspberry Pi Zero. The complete PITS Zero radio tracker includes many of the features of its bigger brother but at less than half the weight (110g including batteries). This includes:
- Efficient built-in power regulator providing run time of over 20 hours from 4 AA cells
- Highly sensitive UBlox GPS receiver approved for altitudes up to 50km
- Temperature compensated, frequency agile, Radiometrix 434MHz radio transmitter
- Temperature sensor
- Battery voltage monitoring
- Sockets for external i2c devices, analog input, external temperature sensor
- Allows use of Raspbery Pi camera
- Mounting holes and spacers for a solid connection to the Pi
For those that don’t want to play with electronics, the kit comes with all the essential components, including the Pi Zero and operating system on a memory card. It also differs from the standard PITS tracker in having LoRa protocol transmission included as well as RTTY.
The PITS Zero comes at an increased price tag of £240, compared to £132 for the standard PITS tracker. This price differential can be understood in part due to the inclusion of the Pi Zero and memory card. However, if you cost out a standard PITS at £132, LoRa expansion at £27, and Raspberry Pi at £35 then you have an equivalent complete PITS cost of £194.