An update from Scott Miller, N1VG on the Argent Tracker4:
It’s close to being ready for production. It’s been on the back burner for a while with the ADS-SR2 repeater taking up so much development time but the T3 has been unavailable for a while since we ran out of enclosures and the T4 is far enough along that I’m moving it up rather than ordering more parts for the aging T3.
The most obvious change with the T4 is WiFi support. It still has USB and the command shell has been improved, but the easiest way to configure it is with a web browser. It has a responsive web interface that works well on a desktop, tablet, or smart phone. It’ll also act as a standalone IGate, and the shell is accessible via telnet.
Instead of the T3’s primitive scripting system, it has a complete BASIC interpreter with some APRS-specific functions to make it easy to automate actions. This part’s still under development, but it’s already a whole lot more flexible and easier to use than the T3’s scripting.
It’ll still support Dallas 1-wire for sensors, but it adds Modbus RTU over RS-485. 1-wire has never done well for long cable runs and doesn’t tolerate noise very well, but RS-485 is reliable over thousands of feet and in noisy environments. Modbus RTU has been around for decades and is supported by all sorts of sensors and I/O devices. I’ve been testing everything from < $10 quad relay boards from China to $400 intrinsically safe industrial I/O modules and assorted temperature, pressure, and humidity sensors. The BASIC interpreter has access to Modbus and does floating point math so transforming sensor data is easy.
I’m planning to add the ability to upload weather data to Weather Underground directly, but that’s not done yet. It’ll also have a basic weather display in the web interface.
It has only one external RS-232 port versus two on the T3, but it adds an internal GPS receiver with SMA antenna connector and includes a GPS antenna so most users won’t need to connect any serial devices. It has 32 MB of internal flash memory that can be used for local data logging, and a battery-backed real-time clock that can be automatically synced to the GPS time and/or NTP.
Physically it’s about 1/4” larger than the OT3m in all dimensions, with a flanged aluminum case that’s easier to mount to a surface. I expect we’ll have more compact versions to replace the T3-Mini and T3-Micro eventually but those are going to have to wait until late in the year.