Before the buoy could be tested on the ocean, the basic functionality of the electronic system was to be tested on land. This test was done when the electronic system of the buoy was not entirely complete. Therefore, temporary equipment was needed in order to carry out this test.
Date of test: June 28th, 2002
Location of test: Clover Point and surrounding area
One handheld FRS radio was connected to the buoy via the microphone jack. This was used to transmit the GPS data every 10 seconds. The second handheld FRS radio was used to receive the GPS data and was connected to the PC with a serial cable. HyperTerminal was used to monitor and log the received data.
The following steps were taken during the land test once on location at Clover Point:
In the map below, all the locations of the Test Points (TP) are shown.
Background map courtesy of MapQuest (Copyright 2002 MapQuest.com, Inc.; Copyright 2002 Navigation Technologies
|Test Point #||Location||Distance from Clover Point||Comments|
|Clover Point||0 km||Receiving signal with no errors.|
|Ross Bay Cemetery||~ 0.9 km||Still receiving signal with very few errors.|
|Chinese Cemetery||~ 2.2 km||Still receiving signal but errors occurred enroute.|
|Lookout Point||~ 3.0 km||Still receiving signal but errors occurred enroute.|
|4||Oak Bay Marina||~ 4.0 km||No signal received.|
From this test, it was determined that the range of the buoy was the distance from Clover Point to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. This is a distance of ~3.8 km.
Some possible causes of signal interference are:
Uneven terrain -- hills and curves would block the direct signal path.
The handheld FRS radios were just temporary and will be replaced with higher-powered marine radios. Therefore, the transmission range should be far greater once these radios are obtained. Also the ocean does not have structures or hills to block the signal path so this will also improve signal range.