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VHF Transmitter Development for Wildlife Tracking
Wildlife biologists often use collars with VHF transmitters to gather wildlife data. The purpose of this project is to determine the best approach to designing a wildlife tracking VHF transmitter on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB). A variety of frequency generation methods were considered for the transmitter, including transistor-based crystal oscillators and chip based solutions from the chip manufacturers Analog Devices and Silicon Labs. Prototypes of the feasible options were built and evaluated for cost, power consumption, efficiency, size, frequency range, signal bandwidth, and frequency stability. It was found that the Silicon Labs Si4010 chip was the best solution based on these criteria; the design allowed for flexibility in output frequency and power, a low BOM cost, and very low power consumption.