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Author Topic: Parachute mobile HF QRP, need ideas  (Read 18585 times)
KB2FCV
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« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2009, 08:12:20 AM »

This sounds pretty interesting. If you're able to figure out some way to safely deploy an antenna after the chute is open, it sounds like alot of fun. My thinking was some sort of long wire with a weight at the end (fishing weight??) that would hang below you as you descend. As you get close to the ground, you defintely jettison the antenna. I imagine you'll have far greater success with an HT and a repeater, but I suppose if you get the word out if people know where/when to listen you'll get a number of QSO's.

Now here's a question from someone who knows zip about parachuting (other than you're jumping out of a perfectly good airplane): If you open the chute at a high altitude - lets say the 14,000 feet you mentioned - how much time does that give you for operating time?
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SWL377
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« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2009, 09:48:29 AM »

First let me tell you that few jumpships are perfectly good airplanes.  The one we are using for the radio jumps happens to be an exception. It is a PAC 750, a new plane designed especially for skydiving. I have jumped from many jumpships that were, from cosmetic appearances, ragged wrecks, former smuggler planes etc.
I love old propliners but am glad to have an open door and two chutes. I once had to leave a heavily loaded DC 3 far from the dropzone when it blew an engine while climbing.  

Descent rate under canopy varies widely depending on type and especially wing loading, how many pounds of suspended weight per square foot of canopy. I am flying at about 1.2 lbs per square foot. I get an average descent rate of about 900 feet per minute. Right before touchdown I can flare the canopy and reduce the decent rate to just about zero.

73
Mark
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KB2FCV
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« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2009, 12:22:30 PM »

Mark,

Thanks for the info on the airplanes. I can imagine you get all types of aircraft, good or bad.

It sounds like opening up at 14,000 feet gives you about 15 minutes at operating time based on the numbers you gave me. I would think then you definitely would want to get the word out when and what frequency you would be on so that people could listen for you. I would probably somehow add a small digital recorder if you can, so that you can log the contacts later.
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SWL377
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« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2009, 05:34:51 PM »

Good idea, I will hook up a digital voice recorder. Doing practice jumps on Saturday afternoon, Oct 10, 2009 weather permitting. No oxygen, 13,500 ft HAHOs, 2 meter analog FM simplex.

see www.parachutemobile.org for freqs, details and updates.

73
Mark
AF6IM
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SWL377
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« Reply #34 on: October 14, 2009, 11:06:29 AM »

Pictures from ham radio jumps on Saturday Oct 10, 2009

AF6IM is the jumper in blue.


http://boeing377.googlepages.com/parachuteradio
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SWL377
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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2010, 10:46:42 AM »

Back in the air after a winter break from jumping. AF6IM and KF6WRW made jumps on Sat Feb 20th in conjunction with Radiofest 2010 held in Monterey (Seaside) CA.

www.radiofest.org

The DZ was close enough to the Radiofest site that the hams could see the jumpers' canopies during descent.

AF6IM exited at 18,000 ft from a fast climbing King Air 200 twin turboprop and opened at 15,500 to minimize hypoxia. Used an old Radio Shack HTX 202 on 146.46 simplex at low power setting (1 watt?). Made 31 contacts with furthest being W2SH 107 miles to the north in Daly City.

KF6WRW exited at 15,000 ft and opened immediately. He had a similar number of QSOs.

APRS gear carried by jumpers gave GPS data and heart rate and blood oxygen levels. The APRS data was displayed in real time on a big screen at Radiofest.

Next we will try PSK 31 on 20M using a beaconing xmtr and using pskreporter to see who recieved us.

Stay tuned.

www.parachutemobile.org

73
AF6IM
Mark
Jumper 1
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SWL377
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« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2010, 02:17:43 PM »

Take a look at the video shot at the DZ by Michael Wright K6MFW.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWimbrpGF14

Here is a video of mission control operations run by Jon K6OJ sited at RadioFest 2010 in Seaside CA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1-xzDaU8cs&feature=related

Next jumps will be using PSK 31 on 20M, in a beacon mode to check propagation for future SSB QRP QSOs.

73,
AF6IM
Jumper 1
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SWL377
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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2010, 11:52:50 AM »

We had a great time doing jumps in conjunction with RadioFest 2010 in Seaside CA from as high as 18,000 feet. Great views, 31 QSOs on my jump on 2M 146.46O FM. Best DX was about 80 miles. Great weather, gorgeous coastal views. Only cost 28 bucks to be flown to 18,000 ft in a King Air 200 twin turboprop jumpship.

See the youtube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWimbrpGF14

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1-xzDaU8cs&feature=related

Will be jumping again in June at Byron CA and will try 10M SSB phone using an AEA DX Handy 2 watt HF HT, made by Mizuho. Chances of coordinating the jump and good 10M propagation are low, but who knows, we might get lucky. Will carry 2M HT too if 10M is dead.

73,
Mark
Jumper 1
AF6IM
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SWL377
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« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2010, 04:37:35 PM »


PARACHUTE MOBILE & ARRL VHF QSO PARTY
JUNE 12 2010
SPECIAL EVENT CALL SIGN
K6J
 
 
The Parachute Mobile Project (www.parachutemobile.org) will be participating in the ARRL June VHF QSO party by conducting ham radio jumps on Saturday June 12, 2010 starting at approximately 1:30 PM at the Bay Area Skydiving DZ at the Byron CA airport.
 
Mark Meltzer AF6IM will be jumping solo from 14,000 feet and operating 2 meter SSB QRP on 144.200 MHz USB. Mark will QSY up as QRM, QRN and other conditions may require. 146.460 MHz FM simplex will be used for mission tactical operations comms. Jump times will vary depending on winds and aircraft loads. Tandem jumpers get boarding priority as they fund the DZ operations, so please be patient. We hope to make at least two jumps during the afternoon and possibly three. Mark will be using the special event callsign K6J during his descents. The jumps will be HAHO (high altitude high opening) to give maximum hang time for QSOs.
 
Special event QSL cards will be issued to listeners who provide verifiable reception details and to ham contacts who QSL and send a SASE to AF6IM at his qrz.com mailing address. Mark will carry an APRS telemetry beacon built by Mike Pechner NE6RD and Scott Miller N1VG which will transmit his callsign (AF6IM), GPS data and heart rate and blood oxygen levels. APRS data can be viewed at http://aprs.fi/ using AF6IM as the search term. Updated jump schedule info will be posted on Twitter. Twitter ID is parachutemobile.
 
Jon Gefaell, K6OJ, will be operating Mission Control assisted by Robert Coppock, KF0G  from a mountain peak at or near Mt. Diablo. Mission Control will be operating/listening on 144.200 MHz USB and 146.460 Mhz FM simplex. Ray Rogoway W6RAR will be conducting dropzone relay comms. Rob Fenn KC6TYD will perform pre-flight safety checks including jumper medical condition, and will confirm that the jumper’s radio gear will not impede operation of his main or emergency parachute systems.
 
Please join us for a unique parachute mobile QSO. We won’t be able to give you a lot of contest points or multipliers but you will have the fun of working a ham parachutist in flight. We expect a contact horizon of at least 100 miles during the higher altitude portions of the jump and perhaps much further if conditions are favorable. The theoretical radio horizon calculated at 14,000 ft is 118 miles.
 
The dropzone at Byron http://www.bayareaskydiving.com welcomes spectators, but pets must remain in vehicles. There is no admission charge and plenty of free parking. Spectators must stay away from parachutes being packed and remain outside of jumper landing areas.
 
Feel free to repost this QST in any ham radio venue where it may be of interest. Please pass the word and join the fun.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 11:45:47 AM by Mark M » Logged
SWL377
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« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2010, 03:27:30 AM »

Skydiving is all about waiting, sometimes for hours, followed by perhaps at most a few minutes of maxed out 101% adrenaline. The Parachute Mobile team did their share of waiting yesterday June 12, 2010, hours in fact. The Dropzone team set up at the Byron CA DZ around noon and the Mission Control team set up atop Mt Diablo concurrently. About seven hours later we made our jump. I have a VERY patient and dedicated team.

First, the DZ's main jumpship, a King Air was down with major mech problems. A DZ about 80 miles away sent over their PAC 750 to help. The PAC 750 is a single engine turboprop designed specifically for skydiving. Winds on the ground were as high as 26 kts and 56 kts at 18,000 ft, too high for parachute mobile ops which are HAHO (high alt high opening) jumps which exposes you to winds far longer than freefall HALO jumps. Further, I jump a big canopy for these radio jumps to give max hang time and it is not suted for landings in high winds. We waited for hours in 90+ degree weather and as the day wore on the winds decreased. Then, the DZ that owned the loaned PAC 750 plane called it back as they had a group of lucrative tandem jumpers who had just showed up.

The Byron DZ called the Lodi DZ and secured a Twin Otter that would be ferried over, but that fell through. All we now had was a little Cessna 206 and a long line of tandem jumpers who pay about $200 to jump compared to the pittance experinced jumpers like me pay ($20). I secured a spot on the last load of the day, last man out.

We flew over the beautiful Sacramento River Delta climbing to jump altitude. I free fell for a few seconds to get stable then tossed my pilot chute. I had a smooth opening, savored the spectacular sunset views, took a deep breath and set to work. I confirmed with Dropzone and Mission Control on 146.46 FM that post opening safety checks were complete, then switched to 2M SSB and started working stations using special event call sign K6J using my Yaesu FT 817.

I had more acoustic wind noise than expected but still managed to work at least six QSOs during my descent and approach to the Byron DZ. One ham who did not identify proceeded to announce that I was not a qualified contest contact because I was aeronautical mobile. I asked him to stop arguing the point and let me work stations, but he persisted for a bit. It was unfortunate because he blocked sigs from weak callers and as I descended I lost the path to them. We were NOT an aeronautical mobike station, as confirmed by the ARRL.

We learned a lot on this mission. An Ed Fong trailing wire J Pole was deployed after opening and worked fine which bodes well for an HF trailing wire antenna. The FT 817 worked fine and was easily operated. APRS worked well, but the crowded conditions on the national APRS freq caused us to lose some telemetry packets. We will work on using an alternate freq and an I-Gate to port selected data to aprs.fi.

I stopped comms at about 1000 ft as I set up for my final approach into the DZ bathed in beautiful golden sunset light. I did a nice standup landing on target as my team rushed out to greet me with whoops and high fives. Everything worked, not one single gear failure of any kind. The integration of the radio gear with the parachute harness worked out perfectly.

I am deeply indebted to my team who gives so generously of their time and resources to make these missions a success including : K6OJ, KC6TYD, NE6RD, KI6BEN, W6RAR, KF0G, KF6WRW, AE6YN and others.

Parachute Mobile Project: Taking Ham Radio To New Heights
www.parachutemobile.org

73,
Mark
AF6IM
Jumper 1
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SWL377
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« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2010, 03:35:22 AM »

Jumper 1's Qs using callsign K6J

2M USB



QSOs

N4DLA cm87
KA6SIP  cm97
W6YX  cm87
WA6AZP cm87
W6CYX cm87
N6CCH cm87
W3SH cm87
KI6BEN cm87
?? Probably ?6CVA cm87 sure on CVA and cm87
KB5WIA cm97

Freq approx 144.204 MHz USB 5 watts
« Last Edit: June 14, 2010, 10:51:44 AM by Mark M » Logged
SWL377
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« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2010, 11:54:55 PM »

Photos from June 12 2010 Parachute Mobile ops:

https://parachutemobile.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=47&p=90#p90
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SWL377
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« Reply #42 on: June 26, 2010, 04:57:56 AM »

Photos from Mission Control, high atop Mt Diablo CA June 12 2010 supporting mission no 4, VHF QSO PARTY Special Event Station K6J

Check out these antennas!

http://www.mac.turing.org/K6J/#7

It's lonely at the top, and hangin at the DZ is a lot more fun (just ask our DZ crew about the young woman skydiver in the transparent plastic jumpsuit) but we depend on Mission Control to keep things running smoothly and to coordinate and dispatch rescue and recovery resources if things go awry.

Many thanks to our Crew Chief Jon K6OJ and his new Mission Control apprentice Robert KF0G. Well done gentlemen!

AF6IM
Jumper 1

« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 05:00:13 AM by Mark M » Logged
SWL377
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« Reply #43 on: July 13, 2010, 04:07:53 PM »

PARACHUTE MOBILE JUMPS: PACIFICON 2010  OCT 16 2010

AF6IM will be doing parachute mobile jumps on Saturday Oct 16th in conjunction with the ARRL Pacific Division's PACIFICON conference event in San Ramon CA. We are planning to have live ATV video transmitted from the jumper to the convention. We will also do 2M simplex FM comms with convention attendees. APRS telemetry gear will also be carried giving jumper position, altitude, course, speed, heart rate, blood oxygen level and other parameters.

The urban surroundings and power lines at the PACIFICON site do not permit safe jumps onto the hotel grounds but we should have line of sight comms from our DZ at Byron CA during the high altitude portions of the jumps.

Special QSL cards will be available for hams who contact the jumper and SWLS who provide QSO details which confirm reception.

73,
AF6IM
Jumper 1
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AD6KA
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« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2010, 02:52:16 PM »

Quote
Parachute Mobile HF QRP, Need Ideas
Need ideas?.....Pyschotherapy comes to mind. Grin
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