Mission 17 went without a hitch on October 12, 2013 in conjunction with Pacificon, ARRL’s Pacific Division Convention. A big thanks to our skydivers, videographer, and our entire ground crew for making this mission a success.
We were able to complete our Mission Objective of completing three jumps; all in a timely manner. We were even able to sneak in an HF contact using an on old WWII hand-held radio. Check out this link to learn more, https://sites.google.com/site/bc611ww2radioparachutejump/. We did experience some issues with video quality with our air-to-ground transmissions. Our experts are already working on ways to correct this for Mission 18.
If you made a QSO with a Jumper then please let us know. We try our best to log all the calls, but we seem to miss a few now and then. To make sure we have you on the list let us know by sending an email to KC6TYD@arrl.net.
The Parachute Mobile will be taking a break for a bit, but please check back once in a while to get information about Mission 18.
Parachute Mobile Team
QST QST QST…
Parachute Mobile Skydiving QSO Jumps!
Unfortunately, we had to scrub our last mission due to high winds. But we’re back and this time it will be in conjunction with Pacificon, ARRL’s Pacific Division Convention.
Our skydivers will jump from 13,500 feet and once they’ve deployed their parachutes they will make contacts (QSOs) with as many hams as possible. The Drop Zone (DZ) will be at the Byron Airport, 14 miles Northwest of Tracy, California.
DATE: October 12, 2013
Jump Times: The first jump is scheduled to occur around 12:00 noon and approximately every 90 minutes thereafter. We do not have control over the plane or weather so times may change. We hope to get in three jumps for the day.
Frequency: QSOs with the jumpers will be on 146.430 MHz simplex with an alternate of 147.570 MHz simplex.
APRS: Each jumper will be fitted with APRS that will transmit location, altitude and biotelemetry. Search for AF6IM for “Jumper 1″ and KF6WRW for “Jumper 2″. No SSID required.
Live Streaming Video: Live streaming video from the DZ and from the air will be available to watch. Go to ustream.tv/channel/mfwright
Updates: QSTs and updates will be made on:
W6CX Repeater on Mount Diablo, 147.060+ 100, MDARC
N6NFI Repeater, Stanford, 145.230- 100
Information Table/GOTA Station: If you are attending Pacificon, come by our information table to see what we’ve been up to. Watch the action unfold as we will have monitors providing live video from the DZ. Don’t have a radio to make a contact? No problem. We will have a GOTA station outside so you can make that contact.
As always, for the most current mission updates and information about parachute mobile, go to parachutemobile.org.
There will be a one-of-a-kind QSL card for all those that make a contact.
NOTE: This event is subject to weather conditions and there is always the possibility will be delayed or cancelled.
Arrived at the DZ early today and discovered the winds were very high. One of the regular staff members suggested that I hold off on unloading too much. I took heed. I grabbed my ammeter and was getting 15 to 18 mph with Gusts as high as 23mph. I heard from the gentleman at the manifest counter that it was as high as 30 mph earlier in the morning. I waited around for about an hour to see if the winds would come down enough so that I might be able to get in a much needed jump. But, nope, winds leveled off at 20 mph. Oh well, this is why we always advise that our missions are subject to cancellation due to weather. Bummer none the less.
We’ll, try again October 12 during Pacificon. Check back latter for more updates.
Sorry folks the winds are to high for safe deployments.
Mission 16 will be September 15, 2013 from Byron Airport. Expect our first jump to be around noon. As always, the QSO frequency will be 146.430 MHz simplex. Live video streaming can be viewed at ustream.tv/channel/mfwright. Check back here for mission updates.
Mission 15 was conducted on August 4, 2013. This Mission was a practice mission only; however, we did obtain a couple of Q’s from team members who could not make the mission. The main mission objectives were to figure out the best mounting options for the 1.2 GHz video transmitter when on the Jumper. Quality and reliability of the signal was a concern as well. We discovered that cheap video/audio cables allow RF into the signal. We also learned that the transmitter eats up more power than the previous 2.4 GHz transmitter we’ve used in the past. With the use of a modified FT-817 chest pack we were able to come up with a fairly descent mounting solution. We also learned that having plenty of fully charged battery pack for all our equipment is a must.
Pictures and or video will be posted soon
Mission 16 will be sometime in September and Mission 17 will be October 12th in conjunction with Pacificon.
Come back again for more updates.
Mission 15 is set for August 4, 2013. This will strictly be a practice mission. Obtaining QSO’s will not be the main objective. Michael Wright, K6MFW, will be working out some issues with video equipment. Rob Fenn, KC6TYD, still needs to perfect some audio recording equipment problems. Our jumper for the day will be Jumper 2, Michael Gregg, KF6WRW. The DZ will be at Bay Area Skydiving at Byron Airport. Feel free to monitor 146.430 simplex and you may get a chance to hear traffic from Jumper 2 while he coordinates with the Ground Crew. Live streaming may occur at ustream.tv/channel/mfwright. There are plans to have Mission 16 in September and Mission 17 will be October 12 in conjunction with Pacificon. As soon as we confirm a Mission 16 date we will post it here.
A big thanks to all of the Parachute Mobile team members for their time and contribution. Without you, we could not have done it.
Mission 14 certainly came with its share of hurdles. Every mission seems to have a few. From manpower to equipment problems, from internet to jump delays. Murphy was sure throwing what he could at us, but to no avail. That’s because we’re hams!
This Mission was a first for a few things. Our spiffy media banners were debuted, which caught a lot of attention. This was our first mission were all our power at the drop zone was provided by generator or battery. We also setup our own internet connection, both at the drop zone and at radiofest, since reliable internet was not available. Due to technical problems with our 2.4 GHz transmitter, we used a 1.2GHZ transmitter without any prior testing, and it worked great!
Unfortunately, our mission came with delays. Every drop zone has their own way of doing things. As we found out, we have to manifest our jumps before 10:00 A.M. to secure a spot on the plane before noon. Well, for safety issues, our jumpers were not ready for that manifest time, which meant our next chance to get up in the air was later in the day. We apologize for the huge delay.
Our jumpers are deployed with a recording station to establish a QSOs log. As you can appreciate, the jumpers are not in a position to complete a physical log. Unfortunately the receiver for the recorder lost audio and thus, we have no record of the QSOs. This is very upsetting for us as we always promise a one-of-a-kind QSL card to all those that make a contact. If you made a contact, then please send us an email stating so to email@example.com and while get that right out to you.
We will soon post pictures and videos from Mission 14, so please come back and check them out.
No date as of yet for Mission 15, but as soon as we do we’ll post it here.
From the Parachute Mobile team