Mission 22 is schedule for October 17, 2015

Mission 22 will be here soon! This mission is in conjunction with ARRL’s Pacific Division Ham Radio Convention, PACIFICON, pacificon.org. For this event we will have an information table located in the outer hallway of the San Ramon Marriott where you can learn all about what Parachute Mobile is and some of the cool stuff we’ve been doing behind the scenes to make these events so much fun. We will also have monitors where you can view live streaming video from the Drop Zone, located at the Byron Airport, as well as air to ground video from Jumper 2.

We hope to have our first jump under way somewhere around 10:00 A.M and every 60 to 90 minutes thereafter. Unfortunately, we have no control over the aircraft and sometimes there are shutdown delays when minimum occupancy has not been met for a load. On occasion, Mother Nature plays her hand, and if winds are too high we may have to scrub the mission. If such an unfortunate circumstance were to occur, it will be posted here.

On the day of the event, updates will be announced (QSTs) on the W6CX repeater located on Mount Diablo at 146.070 + 100, or, if you are at Pacificon, come by the table and check the updates on the ETJ (Estimated Time of Jump) board.

Just prior to each jump you will want to switch over to 146.430 MHz simplex to make your QSO. The Jumpers exit the King Air 90 jumpship at 13,500 feet, free fall for a few seconds to get a stable position for canopy deployment, then open their parachutes so that they can get the longest hang-time possible for QSOs during descent. There will be HF jumps for this mission. Expect at least one jump to have comms on 10 meters at 28.425 MHZ USB. On subsequent jumps we may move to another band so listen for updates.

As mentioned earlier, we will have live streaming video. You can view this by logging into:
http://m.ustream.tv/channel/mfwright (for mobile devices)

When possible, depending on payload profiles, the jumpers will be equipped with APRS.
For Jumper 1 search: AF6IM
For jumper 2 search: KF6WRW
What’s cool about our APRS data is that you will see biotelemetry. The jumper’s heart rate and blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) will be displayed.

As always, make a QSO with a jumper and receive a one-of-a-kind QSL card. Since our jumpers have no way of manually logging their calls during their descent, we rely on audio recordings taken during each jump. Unfortunately, we still get busted calls. If you make a contact let us know by emailing kc6tyd@gmail.com and let us know about your QSO.

If you happened to be in or around the Byron Airport on the day of the mission, feel free to come by and we’ll show you all that happens to safely conduct our missions. Directions can be found here: http://www.bayareaskydiving.com

To find out how Parachute Mobile got started, click on the About Parachute Mobile tab at the top of the page.

Check back again soon.

“In the air-On the air”

Mission 21 QSL cards have been mailed

Check you mailbox soon for your one-of-a-kind QSL card confirming you QSO with a skydiver. Based on our audio recordings taken during each jump and confirming with those that have emailed us, we only have one QSO that is busted and need help with. If you made a 10 meter contact with Jumper 2 and your call is similar to W_YX, let us know. Email us at KC6TYD@Gamail.com

All of Mark’s gear

All Mark's gearThis doesn’t include APRS

From Jumper 1, Mark, AF6IM

On Sunday Sept 20, 2015 Mark Meltzer AF6IM, Jumper 1, exited a King Air 90 jumpship 13,500 feet above the Bay Area Skydiving drop zone at Byron CA. Mark savored a few seconds of free fall, then deployed his canopy. After kicking out some suspension line twists and finishing canopy safety checks, he unstowed a PAR 10-20-40 trailing wire end fed dipole antenna, turned on his chest mounted Yaesu FT-817 transceiver and began calling on 28.425 USB. Twelve contacts were made while descending. Best DX was N6SN who was mobile at Big Sur CA, over 100 miles away. With no further 10M stations to work Mark switched to 2M FM and worked a few more QSOs before stowing his radio gear at 4000 feet to begin navigating back to the dropzone for landing.

The September 20th jump was preparation for Parachute Mobile Mission 22 that will take place on Oct 17th 2015 in conjunction with the ARRL Pacifcon event in San Ramon CA.

QSO audio file

Mission 21 completed

Mission 21 is now in the log book. Thanks everyone who participated. Thank you to all those that have Emailed us confirming their QSOs with a jumper. As it turns out we were able to capture most of the Q’s on a recording station that is part of the jumpers payload. Unfortunately, sometimes it does not get the whole call sing so you are encourage to Email us at KC6TYD@gmail.com and tell us about your contact. As soon as we review all the pictures we took and then print up some QSL cards, we’ll get them out to you. We’ll be using the address you have listed on QRZ.com.

Looks like we need to go back and make some technical changes and improvements with our air to ground video. For the first jump we were using a smaller battery then usual, which brought the wattage of the transmitter down a little, thus, giving us the inconsistent signal. As for the third jump, well, Murphy’s law. Got the right battery but the power cord got pulled out from the Anderson Power Poles. You have to understand that we have discovered that the most optimal place to mount the transmitter is on the foot of the jumper. With a total of 14 jumpers on the plane and even when trying to keep an eye on all the gear, sometimes something gets bumped or pulled. Jumper 2, Michael, KF6WRW, has plans on beefing up the connections and modifying a new mount that will protect the sensitive areas.

We’ll be back October 17 in conjunction with Pacificon, ARRL’s Pacific Division Ham Radio Convention. Come by our table and say hi and see all the action unfold by viewing monitors displaying live ground and air video as will as APRS tracking.

Check back soon for updates.

Michael W., K6MFW, our ground video guru

Michael W., K6MFW, our ground video guru

Team Coordinator handling TacOps

Rob, KC6TYD Team Coordinator handling TacOps

Taping the transmitter to his foot.

Michael G., Jumper 2, KF6WRW taping the transmitter to his foot.

Making an update on the GoBox.

Ken, KJ6GVC Making an update on the GoBox.

Getting Mark all prepped up for his jump.

Mark, Jumper 1, AF6IM getting all prepped up for his jump.

Missions 21 & 22 are scheduled!

Mission 21 will take place September 20th.  We hope to have our first jump somewhere between 0930 and 1000 hrs local.  Subsequent jumps will be approximately every hour after that.  We hope to have at least 3 or 4 jumps.

1230-Jumper 2 will be up for his HF jump hopefully in the next 30 min. His manifest time is on “shut down” status due to not enough jumpers signed up o the load. Stay tuned for ETJ (estimated time of jump). HF frequency is 28.425 USB. There will be no APRS or streaming video from the air. FM QSOs if time allows at end of jump on 146.430.

1300-Mark, AF6IM is all prepped and safety checks completed and will be loading the plane soon.

1315-Jumper 1 is airborne

1335-Jumper 2 has loaded the plane for another FM jump on 146.430.

1520-Thanks everyone for participating. Got 3 jumps in today. Would have made another one but not enough skydivers to fill the plane so they closed down early. Got a lot more HF Q’s then the last mission. AS a reminder, if you made a QSO let me know. Drop me and Email at kc6tyd@gmail for your QSL card. Well be back next month. Check back soon for details.

As always, we have no control over the weather and the aircraft.  Delays or a cancellation could occur.  Please check back here the day before and the morning of the Mission for updates.

Regular updates and QSTs on mission day will be made on the Mount Diablo repeater, W6CX, 147.060+ 100.

QSO’s will be made on 146.430 simplex

We are planning on having another 10 meter HF jump on 28.425 MHz. This is the Novice/Technician portion of the band. We also may use 20 and 40 meters so check here the day of the event. Frequency suggestions? Leave us a note at kc6tyd@gmail.com

Live streaming video will be available from the DZ (Drop Zone) and from the air. Go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/mfwright or http://m.ustream.tv/channel/mfwright for mobile devises.

Each jumper will be equipped with APRS transmitting not only altitude and speed but heart rate and blood saturation (SpO2) as well. Search AF6IM for jumper 1 or KF6WRW for jumper 2 during each jump.

As always, make a QSO and receive a one-of-a-kind QSL Card!  If you make a QSO let us know.  Email KC6TYD@gmail.com and state which jump and which jumper it was.

Check back soon for updates.

Mission 22 will take place during PACIFICON (pacificon.org).  This year Pacificon will take place at the San Ramon Marriott’s October 16, 17, 18.  Mission 22 will be on the 17th.  Come by our booth and say hi and see all the action unfold.  We will have monitors displaying live video taken from the ground and from the air, as well as APRS telemetry.

More updates on Mission 22 coming soon.