Pacificon – Mission 13 on the 13th from Byron, CA

QST   QST   QST…

Parachute Mobile Skydiving QSO jump!

Parachute Mobile is a unique way of combining two great hobbies; skydiving and amateur radio.  Our skydivers will jump from 13,000 feet and once they have deployed their parachutes they will make contacts (QSOs) with as many hams as possible.  The Drop Zone will be at Byron Airport where we have had great success in the past. 

Date: October 13, 2012.  This will be our 13th mission and we are proud to be a scheduled event during Pacificon.  Conventioneers are encourage to make a QSO with the skydiver and to come by our display table to learn more about our projects.  Forgot your HT?  No problem, go to the San Ramon Comm Van to make a QSO.

Jump Times:  The first jump is scheduled to occur around 1200 hrs and approximately each hour thereafter.  We don’t have control over the aircraft or weather so times may change.  We hope to make 4 jumps.

QSOs with the Jumpers will be on 146.430 simplex with an alternate of 147.570 simplex

“Jumper 1” and “Jumper 2” will be fitted with APRS that will transmit location and altitude as well as biotelemetry data, which includes SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and heart rate.  Look for AF6IM for Jumper 1, and KF6WRW for Jumper 2 on your favorite APRS web site.  No SSID required.

We will also be streaming live video from the Drop Zone (DZ).  Log into justin.tv/mfwright or come by the display table to watch the action unfold.

QSTs and updates will be made on:

W6CX Repeater (Mount Diablo), 147.060+ 100

N6NFI Repeater (Stanford), 145.230- 100

SARA Repeater (Mt Oso), 145.390- 136.5 (Central Valley)

LPRC Repeater (Loma Prieta), 146.640- 162.2 (Coastal Region)

Special Event QSL cards will be available.

Hear the action, make a QSO!

Note: This event is subject to weather conditions and there is always the possibility the event could be canceled.  But you can still visit with us at our display table at Pacificon.


Mission 12 Byron on Sunday September 9

QST   QST   QST…

Parachute Mobile is a unique way of combining two great hobbies; skydiving and amateur radio.  Our skydivers will jump from 13,000 feet and once they have deployed their parachutes they will make contacts (QSOs) with as many hams as possible.  The Drop Zone will be at Byron Airport where we have had great success in the past.  This will be our 12th mission. 

Date:  September 9, 2012

Jump Times:  The first jump is scheduled to occur between 1100 and 1200 hrs and approximately each hour thereafter.  We don’t have control over the aircraft so times may change.  We hope to make 4 jumps.

“Jumper 1” and “Jumper 2” will be fitted with APRS that will transmit location and altitude as well as biotelemetry data, which includes SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation) and heart rate.  Look for AF6IM for Jumper 1, and KF6WRW for Jumper 2 on your favorite APRS web site.  No SSID required.

We also hope to provide streaming video by logging into justin.tv

QSTs and updates will be made on:

W6CX Repeater (Mount Diablo), 147.060+ 100

SARA Repeater (Mt Oso), 145.390- 136.5

LPRC Repeater (Loma Prieta), 146.640- 162.2 

QSOs with the Jumpers will be on 146.430 simplex with an alternate of 147.570 simplex

Event specific QSL cards will be available.

Hear the action, make a QSO!

Note: this event is subject to weather conditions and there is always the possibility the event could be canceled.


Mission 11 – Bryon – April 29, 2012

Mission 11 is scheduled for April 29. The Drop Zone is back at Byron Airport. We hope to have the first jump around noon. Parachute Control will back on Mount Diablo to coordinate the event. The frequency will be 146.430 simplex for both QSOs with the Jumpers and to Parachute Control. If you are unable to reach Mount Diablo simplex try using the W6CX repeater at 147.060 +100. We will also attempt to update jump times via Echolink to the N6NFI repeater.


Mission 10 Is Canceled

There are no planes available at the Marina Airport to carry jumpers. SO the mission is scrubbed.

We will be at radiofest showing off our gear. Come see the APRS data recorder, APRS transmitter, Weather station with blue tooth link, helmet cam.


Mission 10 – Radiofest March 3, 2012

We hope to have our first jump as close to 12:00.pm as possible We anticipate a total of three jumps about an hour apart. Starting around 10:00 .am. we will make periodic QSTs on the Radiofest talk-in frequency of 146.970- 94.8, with updates and expected jump times. Before each jump you will want to tune in on 146.430 simplex to make the actual contact. A ham station will be available at our booth at Radiofest in the event you don’t have a radio. You can also watch each Jumper on APRS.FI. Search the call signs AF6IM (Jumper 1) and KF6WRW (Jumper 2). We will also be streaming live video on Justin.TV at http://justin.tv/kf6wrw.com.

The Drop Zone will be at Marina Airport. Feel free to come out and watch the action first hand. But PLEASE, no one is permitted to enter through any restricted entrances and especially onto the airport runway.


MIssion 9 – Jim Wilson Images

Jim is a friend of Mark, AF6IM.  He is a Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force and serves as a navigator/radio operator on C 130 rescue aircraft.  Jim holds the Canadian record for the most jumps in a 24-hour period, 200 jumps in a bit over 12 hours. He is a rigger and skydiving instructor whose hobby is collecting, restoring and jumping classic and antique parachutes.

http://www.metronews.ca/ottawa/canada/article/287803–skydiver-aims-high-for-charity

He has a cool setup for his helmet cam which uses a bite switch for triggering the shutter. This keeps his hands free for maneuvering his chute. I’ll get a gallery going later.  But here is an image to get you excited about other images Jim took on Parachute Mobile mission 9.


Mission 9 – Pacificon – Videos

We had a lot of video captured during this mission.  Michael Gregg, KF6WRW did am amazing job pulling his helmet cam together.  Michael Wright, K6MFW, was there with 2 cameras.  Jim McCarthy, K6BBA, took a lot of video around Pacificon.  Mark Meltzer, AF6IM, was interviewed by Leo Laporte, W6TWT.

Leo Laporte – The Tech Guy 814 – Pacificon

Mark, AF6IM, was interviewed and they were talking about parachute mobile from minutes 8:51 to 12:50

Michael Gregg, KF6WRW

Michael spent months working on how to get video from the sky to the ground.  He wound up with a small camera he mounted to his helmet using a custom bracket and a part made on a Markerbot 3D printer.  He ran the video cable down to his foot where he had a 2W 2.4Ghz transmitter. He then had 2 patch panels antennas connected to the receiver.  The dual patch panel was an idea from a co-worker of mine Antonio Forenza, KE5MRG.

2.4Ghz Diversity Receive Antenna

The helmet camera

Michael Wright, K6MFW, took a series of screen shots from Michael Greggs’s video.

Click here to see Michael’s screen captures

Michael Wright, K6MFW

Michael also did some screen captures from his videos show the setup at the drop zone.

Click here to see the screen captures

Jim McCarthy, K6BBA