For 2 meter QSO’s we have been using the Kenwood TH-F6. It’s compact and the true dual receive feature works well for our needs.
For HF QSO’s we are using the Yaesu FT-817
for APRS we use the Argent Data T2-301, which is a combination of the Friendcom FC-301/D VHF data radio and a Tracker2 daughter board modified to report blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate.
We have added this Sain Sonic ARPS radio. Compact with GPS built in.
It is not convenient for the skydiver to log his own QSO’s while in the air so logging is done by a recorder that is patched into another HT.
For 2 meter jumps all this equipment is safely stowed into a modified vest.
Rob, KC6TYD use a slightly different payload. In addition to the rubber duck antenna he deploys a folding J-Pole from and ankle pouch and use an antenna switch to switch between the two. He also incorporates Bluetooth headset in his helmet paired to a PTT switch so there is no need for a speaker mic.
Our HF jumps incorporate both FM and HF so there is a lot of payload.
Our air-to-ground live video consists of a GoPro camera and a 2 watt 5.8GHz transmitter. The transmitter is a Black Mamba with a circular polarized antenna. The transmitter is attached to the jumpers foot and a composite cable runs up to the GoPro mounted on the jumpers radio vest.
To Receive the transmitting signal we use this Diversity receiver.
The APRS, video transmitter, and FT-817 are all power by a Bioenno LeFePO4 battery. This 3Ah battery is compact but still provides enough power to last the whole day.
Michael W, K6MFW, is our streaming video guru. His station is set up to obtain multiple camera POVs (point of views) from both ground and air and then streames it live over the internet.
Mikey, NE6RD, built a weather station that sends data directly to a laptop making wind speed and direction updates a snap.
Over the years we have created quite the antenna farm. Recently Rob, KC6TYD, created some nifty mounts for the Ed Fong J-Poles we use. https://youtu.be/MNyt8JpdvPE
Rob, also brings his GoBox, which is used as the main radio for communications.
Special rigging and modifications may need to be done at any given time. Our TacOps table has everything from ZipTies to Gaffers tape, to just about any type of RF adaptor.