Amateur Radio Station K6JEB

from beyond the horizon

Kites to Get In The Air to Get On the Air (GITA-GOTA)

Posted by Jack on October 3rd, 2017

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to fly like a bird?  Remember how you wanted to get in the air?  Like many of you, I have more than one hobby.  I started realizing that a good number of my activities orbited around getting in the air and getting on the air.  Quadcopters, gliders, balloons, and kites on one hand and amateur radio.

I have started presenting on my experiences with kites and amateur radio.

Here is a PDF document with the items I use and highly suggest:

Kites to Get In The Air to Get On the Air – What You Need, the shopping list (PDF)

Basically, I used:

KITEhttp://amzn.to/2xYhTHV$20.11
In the Breeze Rainbow Conyne Delta Kite, 6-Feet – I used this because the design, basically a box kite with wings, is proven to be stable and second to none as far as being able to, ahem, get in the air even when others cannot (as hams can get the message across, even when others cannot).  I like to say “it’s not the most exciting kite to fly since it goes up when you put it up and comes down when you want it to come down.”

At EBARC Field Day 2017, I flew this kite from around dinner time Saturday night, all night until 11am local time when I took it back down.  I didn’t have to intervene at all, the Caesar Chavez Park near the Berkeley Marina has a steady breeze day and night and is enjoyed by many kite enthusiasts, especially during Kite Festival.

By the way, the price is such that you might want to get more than one since, to create even more lift, you can fly them on the same line (I will show you how to do that later).  Just be careful how many you add since they really do create a lot of lift and in even medium winds you may need a helper to bring down three or more.

Another thing you can do with more than one kite is use each kite to haul up a different part of your antenna system.  Two kites on a single line can hold up the center of a dipole with feedline, and the ends can be suspended using one kite each.  You’re still way under the budget of any equivalent tower, and you get to FLY A KITE, or several!

Posted in Kites | Comments Off on Kites to Get In The Air to Get On the Air (GITA-GOTA)

Results: California QSO Party October 1 – 2, 2016 – K6JEB

Posted by Jack on October 2nd, 2016

Call: K6JEB
Operator(s): K6JEB
Station: K6JEB

Class: SO(A)Fixed HP
QTH: CCOS
Operating Time (hrs): 17:27
Location: In State/Province

Summary:
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
160:   100         0
80:       70       22
40:       65          7
20:     190       63
15:      181        82
10:       26         10

Totals
CW:
542
SSB:184
Total QSOs: 726
Multipliers: 52
Total Score: 103,688

Club: Northern California Contest Club

Comments: 2016-10-02 23:00:00
Even with a late start this went better than expected . . . until the final hour when my keyer bombed-out and I ‘roughed-it’ using my Vibroplex the rest of the contest. I actually hooked-up the microphone and made the SSB QSOs this year. Nice to hear many of your voices! Great to hear some QRPers as well! I ran 300w from a Yagi on 20m/15m10m as well as on the Vertical for 80m and 40m. I was running 100w on 160m. Note to self: get voice macros actually set up before the contest. 😉

Posted in contesting, results | Comments Off on Results: California QSO Party October 1 – 2, 2016 – K6JEB

(UPDATED) Amateur Radio APRS aboard the Cal High Altitude Balloon Launch Saturday 3/14 from the Main Glade – Come Join Us!

Posted by Jack on March 12th, 2015

Predicted flight path for KK6PUZ-1 on Saturday March, 14, 2015

Predicted flight path for KK6PUZ-1 on Saturday March, 14, 2015

College Amateur Radio APRS aboard the Cal High Altitude Balloon Launch this Saturday 3/14 from the Main Glade – Come Join Us!

This Saturday around 12pm Pacific (1900UTC) as part of the “Pi Day” celebration (which will be STEM-focused) the Space Exploration Society at Berkeley will launch a High Altitude Balloon from the main glade at the Cal Campus.  The launch team is planning for the craft to attain an altitude of around 100,000 feet and at present the flight time will be around 3 hours (and then it will descend with an estimated touch-down at 2153UTC).  

Please feel free to pass this along to your friends, family, and associates!  Can you help spread the word?  🙂

AMATEUR RADIO ON BOARD

The balloon will have a GPS-enabled Amateur radio Packet Reporting System (APRS) tracker on-board transmitting at 144.390MHz (the national APRS frequency for 2m) using the callsign KK6PUZ-1 which belongs to Cal Planetary Sciences student Kareem Shaik.  So if you run an APRS iGate in the area from Berkeley to Copperopolis, or you’ve been looking for a good reason to set one up, get ready for Pi Day!

There will be other systems on-board for photography and telemetry.  You can also track the balloon while in-flight at the High Altitude Balloon Hub.

We could really use some help with tracking and recovering this balloon.  If you know people in the area, please invite them to participate as well.  We are still needing to pull together a few items, including the APRS antenna for the balloon as well as an antenna for the live video feed.

Here’s a chance to put many aspects of ham radio to use:

  • APRS
  • Fox-hunting
  • Signal triangulation
  • Mobile radio net
  • Antenna modeling/building
  • Batteries in extreme conditions
  • Abiding by regulations including those of the FAA
  • YOUR imagination !!!

UPDATE (20151110):  the balloon and its payload were safely recovered the day after the launch by Jason, KK6OQW who contacted us, and we drove out to Tracy to make the exchange.  The excitement in the chase vehicles was immense. It’s like geocaching, scavenger hunting, road-tripping, ham radio, mobile NASA Ground Control/Tracking, geekfest, physics-meets-poetry, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM. This is the sort of experience that imprints for life.Without further ado, here are the videos:

Here's the photos Jason KK6OQW took of the SESB-1/KK6PUZ landing site.

A photo Jason KK6OQW took of the SESB-1/KK6PUZ landing site.

The full flight in video:

sesb-1_kk6puz_flight_track1 73 and Go (Cal) Bears!
Jack Burris, K6JEB
President

Posted in APRS, computers, high altitude balloon, qrp, satellites, space, special event, video | Comments Off on (UPDATED) Amateur Radio APRS aboard the Cal High Altitude Balloon Launch Saturday 3/14 from the Main Glade – Come Join Us!