Since we’re battening the hatches for Frankenstorm, we’ll be closed Monday (10/29/12) and Tuesday (10/30/12).
On Wednesday we will reassess and post (if possible!!) our availability for the rest of the week depending on the power situation. As usual, if you are a non-member and stop by unannounced, call 202-556-4225 (HACK) to see if anyone’s around to let you in.
Good luck to us all!
We have a new antenna for amateur High Frequency (shortwave) communication: granite base, fiberglass pole, radial line ground plane, thick red copper wire, 50 foot black coax feedline.
At 16ft tall, the antenna is most efficient on the 20m band (14MHz). Other bands are also usable, including 40m and 17m. The radial lines provide a solid ground plane, so Earth grounding is not essential; coax feedline shield connected to ground plane, center pin to antenna.
Transmission performance is sufficient for strong transatlantic SSB voice contacts with low input power levels (20W or less). Further, PSK reporter has consistiently shown our signal is copiable across the US and Europe with the new antenna.
Thanks to Martin for helping install the new vertical antenna.
Text, photo credit, and antenna design and construction by mirage335.
As previously mentioned by Todd F., a team of HacDC’ers are participating in the Hacker-spaces in Space competition…
We’ve put together an Atmel ATmega based TNC (Terminal Node Controller) to send out position reports over a VHF radio link using APRS (Amateur Radio Position Reporting System) and are now testing antennas.
We have been shopping for balloons, bottled gas, cord, and other various bits. Tom C. got a worn out parachute donated to us by Skydive Orange. Mark A. & family are busy making a parachute and polystyrene capsules. Nick is building a surface mount board for the TNC, GPS, transmitter module and cut down circuits. It looks like we’ll easily make the weight budget and cost.
Many of us are acquiring radio licenses and honing radio skills to learn how to track the beacon and coordinate chase teams. We are learning how to study radiosonde data and use flight planning software to figure the best best launch locations.
Many thanks to the Vienna Wireless Society for much help and for letting us watch their very successful May 1 flight (photoset by Mark A.).
We anticipate a full-up test flight mid-June. You’re welcome to join us on the mailing list.
(This post was drafted by Martin R. Thanks, Martin!)