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Equipment and Procedure Archive

This section of the site is currently under construction.  Please excuse the mess.

Old Site Info (This will be properly archived in the near future):



Past Team Members 

Name
Role
 Call Sign
 Email
Silas Van Natter
Team Lead
 KF7ODQ vann8699@vandals.uidaho.edu
Shaheer Khan   khan4036@vandals.uidaho.edu
Joshua Van Patten 
Assistant Lead
 KF70DR vanp3221@vandals.uidaho.edu
Zach Hacker
 KF7VCP hack3582@vandals.uidaho.edu
Brian CheldelinAdviser KF7ODS chel4191@vandals.uidaho.edu 
Victor Zarate
 KF7VCQ zara3609@vandals.uidaho.edu



Past Projects

Project Name
Team Members
Description
Micro-Trak Shell
Zach
To fabricate one Micro-Trak  inclosures from fiberglass covered foam.
Preservation of Knowledge
-Lithium Ion Batteries
Silas
To document background information and handling procedures for lithium ion batteries.
Packet Path
Josh
To select appropriate settings for Micro-Trak transmissions.
Micro-Trak Power 
Silas
To experimentally measure how much power a Micro-Trak uses and transmits.
Preservation of Knowledge
-Antennas
VictorTo document the procedure for fabricating J-Pole antennas, including how to crimp SMA connectors.
Altitude SwitcherVictorTo create a circuit that switches the Micro-Trak to transmit mode 2 above 5,000 ft. Mode two will be set on a less frequent transmit interval to decrease flooding the APRS network.

Current Projects

Project Name
Team Members
Description
 Comm Tutorial     Austin, Zach To write tutorial explaining Comm team's job during pre-launch, launch, and post-launch.
Micro-Trak Shell
Zach
To fabricate one Micro-Trak  inclosures from fiberglass covered foam.
Micro-Trak Power 
ZachTo experimentally measure how much power a Micro-Trak uses and transmits.
Preservation of Knowledge
-Antennas
VictorTo document the procedure for fabricating J-Pole antennas, including how to crimp SMA connectors.
Altitude SwitcherVictorTo create a circuit that switches the Micro-Trak to transmit mode 2 above 5,000 ft. Mode two will be set on a less frequent transmit interval to decrease flooding the APRS network.

Projects under consideration

 Project Name Team Members Description
IRIS [Intelligent Reporting Information System] SilasWe are looking into the feasibility of interfacing an Arduino with a ground computer through a ham radio serial connection. This will provide us with tracking information and real time system status. Information transmitted from the balloon would include GPS location, battery temperature, and battery voltage.
 Drone Digipeeter
 ZachNormally when the balloon lands on the ground hills block the radio transmissions. We are looking into placing one of our radios into a large remote controlled air plain that can be launched as the balloon is coming down to put a repeater in the sky to retransmit balloon telemetry to the ground recovery crew. 
 Balloon voice repeater
 Launch day is never spent without some communication blackout. We may look into putting a low power voice repeater on the balloon to assist in radio communication.



This will grow to a comprehensive database of everything we know.
What we are flying with now:

Byonics Micro-Trak 8000 FA

The Micro-Trak 8000 FA is a frequency agile 2-meter transmitter with an adjustable 300mW to 10W RF power amplifier that provides an easy way to build a small APRS tracker.

VSWR Readings Spring 2013
Antenna Frequency VSWR
BumbleBee 146.39 1.98

144.39 12.28
Wisker 146.39 1.89

144.39 2.14
J2 146.39 2.78

144.39 1.85
J4 146.39 1.86

144.39 2.19
VSWR, or voltage standing wave ratio, is a measurment of how efficent antennas are at transmitting. A VSWR of 1.00 is a perfect transmission with no power being bounced back from the antenna. A VSWR of infinity means that all the transmitted power is bounced back. High VSWR not only results in poor transmit range but also can damage a transmitter.

Altitude Switch
This circuit is to switch the  Micro-Trak transmit mode to a more conservative setting when at high altitudes.

Some fun things we are looking at:


Trackuino
This is an APRS tracker shield for the Arduino platform. It features on-board GPS and radio transmitter, so the only external components required are the GPS and VHF antennas. It was designed primarily to track high altitude balloons, so it has other handy features like reading temperature sensors and a buzzer for acoustic location.

Useful Resources:

dBm to watt conversion table
Power (dBm) Power (W)
-30 dBm 0.0000010 W
-20 dBm 0.0000100 W
-10 dBm 0.0001000 W
0 dBm 0.0010000 W
1 dBm 0.0012589 W
2 dBm 0.0015849 W
3 dBm 0.0019953 W
4 dBm 0.0025119 W
5 dBm 0.0031628 W
6 dBm 0.0039811 W
7 dBm 0.0050119 W
8 dBm 0.0063096 W
9 dBm  0.0079433 W
10 dBm 0.0100000 W
20 dBm 0.1000000 W
30 dBm 1.0000000 W
40 dBm 10.0000000 W
50 dBm  100.0000000 W
Curtisy of: http://www.rapidtables.com/convert/power/dBm_to_Watt.htm

Comm Inventory:
 Item Quantity Weight (g)
 Comments Web-sight
 Micro-Traks 6   
 Lithium Ion battery cell    
 Lithium Ion battery pack    
 VX-8GR hand held radio  
  
 Power inverter    
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     


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RFComm Lead,
Mar 24, 2013, 9:31 PM
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RFComm Lead,
Mar 24, 2013, 9:36 PM
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Altitude Switch Sketch.txt
(1k)
RFComm Lead,
Mar 13, 2013, 5:38 PM
Ĉ
RFComm Lead,
Mar 24, 2013, 10:08 PM
Ċ
RFComm Lead,
Feb 2, 2013, 1:36 AM
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RFComm Lead,
Mar 24, 2013, 9:55 PM
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RFComm Lead,
Feb 2, 2013, 1:35 AM
Ċ
RFComm Lead,
Mar 24, 2013, 9:56 PM
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