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[aprssig] flying digipeater?

Chris Rose kb8uih at sbcglobal.net
Tue Apr 19 21:31:39 UTC 2005

Does anyone have access to a real balloon with a
basket that can carry the digi and tether the thing to
a vehicle on the ground?  Put the whole thing in the
air.  No coax or feedline to the ground, run it on
batteries, if they need charging, pull it down and
then replace the batts and let it go up again.  


--- Keith - VE7GDH <ve7gdh at rac.ca> wrote:
> Chris KB8UIH wrote on 18/04/2005 4:50:14 PM PDT
> > We have a voice repeater at 930' on a commercial
> radio
> > tower near Saginaw Bay, MI.  I am not sure what
> the
> > size of the hardline is but...
> An alternative to running hardline up a tower would
> be to have the equipment (repeater, digipeater,
> etc.) in an enclosure right at the antenna. This
> would require getting power to the equipment. Sounds
> good in theory, but dunno what the "regs" are on
> having 120VAC or 240VAC running up the tower, but
> the towers have power right to the top for the
> "clearance" lights so the tower can be seen by
> aircraft, so there must be a safe way of doing it.
> Going back to the original suggestion of a flying
> digipeater, this concept of having the equipment up
> the tower is the same as having the equipment in the
> balloon or kite or whatever. Kites would work if you
> had a steady wind. Balloons would work if you had no
> wind or very light wind. Much more than a breeze and
> it would be pretty low to the ground.
> For SAR, from time to time there are operations
> where a plane just keeps circling a mountainous area
> with a repeater onboard for voice communication.
> There's no reason (OK, maybe a bit of de-sense from
> time to time, but the packet bursts are pretty
> short)  it couldn't have an APRS digipeater onboard
> as well, as long as it was in a remote area so it
> didn't cause congestion for a hundred miles on each
> side. An alternative to a plane circling would be to
> have a helicopter just transport the equipment to a
> hilltop and leave it there for the duration. A "one
> day" operation could run on a single deep cycle
> battery. A solar panel could help out, but the
> battery may still need to be replaced from time to
> time. However, the person asking about sending the
> equipment up on a balloon probably doesn't have the
> luxury of hilltops to use.
> 73 es cul - Keith VE7GDH
> --
> "I may be lost, but I know exactly where I am!"
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