Park-a-Day, Day 073

Here’s what’s happening - in 2021, two operators (N5HA, Kenneth Bailey & W9AV, Clint Sprott) managed to work at least 1 park every UTC day. My goal for 2022 is to do the same, and to try and write a short post about the day’s first contact. If you want to play along, feel free - I’ll be sharing updates about it during the monthly POTA updates that I prepare for the various ham radio media outlets.

now that you’re in the know about the Baily-Sprott Challenge, here’s the scoop for today:

Bailey-Sprott Challenge Update

The first QSO for PI day was Nick, N1CCK who was activating K-1651. I’m not 100% sure, but I think this may have been Nick’s first activation. Welcome to the party Nick!

Bailey-Sprott Challenge Status: 73 for 73

In other news, I’ve been making steady progress on this rocket project. I’ve been messing around with a lightAPRS, which I now have installed on the little sled that will slide inside the rocket’s payload bay. I modified the standard lightAPRS-HAB code from Mustafa by stripping out some of the delay and power-saving things. I detailed that in the QRP labs page since that’s who distributes the tracker.

The idea is that the rocket will have short flights, so I just want as many packets as possible for the few mintues it will be up. In addition to the APRS tracker, this rocket will be geting a LoRa radio, operating in the 70cm band, along with some sensors. The idea there is to transmit some sensor data back via LoRa so that we can make a ‘real-time’ dashboard of data from the rocket, to observe while it flies. The APRS tracker would give us near-real-time, but the nature of GPS is such that the chip needs some time to maintain it’s fix on satelittes, and there are a couple other limitations that make just a steady stream of packets via APRS unpractical.

The other benefit of LoRa, is that in theory the radio on the rocket could act as a sort of digipeater, which means that technically I could make contacts ‘through’ the rocket, which might be a fun thing to try. Once I have it up and running, I’ll have to make a handful of little LoRa radio’s so that I can sucker some other folks into joinging me while I play around with it :-)