Project: Sky Repeater

PMR446 Radio advice and troubleshooting

Moderator: stampman

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Big A
Good Buddy
Good Buddy
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:19 pm

Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Well what fun I've had this last couple of weeks.
KIT: 1 x Cody Box Kite, 1 x Baofeng UV5r, 1 x Radio-Tone Simplex repeater, one camera pouch, one small carabiner, 200m 60kg breaking strain kite line.
METHOD: Set it all up in the ground, place radio and repeater in camera pouch, turn them on, check all connections, clip carabiner thru the bridle of the kite. Launch. Using a second radio, I use a Baofeng 3r on low power with short stubby (50cm) antenna on e ground to communicate via the Sky Repeater aloft. I maintained a contact 10miles away for 1.5hrs, signal 7-9. Anoth station in the opposite direction approx same distance reported strong 30+ signal. All on handies!! With rubber duck antennas. The kite sits at around 45m high, give or take drops in wind speed. I shall be going up to 60m (legal max) weather permitting.
This is just pure fun, an experiment to see what it can do, I'm no radio ham, or radio expert, I just like trying out ideas. I've also made a 11m wire dipole to lift with the kite, getting the most bangs for my bucks, and I get to play with kites.
I've now made up a wire dipole for the kte, that fits to the kite struts, early ground level tests (no wind right now) giving good signal output, may the fun commence :D

Big A
Good Buddy
Good Buddy
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:19 pm

Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:54 pm

Well, what's gone wrong with this summer. God knows how many glorious sunny days, unheard of for decades. Now we start winning sports...WTF???? So this means we have no wind still, no good for kite flying #-o so what does the budding radio enthusiast do instead? I've now made up the 11m inverted V wire dipole, and suspended it from a 22ft portable mast on a rotary washing line thingy. Seems to work quite well so far. Now have a home made colinear up for 446, about 9dbd gain!! I didn't make it, a friend did, but it's range is mighty!! Just filling in time until the weather breaks, and I can get back to the testing the kite!!

Big A
Good Buddy
Good Buddy
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:19 pm

Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:39 pm

Update: Woohoo!!! Wind again!! Never thought I'd be so pleased to get some. Test yestday, disaster. Keyed up, and pretty weak signal even at 150ft. Strip down, fault finding mission. Result = bad connection between battery and radio, somehow???? So put on 3800 battery, result = too much weight for the kite. Oh FFS. Put it all away in disgust. Stamp feet.
Today after work, revamp time, and a rethink. Attach wire dipole for 11m, with 10m coax, do a test run without connecting to rig, up she goes, let it run up to 100ft, stiff breeze, hear a rumble in the distance so wind it all in again Rumbles pass, send it up again to operating height above imaginary radio and stabilise to maintain height. All good. Just got to set it up with radio, ground anchor and earth, and do some test transmissions. Woo hoo again
While bored waiting for wind, made up wireless connection to transmit comms radios to household stereos, connected one to Bluetooth transmitter to listen thru earpiece remotely. I love tinkering

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