Parachute Mobile for AllStar users.

Posted by Fred C (W6BSD) on Apr 11 2019

Parachute mobile is all about the fun of jumping off a perfectly working airplane and share our thrill with our ham friends. Parachute mobile is also about tinkering with electronics and experimentations. Over the years we went from simple VHF contacts to HF contacts, APRS, video, and digital communication. Our latest addition to the mix is AllStar. We have built an AllStar infrastructure to allow people around the world to make QSOs with our skydivers.

Here is how our AllStar infrastructure looks like:

AllStar Infrastructure

If you want to have a QSO with a skydiver using AllStar, simply connect to node 40490. During the parachute mission, we are running a net on the parachute mission frequency. After you connect on the AllStar node, you can introduce yourself to net control. He will keep you informed on the status of the mission. He will entertain you with previous missions stories. He will give you updates about the weather, wind and jump conditions on the jump site, and more importantly will give you an estimate about the next jump time.

Baofeng and Rapberry Pi
at the heart of the Allstar node

The skydiver is at the airplane door, ready to jump. Listen carefully to the net control. Before you can make any QSO, the net control will talk to the jumper for a couple of security checks and as soon as the jumper s ready to make contacts he will give you the go.

To make a QSO with the skydiver, wait for him to be ready. When you hear QRZ, just throw your call sign. Please, speak clearly, at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) in the air, with the wind noise, it can be hard to understand you. The jump time is short there is no time for ragchew during these QSOs. Once your call is in the log the skydiver will say QRZ and take the next call.

Everyone with access to an AllStar node is welcome to connect to our node (40490). You can be a local repeater or a micro-node, it is fine with us as long as you check a few things:

Inform the other persons on the repeater of what you are going to do. We don't want people on the repeater being confused and start asking questions during a jump. Like I said before, there is a lot of activity on that frequency and we don't want confused people asking questions during a jump. If that happens your node will be disconnected without any warning.

Baofeng UV-82 modifications

Before you connect, make sure your node or repeater is not connected to a larger network. For example, the people on the WinSystem will not appreciate the heavy traffic and commotion happening on that frequency during a jump.

Everything should be fine if you respect the AllStar or your local repeater etiquette. Inform everyone of what you are about to do. Make sure you are not connected to another network. On most AllStar repeater the command *70 will tell you the local connection status and the command *71 will help you disconnect from other nodes. If you respect these simple things you should be able to make your QSO with our skydiver. We invite you to make a QSO for each jump. We send a QSL card with the picture of the specific jump you made the contact with.

To contact the skydivers:

    Echolink.......: W6BSD-L (node #947494)
    AllStar........: 40490

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