Jumping Out of A Perfectly Good Airplane For Ham Radio

Jumping out of a fully working airplane from 13,000 feet is not exactly my cup of tea. When I stand to high on a ladder I get a little woozy. But this guy jumped from an airplane and using 70cm Amateur Radio Television, shared ti with other Hams. Mark, AF6IM, strapped on a parachute, and a 427 MHz ATV transmitter hooked to a helmet cam and jumped from an airplane to land safely while he transmitted, using a Drake mini-modulator with foldable dualband J-pole, that he released after his chute opened and he floated down to the ground.

As you can see from the video below and the info Mark gave about the jump, the Drake can act as a transmitter when an antenna is hooked to it, but the signal was weaker then expected and only worked when he got to about 2000 feet. He said he may try a linear or use a 5 watt Videolynx ATV transmitter next time he does it.

Mark was transmitting on 421.25MHz or cable tv channel 57, and the recieving station was using a 3-element 70cm UHF antenna connected to a Sansui TV set with built-in VHS deck set to catv channel 57. Improvements are being looked at from what was learned from this jump, and another may be in the future.

If you want to find out more, you can visit the Parachute Mobile website.

Rich Gattie, KB2MOB, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New York, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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