Magic valley Astronomical Society Near Space
Balloon Program


Equipment
   Kimberly IGATE
   KD7VKZ Tilt/Pan
   K6ZVA Trailer
   K6ZVA Flight-Tracker
   K6ZVA ATV Transmitter
   K6ZVA Cut-Down
   KD7VKZ Tracker
   Alt/Az -> HA/Dec
   Kenwood TH-D7
Missions

Global Links
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Magic Valley Hams
It was great fun, but there has been no new balloon activity since 2006, and I don't expect anything new.

KD7VKZ Mobile Tracker

Everything you need for APRS, mobile in any vehicle. This package includes a laptop computer, GPS, radio, TNC and power supply for the computer. It has been tracking balloon payloads since 2002.
   

The whole thing

The whole thing

Everything you need for mobile APRS.
   

The Computer

The Computer

An older Compaq Armada with a 266MHz. Pentium processor and 256MB ram. Pretty powerful for its day, but still enough to run APRS+ and Street Atlas. The battery is completely dead, and not worth replacing, but the machine itself just keeps running.

Note that the computer is mounted in an aluminum frame that protects all the connectors that are plugged into it, and provides an anchor point for the wires.
   

GPS, Radio, TNC and inverter

GPS, Radio, TNC and inverter

The GPS is a Magellan GPS-4000. The radio is a Radio Shack HTX-242. The TNC is a AEA PK-88. (Thanks Dean!) Both the radio and TNC are built into a single package, with most of the wiring. This is located close to the power source, and a 115 VAC extension cord is used if needed.

   

Radio and TNC

Radio and TNC

The custom panel in the middle has a Microphone jack, a toggle switch to select between Mic/voice and TNC operation. The button allows you to listen to the radio when using the TNC. The other toggle switch controls power to the TNC since its original power switch is well hidden.

   

Back of the Radio

Back of the Radio

The only thing that is not connected through the radio/tnc module is the inverter for the laptop.

On the far left is the antenna. Next to it near the bottom are two Anderson PowerPole connectors, allowing this module to daisy chain into a power cable. The 25 pin connector on the bottom connects both GPS and TNC data to the computer. The black fuse on the bottom powers the GPS. The unused 9 pin connector allows you to send GPS data to another device. The small connector with the black wire is a 15 pin computer monitor connector for the GPS.

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