All posts by n0dnd

June 2016 Minutes

  • Call to Order 1930 hours – 8 Members present and 3 Guests
  • Reading of the treasurers report
  • Topics of discussion were as follows
    • Nebraska State fair
      • Online hours entry big help in that Stan doesn’t have to do it and the info provided goes a long in discussions of duties, parking needs, and the services we can provide.
      • Brian added that he had spoken to Tom ridge and that they would provide the cat5 cable if we installed the cable for internet.
      • Parking last year was in 7a, worked well for those who were allowed to park there.
      • Liability issues were discussed. We do not want to become a burden on the facility and State fair organization. We should handle our own liability issues.
    • Mike Mathews, kd0qed, provided discussion on the radio show.
    • Repeater discussion – Elba needs to be repaired yet, Brian volunteered to go up and help.
    • Field day discussion for both Hastings and Kearney locations.Info to be posted on website.
    • Project night was voted and approved once month, info to follow at later date.
    • Discussion on relocating radios.
    • Discussed creating education program to bring schools into the hobby.
  • Meeting adjourned 2030 hours.

1st Annual Greater Midwest Radio Show June 18th, 2016

  • Antique Radios
  • Vintage Electronics
  • Ham Radio
  • Electronics
  • Hobby Items
  • Swap Meet and Commercial Vendors
  • Demonstrations
  • Weather Presentation by NOAA
  • FCC approved ham radio testing
  • Hidden transmitter hunt at 3pm following the show
  • Door Prizes
  • Refreshments and Lunch served on site
  • Presentation by NWS-Hastings on Radar interpretation and more
  • Radio COntests for most beautiful and ugly sets

When:  Saturday June 18th, 2016 from 8am-3pm at Hastings College Kiewit Gymnasium 710 Turner Ave, Hastings, Nebraska, 68901

More information here

Admission 3.50 in advance and 5 dollars at the door.

Under 18 admitted free with parent or guardian (Must have Parent or Guardian)

Table rental here

Saturday Morning breakfast

One of the best questions I have heard lately is do we still go to the resturant on Saturday morning. Well the answer to that is a resounding yes. It is always a great time to get to know other club members and talk about whatever is going on.

We meet every Saturday Morning at the State Street McDonalds in Grand Island. Somebody is usually monitoring the 94 machine and talk you into the meeting.

CNNSP Payload Update

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Payload Rework and Testing

We’re just shy of a month away from my first launch in almost six years.
I’ve been busy reworking, redesigning, and testing the payloads that will be used on the upcoming flight.

The launch is in support of the Edgerton Explorit Center, in Aurora, NE.

       Location:  East side of the Edgerton Explorit Center

             Date:  Saturday, May 14, 2016
Launch Time:  9:30 AM CDT  

My friend and ARHAB mentor, Mark Conner N9XTN from NSTAR will also be launching a balloon that day.

Here’s a few images of what I’ve been working on:

Soft-sided lunch coolers make good payload containers. I started using these back in 2005, one of the many ideas I borrowed from Mark N9XTN.
APRS tracking circuitry consisting of a UniTraq model GT-320FW(AS) GPS module and an ArgentData OpenTracker+ SMT. This payload has been fairly reliable the past couple of flights.
Alinco DJ-S11 2 meter transceiver and battery pack tucked away in foam. Top of the image is the data logger enclosure and its GPS module (upper left).
Inside the data logger enclosure. 
Had to do a few repairs to the CW beacon. 
The CW beacon has a new home, tucked inside the foam (pool noodle) on the GoPro camera payload.
Dual GoPro cameras for HD video and stills
I’m waiting for one more device to arrive. Apparently the USPS lost my newest gear somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, so a new one is being shipped and should arrive this week. I’ll be trying out a TracksoarA new Open Source APRS tracking module. It was a KickStarter project that got funding earlier this year. 

As we get closer to launch day I’ll be updating this site with the latest information as well asmy Twitter account

– Rog KC0MWM


Sad news to report to you this evening, Dick Lemke n0mtq passed away April 10 from complications in his battle against cancer. Dick had always monitored the simplex Frequencies here in the Grand Island Area, spoke to him many times on the air, he could always be counted on for a good QSO. He will be missed. If some of you guys who knew him longer and better than I did would like to add to this post let me know and I would be happy to do so. I do not have any details other than he will have a graveside service on Wednesday afternoon. If I get more info I will post it. 

Nebraska QSO Party

Well Sorry I did not get this posted sooner as I have been busy with a lot of different things. There is a Nebraska QSO party this weekend, April 16 and 17th, a great time to practice contesting, make a lot of contacts, and warm up the airwaves. I plan on participating this weekend as I hope to see many of you on the air this weekend. I will try and post some info about it, but some of the functionality of the site is not yet what I want it to be, but if you google the qso party you can find the rules and everything you need to know to participate.


CNNSP – Central Nebraska Near Space Program

On Saturday May 14th Roger Hammond and other hams from W0CUO and W0WWV ham radio clubs will be launching a high altitude balloon with a payload consisting of a camera to photogragh the trip and an APRS position reporting beacon to keep track of the trip. Photos will be transmitted Via SSTV, and of course some of them will end up here. The launch will occur in Aurora at the  Edgerton Explorit Center. Here is an excerpt from Rogers Blog site about his last launch:

CNNSP-10 (25-Jun-2011)

Launch Time:  18:08 UTC
Launch Location:  Grand Island, NE
Max. Altitude:  89,164 feet
Max. Speed:  58 mph
Avg. Speed:  25 mph
Avg. Ascent Rate:  1263 ft/min
Avg. Descent Rate:  1800 ft/min
Flight Duration:  1 hr, 52 min.
Distance (Great Circle):  32 miles


This was our first flight in almost four years. I decided to get back in the ARHAB game and launch a balloon as part of Amateur Radio Field Day festivities. These were all new payloads, except for the old trusty CW beacon. The payloads consisted of two APRS trackers, a Canon A560 running the CHDK firmware, and an Aiptek Standard Def. video camera. We launched from south of Grand Island, just off of East Wildwood Drive. We had plenty of help at the launch site. I appreciate the new faces that came out to help.
The balloon was released at 13:08 CDT. We had a catastrophic failure of one of the trackers, apparently before it ever left the ground. I believe it was a poor antenna connection, but I need to investigate. My wife, Arlene KC0ZWX, Aaron KD0ENX, and I were the tracking and recovery team. Stan N0YXV joined us for the chase in his vehicle. The ascent rate was a little ‘hot’. I have a tendency to go overboard on additional helium. Instead of the nominal 1000 ft/min we were averaging about 1200. 

Last prediction before launch

This made for a quicker burst which occurred at 89,164 feet, and a little bit shorter track than predicted.

seconds before balloon burst

Landing was southwest of York, NE in a cornfield. We spent quite a bit of time finding the landowner to get permission to retrieve our goods. After talking to neighbors and leaving several messages, the landowner called me back and gave me permission. I hiked in with GPS coordinates and retrieved the payloads along with several additional pounds of the farmer’s mud.

Chase and recovery team – Aaron KD0ENX, Rog KC0MWM, and Arlene KC0ZWX