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Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:24 pm
by kopius
As the Thunda Down Under team work through the logistics of this phenomenal event, I thought it would be good to post information and images of the various equipment as we acquire and or manufacture it.

With a number of communication devices in the fold to make sure no one misses a single moment of ARTDU2015, we have now taken possession of a custom FM transmitter to broadcast the entire event. With the necessary broadcast permits in place, this will be tested in full this coming March out at Westmar.

fm transmitter 1.jpg

fm transmitter 2.JPG

fm transmitter 3.JPG

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:45 pm
by kopius
Just in, the new Yagi antenna for the 3G internet connection onsite

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:26 pm
by vk2icj
Who is the 3g provider. The 900mhz tracker guys might have issues if we don't co ordinate them.

850MHz (Telstra, Vodafone) – Exclusive 3G band
900MHz (Optus, Vodafone) – available in most metro areas on Optus, with both Optus and Vodafone re-farming the 2G 900 spectrum in regional and rural areas
2100MHz (Telstra, Optus, Vodafone) – Exclusive 3G band

Cheers

Chris

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:29 pm
by kopius
Telstra 850Mhz ;-)

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:31 pm
by Sumo310
Looks like we're having a good old-fashioned Yagi-off!

If only we had someone to coordinate frequencies :P

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:55 pm
by kopius
Sumo310 wrote:Looks like we're having a good old-fashioned Yagi-off!

BRING IT!!

Sumo310 wrote:If only we had someone to coordinate frequencies :P

mmmm... I think Chris (vk2icj) is the PERFECT candidate ;-)

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:58 pm
by drew
The 900mhz tracker guys might have issues if we don't co ordinate them.


Quick FYI Chris, the BRB 900GPS units Blake sells here in Australia have xBee XSC chips that are specifically configured for Australian compliance. To my knowledge they operate in the 915-928MHz range and therefore won't interfere with the 900MHz band that's licensed by ACMA and used by Optus and Vodafone.

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:12 pm
by OverTheTop
Will anyone have a receiver for a TeleMega on-site at Thunda? I will have a TeleMega there and it will be nice to have a ground station for it. I don't have a preference for the bluetooth or standard. A loan of either would be great. That means I will be able to afford more APCP on the jaunt!

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:30 pm
by drew
I've got two OverTheTop, you're welcome to the one I don't use. I've not used a TeleMega before but it uses the same TeleDongle as the TeleMetrum, correct?

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:31 pm
by drew
Oh, and they're both USB.

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:31 pm
by OverTheTop
Thanks for the offer Drew. Yes please! Where do I sign?

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:35 pm
by drew
No signatures required mate. :D I'm happy to assist.

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:31 am
by vk2icj
I too have a teledongle and might be setting it up as well. So you are covered !!

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:44 am
by vk2icj
I'm not real concerned with 100mW transmitters interfering with the telcos I was thinking the other way around. I imagine a 1000W repeater would certainly affect Xbee chips if we are close to one. The front end filtering on these little units leaves a lot to be desired, not that much could notch out a telco repeater. Not to mention if everyone's phone is logging into the repeater at those frequencies that is a lot of RF in the general neighborhood of the receivers the ground stations will have. Look, the reality is these concerns are probably mute but there is the possibility. I won't get a chance I don't think before Thunda to visit the area and do a noise test to see what is actually there. If we all work together there shouldn't be major issues. We really need to know who is using what frequencies and when before launch day.


Chris

drew wrote:
The 900mhz tracker guys might have issues if we don't co ordinate them.


Quick FYI Chris, the BRB 900GPS units Blake sells here in Australia have xBee XSC chips that are specifically configured for Australian compliance. To my knowledge they operate in the 915-928MHz range and therefore won't interfere with the 900MHz band that's licensed by ACMA and used by Optus and Vodafone.

Re: Equipment for Thunda 2015

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:02 pm
by drew
not that much could notch out a telco repeater.


I'm not so sure. At my work we deployed a 900MHz point to point wireless link rated at 600mW max in Broome, WA. Specifically it was a Ubiquiti Rocket M900 kit. Anyway, we sourced it locally here in WA and were assured during the sale that the equipment was preconfigured by the supplier to conform to Australia's spectrum as this is US kit. All we had to do was plug and play. 'No worries' I thought and I didn't think anything more of it. The link got installed in December 2013. We got contacted by ACMA in June, specifically by an engineer from Melbourne who was dispatched to Broome to RDF the interference source that happened to be our point to point link. Complaints had been lodged by both Vodafone and Optus customers about service issues and Vodafone and Optus then passed them to ACMA. We were told in no uncertain terms to power down the kit and that we could easily be issued a $15k fine. Safe to say my boss wasn't very pleased. That said I wasn't concerned and the units have now been reconfigured to how they're meant to operate to conform with Australian spectrum allocations.

We really need to know who is using what frequencies and when before launch day.


I couldn't agree more, especially in light of the Altus Metrum line and how they only have 10 channels to choose from by default. I've seen the result of two TeleMetrum's both on the default frequency being powered simultaneously. Frustration abounds when a rocket has been racked ready to fly and the AltOS software keeps reporting "ROCKET LANDED". That said any time I get a new device that's transmitting the first thing I do is power it up on the bench and change it from the factory default setting to something, ANYTHING else. The chances of someone else choosing the arbitrary frequency I switch to are pretty low. Regardless, it makes sense to at a minimum have everyone in the field who's using transmitters of any variety to document what frequency they're on on a white board at launch control. It also forces a minimum understanding of how your device operates, especially in relation to it's RF configuration.

drew