Haydn KK6OYV might be one of our youngest members, but he is way ahead of the rest of us in bringing the true spirit of “homebrew” to the hobby. Last year, Levi K6LCM launched his DJI quadcopter in the club station parking lot with a small “store and forward” repeater attached. That repeater would hear a transmission, store it and rebroadcast it. It was an interesting experiment and after getting used to the delay, was a lot of fun.
Haydn took this experiment way further. He incorporated a fully functioning lightweight cross-band repeater designed by Bob KK6EYV, and he built the quadcopter from scratch using various components he found afters hours of research. The quad’s frame is strong and and durable and the motors were selected for weight and performance. It lacks the sophisticated electronics and GPS capability that high end quads like those from DJI have, but is more than makes up for that in power. It can climb to 400 feet in just a few seconds and Haydn’s piloting skills more than compensate for the electronics in the DJI that make those machines easy to fly.
Haydn suspends the small repeater from about 8 feet of fishing line below the quadcopter. The repeater dangles a length of wire that acts as the antenna. The repeater itself runs off a 9 volt battery. This is a big improvement over the original 12 volt design from last year. It has squelch and other adjustments on board that allows Haydn to fine tune the circuits, almost literally, on the fly.
It actually works! Speech is clearly audible the repeater performance is just as you would expect from a repeater. We had some issues with interference so work will continue to find frequencies that work best. Haydn’s great ideas don’t sit idle on the workbench. He builds them and makes them work. For him, the sky’s the limit.
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