Tuesday, March 6, 2018

HF Voyager: an ocean-going drone with a KX3



There is currently a chance to work some really rare grids. HF Voyager is an ocean-going drone currently making its way from Hawaii to California. Its current location can be seen here. Onboard in a waterproof container is an Elecraft KX3 and a Raspberry Pi computer enabling a variety of digital modes to be used.

At the time of this posting, FT8 is enabled and the drone is in gridsquare CL51 operating with the callsign KH6JF/mm.


From Rusty W6OAT:

"This afternoon I worked KH6JF/mm in Grid CL (we all need it).  I was already late for an appointment so I ran out the door as soon as I finished my QSO without time to call either of you on the telephone to alert you. I'm so sorry about that. But after I got back home tonight, I did some research on this station.  It turns out it is a floating, unmanned robotic station slowly making its way from Hawaii to California. I see no reason why this should not count for the Field Award, so you guys should be on the lookout for it.

KH6JF is operating on FT8 on 20m. Apparently it does not call CQ (edit: evidently it does call CQ at times), but it will respond to stations who call it (that's how it worked for me anyway). So if you can operate on FT8 mode, I suggest late afternoon our time you tune to 14074 kHz and just call KH6JF/mm blind and see what happens.  The robot uploads its log to its website (see QRZ.com for that link) every five minutes when its batteries are charged enough for it to do so, so you can actually check to see if your QSO is there."

Interesting stuff!
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Video of a Wave Glider:

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Wave Glider description:



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16 comments:

Mike KJ4Z said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Cool project! In the log...

I had thought about doing something like this about 10 years ago, back when I was still building ocean-crossing balloons that sent telemetry via RTTY, haha. I had envisioned a buoy that would send its position periodically, but one that actually makes QSOs is something else entirely.

John AE5X said...

And we all know what the next step is, don't we!

Mike KJ4Z said...

Profit!!! Or the end of ham radio? I forget which.

WB0WQS said...

John, you did it again! You always post the coolest stuff! There a cool factor here for sure! Thank you for the info. 73,

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Wrote about it in my blog last January. https://pe4bas.blogspot.nl/2018/01/the-dividing-lineautomation-in-future.html. But didn't know thatyou had to call the actual station to respond. Have you tried to make a QSO John? 73, Bas

John AE5X said...

I tried a few hours ago but have to work this week during best time of propagation between our QTH's. I will try Saturday. 73 - John

John AE5X said...

Finally worked him!

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Great, tnx for the videos. Didn't found these before. 73, Bas

K2WO said...

Great stuff John and congrats on working it! I had not heard of this before. Very neat! Thanks for sharing.

73,

George
K2WO

John AE5X said...

Hopefully it will be operational again in a few days.
73 - John AE5X

n3eei said...

One call on FT8 and I'm in the log!! 00:09 East Coast time.

John AE5X said...

Congrats - good to see that it's back online.

John AE5X said...

I don't know how this stuff finds me but I'm glad it does!

Unknown said...

One call for me too on FT8, in the log @ 3/20/18 @ 23:02

John AE5X said...

You must be WA9KIA - congrats.

Anonymous said...

Very nice, I have 7 contacts now, watching for more grids.. nothing today though..all quiet for some reason... 73 de ag6if