Rocket Tracking with Radio and Ham Radio CommunicationPosted: February 28, 2020
More and more rockets are flying with tracking and telemetry transmitters on board. Also we are seeing more use of ham radio to communicate at the lakebed and on the way to and from launches.
Currently over three dozen ROC folks have identified themselves as licensed hams.
There have also been folks experiencing issues that may be due to radio frequency interference (RFI) or frequency conflict from other users on the same or adjacent frequencies.
There has been some informal discussion among some of the board members about ways to reduce conflicts and RFI issues.
Starting at the March launch we will be trying out a frequency board near the registration or PAD manager area.
Also, if you are using any transmitter on your rocket, please include a description and the frequency on the flight card.
On this site we have two pages where we can share information.
On the “launches” menu there is a page for rocket tracking. We have begun a list of frequencies used by ROC flyers, and also have provided some suggestions for reducing interference to and from other radio spectrum users. This guidance is based on a review of the radio use in the area of lakebed that could conflict with common rocket tracking equipment. The page has a form for you to submit the equipment you are using and the frequency you use.
On the “launch site” menu is a page for amateur radio information. This includes radio frequencies commonly used by ROC hams to communicate on the lake bed, and a list of hams and our callsigns. We frequently use 146.535MHz simplex on the lakebed. This frequency is available to Technician class or higher hams, using very simple and inexpensive equipment. The page has a form to submit your name and callsign if you are a ham.
If you have any suggestions to help reduce interference or additional frequencies to track, please let us know using one of the comment forms on these pages.