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Ham Radio and drones


Aug 24, 2018
Just curious, is anyone else here a Ham Radio operator?

Do you have any ideas into how to incorporate your drone into your hobby?

A few things I’m going to try with my Mavic:

-Hang an 80 meter inverted L antenna from the trees on my property this fall once the lightning crashes subside

-suspend an APRS beacon for a few minutes to see how far I get spotted with 1watt at 300’

-field day aerial pics

-tower/beam inspection (careful with those elements!)

Any other operators on here?

Have hung a dipole via drone. I used a toy'ish syma to do it.

73 dit dit :)
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I'm a ham, W6KCS. I'm always looking for ways to incorporate some drone action into ham radio. I did make a thing that hangs below the Mavic that measures and logs transmitter signal strength and GPS position, and plots antenna patterns while I fly around a transmitting antenna with the Point of Interest mode (like a radio tower, vehicle antenna, etc.) I also work for a large public safety radio organization and just bought two Mavics for tower and antenna inspections. Always looking for something else to do, radio-wise. I was thinking it would be fun to lift one end of an 80 meter half-wave end fed vertical for field day.

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W8TFI here in SW Michigan. Looking for great ideas to use hobby's (flying and ham radio). main project is to come up with a way to put a small 2meter APRS on my Drone so if I need to find it I can use the APRS to track it. I have the Mavic Air.
1 small Transmitter
2 low power ( i have 4.5 volt rechargeable battery's that I would like to use)
3 small and easy APRS hardware(arduino)

Any ideas out there
So this would connect to a nearby APRS digipeater? It might be more practical to make a small, low power short-range transmitter that you can DF. But if you decide you want full APRS capability, let us know how it goes. That sounds like it would be a lot of weight for a Mavic Air to routinely carry. It would shorten the battery life in proportion to the weight. My Mavic Pro goes through a battery about twice as fast with a 0.7 pound load.
Hello fellow hams,
Glad to see you here, Well Thunderdrones I remember the good old days of Morse Code, that is how I came up through the ranks, my call IS a vanity call as it did belong to my father(Ted) and was issued to him the year I was born, so I felt it fitting to keep it alive. Back on track, I have been looking at using a Raspberry Pi as both a APRS/GPS tracker and using the Pi as a transmitter too to try to keep the weight down, but SDOLD your idea of just using a transmitter and DF it might not be a bad idea. having it send out my call like a FOX. I will keep you posted as I look in to it.
Brian Ted
One thing you can do, if your project is Arduino-based, is to use just the microcontroller without the Arduino. You'd sure save some weight that way. I use them all the time on my own boards, all you need is the ATMEGA 328P-PU and a resonator, and a resistor, and you still have the same I/O lines as you'd have on an Uno, just without all of the extra stuff non needed for your application (like the USB interface). Here's a possible way to make something interesting: Use the microcontroller, running an Adafruit GPS chip, and a short-range 432 MHz transmitter. You could send your callsign plus the lat/lon as a CW tone on 432. I bet you could make that really small and light. Maybe have a "start" button that you press just before takeoff, that starts a timer in the code to start transmitting after a half hour, so you don't waste its battery while in the air.
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