The new and improved ground station
My original ground station was built the way it was simply because I had a plastic case that had been lying around my garage for too many years. It wasn’t really large enough to hold all of the junk I wanted it to hold, and its latching wasn’t terribly positive. Then one day, while wandering through a local electronics shop, I stumbled upon a much larger Pelican-style case for only $39. Yay, new ground station!
If anything, this new black case is too big, but as a typical engineer I was seduced by its cheap price. I not only can keep all the ground station accessories in it, I can also store my video goggles there and probably enough food to get through a zombie apocalypse.
The receiver is a diversity Duo 5800 by ImmersionRC for both near and long distance. The screen is a 10″ LCD from Lumeneir. On the panel is a voltage readout for the ground station’s internal battery, as well as a place to stick a digital video recorder (for lasting remembrance of aircraft carnage)
While this is a big improvement from my previous ground station, it is, well…big and heavy. As in 11 pounds heavy. The tripod I had been using seemed a little questionable for this load so I began looking around for something more heavy duty. Turns out in the world of photography heavy duty = expensive.
Fortunately, I hang out in the world of Home Depot. I found that construction tripods (used for safely supporting multi-thousand dollar items of equipment like transits) could be had for as little as $60. So the tripod, while not as sexy as a photo tripod, is not going anywhere. I suspect that it could support me, were I so inclined to attempt pirouettes on its top. But I think I’ll leave that as a thought experiment….