Episode 125: The Radio Rocket Project

The Rocketry Show Podcast https://therocketryshow.com/

On this episode, our guest is Vance Martin, an amateur radio operator who goes under the callsign N3VEM.

Martin became involved in rocketry as a kid in the typical way; seeing model rockets at the local hobby shop, and discovering the hobby with a friend. 

As he moved into middle and high school, he discovered mid and high power rocketry through  online rocketry communities. 

While in college he built a PML 1/4 Scale Patriot rocket to use for his Level One, but was unable to find a nearby club to certify, so his L1 rocket sat collecting dust over the years.   

After college, Vance discovered ham radio, and earned his amateur radio callsign N3VEM, and built  a portable station in his vehicle so that he could play radio while being out and on the road for work. 

As seems to be a pre-requisite for Ham Radio, Vance also became a software and hardware 'tinkerer', so for him, building radio-related projects turned out to be a lot of fun, and is still what he calls his 'primary hobby.'

Vance became a Born-Again-Rocketeer about a year ago, when his two older kids found the Patriot rocket stashed in the corner of the family storage room.  They asked 'What is this!?!'  "...and just like that" says Vance " we started building up a fleet of little Estes kits." 

Vance decided that it would be fun to combine the two hobbies, and start tinkering with radio and electronic payloads for their rockets. "I knew that 'off the shelf' stuff was available, but being a tinkerer, I wanted to build my own." he recalls.  

He continues. "I wanted to target mid-power sized rockets with my projects, since I still live in the same town, and still don't have easy access to a club with a high-power launch site."

Vance enjoys his hobbies, and is having fun, saying "I'm still very much a rocketry noob, but I'm having a blast dabbling around with building the rockets, and hacking around at hardware and software for the rockets' payloads."

Vance's website is :