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Re: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11

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  • BASE
    Pete, Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares an explanation.  The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon.  I wonder if it got
    Message 1 of 20 , Mar 10, 2012
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      Pete,

      Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares an explanation.  The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon.  I wonder if it got away prematurely with a minimal fill.  It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.

      Howard, KC9QBN


      From: Pete Lilja <plilja@...>
      To: gpsl <GPSL@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 7:51 AM
      Subject: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11

       
      Has anyone been watching KB0MGQ-11?

      Interesting flight. 

      Pete
      KC0GPB


    • shane.wilson
      Wow...Hope it s pickin its feet up! ... From: Pete Lilja To: gpsl Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 6:51 AM Subject: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11 Has anyone been watching
      Message 2 of 20 , Mar 10, 2012
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        Wow...Hope it's pickin' its feet up!
        ----- Original Message -----
        To: gpsl
        Sent: Saturday, March 10, 2012 6:51 AM
        Subject: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11

         

        Has anyone been watching KB0MGQ-11?

        Interesting flight. 

        Pete
        KC0GPB

      • James Ewen
        ... Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight. There are a
        Message 3 of 20 , Mar 10, 2012
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          On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE <basedepauw@...> wrote:

          > Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares an explanation.
          > The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon.  I wonder if it got away prematurely with a
          > minimal fill.  It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.

          Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
          of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
          There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
          before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.

          --
          James
          VE6SRV
        • Greg Clark
          Take a look at the HDOP values in the raw packets, some recent values as high as 9.7, not good! Greg K7RKT
          Message 4 of 20 , Mar 10, 2012
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            Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as high as 9.7, not good!

            Greg K7RKT

            On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
             

            On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE <basedepauw@...> wrote:

            > Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares an explanation.
            > The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon.  I wonder if it got away prematurely with a
            > minimal fill.  It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.

            Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
            of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
            There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
            before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.

            --
            James
            VE6SRV


          • kb0mgq
            Hi everyone, For those that don t know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology).
            Message 5 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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              Hi everyone,
              For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology). Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.

              The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low. Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students. One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon. So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.

              As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems. But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload. Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.

              We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.

              --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark <greg@...> wrote:
              >
              > Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
              > high as 9.7, not good!
              >
              > Greg K7RKT
              >
              > On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
              >
              > > **
              > >
              > >
              > > On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE <basedepauw@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > > Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
              > > an explanation.
              > > > The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon. I wonder if it got away
              > > prematurely with a
              > > > minimal fill. It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
              > >
              > > Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
              > > of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
              > > There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
              > > before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
              > >
              > > --
              > > James
              > > VE6SRV
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Mark Conner
              Hi Matthew, I took a look at the soundings from Friday evening and there were weak inversions below 10,000 ft on Friday evening. That can make it difficult
              Message 6 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                Hi Matthew,

                I took a look at the soundings from Friday evening and there were weak inversions below 10,000 ft on Friday evening.  That can make it difficult for a low-lift balloon to ascend, but the inversions were too weak to cause this alone.  

                One of our NSTAR flights had very low free lift (0.5-1.0 lb on a 10-lb train) and our ascent rates were as low as 70 ft/min through the inversion and about 250 ft/min above it.  I suppose it's possible that with even less lift our ascent might have stopped in the inversion layer.

                73 de Mark N9XTN
                www.nstar.org

                On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 11:22, kb0mgq <kb0mgq@...> wrote:
                Hi everyone,
                For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology).  Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.

                The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low.  Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students.  One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon.  So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.

                As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems.  But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload.  Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly.  It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day.  It did seem to get better later in the flight.

                We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.

                --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark <greg@...> wrote:
                >
                > Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
                > high as 9.7, not good!
                >
                > Greg K7RKT
                >
                > On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
                >
                > > **
                > >
                > >
                > > On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE <basedepauw@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > > Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
                > > an explanation.
                > > > The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon.  I wonder if it got away
                > > prematurely with a
                > > > minimal fill.  It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
                > >
                > > Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
                > > of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
                > > There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
                > > before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
                > >
                > > --
                > > James
                > > VE6SRV
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >




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              • James Ewen
                ... Did you check out the GPS operation with all the payload electronics in their final locations, powered up and running off their respective power supplies?
                Message 7 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                  On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM, kb0mgq <kb0mgq@...> wrote:

                  > Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly.  It seemed to test
                  > well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch
                  > or it was just a bad GPS day.  It did seem to get better later in the flight.

                  Did you check out the GPS operation with all the payload electronics
                  in their final locations, powered up and running off their respective
                  power supplies?

                  We've had a few flights where the GPS reception was knocked out by
                  what appeared to be birdies generated by the onboard switching power
                  supply used to boost voltages from the battery pack up to working
                  voltage levels. As the battery voltage levels change, the harmonics
                  created by the switching supplies drift through the GPS reception
                  range, causing interference, and subsequent loss of position
                  information, mostly altitude information.

                  It's all part of the fun, and the learning curve. If everything works
                  perfectly, where's the fun in that? When things don't work out
                  perfectly, you end up with new problems to solve, and more fun to be
                  had checking operations on the next flight!

                  --
                  James
                  VE6SRV
                • kb0mgq
                  Yes, spacecrafts are usually sealed before LRR (Launch Readiness Review), so everything would be (or should be) in their proper place. This one was sealed
                  Message 8 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                    Yes, spacecrafts are usually sealed before LRR (Launch Readiness Review), so everything would be (or should be) in their proper place. This one was sealed before hand. A key lock switch is used for power up. No switching regs were used, The Li-Ion pack is a 3 cell pack, so 11.1 nominal. The OT+ just uses a LDO to regulate voltage to itself and the GPS unit. The friendcom I believe also just has LDOs for the RF stage and microcontroller.

                    Now, we tried to keep as much separation between the transmitter and the GPS, but it was a small box to keep the mass as low as possible, so things were crammed in there. The GPS was on top and the antenna was exposed, the transmitter antenna was on the bottom. We do use conductive material outside the box to keep RF from getting back in, but it's possible the RF transmissions from the tracker were causing issues and that could have been exasperated if there were unplanned sats out on the GPS constellation. We have actually seen this before, a GPS unit works fine one day, the next day not so great. Although I haven't looked yet, last time this happened we checked and there were a number of GPS sats that were in "unplanned" maintenance modes.

                    But in any case yes, this is great stuff for the students to learn from and a great thing about HAB, never a dull moment :)

                    --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM, kb0mgq <kb0mgq@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly.  It seemed to test
                    > > well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch
                    > > or it was just a bad GPS day.  It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                    >
                    > Did you check out the GPS operation with all the payload electronics
                    > in their final locations, powered up and running off their respective
                    > power supplies?
                    >
                    > We've had a few flights where the GPS reception was knocked out by
                    > what appeared to be birdies generated by the onboard switching power
                    > supply used to boost voltages from the battery pack up to working
                    > voltage levels. As the battery voltage levels change, the harmonics
                    > created by the switching supplies drift through the GPS reception
                    > range, causing interference, and subsequent loss of position
                    > information, mostly altitude information.
                    >
                    > It's all part of the fun, and the learning curve. If everything works
                    > perfectly, where's the fun in that? When things don't work out
                    > perfectly, you end up with new problems to solve, and more fun to be
                    > had checking operations on the next flight!
                    >
                    > --
                    > James
                    > VE6SRV
                    >
                  • James Ewen
                    ... So the question still remains... did you recover the payload? You mentioned that you didn t mind losing this payload , but it shouldn t be in a
                    Message 9 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                      On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 1:47 PM, kb0mgq <kb0mgq@...> wrote:

                      > But in any case yes, this is great stuff for the students to learn
                      > from and a great thing about HAB, never a dull moment :)

                      So the question still remains... did you recover the payload? You
                      mentioned that you "didn't mind losing this payload", but it shouldn't
                      be in a non-recoverable area. It did wander a little way from home,
                      but there are APRS equipped individuals local to the recovery area.

                      If I only had the funds to be able to chase balloons all around the
                      world, I'd be as happy as a dog chasing it's tail!

                      --
                      James
                      VE6SRV
                    • James Ewen
                      ... And here I thought you guys were keeping it a secret all this time. Not that I have a desire to lose my hardware to Quebec! -- James VE6SRV
                      Message 10 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                        On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM, Mike Manes <mrmanes@...> wrote:

                        > I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                        > achieve a float at a desired altitude.

                        And here I thought you guys were keeping it a secret all this time.
                        Not that I have a desire to lose my hardware to Quebec!
                        --
                        James
                        VE6SRV
                      • k6rpt
                        KB0MGQ-11 probably had around a ¼ lb of free lift. -Ron K6RPT
                        Message 11 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                          KB0MGQ-11 probably had around a ¼ lb of free lift.

                          -Ron K6RPT


                          --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Mike Manes <mrmanes@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Matthew,
                          >
                          > Getting a latex fill for a float is black art, and K6RPT got it right,
                          > although he didn't expect the record-setting flight that he accomplished
                          > last Dec. The trick is to do a fill that is low enough that the tension
                          > in the latex skin keeps the He bubble from expanding further - sort of
                          > like a super-pressure balloon. Could be that your old 3000 had lost some
                          > of its plasticity, thus stiffening up at a smaller diameter than expected,
                          > or the fill was simply a bit shy of what was required to get above 60K'.
                          >
                          > I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                          > achieve a float at a desired altitude.
                          >
                          > 73 de Mike W5VSI
                          >
                          > On 3/11/2012 09:22, kb0mgq wrote:
                          > > Hi everyone,
                          > > For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology). Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.
                          > >
                          > > The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low. Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students. One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon. So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.
                          > >
                          > > As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems. But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload. Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                          > >
                          > > We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.
                          > >
                          > > --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark<greg@> wrote:
                          > >>
                          > >> Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
                          > >> high as 9.7, not good!
                          > >>
                          > >> Greg K7RKT
                          > >>
                          > >> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen<ve6srv@> wrote:
                          > >>
                          > >>> **
                          > >>>
                          > >>>
                          > >>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE<basedepauw@> wrote:
                          > >>>
                          > >>>> Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
                          > >>> an explanation.
                          > >>>> The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon. I wonder if it got away
                          > >>> prematurely with a
                          > >>>> minimal fill. It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
                          > >>>
                          > >>> Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
                          > >>> of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
                          > >>> There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
                          > >>> before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
                          > >>>
                          > >>> --
                          > >>> James
                          > >>> VE6SRV
                          > >>>
                          > >>>
                          > >>>
                          > >>
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ------------------------------------
                          > >
                          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          >
                          > --
                          > Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                          > "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                          > A. Einstein
                          >
                        • Mike Manes
                          Hi Matthew, Getting a latex fill for a float is black art, and K6RPT got it right, although he didn t expect the record-setting flight that he accomplished
                          Message 12 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                            Hi Matthew,

                            Getting a latex fill for a float is black art, and K6RPT got it right,
                            although he didn't expect the record-setting flight that he accomplished
                            last Dec. The trick is to do a fill that is low enough that the tension
                            in the latex skin keeps the He bubble from expanding further - sort of
                            like a super-pressure balloon. Could be that your old 3000 had lost some
                            of its plasticity, thus stiffening up at a smaller diameter than expected,
                            or the fill was simply a bit shy of what was required to get above 60K'.

                            I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                            achieve a float at a desired altitude.

                            73 de Mike W5VSI

                            On 3/11/2012 09:22, kb0mgq wrote:
                            > Hi everyone,
                            > For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology). Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.
                            >
                            > The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low. Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students. One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon. So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.
                            >
                            > As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems. But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload. Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                            >
                            > We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.
                            >
                            > --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark<greg@...> wrote:
                            >>
                            >> Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
                            >> high as 9.7, not good!
                            >>
                            >> Greg K7RKT
                            >>
                            >> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen<ve6srv@...> wrote:
                            >>
                            >>> **
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE<basedepauw@...> wrote:
                            >>>
                            >>>> Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
                            >>> an explanation.
                            >>>> The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon. I wonder if it got away
                            >>> prematurely with a
                            >>>> minimal fill. It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
                            >>>
                            >>> Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
                            >>> of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
                            >>> There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
                            >>> before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
                            >>>
                            >>> --
                            >>> James
                            >>> VE6SRV
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>>
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------
                            >
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >

                            --
                            Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                            "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                            A. Einstein
                          • Mike Manes
                            It s possible that the battery supply simply chilled out, with the Vbatt dropping into the overhead of the regulators. It s a good idea to cold soak payload
                            Message 13 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                              It's possible that the battery supply simply chilled out, with the
                              Vbatt dropping into the overhead of the regulators. It's a good idea
                              to cold soak payload in a food freezer while shut down, or in a styrofoam
                              tub with dry ice, to see if the system can survive. Prolly pretty cold
                              even at 3 - 8K' up there in WI.

                              On 3/11/2012 10:31, James Ewen wrote:
                              > On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM, kb0mgq<kb0mgq@...> wrote:
                              >
                              >> Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test
                              >> well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch
                              >> or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                              >
                              > Did you check out the GPS operation with all the payload electronics
                              > in their final locations, powered up and running off their respective
                              > power supplies?
                              >
                              > We've had a few flights where the GPS reception was knocked out by
                              > what appeared to be birdies generated by the onboard switching power
                              > supply used to boost voltages from the battery pack up to working
                              > voltage levels. As the battery voltage levels change, the harmonics
                              > created by the switching supplies drift through the GPS reception
                              > range, causing interference, and subsequent loss of position
                              > information, mostly altitude information.
                              >
                              > It's all part of the fun, and the learning curve. If everything works
                              > perfectly, where's the fun in that? When things don't work out
                              > perfectly, you end up with new problems to solve, and more fun to be
                              > had checking operations on the next flight!
                              >

                              --
                              Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                              "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                              A. Einstein
                            • Barry Sloan
                              James mentioned switching regulators which have been the worst offenders we ve had to deal with, but anything with a micro-processor generating harmonic rich
                              Message 14 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                                James mentioned switching regulators which have been the worst offenders we’ve had to deal with, but anything with a micro-processor generating harmonic rich digital signals must also be considered, and what doesn’t contain a micro these days. And just because clock and other signals in such devices are usually kept fairly close on freq with crystals doesn’t mean they won’t change enough with temperature to start causing a problem during a HAB flight, especially with what the temperature difference can become. I don’t usually worry about the microcontrollers used in our radios too much, but watch out whenever using a digital camera, for the first time at least.

                                 

                                Barry - VE6SBS

                                 

                                From: GPSL@yahoogroups.com [mailto:GPSL@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of kb0mgq
                                Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2012 1:47 PM
                                To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: [GPSL] Re: KB0MGQ-11

                                Yes, spacecrafts are usually sealed before LRR (Launch Readiness Review), so everything would be (or should be) in their proper place. This one was sealed before hand. A key lock switch is used for power up. No switching regs were used, The Li-Ion pack is a 3 cell pack, so 11.1 nominal. The OT+ just uses a LDO to regulate voltage to itself and the GPS unit. The friendcom I believe also just has LDOs for the RF stage and microcontroller.

                                Now, we tried to keep as much separation between the transmitter and the GPS, but it was a small box to keep the mass as low as possible, so things were crammed in there. The GPS was on top and the antenna was exposed, the transmitter antenna was on the bottom. We do use conductive material outside the box to keep RF from getting back in, but it's possible the RF transmissions from the tracker were causing issues and that could have been exasperated if there were unplanned sats out on the GPS constellation. We have actually seen this before, a GPS unit works fine one day, the next day not so great. Although I haven't looked yet, last time this happened we checked and there were a number of GPS sats that were in "unplanned" maintenance modes.

                                But in any case yes, this is great stuff for the students to learn from and a great thing about HAB, never a dull moment :)

                                --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, James Ewen <ve6srv@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM, kb0mgq <kb0mgq@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > > Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly.  It seemed to test
                                > > well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch
                                > > or it was just a bad GPS day.  It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                                >
                                > Did you check out the GPS operation with all the payload electronics
                                > in their final locations, powered up and running off their respective
                                > power supplies?
                                >
                                > We've had a few flights where the GPS reception was knocked out by
                                > what appeared to be birdies generated by the onboard switching power
                                > supply used to boost voltages from the battery pack up to working
                                > voltage levels. As the battery voltage levels change, the harmonics
                                > created by the switching supplies drift through the GPS reception
                                > range, causing interference, and subsequent loss of position
                                > information, mostly altitude information.
                                >
                                > It's all part of the fun, and the learning curve. If everything works
                                > perfectly, where's the fun in that? When things don't work out
                                > perfectly, you end up with new problems to solve, and more fun to be
                                > had checking operations on the next flight!
                                >
                                > --
                                > James
                                > VE6SRV
                                >

                              • wb8elk@aol.com
                                I had a similar flight using a 1500 gram balloon that sat on the ceiling of the NSSTC highbay (where we fly the UAH student balloons) for 3 weeks after an
                                Message 15 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
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                                  I had a similar flight using a 1500 gram balloon that sat on the ceiling of the NSSTC highbay (where we fly the UAH student balloons) for 3 weeks after an "ooops" moment while students were filling the balloon. After it was pulled down with a pole after 3 weeks, I decided to fly it to see how it performed. It went up to 30,000 feet then leveled off for a bit and then very slowly came back down. We tracked it down and watched it slowly descend into a field. When we recovered the still inflated balloon it was then that I saw the 1/8" hole in the side of the balloon from sitting on the ceiling all that time. So my guess is the KB0MGQ flight was a result of a small hole or leak in the balloon envelope or neck since it did a similar flight profile.

                                  By the way it took a knife to pop the balloon with the hole in it....we couldn't easily rip it apart at the hole. During a filming of an episode of Rocket City Rednecks last Summer one of the cast members shot a paint ball gun at our spy balloon that was tethered to the truck. The paintball put a nice round hole in the balloon but didn't pop it....the paintball was rattling around inside the balloon as we frantically reeled it back down.

                                  Putting an intentional leak in a balloon is the basis of a series of flights I've been doing with PVC pipe in the neck of the balloon with various sized small holes drilled into the pipe. Getting that hole size just right is the trick as too little and the balloon will slow down but still pop....too big of a hole and it will do an up and down profile like the KB0MGQ flight.

                                  - Bill WB8ELK



                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: Pete Lilja <plilja@...>
                                  To: gpsl <GPSL@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 6:51 am
                                  Subject: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11

                                   
                                  Has anyone been watching KB0MGQ-11?

                                  Interesting flight. 

                                  Pete
                                  KC0GPB
                                • Mike Manes
                                  If anyone has the secret , it s Ron K6RPK! ... -- Mike Manes mrmanes@gmail.com Tel: 303-979-4899 Things should be made as simple as possible, but not
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    If anyone has "the secret", it's Ron K6RPK!

                                    On 3/11/2012 16:39, James Ewen wrote:
                                    > On Sun, Mar 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM, Mike Manes<mrmanes@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                                    >> achieve a float at a desired altitude.
                                    >
                                    > And here I thought you guys were keeping it a secret all this time.
                                    > Not that I have a desire to lose my hardware to Quebec!

                                    --
                                    Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                                    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                    A. Einstein
                                  • Mike Manes
                                    Hi Ron, And your neck load was also pretty low, IIRC. Can you share with the group how you arrived at that particular free lift for that killer Hwoyee 1600?
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi Ron,

                                      And your neck load was also pretty low, IIRC. Can you share with
                                      the group how you arrived at that particular free lift for that
                                      killer Hwoyee 1600?

                                      73 de Mike W5VSI

                                      On 3/11/2012 16:51, k6rpt wrote:
                                      >
                                      > KB0MGQ-11 probably had around a ¼ lb of free lift.
                                      >
                                      > -Ron K6RPT
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Mike Manes<mrmanes@...> wrote:
                                      >>
                                      >> Hi Matthew,
                                      >>
                                      >> Getting a latex fill for a float is black art, and K6RPT got it right,
                                      >> although he didn't expect the record-setting flight that he accomplished
                                      >> last Dec. The trick is to do a fill that is low enough that the tension
                                      >> in the latex skin keeps the He bubble from expanding further - sort of
                                      >> like a super-pressure balloon. Could be that your old 3000 had lost some
                                      >> of its plasticity, thus stiffening up at a smaller diameter than expected,
                                      >> or the fill was simply a bit shy of what was required to get above 60K'.
                                      >>
                                      >> I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                                      >> achieve a float at a desired altitude.
                                      >>
                                      >> 73 de Mike W5VSI
                                      >>
                                      >> On 3/11/2012 09:22, kb0mgq wrote:
                                      >>> Hi everyone,
                                      >>> For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology). Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low. Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students. One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon. So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems. But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload. Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark<greg@> wrote:
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
                                      >>>> high as 9.7, not good!
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Greg K7RKT
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen<ve6srv@> wrote:
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>> **
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE<basedepauw@> wrote:
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>>> Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
                                      >>>>> an explanation.
                                      >>>>>> The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon. I wonder if it got away
                                      >>>>> prematurely with a
                                      >>>>>> minimal fill. It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>> Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
                                      >>>>> of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
                                      >>>>> There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
                                      >>>>> before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>> --
                                      >>>>> James
                                      >>>>> VE6SRV
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>> ------------------------------------
                                      >>>
                                      >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>
                                      >> --
                                      >> Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                                      >> "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                      >> A. Einstein
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >

                                      --
                                      Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                                      "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                      A. Einstein
                                    • k6rpt
                                      Hi Mike, I wish there was one magic formula that I could give you. We took data from all of our flights to get the free lift for CNSP-11. -Ron K6RPT
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Hi Mike,

                                        I wish there was one magic formula that I could give you. We took data from all of our flights to get the free lift for CNSP-11.

                                        -Ron K6RPT



                                        --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Mike Manes <mrmanes@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Hi Ron,
                                        >
                                        > And your neck load was also pretty low, IIRC. Can you share with
                                        > the group how you arrived at that particular free lift for that
                                        > killer Hwoyee 1600?
                                        >
                                        > 73 de Mike W5VSI
                                        >
                                        > On 3/11/2012 16:51, k6rpt wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > KB0MGQ-11 probably had around a ¼ lb of free lift.
                                        > >
                                        > > -Ron K6RPT
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Mike Manes<mrmanes@> wrote:
                                        > >>
                                        > >> Hi Matthew,
                                        > >>
                                        > >> Getting a latex fill for a float is black art, and K6RPT got it right,
                                        > >> although he didn't expect the record-setting flight that he accomplished
                                        > >> last Dec. The trick is to do a fill that is low enough that the tension
                                        > >> in the latex skin keeps the He bubble from expanding further - sort of
                                        > >> like a super-pressure balloon. Could be that your old 3000 had lost some
                                        > >> of its plasticity, thus stiffening up at a smaller diameter than expected,
                                        > >> or the fill was simply a bit shy of what was required to get above 60K'.
                                        > >>
                                        > >> I don't know of any canonical methods to execute a latex fill that will
                                        > >> achieve a float at a desired altitude.
                                        > >>
                                        > >> 73 de Mike W5VSI
                                        > >>
                                        > >> On 3/11/2012 09:22, kb0mgq wrote:
                                        > >>> Hi everyone,
                                        > >>> For those that don't know me, I run the HAB program at Iowa State University called HABET (High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology). Ralph Wallio pointed me to this discussion, so I thought I would chime in on what was going on with this interesting flight.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> The balloon was filled with minimum lift and it was intended to go as long as possible and hopefully float, which it did, but we didn't intend for it to float that low. Somewhere we miscalculated something, the students are going over the data now and of course like most of our flights, this is a learning experience for the students. One thing we do know, the balloon was really old, and yes, it was a 3000 gram balloon. So it's possible the age of the balloon didn't help.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> As far as the GPS, the unit was from Argent Data, which we have flown before on our BERT (Backup Emergency Recovery Transmitter, we don't have an Ernie yet) with no problems. But all of the equipment on board was equipment slated to be retired due to age, so we didn't mind losing this payload. Still, I'm not sure why the GPS performed so poorly. It seemed to test well in pre-flight tests, so either something happened shortly after launch or it was just a bad GPS day. It did seem to get better later in the flight.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> We are working on getting a better website out with our flight information and also trying to announce more of our flights through arhab.org.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, Greg Clark<greg@> wrote:
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Take a look at the "HDOP" values in the raw packets, some recent values as
                                        > >>>> high as 9.7, not good!
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Greg K7RKT
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM, James Ewen<ve6srv@> wrote:
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>> **
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:10 AM, BASE<basedepauw@> wrote:
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>>> Thanks for the prompt. It will be interesting to see if Matthew shares
                                        > >>>>> an explanation.
                                        > >>>>>> The flight info said a 3000 gram balloon. I wonder if it got away
                                        > >>>>> prematurely with a
                                        > >>>>>> minimal fill. It seems like the wind is always blowing in Ames.
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> Looking at the 3D track in Google Earth shows the GPS was having a lot
                                        > >>>>> of issues, at least along the eastward track portion of the flight.
                                        > >>>>> There are a couple spots over Lake Winnebago where the track climbs
                                        > >>>>> before going back down to the "normal" float altitude.
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>> --
                                        > >>>>> James
                                        > >>>>> VE6SRV
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> ------------------------------------
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        > >> --
                                        > >> Mike Manes mrmanes@ Tel: 303-979-4899
                                        > >> "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                        > >> A. Einstein
                                        > >>
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > --
                                        > Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                                        > "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                        > A. Einstein
                                        >
                                      • k6rpt
                                        Hi Bill, I didn t take the time to look at the flight profile, I just looked at envelope size, max altitude and assumed payload weight was low when I estimated
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Mar 11, 2012
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Hi Bill,

                                          I didn't take the time to look at the flight profile, I just looked at envelope size, max altitude and assumed payload weight was low when I estimated a ¼ lb of free lift. Considering the flight profile had a slow descent would support a pinhole.

                                          -Ron K6RPT

                                          --- In GPSL@yahoogroups.com, wb8elk@... wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I had a similar flight using a 1500 gram balloon that sat on the ceiling of the NSSTC highbay (where we fly the UAH student balloons) for 3 weeks after an "ooops" moment while students were filling the balloon. After it was pulled down with a pole after 3 weeks, I decided to fly it to see how it performed. It went up to 30,000 feet then leveled off for a bit and then very slowly came back down. We tracked it down and watched it slowly descend into a field. When we recovered the still inflated balloon it was then that I saw the 1/8" hole in the side of the balloon from sitting on the ceiling all that time. So my guess is the KB0MGQ flight was a result of a small hole or leak in the balloon envelope or neck since it did a similar flight profile.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > By the way it took a knife to pop the balloon with the hole in it....we couldn't easily rip it apart at the hole. During a filming of an episode of Rocket City Rednecks last Summer one of the cast members shot a paint ball gun at our spy balloon that was tethered to the truck. The paintball put a nice round hole in the balloon but didn't pop it....the paintball was rattling around inside the balloon as we frantically reeled it back down.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Putting an intentional leak in a balloon is the basis of a series of flights I've been doing with PVC pipe in the neck of the balloon with various sized small holes drilled into the pipe. Getting that hole size just right is the trick as too little and the balloon will slow down but still pop....too big of a hole and it will do an up and down profile like the KB0MGQ flight.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > - Bill WB8ELK
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: Pete Lilja <plilja@...>
                                          > To: gpsl <GPSL@yahoogroups.com>
                                          > Sent: Sat, Mar 10, 2012 6:51 am
                                          > Subject: [GPSL] KB0MGQ-11
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Has anyone been watching KB0MGQ-11?
                                          >
                                          > Interesting flight.
                                          >
                                          > Pete
                                          > KC0GPB
                                          >
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