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Re: [GPSL] More human error on GPSL 2012 flight of SABRE-16.

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  • Pete Lilja
    Nope, never a perfect flight. Bruce - yours wasn t too great an err. At least you had a signal report. In fact, I heard yours far more often than mine while
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 9, 2012
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      Nope, never a perfect flight.

      Bruce - yours wasn't too great an err.  At least you had a signal report.  In fact, I heard yours far more often than mine while recovering this morning.  I dunno yet what I did wrong / differently but my packet decoding in the car was just awful.  I heard very few of my own packets.  And they were especially sparse on descent.  Thankfully my smart phone showed me where it was and Mark Conner driving by picked up a packet, called me on the radio to let me know and then waited for my wife and I roadside along with some Boy Scouts.  The Scouts trampled right out and found the payload.

      As many of you probably noticed today my approach to lofting balloons is rather imprecise, quick, dirty and simply for fun.  I can tell you all that a plastic pistol case does NOT work well for a payload box.  A fast descent against that hard, dry Western Iowa soil sorta destroys cold plastic.  Oh, well.  As we all know - You live and learn.  I now know the cheap and easy pistol case route isn't one to take.  Other than the box none of my equipment broke.  I guess its destruction took most of the force and saved the 'good stuff' in the box.

      I had a great time.  Much thanks to NSTAR for hosting such a great event.


      On Sat, Jun 9, 2012 at 5:03 PM, Bruce Coates <bruce.coates@...> wrote:

      Hi Everyone

      Ok, this is mistake was dumb enough that I just have to share it.

      First, a bit of background.  I was running an Argent Data Opentraker for both my VE5BNC-11 and VE5BNC-12 trackers.  The OpenTracker has the capability of two different profiles and the tracker can be programmed to switch between them based on several inputs including altitude.  The profiles can have completely different parameters.  It's one of the features that draws me to use them. 

      VE5BNC-11 is a home built board based on the OT1 and VE5BNC-12 is based on the OpenTracker SMT module.  My intention was to configure the trackers to use a WIDE2-1 path below 5000 feet and no path above 5000 feet.  Seems simple enough, doesn't it?  Well I did that alright.  VE5BNC-11 dutifully switched to no path as it passed above 5000 feet.  VE5BNC-12 dutifully did the same, but what I neglected to notice is that the second profile had the VE5BNC-11 call, not VE5BNC-12.

      So, in the end, my -12 tracker didn't disappear at 5000 feet, it just changed call signs!  Looking at the data back at the motel with a good cup of coffee, it was obvious what happened.

      The intent of the second tracker was as a backup but also to test a payload in an un-insulate household central vacuum pipe painted black and relying only on solar heating to keep it warm.  The answer?  "Not very well".  Internal temperatures dropped were below -20C between 40,000 feet and burst and it dropped to a nasty -33C between 55,000 and 60,000 feet.

      Live and learn!

      73, Bruce - VE5BNC

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