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  • HarryM
    ORB-30 RECAP ... Upon filling the balloon I noticed a few irregularities around the neck. There were small globs of latex in a few spots and a light spot about
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19, 2013
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      ORB-30 RECAP
      Upon filling the balloon I noticed a few irregularities around the neck. There were small globs of latex in a few spots
      and a light spot about the size of a pea that looked like a thin area. There also was a bulge on one side toward the
      top. This was a new 1200g that I ordered from Scientific Sales in April and it was supposed to be a Hwoyee, but looked
      like an old Kaysam.
      The fill went well and I decided to do a tether launch, but the wind started to gust and the tether got hung up as we
      tried to launch so we let the tether go with the flight. As we left the launch site I remembered that I turned on the
      camera gimbal controller, but forgot to turn on the GoPro camera. We stopped in Sigourney for a pit stop and waited to
      see what the balloon track looked like. While we were there the balloon burst at 76,910 feet, way below the expected
      90,000-100,000 feet. I issued the cutdown command and we were in good position for recovery. Unexpectedly the balloon
      lost GPS lock at 28,000 feet so we prepared for DF operations. The CW beacon was strong right after GPS lock was lost,
      but by the time I got the DF antenna out and assembled, the CW beacon was not heard. We proceeded toward the predicted
      landing area and DF'd in a pretty large area without hearing the CW. EOSS assigned resources to help in our DF efforts
      and we got an EOSS predicted landing based on the last known position. At around 2pm, and not having any luck, we all
      ate lunch in Sigourney. After lunch most of the EOSS group went NW, the rest of us went East to re-search the predicted
      landing area. After a couple more hours we all seemed to agree that calling off the search was in order. Just as all
      seemed lost the call on the radio was that CW was heard at 195th E. and 180th N., 4mi NNW of Sigourney. I was 6 mi east
      of Keota and headed toward Sigourney. Once I arrived at the landing location I found that a group had located the ORB
      payloads about 200 yards off the road among trees in a low area and they were on there way back to the road. It turns
      out John KC0L heard the CW as he was heading back to Pella. This was a miracle because the CW was only heard for about
      1000 ft as you traveled on 180th. We all headed back to Pella for dinner.
      Post Flight
      The cutdown failed because the wire going from the payload to the CD was severed due to PBC which had the balloon
      remnants, chute, load lines and payloads all twisted together. Inspection of the payloads shows that on the camera
      payload one of the two servos on the gimbal has stripped gears. On the tracker payload the flexible ground radials on
      both the APRS and CW antennas were missing. I've been testing the GPS the last two days and it is working fine. I think
      that from burst to 28,000 ft the flight train was so fouled that the chute finally collapsed and the GPS antenna went
      upside down causing the NO LOCK.
      I have contacted Tom at Scientific Sales and explained my frustration with getting two balloons that were supposed to be
      Hwoyee's and the poor condition of the one I flew. He was more than understanding and asked me to send the unused one
      back and he will send me two new Hwoyee's. I couldn't ask for a better solution!
      My deepest thanks to EOSS, everyone else that helped and especially John KC0L!
      That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
      Happy Trails!
      73 de ORB
      Harry KC5TRB
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