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ARHAB 2005 contests - standings through July

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  • Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
    Current standings in ARHAB 2005 contests: Altitude - 5 entries - 118,352ft ISU/HABET (#1- 120,522ft ) Track distance - 2 entries - 174.3mi GPA DIY ZP (#1-
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 5, 2005
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      Current standings in ARHAB 2005 contests:

      Altitude - 5 entries - 118,352ft ISU/HABET (#1- 120,522ft )
      Track distance - 2 entries - 174.3mi GPA DIY ZP (#1- 1,201.18mi )
      Flight time - 2 entries - 5:46:12 GPA DIY ZP (#1- 22:42:11)
      >50MHz telemetry - 2 entries - 190.8mi W0RPK/KUBEsat (#1- 479.5mi)
      <50MHz telemetry - 0 entries (#1- 2,437mi)
      QSO - 0 entries (#1- 647mi EBE)

      Heard in the static:

      A few more altitude attempts
      Nothing about distance and time
      >50MHz distance will increase (by me at least)
      Nothing about HF telemetry payloads
      Multiple repeaters yet to fly

      Comments:

      We know how to float for time and distance - are there secret projects?
      Where are the HF telemetry payloads?
      Multiple repeaters have flown but why no entries?

      TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
      wallio@...
      http://users.crosspaths.net/wallio/
      Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
    • Mike Manes
      Hi Ralph, Re altitude: big balloon, proper fill and light neck load are the secrets. Gets pricey. We ll see how our surplus 7000 gm bag does with about 5 lb
      Message 2 of 4 , Aug 5, 2005
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        Hi Ralph,

        Re altitude: big balloon, proper fill and light neck load are the
        secrets. Gets pricey. We'll see how our surplus 7000 gm bag does
        with about 5 lb on the neck on EOSS-98 ...

        Re floating: the risk of going derelict, spending a long time tracking
        and driving a long way for recovery are disincentives to bettering
        on purpose what's been done accidentally to date. EOSS did one with
        Norm Kjome and the USAFA way back using a ZP plastic. It hit 100K' and
        stayed there for 8 hours, making a 200-mike long oval in the
        stratosphere and returning to the original float position where cutdown
        was commanded.

        Re HF beacons: merely interesting, since altitude doesn't help
        ionospheric skip DX. And ground wave attenuation is much worse on
        HF than on VHF, especially if one is using a short, inefficient antenna.
        Signal reports from 1000 mi away after landing are amusing, but don't
        help recovery if you gotta be within a few hundred yards to DF it. (But
        if the DX station can call in APRS reports ... 'nother story!).

        Re EBBE: Didn't HABITAT turn that trick last year? And I did log your
        UI text to me via NSTAR and EOSS while I was navigating with N0KKZ
        during
        GPSL 2004, but didn't notice it until poring over the log file the
        next day. Had you tried C W5VSI-1 via EOSS, NSTAR then it woulda
        sounded
        the connect bell on the laptop sitting on the floor.

        73 de Mike W5VSI

        "Ralph Wallio, W0RPK" wrote:
        >
        > Current standings in ARHAB 2005 contests:
        >
        > Altitude - 5 entries - 118,352ft ISU/HABET (#1- 120,522ft )
        > Track distance - 2 entries - 174.3mi GPA DIY ZP (#1- 1,201.18mi )
        > Flight time - 2 entries - 5:46:12 GPA DIY ZP (#1- 22:42:11)
        > >50MHz telemetry - 2 entries - 190.8mi W0RPK/KUBEsat (#1- 479.5mi)
        > <50MHz telemetry - 0 entries (#1- 2,437mi)
        > QSO - 0 entries (#1- 647mi EBE)
        >
        > Heard in the static:
        >
        > A few more altitude attempts
        > Nothing about distance and time
        > >50MHz distance will increase (by me at least)
        > Nothing about HF telemetry payloads
        > Multiple repeaters yet to fly
        >
        > Comments:
        >
        > We know how to float for time and distance - are there secret projects?
        > Where are the HF telemetry payloads?
        > Multiple repeaters have flown but why no entries?
        >
        > TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
        > wallio@...
        > http://users.crosspaths.net/wallio/
        > Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >

        --
        Mike Manes manes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
        "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so." A.
        Einstein
      • Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
        Hi Mike, Responding to your comments: We appear to have evidence that big balloons lifting light payloads don t necessarily set altitude records. Pete Sias
        Message 3 of 4 , Aug 5, 2005
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          Hi Mike,

          Responding to your comments:

          We appear to have evidence that big balloons lifting light payloads don't
          necessarily set altitude records. Pete Sias has three entries in our
          altitude category, #5, #6 and #11, that were 3000g balloons lifting ~2.5lbs.
          All three segued to floating below record altitude. Note that our 2004
          altitude record by TVNSP (#2 all-time record) was with a 1200g balloon
          lifting 1.1lbs. There appears to be a problem here that brute force does
          not necessarily solve.

          We know when and how high to float for time with very little lateral track
          (including during September +/-). It would be just as recoverable as any
          up-and-down flight. We know when and how high to float for maximum distance
          (Nov-Jan +/-). Throw-away APRS payloads ($100-200) could be flown
          coast-to-coast and cut-away over blue water. I do not consider a floater
          above 60kft to be derelict. Flights can be designed and managed to float
          well above controlled airspace and be reliably cut-down. We know how to do
          it all.

          HF telemetry allows flight participation by Hams well beyond VHF/UHF
          horizon. In my opinion this is a worthy goal with ionospheric propagation
          of slow speed telemetry. Given notice via e-mail lists and bulletins there
          would be many distant participants. Low SNR modes, e.g., CW and PSK-31,
          allow use of very low power. 1W would be successful as it is with our QRP
          corps. It would be reasonable to use an efficient 33ft full-size end-fed
          half-wave on 20m.

          Ground wave propagation on VHF is off-the-chart short and -much- shorter
          than HF, even 30MHz. VHF propagation for DFing is by troposcatter, not
          ground wave. But it is irrelevant because HF is not being flown as a DFing
          beacon. VHF APRS and DF beacons would still be used. Recovery methods and
          management would not change.

          Yes, we have had EBBE QSOs and they are in the record book. However, so far
          they have been substantially shorter, station-to-station, than our top 10
          EBE QSOs. We are flying the repeaters. We are not promoting activity at
          the edges of coverage nor QSO record entries.

          TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
          wallio@...
          http://users.crosspaths.net/wallio/
          Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
        • Mike Manes
          Hi Ralph, I suspect that ascent rate (excess lift) may have a lot to do with burst altitude, but there s an apparent non-intuitive effect. On our last pair of
          Message 4 of 4 , Aug 6, 2005
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            Hi Ralph,

            I suspect that ascent rate (excess lift) may have a lot to do with
            burst altitude, but there's an apparent non-intuitive effect. On our
            last pair of flights July 30, we used identical 3000 balloons carrying
            nearly identical neck loads (23 +/- 1 lb). EOSS-96 was filled per our
            customary "a little more gas" protocol and developed a 1300 fpm ascent
            rate to a burst over 99K'.

            After EOSS-96 launched, EOSS-97 was filled, but a bit lighter (there was
            some false lift) and hit a worrisome initial ascent rate of under 300
            fpm, gradually increasing to over 600 fpm; but it ended up bursting at
            only about 83K'.

            So a light fill in this example resulted in the expected lower ascent
            rate, but an unexpected LOWER burst altitude. Norm Kjome has observed
            this as well and theorizes that the longer UV exposure during a slow
            ascent may weaken the balloon skin due to breaking latex elastomer
            cross-links. This phenom may also reduce the elasticity of latex,
            which could also explain the oft-observed inflection in ascent rate
            in the latter third of ascent.

            So it may be worthwhile to take a closer look at Paul's and Pete's
            initial ascent rates to see if there's any evidence of this effect.

            But given a proper fill, I've got a 5-spot that sez a big balloon with
            a light payload is gonna go higher than a small, heavy one.

            Re long-duration flights: if the flight is gonna go overnight and
            still stay above FL600, then there's gotta be a ballast dump. I know
            there are proposed schemes out there intended to achieve this, but
            so far, I've not seen where any are flight-proven. Another issue is
            battery life and thermal management in the payload. And then there's
            that spooky UV exposure issue ...

            BTW, the FAA defines a derelict as a non-exempt balloon, the location
            and/or altitude of which is unknown for over 2 hours, regardless of
            actual altitude (they know it's gonna come down, by 'n by).

            Re "throwaway" payloads: maybe after EOSS's recovery record gets its
            first scratch. We've worked too keep it.

            Re DF beacon range: foliage, at least the type found in E. Colo, appears
            to attenuate 10m sigs much more than 2m when the beacon is on the deck.
            This has been verified empirically on several of EOSS's early flights as
            well as with voice comms between terrestrial stations 25 miles apart.
            At this and shorter range, tropo conditions are irrelevant.

            Re HF PSK31 telemetry: I believe that ANSR and Gustavo LW2DTZ have done
            this. Not sure what best DX was, but with good skip, the limit is 12,500
            miles (half Earth circumference).

            Re long-haul EBBE: I don't think one can expect the BB path length to
            approach the EB path length, primarily due to lower-gain antennas and
            lower ERP. During EOSS-90, I was about 350 miles away in W. WY, and
            I >think< I might have heard just a peep of the DF beacon for a minute
            or two at apogee of 98K'. I was using a 5/8 gain mag mount on the roof
            of the car and two separate rcvrs. I think a long yagi and LNA woulda
            helped a whole lot. There's also some question about how having both
            stations above the tropopause may affect limiting range. ANSR and EOSS
            have yet to make the BB path between AZ and CO, despite favorable
            propagation predictions. More research is needed!

            73 de Mike W5VSI

            "Ralph Wallio, W0RPK" wrote:
            >
            > Hi Mike,
            >
            > Responding to your comments:
            >
            > We appear to have evidence that big balloons lifting light payloads don't
            > necessarily set altitude records. Pete Sias has three entries in our
            > altitude category, #5, #6 and #11, that were 3000g balloons lifting ~2.5lbs.
            > All three segued to floating below record altitude. Note that our 2004
            > altitude record by TVNSP (#2 all-time record) was with a 1200g balloon
            > lifting 1.1lbs. There appears to be a problem here that brute force does
            > not necessarily solve.
            >
            > We know when and how high to float for time with very little lateral track
            > (including during September +/-). It would be just as recoverable as any
            > up-and-down flight. We know when and how high to float for maximum distance
            > (Nov-Jan +/-). Throw-away APRS payloads ($100-200) could be flown
            > coast-to-coast and cut-away over blue water. I do not consider a floater
            > above 60kft to be derelict. Flights can be designed and managed to float
            > well above controlled airspace and be reliably cut-down. We know how to do
            > it all.
            >
            > HF telemetry allows flight participation by Hams well beyond VHF/UHF
            > horizon. In my opinion this is a worthy goal with ionospheric propagation
            > of slow speed telemetry. Given notice via e-mail lists and bulletins there
            > would be many distant participants. Low SNR modes, e.g., CW and PSK-31,
            > allow use of very low power. 1W would be successful as it is with our QRP
            > corps. It would be reasonable to use an efficient 33ft full-size end-fed
            > half-wave on 20m.
            >
            > Ground wave propagation on VHF is off-the-chart short and -much- shorter
            > than HF, even 30MHz. VHF propagation for DFing is by troposcatter, not
            > ground wave. But it is irrelevant because HF is not being flown as a DFing
            > beacon. VHF APRS and DF beacons would still be used. Recovery methods and
            > management would not change.
            >
            > Yes, we have had EBBE QSOs and they are in the record book. However, so far
            > they have been substantially shorter, station-to-station, than our top 10
            > EBE QSOs. We are flying the repeaters. We are not promoting activity at
            > the edges of coverage nor QSO record entries.
            >
            > TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
            > wallio@...
            > http://users.crosspaths.net/wallio/
            > Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
            --
            Mike Manes manes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
            "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so." A.
            Einstein
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