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Flashing visible light beacon

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  • BASE
    Dear friends, Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before sunrise. I want to have a flashing visible
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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      Dear friends,

      Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to
      allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before
      sunrise. I want to have a flashing visible light
      beacon on the flight string during the ascent.

      Does any one have any suggestions?

      Thanks,
      Howard


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    • Nicholas Stich
      ... Howard I bought a Xenon strobe several years ago from Into the Wind, I believe that was the name of the kite company. I found the paperwork that came with
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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        > Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to
        > allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before
        > sunrise. I want to have a flashing visible light
        > beacon on the flight string during the ascent.
        >
        > Does any one have any suggestions?
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Howard

        Howard I bought a Xenon strobe several years ago from Into the Wind,
        I believe that was the name of the kite company.

        I found the paperwork that came with the unit and it is a "Lightman"
        product and here is a link to their web site:
        http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/basic.htm

        I have used it several times for night launches in High Power
        Rocketry and it also has been used one time during a 4am balloon
        launch.

        It says in the specs that it is visible for over 2 miles on the
        ground. During my balloon launch it was visible for more like 15
        miles. It survived the flight just fine. I did use 2 AA Li
        batteries.

        Best Regards,
        Nick Stich
        K0NMS / WPWG368
      • Patterson, David
        Taylor University uses 4 Lightman strobes (2 LED and 2 Xenon) for our early morning launches. They ve flown 3 times, and have been blinking on the ground when
        Message 3 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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          Taylor University uses 4 Lightman strobes (2 LED and 2 Xenon) for our early morning launches. They've flown 3 times, and have been blinking on the ground when we got there each time, using Li AA batteries, as mentioned.

          Overkill, perhaps, but our students enjoy the light show.

          - David Patterson
          dvpatterson@...
          "If passion drives you,
          let reason hold the reins."
          ~Benjamin Franklin

          ________________________________

          From: GPSL@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Nicholas Stich
          Sent: Sat 2/2/2008 6:26 PM
          To: GPSL@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [GPSL] Re: Flashing visible light beacon



          > Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to
          > allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before
          > sunrise. I want to have a flashing visible light
          > beacon on the flight string during the ascent.
          >
          > Does any one have any suggestions?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Howard

          Howard I bought a Xenon strobe several years ago from Into the Wind,
          I believe that was the name of the kite company.

          I found the paperwork that came with the unit and it is a "Lightman"
          product and here is a link to their web site:
          http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/basic.htm <http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/basic.htm>

          I have used it several times for night launches in High Power
          Rocketry and it also has been used one time during a 4am balloon
          launch.

          It says in the specs that it is visible for over 2 miles on the
          ground. During my balloon launch it was visible for more like 15
          miles. It survived the flight just fine. I did use 2 AA Li
          batteries.

          Best Regards,
          Nick Stich
          K0NMS / WPWG368
        • Joe
          Nicholas, A question for ya. Did the flight with the balloon have a GPS/APRS system onboard? Reason asking is we had a flight similar in nature as yours
          Message 4 of 8 , Feb 2, 2008
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            Nicholas,

            A question for ya.  Did the flight with the balloon have a GPS/APRS system onboard?  Reason asking is we had a flight similar in nature as yours described below, but the APRS/GPS system was very erratic.  It did work,  but,  the position was off  simetimes by 50 miles,  only to return to the actual location,  and even sometimes it was as high as 43000 feet below sea level also.

            We later learned by many that the error was from a coronal arc of the strobe getting into the GPS system.

            Joe  WB9SBD

            Nicholas Stich wrote:
            Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to
            allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before
            sunrise.  I want to have a flashing visible light
            beacon on the flight string during the ascent.  
            
            Does any one have any suggestions?
            
            Thanks,
            Howard
                
            Howard I bought a Xenon strobe several years ago from Into the Wind, 
            I believe that was the name of the kite company.  
            
            I found the paperwork that came with the unit and it is a "Lightman" 
            product and here is a link to their web site: 
            http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/basic.htm
            
            I have used it several times for night launches in High Power 
            Rocketry and it also has been used one time during a 4am balloon 
            launch.
            
            It says in the specs that it is visible for over 2 miles on the 
            ground.  During my balloon launch it was visible for more like 15 
            miles.  It survived the flight just fine.  I did use 2 AA Li 
            batteries.
            
            Best Regards,
            Nick Stich
            K0NMS / WPWG368
            
            
            
             
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          • Nicholas Stich
            ... Joe, Yes the package contained a Rino 110 that was the GPS engine for the package. It also had an APRS system using a TT3. We had no problems with the
            Message 5 of 8 , Feb 3, 2008
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              > Nicholas,
              >
              > A question for ya. Did the flight with the balloon have a
              >GPS/APRS system onboard? Reason asking is we had a flight similar
              >in nature as yours described below, but the APRS/GPS system was
              >very erratic. It did work, but, the position was off simetimes
              >by 50 miles, only to return to the actual location, and even
              >sometimes it was as high as 43000 feet below sea level also.
              >
              >We later learned by many that the error was from a coronal arc of
              >the strobe getting into the GPS system.
              >
              > Joe WB9SBD

              Joe,

              Yes the package contained a Rino 110 that was the GPS engine
              for the package. It also had an APRS system using a TT3. We had no
              problems with the system. We never lost lock and never had any
              readings of either location or altitude that were not normal.

              The Lightman strobe was hanging on a tether about 3-ft below the
              package. This arrangement was necessary because there was no room
              inside my Rino/APRS package.

              Nick Stich
              K0NMS
            • Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
              Flashing lights of any sort can be used on Part-101 EXEMPT flights because they are not required. Required flashing beacons for NON-EXEMPT flights -must- be
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 3, 2008
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                Flashing lights of any sort can be used on Part-101 EXEMPT flights because they are not required.
                Required flashing beacons for NON-EXEMPT flights -must- be FAA certified devices (read 'expensive'
                and 'power hungry').

                TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, WØRPK
                W0RPK@... W0RPK@... W0RPK@...
                http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/
                Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
              • Mike Manes
                Joe s right. If you re using a Xe strobe tube, the main discharge cap voltage usually exceeds 300V and the ignition electrode voltage hits several KV. Any
                Message 7 of 8 , Feb 4, 2008
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                  Joe's right. If you're using a Xe strobe tube, the main discharge cap
                  voltage usually exceeds 300V and the ignition electrode voltage hits
                  several KV. Any metal at those voltages and exposed to air is susceptible
                  to coronal discharge at low ambient pressures. Corona is a wideband
                  pulse emitter and could easily honk GPS reception.

                  This problem can be averted by keeping the air away from the live metal
                  using corona dope (thick acrylic paint) or by switching the strobe off
                  at altitude using a baroswitch, as was done by Norm Kjome of U Wyo. It
                  also help to round off any sharp metal points carrying the HV.

                  Best to check for corona in bell jar to see where it's happening and
                  to verify the effectiveness of any countermeasures.

                  Of course, high brightness LEDs operate well below the 250V corona
                  onset voltage at altitude.

                  If you're flying non-exempt, then FAR 101.35(b) applies.

                  73 de Mike W5VSI, EOSS

                  Joe wrote:
                  > Nicholas,
                  >
                  > A question for ya. Did the flight with the balloon have a GPS/APRS
                  > system onboard? Reason asking is we had a flight similar in nature as
                  > yours described below, but the APRS/GPS system was very erratic. It did
                  > work, but, the position was off simetimes by 50 miles, only to
                  > return to the actual location, and even sometimes it was as high as
                  > 43000 feet below sea level also.
                  >
                  > We later learned by many that the error was from a coronal arc of the
                  > strobe getting into the GPS system.
                  >
                  > Joe WB9SBD
                  >
                  > Nicholas Stich wrote:
                  >>> Our next flight will include a pre-dawn launch to
                  >>> allow a student ELF radio to look at signals before
                  >>> sunrise. I want to have a flashing visible light
                  >>> beacon on the flight string during the ascent.
                  >>>
                  >>> Does any one have any suggestions?
                  >>>
                  >>> Thanks,
                  >>> Howard
                  >>>
                  >>
                  >> Howard I bought a Xenon strobe several years ago from Into the Wind,
                  >> I believe that was the name of the kite company.
                  >>
                  >> I found the paperwork that came with the unit and it is a "Lightman"
                  >> product and here is a link to their web site:
                  >> http://www.lightmanstrobes.com/basic.htm
                  >>
                  >> I have used it several times for night launches in High Power
                  >> Rocketry and it also has been used one time during a 4am balloon
                  >> launch.
                  >>
                  >> It says in the specs that it is visible for over 2 miles on the
                  >> ground. During my balloon launch it was visible for more like 15
                  >> miles. It survived the flight just fine. I did use 2 AA Li
                  >> batteries.
                  >>
                  >> Best Regards,
                  >> Nick Stich
                  >> K0NMS / WPWG368
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >

                  --
                  Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                  "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                  A. Einstein
                • Ralph Wallio, W0RPK
                  Regarding potential problems with high voltage at high altitude see http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/ARHAB_Highvoltage.html. TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Feb 5, 2008
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                    Regarding potential problems with high voltage at high altitude see
                    http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/ARHAB_Highvoltage.html.

                    TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, WØRPK
                    W0RPK@... W0RPK@... W0RPK@...
                    http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/
                    Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
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