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Re: [GRARA] ARHAB -- Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning

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  • RMoe@aol.com
    Went to a high altitude balloon presentation at the last Radio Society of Tucson club meeting. It was put on by David G. Ladevaia KF7MZY, and very informative
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2012
      Went to a high altitude balloon presentation at the last Radio Society of Tucson club meeting. It was put on by David G. Ladevaia KF7MZY, and very informative and way cool. If you go to his wed site, www.davidiadevaia.com you will find a lot of info on high altitude balloon experiments and many links and videos. The balloon he talked about at the meeting starts out at 6 ft in dia. caring 2 cameras a repeater, beacon radios. The balloon finely get to 30 ft in dia. when it breaks at about 30,000 ft. It takes a long time for it to fall the 20 miles back to earth, see the video. The Arizona Near Space Org. Is planing to have a launch at the Yuma, AZ hamfest Feb. 18, and I am planing on being there.
      73, AC8ZX
      Bob Moe
      In a message dated 2/1/2012 9:52:01 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time, n8xx@... writes:


      Interesting report!  Hope you can make it.

      I got my first "high altitude" ballooning back at my very first Field Day in 1952.  My father took me to a Field Day near the Missouri River in SE Nebraska.  I remember an old, abandoned farmhouse, plenty of room for antennae, etc.

      But, the thing which really sticks in my mind is an "emergency radio beacon" antenna, military surplus, which was brought out for the 160 meter vertical.  I was an eager volunteer, so the olde tymers put me in charge of reeling out the wire from a very well constructed reel.  The instructions were to "reel out the wire until the end, then attach the transmitter to the antenna with the supplied wire and clip."   I was happily unwinding the wire as the hydrogen (Yes, very flammable hydrogen from a hydrogen generator which also came with the emergency radio beacon) filled balloon.  When it got to the end - "What, no attachment to the reel?"  I, and the others, were aghast as the 200' or more of very expensive (to the US Government, at least) wire was floating off into the sky.   The Olde Tymers reassured me that it wasn't my fault, the directions were clear, to unwind the wire until it reach its end, but I was mortified. 

      Now I wonder what would have happened if that had been in a lifeboat or other place where it was actually needed for a 500 KHz beacon transmitter.

      So if one of your balloons has a high res camera attached, see if you can find remnants of a military emergency radio beacon antenna to the south and a bit east of Omaha. :)

      72/73 de n8xx Hg

      On 2/1/2012 9:06 AM, Timothy Cathcart wrote: Hello all,

        If there is any interest from anyone in the group in high altitude ballooning.  The 2012 GPSL event is a little closer to Michigan this year.  However, it is still a solid day drive to Omaha, NE.   

      I am still trying to see if my schedule can support me going to this years event.  My dad is pretty committed on going and planning to launch a balloon again this year.  If you would like to simply get in on the actions with out going.  It should be possible to attach your payload to a balloon going into flight.     Upon successful recovery you would received your recovered payload back. 

      For those that might be interested in the conferences we usually have a web meeting feed setup for those that can not attend in person.

      For more details you can follow updated on superlaunch.org

      Below is additional details and logistics for anyone interested in attending. 

      Timothy Cathcart
      RM&S Engineer
      Grand Rapids, MI

      GPSL 2012 attendees,

      Here is some additional information on venues and events for this year's Super Launch.

      The GPSL 2012 e-mail list I set up last fall is still not working, despite Yahoo's response to my support ticket that it's now fixed.  Still hoping to get it going.

      For greater Omaha, numbered streets are north/south starting near the Missouri River and are 12 blocks per mile - I-680 is about 114th St and "west Omaha" generally refers to locations west of this line.  Dodge Street is the major east/west artery through the center of the city, I-80 is to the south of the city center.  Other major east/west streets are Pacific, Center, L, and Q Streets.  Most of the city is laid out on a grid with few diagonals making navigation fairly easy.

      Thursday, June 7th

      1-5 pm:  Guided tour of the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland, NE (just off I-80 Exit 426, about 25 miles southwest of Omaha).  
      7-9 pm:  Early arrivals dinner at the Upstream Brewing Co. (171st and West Center Road, Omaha - this is tentative)

      Friday, June 8th (all Friday events at Arbor Hall Omaha, 14040 Arbor St [near 144th St and Center St])

      Admission for the Friday sessions will be $40 per person, which includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the hall.  Coffee, iced tea, and water will be available through the day.  Additional dinner tickets for spouses, etc., can be purchased for $16.  If you don't want to attend the Friday dinner, the cost for breakfast, lunch, and the sessions will be $25.  My wife arranges her professional meetings at Arbor Hall regularly and says the food and service is outstanding, and this is a very reasonable price for the total package.  It will also be very convenient to have everything in one location Friday to minimize wasted time driving.

      8am:  Doors open, light breakfast
      9am-noon:  Presentations begin 
      Noon-1pm:  Lunch (sandwiches/salad)
      1pm-4pm:  Presentations continue 
      4pm-5pm:  Weather briefing, launch logistics, etc.
      5pm-6:30pm:  Break
      6:30-8:30pm:  Dinner (roast beef/chicken, steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes, dessert, no-host cash bar)

      Saturday, June 9th

      6:30am:  Launch crews arrive
      7:30-9am: Launches 
      11am-6pm:  Post flight lunch and discussions at Don Carmelo's Pizza in Elkhorn (north of West Dodge Rd on 204th St)

      Sunday, June 10th

      Backup flight day


      Blocks of rooms are not being arranged due to a variety of lodging preferences for the GPSLparticipants.  Individuals/groups should make their own reservations and may be able to obtain multi-room discounts.

      TownHouse Inn and Suites, 140th St and West Center
      I don't know a lot about this hotel personally, but have been told by the Arbor Hall staff that it is a clean locally-owned hotel with reasonable rates ($50-80/night) and is only four blocks from the hall (walking distance).  

      Super 8, 116th and West Dodge Rd (about 4 mi from Arbor Hall)
      My parents stay at this hotel when they visit us and have never had a bad experience.  Rooms presently available at $66/night, non-refundable rate for less.  

      Hampton Inn, 17606 Arbor Plaza (north of 176th and Center, about 3 mi from Arbor Hall)
      I see bad reviews for pool maintenance, but otherwise looks decent.  

      There is also a cluster of hotels near 108th St and L St, just off I-80, with a variety of rates and amenities.  

      Any of these locations should be convenient for both the hall and the Thursday/Saturday events.  More upscale facilities can be found in the downtown area, but will be less convenient. 

      Other area attractions

      Henry Doorly Zoo (just south of I-80 at 13th St exit).  One of the best zoos in the region if not in the US.  Plenty of shaded areas for warm sunny days, but some ups and downs to the terrain so it's not the best for those who have difficulty walking.  

      Lauritzen Gardens/Kenefick Park (just north of I-80 near 13th St exit).  Approximately 100 acres of gardens and botanical exhibits.  Kenefick Park has two retired Union Pacific engines on display.

      Durham Western Heritage Museum (just south of downtown area).   This used to be Omaha's Union Pacific train station, now converted to a museum.  Lots of exhibits from the late 1800s and early 1900s.  A must see for history buffs or rail fans.

      Casinos are located just across the river in Council Bluffs, IA.  The "Old Market" in the downtown area has a wide selection of small shops and restaurants all in walking distance.  Other nearby shopping centers include Oak View Mall (just south of Arbor Hall), Village Pointe (168th and Dodge), L Street Marketplace (108th to 132nd on L St) and Westroads (102nd and Dodge).

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