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13922Fw: [Ballooning] AZHAL-1 balloon launch this weekend

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  • HarryM
    Apr 16, 2014
    • 0 Attachment
      Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 1:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [Ballooning] AZHAL-1 balloon launch this weekend

      just an FYI

      Sat is the 19th not the 18th
      Stephen Thomas
      cell 602-680-8939
      On Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:36 AM, Gil Smith <gil@...> wrote:
      Hi folks:
      Just a quick note about an upcoming balloon flight this weekend.  Target date is Sat the 18th, probably about 10 am MST (1700 UTC), but we may go Friday or Sunday if winds are more favorable.  This is a joint venture of SurlEE (my alter-ego site) and Byonics, who is providing a bunch of great radio stuff for the flight.  Sat is also the launch of Jack's ANSR-83 flight -- not that we intended to overlap with ansr, but we are flying this weekend for the Global Space Balloon Challenge, with a team of six kids and four dads.  We will announce flight time the morning of launch (probably Saturday).
      You can track us on aprs.fi, but don't be surprised if you see a lot of data -- do not panic!  The aprs system has not been brought to its knees by a renegade bunch of ballooners.  We are not saturating 144.390 (which will see about a 1-minute rate; probably less).  The MIC-E packets you will see are from transmissions on the public 144.390 freq, but the clear-text (non-mic-e) packets are from a private 2m channel, with Byon (from Byonics) performing some magic to inject them into the aprs.fi system at a rate that could hit every 8 seconds or so.  We are using an MT-400 and an MF-15 for our aprs transmitters, and taking advantage of the secondary-mode switching and frequency-agile transmitters on both.
      If you are in the Phoenix area, you can point a yagi up to catch RDF beacons on 2m and 70cm.  In fact, this balloon launch is this month's Phoenix-area foxhunt, so come on out and chase a balloon!  The 2m beacon is an MF-15, and the 70cm beacon is a little test design from Byon.
      If you are in Arizona, or maybe surrounding states, you may be able to hit our 70cm-to-2m crossband voice repeater, a dandy little board that Allen (from Byonics) provided.
      If you are into FPV (First-Person-View) video on your drone or quadcopter, and have a receiver for 5905MHz, you may be able to see some live video from a camera on the balloon, up to perhaps 20,000 ft AGL at launch or landing.  Make an easy little helical like we did and point it at the balloon.
      Other goodies on the balloon include a still camera, internal logging of temperature/pressure/humidity, an ultraviolet sensor, a geiger counter, and a particulate counter.
      >>> APRS tracking will be AF7EZ-11 (400 mW) and AF7EZ-12 (15 mW).  Data rate to 144.390 will average about 60 seconds between the two trackers.  AF7EZ dipole will be at 45 degree angle, AF7EZ12 dipole about 30 degree angle (near-horizontal).  Private data will be on 144.920 if you want to point a yagi at the balloon.
      >>> Crossband voice repeater receives on 434.075 and needs a 250.3 Hz PL tone for access.  Repeater transmits on 144.800 with 300 mW.  We do not have any auto-ID stuff, so please ID your transmissions as "XYZ via the AF7EZ (or N6BG) repeater."  RX and TX antennas are both on a 45-degree angle.
      >>> 2m RDF beacon (15 mW) is on 146.400, and has ID N6BG.  This dipole is horizontal until landing when it will be angled somewhat.
      >>> 70cm RDF beacon is on 433.860.  Dipole is about a 60-degree angle (near-vertical).
      >>> FPV (First-Person-View) video tx will be on 5905 MHz, for you R/C enthusiasts with the gear to receive it. TX antenna is a RHCP (right-hand-circularly-polarized) cloverleaf, mounted sideways.  We are guessing that 2 to 4 miles range might be possible at launch/landing with a modest amount of rx antenna gain, but this system has not flown before.  Please note that video will be cycling on and off during ascent (to cool the camera and tx).  At landing we will just leave it on from about 30,000 feet down to capture the crashing, er, landing.
      Antennas are angled on purpose to split the horiz/vert-polarization issue somewhat -- not a full loss at ground (compared to horiz), and no null underneath where we might be located (compared to vert).
      gil smith, AF7EZ

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