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Re: [tracker2] controlling what gets displayed on the gps

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  • Matthew Cook
    Ah that is a good question. We re not 100% sure.. There have been HAB experiments where people have let balloons go and tracked them for the past 30 years,
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 11, 2013
      Ah that is a good question.  We're not 100% sure..

      There have been HAB experiments where people have let balloons go and tracked them for the past 30 years, but none of them technically had any form of approval.  Project Horus was the first group in Australia to get official approval to fly HAB experiments, 3 years ago.

      When we launch a HAB from Adelaide we actually put out a NOTAM three days in advance and the airspace is cleared above our Balloon-port...  I'm guessing that CASA don't want any "harmless science experments" wrapped around the wings of any aircraft that are landing nearby... would be sort of a bad new week that one.

      We're very lucky here that the prevailing winds are from the SW and that out to the NE there is not alot but some farms and bushland... so when we fly there isn't much to hit other than the odd sheep, kangaroo or cow.  Mind you there are a few Permanent Rivers, National Parks Gunnery ranges, 275kV high tension power lines, african safari park (inc lions) that make life interesting.  I think the biggest challange is the jet stream and the distance our HAB can acheive in a 4hr flight... it is not uncommon for us to be travelling 200-300mi to retrieve a payload.

      But it's fun that is for sure.  Like I've said previously now that we have APRS as a backup we'd never go back to flying with out it.   So now you know what all the bits and pieces I've been buying are being used for ;-)



      On 12 February 2013 15:47, Scott Miller <scott@...> wrote:
      But why the heck is Australia so strict on HAB activity, with similar
      land area to the US and 1/10th the population?


      On 2/10/2013 5:28 PM, Matthew Cook wrote:
      > I'll second James comments regarding the PATH in your APRS payload...
      > Here in Oz we use custom HAB hardware and firmware
      > (http://rfhead.net/?p=476) that has no path included in the out going
      > fraome until the balloon has burst and is on decent and dropping below
      > 3000' ASL..  We used to run WIDE2-1 but that as James suggests causes
      > alot of noise on the ground...   Using the wides means we do get some
      > assistance from other digi's and iGates, but keep in mind there are only
      > 3 iGates and 8 or so digi's in the entire of South Australia we don't
      > have the same sort of population densities found elsewhere... out where
      > our balloons land we need to use at least one digi to skip over a
      > mountain range and back into Adelaide to hit the iGates... although
      > there will be rPi in the truck soon running my own Rx only iGate, yes we
      > have better mobile coverage out this far in the country that we do
      > repeaters at times...  Unless we're flying one on the balloon that is...
      > In all of our launches we use two telemetry systems with ARPS as the
      > backup.  The primary system is a 25mW RTTY 70cm module that sends
      > continuous data.  It's the same one the guys in the UK use check out
      > http://www.spacenear.us/tracker for more details.
      > In the car we use the D710 and on foot you can't beat the D72's.  In the
      > car the D710 is in the front seat where I can see it, we also have a
      > bluetooth dongle on the serial port for feeding to our telemetry systems
      > (with bigger screens) in the back seat.  You can see most of the gear in
      > the truck (toyota hilux) here..
      > (http://projecthorus.org/?page_id=2224).. Yours truly is the one with
      > the beard.  Having custom gear helps recover all of your payloads...
      > We've only truly lost one, sacrifced three out of 30 launches.  We've
      > also flown 3D cameras worth more than our trucks.
      > Since we fly with primary 70cm and backup 2m APRS telemetry we've not
      > "lost" communciation with our balloons for quite some time..  The
      > Australian Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) are rightfully
      > quite strict on who can fly HAB payloads here in Australia (we're
      > actually licensed to do so with our own Balloon Airport in the Adelaide
      > Hills) and we are required to keep in contact with our balloons at all
      > times..  We've also got a couple of "restricted zones" we're not allowed
      > to fly into (north of Adelaide) which makes life fun (read on).
      > However we also run the CUSF HAB prediction software on where flights
      > and roughly know where they are likely to go ie
      > (http://www.projecthorus.org/predict/)..   We've found that using the
      > CUSF predictor (and some knowledge about the balloons you're using) that
      > our payloads drop within a 50km radius of the predicted landing site,
      > once we have the wind data on accent this narrows to only 5km.  We
      > usually run scenarios on the weather in the week leading up to the
      > launch.   Being able to get within 5kms of the general landing area
      > means we can find any 25mW signal with a 7el beam and a good receiver.
      > If you poke around the Project Horus site you'll find many videos (ie
      > Horus 7) of where we've launched, driven and then watched/video'd the
      > balloon land, all simply based on the predictions.
      > 73's
      > Matthew
      > VK5ZM
      > On 11 February 2013 04:36, James Ewen <ve6srv@...
      > <mailto:ve6srv@...>> wrote:
      >     __
      >     On Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 9:54 PM, Eric Fort eric.fort@...
      >     <mailto:eric.fort%40gmail.com>> wrote:
      >      >> Are you limiting the equipment used in the chase to just the radio,
      >      >> OT2, and Nuvi350? Will you have a laptop along as well?
      >      >
      >      >
      >      > I'd rather just use the nuvi 350 and t2-301, otherwise what's the
      >      > advantage of the t2-301 nuvi combo? If I need a laptop I might as
      >     well just
      >      > run soundmodem on the laptop and attach that to a radio.
      >     You tell me what the advantage is... The only advantage I see is less
      >     equipment in the vehicle, but you are limited to the capabilities of
      >     the equipment chosen. I love the OpenTracker line. I have over a dozen
      >     OTUSB/OT2/OT3 units, and an R-Trak HAB as well... they all have their
      >     own specialized purposes. However I run my Kenwood D710 and AvMap G6
      >     in the truck because the capabilities available in those devices
      >     provide me with the desired functionality. I also run a TH-D72 as my
      >     handheld unit. The two Kenwood devices and the AvMap give me
      >     everything I need to be able to chase and recover HAB payloads. I
      >     can't achieve the same level of functionality with the OT line and the
      >     Nuvi350.
      >     When chasing balloons however, I add on the laptop (or WebDT366) so
      >     that I get an even larger screen, a historic track of the payload
      >     path, packet logs, and a bunch more functionality that I can't get out
      >     of the Kenwood and AvMap G6.
      >      > What about using some creative scripting on the t2 to limit what
      >     the nuvi
      >      > sees? Any possibilities there?
      >     Not that I can think of. We don't have access to manipulating the
      >     incoming data stream. That would take a fair bit of processor power,
      >     and a lot of memory to be able to provide enough commands to parse out
      >     packets and manipulate them based on your own criteria.
      >      >> You could get the altitude of the payload displayed on an AvMap GPS
      >      >> connected to the OT2 though.
      >      >
      >      > AvMap? what are you referring to?
      >     Uh, the AvMap GPS line... The current production model is the AvMap
      >     G6. http://www.geosat.us/ It is a GPS built in Italy, but it has
      >     firmware custom designed to support APRS built in. No other GPS
      >     manufacturer supports APRS. The closest anyone else comes is Garmin,
      >     and that's only because Scott has manipulated their Fleet Management
      >     Interface into believing that APRS data is FMI data. We all know how
      >     interested Garmin is in making the FMI mode work properly to support
      >     live data from the APRS network.
      >     The AvMap G6 is the latest in the AvMap line to support APRS. The G4
      >     and G5 units also supported APRS functionality. With the G6, I can
      >     tell the unit to follow a specified target (the balloon payload), and
      >     I can have three windows open on the map screen showing me specific
      >     data on that payload (I like speed, heading, and altitude when
      >     chasing). I can tell the GPS to calculate a route to the payload (not
      >     a good idea while the balloon is in flight, you want to head to where
      >     it is going to land, not where it is currently), but when the payload
      >     is on the ground, the GPS can direct you to the area.
      >      >> If you attach a laptop, and run APRSISCE/32, you can have everything
      >      >> you want, and have it displayed on a much larger screen.
      >      >>
      >      >
      >      > I'll consider that as an option, but then doesn't that defeat the
      >     entire
      >      > point of the nuvi/t2-301 combo?
      >     That all depends on what the point of the T2-301 and Nuvi is... If you
      >     want a small minimal component count APRS station with the ability to
      >     see incoming icons on the screen, and the ability to send and receive
      >     messages on screen, then you've probably got the right package.
      >     If you want to be able to limit the incoming display to just a single
      >     specific station, or group of stations, and to be able to see the
      >     altitude of a specific station on screen, then you probably don't have
      >     the right package.
      >     Ham radio is a niche market. APRS is a niche market in the ham radio
      >     niche market. HAB tracking is a niche market in the APRS niche market
      >     of the ham radio niche market. Most manufacturers aim to position
      >     their products to hit the largest market possible. The fact that AvMap
      >     is producing a product that supports APRS is amazing, and then they
      >     also have features that cater to the HAB niche is even more amazing.
      >     You can't sit in a rowboat in the middle of a corn field in Nebraska
      >     and wonder why you're not flying to London. Sometimes you need
      >     specialized equipment to perform a specialized task. :)
      >     As Brian suggested, perhaps using a unique frequency would give you
      >     the ability to limit the stations heard. Hopefully you are aware that
      >     once your payload is aloft, there is no need to run an outgoing path.
      >     With the payload over 1000' AGL, asking for digipeats is a waste of
      >     time. Your payload will transmit much further than any ground based
      >     digipeater around. Moving to a frequency with no digipeaters available
      >     does not affect your ability to track. You can have ground based
      >     stations switch to the unique frequency and i-gate your packets so
      >     they appear on the APRS-IS stream.
      >     Many HAB groups run paths at altitude, which just causes all kinds of
      >     unnecessary noise on the ground. Dozens to hundreds of digipeaters end
      >     up repeating packets that are easily copied by every station on the
      >     ground already. Even worse people run with WIDE1-1 as a path request,
      >     causing not only every digipeater to act upon the packet, but every
      >     home fill-in digipeater as well.
      >     If you are running a quality HAB APRS tracking payload, you'll have
      >     the ability to change paths based on profile switching. Set up your
      >     profile switching to use no path on one profile, and then once the
      >     payload has dropped below something like 5000 feet, add an outgoing
      >     path to ask for help from the digipeaters. If you land somewhere a
      >     long distance from an i-gate, and your chase teams have managed to not
      >     keep up with the payload, a digipeat *might* help you get closer.
      >     Many people feel that if the payload can't be heard on the ground via
      >     the APRS-IS stream, that there's no possible way of recovering the
      >     payload. That is not the case. We've had payloads stop being gated at
      >     20,000 feet AGL and still been able to find them on the ground. You
      >     simply extrapolate the flight path based on the winds seen on the way
      >     up and go to the projected area. If need be set up a search grid and
      >     search until you can hear your payload.
      >     If you have a frequency agile payload, you can have the unit switch
      >     back and forth between your unique frequency and 144.390, and get the
      >     best of both worlds.
      >     --
      >     James
      >     VE6SRV
      > --
      > Matthew
      > VK5ZM
      > 0487 653 245


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