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Successful high altitude balloon flight using OT+ and OT2M Proto E...

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  • Bryan A. Thompson
    Last weekend we successfully launched a balloon which climbed to 96,649ft before the balloon burst and the payload capsule returned to Earth.
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 28, 2007
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      Last weekend we successfully launched a balloon which climbed to
      96,649ft before the balloon burst and the payload capsule returned to
      Earth.

      http://batee.com/projectsanddesigns/balloon/index.html

      We ordered an OT2m Proto E for the balloon, and noticed early in
      testing that the OT was much a much better choice for decoding
      incoming packet traffic than the "Soundcard + AGWPE Packet Engine
      Pro". We bought an OT+ with the hopes that we could decide packets
      using that hardware. It turned out not to offer that functionality,
      so we changed the plan and put the OT+ in the balloon and the OT2m
      Proto E on the ground tracking station.

      We wrote some custom software to generate a dynamic KML file that
      plotted the balloon position reported via Internet, the balloon
      position reported via the last direct-received packet, and the tracker
      current position in Google Earth, along with driving directions from
      the tracker to the payload.

      The OT+ never reported either the system voltage or the temperature
      correctly. It reported 2.5V when battery voltage was 12.6V. It
      reported between -190 and -201C on the temp. We checked and believe
      the LM335 temp sensor was functioning correctly. Early in the testing
      process we set a jumper wrong on the OT+ and blew the 5V regulator.
      This might also have caused the uC to become damaged, although it
      still functioned otherwise. This also killed a Garmin GPS18 GPS.

      The OT2m Proto E didn't report the correct supply voltage in the data
      stream, but it did report the correct temp (within a range correctable
      using the download config software). It reported 9.5V when the
      battery voltage was 12.6V. I spoke to Scott and be believes that this
      is because of a wrong resistor value on the OT2m Proto E.

      Thanks to the balloon not lifting as much mass as it said it could,
      the balloon rose very slowly until about 30,000ft where it took off
      like a rocket. Flight duration was about 7 hours, and we received
      every packet sent on our home APRS tower, a distance of about 75
      miles, using a 3W Yaesu VX-2R and a hand made "Double Bazooka"
      antenna. We got reports from Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and
      Ontario Canada that our packets were being received and decoded.

      Payload was located about 75miles Northwest of the launch site, at the
      bottom of a canyon stuck in a 50ft tree. Payload was recovered after
      we contacted the owner and borrowed an axe.

      Bryan A. Thompson
      bryan@...
    • James Ewen
      ... Nice site... I have to spend a little time going through it more. When the page came up, I thought I recognized that black of space... I scrolled down
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 28, 2007
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        On 9/28/07, Bryan A. Thompson <yahooforward@...> wrote:

        > Last weekend we successfully launched a balloon which climbed to
        > 96,649ft before the balloon burst and the payload capsule returned to
        > Earth.
        >
        > http://batee.com/projectsanddesigns/balloon/index.html

        Nice site... I have to spend a little time going through it more.

        When the page came up, I thought I recognized that black of space... I
        scrolled down enough to see Lake Sullivan, and confirmed my
        suspicions...

        Have you checked with Tony about getting permission to use the image
        from SABLE? I'm sure he will give permission, but it would be good to
        let him know you are using it. He would also be interested in looking
        through your site and learning about your experiences.

        I have sent a copy of this email to Tony.

        Tony just did an interview for Discovery.ca which aired last night.
        He's getting to be an old hand at these TV interviews!

        James
        VE6SRV
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