Tuesday, October 07, 2008

SOB VI launch 144.9 MHz

From W4SPA:

The next SOB flight, SOB VI is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct 11, 2008.

Launch will take place at KV4AC's QTH again at approximately 7AM.

The mission profile is designed to be similar to SOB V but we're using a new, larger balloon and are hoping for a little longer flight and to achieve at least 100,000 ft altitude.

The following SOB VI payload upgrades are in progress:
  • a new digital camera taking photos every 30 seconds
  • experiments to record temperatures both inside and outside the payload container
  • a sensor to detect the 0 G point just after the balloon bursts
  • better insulation around the backup radio (last time it froze and stopped working during the flight)
  • backup radio battery upgrade (so we can have a "balloon repeater net" to take check-ins during the flight)
Mission details:

Mission Designator - SOB VI
Scheduled Launch Date/Time: Oct 11, 2008 7:00AM
Mission Profile: flight to burst altitude, descend on parachute
Payload: 2 styrofoam boxes; Primary and Backup
Payload (Primary) - GPS, TNC, VHF Radio (APRS every 30 seconds, telemetry every 60 seconds), Digital camera
Payload (Backup) - UHF Radio - CW-ID/RDF signal every 60 seconds, simplex repeater
Frequencies: VHF (APRS) - 144.990 MHz - Note to monitoring stations - PLEASE TURN OFF DIGI'S! - PLEASE DON'T TRANSMIT!
UHF (simplex repeater) - 446.375 141.3 PL tone - wait for net control to call for check-ins
Ground stations comm: 146.84 (-) repeater
Tactical callsigns: Launch site (launch team) LAUNCH


HELP wanted:

If you're interested in participating in any way, we'd like to hear from you. Please reply to this message and let me know. We need as much help as we can get listening for and tracking the balloon's signals. SOB V went exteremly well in large part because there were so many folks listening in. If the APRS system fails for any reason, this could turn into a very challenging fox-hunt.


We're looking for as many check-ins as we can get via the simplex repeater. We'll start out with local checks while the balloon is ascending. As the radio's footprint increases in size, we'll be concentrating on longer distance stations. Please check-in only after net control calls for check-ins. I will have some "special" QSL cards printed to commerate the event and will QSL all check-ins.

Information for monitoring stations:

We'd really like to maximize the number of stations listening to and tracking (logging) the APRS data on 144.990. Bobby, N4AU is going to configure one of the area digipeaters to relay the balloon's data onto the standard APRS frequency of 144.390 MHz and onto the internet where it will be accessible from FINDU.COM. If you have an APRS station and want to monitor the data on 144.990 (the balloon's frequency) please disable your station's digipeater functions. During the SOB V flight, there were some other stations digipeating our data and as a result sometimes collissions occured resultsing in lost data from the balloon. Also, if you're going to monitor on 144.990 (the balloon's frequency) please don't transmit any APRS packets of your position or APRS messages. My objective is to monitor and log all the APRS and telemetry data directly from the balloon on 144.990 MHz. This data is nesessary in order to evaluate the performance of the flight hardware, the balloon's flight path and is required by many of the national balloon websites as evidence of our flight. There are several web sites that keep track of flight records. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in keeping the frequency open exculsively for the balloon.

Simplex Repeater Operation (sequence of events):

After launch, the launch team and chase teams will verify proper operation of the VHF (APRS and telemetry data) and of the UHF beacon. After a few minutes of ascent, if all is well with the flight hardware, a member of the launch team will make a test call via the UHF simplex repeater to the net controller. Net controller will respond, and once 2-way communication through the repeater is verified, the launch team member will check-in and turn control of the simplex repeater over to the net control station. The SOB VI net control station will be Jim,
N4CIO. Since the simplex repeater will ID every 60 seconds, please keep transmission through it short (20 seconds or less). The net controller will explain repeater operation.

Thank you!

On behalf on the entire SOB Team, I'd like to thank everyone for your assistance and continued support. A special thanks to everyone that provided financial support through bake sale purchases or donations of money or equipment.


Scott Poole, W4SPA


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