Re: Balloon Mail successful WB8ELK balloon recovered by W7QO
Mark Conner N9XTN
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Yes to both. (a) is valuable in flight too. Normally we have a receiver on our primary non-39 APRS frequency running open squelch. This gives us an idea of how we're doing on signal strength, and if we notice a failure to decode by the TNC, we listen even more to the audio. Knowing a packet is coming up helps us do "other things" while we're waiting on the next beacon.
(b) is definitely worthwhile too - I wouldn't do without it unless I absolutely had to.
Another item to consider is using the hhmmss format for the time spec. This helps reconstruct logs afterwards, especially data collected from others. It's really handy to have a good time stamp right in the packet instead of relying on others' clocks. I can't remember if that's part of the APRS compressed format or not. We generally run more towards the "plain" format, which is harder on the TX/battery budget but has more flexibility.
73 de Mark N9XTN