Date   

Twitter updates for GPSL

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

For those of you participating remotely, I'll be posting periodic updates to Twitter using @N9XTN (http://twitter.com/N9XTN) starting tomorrow evening through flight recovery on Saturday.  We're driving back to Omaha not long after recovery, and with our "real" vacation right behind GPSL it may be some time before I get our flight pictures posted.

73 de Mark N9XTN


GPSL Predictions for Wednesday

Jerry
 

Today's predictions are pretty much the same as yesterday



All the predictions are be available here: GPSL2017 Predictions as well as on the superlaunch.org site.

Primary Launch Site


Secondary Launch Site




 
Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com


GPSL weather

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

The eastern half of Kansas, including Hutchinson, is in a slight risk area for severe weather for Thursday.  The activity will be along a weakening cold front and should occur primarily in the evening.  Friday and Saturday will be hot with afternoon highs in the mid 90s and dewpoints in the low 60s.  Storms are likely again Saturday night as a stronger cold front moves through the area.  Sunday will be about 10-15 degrees cooler and quite a bit drier.

Saturday morning's launch conditions should be very good.  Surface winds should be from the south at about 5 mph and temperatures will be in the mid 70s at 8am with only scattered clouds.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Re: GPSL 2017 Flight Predictions 6-13

Jerry
 

Today it looks like the predictions are a little farther north of Wichita and a little shorter.  Most are under 20 miles out.  It looks like the winds above ~60K feet are pulling the balloons back to the west.



All the predictions are be available here: GPSL2017 Predictions

Primary Launch Site
Inline image


Secondary Launch Site
Inline image



Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com



GPSL weather update

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

There is a chance for isolated severe thunderstorms Thursday evening in central Kansas including Hutchinson, mostly a wind/hail threat.  Nothing too unusual for this time of year.  There are additional small chances for isolated storms Friday and Saturday nights, but I don't think they will survive until daybreak.  So a Saturday flight still looks good.

Surface winds will be light from the south under the inversion, but as soon as that breaks some gusts to 20 mph can be expected.  That should happen by 10am, so filling and releasing early in the launch window is preferred.  Temps at sunrise will be in the low 70s, quickly rising above 90 by noon.

As mentioned earlier, forecast tracks are generally southeasterly and result in uncomfortable proximity to Wichita if we launch from Hutchinson.  A third launch site (probably south/southwest of HUT) is being considered.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Re: Inter-balloon crossband repeater with Dallas

Andrew Koenig
 

All,

Unfortunately we couldn't scramble the payload together in time for GPSL. Michael, Chris and I have prepared a secondary payload of just a simple crossband repeater using a DJ-580T. The backup payload is in the ballpark of 600 grams.

There were two main things working against us, and I'm sure we would've had some other road blocks as integration continued. The issues we had were strictly related to interfacing the repeater controller, an Arcom RC210, to the various handheld radios (RX, TX, remote base). It boiled down to two issues:

1) RFI. The Arcom seems to run fine in its rack enclosure, but was not a happy camper without adequate shielding.
2) Logic Levels. For unknown reasons, the shift registers in the Arcom couldn't seem to pull down the PTT line enough to trigger the 220 HT. Although buffer circuits are an option, these controllers are borrowed and can't be modified to that extent.

The RFI was a very interesting issue. I learned that the Arcom RC210 does not have a ground layer in the PCB; it appears to just be a simple 2 layer PCB. At a repeater site in a rack enclosure, this shouldn't be a big deal, but when we're running 2 HTs less than 12" from the controller, it just was overloaded. The most common symptom was a persistent digital clicking sound coming through the transmit audio, likely from the shift registers being clocked out. We were able to modulate the various RFI artifacts in the audio by moving the HT around in relation to the Arcom.

The logic levels were quite quirky, and I was never able to conclude why the Arcom was unable to trigger PTT on the 220 HT. I believe the output shift registers are open-drain, which indicates that it shouldn't have an issue pulling the PTT line to ground. On the bench, we never saw the Arcom pull the PTT line below .6v. Unfortunately the required buffer circuitry modifications to overcome this one goes a little beyond the scope of what these controllers were loaned to accomplish.

So with these two things working against us, and given the time constraint, we've opted to just fly two "island repeaters" and see about linking them via crossband repeater on the ground. The UT Dallas ARC has a nice satellite station, and we'll see about aiming it up towards Kansas since the DFW-area balloon can likely be hit off the side of the beam. This depends on the TM-V71a being cross-band capable with some very odd splits.

Anyway, sorry to get your hopes up. We'll definitely look into trying this experiment again with some better hardware and more time to prepare. I believe we might have another chance later in the summer with a geographically diverse series

73 de KE5GDB

On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 6:44 AM, BASE <basedepauw@...> wrote:
Michael,

BASE DePauw can fly your repeater payloads.  I do not have my repeater operating at this time and have other tasks on our schedule for the early summer.

Please let me know the payload weights (or masses).  If I need to bring a larger balloon, I can do that.

See you in Hutchinson.

Howard, KC9QBN


On Monday, June 5, 2017 2:35 AM, "Michael West michael@... [GPSL]" <GPSL-noreply@...> wrote:


 
Hi all,
 
On June 17 the Plano, TX amateur radio club (PARK) will be launching a balloon near Dallas with a crossband repeater (440 RX/140 TX). We’d like to try and use a 220 HT as a half-duplex remote base to link this with another balloon repeater at GPSL. Any transmissions heard on 440 by either balloon would be simultaneously broadcast on 140 and 220. The other balloon would listen on 220 and 440, and repeat transmission on 140. Talk in Texas, be heard in Kansas, and vice versa! 😊
 
We’re looking to collaborate with anyone at GPSL who has either space for an extra payload or plans to fly a crossband repeater. We can provide whatever hardware is needed, just let me know.
 
Andrew KE5GDB came up with the idea and will be helping with the PARK launch. Chris N5CMR and I, W5MAW, will be at GPSL and can bring up the hardware from Dallas. Chris and I didn’t plan to launch a balloon and it might be a little difficult to try to put one together in time for GPSL, so hopefully we can find someone to help.

Cheers!
 
--
Michael West
W5MAW
 





--
Andrew Koenig


Solar Eclipse Round Table

Zack Clobes W0ZC
 

I'm going to be conducting a round table discussion regarding preparations for August's eclipse.  

  • Lat/Lon coordinates of launch site, if your group plans on flying during the eclipse.
  • Do you intend to do photography of the eclipse?
  • What other instruments or experiments do you plan on flying?
  • Are there any questions that you'd like to pose to the group as part of a round table discussion on eclipse missions?


Zack Clobes, W0ZC
Project: Traveler
www.projecttraveler.org

Join us on Facebook for the latest information:



Project: Traveler is a research project of Custom Digital Services, LLC.


GPSL Status Update

Zack Clobes W0ZC
 

I have my list updated with all of the notes that I can find.  If it's not accurate, then I've missed your note - I'm sorry, please resend.

If you're aware of anyone else who is planning on attending (especially Friday evening dinner), I'd appreciate a heads up so I can pass along plate counts to the restaurant.




The Agenda is being finalized.



Jerry and Mark have been keeping the flight predictions going this year.  The launch site seems to be very uncertain at this time, as the primary site is landing dangerously close to Wichita.  We are exploring a possible plan C.




Zack Clobes, W0ZC
Project: Traveler
www.projecttraveler.org

Join us on Facebook for the latest information:



Project: Traveler is a research project of Custom Digital Services, LLC.


GPSL 2017 Flight Predictions 6-12

Jerry
 

Today it looks like the predictions are for a landing area slightly north of Wichita.

All the predictions are be available here: GPSL2017 Predictions

Primary Launch Site


Secondary Launch Site



Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com


Flight Predictions for GPSL 2017

Jerry
 

And here are the predictions for today.  As Mark commented they are to the SW today heading toward Wichita.

All the predictions are be available here: GPSL2017 Predictions

Primary (Hutchinson)

Secondary

 
Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com


GPSL forecast update

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

​The tracks have moved about 90 degrees since yesterday, from southwest to southeast, so still lots of uncertainty still at 6 days out.  The ridge seems to be slowing its approach and a trough expected near the Great Lakes is trying to put Kansas into northwesterly flow aloft.  As before, timing of this transition will define our direction of flight.  Surface conditions remain about the same, except somewhat lighter winds are expected.​  Temps at launch should be in the low 70s, rising to 90 in the afternoon.  Dewpoints will be in the upper 50s.



73 de Mark N9XTN


Now none of this at GPSL this year!

Alan Adamson
 

https://twitter.com/stratoballoon/status/873600324266754049

Free fall from altitude is bad on some many fronts, but this was a large
commercial payload!

Alan


Predictions for GPSL 6/10

Jerry
 

I will start running the predictions for GPSL again.  As last year I will run 6 "corner" cases.  The 3 Altitudes I will use is 60K, 90K, and 105K feet burst each with an ascent/descent rate of 850fpm and 1100fpm.  I will also import a habhub prediction equivalent to 90K ft burst with 1100fpm ascent and descent rates for comparison.

All the predictions will be available here: GPSL2017 Predictions



Primary Launch Site


Secondary Launch Site

 
Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com


Forecast update for GPSL

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

It seems the idea of pushing a strong cold front through the area next Friday has pretty well gone away.  There will be a relatively weak front to the south, but temps north of the front will be near 90 instead of the mid 90s present to the south.  Should be a little less humid too.

Aloft, a mid-continent ridge begins to build on Saturday.  How fast that comes in will dictate our tracks - it it comes in 12-24 hours sooner, we'll have very short flight distances.  At the moment, our flights would go 15-20 miles to the southwest.  Short tracks might preclude the use of the Hutchinson airport, as any distance west lands us in town.  

Still lots of variation, but I think the upper-air pattern will begin to settle into an answer in a couple of days.

73 de Mark N9XTN


High Altitude Ballooning (poor man space program)

Keith Kaiser, WA0̷TJT
 

GPSL Aeronauts,

Please look over Joe’s request below and push some information his way that might help him.



Joe,
Quite a bit of what you are asking for is on the ARHAB.org web site but maybe a bit buried to be found easily. I also suggest you check out http://superlaunch.org for our annual conference, which starts in a few days.

You also might be interested in seeing this:  https://www.k2bsa.net/jamboree-balloon-tracking/

73’s


Keith, WAØTJT



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Joe St. Columbia, Jr." <jscolumbia@...>
Subject: High Altitude Ballooning (poor man space program)
Date: June 10, 2017 at 8:16:10 AM CDT

Keith,
 
I am a member of the Helena Astronomy Society. We are a group of astronomy enthusiast that is active in our community with support of our local college, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas.  From time to time we include amateur radio projects to study the cosmos. Our goal is to educate ourselves and others while  making contributions to the science of astronomy as amateur astronomers.   
 
Recently, I  found your website on Amateur Radio High Altitude Ballooning  that takes science projects to “near space”.  I  thought it would be a great project for our organization to share with our local Boy Scout Troops and students at PCCUA. However, I am unable to find a “Getting Started Guide”.  If available would you please share links or information I could use to present this project to our group? As you may guess I am looking for basic information to get started such as FAA guidelines, materials needed and costs etc.… .  
 
Thank You 
 
Joe
N5MIG
 

Virus-free. www.avast.com


Re: Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

Jerry
 

I have been running predictions all week and they have all been heading NE.  I expected to see that and the 1800Z run was due south.  So that confused me.  I am guessing the front you talked about is causing wide swings in the forecast.
 
Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com



From: Mark Conner <mconner1@...>
To: Jerry Gable
Cc: GPSL list
Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2017 5:25 PM
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

It was the 1200Z forecast I was looking at too.  I didn't compare earlier runs (probably should have) to see if that forecast of 60 on Saturday morning was a one-off or consistent.

- Mark

On Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 7:17 PM, Jerry Gable <jerrygable@...> wrote:
I was going to start running predictions today but as Mark says, It is still too early.  As an experiment ran a prediction using each of the 4 forecast runs (00:00H, 06:00H, 12:00H, 18:00H).  They were all radically different directions.  The 12:00 forecast matched Mark's prediction.  The others were radically different.

About all we can say at this point is the balloons will probably go up and they will probably come down somewhere in Kansas (Except the floaters).

I will post all my predictions on a public dropbox folder here: GPSL2017_Predictions. Zack is also going to keep the latest on the GPSL site.




Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com



From: "Mark Conner mconner1@... [GPSL]" <GPSL-noreply@...>
To: GPSL list <GPSL@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2017 1:34 PM
Subject: [GPSL] Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

 
​At the moment, it looks like pretty nice weather late next week for southern Kansas.  Highs Friday and Saturday should be around 80 and early-morning temps on Saturday around 60.  A cold front will push through sometime early Friday - ahead of the front it will be in the low 90s.  Surface winds would be northerly around 10-15 mph.

As a WAG, landings look to be to the northeast, maybe around Hillsboro.  Too early to get real specific, and a lot will depend on the timing of the cold front.

73 de Mark N9XTN






Re: Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

It was the 1200Z forecast I was looking at too.  I didn't compare earlier runs (probably should have) to see if that forecast of 60 on Saturday morning was a one-off or consistent.

- Mark

On Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 7:17 PM, Jerry Gable <jerrygable@...> wrote:
I was going to start running predictions today but as Mark says, It is still too early.  As an experiment ran a prediction using each of the 4 forecast runs (00:00H, 06:00H, 12:00H, 18:00H).  They were all radically different directions.  The 12:00 forecast matched Mark's prediction.  The others were radically different.

About all we can say at this point is the balloons will probably go up and they will probably come down somewhere in Kansas (Except the floaters).

I will post all my predictions on a public dropbox folder here: GPSL2017_Predictions. Zack is also going to keep the latest on the GPSL site.




Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com



From: "Mark Conner mconner1@... [GPSL]" <GPSL-noreply@...>
To: GPSL list <GPSL@...>
Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2017 1:34 PM
Subject: [GPSL] Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

 
​At the moment, it looks like pretty nice weather late next week for southern Kansas.  Highs Friday and Saturday should be around 80 and early-morning temps on Saturday around 60.  A cold front will push through sometime early Friday - ahead of the front it will be in the low 90s.  Surface winds would be northerly around 10-15 mph.

As a WAG, landings look to be to the northeast, maybe around Hillsboro.  Too early to get real specific, and a lot will depend on the timing of the cold front.

73 de Mark N9XTN




Re: Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

Jerry
 

I was going to start running predictions today but as Mark says, It is still too early.  As an experiment ran a prediction using each of the 4 forecast runs (00:00H, 06:00H, 12:00H, 18:00H).  They were all radically different directions.  The 12:00 forecast matched Mark's prediction.  The others were radically different.

About all we can say at this point is the balloons will probably go up and they will probably come down somewhere in Kansas (Except the floaters).

I will post all my predictions on a public dropbox folder here: GPSL2017_Predictions. Zack is also going to keep the latest on the GPSL site.




Jerry Gable
Balloon Flight Prediction tools
http://www.s3research.com



From: "Mark Conner mconner1@... [GPSL]"
To: GPSL list
Sent: Thursday, June 8, 2017 1:34 PM
Subject: [GPSL] Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

 
​At the moment, it looks like pretty nice weather late next week for southern Kansas.  Highs Friday and Saturday should be around 80 and early-morning temps on Saturday around 60.  A cold front will push through sometime early Friday - ahead of the front it will be in the low 90s.  Surface winds would be northerly around 10-15 mph.

As a WAG, landings look to be to the northeast, maybe around Hillsboro.  Too early to get real specific, and a lot will depend on the timing of the cold front.

73 de Mark N9XTN



Long-range forecast for Hutchinson for GPSL

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

​At the moment, it looks like pretty nice weather late next week for southern Kansas.  Highs Friday and Saturday should be around 80 and early-morning temps on Saturday around 60.  A cold front will push through sometime early Friday - ahead of the front it will be in the low 90s.  Surface winds would be northerly around 10-15 mph.

As a WAG, landings look to be to the northeast, maybe around Hillsboro.  Too early to get real specific, and a lot will depend on the timing of the cold front.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Re: Last call for discounted Kaymonts

Zack Clobes W0ZC
 

Balloons will be bulk-shipped to Hutchinson tomorrow (Friday) morning.  LAST CALL!

On Wed, Jun 7, 2017 at 1:58 PM, Zack Clobes <zclobes@...> wrote:
If you're interested in taking advantage of the specials from Kaymont, please call Ryan TODAY!



Ryan Couch
Technical Coordinator
Kaymont Consolidated Industries, INC
1477 Guava Ave
Melbourne, FL 32935
T: (631) 951-9100
F: (321) 610-1459
www.kaymontballoons.com



Zack Clobes, W0ZC
Project: Traveler
www.projecttraveler.org

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Project: Traveler is a research project of Custom Digital Services, LLC.