Date   
Re: Tracker Questions

Jim Reed
 

No changes to the actual the way they work. Sorry about the confusion. They work well.

The billing structure is changing. It is not changing in a way that makes it unaffordable. When the billing structure is changing and we have to commit one way or the other it is time to look at all options once again. It has been a while since we adopted this technology and with all tech things move forward at a very fast speed. We just wanted to see what others are using. We have to make a decision within the next couple of weeks. We will most likely just stay with PF but one never knows what others have had success with. We were given some money this year and we have always discussed others ways to track once on the ground.

Thanks folks!!

On Mon, Oct 9, 2017 at 1:27 PM, Hank Riley n1ltv@... [GPSL] <GPSL-noreply@...> wrote:
 

So, we have been using PocketFinders for our secondary trackers. These
have worked well in the past to find our payloads once on the ground.

The PF has worked well but some of the rules in regards to the PF are changing.
We knew that day would come. 
______________________________________________________________

Jim,

Could you please elaborate just a little about why you're quitting the
PocketFinder system?

I see that 2G is going away, but there's a new device being offered that will still
work (the company claims) for years to come. 

$159 to buy on of those new ones.  Is it because the price has gone up from what the
2G-only device you have now cost?

I'm only guessing from your wording "some of the rules in regards to the PF are
changing" that there may be more to it than just the 2G to 3G transition.

Hank




--

-----------------------------
Classroom Website

High Altitude Balloon Class
First middle school in the world to float a super pressure balloon around the globe.
Nationally recognized STEM program. Winner of Samsung Solve for Tomorrow in 2013.

Re: ABQ gas balloon race in progress

Hank Riley
 

Wow, four balloons above 13,000 feet and one, Gas 1, around 15.3 and 15.4 kfeet!

"At cabin altitudes above 14,000 feet pilots must use oxygen at all times."

And most people would want to use oxygen before 13 kFeet, so I guess
many in today's race are fully O2 masked up.

It must be doggone cold, too.  Would like to see what they look like
at altitude with respect to clothing.

Just found this relevant info from the FAQ.  No mention of clothing
or heat sources, if any (doubt any allowed for safety reasons).  Surprising
about the "not hungry" effect.

They’re confined in a very small space for three days of what one pilot
drolly terms “aerial camping.”  Almost all the teams say that since they
are on oxygen and not moving around much, they are seldom hungry.

Hank

Gas balloon race

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

This could get very interesting.  The two northern balloons are headed into very rugged territory in Quebec and Labrador.  If they maintain altitude, they'll be on the Labrador coast tomorrow morning.  I *presume* they'll land on the coast rather than try anything transatlantic.  

Not a lot of roads to bring a recovery crew in with.

73 de Mark N9XTN





America’s Challenge balloons eclipse last year’s distances / good misc. balloon facts

Hank Riley
 

[ entire article at Albuquerque Journal website at this link ]


America’s Challenge balloons eclipse last year’s distances

By Rick Nathanson / Journal Staff Writer
Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 7:21pm
Rer100917g
Hydrogen balloons participating in the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race begin the lengthy inflation process Saturday afternoon at Balloon Fiesta Park. Eight balloons, each with a team of two people, began launching around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. (ROBERTO E. ROSALES/JOURNAL)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Nearly all of the balloons competing in the 2017 America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race eclipsed the distance traveled by last year’s winning team, Peter Cuneo and Barbara Fricke — including Cuneo and Fricke.

Last year, the team traveled 866 miles, setting down west of Hannibal, Mo., after a flight of 54 hours and 39 minutes.

All of the teams this year generally were headed in a northeasterly direction, with many on course to cross the Great Lakes and continue into Canada. All but one had exceeded 1,000 miles by Monday evening.

Winners of the America’s Challenge are determined solely by the distance traveled. The distance record of 1,998 miles was set in 2000 by David and Alan Leven of the United States, said race spokeswoman Kim Vesely.

There are no cash prizes associated with the America’s Challenge Gas Balloon Race; the top three teams from the United States, however, qualify to participate in the Coupe Aeronautique Gordon Bennett, the world’s premier gas balloon distance race. It will be held next year in Switzerland, Vesely said.

Balloons in the America’s Challenge race contain about 37,000 cubic feet of hydrogen gas, about half the volume of a small hot air balloon. They can fly up to 18,000 feet in altitude, according to race rules. Pilots adjust for altitude by releasing ballast — sand from sandbags or water from containers — in order to ascend; they descend by venting gas from the balloon.

The teams sit in open baskets, which do not have to be made from wicker but generally are. They carry enough food and water for the race duration, as well as protective clothing, a camping toilet, a night vision scope, a range finder to determine altitude in the dark, lights, a satellite phone and an emergency locator beacon.


Gas #6: Video of Fribourg Freiburg Challenge inflation, liftoff, and flight

Hank Riley
 

Shows a plain, old fashioned wicker basket just as the FAQ said.

I'm thinking it's still flying but out of VHF radio range starting Sunday in the Quebec boonies
and continuing today.

They use hydrogen nowadays. 

FAQ says it's often cheaper in parts of Europe than in US.  Why would that be?





America's Challenge update

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

It looks like -6 (Sciboz/Tieche) elected to land in a relatively accessible area north of Labrador City.  -1 (Fricke/Cuneo) also just landed in northern Vermont.

-4 is in southern Quebec, but would have to aim for Newfoundland in order to beat -6 for distance (if that's far enough, not sure).  -3 is over Pennsylvania and is headed for roughly the NYC metro, probably will land west of there.

73 de Mark N9XTN

YouTube Video of Balloon Launch from a Drone

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I recorded the launch of my last balloon from a drone. The quad couldn't keep up, but it still managed over 20 seconds of recording. Below is the link.

Since this is a QuickTime movie, I had no way to edit it down. Sorry about the extra footage.


Project Loon in PR

Joe WB9SBD
 

MS #1137: New event posted to 2017 Academic High Altitude Conference

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

AHAC has posted the poster that U Mn and I produced from data collected during the eclipse.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Administrators of 2017 Academic High Altitude Conference" <editors-ahac-1137@...>
Date: Oct 26, 2017 6:17 AM
Subject: MS #1137: New event posted to 2017 Academic High Altitude Conference
To: "L. Paul Verhage" <nearsys@...>, "Michael Waataja" <waata010@...>, "Austin Eiler" <eiler084@...>, "James Flaten" <flate001@...>
Cc: "The Administrators" <editors-ahac-1137@...>



Dear L. Paul Verhage, Michael Waataja, Austin Eiler, and James Flaten,

Your event "Studying a Total Solar Eclipse in Multiple Wavelengths from a Near-Space Platform" (MS #1137) has been posted to 2017 Academic High Altitude Conference.

http://via.library.depaul.edu/ahac/2017/poster1/8

Want to maximize readership? Improve the Google rank of your event by putting its title, formatted as a link, on your personal or departmental webpage at your institution.

Drone Video

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Last weekend I flew my drone at the Oregon Coast (Yachats, OR) and took the opportunity to record video looking down over the waves. Normally, I don't get an impression of how far out the waves begin, so the view from above is pretty neat (but you don't get an idea of how high the waves are). It was overcast and foggy Saturday, so the ocean is pretty gray. I'm looking forward to a sunnier video next year.

Here's a link to the video,  https://youtu.be/jUlNdfarfVA

--
Dr. L. Paul Verhage
Near Space Evangelist

Academic High Altitude Conference.

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

AHAC 2017 was held last week. Here's a link to the poster that Dr. Flaten's team at the University of Minnesota and I put together. http://via.library.depaul.edu/ahac/2017/poster1/8/

Re: Academic High Altitude Conference.

Hank Riley
 

Any chance of some of the images being made available at a website 
or uploaded to the GPSL photo section?

Yasme Excellence Awards

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Bill Brown and I are 2017 recipients of the Yasme Excellence Awards for our promotion of amatuer radio high altitude ballooning. 


The Yasme Foundation supports the use and promotion of amatuer radio. Check out their website when you get a chance.

Tallahassee Elementary School Launching High Altitude Balloons

Keith Kaiser, WA0̷TJT
 



Begin forwarded message:

From: "Eick, Monique" <eickm@...>
Subject: Tallahassee Elementary School Launching High Altitude Balloons
Date: November 13, 2017 at 9:29:02 PM CST

To whom it may concern,
 
I am an elementary school teacher from Tallahassee FL. We have been launching high altitude balloons at our school for the past 4 years and are looking to continuously improve our program with our students.
 
Specifically I’m looking for recommendations regarding technology placed on balloons for tracking the balloons. We had some issues with our tech last year and are hoping to rectify some of those issues this year.
 
We have purchased our flight computers and ARPS radio transmitters from High Altitude Science in the past, however some of the items we need for our flights this year are out of stock. We also had some issues with the ARPS radio transmitters cutting out as well as the flight computers powering off mid-flight, as well as some technical issues with our flight computers and gopros cutting off early.
 
Our launch is scheduled for March 9th, 2018. 
 
Our students are always so excited to watch the launch and recovery of our high altitude balloons. We have also livestreamed the event for the past two years so that other schools in our county, state, and across the country to participate in the launch and recovery of our weather balloons and our students have made science videos to get other students excited about STEM learning. Our event website is www.soarintoscience.com
 
Any assistance or tips you could lend us would be greatly appreciated!
 
Thank you for your time and assistance in helping make our launch successful again this year!
 
 
Monique Eick
4th Grade Teacher
Buck Lake Elementary
 

*SUNSHINE LAW AND PUBLIC RECORDS CAUTION: Florida has a very broad Public Records Law. Virtually all written communications to or from School Board of Leon County, Florida Personnel are public records available to the public and media upon request. E-mail sent or received on the LCSB system will be considered public and will only be withheld from disclosure if deemed confidential pursuant to State Law. Individual student records are deemed confidential.

Keith, WA0̷TJT



BalloonSats without Borders (BwB)

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I've exchanged BalloonSats with Willunga high school in South Australia. Soon I hope, we'll launch each other's BalloonSats and then return them.

I'd like to line up more BalloonSat exchanges between countries as soon as I return the Willunga BalloonSat. Is anyone interested in exchanging BalloonSats with me for a flight? 

I have created a 3D printed medallion to accompany the near space flights. I'll be happy to send one or make the STL file available. In addition, I have started a blog for BalloonSats without Borders at BalloonSats.blogspot.com. In the flight between the US and Australia we have also exchanged pens, coins, and lapel pins. We want to add a little extra gun to the exchange.

I'm really hoping this will become a regular occurance where students and amateur scientists can share exploration and a global conversion. Please let me know if you'd like to participate and if you've done something like this before.

Thanks

Re: BalloonSats without Borders (BwB)

Keith Kaiser, WA0̷TJT
 

This sounds like a great program Paul. Nice work!

73
Keith, WA0TJT

On Nov 15, 2017, at 8:44 PM, 'L. Paul Verhage' nearsys@... [GPSL] <GPSL-noreply@...> wrote:


I've exchanged BalloonSats with Willunga high school in South Australia. Soon I hope, we'll launch each other's BalloonSats and then return them.

I'd like to line up more BalloonSat exchanges between countries as soon as I return the Willunga BalloonSat. Is anyone interested in exchanging BalloonSats with me for a flight? 

I have created a 3D printed medallion to accompany the near space flights. I'll be happy to send one or make the STL file available. In addition, I have started a blog for BalloonSats without Borders at BalloonSats.blogspot.com. In the flight between the US and Australia we have also exchanged pens, coins, and lapel pins. We want to add a little extra gun to the exchange.

I'm really hoping this will become a regular occurance where students and amateur scientists can share exploration and a global conversion. Please let me know if you'd like to participate and if you've done something like this before.

Thanks


Keith, WA0̷TJT



First Private Electric Car to Mars

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Here's a link to Elin Musk's plan to send a Tesla Roadster to Mars (or at least to a Mars passing orbit).

ATV

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Does anyone fly amateur television anymore? What about digital? It seems to me that digital requires a PC and that's not practical on a balloon flight. Thanks

Re: ATV

Michael Hojnowski
 

On 12/4/2017 8:33 AM, 'L. Paul Verhage' nearsys@... [GPSL] wrote:
 
Does anyone fly amateur television anymore? What about digital? It seems to me that digital requires a PC and that's not practical on a balloon flight. Thanks

I've had the gear for about 2 years.  I just haven't gotten 'round to it, as it's a significant investment in the payload.  I launched a HAB from a local hamfest last year, and sparked a lot of interest in balloons. I may talk to the hamfest organizers about launching an ATV flight next year.  It might be fun if they had a ground station at the fest that could monitor the flight after launch.

Mike

Re: ATV

Michael Hojnowski
 

Joe,

Funny you should mention GPS.  Ya, that was causing me problems as I tested my payload.  I wired up an on-screen display module, with the intent to overlay Lat / Long / Altitude data on the picture.  It works great with a low power transmitter.  When I put my "big" transmitter on there, the GPS wouldn't get a lock.  I need to rethink my payload setup and get the GPS module away from the transmit antenna, and maybe think about some shielding.  Between that, and being hesitant about the expense in the event of a lost payload, that's when I set it all aside.

Mike / KD2EAT

On 12/4/2017 11:05 AM, Joe wrote:
ATV flights is the heart of all this ballooning stuff! It's mostly all we did way back in the beginning what 30 years ago now, UG! I've been doing these things for 30 years!?

ATV is TOUGH tho to do good. People are sooo used to the new TV where pictures are always PERFECT. an ATV from a Balloon will NEVER be perfect. Even right after liftoff when the payload is only 100 yards away. Multipath can rip the signal to shreds even tho it's incredibly strong!

I would do a Video flight of your own before doing a public one so you can see what your results would be.

The biggest recv antenna ya can get is a MUST as well as a high gain low noise preamp. AT THE ANTENNA

There is a REASON TV stations run megawatts!

Also if you plan on using a GPS system. Place it in a totally separate from the ATV transmitter, from 50+ flights with GPS's onboard, the only times we had ANY trouble with a GPS, is when we were running an ATV transmitter. separating them cured that issue.

Joe WB9SBD

The Original Rolling Ball Clock
Idle Tyme
Idle-Tyme.com
http://www.idle-tyme.com

On 12/4/2017 9:40 AM, Michael Hojnowski kd2eat@... [GPSL] wrote:
On 12/4/2017 8:33 AM, 'L. Paul Verhage' nearsys@... [GPSL] wrote:
 
Does anyone fly amateur television anymore? What about digital? It seems to me that digital requires a PC and that's not practical on a balloon flight. Thanks

I've had the gear for about 2 years.  I just haven't gotten 'round to it, as it's a significant investment in the payload.  I launched a HAB from a local hamfest last year, and sparked a lot of interest in balloons. I may talk to the hamfest organizers about launching an ATV flight next year.  It might be fun if they had a ground station at the fest that could monitor the flight after launch.

Mike