Date   
Re: Lesson Learned

Michael
 

GPSL 2016:

My intention was to be able to help a team in need in case they had a tree magnet payload or other issue to overcome. I had loaded my truck with everything but a canoe, and - well as luck would have it, we needed the canoe. :)

The main issue I faced from a support perspective was that feedback from the field was sketchy at best, and the teams that had trouble were in a dead zone for RF or other issues. It would have been nice to know who was in good shape and who was in trouble, and the only one I knew was really in trouble needed the canoe - which we used a day or two later without success... :)

After giving this some thought, I could have advertised my ability to help much better and asked for check ins periodically from those teams that might want assistance. To overcome the RF dead zone issues, perhaps setting up an 80 meter NVIS would help. 80 meters on an auto is already NVIS :) so I am thinking a "net control" person at HQ someplace with a real NVIS antenna could then better communicate to the field any needs. From a safety standpoint, I think this could be very beneficial.

I think the EOSS group utilize a "net control" type of communication. Perhaps they have input on their processes and experiences.

--Michael
K5NOT



On 6/18/2018 5:59 PM, Hank Riley via Groups.Io wrote:
better wording:

Could you please elaborate just a little on your experience in 2016?

What specifically were the main things that didn't work and why?   This will inform future hosts and organizers about what to expect and improved methods and strategies to try.
________________________________________________

Michael <mw@...> wrote:

I tried to improve this at GPSL 2016 by being "the one person". It did not work out so well.


-- 
Michael Willett
Mobile: 214-578-2400
mw@...
www.advancedsourcinginc.com

Re: Recommended Tracking Equipment for a HAB

Bill Brown
 

Hi Jason,

  I always recommend the Trace unit from FindMeSpot. It is well worth the price and works from ground level directly to orbiting satellites. It won't give you a good track during flight since it is limited to about 40,000 feet or so and does not report altitude but I always fly one as a backup locator. Also once on the ground it will report a few times and then it will report its position every 24 hours in case someone picks up your payloads, you will be able to find where it went. I have been testing one for over a year now inside my house and it reports every day and after one year it has finally been sending out a low battery message but still is working.

 I have been flying my Skytracker pico balloon APRS tracker without the solar panels and instead using a 3-cell AAA lithium pack with great results for regular latex balloon flights. It weighs a couple of ounces when packaged up with styrofoam or bubble wrap. Although it is low power (25 milliwatts) the nature of short packet bursts via the APRS mode allows it to compete with much stronger transmitters. I've compared it against a 1-watt APRS transmitter and it never missed a report during several test flights. I've been offering them for $149 for those who would like to try one with the battery pack (no batteries inside since I can't ship lithium batteries) if you are interested. It transmits once every minute. It is a ready to fly unit complete with built-in GPS receiver and guitar string antenna wires. It also transmits on 144.340 MHz as well as the national frequency of 144.390 so it is easy to DF the 144.340 MHz frequency if not quite strong enough to decode the packets.

However, I would recommend flying two separate APRS trackers and one FindMeSpot Trace unit for best reliability.

- Bill WB8ELK




-----Original Message-----
From: Jason Unwin via Groups.Io <generalripper_1999@...>
To: GPSL <GPSL@groups.io>
Sent: Tue, Jun 19, 2018 11:31 am
Subject: [GPSL] Recommended Tracking Equipment for a HAB

Our Civil Air Patrol unit in Oklahoma is trying to organize a high altitude balloon launch for its cadets. We are trying to accomplish the following goals for the equipment:
 
1. APRS position reporting with a back up.
2. Radio beacon with back up if the APRS fails.
3. Simple to operate and turn on so that there is not a lot of training involved to operate it.
4. Ideally, as low cost as possible so we can afford the helium. Hydrogen is out of the question.
 
Here are some possible equipment options we were thinking of using:
 
Sansonic APRS Tracker
 
MicroTrak 1000
 
Micro Fox 15
 
Tracksoar Ready To Fly
 
 
We also have access to a Raspberry PI kit with the following:
 
Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that helps teach programming through a variety of practical projects. Included in the Civil Air Patrol STEM Kit:
 
    Raspberry Pi Core Kit
    Real Time clock breakout board kit
    Blue & White 16x2 LCD + Keypad kit
    GPS Breakout
    Touchscreen
    Sensor Pack
    Camera Board
 
Are there any other things we could use? I realize this is a little subjective but we are looking for simple, reliable, and ideally moderately priced equipment.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
--
 
 
Major Jason B. Unwin, CAP
Muskogee Composite Squadron,Professional Development Officer
Aerospace Education Officer
©918-616-0578
U.S. Air Force Auxiliary
gocivilairpatrol.com

Re: Recommended Tracking Equipment for a HAB

Steve G8KHW / AJ4XE
 

If your using a Raspberry Pi why not consider the Raspberry Pi  Pi-In-The-Sky APRS variant:

    https://store.uputronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=62&product_id=52

    Steve G8KHW



On 19/06/2018 17:31, Jason Unwin via Groups.Io wrote:

Our Civil Air Patrol unit in Oklahoma is trying to organize a high altitude balloon launch for its cadets. We are trying to accomplish the following goals for the equipment:

 

1. APRS position reporting with a back up.

2. Radio beacon with back up if the APRS fails.

3. Simple to operate and turn on so that there is not a lot of training involved to operate it.

4. Ideally, as low cost as possible so we can afford the helium. Hydrogen is out of the question.

 

Here are some possible equipment options we were thinking of using:

 

Sansonic APRS Tracker

 

MicroTrak 1000

 

Micro Fox 15

 

Tracksoar Ready To Fly

 

 

We also have access to a Raspberry PI kit with the following:

 

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that helps teach programming through a variety of practical projects. Included in the Civil Air Patrol STEM Kit:

 

    Raspberry Pi Core Kit

    Real Time clock breakout board kit

    Blue & White 16x2 LCD + Keypad kit

    GPS Breakout

    Touchscreen

    Sensor Pack

    Camera Board

 

Are there any other things we could use? I realize this is a little subjective but we are looking for simple, reliable, and ideally moderately priced equipment.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

--

 

 

Major Jason B. Unwin, CAP

Muskogee Composite Squadron,Professional Development Officer

Aerospace Education Officer

©918-616-0578

U.S. Air Force Auxiliary

gocivilairpatrol.com

http://www.okwgcap.org/25010

Website: http://www.okwgcap.org/161709_2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MuskogeeCAP/?ref=br_rs


-- 
Steve Randall
Random Engineering Ltd
steve@...
+44 7802 242135

This e-mail and any attachments are confidential and may also be privileged.
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Re: Recommended Tracking Equipment for a HAB

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

What about using a PICAXE or BASIC Stamp to teach programming? They use BASIC which is an easier programming language to learn.


On Tue, Jun 19, 2018, 10:31 AM Jason Unwin via Groups.Io <generalripper_1999=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

Our Civil Air Patrol unit in Oklahoma is trying to organize a high altitude balloon launch for its cadets. We are trying to accomplish the following goals for the equipment:

 

1. APRS position reporting with a back up.

2. Radio beacon with back up if the APRS fails.

3. Simple to operate and turn on so that there is not a lot of training involved to operate it.

4. Ideally, as low cost as possible so we can afford the helium. Hydrogen is out of the question.

 

Here are some possible equipment options we were thinking of using:

 

Sansonic APRS Tracker

 

MicroTrak 1000

 

Micro Fox 15

 

Tracksoar Ready To Fly

 

 

We also have access to a Raspberry PI kit with the following:

 

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that helps teach programming through a variety of practical projects. Included in the Civil Air Patrol STEM Kit:

 

    Raspberry Pi Core Kit

    Real Time clock breakout board kit

    Blue & White 16x2 LCD + Keypad kit

    GPS Breakout

    Touchscreen

    Sensor Pack

    Camera Board

 

Are there any other things we could use? I realize this is a little subjective but we are looking for simple, reliable, and ideally moderately priced equipment.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

--

 

 

Major Jason B. Unwin, CAP

Muskogee Composite Squadron,Professional Development Officer

Aerospace Education Officer

©918-616-0578

U.S. Air Force Auxiliary

gocivilairpatrol.com

http://www.okwgcap.org/25010

Website: http://www.okwgcap.org/161709_2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MuskogeeCAP/?ref=br_rs

Recommended Tracking Equipment for a HAB

Jason Unwin
 

Our Civil Air Patrol unit in Oklahoma is trying to organize a high altitude balloon launch for its cadets. We are trying to accomplish the following goals for the equipment:

 

1. APRS position reporting with a back up.

2. Radio beacon with back up if the APRS fails.

3. Simple to operate and turn on so that there is not a lot of training involved to operate it.

4. Ideally, as low cost as possible so we can afford the helium. Hydrogen is out of the question.

 

Here are some possible equipment options we were thinking of using:

 

Sansonic APRS Tracker

 

MicroTrak 1000

 

Micro Fox 15

 

Tracksoar Ready To Fly

 

 

We also have access to a Raspberry PI kit with the following:

 

Raspberry Pi is a tiny computer that helps teach programming through a variety of practical projects. Included in the Civil Air Patrol STEM Kit:

 

    Raspberry Pi Core Kit

    Real Time clock breakout board kit

    Blue & White 16x2 LCD + Keypad kit

    GPS Breakout

    Touchscreen

    Sensor Pack

    Camera Board

 

Are there any other things we could use? I realize this is a little subjective but we are looking for simple, reliable, and ideally moderately priced equipment.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

--

 

 

Major Jason B. Unwin, CAP

Muskogee Composite Squadron,Professional Development Officer

Aerospace Education Officer

©918-616-0578

U.S. Air Force Auxiliary

gocivilairpatrol.com

http://www.okwgcap.org/25010

Website: http://www.okwgcap.org/161709_2

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MuskogeeCAP/?ref=br_rs

Re: EOSS

Thomas Londrigan
 

The trail was restricted to small ATVs and motorcycles.  Large gate at the top and barriers at the bottom. 


On Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 9:36 PM James Ewen VE6SRV <ve6srv@...> wrote:
That looks like it could have been a fun adventure... it's not often
that one can say that they trekked up to the headwaters of Whangdoodle
Creek to recover their Near-Space payload.

It looks like that two wheeled track along the ridge was big enough
for a vehicle... was that the case?

It always looks easy on Google Earth to get to places on these ridges
in the US... there are always tracks all over the place!

James
VE6SRV


On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 8:23 PM, Thomas Londrigan <lawndragon@...> wrote:
> Attached is a photo from the adjacent ridge near lick creek road.  Kirkham
> trail is visible below the ridge, the payload was over the ridge.
>
> On Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 8:19 PM Lawndragon Ulysses <lawndragon@...>
> wrote:
>>
>> EOSS recovered our payloads at N 44 05.72 W 115 30.21, altitude
>> approximately 5800ft.  Hands on the payload was at 1910 hours.  Once we
>> realized we had a slow ascent rate,we drove up highway 21 to Idaho City.  We
>> were able to receive transmissions after the beacons were on the ground from
>> highway 21 east of Lowman.
>>
>> It was approximately 0.8 miles from hwy 21 and 1.3 miles from lick creek
>> road, and 1800 ft above the highway. We had downloaded the Boise National
>> forest maps prior to leaving Boise.  A 3.5 mile hike up Kirkham trail and a
>> climb up over a 300ft ridge were required to reach the payload.
>>
>> The entire team had good comms on simplex.  While in Boise we had good
>> comms on the 444.900 repeater, and a local ham provided info on the 145.310
>> repeater which provided coverage around lowman.
>>
>> On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 8:41 PM jcbiggerstaff <jim.biggerstaff@...>
>> wrote:
>>>
>>> Seems to me, since many of you have amateur radio licenses, amateur radio
>>> would be a great way to stay in contact when those darn cell phones fail  :)
>>> 73,  Jim   N0TKN
>
>



Re: EOSS

James Ewen VE6SRV
 

That looks like it could have been a fun adventure... it's not often
that one can say that they trekked up to the headwaters of Whangdoodle
Creek to recover their Near-Space payload.

It looks like that two wheeled track along the ridge was big enough
for a vehicle... was that the case?

It always looks easy on Google Earth to get to places on these ridges
in the US... there are always tracks all over the place!

James
VE6SRV

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 8:23 PM, Thomas Londrigan <lawndragon@...> wrote:
Attached is a photo from the adjacent ridge near lick creek road. Kirkham
trail is visible below the ridge, the payload was over the ridge.

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 8:19 PM Lawndragon Ulysses <lawndragon@...>
wrote:

EOSS recovered our payloads at N 44 05.72 W 115 30.21, altitude
approximately 5800ft. Hands on the payload was at 1910 hours. Once we
realized we had a slow ascent rate,we drove up highway 21 to Idaho City. We
were able to receive transmissions after the beacons were on the ground from
highway 21 east of Lowman.

It was approximately 0.8 miles from hwy 21 and 1.3 miles from lick creek
road, and 1800 ft above the highway. We had downloaded the Boise National
forest maps prior to leaving Boise. A 3.5 mile hike up Kirkham trail and a
climb up over a 300ft ridge were required to reach the payload.

The entire team had good comms on simplex. While in Boise we had good
comms on the 444.900 repeater, and a local ham provided info on the 145.310
repeater which provided coverage around lowman.

On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 8:41 PM jcbiggerstaff <jim.biggerstaff@...>
wrote:

Seems to me, since many of you have amateur radio licenses, amateur radio
would be a great way to stay in contact when those darn cell phones fail :)
73, Jim N0TKN

Re: EOSS

Thomas Londrigan
 

Attached is a photo from the adjacent ridge near lick creek road.  Kirkham trail is visible below the ridge, the payload was over the ridge.  


On Mon, Jun 18, 2018, 8:19 PM Lawndragon Ulysses <lawndragon@...> wrote:
EOSS recovered our payloads at N 44 05.72 W 115 30.21, altitude approximately 5800ft.  Hands on the payload was at 1910 hours.  Once we realized we had a slow ascent rate,we drove up highway 21 to Idaho City.  We were able to receive transmissions after the beacons were on the ground from highway 21 east of Lowman.

It was approximately 0.8 miles from hwy 21 and 1.3 miles from lick creek road, and 1800 ft above the highway. We had downloaded the Boise National forest maps prior to leaving Boise.  A 3.5 mile hike up Kirkham trail and a climb up over a 300ft ridge were required to reach the payload.

The entire team had good comms on simplex.  While in Boise we had good comms on the 444.900 repeater, and a local ham provided info on the 145.310 repeater which provided coverage around lowman. 

On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 8:41 PM jcbiggerstaff <jim.biggerstaff@...> wrote:
Seems to me, since many of you have amateur radio licenses, amateur radio would be a great way to stay in contact when those darn cell phones fail  :)
73,  Jim   N0TKN

Re: EOSS

Thomas Londrigan
 

EOSS recovered our payloads at N 44 05.72 W 115 30.21, altitude approximately 5800ft.  Hands on the payload was at 1910 hours.  Once we realized we had a slow ascent rate,we drove up highway 21 to Idaho City.  We were able to receive transmissions after the beacons were on the ground from highway 21 east of Lowman.

It was approximately 0.8 miles from hwy 21 and 1.3 miles from lick creek road, and 1800 ft above the highway. We had downloaded the Boise National forest maps prior to leaving Boise.  A 3.5 mile hike up Kirkham trail and a climb up over a 300ft ridge were required to reach the payload.

The entire team had good comms on simplex.  While in Boise we had good comms on the 444.900 repeater, and a local ham provided info on the 145.310 repeater which provided coverage around lowman. 

On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 8:41 PM jcbiggerstaff <jim.biggerstaff@...> wrote:
Seems to me, since many of you have amateur radio licenses, amateur radio would be a great way to stay in contact when those darn cell phones fail  :)
73,  Jim   N0TKN

Re: Lesson Learned

Mark Conner N9XTN
 

One of the main issues in GPSL 2016 (and perhaps this year too) were extensive RF holes.  In 2016 our balloon landed in an area with no repeater or cell service.  We had good RF tracking of the balloon to landing, so that didn't interfere with recovery.  However, we'd have had to drive to RF coverage to contact the outside world.  EOSS could easily have encountered the same thing on the drive into the mountains.

Using the hashtag #GPSL2018 was a good attempt to share on Twitter, but it's easy to forget the hashtag in the head of the moment (I did a lot).

Twitter is a good medium for sharing real-time news snippets but it requires some organization.  Having someone *not chasing* be the person to coordinate on Twitter is a good idea.  But it also requires at least one person on each chase team to be able to send updates, preferably via Twitter.

We do have available @superlaunch as a central Twitter account to use for this event, but it hasn't been used since 2015.

73 de Mark N9XTN


On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 5:53 PM Hank Riley via Groups.Io <n1ltv=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Michael,

Could you please elaborate just a little on your experience in 2016?

What specifically were the main things that didn't work and why?   This will inform future hosts and organizers about what to expect and methods and strategies.

Hank
________________________________________________

Michael <mw@...> wrote:

I tried to improve this at GPSL 2016 by being "the one person". It did not work out so well.

Re: Lesson Learned

Jerry
 

I think the main thing we didn't do is assign people to chase a specific balloon.  Or at least a "lead" person for each balloon to coordinate the activity around that balloon.


On Sat, Jun 16, 2018 at 10:27 PM, L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
<nearsys@...> wrote:
At conferences, we need to be better at staying in contact with each team. Perhaps one person should be assigned this task.

Glad to see EOSS went out with a team.

Re: Lesson Learned

Hank Riley
 

better wording:

Could you please elaborate just a little on your experience in 2016?

What specifically were the main things that didn't work and why?   This will inform future hosts and organizers about what to expect and improved methods and strategies to try.
________________________________________________

Michael <mw@...> wrote:

I tried to improve this at GPSL 2016 by being "the one person". It did not work out so well.

Re: Lesson Learned

Hank Riley
 

Michael,

Could you please elaborate just a little on your experience in 2016?

What specifically were the main things that didn't work and why?   This will inform future hosts and organizers about what to expect and methods and strategies.

Hank
________________________________________________

Michael <mw@...> wrote:

I tried to improve this at GPSL 2016 by being "the one person". It did not work out so well.

Re: Lesson Learned

Michael
 


I tried to improve this at GPSL 2016 by being "the one person". It did not work out so well.

But along those lines, I think if each team could assign a person to post on say, a GPSL twitter recovery thread or just text in to a main POC to be re-tweeted, -  that might be a great step in the general direction.



On 6/17/2018 12:26 AM, L. Paul Verhage KD4STH wrote:
At conferences, we need to be better at staying in contact with each team. Perhaps one person should be assigned this task.

Glad to see EOSS went out with a team.

-- 
Michael Willett
Mobile: 214-578-2400
mw@...
www.advancedsourcinginc.com

Re: Presentations from GPSL 2018

Hank Riley
 

I changed to a 75 MB file as a test upload and it was accepted by Groups.io nicely in an elapsed time of 27 minutes, roughly half my DSL download speed.

So GPSL should be able to accommodate the powerpoints.

Re: Some Images from Saturday's Flight

John Kovac KM6GKF
 

Awesome, thanks Paul.



From: L. Paul Verhage KD4STH <nearsys@...>
To: GPSL@groups.io; Don Lynn <don_lynn@...>; Gordon Wilmoth <gordonwilmoth@...>; Bill Ebener <BEbener@...>
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 11:42 AM
Subject: [GPSL] Some Images from Saturday's Flight

Here are some screen captures from the balloon that reached 95,900 feet. These are of the Mr. Potatohead/GPSL 2018 sign.

--
Dr. L. Paul Verhage
Near Space Evangelist


Some Images from Saturday's Flight

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

Here are some screen captures from the balloon that reached 95,900 feet. These are of the Mr. Potatohead/GPSL 2018 sign.

--
Dr. L. Paul Verhage
Near Space Evangelist

Re: Presentations from GPSL 2018

Hank Riley
 

20 Meg file accepted no problem.  Doing a 100 MB file now but with my garden variety DSL speed it could take 30 minutes or more.  At least Groups.io did not complain and is in progress now.

Note that there is no progress bar on the Groups.io upload page, so it may look as if there is a lockup but it will only report success when the whole file has been finished.  Also ISP download and upload speeds are typically not identical, and uploading is never faster and usually slower, often much slower.

Groups.io will likely be able to accept these powerpoints.

Re: Presentations from GPSL 2018

Hank Riley
 

I would think the GPSL files section would be a sensible place.

A very quick look with Google did not come up with an official limit on either individual or total megabyte limits, but in another groups.io I quickly found a 9 megabyte file.  The total bytes used at that groups.io was already up to 125 megabytes.

I'll try uploading 25 and 50 megabyte test files to one of my groups.io file sections and see if that's accepted.  Powerpoints can exceed that size with many included (excessively) hi-res photos, but that could be a start to knowing the limits for groups.io.

Paul, what is the largest powerpoint you have in the set?
_________________________________________________________________

<nearsys@...> wrote:

I have the copies. I just need to find a place to post them.

Re: Presentations from GPSL 2018

L. Paul Verhage KD4STH
 

I have the copies. I just need to find a place to post them.


On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 10:09 PM L. Paul Verhage KD4STH <nearsys@...> wrote:
I will make a note to copy them off the PC. Then I need to find a place to post them online.

On Sun, Jun 17, 2018, 9:57 PM <goldsmith@...> wrote:
Will anyone be posting the PowerPoint presentations from the conference?  Those of us who could not attend would love to see them.

Chuck / KG5CA
StratoCasters