Date   

Re: Help with Balloon Launch Presentation Saturday 9:00 Mentor Fest

John Dinneen
 

Glad to hear you are OK.

Wish I could help, but in Colorado this weekend.

 

73

 

John F Dinneen  KCØL

john.dinneen@...

kc0l@...

Home: 469.362.1942

Cell:    214.797.3399

 

From: PARKBalloon@K5PRK.groups.io <PARKBalloon@K5PRK.groups.io> On Behalf Of AE5IB (Kip)
Sent: Thursday, October 7, 2021 5:12 PM
To: PARKBalloon@k5prk.groups.io
Subject: [PARKBalloon] Help with Balloon Launch Presentation Saturday 9:00 Mentor Fest

 

I am scheduled to speak at Mentor Fest Saturday at 9 a.m.  and at 2 p.m.

As many of you may or may not know, I have been in the hospital from Saturday until today.  Yesterday I got an Aortic Valve replaced with the TAVR procedure and today I am out of the hospital.

I cannot lift more than 10 lbs and cannot drive today and tomorrow. (Thursday and Friday)

Andrew Koenig said he would make the 2:00 p.m. presentation, but I am looking for someone to make the 9:00 presentation. The slides are done, and we have example payloads for show and tell. Andrew made the slides for the DACARA meeting in August or September.

Can anyone help?

 

Kip


Help with Balloon Launch Presentation Saturday 9:00 Mentor Fest

AE5IB (Kip)
 

I am scheduled to speak at Mentor Fest Saturday at 9 a.m.  and at 2 p.m.

As many of you may or may not know, I have been in the hospital from Saturday until today.  Yesterday I got an Aortic Valve replaced with the TAVR procedure and today I am out of the hospital.

I cannot lift more than 10 lbs and cannot drive today and tomorrow. (Thursday and Friday)

Andrew Koenig said he would make the 2:00 p.m. presentation, but I am looking for someone to make the 9:00 presentation. The slides are done, and we have example payloads for show and tell. Andrew made the slides for the DACARA meeting in August or September.

Can anyone help?

Kip


Re: Next Balloon Launch??

Tony Campbell W5ADC
 

No firm date yet.  We are still trying to find a date.

Tony
W5ADC


Next Balloon Launch??

Kilgore
 

When is the next balloon launch?

Doug Kilgore KD5OUG


Re: Hurricane Ida Weather Balloon Launch

Gary Oliver
 

Cool Andrew,
Thanks for careing…to share!
73
Gary N5GDO


Hurricane Ida Weather Balloon Launch

Andrew Koenig
 


NWS weather balloon launch Saturday (tomorrow) at 5:30pm

Travis (KI5PGM)
 

Saw this event and thought it might interest this group. 


https://facebook.com/events/s/nws-fort-worth-weather-balloon/528478018230616/


Re: Video of the 7/24 Launch

Randall Patrick
 

Jason,

Great video.  I watched it as soon as I got home today.  For those of us who couldn't be out there it was cool to follow along.  

Randall Patrick, CPA
Flower Mound, TX 75028
KG5VQZ
972-876-2444





On Thu, Aug 5, 2021 at 8:30 PM Jason Johnston <kc5hwb@...> wrote:
This video went live today on my channel.  Thanks for allowing me to record it.  I've already had some really cool feedback, the viewers liked it alot.  I look forward to attending the next one


Video of the 7/24 Launch

Jason Johnston
 

This video went live today on my channel.  Thanks for allowing me to record it.  I've already had some really cool feedback, the viewers liked it alot.  I look forward to attending the next one


Re: Payload work

Nick McCarthy
 

A simpler option for the beeper, instead of relying on GPS would be to use an accelerometer, and not start beeping until motion drops below a threshold. You could even have it beep a Callsign in CW

On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 20:35 Kipton Moravec <kip@...> wrote:
Today I worked on my payload for the next flight.

I was hoping to have something for yesterday, but I had too many
unforseen issues at the end.

With no pressure I worked on the beeper. I had the HW built, but not the
software.

The idea was to have a beeper that would help locate the payload when it
was on the ground. I got the loudest one I could find around 115 db, and
hooked it up.

It has 4 wires. +V, and a ground for 3 different kinds of beeps. One is
a constant tone, and other os a fast beeping like 4 - 6 times a second,
and last a slower tone like once or twice per second.

I was able to turn them on and off with simple digital commands.

What I was thinking, was on for 15 seconds and off for 45 seconds. That
would be long enough for you to figure out the direction, and start
walking that way, and you would get an update every minute.

Since I have a GPS I can turn it off on the ground when it is powered
up, then once it gets above a certain altitude, arm it, and when it gets
below 1000 feet after being armed, start beeping.

So I needed a way to make it work that was non blocking. Because the
Arduino was also reading the GPS data as it came in and was saving data
to the SD card every second. I did not want to screw that up for a beep.

I read about the arduino-timer library, so I started digging into it.
Not a lot of documentation, but good examples.

I was able to get it to beep like I wanted with two timer functions. One
would call a subroutine to start the beep, every minute. That subroutine
would set another timer to turn off the beep after 15 seconds. I got it
working pretty quickly.

The other issue I have been having, is how would I know if it was
working right?  Once it is on the payload string. Did it ever get GPS
lock? Was there an issue with the SD card? I found sometimes the SD card
will not open a new file. I suspect that it may have gotten interrupted
in a middle of a write to the SD card and corrupted the card, although I
was able to read the card with the PC. That is on my list of things to
bullet proof.

So I thought it might be good to have a series of beeps to signal things
were O.K. or not O.K.

I wrote a routine that would start the beeper every 250 ms. and call
another subroutine that would shut it off at either 100 ms or 200 ms
depending on the LSB of the beep code.  Then it would shift the beep
code right 1, and decrement the count. Surprisingly it worked first
try.  But did not sound very good. I found I had two issues. First the
timer is not interrupt driven. It is polled. And I needed to add the
poll command (m_timer.tick()) more than one time in the loop(). Any loop
that was waiting got the poll command. (I do not have many, because the
main wait is for the GPS second to increment to collect another sample
of data and store on the SD card)

I found by changing the timing to starting a beep every 500 ms, and a
short beep was 100 ms, and a long beep was 300 ms, I could identify a
hex number 0 to F pretty easily. (LSB first)

All the details are in the code, but all I have to do is call a
subroutine called beep_message with an integer from 0 through 15 and the
4 beeps work. The way I wrote the code I could have up to 16 beep
patterns (the size of an int), but I do not think I could decipher that
in my head.  But I could have 2, 3, or 5, beep patterns also if I want.

I feel I had a productive afternoon.

Kip



I settled on 4 beeps because I can remember a 4 beep pattern in my old
age...










Re: RWK/PHAB-17 Post Flight Review

Thomas Trissell
 

Hello Tim,

I heard you call out my callsign and started to reply when someone else started making a call and I was afraid that I had interrupted someones QSO. I also copied the APRS beacon here at the Clarksville/Red River County Airport.

73 and Congratulations on a good flight.

Tom KC5ILO

On 7/25/2021 10:38 AM, Tim Johnson K5TCJ wrote:
Congratulations everyone on a job well done.   In Lucas, I started hearing the cross-band repeater after it reactivated on the descent, and worked a few stations not in our immediate area (i.e. KC5ILO Tom in Clarksville)
Tim
K5TCJ


Re: RWK/PHAB-17 Post Flight Review

Andrew Koenig
 

Tomorrow's topic at the Denton County ARA meeting will be the RWK/PHAB-17 launch. Y'all are welcome to join in person at 7:00PM at 9060 Teasley Lane in Denton, or via Zoom with the info below. I'll have all of the payloads (minus the dropped boxed) at the meeting, and we'll take an in depth look at most elements of the launch.


73 de KE5GDB


On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 10:36 PM Andrew Koenig <ke5gdb@...> wrote:
Today's flight was a great success. Thanks to everybody that joined us at the launch site, and special thanks to everybody that stuck around for the chase. If you were able to receive anything from the balloon (DMR, crossband, APRS, or SSTV), I'd appreciate reports on how it sounded from your QTH. 

We launched from Aubrey Middle School at approximately 9:05AM, the balloon ascended at ~1200ft/min, and burst at an altitude of 90,984ft. The payload string had a textbook landing in a field just outside of Krum. The crew that hiked in to get the payloads had about a mile walk to pick them up. Fortunately the property owner was kind enough to give them a lift back to the front gate (and nobody got shot!).

Video of burst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKpugH5oKY0 (recorded on the Insta360 ONE R)

Most of the payloads worked very well. The W5ADC-11 tracker was heard by stations as far north as Kansas and as far south as Austin. The DMR single frequency repeater was the star of the flight, with the longest recorded QSO being with a station down in Missouri City (SW Houston). The crossband repeater, when functioning properly, was hopping with activity from all over as well. I have received quite a few SSTV reports. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker ("PiBalloon5") worked exactly as expected.

Like always, there were a few hiccups along the way. The launch site was a little windier than expected, which caused the payloads to drag on the ground a little bit before taking flight. Unfortunately the K5RWK-11 tracker and 6m parrot repeater were in a box that got left behind due to the payload drag and some down range obstructions. Once the balloon was in flight, the crossband repeater had some problems with interference from other sources. It also seemed to freeze at high altitudes, which was somewhat disappointing. It definitely woke back up on the descent and was repeating very well under about 30kft. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker was only received by the receiver at my house (in Richardson). The truck receiver was having problems and wasn't able to gate packets, hence why it only worked when the payloads were several thousand feet above ground.

Notes for the next launch:
* Launch away from down range obstructions
* Clean the lenses on the Insta360 camera a little better / reduce other visual obstructions (mounting hardware & charging cable)
* Choose a different crossband repeater RX frequency and maybe use a PL tone to avoid interference from the DMR repeater (some small filters too?)
* When chasing, send a single scout down the road to determine viability (who's a pro at u-turning now?)
* Fix the portable LoRa receiver

I'll follow up with a few more videos when I really figure out how to drive this Insta360 software. Be on the lookout for some video from Jason KC5HWB as well.

The PHAB-18 launch is tentatively scheduled for October 2nd. Save the date!

Flight path:
image.png

APRS stations that heard W5ADC-11:
image.png

73 de KE5GDB

--
Andrew Koenig


--
Andrew Koenig


Payload work

Kipton Moravec
 

Today I worked on my payload for the next flight.

I was hoping to have something for yesterday, but I had too many unforseen issues at the end.

With no pressure I worked on the beeper. I had the HW built, but not the software.

The idea was to have a beeper that would help locate the payload when it was on the ground. I got the loudest one I could find around 115 db, and hooked it up.

It has 4 wires. +V, and a ground for 3 different kinds of beeps. One is a constant tone, and other os a fast beeping like 4 - 6 times a second, and last a slower tone like once or twice per second.

I was able to turn them on and off with simple digital commands.

What I was thinking, was on for 15 seconds and off for 45 seconds. That would be long enough for you to figure out the direction, and start walking that way, and you would get an update every minute.

Since I have a GPS I can turn it off on the ground when it is powered up, then once it gets above a certain altitude, arm it, and when it gets below 1000 feet after being armed, start beeping.

So I needed a way to make it work that was non blocking. Because the Arduino was also reading the GPS data as it came in and was saving data to the SD card every second. I did not want to screw that up for a beep.

I read about the arduino-timer library, so I started digging into it. Not a lot of documentation, but good examples.

I was able to get it to beep like I wanted with two timer functions. One would call a subroutine to start the beep, every minute. That subroutine would set another timer to turn off the beep after 15 seconds. I got it working pretty quickly.

The other issue I have been having, is how would I know if it was working right?  Once it is on the payload string. Did it ever get GPS lock? Was there an issue with the SD card? I found sometimes the SD card will not open a new file. I suspect that it may have gotten interrupted in a middle of a write to the SD card and corrupted the card, although I was able to read the card with the PC. That is on my list of things to bullet proof.

So I thought it might be good to have a series of beeps to signal things were O.K. or not O.K.

I wrote a routine that would start the beeper every 250 ms. and call another subroutine that would shut it off at either 100 ms or 200 ms depending on the LSB of the beep code.  Then it would shift the beep code right 1, and decrement the count. Surprisingly it worked first try.  But did not sound very good. I found I had two issues. First the timer is not interrupt driven. It is polled. And I needed to add the poll command (m_timer.tick()) more than one time in the loop(). Any loop that was waiting got the poll command. (I do not have many, because the main wait is for the GPS second to increment to collect another sample of data and store on the SD card)

I found by changing the timing to starting a beep every 500 ms, and a short beep was 100 ms, and a long beep was 300 ms, I could identify a hex number 0 to F pretty easily. (LSB first)

All the details are in the code, but all I have to do is call a subroutine called beep_message with an integer from 0 through 15 and the 4 beeps work. The way I wrote the code I could have up to 16 beep patterns (the size of an int), but I do not think I could decipher that in my head.  But I could have 2, 3, or 5, beep patterns also if I want.

I feel I had a productive afternoon.

Kip



I settled on 4 beeps because I can remember a 4 beep pattern in my old age...


Re: Lessons Learned during the launch.

AE5IB (Kip)
 

I am pretty sure we still had string on the spool. I do not think we were out. If we were, then we need a longer string. I have more string if that was the case.

We are also going to make the payload separation a little closer.

Kip

On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 7:23 PM Roger Stierman via groups.io <rogerstierman=netscape.net@groups.io> wrote:
Like to add one more calculation, unless someone already knows this.
I noticed the lowest payload ( 1180 grams) was not going to lift off the ground until  at least the balloon was much higher. And it wouldn't rise until the tethers were longer. Calculate the vertical distance compared to the cosine of angle times the tether length. I estimate the angle was 45 degrees, depends on the wind speed and force on the balloon. I assume the stated measure of the lift force 6.8 kg and total payload 6 kg are correct. WA0VYU


On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 6:54 PM, Kipton Moravec
<kip@...> wrote:
We made a couple of mistakes during the launch. Unfortunately in the
excitement of launching we forgot some stuff we knew from our last
launch 2 years ago.

The tethered launch works when we do it right. Unfortunately we did not
do it right.

First thing. The two people holding the tether need to be farther apart,
like at least 20-30 yards. That will help prevent the balloon from
turning and causing the tether to twist. That is what happened on the
first try. When we brought it back down I had to turn the balloon 1
revolution and it was O.K.

Second thing. All the payloads need to be off the ground before we let
go of the tether.  If not they will drag on the ground and we do not
want that. But that is what happened.

I should have said STOP. Let's spread out the two people on the tether,
let out more string until all the payloads are off the ground, THEN let
go of one side of the tether.

I knew better, but got lost in the fun of the launch.

We will do better next time and not lose any payloads at launch.

Kip








Re: Lessons Learned during the launch.

Roger Stierman
 

Like to add one more calculation, unless someone already knows this.
I noticed the lowest payload ( 1180 grams) was not going to lift off the ground until  at least the balloon was much higher. And it wouldn't rise until the tethers were longer. Calculate the vertical distance compared to the cosine of angle times the tether length. I estimate the angle was 45 degrees, depends on the wind speed and force on the balloon. I assume the stated measure of the lift force 6.8 kg and total payload 6 kg are correct. WA0VYU


On Sun, Jul 25, 2021 at 6:54 PM, Kipton Moravec
<kip@...> wrote:
We made a couple of mistakes during the launch. Unfortunately in the
excitement of launching we forgot some stuff we knew from our last
launch 2 years ago.

The tethered launch works when we do it right. Unfortunately we did not
do it right.

First thing. The two people holding the tether need to be farther apart,
like at least 20-30 yards. That will help prevent the balloon from
turning and causing the tether to twist. That is what happened on the
first try. When we brought it back down I had to turn the balloon 1
revolution and it was O.K.

Second thing. All the payloads need to be off the ground before we let
go of the tether.  If not they will drag on the ground and we do not
want that. But that is what happened.

I should have said STOP. Let's spread out the two people on the tether,
let out more string until all the payloads are off the ground, THEN let
go of one side of the tether.

I knew better, but got lost in the fun of the launch.

We will do better next time and not lose any payloads at launch.

Kip








Lessons Learned during the launch.

Kipton Moravec
 

We made a couple of mistakes during the launch. Unfortunately in the excitement of launching we forgot some stuff we knew from our last launch 2 years ago.

The tethered launch works when we do it right. Unfortunately we did not do it right.

First thing. The two people holding the tether need to be farther apart, like at least 20-30 yards. That will help prevent the balloon from turning and causing the tether to twist. That is what happened on the first try. When we brought it back down I had to turn the balloon 1 revolution and it was O.K.

Second thing. All the payloads need to be off the ground before we let go of the tether.  If not they will drag on the ground and we do not want that. But that is what happened.

I should have said STOP. Let's spread out the two people on the tether, let out more string until all the payloads are off the ground, THEN let go of one side of the tether.

I knew better, but got lost in the fun of the launch.

We will do better next time and not lose any payloads at launch.

Kip


Re: RWK/PHAB-17 Post Flight Review

Tim Johnson K5TCJ
 

Congratulations everyone on a job well done.   In Lucas, I started hearing the cross-band repeater after it reactivated on the descent, and worked a few stations not in our immediate area (i.e. KC5ILO Tom in Clarksville)

 

Tim

K5TCJ

 


Re: Save the Date October 2nd - PHAB-18

Tony Campbell W5ADC
 

Now that is an interesting thought.

Tony

On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 9:04 PM Jason Johnston <kc5hwb@...> wrote:
FYI Oct 2 is the Belton Ham Expo - might be a cool place to let it go.



On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 8:02 PM Tony Campbell W5ADC <tony@...> wrote:
I know we have still not fully recovered from PAHB-17 yet, but we thought we would go ahead and set the date for the next launch for October 2nd.  We don't have any serious plans yet, but in addition to standard flight we might try to go for another high altitude record or maybe see how far we can get on to go.

So, start thinking about payloads you would like to fly.  There are some really educational and easy ones if you would like to involve your kids.

Thanks,

Tony
W5ADC


Re: RWK/PHAB-17 Post Flight Review

Gary Oliver
 


Enjoyed the experience…Thanks everybody!


73
Gary N5GDO 

On Jul 24, 2021, at 10:36 PM, Andrew Koenig <ke5gdb@...> wrote:


Today's flight was a great success. Thanks to everybody that joined us at the launch site, and special thanks to everybody that stuck around for the chase. If you were able to receive anything from the balloon (DMR, crossband, APRS, or SSTV), I'd appreciate reports on how it sounded from your QTH. 

We launched from Aubrey Middle School at approximately 9:05AM, the balloon ascended at ~1200ft/min, and burst at an altitude of 90,984ft. The payload string had a textbook landing in a field just outside of Krum. The crew that hiked in to get the payloads had about a mile walk to pick them up. Fortunately the property owner was kind enough to give them a lift back to the front gate (and nobody got shot!).

Video of burst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKpugH5oKY0 (recorded on the Insta360 ONE R)

Most of the payloads worked very well. The W5ADC-11 tracker was heard by stations as far north as Kansas and as far south as Austin. The DMR single frequency repeater was the star of the flight, with the longest recorded QSO being with a station down in Missouri City (SW Houston). The crossband repeater, when functioning properly, was hopping with activity from all over as well. I have received quite a few SSTV reports. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker ("PiBalloon5") worked exactly as expected.

Like always, there were a few hiccups along the way. The launch site was a little windier than expected, which caused the payloads to drag on the ground a little bit before taking flight. Unfortunately the K5RWK-11 tracker and 6m parrot repeater were in a box that got left behind due to the payload drag and some down range obstructions. Once the balloon was in flight, the crossband repeater had some problems with interference from other sources. It also seemed to freeze at high altitudes, which was somewhat disappointing. It definitely woke back up on the descent and was repeating very well under about 30kft. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker was only received by the receiver at my house (in Richardson). The truck receiver was having problems and wasn't able to gate packets, hence why it only worked when the payloads were several thousand feet above ground.

Notes for the next launch:
* Launch away from down range obstructions
* Clean the lenses on the Insta360 camera a little better / reduce other visual obstructions (mounting hardware & charging cable)
* Choose a different crossband repeater RX frequency and maybe use a PL tone to avoid interference from the DMR repeater (some small filters too?)
* When chasing, send a single scout down the road to determine viability (who's a pro at u-turning now?)
* Fix the portable LoRa receiver

I'll follow up with a few more videos when I really figure out how to drive this Insta360 software. Be on the lookout for some video from Jason KC5HWB as well.

The PHAB-18 launch is tentatively scheduled for October 2nd. Save the date!

Flight path:
<image.png>

APRS stations that heard W5ADC-11:
<image.png>

73 de KE5GDB

--
Andrew Koenig


RWK/PHAB-17 Post Flight Review

Andrew Koenig
 

Today's flight was a great success. Thanks to everybody that joined us at the launch site, and special thanks to everybody that stuck around for the chase. If you were able to receive anything from the balloon (DMR, crossband, APRS, or SSTV), I'd appreciate reports on how it sounded from your QTH. 

We launched from Aubrey Middle School at approximately 9:05AM, the balloon ascended at ~1200ft/min, and burst at an altitude of 90,984ft. The payload string had a textbook landing in a field just outside of Krum. The crew that hiked in to get the payloads had about a mile walk to pick them up. Fortunately the property owner was kind enough to give them a lift back to the front gate (and nobody got shot!).

Video of burst: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKpugH5oKY0 (recorded on the Insta360 ONE R)

Most of the payloads worked very well. The W5ADC-11 tracker was heard by stations as far north as Kansas and as far south as Austin. The DMR single frequency repeater was the star of the flight, with the longest recorded QSO being with a station down in Missouri City (SW Houston). The crossband repeater, when functioning properly, was hopping with activity from all over as well. I have received quite a few SSTV reports. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker ("PiBalloon5") worked exactly as expected.

Like always, there were a few hiccups along the way. The launch site was a little windier than expected, which caused the payloads to drag on the ground a little bit before taking flight. Unfortunately the K5RWK-11 tracker and 6m parrot repeater were in a box that got left behind due to the payload drag and some down range obstructions. Once the balloon was in flight, the crossband repeater had some problems with interference from other sources. It also seemed to freeze at high altitudes, which was somewhat disappointing. It definitely woke back up on the descent and was repeating very well under about 30kft. The KE5GDB-11 LoRa tracker was only received by the receiver at my house (in Richardson). The truck receiver was having problems and wasn't able to gate packets, hence why it only worked when the payloads were several thousand feet above ground.

Notes for the next launch:
* Launch away from down range obstructions
* Clean the lenses on the Insta360 camera a little better / reduce other visual obstructions (mounting hardware & charging cable)
* Choose a different crossband repeater RX frequency and maybe use a PL tone to avoid interference from the DMR repeater (some small filters too?)
* When chasing, send a single scout down the road to determine viability (who's a pro at u-turning now?)
* Fix the portable LoRa receiver

I'll follow up with a few more videos when I really figure out how to drive this Insta360 software. Be on the lookout for some video from Jason KC5HWB as well.

The PHAB-18 launch is tentatively scheduled for October 2nd. Save the date!

Flight path:
image.png

APRS stations that heard W5ADC-11:
image.png

73 de KE5GDB

--
Andrew Koenig

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