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


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


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

 


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


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