Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Calculating Trajectory

There are a number of online trajectory calculators. I've been using this one. My initial guestimate as to where we should launch for a landing in Livonia dumped me right at the edge of Metro Airport... oops. Scratch that one, and just to be on the safe side, let's go a little further Northwest. We have quite a few lakes in our area, so landing is crucial if we don't want to go beg someone to take us out on a boat.

Keeping this in mind, and back tracing, I found a suitable launch site in Gratiot County. There's a few options there, and they all dump us in Oakland county near Waterford. I think that's the best option.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tentative Launch Date Determined

At this past meeting (Saturday, 6/1/2013) we determined that August 24th, 2013 would be our tentative launch date.

We say tentative, as we still have a LOT of work to do to get this balloon off the ground, and it will be pending weather.

The club is participating in a K8SB Active Attenuator build August 18th, and as that build will lend itself well to finding the payload once it hits the ground, we would like to perform the launch once that build is completed.

We have a number of parts coming in to get construction moving, and we are making good progress at this point. As we get closer to launch day, we'll post more information, including location of launch, calculated trajectory, complete list of parts in use, and beacon frequency / APRS identifiers.

Right now we have a number of isolated systems that are being brought up, and we've got to get them all tied together and working as a single payload unit. We're very excited, and very appreciative to all the members of the Livonia Amateur Radio Club, and non-members who have offered advice and/or equipment to the cause.

Icom 2AT

After charging up the Icom 2AT, and running through some diagnostics, it appears I have purchased a fully working radio. I took it over to Dan Saputo - K8PLW's house while visiting and doing some DStar radio programming. I left it over there, as he has a better workbench to do some payload assembly and testing. Needless to say, with him working nights, he gets bored while everyone is sleeping and began putting a 7808 Voltage Regulator on the bottom. This allows us to directly feed 12 volts from our battery system to the handheld for a beacon & termination setup. We'll just need to work on the DTMF decoding for termination and we'll be done with the beacon / termination system.