De WB3AKD, Round Hill,
VA, 0411 Hours EDT, August 4, 2004
Pre Launch Net 145.31 MHz N4FSC repeater 2000 Friday 6 August.
Scheduled Launch 0900 hours EDT, Saturday, 7 August.
Saturday's weather looks good for flight with comfortable temperatures,
partly cloudy skies and low humidity.
A New Master Flight Procedures Manual is available at http://www.thothsys.com/habcat_3/habcat_3.pdf
Bill, WB4ACC will lead the Launch team with Evan, KQ4CI and Jacob, KF4VLQ.
Launch was tentatively scheduled for Stevens City, but winds have changed
about 90 degrees so the flight will probably be launched from somewhere
northwest of Winchester.
If the winds remain unchanged, the flight should travel about 10 to 20 miles
in a southeasterly direction from the launch site.
Dave, KG4KZZ will set up to track from Gambrills State Park west of
Norm, AI2C will set up to track from Harpers Ferry and I will track from
North Mountain west of Winchester.
We do not have a net control at present so we are open for volunteers for
I recommend 147.30 WA4TSC repeater for the flight net, since the coverage is
so good, but I need to check with Wes to make sure that's all right with
Staffing issues, due mostly to conflicting schedules require that we do not
employ a mission control station this time, but with the proven payloads,
and experienced launchers and trackers, we'll manage.
Past flights have been very enjoyable and all, especially newer hams, are
invited to participate. These flights offer an opportunity to hone many
essential amateur radio skills and have, along with public safety events,
materially contributed to LARG's emergency readiness.
Balloon Committee Chair.
De WB3AKD, Round Hill,
VA, 2051 Hours EDT, August 5, 2004
At the moment the Launch is a go.
Weather looks to be excellent for a 9 AM launch from west of Winchester.
Recent models suggest an easterly track with possible distance traveled of
up to 40 Miles. With luck, this will decrease some.
The ATV payload is functioning well and the batteries seem to be in good
shape. I have readjusted the video linearity control on the exciter and
checked the peak power output. On a fresh charge, the transmitter puts out
about 5 watts on the sync tips.
Tomorrow, I will re-check the linearity adjustment in bright sunlight, as
this was not properly set on our last flight.
The "Hot Chips" instrumentation payload has a fresh set of lithium ion cells
and is being charged as this is written.
Both payloads will be completely discharged and recharged before being
turned over to the Launch Lead, Bill, WB4ACC Friday afternoon.
I have checked with Wes, WA4TSC and the 147.30 repeater will be our primary
net frequency. Also monitor 147.48 simplex in the event of lost comms.
ATV Downlink frequency is 433.25 (Cable channel 59) and Telemetry downlink
is 145.65 MHz. This telemetry signal can usually be heard several hundred
miles away when the balloon is at maximum altitude.
At Present the teams look like this:
Bill, WB4ACC Lead
Harpers Ferry Tracking : Norm, AI2C
Gambrills State Park Tracking, Dave, KG4KZZ
North Mountain Tracking and ATV/Telemetry Ground Station, Tom WB3AKD
Net Control: OPEN. (With the repeater, just about anyone can manage this
This is a pretty light team but we should be in good shape for flight and
recovery. All club members and interested Hams are welcome to participate.
See you on the net Friday night on 145.31 at 8 PM.
73 Tom - WB3AKD
Flight Net Update.
We continue in GO Status. Hopefully surface winds will not
build before launch. Based on partial 7 PM data from Sterling NWS soundings,
the launch site will be the northwest of Winchester along Route 522. Launch
Chief will pick it. Ground track is estimated
to be around 30 miles and place touchdown on either side of the Clark -
Loudoun County line. Flight time is around 45 minute up and 15 to 20 minutes
down. Roy - K0RAJ along with a new amateur will accompany the Launch Team.
The Flight Control, Launch and Tracking Net will open at 0800 hours local
on the WA4TSC Repeater on 147.300 MHZ with Ray - K4AJA as Net Control.
Denny and Carol Boehler - KF4TJI and KF4TJJ will establish another tracking
site from near Sky Meadows. We also expect Bob - WP4BQV to join us at some
point during the operation. All else is as above. Best Regards, Norm -
AI2C, 2130 hours local, Friday, August 6, 2004.