U3S

Live tracking
HabHub live tracking
Photos of the launch

 

Like the former flights, this one also uses a special U3S firmware version on an Arduino Nano board.

Flight over

Flight S-14 ended on 13-Jul-2016 at about 12:38 (last WSPR report). The balloon had been seen losing altitude rapidly after entering cloud in the mid-Atlantic. (note, subsequent updates on the map below probably occur due to the occasional false WSPR decode). 

Live tracking

The map below is updated automatically with the latest received position during the balloon's flight. During the balloon's night time the battery is quickly depleted, so from just after sunset there are no more reports until daylight.

Live HabHub tracking

The following HabHub map is done using a program that David SM0ULC wrote that extracts the data from WSPRnet and feeds it to HabHub. This is still under development!

Launch

The S-14 balloon flight was launched on 11-Jul-2016 at 10:30Z. Dave provided this information. The single balloon should float below the 10km level. The GPS firmware issue that prevents reporting over 10,000m on the particular GPS unit used in flights S11, S12 and S13 should ltherefore not happen. The payload on this launch is 15.5 gms and the U3S has a small PA to boost the signal when the solar panels allow extra power. The antenna is a 2 band three legged dipole-like thing, resonant on 20 and 30 meters.

The U3 is transmitting on channel 2 under the call VE1VDM courtesy of Vernon. The transmission schedule is similar to S13, except it is shifted in frequency as not to QRM other balloon flights.

For this flight, Dave successfully carried out a water launch... never done before... where the boat travelled at the wind speed and the balloon was released and floated up above the boat... see photos below.

The U3 Parking Mode is utilized on this flight to try and see if it can tame the intermittent drift issues. Drift issues sometimes emerge at a stable internal temperature of 24c and full sun, so Dave has a theory that the transmitter is rotating in the jet stream and this could cause differential heating or voltage variation from the solar panels that could create a problem. A new LDO type of voltage regulator was fitted on this flight to see if it can manage voltage variations differently.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.qrp-labs.com/flights/s14.html#sigFreeId2305021639