Please keep monitoring this page for further information on this flight.
2 Oldest info at the bottom, newest info at the top
Below is information from the flight: -
Flight documentation: -
KML file: - Download this to Google Earth.
- There are 50km distance rings from various towns or repeaters.
- Repeater network from Mike (ZS6TAF) with up to date amendments on certain repeaters.
- Also, we are busy working on key flight paths so we can see where they are in relation to the balloon and inform ATNS if necessary.
3D images and schematics of the version 2 Controller board can be found here: - Controller V2
Below is the Communiqué that was posted on the SARL forum.
As the drunk crop-duster pilot on the movie "Independence day" would say: - "Hello boys, were back"
A very warm welcome to you all again from the HABEX team .
For information, Habex III will be launching on Saturday 18th December 2010. CAMU have given permission for a launch from Klerksdorp with no restrictions what so ever. Please note that the team may table restrictions of its own and still need to be discussed and finalised.
Although at the start of the holidays, the team chose this date as firstly, it was the only date most suitable to all the participants and the public holiday of the 16th Dec allows for last minute preparations . This will be the last “test” and will be followed in about March / April with the Schools launch where in the region of 8 to 10 balloons will be launched sequentially.
Changes have been made to the controller board and the software has been modified to iron out some possible glitches from the last flight. The board was modified slightly and involved a new board being manufactured. Apart from on board pressure and inside and outside temperature sensors, there will be 5 additional I/O functions. Data will as usual be transmitted via the APRS packets to earth.
The payload configuration is still being finalised, however, the 40m beacon will again be flying as will the parrot repeater which has now been combined with the backup APRS unit. In the last flight, the Parrot repeater and back up APRS were separate units and inadvertently positioned in each other’s positions on the payload. This was partly due to the fact that the packages housing the two units looked exactly the same.
When the Parrot repeater is idle, the radio will transmit the APRS data periodically. This will all be on 70cm’s. The main controller board will be transmitting the data via the APRS packets on 144,800Mhz.
At the bottom of the payload will be Hennies (ZS6EY) GSM APRS unit which he is assembling and packaging for the team.
Other changes and introductions: -
We will hopefully have streaming images of the launch via a camera every 30 or so seconds which still needs to be defined. Also, we are trying to set up the infrastructure to stream the balloon data into the net for everyone to see live. Information like the air pressure and inside and outside temperatures will be displayed. The group has also purchase arguably the smallest camera in the world . Unfortunately this will not feed to the ground live but will be recorded for later viewing on the internet.
This time, the group would like to request the help of fellow radio operators. We would obviously like for this balloon to go higher and further, thus we will be looking for interested people who on the day may be prepared to search and retrieve the balloon. This participation does not mean you need to come to Klerksdorp. The idea is that if the balloon heads to Welkom, or Bloemfontein or wherever, there are people standing by at their place of residence who will go find and retrieve the balloon. There will be more on this in further posts and ask that you give it some thought . Where will you be on holiday? That may also just be an ideal spot to help us out.
We are refining this further. The idea at the moment is to use simplex 70cms for team communications as before. From there we are looking at cross banding the info into the Klerksdorp repeater and Echolink. Then from Johannesburg, linking up to interested repeaters and re-broadcasting on 40m. We would also look at keeping OM Frank (ZS6MER) on a separate 40m frequency to take call ins and have a chat (Rag chew) with interested participants.
We will again update this thread as more information is finalised and keep you up to date as the day draws closer.
Regards to you all
The HABEX team.
An application was submitted to CAMU (Central Airspace Management Unit) for a further Balloon experiment on the 18th December 2010. It can now be confirmed that this has been approved and furthermore, there are no restrictions with this flight in any way.
This will be the last in the way of test flights for the project with any further flights being the school launches. This is tentatively planned for March 2011 and will be confirmed mid January after the launch of the December test flight.