[aprssig] A strong argument for a cutdown device

John Gorkos jgorkos at gmail.com
Sun Aug 11 10:50:49 EDT 2013

That's about where we have it pinned, too.
I've called the SC Civil Air Patrol and asked them if they could do a
training flight in the area looking for the remnants of the balloon.
Because it never burst, the envelope should still be attached and in one
piece.  Should be easy to spot.
The part I'm currently disappointed about is the BACKUP tracker, using a
GSM arduino model, has failed.  I think it ran out of batteries before
landing.  That's what I get for turning a 2 1/2 hour flight into a 13 hour

If anyone is in the general area and wants to look around for it, my phone
number and an offer for a cash reward is all over the box.

John Gorkos

On 8/11/13 1:30 AM, "Robert Bruninga" <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

>ARGH, forgot to subtract the local ground altitude of around 900 feet.
> With that, it should be in a field on the north side of McSwain road
>around 35 10.71N and 81 57.18W just a half mile south of the NC state
>Bob, WB4APR
>On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 1:22 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu>
>> Probably Landing in a forest of trees around 35 11.52N and 81 55.53W
>> is my best guess after dead reckoning for 18 minutes from the last
>> IGate heard position at 01:00:43
>> Bob, WB4aPR
>> On Sun, Aug 11, 2013 at 1:06 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu>
>>> You lucky guy!!!  Your coming down within 25 miles of the nearest
>>> anything, and luckily it is a home IGate!  At least you'll be able to
>>> hear down to a thousand feet or so.  Its 1 Am and it will be on the
>>> ground at this rate at 0119 EDT.  Good luck!
>>> BOb, WB4APR
>>> Its falling within direct range of an IGate!!!
>>> On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 11:14 PM, John Gorkos <jgorkos at gmail.com>
>>>> Our local club did a HAB launch today that went horribly wrong.
>>>>Check out
>>>> the track of AB0OO-11 to see what I mean.  After 12 hours aloft, we
>>>> still getting good positional data from the balloon, but we have no
>>>> over it.
>>>> We ran out of fill gas and only had about 3.5 pounds of lift on a 3
>>>> payload.  Instead of just aborting, we launched anyway.  The balloon
>>>> averaged about 100 feet per minute of lift, and after 7 hours it had
>>>> made it to 60k feet.  For the last 4 hours, it's been gradually
>>>>drifting in
>>>> circles, getting lower and lower.  We're going to lose it somewhere
>>>> south western North Carolina, and we'll probably never see it again.
>>>> This balloon was flying the new Byonics MT-400 tracker, which is
>>>>still going
>>>> strong with a Sparkfun >60k GPS (it's been flight tested by us to
>>>>93k) on 6
>>>> Energizer Lithium Ultra batteries..  Unfortunately, I didn't include
>>>> additional battery pack, relay, and wiring needed for a nichrome
>>>>cutdown, so
>>>> instead of being able to abort the flight at the time of our
>>>>choosing, it
>>>> continues to drift aimlessly over the Carolina's, along with 2 HD
>>>> cameras.
>>>> If anyone happens across what will probably be a still-inflated
>>>>balloon, I'd
>>>> really like the memory cards out of the camerasŠ
>>>> John Gorkos
>>>> AB0OO
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