[aprssig] Balloon Found (HT Chase Tool)

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun May 4 17:33:11 EDT 2014

Your APRS HT is an invaluable added tool during Balloon or other searches
or events as an OBJECT entry device.

ALthough you can all see each other on your own mobile GPS maps, most
mobiles do not have a means for posting objects so others can see things
that needed to be placed on everyone's maps.  But with the APRS HT you
can.  Just dial off-freq, then change the CALL of the radio to the object
name, then press the POS button and enter the coordinates of the object,
and then QSY back to the APRS freq and press the BCON button to transmit
the object to everyone's displays.

We found this very handy when one vehicle has received the "final" ballloon
position (or other off-net info), but no one else has it.  Just do the
above, and now everyone can see the object on their map.  The reason for
QSYing off the data channel while setting up the object is so that you dont
clutter the map with half-made-entries, (the wrong name at the poiont) or
the right name and the wrong point).

In yesterday's example, we had received a LAT/LONG from a SPOT device but
no one in the mobiles could see it until it was transmitted as an object.

Then to help chase teams who were not close when the balloon came down, I
used my HT to transmit two more objects SPOT-1 and SPOT-2 for the two
previous known reports so others could see the TREND in the direction it
was going.

We have the tools, LEARN TO USE THEM!



On Sat, May 3, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

> Crowded Air space today over PA!
> Saturday morning, launched the Naval Academy Balloon (W3ADO-11) from
> Harpers FY and noticed two other balloons launched about the same time
> (W3EAX-9 and 11) about 40 miles north.  All was going fine until...
> Our sincere apologies to MD, VA, PA, DE and NJ!  At about 3000' our
> balloon Arduino processor got stuck in a reset-loop and switched from 1
> minute rate to one packet as fast as it could re-boot.  Less than every 2
> seconds!  Fortunately they were direct only and at 100 millliwatts.
> Fortunately, we could still see some packets from the W3EAX balloons, and
> APRS.FI seems to have copied them all.
> Then ours went nuts! and appears to have come down very fast, and we raced
> to towards the impact point (20 miles away), but then 20m later, we got one
> packet at 38,000 feet 20 miles farther east.  Then another race though
> Amish country and to our horror, the last position report was within 0.1
> mile of the river and still at 2000 feet and heading right out to the
> middle!
> We were about to give up the search (no more packets heard and river
> current pretty swift) when our back up system (SPOT system?) gave another
> report about 60 feet from the water.  Low an behold, there it was, 60 feet
> from waters edge after having flown almost 100 miles.
> Everything intact includeing HDTV video camera!
> Apparently the students used a non-high-altitide GPS and it went squirrely
> until it got back below 38,000 feet.  But you should see the track
> (W3ADO-11)
> Bob, Wb4APR
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