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Payload Ready

Conditions still look pretty bleak for a dry launch from Youlbury tomorrow. I’ll make the final decision at around 16:00-17:00 today. Despite that, I have made the payload ready to go. I went through several ideas as I built it up but ended up mounting the tracker board on some foam sheet and the boost regulator and battery pack on the back. Originally I was going to wrap this up but it occurred to me that I could leave it exposed to show the Scouts and cover it tomorrow just prior to launch.

CHEAPO-VAYU Payload

CHEAPO-VAYU Payload ready to launch.

The center insert shows how I configured the antenna. 163mm 1/4 wave antenna for 434.300MHz and 4 radials at 90 degrees each. In the center image, you can just see the sleeve at the top. This will be slid over the payload and sealed at both ends with gaff-tape just prior to launch. The payload hangs at an angle due to the weight of the batteries. Before I launch another VAYU I will see if I can come up with a better idea for keeping the payload hanging straight. In this instance it isn’t too much of a problem because I can give the antenna a small bend to compensate. The antenna wires are made of plated guitar strings, as suggested by Leo Bodnar, a fantastic idea. To make the ends safer than just leaving them open, I folded back the ends and put a blob of solder on them.

Ernie Ball Custom Plated Guitar Strings - Gauge 13

Ernie Ball Custom Plated Guitar Strings – Gauge 13

Steve Smith

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