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JOTA 2014 Launch

Time does wizz by! It’s almost the day of my next launch. I was invited to the JOTA event by Mike Lynn G1KOT in order to launch a balloon and demonstrate HAB tracking to the Scouts & Cubs at Kingston Ridge Campsite this year. Additionally, I’ll be supervising the building of 50 minDUINO v1.6 kits that I’ve put together with the aid of RS Components who kindly sponsored the components. I have supplied the PCBs, boxes and documentation. The aim is to introduce the Scouts & Cubs to micro-controllers and circuit building.

Meanwhile, my friend Chris Stubbs and I are going to release a balloon on each of the days of the JOTA weekend. Chris on Saturday 18th Oct and myself on 19th Oct. The details are as follows:

Callsign: JOTA1
Balloon Type: Foil or 100g Pawan Latex depending on conditions.
Date-Time: 18/10/2014 – 12:30pm
Frequency: 434.300MHz
Mode: RTTY 50n7 with 450Hz shift.
Approx. Lat/Lon: 51.559144, 0.435010 – Kingston Ridge Campsite: http://www.kingstonridgecampsite.co.uk/index2.html

Callsign: JOTA2
Balloon: 36in Foil Pico.
Date-Time: 19/10/2014 – 12:30pm
Frequency: 434.450MHz
Mode: RTTY 50n7 with 450Hz shift.
Approx. Lat/Lon: 51.559144, 0.435010 – Kingston Ridge Campsite: http://www.kingstonridgecampsite.co.uk/index2.html

Anyone wishing to track either or both of these balloons can find instructions here although I’d use the new tracking page instead of the old SpaceNear version.

This will be my third launch (subject to conditions being OK) and I’m very much looking forward to it. I’m going to try and get the balloon into ‘Float’ which is to say, rather than it ascending until it bursts and coming down again, I’m going to send it up at a very slow ascent rate in the hope that it reaches it’s neutral buoyancy point and stays there. This will mean a longer journey for the balloon and a longer time for tracking.

Mike is going to supervise the launch of small latex party balloons too for the Scouts & Cubs. These will have labels on them reading something like ‘If found please return to…’ This will be staggered with the larger balloon launches as not to cause an airborne hazard. Currently on 14-10-2014 the prediction for wind direction looks good. I will check each day up until launch on the CUSF Prediction Website:

JOTA2 Prediction

JOTA2 Prediction for 19th Oct 2014

So, just some final preparation to go. A last check of the payload and get the bits together.

Wish me luck!

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Steve Smith

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