End of the Summer, But Not The End

We’ve finished our ten weeks for the summer, and the balloon still hasn’t been launched. That doesn’t mean we’re won’t launch, however. We’re extremely close to being ready!

Our payload currently reads the GPS, temperature, pressure, and humidity from the appropriate sensors, converts that data into an APRS sentence, converts that sentence into an AFSK that is fed into our SRB MX-145 which then generates our signal. This signal is radiated by our quadrifilar helix antenna. With a basic dipole for the 2 meter band, we’re able to receive and decode our signal with a 2-meter transceiver and our computer’s sound card. That means it works!

Unfortunately, there are still problems. We tried decoding our signal with a different computer, and it didn’t work.¬†Thanks to some help from Bill N3DOU and the Physics Department, we’ve determined that our audio signal is too strong. We worked on attenuating it, but ran out of time.

Don’t worry, though – the balloon will still go up! We’ll figure it out when we reconvene at the start of the school year. Even if we did get that last bug smoothed out, we would have postponed the launch until the start of the school year anyway, so that everyone who wants to see it can schedule for it.