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U3S

Live tracking
Day 24 update: 05-Jun-2020
Day 20 update: 01-Jun-2020
Day 18 update: 30-May-2020
Day 16 update: 28-May-2020
Day 15 update: 27-May-2020
Day 14 update: 26-May-2020
Day 9 update: 21-May-2020
Day 7 update: 19-May-2020
Day 6 update: 18-May-2020
Day 5 update: 17-May-2020
Day 4 update: 16-May-2020
Day 3 update: 15-May-2020
Day 2 update: 14-May-2020
Day 1 update: 13-May-2020
Launch photos
Transmitter

This is the 8'th test flight of the new U4B tracker. For details see below.

U4B-8 was launched on 13-May-2020 at 1400Z. 

U4B-8 uses callsign VE3KCL and the old-style telemetry channel 04. The WSPR report is at minutes :00 :10 :20 minutes past the hour, followed at :02 :04 etc by the QRP Labs telemetry packet. There are additional WSPR-only (no telemetry) transmissions on six additional bands; and in the 1 minute prior to the main WSPR transmission i.e. :09, :19, :29 etc there is a balloon glyph on 20m.

U4B-8 also transmits one WSPR transmission per hour on 6m, 10m, 15m, 30m, 40m and 80m bands! Though of course the antenna is not resonant on these. 

Live tracking


Day 24 update: 05-Jun-2020

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Day 20 update: 01-Jun-2020

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Day 18 update: 30-May-2020

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Day 16 update: 28-May-2020

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Day 15 update: 27-May-2020

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Day 14 update: 26-May-2020

U4B-8 is back! Far enough back South for a GPS reboot in darkness, and proper operation... though the wind projection indicates it will go back far North again :-(

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Day 9 update: 21-May-2020

U4B-8 is still so far up North in the midnight sun that the GPS is not getting lock, for some reason, and there is no opportunity for it to reset by a power cycle, due to the 24-hours of sunshine. KL7L was able to copy WSPR by intentionally offsetting his computer clock but the WSPR does not report any GPS information (including altitude and position).

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Day 7 update: 19-May-2020

U4B-8 flew so far North that it has experienced midnight sun and this appears to have caused a lock-up situation with the GPS. It has been transmitting every 20 minutes instead of 10 minutes, off schedule, and not providing any GPS location information.

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Day 6 update: 18-May-2020

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Day 5 update: 17-May-2020

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Day 4 update: 16-May-2020

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Day 3 update: 15-May-2020

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Day 2 update: 14-May-2020

Quite a few balloon sightings today! Reading left to right:

Andy G0FTD in UK, the U4B-8 balloon glyph clearly visible at the right, and U4B-6 more weakly towards the middle. 
Bob K4RCG has U4B-8 top left, and a very strong signal from U4B-6 burning up his radio, at top right
Vernon VE1VDM again has a nice picture, showing both U4B-6 and U4B-8 clearly visible
Bill W4HBK has very strong signals from U4B-8, and U4B-6 pretty good too! 

Here are the number WSPR reports in the first 2 days of U4B-8's flight, on OTHER bands than the intended 20m. Recall, U4B-8 transmits one WSPR slot per hour on each of these six bands for which the antenna is far from ideal, just for fun:

6m 8 spots
10m 29 spots
15m 45 spots
30m 63 spots
40m 18 spots
80m 1 spot.

data.png g0ftd.jpg k4rcg.jpg

noaa.png ve1vdm.png w4hbk.jpg


Day 1 update: 13-May-2020

A successful launch and climb to altitude!

Here is a zoom of how the Balloon glyph looks, with the slow-Hell "8" next to it on the left:

Reports were also received of the balloon glyph; below shows Vernon VE1VDM's hat-trick, he copied U4B-4, U4B-6 and U4B-8 glyphs all at the same time! The image from W4HBK shows U4B-6 and U4B-8. 

data.png noaa.png ve1vdmVernon.png

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Launch photos

launch09checkingitwastransmittingbeforelaunch.jpg launch10tyingtheantenna.jpg launch11windblowingtheballoonssideways.jpg

launch13.jpg launch14.jpg launch15.jpg

launch16.jpg launch17.jpg


Transmitter

This is the 8th test flight of the new U4B tracker. It is a test of a new TCXO part. U4B-8 was assembled by Dave VE3KCL. This YouTube video explains the features of the U4B tracker. 

U4B-8 includes a balloon glyph just prior to the WSPR transmission at :00 :10 :20 etc minutes past the hour. This is the same as on the -7 flight, There is a slow-Hellshreiber "8" to the left of the balloon!

The BASIC program listing:

 LET C = 42
2 IF BT < 2900
 SLEEP 10 1
 GOTO 2
 ENDIF
4 GOSUB 17
5 WSPR 2 3570040 10 "VE3KCL"
6 GOSUB 17
7 WSPR 2 7040040 10 "VE3KCL"
8 GOSUB 17
9 WSPR 2 10140140 10 "VE3KCL"
10 GOSUB 17
11 WSPR 2 21096040 10 "VE3KCL"
12 GOSUB 17
13 WSPR 2 28126040 10 "VE3KCL"
14 GOSUB 17
15 WSPR 2 50294440 10 "VE3KCL"
16 GOTO 4
17 LET FR = 24999997
 OUT 9 0
 GPS 304 "$PSIMNAV,W,3*3A"
 OUT 9 CL
18 IF BT > 3800
19 LET I = 1
20 GOTO 25
21 ENDIF
22 LET I = 0
25 SLEEP 10 9
 CW 0 14096990 12 0 " VE3KCL"
 HELL 0 14096940 12 8 "8"
 CW O 14096940 5 0 "*01IFLCNAP8Q7R6R5S0S0S5R6R7Q8PANCLFI*"
28 TELE
29 RETURN

ve3kcl  channel 4 14097020  379 bytes compiled

Photos

Weightandbalance8.jpg balloonspriortopacking.jpg radioandantenna8.jpg

radioshoebox.jpg topview8.jpg u4b8back.jpg

u4b8chinesetcxo.jpg u4b8preassembly.jpg