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Monday, May 30, 2016

Archive page and recap of CNNSP-11

The archive page for CNNSP-11 is available by clicking on the link at the right, under Previous Missions and Information 

or you can click <here>


Monday, May 16, 2016

CNNSP-11 *** Photos ***

A recap of the flight from launch to recovery will be coming in the following days, but I wanted to make the photos available as soon as possible. 

Launch / Recovery Photos

The GoPro camera took a photo every 5 seconds and recorded video the entire duration of the flight. The video will be made available at a later date when I get time to do some editing.

Aerial Photos


Friday, May 13, 2016

Final Prediction for CNNSP-11 and NSTAR 16-B

Click here to track online
(once balloons are airborne)

Things are looking good for tomorrow's flight from the east side of the 
Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora

I spent the afternoon going over the last minute details and packing the Jeep for the chilly chase tomorrow.

 I'm looking forward to this dual-flight with my Mentor to this hobby, Mark Conner, N9XTN from Omaha.

1 Day Forecast for CNNSP-11 / NSTAR 16-B

Very consistent track predictions all week. Track length is just over 100 miles southeast, with a landing south of Pawnee City, NE. Should be a cool day for a drive with highs in the low 60's. Cloud cover should be much less than predicted earlier this week.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

2 Day Forecast for CNNSP-11 / NSTAR 16-B

There has been little change in the track prediction and the weather for Saturday's flight. It should be a cool morning, mostly cloudy, northwest wind around 10 mph, and temperature in the 40's with a slight chance of rain at launch time. 

110 mile track to northeast Kansas
Brad and Allen from ARAN stopped by last night to drop off the APRS Pi-gate they built for use during Saturday's flight so I could run it through a few tests. Worked like a champ.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Flight Details for CNNSP-11 on Saturday, 14-May-2016

I've been a little scatter-brained with last minute preparations for the upcoming flight, but thought I should share a few details as I've had some folks inquiring.

The Central Nebraska Near Space Program along with Nebraska Stratospheric Amateur Radio will be launching two weather balloons

Saturday, 14-May-2016 on behalf of the
Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora, NE.

Launch Time: 9:15 - 9:30 AM CDT
Location: East side of Edgerton Explorit Center

Google Map Link of location

What kind of equipment will be in the payload containers?
  • (2) APRS trackers consisting of GPS, microprocessor, amateur radio transmitters operating on 144.390 MHz and 144.360 MHz
  • (2) GoPro cameras for in-flight recording of photos and video
  • (1) CW - Morse Code Beacon transmitting "KC0MWM Balloon" about once a minute on 146.565 MHz
  • (1) SSTV - Slow Scan Television transmitter on the Martin 1 mode at 443.450 MHz
  • In flight monitoring of temperature, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure data will also be available on one of the APRS signals.
The balloons can be tracked online at the website using the following link once the balloons are airborne

CNNSP APRS trackers will be KC0MWM-11 and KC0MWM-12

NSTAR APRS trackers will be N9XTN-11 and N9XTN-12

Additional updates can be found on our Twitter feeds

4 Day Forecast for CNNSP-11 / NSTAR 16-B

Not much change in the current track forecast...

Monday, May 9, 2016

5 Day Forecast for CNNSP-11

The current forecast landing prediction for next Saturday's flight. NWS is calling for highs in the low 60's, partly sunny, a slight chance of rain, and a northerly wind around 8 mph. 

Nearly 100 miles southeast of the launch site

Rog - KC0MWM

Friday, May 6, 2016

SSTV (Slow Scan TeleVision) Payload is functional

The Hastings, NE amateur radio club ARAN (Amateur Radio Association of Nebraska) has completed assembly and testing of their Slow Scan Television or SSTV payload. SSTV is a method of sending still images using a narrow bandwidth. A single image will take about two minutes to transmit. The payload will be sending in-flight images to a ground station every four minutes, using the Martin 1 SSTV mode on 443.500 MHz.

SSTV payload during development.
Raspberry Pi, Pi Camera, and HobbyPCB RS-UV3 Radio Shield.

Below are a couple of test images sent

Thanks Brad KD0JCP, Allen KB0ASQ, and any others that helped to design and build this payload as well as the APRS Igates that will be used the day of the launch.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Payload Rework and Testing

We're just shy of a month away from my first launch in almost six years.
I've been busy reworking, redesigning, and testing the payloads that will be used on the upcoming flight.

The launch is in support of the Edgerton Explorit Center, in Aurora, NE.

       Location:  East side of the Edgerton Explorit Center
             Date:  Saturday, May 14, 2016
Launch Time:  9:30 AM CDT  

My friend and ARHAB mentor, Mark Conner N9XTN from NSTAR will also be launching a balloon that day.

Here's a few images of what I've been working on:

Soft-sided lunch coolers make good payload containers. I started using these back in 2005, one of the many ideas I borrowed from Mark N9XTN.

APRS tracking circuitry consisting of a UniTraq model GT-320FW(AS) GPS module and an ArgentData OpenTracker+ SMT. This payload has been fairly reliable the past couple of flights.

Alinco DJ-S11 2 meter transceiver and battery pack tucked away in foam. Top of the image is the data logger enclosure and its GPS module (upper left).

Inside the data logger enclosure. 

Had to do a few repairs to the CW beacon. 

The CW beacon has a new home, tucked inside the foam (pool noodle) on the GoPro camera payload.

Dual GoPro cameras for HD video and stills

I'm waiting for one more device to arrive. Apparently the USPS lost my newest gear somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, so a new one is being shipped and should arrive this week. I'll be trying out a Tracksoar. A new Open Source APRS tracking module. It was a KickStarter project that got funding earlier this year. 

As we get closer to launch day I'll be updating this site with the latest information as well as my Twitter account

- Rog KC0MWM

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Data Logger Project Complete

Aside from adding some payload string tie points, the data logger payload is now complete for the upcoming launch. Data is logged every 5 seconds and includes time, latitude, longitude, speed, course, date, number of satellites in solution, horizontal dilution of position, altitude, internal temperature, external temperature, relative humidity, absolute atmospheric pressure, and power supply voltage. Special thanks to Roger Frandsen for checking my math on the A/D conversion, and correcting my error(s).

Friday, January 15, 2016

New balloon payload(s)

Working on a new payload for the upcoming balloon launch. Learning to parse GPS data strings on the PICAXE processor and add sensor data to be output to an in-flight data logger, so I don' t have to rely on the APRS telemetry.


Saturday, January 9, 2016

2016 Spring launch!

I've been corresponding the past several months with Dan Glomski from Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora, NE about doing a high altitude balloon launch as part of their Super Science Saturday program. Dan and I had a chance to sit down earlier this week and hammer out some of the details.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
9:30 am
Edgerton Explorit Center

...more to follow as the launch gets closer.


Long overdue update

The old CNNSP website is terribly out of date and I didn't feel like learning yet another piece of web development software. I opted to save some money by doing away with my current web hosting space for that site and move nearly all of the contents over to Google's Blogger. At some time in the next few months before my hosting is up for renewal, I'll point my domain name over to this blog, which is

For now this blog is the place to check for new information.