Photos from the Launch of BLT-25.5 on 14MAY10 at 7:48 PM from the Secret BLT Launch Facility near Tigerville, Texas.
In addition to launching BLT-25.5, we also caught and kept hundreds of fish, had Steak Night, a Fajita Feast, a Crawfish Boil, a Fish Fry, and a Great Time!
OK, so I didn't get this pic prior to DIGGING IN... We have our priorities! Needless to say, the fajitas were GREAT!
Chainsaw, Chef Stu and Jungle get after it!
The BLT-25.5 payload weighed in at 3 oz with an additional 3.0 oz for the parachute. It was an updated version of a Fireball 3.2 beacon system with 50 mW of CW beeps (speed proportional to temperature) on 14.318 and 28.305 MHz.
We had a very short cord between the balloon and the parachute. Pretzel and Foot watch as our Helium Keng finishes the gas.
Jungle and Helium Keng tie it all off and discuss the PLAN.
Wild Bill watches while Jungle has CONTROL! Here we go!
There were serious winds, and a storm front was approaching. This didn't look good, and it was getting dark fast. We opted to launch a bit early. The crew headed for the launch site.
We had plenty of help from the Cajun Crawfish Crew including Foot, Pretzel and Go-Go.Is Andy meditating?
Ah! The payload almost got caught in a tree, but somehow managed to slip through the branches! Andy is happy.
Shell, Foot and Go-Go watch it rise!
Ah!! Success!! "The balloon is away Ed, the balloon is away! We got LUCKY with this one!! I love the feeling of latex in the evening... To the Edge of Space!"
A Yaesu FT-817 was pressed into service to monitor the flight from the Secret Lake Livingston Launch Facility. The receive antenna was a Comet multi-band mobile whip on a vehicle with coax snaked back to the Lab. A hundred miles to the south, AC used an indoor antenna and Ed had an outdoor 20M dipole.
Ummmm, THAT was GREAT! I was very impressed this time... The BLT-25.5 signals on 14.318 MHz were good for most of the flight, while the 10M beacon was not. The Totex 350-gram balloon from Kaymont was perfect for the payload weight. Helium Keng once again made the fill process look trivial. Reception reports from AC, Ed and on-site listening efforts were difficult but provided data on what turned out to be one of the strangest flights to date. Moises had the knack with videography and the still shots. Ed's data showed that the balloon spent nearly 2.5 hours just getting up past 20,000 feet. Was it partying in the trees? Sounds kinky to me. The balloon and parachute apparently got wet, and thus heavy, but apparently not heavy enough to doom the mission. The flight lasted 3.8 hours before signals were lost by all around 11:40 PM. The top altitude appears to be above 80,000 feet, but the rep rate on the transmitter never got below 6 BPM. This was likely due to the new AVX temperature sensor. It was difficult to calibrate. Do you have a report to file with the BLT? What did you hear? Send info!! By the way, Thanks to ALL! I'll be checking out BLT-26 on August 21st. I'll see you there...
The next event will be BLT-26 featuring HSMM-MESH in the sky.
Don't Miss It! We're on for August 21, 2010!