Here are some photos from the August 19, 2009, Completion and Final Test Meeting.
MORE Races! It looks like the Long Boat is going to Ram the Small Boat... It did! No boats were damaged during the filming of this program... but we DID try!
The Back-Up APRS system is good to go. We have new batteries, and it all checks out GREAT!
Payload Master Mike WA5TWT threads the coax for the Back-Up APRS system into the new flight unit while A.C. W5EZM catches it on video.
A.C. has the RIGHT idea! We will fly BEER to the Edge of Space!
It looks good, but perhaps we can put some more electronics in the payload... This makes a good photo though!!
Here's something NEW! We have a crossband repeater with 146.435 MHz FM up and 28.636 MHz DSB down. This antique transmitter flew in 1992, but the two-meter receiver was poor. We found it in the BLT archives, and put in a new Alinco HT for the 2M receiver. Serious testing after a few minor mods show the unit to be exceptional! Now to put it in the sky!!
Mike checks out the data from the two APRS units. All is NOT well! We will send full NMEA streams on the primary APRS unit, but will need to send modified APRS-standard strings on the Back-Up unit. Be aware that they are NOT the same.
Success! It has been a fine evening. The boats raced and the payloads have been tested. Pete KD5ELH, Dan W5DF, Mike WA5TWT and John, AB5SS take a break.
A final test is performed in the special test field. With all systems activated, there is no evidence of interaction problems!
Here is a SERIOUS view of the payload internals. There is room for the special BEER container, but not a whole lot of other things. We are just about READY!
Dan pulls a piece out of the payload. What's This?!?
John answers... It's equivalent to This Much BEER!
OK, so we pulled the Back-Up APRS unit for some reprogramming... It's All Good now, and we will have the special Lithium batteries hooked up for flight. It's time to go for FINAL FINAL testing!
Launch is scheduled for 10 AM on August 29, 2009 from the Wharton Intergalactic Spaceport. Be There!!!