Balloon Group Minutes 07/11/95

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EOSS Meeting Minutes

11 July 1995

HP facility, Inverness Office Park

10 members present, including all officers.

Treasurer's Report (Chip Bisbee) - As of June 30, 1995, checking balance was $2,158.48, savings account balance was $1,002.98. The bank didn't send a statement this month, Chip is looking into the problem. Chip and Rick von Glahn are looking into how to inform delinquent members that their dues are due. Three members paid dues in June, and EOSS got a donation from the Univ. of Colo. at Colo. Spgs. which covers the expense of the gas bought for the last flight.

No education report -

Technical Committee (Mike Manes) - Mike showed the paging receiver cutdown mechanism (just the receiver/computer part). It operates from a 9 V battery and draws 15 mA  - 10 mA for the DTMF decoder, 3 mA for the receiver itself, and 2 or 3 mA for the Basic Stamp computer. The program in the Basic Stamp reads decoded DTMF and sends three different Morse code strings (the Morse code is just for bench test purposes). The Basic Stamp runs faster that a TRS-80 Model 1! The cutdown mechanism will use an electromechanical relay to fire the actual cutdown mechanism. The new cutdown system will use the same 6 V nichrome wire mechanism used in the old cutdown system. Ted Cline asks if the 9V battery will work properly at altitude. Mike says yes. Mike says the 9 V battery will probably work all day. There are two cutdown modes available with the new system. in the first mode a command causes the cutdown mechanism to fire immediately. In the second mode, a command arms a load switch, which fires the cutdown mechanism once the load is released (the balloon pops).

Tracking and Recovery (Jack Crabtree) - Jack says Greg Burnett and George Reidmuller got a two-hour slot at the Central States VHF Society Conference for a tracking and recovery seminar, but they found out that anyone who wanted to participate in the seminar would have to pay the full conference fee of about 50 or 60 dollars. Because of this, Greg and George decided to back out of the Conference. They will hold a seminar on the air or off-site during the Conference. The foxhunting seminar for the Pikes Peak VHF Society is still on for the 12th.

Ground Station (Andy Kellett) - Andy Kellett is taking over the ground station from Rick Von Glahn for this flight. Jack Crabtree says he has a section of tower which was donated to EOSS in his yard. He wants it out of his yard. Andy Kellett said he would try to sell the piece of tower section.

Camera Project (Rick Von Glahn) - Rick is still looking for cameras with electric shutters. Most of the electronic shutter cameras cost about $80. Rick is looking into a $24.95 camera at WalMart, but he isn't sure if it has an electronic shutter.

Upcoming EOSS-24 flight (Jack Crabtree) - We are still on for the flight as described in previous meetings. Jack is working with Navsys to have people there to open up the Navsys facilities so that people can use the restroom. If Navsys can't open their building on the morning of the flight, we may have to get a portable latrine. Jerome Dury from Perington, TX will not be building a crossband transponder like he said, so we will definitely fly our crossband repeater. Input on the crossband repeater will be 446.00 and output will be 147.55 (both FM). We will need somebody to run the net on the crossband repeater. We will fly just the shuttle, crossband repeater, camera, and the wireless cutdown mechanism. We will probably use the "arm" mode of the cutdown mechanism. Also, the firmware in the GPS receiver has been changed to accept more satellite geometries, which will degrade accuracy slightly for some geometries, but will hopefully prevent the GPS receiver from losing lock. ! The cr ossband repeater will be the tracking and recovery's back-up communications link. EOSS got $200 from the Central States VHF Society to support the flight. Jack says he expects a group of 50 to 60 people from the Central States VHF Society to attend the launch. Jack will present a paper at the Central States VHF Society Conference the Friday before the launch. Our balloon flight is the only activity scheduled for the Conference on Sunday morning. Jack says there are plenty of A/D channels available on the Shuttle controller board, and there is still time to put together an experiment for the flight.

Mere McCaslin - New Mexico State is talking about a balloon flight out of Ft. Sumner next Spring. They are offering to give us some of their lift.

Stratosphere newsletter (Rick Von Glahn) - One article has been submitted to the Stratosphere so far, and it is by Rick! Merle says he can't seem to get e-mail to Rick. Rick pointed out that the Stratosphere is supposed to be Quarterly, but is being published about three times a year. Merle pointed out that EOSS is getting attention from around the Hemisphere, and that it would be nice to be able to send them something. Mere says Jack Crabtree promised an article. Jack says he will write it and submit it after EOSS-24. Merle read a humorous piece from the Clear Lake balloon group's newsletter.

EOSS Homepage (Rick Von Glahn) - The EOSS homepage has been "hit" (read) 170 times since June 12. Rick says he has been putting up meeting minutes, and has put up an announcement for EOSS-24. Hank Riley from Massachusetts has volunteered to be the EOSS Internet bulletin manager. Mike Manes says he heard from a map maker in Ohio that he would like to make a detailed APRS for EOSS use, and Mike told him it would pretty much have to be a map of all of Eastern Colorado.

Merle McCaslin - CIBA (Central Illinois Balloon Association ??) will be flying a 1200 g balloon pretty soon.

Rick Von Glahn - Ralph Coppola, who is with a group which Rick can't remember off the top of his head, wants a blurb on EOSS. His group is an amateur science group.

QSL cards (Ted Cline) - Ted says he is still researching QSL card printers. He says he hopes to have them ordered before EOSS-24. Jack Crabtree asks Ted how many people were on the crossband repeater net last flight (Ted was part of net control on the cross band repeater net on EOSS-22, ed.) Ted says there were about 30 people and about 60 contacts.

Rocket/Balloon Project (Mike Manes) - Mike reports that Preston Pruty couldn't make it to the meeting, but that Preston would be testing a rocket using a sequential firing scheme on Sat the 22nd of July, 5 am,  at Eaglecrest High School. The sequential firing scheme will be used to launch the rocket from the balloon without puncturing the balloon.

University of Colo., Colo. Spgs. (Jack Crabtree) - Jack says the students from U.C.C.S. will be at the next EOSS meeting.


Jack Crabtree - The National Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, TX has invited EOSS to give a paper at the AIAA conference in Reno, NV in January. They will waive the $200 conference fee, but they can't help with transportation, room, board, etc. They need an abstract by July 30th and the actual paper by sometime in November. Jack says he can't donate frequent flier miles as he has done in the past. Jack asks if EOSS would be interested in presenting a paper in some way at this conference. Jack says the paper would be the easy part, he can modify the paper he gave at the Central Sates VHF Society conference, and Jack says he was told the paper doesn't even have to match the abstract, so a whole new paper could be written. There will be 30 minutes given for each talk at the AIAA conference, but ten of those minutes are for questions and answers. Merle asks who else will be there. Jack says EOSS was nominated by both Gill Moore and Norm Kjome. Andy Kellett asks if the pa! per wi ll be published in the proceedings even if an actual talk is not given. Jack says yes, and just submitting a paper is an option. Larry Cerney asks what Jack's paper is about. Jack says its about the development of Shuttle II. Larry suggests we at least get a paper in. Jack says he will submit an abstract and work on a new version of the paper he gave for the Central States VHF Society conference, and we can work on getting the AIAA to help foot the bill.

Meeting Adjourned.

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