Written by Blake Raab (N4BWR)
Launch day is here! We will be meeting at 9 AM at the VFW Fairgrounds (1625 Bankhead Highway, Carrollton GA). We plan to launch around 10, or whenever everything is ready. See this link for the current flight prediction. Keep in mind that varying ascent or descent rates will stretch or compress that part of the path, but the general shape of the flight prediction is what to watch. Take a look at the predicted burst point and landing site. The distance between them is 3.035 miles, and the heading from burst to landing is 230.58 degrees. Once we know the actual burst point, we can get very close to the landing site before it lands by using this tool to calculate that point based on distance and heading.
We will begin communications on the W4FWD repeater (146.640, negative offset, 131.8 hertz tone), but will quickly switch to the crossband repeater on the balloon (Uplink: 145.600, Downlink: 445.450, 131.8 hertz tone on both). We may use the balloon uplink frequency for simplex communications on the ground at the landing area. The N4THM repeater is also a good alternative (146.865, negative offset, 131.8 hertz tone).
You can track the balloon on aprs.fi here. In that link, I've set the track tail length to three hours to cover the whole flight. If you would like a way to track the balloon alongside the prediction on your mobile device, you can click here, save the KMZ file to your device, and open it in the Google Earth app.