Here are some photos from the February 8, 2012, Dinner Meeting.
OK, so this one is ACTUALLY from the Wednesday AMSAT Lunch Meeting on February 1st at Pappa's BBQ. Payload Master Thomas KT5TK has finished the Flight Unit! Yes, it is a frequency-agile APRS transmitter on 144.390 MHz, but only while over the USA. When it is over the Atlantic, it will use 145.825, and then appropriate frequencies for other APRS channels around the world.
We had a good crew at Pappa's on February 1st. Thomas is hard at it with custom programs for the 5 oz APRS payload. That's W5EZM on the far left, Mechanical Engineer Moises just behind Thomas, and AB5V is discussing issues with Mechanical Engineer May Peng who also handles the Chinese translations. Candy K9TEX and Helium King Charlie K5ENG look on.
Now we are getting a little closer to the official February 8th BLT Dinner Meeting. This is our Lunch Meeting once again at Pappa's BBQ on February 8th! Lots of folks showed up for this one!
A few of us headed out to the parking lot at Pappa's to see if Charlie had the right size for the new nozzle. This thing is BIG! It fits! Charlie made it light weight, but PERFECT. This is our 1600 gram backup balloon. We still have not opened the bag for the BIG balloon.
So, we FINALLY made it to the BLT Dinner Meeting! No, we are not drinking apple juice, but those who must, are going for Diet Coke. K5SAF, W5ACM (taking the photo), KK2Z and AB5SS are not...
Payload Master Thomas KT5TK shows up a bit late, but with plenty of gear! Let the festivities begin!
Here it is... The final version of the APRS payload. The antenna and ground radials are curious, and the forks have nothing to do with the flight, but they are important to the evening.
Thomas and Charlie dig into the box. What other curious things will they find?
Thomas heads outside of the Brickhouse for a break. Well, not quite. He finds an AC outlet, and as usual, begins experimenting! The special scale we will use to set "free lift" for BLT-28 has a power supply that runs on 220 VAC. He has the converter, and we plug it in.
Here we go! The net package weight (prior to adding tape, labels, etc.) is running 166 gr. We expect the final payload weight to be 180 gr. K6RPT recommends no less than 125 gr free lift, and no more than 200 gr free lift. Let's hope for calm winds so that we can get this RIGHT FOR FLIGHT!!!!
Launch happens at 3PM on February 11, 2012, from the No Label Brewery in Katy, Texas!!! We'll be THERE!!!