June 11th 2022, AA6DY and KD9ITO

We launched 2 balloons this morning AA6DY using the U4B tracker from QRP Labs and KD9ITO using our tracker. For both trackers we used Polycrystalline solar panels on a styrofoam plate. We have yet to hear from these 2 balloons. We still need to document our launches and learn to overcome our shortcomings.

We gathered this morning at 8:30 a.m. at Willow Hill Golf Course in Northbrook, Illinois which sits on a former landfill. We chose this site because it sits high above the surrounding buildings. Joining us this morning is the Mulley Clan, Doug KD9TPM, his three children, Gordie KD9TVR, his two older sisters Kelsie KE9SLI and Kyli and their Grandfather Bob KD9TVS, Stewart Spies KB9LM and his Grandson Remy, Jim Janiak KD9UQB, Michael Seedman AA6DY and myself Cary Willis KD9ITO

While we’re still gathering information to see where we failed, what we do know is both trackers were working and getting a WSPR signal after they were programmed from Michael’s house. We’re all having difficulty working with these polycrystalline solar panels, breaking easily during the soldering process. We have our team working on a solution for securing the tracker to the solar panel package and using other solar panels.

While we were high on a hill for the launch, we were still dealing with some wind gusts and a slow lift of the balloon. The Styrofoam plate had some difficulty getting off the ground.

We were using the BalloonsOnline 32″ Silver Sphere which was prepared the day before to give time for the super glue to set. We’re flying using Hydrogen and 6 grams of free lift.

Balloons prepared the day before with weights over the valves securing the seal

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