August 24th 2022 Planning, Building, Launching

As we’re coming up on our 1st year Anniversary of our first flight, we are continually meeting to improve our package. Here at the NIBBB we operate as a group, albeit a small one. Michael Seedman, AA6DY one of our founders, has been redesigning our tracker. The original was designed many years before us, we refer to as the ICT board from YO3ICT. We took the size of the ICT using the original software and modifying it with our chips, building, testing and updating the original software. It really takes a Village to build success. We’re very fortunate to have a very dedicated group of volunteers that meet, plan, design, build, launch and review.

Here’s the first part of our big news. We’d like to congratulate two of our younger members, Kelsi Mulley KE9LSI and Gordie Mulley KD9TVR our newest Generals having passed their exams on Sunday August 21st 2022. Gordie attended his first launch on October 23rd 2021 with his Dad Doug, KD9TPM at that time a new General. Gordie then received his first license in November of 2021 along with his Grandfather Bob, KD9TVS, his Dad Doug KD9TPM upgrading to Amateur Extra. Kelsi sooned joined Gordie receiving her Technician class license in March of 2022. We now welcome two new Generals of the Mulley Clan of Gurnee, Illinois.

Wecloming our two new Generals 15 year old Kelsi Mulley KE9LSI and 11 year old Gordie Mulley KD9TVR

Since our first launch, we have been working to reach that sweet spot of reaching an altitude of 40,000 feet, high above the clouds and the weather. We basically had three choices, bigger balloon, smaller package or a combination of both. While we were working on the prospects of building or buying a larger balloon, we came upon the ICT board and said, wow, how do we get that? We discovered YO3ICT YO3ICT Balloon Program

Having received the ICT information, Michael started working on our redesigned board. Having gone through several renditions, and finally our first manufactured tracker, minus a few chips. In preparation of the ongoing chip shortage, Michael started ordering chips. Below is our new redesigned PCB tested and ready to fly.

With our new tracker, we neeeded a new solar panel package. Jim Janiak, KD9UQB designed our current Solar Panel Package which holds 7 Polycrystalline solar panels on a thin styrofoam plate. While preparing the plate, Jim found the Hefty Styrofoam plate had 2 plys. Below is our complete package ready for launch.

Bringing the Package to the Launch site. Tracker, Solar Panels and 33 ft. Dipole Antenna waiting for the Balloon.

Using Jim’s design we’ll be meeting as a group to learn to build these Solar Panel and Antenna Packages. With our manufactured Trackers, Solar Panel, Antenna packages and our new Generals, we’re looking forward to many future flights. Please join us this Saturday August 27th for our next launch at Willow Hill Golf Course, 1350 Willow Rd. Northbrook, IL 60062.

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