Launch 3 went off with only a few hitches. My family was in town for an early Thanksgiving celebration and I put them all to work assisting with camera labeling, lens cleaning, picture taking, and anything else I could come up with. After two years of doing it all by myself it was nice to have a some extra hands laying around.
We spent the night before the launch making sure everything was ready. As stated above, we labeled each camera. Each memory card was also labeled to correspond to the camera it went in. The cards were all formatted and the cameras were all setup to start recording video when they turned on. Batteries were charged and payload layout was finalized.
In order for this project to be successful I have to be able to track where the balloon lands. A bonus would be if I were able to track its position live. In pursuit of that goal I studied for and obtained an amateur radio license in March of 2012. I haven’t gotten into the ham world too much. To be honest, it feels like stepping back in time. Before IRC and instant messaging we had radio waves. There’s a lot you can do with an amateur radio license outside of ragchewing. For instance, I make use of my license by using an APRS transmitter to update my balloons’ positions in real-time. This isn’t, however, a post about APRS or balloons. In fact, it’s not even a post about amateur radio in the sense that I don’t need a license to do what I’m about to discuss.