Due to equipment problems and unpleasant weather conditions for testing, it was decided to postpone the launch of the University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club (UTARC) balloon flight UX-4 until the following weekend.
This Saturday, December 10, 2005, the weather appears to be cooperating for this test run of the 20m beacon. All equipment was tested during pre-flight clearance and are ready to go.
Launchtime is slated for 10AM Eastern Time (1500 UTC).
This mission contains only a 20 meter CW beacon with battery voltage and transmission number being transmitted via the beacon. The power out is about 1 1/4 watt depending on antenna ERP. The frequency is 14.328 MHz CW but tune up or down as temperature changes during the flight may cause the transmitter to drift. The Balloon Callsign will be AA4UT/B.
Success of this mission is reliant on the signal reports we get back from listeners. The 20m CW transmitter is being tested for use on future missions that will relay telemetry readings as well as produce reception reports from earth stations on HF bands. Recovery operations are not planned for this flight as only the 20m beacon and battery are onboard. It will have a homemade parachute and ID tags on the payload in case it is recovered in a populated area.
This beacon, if successful, will be used on balloon flight UX-5, now scheduled for the weekend of December 17 (the following Saturday) to deliver expanded telemetry readings about the payload as we attempt a reception distance record. More information on that flight and its payload will be made available soon.
UTARC will spot the transmitter on DXclusters and there will be QSL info in the beacon ID. If you would like to email your report, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your Callsign, QTH, and signal report.