Launch Announcement - 18th June (5:45am) London - Mission Impoppable 8

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Andrew Mulholland

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Jun 17, 2023, 8:16:36 AM6/17/23
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Another year, another group of Westminster school students have caught the ballooning bug!

The students are planning to move forward with a single launch from Vincent Square in central London tomorrow (Sunday 18th June) at 05:45am. This once again has special permission from the CAA along with a requirement to work closely with ATC on the day. The early start is a requirement from the CAA.

The balloon is a 600g balloon aiming for 24km altitude, with the payload coming in around 2.6KG.

The payload includes a custom Pi Pico trackers with a high accuracy PM (2.5, 5 and 10) sensor, a range of atmospheric sensors and collection of cameras. In addition to this, there is a Raspberry Pi Flextrak sending back pictures and a Radiosonde backup.

The real purpose of this flight though is testing the first completely redesigned modular payload box since the payload box introduced back a few years ago with Mission Impoppable 2.
The launch features 3 (transmitting) trackers.
  • WSHAB1 - 434.275MHz, LoRa Mode 1 (including SSDV) - Raspberry Pi Flextrak
  • WSHAB2 - 434.425MHz, LoRa Mode 1 (no SSDV, issues with mode 0, so had to go mode 1) - Custom Raspberry Pi Pico tracker. This one sends back most of the atmospheric data.
  • WS-RS1 - 434.600MHz,  Horus Binary 4FSK V2 on 434.600 Mhz - callsign WS-RS1 - This is a reprogrammed Radiosonde RS41, only really there in case all else fails...

Predictions have it slowing drifting north east right now. I've fed a bunch of different predictions into our system (which pulls its predictions from Tawhiri) for potential bursts - https://predict.gbaman.info/

I know the students will appreciate any help tracking, if anyone happens to be up that time of the morning on a Sunday! They won't be doing any tracking of their own of WS-RS1 (with it being a backup). Their focus will be WSHAB1 and WSHAB2 on LoRa.

Many thanks
Andrew - Westminster School

Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:00:53 AM6/18/23
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Hello all
I am actually tracking this right now via a
LORAGo dongle and HABbase (1.7.1) from my flat in London.
I am receiving WSHAB1 well - congratulations on launch!
But I can't see any of the payloads on Sondehub, and nor can I see myself (M0LVR) as a receiving station.
I can see other various RS41 radiosondes on Sondehub, but not these payloads.
Is there any setting I need to tweak on Sondehub to see these payloads?

I have also got "upload to Sondehub" ticked in HABbase.

Thanks in advance
Oliver
M0LVR

Mark Jessop

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:06:43 AM6/18/23
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You are likely looking at 'professional' SondeHub (radiosondes).


There are images on ssdv.habhub.org, though it looks like there hasn't been updates since launch. Last image was:

73
Mark VK5QI

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Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:19:46 AM6/18/23
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M0
Many thanks Mark

I can now see the payloads on the "amateur" map along with myself as a receiving station.

By the time I figured this out I was no longer receiving WSHAB1. Is there any way of checking the log the way we used to be able to on habhub?

I am trying to check if I am uploading OK to Sondehub.

Thanks

Oliver
M0LVR

Ross G6GVI

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:29:00 AM6/18/23
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Yes you are Oliver.
Follow the "Plots" link to Grafana and look at the "Per receiver packet count":
You managed 577 packets.

Mark Jessop

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:29:40 AM6/18/23
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If you click on the 'Plots' button for the payload, you can find lots of stats of who received what packets when, and what SNR you received at:

Here's the plots page for WSHAB1:

I'm not sure why your station's reported SNRs are so much higher than others though.

73
Mark VK5QI

Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 1:57:34 AM6/18/23
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Many thanks to Mark and Ross

(I' thought the "Plots" button did something completely different so I hadn't thought of trying it)
For the bonus point, is there any way that Sondehub can display the radio horizon of a payload like habhub used to?

Regarding the high SNRs for my station:
A) I was (comparatively) very close to the launch site - only 13km
B) the SNR uploaded by HABbase/LORAgo might be something different to what is expected. For instance, it is showing an SNR of 56 even now, when I am not actually receiving the payload any more. Possibly this is the SNR of any other LORA modules received by the LORAgo dongle at this particular moment on the same frequency? There may be plenty of IoT devices dotted around nearby.
Maybe Dave or Antony would like to comment on what actually gets received by LORAgo and then uploaded by HABbase in these circumstances.

Anyway nice to see that it worked!

I might try going outside with a patch antenna and HABexplora on my phone in a while to see if I can pick anything up line-of-sight (hence my query about the radio horizon)

Many thanks again for all your help.

Oliver
M0LVR

On 18 Jun 2023, at 06:29, Mark Jessop <lennieth...@gmail.com> wrote:



Ross G6GVI

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Jun 18, 2023, 2:06:30 AM6/18/23
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Yes, open the "Settings" menu (gear wheels logo) and in "Visibility", "Show horizon rings".

Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 2:45:26 AM6/18/23
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I am now outside with my patch antenna, LORAgo and HABexplora.

I can indeed still receive packets from WSHAB1!

Although I have turned on upload to SondeHub in HABexplora, I am not appearing as a chase car(e.g M0LVR_chase) on SondeHub, nor am I being listed as a receiving station.

Could anybody give any pointers on this please?

Apologies for all the queries, but of course this is one of the few opportunities to test everything "live"

Thanks again

Oliver
M0LVR

Mark Jessop

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Jun 18, 2023, 3:43:40 AM6/18/23
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I don't know what your station was doing, but it was uploading a lot of malformed data to SondeHub-Amateur:

Screen Shot 2023-06-18 at 17.11.48.png

All of those payloads with weird call signs are from your station.

It would be good if you can figure out what happened, so it doesn't happen again please!

73
Mark VK5QI

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Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 4:09:22 AM6/18/23
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I think it must have been a problem with HABexplora (or a weird combination of HABexplora, my particular phone, and the version of Android running on the phone)

If Dave would like to contact me then perhaps we could look into it further?

HABexplora did freeze up a few times.

It was running the most recent version though...

The last "good" HABexplora string that uploaded from me was 6.51.38 UTC from the WSHAB1 plots log.

One of the phantom payloads is called "Sunday" and it is actually Sunday, so did a corrupted string get decoded all wrong by HABexplora, or Sondehub, perhaps?

Oliver
M0LVR

P.S despite this last minute snafu it was otherwise an impressive showing using nothing else but a ptch antenna and a LORAgo dongle from the middle of London... might write it up later.

> On 18 Jun 2023, at 08:43, Mark Jessop <lennieth...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> 
> I don't know what your station was doing, but it was uploading a lot of malformed data to SondeHub-Amateur:
>
>

Mark Jessop

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Jun 18, 2023, 4:11:55 AM6/18/23
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Strings don't get decoded by SondeHub. What you see is what was submitted from the uploader application.

I suspect a bug in HAB Explora.

73
Mark VK5QI

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Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 18, 2023, 4:15:04 AM6/18/23
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Dear Mark, 
As an example, here is the plots csv for “Sunday”.
It’s otherwise a legitimate WSHAB1 string (the location is OK for instance), but somehow HABexplora(?) changed the payload name to “Sunday”.
Oliver
M0LVR


datetime,payload_callsign,lat,frequency,software_version,uploader_position,user-agent,snr,alt,uploader_callsign,pred_lat,software_name,pred_lon,modulation,uploader_alt,position,time_received,lon,raw
2023-06-18T06:42:53Z,Sunday,51.95044,434.275,V1.7.0,"51.46731,-0.18115",Amazon CloudFront,0.0,25329,M0LVR,51.9663,HAB Explora,0.3549,LoRa Mode 1,8,"51.95044,0.33636",2023-06-18T06:43:03Z,0.33636,"$$WSHAB1,5567,06:42:53,51.95044,0.33636,25329,12,0,29,0,51.96628,0.35494*862D"

William Yu

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Jun 18, 2023, 4:38:53 AM6/18/23
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Hi All,

Replying on behalf of Andrew (who is currently driving the bus): successful retrieval! Landed in the middle of a nice open field; easy visual from drone and then nice walk to get it back. Still unsure about WSHAB1 camera and WSHAB2 in general, diagnosis needed later.

Thanks for all the help tracking! Very much appreciated.

Will
CUSF

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Oliver de Peyer

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Jun 19, 2023, 7:28:07 PM6/19/23
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Here are the details of HABexplora and HABbase that I was using:
HABExplora: v.1.7.0 64 bits. This was confirmed as the latest version by Google Play. Android 10.
HABbase: v.1.7.2 I think (I reinstalled the ltest release especially for the occasion)

HABbase seemed to work smoothly except for the possibly erroneously high SNR.

HABexplora often froze or hung, although it transpires it was actually uploading well to SondeHub most of the time over tens of minutes, with just the few weird uploads like the one below.

I also tried HABpadd on the same phone - it seemed more stable and didn't freeze, but the phone screen was too small to use it. 

I half wondered if the high SNRs (seen by both HABexplora and HABbase) was a feature not a bug? Does the LORAgo report the SNR for all LORA devices it can receive?
I was right in the middle of a high density urban area so there might have been dozens of LORA IoT things nearby*

Yours
Oliver
M0LVR

* (for instance I just found a parabolic high gain antenna attached to the river ferry announcement board just outside my flat! Don't know if it is LORA though. It presumably receives and displays real time ferry arrival and departure times beamed from somewhere)

On 18 Jun 2023, at 09:15, Oliver de Peyer <go.ver...@googlemail.com> wrote:

Dear Mark, 

David Akerman

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Jun 20, 2023, 2:30:41 AM6/20/23
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Thanks Oliver.  I'm busy at a customer site  this week but I'll go through your info and the programs when I get time.  There is (was) a bug in LoRaGo re the SNR but it's one which the apps do/should fix (in other words they test for bad values and adjust to the correct value).  Sounds like that's not working.

The 2 apps use a common library for receiving, parsing and uploading, and I think Explora just needs to be reissued with the latest version of that.  Anyway I'll check and I'll let you know.

Dave

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Mark Jessop

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Jun 20, 2023, 7:13:04 PM6/20/23
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I think you might need to put out a warning about this. There's another flight under test where HAB Explora is resulting in similar issues:

Screen Shot 2023-06-21 at 08.39.06.png

Some uploaded examples:
{"software_name":"HAB Explora","software_version":"V1.7.0","uploader_callsign":"QUB1","time_received":"2023-06-20T22:32:14Z","payload_callsign":"Saturday","datetime":"2023-06-20T22:28:32Z","lat":54.42613,"lon":-6.16268,"alt":114,"frequency":434.225,"modulation":"LoRa Mode 1","snr":6,"rssi":-68,"uploader_position":"54.42484,-6.16528","raw":"$$QUBHAB2101,3471,22:28:32,54.42613,-6.16268,114,0,4754,29,0,0.00000,0.00000*D371","user-agent":"Amazon CloudFront","position":"54.42613,-6.16268","uploader_alt":167}
{"software_name":"HAB Explora","software_version":"V1.7.0","uploader_callsign":"QUB1","time_received":"2023-06-20T22:32:25Z","payload_callsign":"Thursday","datetime":"2023-06-20T22:28:32Z","lat":54.42613,"lon":-6.16268,"alt":114,"frequency":434.225,"modulation":"LoRa Mode 1","snr":6,"rssi":-70,"uploader_position":"54.42484,-6.16528","raw":"$$QUBHAB2101,3479,22:28:32,54.42613,-6.16268,114,0,4751,29,0,0.00000,0.00000*9335","user-agent":"Amazon CloudFront","position":"54.42613,-6.16268","uploader_alt":167}

73
Mark VK5QI

Andrew Mulholland

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Jun 21, 2023, 6:04:15 AM6/21/23
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I've had a quick word with the QUB folks that were testing yesterday (quite a coincidence that that would be my old university and they had just resurrected the kit I set up years ago while a student there, with it not having been touched since pre-covid).

They are going to stick to the Pi based LoRa gateways instead for now to avoid more ghost balloons.

David Akerman

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Jun 21, 2023, 6:47:17 AM6/21/23
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Thanks Andrew.  I've tweeted a warning about this too.  I'm away this week doing actual work but I'll get it sorted as soon as I can.

Dave

David Cutting

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Jun 21, 2023, 7:25:00 AM6/21/23
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> I've had a quick word with the QUB folks that were testing yesterday (quite a coincidence that that would be my old university and they had just resurrected the kit I set up years ago while a student there, with it not having been touched since pre-covid).

Ha I wish! Would have been much easier but who knows which dark cupboard that stuff is in. New kit top-to-tail Flextrack, Android LoRA receivers (currently broken it seems) and sparkling new LoRA ground stations.

Now to just cross our fingers for favourable winds for once. Hope all is well with you Andrew.

Kind regards,

Dave


On Wed, 21 Jun 2023 at 11:04, Andrew Mulholland <gba...@gmail.com> wrote:
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