Kate flight at LDRS 2017

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VernK

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There was a Kate demo flight on Sunday morning at LDRS-36. Jeff Boldig flew his six inch diameter "Big Bird" on an M1725 to 5272 feet. The flight was absolutely perfect! It even landed just 409 feet from the launch pad! The flight was tracked by a Multitronix TelemetryPro system. This system generates a synthesized voice named Kate that narrates the entire flight in real time. It was played over the PA system for everyone to hear. The Kate audio and several other files automatically generated by the system are available at the links below:

Link to Kate audio file

Link to flight report and plots

Link to Google Earth file
(You may have to save this file and open it manually in Google Earth if your browser does not do so automatically.)


JeffBoldig_BigBird_M1725_LDRS2017_FlightTrajectory.jpg

Click on this image to see the flight trajectory without Google Earth.

More information about the Multitronix TelemetryPro system (aka "Kate") is available at this link: www.multitronix.com
 

T-Rex

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Awesome stuff but way out of my budget.... :cyclops:
 

mpitfield

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Very nice Vern. I wish I was able to attend. We will have to talk closer to the end of the year about picking up a complete system, my search for a previously enjoyed one has not yielded any results.
 

Sailorbill

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That system is awesome. I have witnessed flights at Black Rock and Argonia.
 

ksaves2

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Very nice Vern. I wish I was able to attend. We will have to talk closer to the end of the year about picking up a complete system, my search for a previously enjoyed one has not yielded any results.
I'd say well worth it if one routinely flies projects that can accommodate it. Me suspects the dearth of a secondary market for the device is a product of the price of admission and the fact that serious fliers are likely to invest in it
and continue to use it. Yeah, yeah I know, life changes but I venture a guess it really hasn't been out there long enough for there to be enough units for a secondary market due to a "change in life".

For the Ham folks Altus Metrum's products have a spoken side although I haven't flown a rocket yet using the Tele-BT so I don't know to what extent it reports.

For APRS tracking, Xastir with the Festival voice server can give distance and bearing call outs but no audible rocket related info for free. Only problem is it can be a b***h to setup for the uninitiated. When I tried it a couple of times to track, I didn't find the callouts very helpful as I could visibly see it on the screen. (As long as the screen was shaded from glare!) The tracked rocket icon has all that info plus GPS altitude and horizontal drift speed.
Was able to cram Xastir on a Pocket Chip (sans speech server) https://getchip.com/pages/pocketchip and it does track fine in testing. Just have to try it with a rocket flight. I've tracked using Xastir with a bulky laptop some years ago and it performs well with APRS tracking. It would be easy enough to put a Pocket Chip inside of a flat black painted box along with a B/T mobilnkd TNC (to decode the APRS packets) and a Ham H/T. Use a wireless mouse to
control and my gosh that's a tiny base station. One has to remember, the major issue with tracking on a screen is glare. It's an absolute bear to see a laptop, tablet, cell phone screen out in the open sunlight and some
physical shading is needed. A handheld mapping GPS Garmin or otherwise is designed to be viewable in sunlight so that makes it easy if one can pipe to rocket waypoint to the device as shown below:
IMG_20160125_221202.jpg


Any APRS tracking program can be used now for tracking even the old UI-View. UI-View is handicapped because the code is frozen at the time the author died (I always thought that was so selfish) and the commercial Undertow maps are no longer forsale. I've heard they're available for download probably from outer Mongolia or something like that. Some tricks Ui-View can do is track the rocket icon with a window with all the specifics in a box next to the icon and do a "VCR" record of a
tracking session. Can call up the saved session and play it back in realtime or any speed one desires. No other APRS program I know of can do this. Many can save a track and repaint it but none can play it in realtime.

Nonetheless, the Multitronix is completely optimized for rocket flights and by golly, it even switches Rf power output on the telemetry side when needed! Plus no pesky Ham license needed for those not so disposed to get one. (I bothered to get one)
Kurt
 

VernK

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... Nonetheless, the Multitronix is completely optimized for rocket flights and by golly, it even switches Rf power output on the telemetry side when needed! ...
Speaking of which, I don't think I mentioned it here before but last November I did a long range test of the Multitronix TelemetryPro system. A friend took a transmitter to the top of a peak named Deer Point near Boise where I live. I then drove to a spot past Vale Oregon that still had direct line-of-sight back to Deer Point. The receiver immediately linked up with the transmitter. Both units have GPS built-in and it showed the distance to be 317,962 feet. There was still 10 dB of signal margin too. The receive antenna (a three element Yagi) could be pointed 45 degrees off axis from the target and still maintain a solid data link. The link dropped when the antenna was pointed more than 60 degrees off axis. It would have worked much further away too but I did not find a location further away that still had direct line-of-sight back to the transmitter. Bottom line is, the system should be good for flights to at least 300K feet. Hopefully, that will get put to the test someday....
 
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