[edited 5 June, 2023] Updated Schedules.
Ready for Final Countdown?
We’ve done our dry runs, and made some final tweaks, so we’re ready to burn some rocket fuel!
If you’ve been following along, after our last couple dry runs we made some tweaks, but had a couple somewhat significant things we wanted to change before scheduling our launch - both related not to the electronics or radio side of things, but to the physical rocket stuff, and some support items. You can refer to the post just before this one for details, but the tldr; is:
- We needed a new launch pad
- We needed a new rail guide
- We needed to get my hotspot working so that we could post live updates from the field
All 3 of those things are now in place, so we’re ready to go!
Our plan is to launch over 3 consecutive Sundays, with make-up dates essentially being the following Sunday if we have to scrub.
Launch 1: Planned for May 28th 2023 (Completed!)
Liftoff @ 10:00AM EDT, 14:00 UTC
This launch is a ‘test launch’ which is a live fire of the rocket, but without the electronics payload. If you follow along on mastodon, you should see live toots right up until the final countdown, and then we’ll manually give an update for how the launch went after we recover the rocket, pack up, and get back home to evaluate how things went.
If you’re within range, and have equipment that can receive frequencies in the 380 - 700 nanometers band, feel free to try to catch us live.
[ed. This launch went very well - we’re making a couple minor tweaks to a couple things, but are now ready for our live ‘On the Air’ launch!]
Launch 2: Planned for June 4th (Completed!)
Liftoff @ 08:00AM EDT, 12:00 UTC
If all goes as planned, this will be the first ‘fully live’ launch. If you’re in the Lancaster PA area, you can try to receive our telemetry directly. We have 2 on-board transmitters that you can listen for us on:
- APRS on 144.39 (N3VEM-11) which will be sending location and altitude data
- LoRa on 433MHz (each packet will include my callsign, so that you know if what you’re receiving is us). If you manage to receive our packets, feel free to send a LoRa message that starts with ‘@relay’ and the rocket will repeat your message for us, and anyone else listening, to hear.
There are also 2 non-radio ways to follow along:
- look for N3VEM-11 on APRS.fi - we should get enough altitude to be picked up by the W3PC digipeater in town. You probably won’t see all of our packets, but there should be a small handful that make it while the rocket is near apogee.
- follow the rocket’s mastodon account. Via our ground station, there will be live status updates getting tooted out beginning at roughly T-36 minutes (9:24AM EDT, 13:24 UTC).
[ed. Launch went very well! Stay tuned for a separate post with specific details!]
Launch 3: Planned for ?
Liftoff @ 10:00AM EDT, 14:00 UTC
Launch 3 should essentially be a repeat of launch 2, unless we learn something during the first 2 launches that causes us to change our plans.
Radio Rocket Ohyō Stats and Info
Height: 198cm ; 78”
Diameter: 38mm ; 1.5”
Launch Weight, w/o Motor: 1,261g ; 44.5oz
Recovery: dual 30” parachutes
Paint: Yellow and Green, inspired by vintage RF spectrum analyzer traces
Telemetry: GPS data via APRS packets (no digipeating) on 144.39MHz, and magnetometer, gyro, acceleration, barometric pressure, altitude, and messaging via LoRa on 433MHz. Flight data will also be posted live to Mastodon via the ground station’s ‘auto-tooter.’
First 3 flights will be on Aerotek G76G motors, with an ejection delay of ~7 seconds. The first flight will not house any electronics, and will be strictly to test the integrity/durability of the rocket itself. Assuming a successful first test flight, the next 2 flights will carry the APRS and LoRa payloads.
For these first 3 flights, modeling predicts:
- Apogee (max altitude): 266m ; 872’
- Max Velocity: 65.5 m/s (235kph) ; 215 ft/s (147mph)
- Max Acceleration: 99 m/s^2 ; 325 ft/s^2 (about 10g)
- Time to Apogee: 7.77 s
- Total Flight Time: 56.4 s