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Sunday, 15 September 2019 saw a fun sponsored flight to 102,493 feet.  Kings Entertainment was interested in sending a small arcade game to the stratosphere to promote an upcoming event of theirs.  Paul L. was interested in another test of his non-HAM band (915MHz) LoRa tracker, so it all worked out.  Chris G. and Matthew L. were the reliable launch crew.

    Setting up the payloads and testing the LoRa gear

The flight consisted of a lower payload box with two cameras (primary "Mobius Mini" and a backup "808 #16 lens A") looking out towards a small Space Invaders arcade game.  The game was fully functional, but Paul thought it too heavy (100g) to be suspended on a foam-core arm, so he gutted the battery pack, speaker, and other easily removable parts.  A small screenshot was printed out and stuck to the now dead screen.  The TTGO T-beam LoRa tracker from NSL-74 was then added to the box.  This 915MHz device was paired with an Arduino-LoRa receiver in the chase car and Pi-LoRa receiver in downtown Raleigh.  Finally, a spool of string (Outside Hung Compact Rain-Activated Pull-down) was added to the side of the box to aid in tree recovery.

An additional small payload box was added 3m up the bridle with a cheap Mate808 camera to look downwards.  A 1m chute and 600g cell connected above.

To add to the fun of this launch, Kings brought in their mascot "Woody" the disturbingly large bowling pin.

    View from the Mobius Mini during inflation

     Not something you see every day

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Woody did a great job releasing the payload!

  Ascending from Wolfpack country

The ascent proceeded smoothly as the flight almost exactly matched the predicted flight path.  Paul and Matthew chased along and tested out the LoRa receiver.  A team from Kings joined in on the chase.  The relatively heavy (800g) payload recorded a peaceful flight without any crazy flips or swaying.

  Nice views from the $70USD Mobius Mini camera


The 808 camera had a narrower field of view and was not aimed correctly for the flight.  At least it was only the backup camera.
  View from the backup 808 #16 camera

And the downward facing Mate808 camera caught only glimpses of the bottom payload as it looked down at Raleigh below.  The line between them was only 3m, it should have probably been 5m.
    The view downwards

     Burst from 3 cameras

After burst, the payload plummeted at up to 49m/s (111mph).  The outrigger arm held, but the little screen image blew off.
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The chase crew waited in Lizard Lick, NC as the flight descended.  Paul & Matthew searched the skies but did not see it.  The downward facing camera spotted their car parked below.

The flight dodged trees and landed in a brand new subdivision nearby.  It came to rest at the back door of a home still under construction.

     Easy recovery

  Flight visualization

  Ascent rates

The T-Beam worked pretty well.  As expected, the signal strength drops-off directly below the payload.  The receiver fixed in downtown Raleigh was able to receive well during much of the flight.