gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for November 2009

A few pictures from the launch of VE3REX-11

November 10, 2009 @ 17:02 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio, Photography

I posted a video to YouTube today of the launch of VE3REX-11 this past Saturday:

I’ve also posted a few pictures in an album on Facebook that you can view even if you don’t have a Facebook account.

What goes up usually comes down…

November 09, 2009 @ 14:27 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio

ve3rex-11 map … but not always where you want it to.

I picked up my friend, Ken, Saturday morning and we headed to Perth to watch the LASA group launch two balloons: VE3REX-11 and VE3LCA-11.

VE3REX-11 was the first hydrogen-filled (yes, not helium-filled) balloon to be launched from outside Perth. This balloon carried just an APRS tracking device and was hoped to set a new altitude record. Ken and I decided to follow this balloon, so we took off shortly after launch and left the other people to track the other balloon.


Chasing balloons this weekend

November 06, 2009 @ 13:01 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio, General

Updated with callsigns for the balloons and to show a static map of the tracks.

The Lanark Amateur Space (LASA) group is at it again. This weekend, they’re planning on launching two balloons from Perth around 9am on Saturday. The balloons will be carrying GPS receivers and small transmitters so their locations can be tracked using APRS. I’m going to be one of the teams chasing the balloons and hopefully recovering the payload after it returns to Earth.

This will be my second time doing this, the first being earlier this year, which you can read about here and here.

The forecast for the winds aloft is such that it’s likely that the payloads will land somewhere south of the border, though you never know. Last May’s balloons had similar predictions, but they landed on the Canadian side of the river just outside Cornwall.

If you’re interested, you can track my progress on this map Below is the map showing our progress. Because of the terrain, my track stops much further north than we actually travelled.


The two balloons are VE3REX-11 and VE3LCA-11.  REX-11 has just a tracking unit in it, while LCA-11 has a camera and temperature package in it in addition to a tracker.

A tip o’ the hat to Bob (VA3QV) who blogged about the upcoming launch, which I would have missed otherwise.


November 02, 2009 @ 07:45 By: gordon Category: Photography

Sunrise this morning was particularly pretty…


Rolling the clock back

November 01, 2009 @ 13:32 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, General, Travelling

All week I’ve been adjusting my watch forward and backwards, culminating in last night’s rollback. (You did remember to set your clock back, right?)

Peggy's Cove 2009 006 Saturday saw me set it forward an hour when I arrived in Halifax for a few days, combining business and pleasure.  I had a great time visiting Peggy’s Cove on Sunday where the weather was absolutely amazing with sunshine and 18C.

Saltwater must run in my veins because I lost track of time sitting on the rocks watching the waves crash onto shore. Feeling the salt spray on my face was incredibly relaxing.

Peggy's Cove 2009 221I also visited one of the memorials to Swissair flight 111, which crashed into the ocean about 10km offshore of Peggy’s Cove in 1998. Two monuments were built, one near Peggy’s Cove and the other in Bayswater. There are sightlines at both monuments which triangulate on the actual location of the crash.  Very impressive.

On Monday I met up with my co-Peggy's Cove 2009 240worker and we spent the next couple of days working in our regional office. Wednesday morning we headed to the airport and caught a flight to Ottawa. I parted company with her and met up with my boss at the gate for the flight to Winnipeg, where I spent the next couple of days.

Arriving in Winnipeg meant setting my watch back 2 hours compared to Halifax, which I had adjusted to during the four days I was there.

The weather in Winnipeg basically grey and wet almost the whole time we were there. The forecast kept warning of impending snow, but I’m happy to report that we didn’t see any snow while we were there.

The time change caught up with me, so it always felt like it was about two hours later than it really was. And since we were working weird shifts in the regional office, it only got worse. By the time we left Friday morning, I had no idea what time it really was.

Arriving home Friday afternoon meant setting the clock forward an hour. I dragged my suitcases upstairs and promptly fell asleep on the couch for a couple of hours.

It’s now sometime on Sunday and I’ve dutifully adjusted my clocks again, this time to switch over to Eastern Standard Time. Consequently, everything feels out of sync again.

At least it’s sunny out.