[aprssig] Solar Impulse Flight (shaggy dog story)(sig)

Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr) ldeffenb at homeside.to
Tue May 24 08:15:05 CDT 2016


I really wish they'd provide an easy-to-use coordinate feed when they're 
flying.  I've screen-scraped their tracking map before to port it onto 
the APRS-IS, but they've changed their web app since then and I haven't 
taken the time to reverse-engineer it again to see if I could get access 
to the (nearly) live coordinates.  Maybe when the lift off again, I'll 
give it a go.

BTW, if you haven't noticed, they had a "cabinet failure" which caused 
their portable inflatable hangar to have issues so they haven't lifted 
off yet.

Lynn (D) - KJ4ERJ - Author of APRSISCE for Windows Mobile and Win32

On 5/23/2016 8:37 PM, Robert Bruninga via aprssig wrote:
> Solar Impulse 'round-the-world flight shaggy dog story...
>
> Having stayed through Sunday here in Dayton for the first time in 
> decades, I was soon bored!  Having not bought ANYthing the whole 
> weekend, the piles of bricks and abandoned gear by the trash piles by 
> noon Sunday were just too tempting, and by the time I left at 1 PM, 
> every nook and cranny of the solar prius was crammed with old 
> commercial gear thinking they will come in handy with our plan for an 
> East Coast 9600 baud backbone (http://www.aprs.org/ec9600net.html).
>
> The real deal was a stack of 25 rock solid "UHF" 45W data radios with 
> built in GPS.  Clearly designed for dispatch vehicles that I got for 
> $2 each.  The great news is that they had 3 serial ports combined into 
> a 14.4 kbps stream.  Spent the evening getting the covers off to 
> reveal the bad news.  They are 800 MHz!  totally useless unless they 
> can be pulled a whole 100 MHz (not likely). Photos and details later...
>
> Anyway, After 3 days in the Prius Inn 
> (http://aprs.org/APRS-SPHEV.html) I was ready for a real shower and 
> with all you guys gone, I finally got a room downtown.  Then I heard 
> someone say that the Solar Impulse was landing in Dayton that night, 
> and rushed to the TV to find some local news as to when it would 
> land.  Not having cable at home and being clueless, I searched all 250 
> channels on the hotel TV and the only thing I found  was FOX.  And 
> they had a panel of experts probably claiming something about Obama 
> causing the rain in the flea market this weekend.  Nothing on CNN, 
> NBC, HLN, MSNBC about the Solar Impulse either.  Not even news! Just 
> fluff pieces on feel-good stuff.  I finally realized I could google it.
>
> Found the Solar Impulse web page and the last post was "landing in 45 
> minutes" and it was posted 20 minutes ago!  Grabbed the keys and made 
> a beeline to the airport only to see a crowd of about 6 people near a 
> police car.  I stopped in the red zone and the policeman was 
> explaining that it landed 5 minutes ago.  He then turned on his 
> flashing lights and drove use into a restricted area where he pointed 
> to some tiny dim lights all the way across the tarmac where it was 
> parked  (if you could see it at all)..
>
> Stuck in Dayton till a Tuesday meeting on cubesats at WrightPat AFB, I 
> just had zero motivation to go do anything Monday other than catch up 
> on email. No one anywhere knew anything about the Solar Impulse so I 
> finally forgot about it. Forced myself to get out of the room and 
> decided to just go over to the WP aviation museum to grab lunch. Nice 
> museum if you ever have the time.  Its Monday and the place was 
> virtually empty.  Wandering through alone I did stumble into two guys 
> in flight suits discussing one of the early flight exhibits.  It 
> sounded like they were speaking French so I took a stab...
>
> "You guys know anything about the Solar Impulse?" The tall one 
> answered, "yes, it landed last night". I ask, "Well are they going to 
> have any tours or open house? I cant find out anything".  He said, 
> "Not really, its leaving at 5 AM tomorrow"... Now having gained some 
> info I needed, I wandered away...
>
> Then I began to wonder... and wandered back.  "You guys aren't the 
> pilots are you?" and one said, "yes, I'm Andre."  After picking myself 
> up off the floor, I stumbled through something about how admiring I am 
> of their solar initiative and how great their mission is, etc.  
> Gushing along I said something about being 100% solar myself at home 
> and driving an EV.  He lit up and asked "That's not your red Tesla in 
> the parking lot is it?"  I said, no, mine is the beat-up Solar Prius 
> about 10 cars down.  He responded "Wow, I saw that one and we took 
> pictures of it!"
>
> I gushed some more and then slinked away so as to not sound like too 
> much of a solar groupie...  Floating on air, I decided I'd had the 
> highlight of my day and could not stay focused to finish the museum.  
> Headed out to the car, and ran into a couple in the 3rd EV in the 
> parking lot sitting there in the hot sun with the AC running and 
> enjoying the silent coolness of EV AC while studying the Dayton 
> tourist guide as to where to go next.
>
> Then I began to realize that if Andre saw my car on the way in, then 
> he would be passing it on the way out.  I moved it around and parked 
> right next to the copper colored I3, and second red Tesla (N7TES tags) 
> and both still charging. (1st red Tesla I had seen was N4HHE back at 
> Hara)... Then waited... and waited.... then went back inside the 
> museum and staying out of sight, stalked them until they finally met 
> up with the astonished Museum Director who did not know they were 
> coming.  After another hour or so of touring the museum they headed 
> out and I was able to sneak around and get back to the EV's first.
>
> I asked Andre for a photo, and he was happy to oblige saying something 
> like "solar Impulse... solar car... good idea"... His camera man asked 
> me some details about my car and as he and Andre walked off to their 
> van, I could see the camera man passing along the details to him.
>
> And that's the rest of the story.  Photo and web page to follow when I 
> get back to the office at the end of the week!
>
> Another day in the bumbling bubble...
> Bob, WB4APR
>
>
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