[aprssig] UAH ballooning report (long)

Robbie - WA9INF mwrobertson at comcast.net
Mon Apr 11 11:01:59 EDT 2005


I can easily see how waiting for a "clear channel" at that height is 
disastrous!! <G> I think if I had that much expense involved, D7, GPS, 
and so forth, I would use another frequency for sure.. But enough good 
stations to help me track it would be imperative!!!

I have tracked a lot of balloons, and find it is fun.

Good luck,


Jason Winningham wrote:
> On Apr 11, 2005, at 8:13 AM, Robbie - WA9INF wrote:
>> Bad enough to transmit in the blind on the ground, now put something 
>> up 10,000 feet transmitting in the blind???
> Once the balloon gains a little altitude, it can hear several states.  
> On one flight, packets were received in 11 states.  If you wait for a 
> clear channel on 144.39 you will NEVER transmit under those conditions. 
>  We accidentally flew one that was waiting for a clear channel to 
> transmit; we got a bare handful of packets during the flight, other than 
> those at the beginning and end while it was still close to the ground.
> I don't recall if I mentioned this previously, but we ran our alternate 
> trackers on 144.340, and I set up an Igate here at UAH on that 
> frequency.  The antenna was low gain and low to the ground.  It managed 
> to receive data anywhere from halfway through to flight to almost on the 
> ground (it helped that all 3 of Saturday's balloons landed on top of the 
> mountain).
> The 144.34 stations were:
> kg4wsv-15 - igate, Alinco DR-135TP, 1/4 wave ground plane
> kg4wsv-10 - backup tracker, opentracker, yaesu vx150 on low power, 
> vertical dipole
> n4txi-11 - backup tracker/cutdown, WhereAVR, not sure about radio 
> (Alinco DJ-S11?), horizontal dipole
> wb8elk-11 - backup tracker, WhenAVR (variant of WhereAVR), I think 
> Alinco DJ196 on low power, factory rubber duck
> These are mildly interesting to look at, just to see the difference 
> between a rubber duck and a dipole, or between vertical and horizontal 
> dipoles.
> It would be nice to have some 144.34 digis in the region when we fly, 
> but for now we need to make use of the 144.390 infrastructure so that we 
> can recover our payloads.  I don't think we have received any 
> complaints, even though we transmit pretty aggressively for 2 or 3 hours 
> per flight.  I think most hams are still experimenters at heart and are 
> interested to see something like this happening, rather than getting 
> upset that someone is transmitting in the blind every 30 seconds.
> -Jason
> kg4wsv

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