Eldorado Space Cowboys - 2017 Balloon Launch

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by W5AHN, Mar 6, 2017.

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  1. W5AHN

    W5AHN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Engineering Class at our small local high school is scheduled to launch a high altitude balloon into outer space this coming Tuesday Morning, March 7, 2017 at 7:30 AM.

    All of the kids in the Engineering program are licensed Amateur Radio operators. Since the start of the engineering program 3 years ago, we have had 14 kids pass their Technician, General or Extra Class Amateur Radio licenses, out of a total of approximately 150 kids in grades 9 -12.

    For those of you that receive QST Magazine, these are the same kids that you saw on the covers of the February and the March issues of QST and read their multi-page article in the February issue.

    After their evaluation of the weather this afternoon, the launch of Eagle VI is now set for Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 AM CST from Eldorado High School.

    Be sure and tune in to the live broadcast of the launch and retrieval of the balloon after it arrives back to earth, later on Tuesday afternoon. During the broadcast, you will be able to see Live Video and Telemetry from their space probe from outer space. The kids will be continuously broadcasting live during the day and would love to answer your questions in the live chat session during the broadcast.

    Additional information about the Engineering Program is available at the following URL's:



    Danny Ray Boyer W5AHN

    Attached Files:

    W9AFB, K3RW, K7SKE and 1 other person like this.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Way to go Danny:)!
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  3. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like great fun. Thanks for the post.
  4. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    So we don't have to go digging through the FB page or website, will they have a beacon we can listen for, and what frequencies will it be on? Do you want listener reports?
  5. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    What I can glean from the information is that it is not gonna be heard by anyone but the team themselves. Talks about sat uplinks and microwave TV links. Not something most of us have setting around. I have been interested in listening to beacons from balloons in the past but they have been inaccessible to me, so far. Either too far away, like way in Western states or during work hours, or special modes or freqs.
  6. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. W5AHN

    W5AHN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The payload on the balloon transmits (and receives) data to (and from) the ground via a 2 Ghz digital microwave link operating in the licensed 2 Ghz Amateur band.

    There is no 2 meter APRS transmitter on the payload, due primarily to two reasons.

    First of all, due to FAA regulations, the payload weight has to be less than 4 pounds. With all of the necessary measurement and computing equipment mounted on the payload, the payload weight is slightly less than the 4 pound FAA limit.

    Secondly, with the payload 25-30 miles in Outer Space for most of the day after a launch, if it was transmitting APRS data on 144.39 Mhz, it would be heard via the majority of digirepeaters and Igates throughout several states in the Southern U.S. causing undue interference to the fixed APRS system.

    Taking both of the above problems in account, it was decided that it would not be prudent to try to deploy APRS from the payload at this time.

    For what it is worth, the kids also have additional measuring devices that they have developed that are yet to be carried on the payload, due to the FAA weight limitation.

    One of the measuring devices that they have developed and tested is to detect and measure the amount of solar radiation, throughout the earth's atmosphere at various altitudes and in outer space. rom that information, they will be able to calculate how much effect the earth's atmosphere has in reducing the amount of solar radiation that all of us receive each day.

    Let me also report that the launch has been postponed from early Tuesday morning to early Wednesday morning.

    This is due to the early arrival of a cold front, which as everyone is aware, brings abnormal high winds, which makes it extremely risky trying to get the large balloon off of the ground and in the air, without damage.

    I hope that I have answered everyone's questions.

    Danny Ray Boyer W5AHN
    K3RW likes this.
  8. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all that. And kudos for recognizing the APRS implications and moving it off frequency. That no doubt made it tougher to design and build, but hats off to thinking of the broader community.

    I didn't catch the info on the website, but is it an off-the-shelf-rocket? Multi-stage?

    Not to ask too many questions, but what transmitter did you choose for 2ghz? Mostly I just find transverters.
  9. WB4OKM

    WB4OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Danny, where do we go on YOUTUBE to see the live launch/ Also, did I hear correctly on Ham Nation webcast that there will be a 40 meter frequency to monitor?
    Danny, where do we go on YOUTUBE to watch the live stream?
    also, did I hear correctly on the HAM NATION webcast that there will be a 40 meter net to cover the event?, thanks, Marvin , WB4OKM
  10. W5AHN

    W5AHN Ham Member QRZ Page


    The Eldorado, Texas Space Cowboys, a group of GREAT Texas high school students is committed to not only making AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, but is committed to MAKING SPACE GREAT AGAIN!

    At approximately 8 AM, on Wednesday March 8, 2017, they are sending President Trump to Space.

    President Trump will achieve a maximum altitude of 105,000 feet and after approximately 1 hour in space, he will begin his re-entry.

    The team is committed to safely bringing Mr. Trump back to earth and providing high resolution photographs of the President in front of the blackness of space, with Earth in the background.

    You can follow a live stream of the launch, re-entry, chase and recovery of the Space Mission starting at 7:45 AM CST at:



    Communications between the "Hambulance" Chase Vehicle and the Classroom will be on 7.275 Mhz.


    The Eldorado Space Cowboys
    Eldorado, Texas
    K6FNI likes this.

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