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how much does it cost to fill a weather balloon?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by KD5ZEW, May 10, 2009.

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  1. KD5ZEW

    KD5ZEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    how much does the helium cost to fill one of those 6-8' weather balloons?
     
  2. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't be more than $75, which is about the price of a 50 lbs cylinder of helium (Short of the deposit on the tank).
     
  3. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check your local helium prices (prices tripled in some parts of the USA over past 2 years) -- lowest prices in USA is in your part of Texas where it is extracted and stored!

    w9gb
     
  4. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet the Wx Service gets it holessell.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  5. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, I'd use hydrogen. Much cheaper, especially if you "roll your own." :D
     
  6. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't believe you would even ask the cost! It is well substantiated that most hams are full of hot air so it shouldn't be hard to get it done for free and not need helium!!:D
     
  7. NA0AA

    NA0AA Ham Member QRZ Page

    4(3.141592)r^3/3 = volume. That is Four Times Pi time Radius Cubed, all divided by three.

    8' diameter ballon holds 268 cubic feet, plus just a skosh since the balloon compresses it a few torr.
     
  8. ZL3GSL

    ZL3GSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've seen a suggestion that the world will run out of helium in a few years because NASA are using so much. :(

    Hydrogen is great, but be very careful. You must earth everything ... hydogen is very inflammable at any mix with air. When I lowered the balloon, I just threw a pair of scissors at the balloon. A few shreds of rubber fell to the ground. The balloon is a capacitor and the atmospheric voltage gradient is about 100V/m, so as the balloon goes high it is charged to a high voltage.
     
  9. KD5ZEW

    KD5ZEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Throwing scissors in the air at a fragile sphere pressurized with extremely flammable gas that may be carring a Very high voltage charge.........

    here's your sign =)
    I love ham radio
     
  10. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    3.1415926 Please get it right---

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  11. ZL3GSL

    ZL3GSL Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's exactly why I threw the scissors at it. I wasn't going to touch the damn thing. :)
     
  12. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    To be more accurate...
    3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510
    58209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679
    82148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128
    48111745028410270193852110555964462294895493038196
    44288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091
    45648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273
    72458700660631558817488152092096282925409171536436
    78925903600113305305488204665213841469519415116094
    33057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548
    07446237996274956735188575272489122793818301194912
    98336733624406566430860213949463952247371907021798
    60943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132
    00056812714526356082778577134275778960917363717872
    14684409012249534301465495853710507922796892589235
    42019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960
    51870721134999999837297804995105973173281609631859
    50244594553469083026425223082533446850352619311881
    71010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303
    59825349042875546873115956286388235378759375195778
    18577805321712268066130019278766111959092164201989

    I'm game, after all you only live once.

    You know you could...
    take a peace of #40 bare wire and tape one end to the bottom of the balloon and sprial wrap it down the first 15 feet of rope or so and as you are pulling it in you can ground the balloon from a safe distance.


    Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  13. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    You get the Franklin award for trying a risky experiment!

    :D:D
     
  14. AF6LJ

    AF6LJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't or shouldn't tell you what a boyfriend and I did one year for Independence day.
    It involved
    Nitric Acid.
    Ethel Alcohol
    and fine silver....
    :)
    We only did it once
    we didn't want to press out luck.
    by the way it was just under 32 years ago.
     
  15. W7LPN

    W7LPN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even though...

    Helium is a free byproduct of petroleum refining, when gas went to $4/gal, helium sky rocketed. But I have put up several groups of 3'x3'x 3-4 balloons and did it for less the $80 minus deposit etc. I have a military surplus weather balloon and intend to put it up this summer at a camp-out family reunion. Make sure you ate well grounded and always have a safety rope in case you lose your grip on the wire. Aluminum electric fence wire will hold the tension without using a rope and the added weight. It's a lot cheaper too. A frame on your tail gate with a spool on a rod and a rechargeable drill works great for retrieval.
     
  16. KC7BYY

    KC7BYY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I generally have thoughts about things like helium and prices,


    but I keep it to myself. :)
     
  17. NN4RH

    NN4RH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depends on what you want to fill it with . . .
     
  18. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Called the gas man....

    245 cu ft helium, tank, and regulator/valve rental.

    'bout a hundred bucks.

    Rege
     
  19. KI6DCB

    KI6DCB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also, if you fly a large kite or a balloon, use a short length of somewhat weaker string between the device and the tether. If the tether were to break near the ground, the balloon/kite will eventually be blown sideways -- probably at a level which would drag a long tether along at a height which could cause all sorts of mischief with power lines and so on. It's a lot less trouble if you lose just the balloon and the tether falls to the ground where you are.

    I'm not a safety nazi, but a little bit of planning here can save a lot of grief.
     
  20. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll call you and raise you one.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
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