434 MHz balloon goes around the world

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Jul 31, 2014.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    434 MHz balloon goes around the world

    The 434 MHz solar powered party balloon B-64, launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER, is approaching the UK at the end of its record breaking journey around the world

    Leo launched his balloon from Silverstone in the UK on July 12, 2014. It traveled east across Asia, the Pacific and the Americas and is expected to complete the final transatlantic crossing arriving over Cornwall on July 31 or August 1. It is then likely to continue eastwards into Europe.

    Flight path of the B-64 balloon launched by M0XER.jpg
    Radio amateurs and listeners should be able to receive B-64's Contestia 64/1000 signal on 434.500 MHz USB with the usual pips. When it is over the UK it will alternate the Contestia transmission with APRS also on 434.500 MHz running 10 mW output.

    During the circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere B-64 has traveled over 25,000 km across some of the most remote terrain in the planet.

    See the track of B-64 at

    Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons

    Download the dl-fldigi software from

    Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi

    Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB)

    To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:

    High Altitude Balloon chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at



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  2. AH6OY

    AH6OY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looks like it has climbed to near bursting altitude and predicted to burst and land short of land.
  3. KD4MOJ

    KD4MOJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Been fun tracking that on APRS.

  4. K6MFW

    K6MFW Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I got to say about this: WOW!
  5. K0CBA

    K0CBA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good thing it wasn't mistaken for a commercial airliner and shot down.
  6. KG7CSS

    KG7CSS Ham Member QRZ Page

    The balloon was designed to be a floater, a bit tricky to put in just enough gas to float at 41k that go to high and burst.
    What I find interesting is the device weights 11 grams is frequency agile. It will switch to the correct frequency 434.500 MHz (no ham in Brittan) and 144.390 as it approached the US.
    I tired to track it but I did not have good LOS.

  7. N1BNC

    N1BNC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Will it keep on going forever?
  8. DL7AD

    DL7AD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Probably yes :) But there have been also balloon never came back due to unknown reason.

    At this altitude you will find just a few airliners. Most of them are traveling between 30k and 40kfeet.
  9. W8DU

    W8DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Surprising that the North Koreans didn't nuke it.
  10. WD5HHH

    WD5HHH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am curious where the data for B-63 and B-66 is coming from or is it just guessing based on estimated winds? Both of those are over central Asia.
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