High Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio - Burst!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AB1OC, Jun 11, 2019.

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  1. K0DD

    K0DD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    That is really neat... Ballooning is fun no matter how you do it. My Son was in Kindergarten and came home from the mall with a helium balloon. I say, Hey lets put a post card in a plastic bag and launch it. He was sad watching his balloon fly away... But its gone!?! A week later we received the card back with a letter and a couple photos. It had flown from our SD acreage to Cedar Rapids, IA and landed on the back porch of a kindergarten teacher's house...!!!! It landed intact didn't blow up... 315 air miles.... anyway.

    I worked at Aerostar International mid 90's to early 00's... I got to meet people like "Maxie Anderson". The engineering department had designed most of his balloons. The last time I got to play was at the Sioux Falls Race in August of 2016. I ran the chase crew, drove the pickup and hopefully kept his two girls 9 &12 from falling out of the pickup bed...

    I'm on the left in the closest balloon, Blonde Hair - Blue leather jacket holding the Mouth open for the fill. Things get toasty after Lightoff until the throat gets pulled out of your hand... try to not become Cremated... You step back as the envelope erects vertical, and run up and toss yourself on the rim of the basket to help hold it down. That was his eldest daughter in the green shorts. 12 yo I think she was... I miss that stuff but these things get heavier every year... He sold the balloon to go round and round in a dirt track car... I think I'd really enjoy doing the high altitude stuff... Erika DD

    1.jpg Burners.jpg
    WD4IGX likes this.
  2. W9KEY

    W9KEY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is a very interesting Thread. Thanks to all those making contributions!
    Our family took a balloon ride in South Dakota many years ago - a wonderful, memorable, experience.
    Max elevation only a couple thousand feet - nothing close to those Nashua guys!
    WD4IGX and K0DD like this.
  3. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did one with the wife (version 1.0) about 20 years ago. What was really notable was how well the sound traveled straight up from the ground. We were probably 1500 feet or so above the ground, floating over a residential area, and you could hear conversations coming from houses clearly. Except when the burner fired up!
    WD4IGX and K0DD like this.
  4. NF0G

    NF0G XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here is a tracking site to find out what is up there and where it is worldwide. http://habhub.org/
    Brian NF0G
  5. K5YJB

    K5YJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe add 1-2lbs of glitter to the inside of the balloon. (joking)
    W4BVB and WR2E like this.
  6. K0DD

    K0DD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  7. W1GCF

    W1GCF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, I was there when this balloon was launched. As Fred also related, We were concerned with aircraft safety, we were compliant with FAA Rules and we called them five minutes before launch and gained their final approval. Per regulations, the entire system, including the balloon weighs less than 3lbs. From a radio perspective, it's not easy how to keep within those weight rules, have radios, cameras and batteries that operate with temperature variations of +- 50C. When the electronics landed, we had tracked it and also had simulations of where it was going and so, within 40 minutes of landing, a member of the team was knocking on a particular door in western Worcester and asking to climb their tree to recover the rig.
    N3VQH, KC1HLU, VA7UO and 6 others like this.
  8. WR2E

    WR2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was about ten, playin' in the yard, I watched a radiosonde land in my backyard! I think that's when the electronic interest was ignited.
    K3RLD and KC8VWM like this.
  9. KE6BN

    KE6BN Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my 35 years as an airline pilot, I only saw one balloon, and it was a NASA experiment floating at 120,000'. This in spite of the fact that hundreds of pibal balloons are sent up each day. I have never heard a story about a balloon even coming in close proximity to an aircraft. So, balloon experimenters are definitely not interfering with air traffic "in the worst way". Ed KE6BN
    N3VQH, VA7UO, N0TZU and 6 others like this.
  10. N3FAA

    N3FAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Happens all the time. I get almost daily reports of balloons (usually party balloons) in very close proximity to aircraft. On major weather/experimental balloon launches, a group of pilots regularly report seeing the balloon. They usually don't get in real close proximity to aircraft, and if they do, they are fairly easy to avoid. But again, it's the big sky theory, both laterally and vertically. There's so much airspace out there and the balloon is tiny in comparison. It's all a game of odds.

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