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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

VE3KCL Balloon makes "several loops around Greenland"

Oh, I really want to do this.  We had a bunch of balloons for my daughter's birthday and I found myself trying to guestimate how much they could lift.  There is a balloon store that sells the metalized party balloons used here.  They have a helium tank.   I hate to be a party pooper (!) but wouldn't the antenna represent a bit of a hazard?  If it came down in power lines, that wouldn't be good right?
In any case, three cheers for Dave VE3KCL and for Hans, G0UPL, the wizard who makes the QRSS/WSPR transmitter that is currently flying over Iceland.  

Hi all

Some of you must have seen this already - but the rest of you may find it interesting. Dave VE3KCL launched his S-9 balloon 4 days ago (2 standard party-balloons, hydrogen-filled) with modified QRP Labs Ultimate3S QRSS/WSPR transmitter onboard.

We are using WSPR messages for tracking - one normal WSPR message and one with a special data protocol to provide altitude, speed, Maidenhead 5/6th characters, battery voltage, temperature and GPS/satellite status. The transmitter has about 16mW power output, on 30m band. It is sending CW and JT9 as well. Altitude is a little over 10,000m. So far it has traveled in several loops around Greenland and the North Atlantic. Currently it is near the Faroe islands. See live tracking at QRP Labs website http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html

G-landers, don't get too excited that it appears to be heading your way - the wind prediction shows it likely to head back West almost as far as Newfoundland, before turning back East towards Spain!

73 Hans G0UPL

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