This is our 6th attempt to circumnavigate the earth
Will we make it?
Call Sign W5KUB-16

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and tracking information

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clicking on the balloon icon in map will give you additional information.
you can zoom in or out and move the map with your mouse. 

Previous Missions that ended

Amateur Radio Roundtable
High altitude balloon project

Is it legal?

Yes it is, we are flying under FAA 101 exemption rules.

Our Mission and Goal
To launch a high altitude balloon for long duration and multiple trips around the world. We will use a new aero-space material balloon called the SBS-13. It will
be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude. The design shoul fly at approx 41,000 to 43,000 ft. It will be solar powered only (no batteries so it will only transmit during daylight). We will receive tracking every 10 minutes via  WSPR on HF.
Tracking data will give us Altitude, Speed, Voltage, Temperature, future course predictions. Entire payload is approx 15 Grams. Transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations.

About the Tracking
We are solar only so no data or reports
during the dark hours. Due to regulations no transmissionsover North Korea, Yemen, or UK.

HabHub
This site gives you speed, heading voltage, Altitude, Temp, lat and Lon. Under settings you can set things like metric or imperical measurements. If you click on Hysplit, it will give you estimated prediction paths for the balloon.
WSPR
Our WSPR transmitter works on HF at 14 Mhz and has a range of over 5000 miles. It is only running 10 mw of power. Baud rate for data is 1.4 Baud. Yes you read it right 1.4. The signal bandwidth is only 6 Hz wide. Standard WSPR does not give us all the data we need. We are using a modified WSPR protocol which uses an additional time slot to send gps data information.

The payload consists of a  tracker that contains the GPS system, and an HF transmitter running only about 10 milliwatts.. It is powered by 2 3.6 volt solar panels in parallel using a .47 farad supercapacitor. 

This is our 5th attempt to circumnavigate the earth
Will we make it?

Call Sign W5KUB-15

Launched on March 30, 2020 Total failure. Bad clouds plus possible hydrogen leak. No reports after launch.  We consider this one dead on launch

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Click either button below to see map of balloon location. Each are similar but allow you to customize the data you want to see. For example metric or U.S. units

Daily updates and flight notes:


Ed and Tom carefully measuring the Hydrogen gas lift to the gram

Amateur Radio Roundtable
High altitude balloon project

Is  it legal?

Yes it is, we are flying under FAA 101 exemption rules.

Our Mission and Goal

To launch a high altitude balloon for long duration and multiple trips around the world. On this flight we are flying a single clear Chinese 36 inch balloon.  It was pretested and pre-stretched by Edurad YO3ICT.They will be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude. The design should fly at approx 35,000 ft due to ta light 1.5 gram tracker designed by Eduard. It will be solar powered only (no batteries so it will only transmit during daylight). It will transmit updates on  WSPR on HF approximately every 10 minutes..
Transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations.


About the Tracking

We are solar only so no data or reports
during the dark hours. Due to regulations no transmissionsover North Korea, Yemen, or UK.

HabHub

This site gives you speed, heading voltage, Altitude, Temp, lat and Lon. Under settings you can set things like metric or imperical measurements. If you click on Hysplit, it will give you estimated prediction paths for the
balloon.

WSPR

Our WSPR transmitter works on HF at 14 Mhz and has a range of over 5000 miles. It is only running 10 mw of power. Baud rate for data is 1.4 Baud. Yes you read it right 1.4. The signal bandwidth is only 6 Hz wide. We are using new technology on wspr where our transmissions are given its own time slot to send additional data. 

Payload

The payload consists of a 1.5Gram tracker that contains the GPS system, an HF transmitter..Additionally powering all this are six half volt solar panels. No super capacitor is being used on this flight  The solar cells weigh a total of about 2.2 grams and the entire 20 meter dipole is about1.34 grams.



Amateur Radio Roundtable
High altitude balloon project

Is  it legal?

Yes it is, we are flying under FAA 101 exemption rules.

Our Mission and Goal

To launch a high altitude balloon for long duration and multiple trips around the world. On this flight we are flying 2 Qualatex 36 inch balloons. They will
be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude. The design shoul fly at approx 28,500 ft due to the heavy payload (25 grams). It will be solar powered only (no batteries so it will only transmit during daylight). We will receive  tracking every 2 minutes via APRS  on VHF and backup WSPR on HF.
APRS Tracking data will give us Altitude, Speed, Voltage, Temperature, future course predictions. Entire payload is approx 25 Grams. Transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations.


About the Tracking

We are solar only so no data or reports
during the dark hours. Due to regulations no transmissionsover North Korea, Yemen, or UK.

APRS

You will see speed, altitude, temp voltage, Heading, and Lat and Lon. under preferences you can set it for metric or imperial units. The aprs transmitter is running .5 watts of power on the 144 Mhz band. Typical range is about 250 miles. There are no APRS receivers over the ocean or Africa and the Middle East.

HabHub

This site gives you speed, heading voltage, Altitude, Temp, lat and Lon. Under settings you can set things like metric or imperical measurements. If you click on Hysplit, it will give you estimated prediction paths for the
balloon.

WSPR

Our WSPR transmitter works on HF at 14 Mhz and has a range of over 5000 miles. It is only running 10 mw of power. Baud rate for data is 1.4 Baud. Yes you read it right 1.4. The signal bandwidth is only 6 Hz wide. WSPR does not give us all the data we get above. It is used as back up to the other data systems.  For example while over the ocean, it could be 5 days that we do not hear from it on the vhf bands, But WSPR will tell us its approx location and if it is still moving.

Payload

The payload consists of a 9 Gram tracker that contains the GPS system, an HF transmitter, and a VHF transmitter.Additionally powering all this is three 4.8 Volt 50 ma solar panels with a 3 Farad 6 V super capacitor to handle the large current of the vhf transmitter on start up.


Previous Flights

W5KUB-1

Standard 3 ft mylar party balloon running the skytracker. Helium gas.  We flew at 31,000 ft and made it to the coast of Japan where we hit a storm and went down. Distance 14,000 miles in 14 days.

Pictured Bill Brown WB9ELK


Amateur Radio Roundtable
High altitude balloon project

Our Mission and Goal

To launch a high altitude balloon for long duration and multiple trips around the world. We will use a new aero-space material balloon called the SBS-13. It will
be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude. The design shoul fly at approx 41,000 to 43,000 ft. It will be solar powered only (no batteries so it will only transmit during daylight). We will receive  tracking every 2 minutes via APRS  on VHF and backup WSPR on HF.
Tracking data will give us Altitude, Speed, Voltage, Temperature, future course predictions. Entire payload is approx 25 Grams. Transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations.


About the Tracking

We are solar only so no data or reports
during the dark hours. Due to regulations no transmissionsover North Korea, Yemen, or UK.

APRS

You will see speed, altitude, temp voltage, Heading, and Lat and Lon. under preferences you can set it for metric or imperial units. The aprs transmitter is running .5 watts of power on the 144 Mhz band. Typical range is about 250 miles. There are no APRS receivers over the ocean or Africa and the Middle East.

HabHub

This site gives you speed, heading voltage, Altitude, Temp, lat and Lon. Under settings you can set things like metric or imperical measurements. If you click on Hysplit, it will give you estimated prediction paths for the
balloon.

WSPR

Our WSPR transmitter works on HF at 14 Mhz and has a range of over 5000 miles. It is only running 10 mw of power. Baud rate for data is 1.4 Baud. Yes you read it right 1.4. The signal bandwidth is only 6 Hz wide. WSPR does not give us all the data we get above. It is used as back up to the other data systems.  For example while over the ocean, it could be 5 days that we do not hear from it on the vhf bands, But WSPR will tell us its approx location and if it is still moving.

Payload

The payload consists of a 9 Gram tracker that contains the GPS system, an HF transmitter, and a VHF transmitter. powering all this is a 4.8 Volt 50 ma solar panel with a 3 Farad 6 V super capacitor to handle the large current of the vhf transmitter on start up.


Previous Flights

W5KUB-1

Standard 3 ft mylar party balloon running the skytracker. Helium gas.  We flew at 31,000 ft and made it to the coast of Japan where we hit a storm and went down. Distance 14,000 miles in 14 days.

Pictured Bill Brown WB9ELK


Balloon Callsign

W5KUB   (WSPR)
KUB1 (habhub)
W5KUB-12 (APRS)

launched March 7, 2020

Click here to join our ham radio facebook group 

Click either button below to see map of balloon location.  Each are similar but allow you to customize the data you want to see.  For example metric or U.S. units

Day 4   March 10, 2020   Still no transmissions from balloon today. We are guessing it is down somewhere around the UK.  Each day of no reports gets us closer to verifying that it is down. Sun angles are very low up there. It is possible that it moved very north and into the dark.  There have been some balloons that stopped transmitting and then started again 90 days later.  We just need to keep an eye out for this one. Possible it might show up later but doubtful. We are already working on a new launch to go around the world. 

Day 3 March 9, 2020   nothing heard today.  It could still be up. The solar cells do not function when the sun angle is about 30 degrees or less.  We estimated it near London today but the highest sun angle at London was only 34 degrees. Also the predicted path took us way north of the UK meaning that the sun was even lower up there.  Probably max height was below 30 degrees.  We did go through some storms in the Atlantic last night but that was during a period of no transmissions.  We will have to wait until tomorrow to see if the balloon comes back alive. Others that have sent balloons up have gone into that region and it is dark up there and their balloons did not report for weeks. 

Day 2  March 8, 2020    the tracker came back alive around 8:00 am local time near Bermuda this morning when it started receiving the sun.  We are following the NOAA prediction path very closely.  Present speed at 11:00 AM central time was 154.8 mph.  The altitude is at 32,808 ft. 

Day 1 Launched at 12:10 AM March 7, 2020 Launch went great. Balloon went straight up. Vertical rate of climb was around 165-200 feet per minute. Low level winds was only moving the balloon about 25-30 mph as it increased altitude. Once we hit 27,000 we got in to an air stream running around 55 mph and it should turn into 80-90 mph in the next couple hours.  Used hydrogen and no safety issues. We still have all our eye brows and our fingers. The solar panels do not function when the sun gets below 32 degrees therefore we will lose it around 3:30 pm each day. We now have to wait until tomorrow track to see how it is doing.  We are solar panel power only so no tracking during the night. It is running uner 3 calls.  On WSPR you can track it using W5KUB. On APRS you can track using W5KUB-12, and on HabHub you can track it as KUB1

 

 

 

Balloon Callsign
W5KUB-13

launched Feb 28, 2020

Click here to join our ham radio facebook group 

Click either button below to see map of balloon location.  Each are similar but allow you to customize the data you want to see.  For example metric or U.S. units

UPDATE.  March 15, 2020 the Balloon was recovered near the Baltic Sea in Poland. Thanks to the recovery team . thanks Bill Brown and SP2KMH radio club team. Grzegorz: SQ2MTK, Andrzej SQ2MMS, SQ2CDE and Michał. Also thanks to Mark Ka9SZX for the pic

Update: March 14, 2020 the aprs on the balloon started sending today. It appears to be on the ground on the beach of the Baltic sea in Poland. Hams are trying to get to it but the coronavirus has stopped people from traveling there to look for it.

LOST   Looks like we went down somewhere around the Russian boarder. Once it became night and we crossed the board we never heard it again

Day3 March 1, 2020 We have made it all the way to Germany. Average speed across ocean was about 115 mph.   Over Europe we were only traveling about 55-65 mph. Once we passed over Stuttgart, Germany we picked up speed to 99 mph. Must have hit the autobahn.  Finally went dark, so no more tracking for about 12 hours.  We should be in Poland by 3:00 PM central time.  Everything working perfect. And because we have a heavy payload (25 grams) we are stuck at about 28,500 ft.   This means we could hit the top of some storms.

Day 2 Feb 29, 2020  as predicted wspr is showing it mid way over the Alantic. we only have wspr so no altitude, lat, long, etc. Not much going on as the balloon is in the dark most of our daylight.

Launch date: Feb 28, 2020 at 0915 Central.  Filled a test balloon to launch for wind direction. No one injured, still have all fingers and eye brows. Payload was a little heavy (25 grams) . We used 2 Chinese Qualtex balloons ($2.00 each). A little cloudy but cleared up to be a totally sunny day about 15 minutes after launch. Each balloon carried 3 grams of free lift.  It took about 11 minutes to reach 2700 ft. Climb rate at 9000 ft was about 170 ft per minute.   Average speed 117 mph. By 4 PM eastern it had made it almost to the Atlantic coast of North Carolina .At that point we went into darkness and no transmissions until next day.No tracking during dark hours due to solar power only. 

 

 

 

Balloon Callsign
W5KUB-11

launched Jan 27, 2020

Click here to join our ham radio facebook group 

Click either button below to see map of balloon location.  Each are similar but allow you to customize the data you want to see.  For example metric or U.S. units

Day 29, Feb 25, 2020  Still no word from the balloon.  We think we hit a major storm off the coast of Africa. It has gone dark. There have been other similar balloons that went silent for over 94 days and then came back alive and started reporting. Its a small chance this will happen but we will keep checking each week on this balloon's status. In the mean time we are planning a new launch of a small balloon around mid March.

Day 6 Feb 1, 2020 We have not heard from the balloon in 3 days. Last report it was entering Africa.  Probably has gone down but we are not certain. We will keep watching over the next week to see if it reappears.  It was flying great and have no indication it was losing altitude. It was flying steady at 41,000 ft. We went into darkness so no reports during the time frame in question.  We are already working to build our next tracker based on YO3ICT. tracker weighs only 1.5 grams. Should be built by end of Feb and we will schedule another launch soon.  In the meantime lets keep watching for this one to re-appear.

Day 2 Jan 27th, 2020  as predicted wspr is showing it mid way over the alantic. we only have wspr so no altitude, lat, long, etc. Not much going on as the balloon is in the dark most of our daylight.

Launch date: Jan 27, 2020 at 0945 Central.  Filled a test balloon to launch for wind direction. It exploded on us. No one injured, still have all fingers and eye brows. Payload was a little heavy (27 grams) and we added 8 grams of Hydrogen as free lift. Today was about the last option to launch. WX prediction was to be partly cloudy. We had some clouds on launch but within about 45 minutes the skies were clear. Wind was averaging about 3-4 mph. Upon launch the balloon went almost straight up. It was already reporting position by 6000 ft.  Cloud ceiling was low. Average speed 100 mph. By 4 PM eastern it had made it 100 miles from east coast and we lost sunlight so no tracking. solar panel is flat and horizontal. Sunset was at 6 pm but it was straight off the side of the panel so no voltage. It should show up on wspr sometime in the morning over the ocean during daylight. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the beta test configuration
of balloon flight W5KUB-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the beta test configuration
of balloon flight W5KUB-11