Abilene ham radio high altitude balloon

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nd5y

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I'm receiving a synthesized voice announcement on 146.52 MHz (at 05/20/2010 11:50)
It says WB5EKW high altitude balloon experiment by Abilene and Cooper High Science Club and gives the GPS coordinates, course, speed and altitude.
 
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texasemt13

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Awesome!

As far as I know, any dedicated simplex freq is fine to use for identification of balloons/foxes (or any other low-power transmitter used for location purposes). I personally use 146.565 for a fox. My pre-programmed CW message is "F-O-X F-O-X F-O-X ... K-F-5-B-Y-D ... F-O-X F-O-X F-O-X." At 500mW (and an optional 2W output) it doesn't disturb too much sitting on the ground.

That's a great way to show youngun's the hobby and the physical characteristics of rf propagation. How far away was it from your coordinates when you heard it?

Check out WB5EKW's QRZ page here.
 

texasemt13

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... and check out the science club pics (of WB5EKW) here.

What an awesome class- I wish my high school had had something like that when I was there.
 

nd5y

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The first time I heard it it was over Callahan County at about 44000 feet. Probably about 80 miles SW of me. It was gone after I ate lunch. Don't know any more than that.
 

wuzafuzz

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Very cool! I have to wonder though, what are the rules surrounding a high altitude balloon release? With my luck I'd let 'er fly, only to have an airliner suck it into an engine, then crash and burn with 300 souls on board.
 
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