Amateur Balloon

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robertmac

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A couple of amateur radio operators in Calgary have launched a balloon if anyone cares to follow it. The call sign is VE6AZX-14 and is currently east of Okotoks travelling south south east.
 

jwt873

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The payload is equipped with APRS so you can follow it on the web.

Go to aprs.fi and enter VE6AZX-14 in the "Track Callsign" box.. I just looked and see that it's over Montana at 14,130 feet right now, but probably won't be in the air that long.
 

robertmac

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I'm not sure that it is intended to go up, expand, break up and come down. I think they are trying to get some distance travelled out of it rather than height. At 1410 MST it is now going straight east at 133 kph so roughly 80 mph. Just NW of Minneapolis.
 

jwt873

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I'm not sure that it is intended to go up, expand, break up and come down. I think they are trying to get some distance travelled out of it rather than height. At 1410 MST it is now going straight east at 133 kph so roughly 80 mph. Just NW of Minneapolis.
I think they're going for distance... The average altitude has been around 17,000 feet, so it won't be heading up until it bursts like some balloon flights do.

It's over Wisconsin as I write this heading for the great lakes. Out of interest, after entering the call sign in the 'Track Callsign' box, set the track tail to 2 days and you'll be able to plot the whole course.
 

robertmac

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In hearing the people who put this up, unfortunately they only had lithium batteries. They have ordered solar panel and batteries for future flights but had not come in by the time of this launch. They do not expect the batteries to last very long. They are aware that the beaconing rate is not correct so will be corrected for the next flight. The package has 2 balloons that have helium but not filled fully so will not burst as others do for high altitude flying.
 

robertmac

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It appears that the batteries finally died over Quebec. This balloon was more for distance than altitude and did not have any amateur repeater on board. I am not certain if this is in the works for future balloons. They are talking about trying to get some distance travelled more than using for any commuications.
 
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