Balloon Festival

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baybum

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Preakness Balloon Festival at Howard County Fairgrounds.
Does anyone have the frequencies used by Friendship Balloon Co.? Has anyone monitored the balloons at these events?
I will search the air bands, but just wanted to check here first to see if anyone had specifics.

Thanks
 

KB7MIB

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Here are some ideas to help you, as I used to be on a balloon crew, and occasionally carried a scanner to listen to other crews when I wasn't busy:

123.300 and 123.500 can be licensed to hot air balloon chase crews, as well as glider/sailplane chase crews, for air-ground with their pilot. (A chase crew would be an aviation support mobile station. Part 87, Subpart K, 87.319, Aviation Support Stations.)

Otherwise, I have heard balloon crews using:
- CB
- MURS (these channels are illegal to use onboard an aircraft in flight per FCC regs, however, they are still frequently used, particularly 154.570 and 154.600)
- FRS and GMRS (licensed or not)
- Low power and itinerant VHF and UHF business channels (licensed or not, and IIRC, some channels have the same prohibition against being used onboard an aircraft in flight as the MURS channels do, but are still used anyway).

I have even heard licensed hams on balloon crews using ham radio frequencies.

Commercial balloon companies who fly paying passengers would also qualify for a business radio license of their own, or they could rent time on a local 'community repeater'. (Naturally, if they were to travel to a balloon festival out of town, they would have to have other means of communications.)

Happy hunting!

John
Peoria, AZ
 

drayd48

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Oh. My favorite types of forums.

I am a pilot and crew member

Most pilots don't use A/C radios to communicate with their ground crew but rather other radios. Some pilots who are cheap use FRS radios, so keep them in the scan list, and others use radios that are more commercial bands. I am going to attach the license for the BFA (Balloon Federation Of America) which we use down here in NC using handheld and mobile radios. There are a whole bunch of channels that balloons can use, but I can afford giving those out.

456.8125
151.5050
151.6250
158.4000
451.8000
456.8000

https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?fccCallsign=WQRG549
 

drayd48

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So, I messaged a friend of mine that works with the festival and they said they use FRS 15-0. Hope this helps.
 

baybum

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Great ideas...thanks all for the replies. If I can get a couple hours Saturday, I'll report back on my findings.

Edit: What is FRS 15-0? I thought FRS only went to Ch. 14

Have a great day.
 
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drayd48

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Great ideas...thanks all for the replies. If I can get a couple hours Saturday, I'll report back on my findings.

Edit: What is FRS 15-0? I thought FRS only went to Ch. 14

Have a great day.
I guess they go up into the GMRS band then without knowing. Most FRS radios do that. All the way up to channel 22. I was told they were on their FRS channel 15-0. I guess they don;t know that it is GMRS.
 
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