Sonde Radiosonde Decoder (PC & Mac)

iMONITOR

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Sonde Radiosonde Decoder (PC & Mac) Free to try
Decode radio transmissions from radiosondes (weather balloons)

 

dlwtrunked

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In U.S.
400-406 MHz (channels depend on the models) and
1676-1682 MHz, being phased out in U.S. to all 403 (400-406 MHz)
 

dlwtrunked

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The regular twice daily (around 0000 UTC and 1200 UTC) launches in my are LMS6 from two sites and DFM17 form one site (that switched recently from LMS6). Only experiment activities on occasion in my area seem to be RS41--in the U.S. relatively few RS41 launches in comparison . I am expecting more LMS6's to be replaced by DFM17. I have recovered LMS6 and LFM17 but had to buy an RS41 off eBay to actually get my hands on one of them.
 

dlwtrunked

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The regular twice daily (around 0000 UTC and 1200 UTC) launches in my are LMS6 from two sites and DFM17 form one site (that switched recently from LMS6). Only experiment activities on occasion in my area seem to be RS41--in the U.S. relatively few RS41 launches in comparison . I am expecting more LMS6's to be replaced by DFM17. I have recovered LMS6 and LFM17 but had to buy an RS41 off eBay to actually get my hands on one of them.
In the above, "LFM17" should have been "DFM17"
 

Ubbe

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The regular twice daily (around 0000 UTC and 1200 UTC) launches
They seem to release a lot more balloons in me area at other times of the day. I heard two today between 9 and 12 UTC and often some in the evening as well. They are short lived. I think it's just 1-2 hours before they burst at high altitudes at about 20.000 meters, 60.000ft as they climb at a 3-5m/s rate and then fall almost at a 50m/s speed, 100mph. When the conditions are right it's possible to monitor balloons over other countries.

/Ubbe
 

dlwtrunked

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They seem to release a lot more balloons in me area at other times of the day. I heard two today between 9 and 12 UTC and often some in the evening as well. They are short lived. I think it's just 1-2 hours before they burst at high altitudes at about 20.000 meters, 60.000ft as they climb at a 3-5m/s rate and then fall almost at a 50m/s speed, 100mph. When the conditions are right it's possible to monitor balloons over other countries.
/Ubbe
They are much slower near the ground when the parachute deploys--not fast at all and often get stuck in a tree. Also, I have tracked many (hundreds) balloons here and all I have seen got to about 35,000 m (over 100,000 ft) . We must have better balloons here.

alt_ex.jpg
 
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Ubbe

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all I have seen got to about 35,000 m (over 100,000 ft) . We must have better balloons here.
It could be that they are deployed for different purposes. The cheaper rubber they use here, and they have no parachutes and the RS41 weigh only 100 grams, are probably sufficient to do a 20.000 meter level to predict the weather at ground level. Going higher you will probably do other types of additional measurements above the troposphere into the stratosphere.

/Ubbe
 

dlwtrunked

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It could be that they are deployed for different purposes. The cheaper rubber they use here, and they have no parachutes and the RS41 weigh only 100 grams, are probably sufficient to do a 20.000 meter level to predict the weather at ground level. Going higher you will probably do other types of additional measurements above the troposphere into the stratosphere.

/Ubbe
Are yours actually rubber or are they latex like ours? Attached is a DFM-17 photo where one can see what is left of the exploded balloon, the parachute, the radiosonde, and string un-winder user a launch.

DFM-17 .jpg
 

N7ZDX

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Oct 22, 2021
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Just saw this thread. I've been tracking and recovering the WX balloons out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Elko, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho for the past few years as a fun and challenging hobby and to get me out of the house. I was starting to receive a lot of inquires on my personal Facebook page about it so I started a Facebook group titled No Weather Balloon Left Behind - North America Radiosonde Chase Group. The purpose of the group is to share experiences and offer information on how and where to track the balloons. Anyone interested is welcome.

Also, I've been using Sonde for decoding LMS6 (403 & 1680) and I find it more reliable for decoding than SondeMonitor. Unfortunately the developer isn't interested in adding an NEMA GPS output for mapping, and last I checked, DFM-17 isn't an option. Still hoping he adds it.

Auto_RX is a feature-rich system with live prediction of landing area based on realtime balloon trajectory and will decode DFM-17, but requires a Raspberry Pi and knowledge of Linux. I'm getting ready to setup an Auto_RX station in Southwest Idaho so we'll see how that that goes. Cheers everyone.
 

Ubbe

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Are yours actually rubber or are they latex like ours?
It's probably rubber to keep them at lower altitudes. I tracked one yesterday at 10UTC that burst at 16000 meters. I've only found one balloon myself when I was a kid and it was the same rubber as in party balloons and I've seen pictures of crashed balloons of today and it seems to be the same rubber and no parachutes but often has a radar reflector.

/Ubbe
 

dlwtrunked

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It's probably rubber to keep them at lower altitudes. I tracked one yesterday at 10UTC that burst at 16000 meters. I've only found one balloon myself when I was a kid and it was the same rubber as in party balloons and I've seen pictures of crashed balloons of today and it seems to be the same rubber and no parachutes but often has a radar reflector.

/Ubbe
All latex and no radar reflectors but with parachutes and small parts of the latex balloon on the 10 that I have I have recovered.
 
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