Weather Balloon/Radiosonde (NWS/NOAA)

royldean

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Joined
Jan 30, 2016
Messages
433
Location
Schwenksville, PA
Anybody have luck hearing these? I've been pointing my 70cm satellite array in various directions during the day to try and hear weather balloons (~403MHz) and I haven't heard anything. From what I understand, there are hundreds launched every day (7am and 7pm from sites across the country). I know the signal will be low, but I've got no problem picking up 250mW from SO-50 so if I have line of sight I should get a good signal. Any tips?
 

SteveSimpkin

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Apr 13, 2009
Messages
892
Location
Lancaster, CA
Here are a few links with more information on listening to and tracking these.

 

mountainrider

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Oct 10, 2010
Messages
39
Location
Boise, Idaho
I can get the signal from NWS Boise, Idaho daily balloon launch very well with an Airspy Mini and a 5-foot whip antenna sitting on the desk next to the computer. (Decoding is another matter; I can't get it working.) The launch site is about 3 miles from me and I could get the signal for a good half hour or more.
 

KX0Z

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Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Northeast Kansas.
I have tracked our local NWS balloons here from Topeka. I've been able to track them from over 100 miles with a crappy little indoor antenna. I use SDR sharp and another program the name of which I can't for the life of me remember at the moment to track the Radiosonde. It plots the location on google maps and gives altitude, speed, heading and gps location. My regular program wont decode the stupid Lockheed Martin Radiosondes our NWS office uses.. One of these days I'm gonna do a chase and go try to recover one..
 

KX0Z

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Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Northeast Kansas.
Call your local office and double check the launch time. Ours is 530am.. for morning and I think 530pm or 630pm for evening.
 

KX0Z

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Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Messages
64
Location
Northeast Kansas.
Are you sure on what frequency the radiosonde operates on. I called our office here and they were pretty helpful with schedules and frequencies.
 

boernegang

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Nov 17, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Boerne,Tx
I was noticing today on Flightradar24 several ballons over South Texas. Is this a normal time of year to launch these things??? This may not be the right place for this question, my apologizes.
 

alcahuete

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Jul 24, 2015
Messages
1,161
Location
Antelope Acres, California
I was noticing today on Flightradar24 several ballons over South Texas. Is this a normal time of year to launch these things??? This may not be the right place for this question, my apologizes.
Assuming they are the Google Loons, they are up 24/7 somewhere in the world...usually multiple places. There is no normal or abnormal time of year.
 
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