A balloon launched on May 20 by “Amateur Radio Roundtable” web show host Tom Medlin, W5KUB, and team has begun its third circumnavigation of Earth. The balloon, at 43,000 – 45,000 feet, completed its second trip around the globe on June 19. It crossed the Atlantic ocean “in record time” at a speed of about 170 MPH, the balloon website reported this week.
The balloon, identified as W5KUB-18, carries APRS and WSPR amateur radio payloads. As of the afternoon of June 23, it was heading over Uzbekistan at over 100 MPH.
As the balloon website states, the mission and goal are to launch a high-altitude balloon for long-duration and multiple trips around the world. The balloon, an SBS-13, is capable of flying up to 45,000 feet. “It will be filled with hydrogen to obtain higher altitude,” the website explains. “It will be solar powered only (no batteries, so it will only transmit during daylight). We will receive tracking every 10 minutes via WSPR on HF [14.0971 MHz].” Tracking transmissions will be turned off over the UK, Yemen, and North Korea due to regulations. The homebrew tracking transmitter runs just 10 mW but, Medlin told ARRL, it’s being heard as far away as 9,000 miles.
“The entire tracker with GPS and processor is only 2 grams,” Medlin said. “That’s about the weight of a penny. The entire payload is only 15 grams total.” The current effort is the group’s 9th attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
Medlin says the balloon project has broadened his horizons. “You have to do a lot of specific engineering and measurements down to the 0.1 gram to fly one,” he told ARRL. “You also become a weatherman, watching all the NOAA websites, winds at different altitudes, storms, etc. Storms will bring you down,” Medlin said. With the float altitude set at 44,000 feet, he expects to be able to fly above most storms. “You also become very well-versed in geography as it flies,” he added.
Medlin’s livestreamed “Amateur Radio Roundtable” (promotional) goes live on Tuesdays at 9 PM Eastern Time and accepts calls from viewers. The show is simulcast on HF at 5,130 kHz. He has operated a live cam at Dayton Hamvention® for several years.
“It’s been a great experience, and hams around the world are having a great time,” Medlin attested. “I even issue them a certificate for being part of the experience. Many young people are watching and getting involved, and teachers who teach STEM are contacting me to get information and help. We are having fun.”
Short overview of the BP-307, a new high capacity 7.2V / 3350mAh (typ.) Li-Ion battery pack designed for Icom’s latest range of IP, LTE radio and sele... Read more
JH1CBX Masaco introduces AH-705 designed for IC-705. Descriptions ・Covers the 1.8 MHz to 50 MHz bands 30 m, 98.4 ft or longer antenna: 1.8 – 54 MHz, 7... Read more
The newest DMR Handheld Ham Radio from Anytone is the AT-D878UVII Plus HT, which incorporates 500,000 contacts and 10,000 talkgroups into the same, gr... Read more
The Chair of IARU Region 1 Spectrum Affairs, Barry Lewis G4SJH, reports on the work being done in defending the interests of the Amateur Services... Read more
Brand new from Wouxun is the KG-UV8H Handheld, which features a different screen than earlier models, an 8-watt output power, and a 3200mAH battery. L... Read more
HF 3-Band antenna 3B-222 for 20m, 15m and 10m that covers also 11m CB through the power of full 3-D optimization! Perfect optimized tri-bander with ex... Read more
“One of the Ham Radio Antennas that I have used most often for POTA – Parks on the Air – is the TN07 SFP-102 32′ telescoping f... Read more
On todays episode of Tuesdays with Tim, K3LR and Jeff, KB8ZWT we will discuss bonding and grounding and Band Pass Filters for Field Day! Read more
Unboxing the lab599 Discovery TX-500 QRP transceiver! Read more