Foil party pico balloon launcher Andy Nguyen, VK3YT, couldn’t resist the opportunity during a work assignment on the US West Coast to release a couple more balloons carrying Amateur Radio payloads. Working for a month at San Jose, Nguyen on September 12 released his out-of-sequence PS-54 mission, carrying a solar powered APRS/Olivia payload feeding a 10 mW transmitter, to test the local environment. He thus became the first to launch such balloons in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres. Nguyen described his debut US flight as “zooming right past the San Francisco Golden Bridge at 8000 meters before spending a day bouncing along the West Coast of California.
“The weather was a bit too rough,” he said. “The tiny balloon took a few dives before gaining altitude again at sunset, then went silent again, though possibly due to antenna damage from the beating it took during the day.” Nonetheless, PS-54 popped up again 3 days later. By 2300 UTC on September 16, the balloon was at 29,238 feet over Kansas and moving east at 45 MPH. This northern hemisphere APRS-only maiden flight was followed by another.
Nguyen released mission PS-53 on September 13, this time carrying a payload transmitting WSPR and JT9 on HF. During a period of favorable propagation, it was tracked by US stations as well as by trackers from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
Upon leaving San Jose it drifted north to Sacramento, then east across the border into Nevada, covering some 725 km. That balloon now appears to have been lost in desert country, however, due to envelope failure.
Nguyen’s exploits and expertise have captured the imaginations of many US trackers, who mainly follow latex weather-type balloons until they burst and crash to ground. — Thanks to Jim Linton, VK3PC
The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is a federation of national associations of certified radio amateurs, representing over 150 countries and... Read more
The K1N Navassa Island DXpedition wrapped up on schedule early on Sunday, February 15. While some seekers went away empty handed — even after hours of... Read more
This revolutionary antenna consists of 6 trapless monoband logs on a single 30’ boom and 13 full size elements. Computer optimization gives full monob... Read more
Another Amateur Radio satellite is set to launch from China. CAMSAT CEO Alan Kung, BA1DU, reports that CAS-7B (BP-1B) is expected to launch on July 22... Read more
RSGB The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) will assume overall management of Amateur Radio examinations in the UK, starting on October 1. Radio ex... Read more
The Italian Radio Amateur Association on the occasion of its 90th anniversary which falls in the year 2017 establishing a diploma called “ARI 90... Read more
Amateur Radio volunteers were at the ready as a storm of historic proportions over the January 23-24 weekend dropped up to 3-1/2 feet of snow, some of... Read more
Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=https%3A%2F%2Fqrznow.com%2Ftwo-aussie-balloons-carrying-ham-radio-payloads-launched-from-california%2F): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 404 Not Found in /home/qrznow/public_html/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151