High Altitude Balloon experiments can involve a variety of communications modes. Constructing a balloon payload is challenging requiring expertise in several different disciplines. In addition there are numerous jobs for good communicators to coordinate tracking and recovery efforts. An HAB experiment can be a great club project and promote Amateur Radio in a very positive light.
The spring of 2011 is going to be something interesting as HABsbecome competitive. There is a big push on to be the first to launch a HAB and have it cross the Atlantic to Europe. The CNY connection here is Cornell University is among those vying to be the first succesful transatlantic unmanned balloon.
Cornell University Blue Horizon Project Targets TransAtlantic Balloon Crossing
Transatlantic Amateur Radio balloon to use 7.102MHz USB
This is a project of the new LVL1 Makerspace in Louisville, KY. We’re a team of makers, hackers, and amateur scientists, loving the incredible number of challenges this has presented. Also on the team are remote members, contributing significantly, despite the distance: Bill Brown, Huntsville, Al, considered the father of modern amateur weather ballooning, Carl Lyster, WA4ADG, electronics designer from the Spirit of Knoxville.
Speedball-1is attempting to become the first Amateur Radio balloon to cross the Atlantic and it’ll be transmitting RTTY and DominoEX on a USB dial frequency of 7.102MHz.
The signal will be on 7.1035MHz and the transmitter will alternate between 110bps RTTY and DominoEX. The free software dl-fldigi can be used to decode it.
The launch will take place at 8PM Eastern Time (0100 GMT) from Space Port Indiana, in Columbus IN, in the next couple of days. You can sign up for a launch notification announcement on the right-hand side of the home page at
Free dl-fldigi software on the GitHub page of James Coxon M6JCX
Many UK Radio Amateurs are active in balloon projects. Watch the video “Teddy Bears in Space”- HAB given to AMSAT-UK in 2009. To view go to
In the Category field select AMSAT and click the Category button In the Select Stream field select Teddys and click the Select Stream button Or download a copy of the video at
Titans in Space
The Olde Towne Middle School Radio and Technology Club in Ridgeland, MS is planning a near-space balloon launch March 26, 2011 with a launch time between 8am and 9am. Payload testing and assembly is underway and sometimes may be broadcast on www.ustream.comunder the user name kc5nxd. The club also wants ham radio operators to follow their progress on twitter under the username kc5nxd. Follow the path of the balloon at aprs.fi with the callsign kc5nxd-1.
Current mission payload and equipment includes:
APRS with temperature, pressure and velocity in the message box -Argent Data Systems
20 meter CW beacon on 14.060 – Small Wonder Labs Rockmite 20
EZKeyer – 4 States QRP memory keyer
2 meter voice recordable beacon 146.565 FM – Doppler DF Instruments
GOPRO HD camera with snapshots every 15 seconds
Possibly a SPOT Satellite tracker
Various science experiments for the science department
There will also be an analysis of the received reception reports on the 20 meter and 2 meter beacon. Please QSL via the instructions at QRZ.com under the callsign KC5NXD. All funding for the project has come from donations and fundraisers.
For further information email Bill Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org