Help needed to track 144.390 MHz APRS Balloons

James Cutler KF6RFX and Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP - University of Michigan

James Cutler KF6RFX and Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP University of Michigan

Benjamin Longmier KF5KMP and his team are looking for stations in the Azores and Portugal to help track their balloons.

On the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) group he writes:

My team (Project Aether) launched a balloon recently that did a lap around the Midwest in the US, headed East past Nova Scotia and is still floating strong. We don’t have any contacts in the Azores or Portugal, and are requesting help in contacting some of these folks that might be able to decode our APRS packets.

Tactical callsign: Aeth21-9
APRS track:!mt=terrain&z=9&call=a%2FAETH21-9&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

We also have two more experimental balloons that will be heading into the Atlantic within ~24hrs.
Tactical callsign: Aeth22-1
APRS track:!mt=terrain&z=7&call=a%2FAETH22-1%2Ca%2FAETH22-3&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

Tactical callsign: Aeth22-3
APRS track:!mt=terrain&z=7&call=a%2FAETH22-1%2Ca%2FAETH22-3&timerange=259200&tail=259200
144.390 MHz FM

Thanks for any help!
email: longmier at

Links to balloon beginners guides and tracking information

IARU Administrative Council Plans for WRC-15

IARU_LogoThe Administrative Council (AC) of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) held its annual meeting on September 27-28, 2014 in Albena, Bulgaria. The AC is responsible for the policy and management of the IARU and consists of the three IARU international officers and two representatives from each of the three IARU regional organizations.

Here is a summary of the discussions and actions.

The Council reviewed the IARU positions on each of the WRC-15 agenda items that relate to amateur radio or may have an impact on amateur radio.  The Council made a number of modifications to the paper related to justifications for the IARU positions.  This information will be forwarded to all IARU member-societies.

The Council expressed support for Region 1 in its effort to obtain a CEPT proposal for post-WRC-15 conference agenda items for worldwide harmonization of 160 meters, harmonization of 6 meters and an allocation at 3.4 GHz.

The Council reviewed the participation of IARU at the upcoming WRC-15 and the President announced the members of the team who will represent IARU.

Upon the recommendation of the IARU EMC Coordinator, the Council adopted IARU Resolution 14-1 (“concerning the protection of the radio spectrum as a natural resource”) dealing with EMC issues related to the radio spectrum and which encourages IARU member-societies and regional organizations to pursue implementation of this resolution as a matter of high priority, requests standard-setting bodies and regulators to fully support this objective and implores designers and manufacturers to make every reasonable effort to minimize radio spectrum pollution emanating from their products.

The Council expressed the importance of obtaining the ITU Advance Publication Information (API) numbers from administrations for satellite projects operating in the amateur and amateur satellite bands so that information about the number of operating satellites can be maintained, for frequency coordination and for resolving interference issues.  IARU will work with administrations to establish protocols for satellite frequency coordination and to raise awareness of the satellite regulations.

The Council adopted the IARU Emergency Telecommunications Guide for use by the IARU member-societies to strengthen amateur radio disaster preparedness, response and mitigation.

The Council also adopted various strategies related to improving amateur radio disaster preparedness, response and mitigation and to promote the role of amateur radio in such activities to the general public and to government and non-government organizations.

The Council created the ad hoc “IARU Member-Society Relations Project Team” and adopted Terms of Reference for the project.  This action arose from Minute 10.10 from the 2013 Council meeting Summary Record dealing with “Second Society Issues.”

The Council adopted a system to provide more efficient remote monitoring of certain ITU meetings that may impact amateur radio.

The Plan for the Development of Support for Amateur Radio Frequency Allocations 2012-2017 was reviewed by the Council.  The September, 2013 version of the IARU Spectrum Requirements which is the working document that sets out the spectrum requirements of the amateur and amateur-satellite services, was reviewed, discussed and updated.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) meetings at which IARU representation will be required for the remainder of 2014 and for 2015 were identified, and plans for representation at these meetings were reviewed.

In view of the year 2015 being the 150th anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union, the theme “ITU & IARU:  Celebrating 150 years of Advancing the Telecommunication Art” was adopted for the next World Amateur Radio Day, April 18, 2015.

The budget for the years 2015-2017 as presented by the IS was reviewed and adopted. The budget is based upon anticipated financial contributions from the three regional organizations to defray a portion of the expenses, in accordance with previously adopted policy.

The Council received information about the Hamsphere Initiative from Martti Laine, OH2BH.  The Council will review the initiative and seek further information from the project leaders.

The Council was made aware of an ATV interference incident on the 23 cm band in which the German administration prohibited operation of an ATV repeater because of interference to the Galileo GPS system.

Attending the meeting were IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA; Vice President Ole Garpestad, LA2RR; Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD; regional representatives Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T, Dennis Green, ZS4BS, Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AM, José Arturo Molina, YS1MS, Gopal Madhavan, VU2GMN, Wisnu Widjaja, YB0AZ and recording secretary David Sumner, K1ZZ. Also present as observers were Ramón Santoyo, XE1KK, observer from Region 2 and Don Beattie, G3BJ, observer and President-elect from Region 1.

The next scheduled in-person meeting of the AC will be held in the vicinity of Yogjakarta, Indonesia, in October, 2015 in conjunction with the IARU Region 3 Conference.


First FUNcube 73 on 73 Award Issued

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) - Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

AO-73 (FUNcube-1) – Image credit Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG

Paul Stoetzer N8HM reports the first AO-73 (FUNcube-1) 73 on 73 Award has been issued to Wyatt Dirks AC0RA.

The award aims to promote activity on AO-73 satellite. The requirements are straight-forward:

1. Work 73 unique stations on AO-73.
2. Contacts must be made on or after September 1, 2014.
3. There are no geographic restrictions on your operating location.

Congratulations to Wyatt Dirks, AC0RA, for claiming 73 on 73 Award #1. He has submitted a list with a total of 74 unique calls worked on AO-73 since September 1.

It’s been great to hear all the activity on the satellite over the last few weeks. I look forward to hearing and working many more stations, especially after the end of Daylight Saving Time makes the evening passes a bit earlier!

73, Paul Stoetzer, N8HM

Full details of the award at

RSGB Inspire – Best practice in promoting Amateur Radio

RSGB Colour LogoMichael Sansom G0POT brings news of a RSGB focus group seeking best practice when promoting Amateur Radio at special events open to the public. The group aim to share and discuss ideas and experience running Special Events and Demonstrations to members of the public to identify successful approaches to promoting Amateur Radio in the UK.

If you have read page 8 of this months Radcom you will be aware that I am leading an investigation into the experiences and approaches of UK Clubs and Societies when it comes to attracting newcomers to Amateur Radio with a particular focus on running public events.

I am looking for ideas and approaches that are proven to be successful in attracting new Amateurs both young and old. These may include targeting specific events, targeting specific age groups, using specific demonstrations or just the way you engage with the public.

I’ve contacted you as I believe you are a Committee Member with your local club and I would like to publicise the work I’m doing and invite all interested parties to come and join the discussion. I have created a Yahoo group to act as a focal point for sharing thoughts and critiquing ideas. I would be grateful if you could share these details with your Club Members and encourage those with experience and ideas to come and join.

The group can be found by searching Yahoo Groups for rsgb_inspire or following this link:

The research is due to conclude in about 6 months at which time I will report to the RSGB on a portfolio of best practice which can then be shared with Clubs and Societies across the UK. It will also act as a guide to the RSGB where they may be able to support our endeavours to promote Amateur Radio.

If you would like further information including the Terms of Reference for the Working Group then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Many thanks for your support,
Michael (GØPOT)

PDF of Alex Discovers Amateur Radio available at

TuPOD to enable ISS TubeSat deployment in 2015

TubeSat - Image Credit Interorbital Systems

TubeSat in space – Image credit Interorbital Systems

The TuPOD 3U mission will allow the in-orbit deployment of the first TubeSats – Tancredo 1, from Brazil and Ulises 1, from Mexico.

Both satellites are educational satellites and involve young students in the projects. TuPOD will integrate the two satellites inside a 3U CubeSat Structure designed to allow the coupling between TubeSat and the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) launch mechanism.

The TuPOD will release the two satellites after 2 days, in accordance with NASA safety requirements. After the TubeSat deployment, the TuPOD will start is own mission receiving and sending data to amateur radio ground stations.

The TuPOD electronics have been designed by students at Morehead State University and is an updated version of $50SAT PocketQube electronics and Telemetry, Tracking & Command (TT&C) system.

Proposing a 1k2 GMSK UHF downlink and now expected to be deployed fom the ISS in spring 2015.

Tancredo 1

Ulises 1 in Google English

IARU Satellite Frequency Coordination Panel

Ham Radio Balloon to Commemorate Sputnik

A replica of Sputnik 1 satellite

A replica of the Sputnik 1 satellite

The Secunda Amateur Radio Club will launch two balloons carrying amateur radio equipment from the Vryburg airstrip FAVB on October 4, 2014 at 0600 to 0800 CAT (0400-0600 UT).

This date marks the start of World Space Week 2014. They will commemorate the launch of the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957 by attaching an active model replica of Sputnik to one of the balloons. The replica will transmit a Morse code message on 144.076 MHz.

Please e-mail( a screen print of the decoded message with date, time, GPS location, radio and antenna used to receive a special certificate from the launch team, if you are one of the lucky ones that can “decode” by ear please mail above info without the screen print. The transmitter used is a flea power transmitter.

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and eight High Schools (80 children) form part of the program. Each school programmed their own data logger with 2 sensors. The 8 data loggers with sensors will be part of the payload of the balloon payload. Each of the school children had to write a Radio Amateur test (10 Questions) as part of their registration and the results will be used to allocated to their final presentation.

There will be a web link with cameras from the launch site atVryburg airport, one camera at Hartbeeshoek and one at Secunda High School. Please send your e-mail info to to get access to the webcams on the internet.

The first balloon will be launched anytime from 0600 CAT (0400 UT) onwards.

The ground stations will use HF on 3.650 MHz or 7.080 MHz or 20m 14.280 MHz between the ground control, chase cars, Secunda High School and Hartbeeshoek. The bands/frequencies may change due to propagation. If your hear the ground stations operate please keep the frequency clear for ground control operations. If you have any feedback in tracking the balloons specifically on descent please report it on the mentioned HF frequencies.

Due to the low APRS Digipeater and IGate density in the Vryburg area radio hams in the adjacent areas are requested to also help track the payloads as well.

It is vitally important to retrieve the payloads since there are data loggers on-board from several schools in the Secunda area. They need the data to complete their assignments.

A High Altitude Glider will also be launched the same morning as the High Altitude Balloon Experiment, HABEX on 4 October 2014.

On the same day at Secunda High School, Secunda, Unisa University will also have a ROBTICS exhibition. SANSA will also have a presentation via the webcam about GPS’s the same day.

Below are the payload frequencies:
Main balloon: APRS Tracking RX 144.800 FM
CW Telemetry RX 432.075 FM
Sputnik CW RX 144.075 FM
Crew Comms HF 40/80M

2nd Balloon: APRS Tracking RX 144.8 FM
RTTY 433.92 USB/ 50 baud 500 shift ascii7,n,1
Crew Comms HF 40/80M

3rd Balloon: Remote Glider

Skype/Web Camera: Please register at and send your email address to: to get access to live webcams.

Celebrate UN-declared World Space Week October 4-10. The biggest public space science #STEM event in the world – Use hashtag #WSW2014

Secunda Amateur Radio Club

Source SARL

G3BJ elected IARU Region 1 President

IARU_Region_1_logoDon Beattie, G3BJ, former President of the RSGB, has been elected as IARU Region 1 President at the General Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria.

During the Final Plenary of the 23rd IARU Region 1 General Conference, the following members were elected to serve on the Executive Committee:

President: Don Beattie, G3BJ

Vice President: Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR

Treasurer: Eva Thieman, HB9FPM / OK3QE

Secretary: Dennis Green, ZS4BS


Thilo Kootz, DL9KCE

David Court EI3IO

Oliver Tabakovski, Z32TO

Ivan Stauning, OZ7IS

Ranko Boca, 4O3A

The 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference will be held in Wildbad Kreuth, near Munich in Germany an hosted by the DARC.

Don Beattie G3OZF (now G3BJ) in Essex Chronicle newspaper July 21, 1972

Don Beattie G3OZF (now G3BJ) in Essex Chronicle newspaper July 21, 1972

In the 1970’s Don Beattie, then G3OZF, lived at East Hanningfield in Essex. He was a member of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) and was subsequently made an Honorary Member. He was featured several times in the Chelmsford press promoting amateur radio and defending the right to antenna masts.

CARS Amateur Radio Training

IARU Region 1

AMSAT-UK Colloquium in TX Factor Show

In this episode of the TX Factor Show Bob McCreadie G0FGX reports from the recent AMSAT-UK Colloquium in Guildford, and finds time to test out the SuperAntenna Superstick delux package. Nick Bennett 2E0FGQ travels north and discovers a rather remarkable radio club.

Among those interviewed at the Colloquium are AMSAT-NA VP Operations Drew Glasbrenner KO4MA, Tom Harle from VR2Space, Graham Shirville G3VZV, Wouter Weggelaar PA3WEG and Carlos Eavis G0AKI.

Watch TX Factor – Episode 5 (TXF005)

View recordings of the talks given at the Colloquium

Previous editions of TX Factor are at

TX Factor

IARU R1 VHF/UHF/uW C5 meeting has started work

Delegates of the key IARU Region 1 C5 VHF, UHF and Microwaves C5 Committee

The key IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and Microwave C5 Committee

The VHF, UHF and Microwave C5 Committee meeting has started work at the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Varna-Albena, Bulgaria.

The meeting discussed the 70 MHz IARU Region 1 initiative to obtain regulatory recognition in Europe for a secondary frequency allocation to the amateur service at 70 MHz. Also covered were the challenges to Amateur and Amateur-Satellite allocations in the UHF and Microwave bands.

24th IARU Region 1 General Conference opens

IARU Region 1 Conference documents and pictures

23 cm band and WRC-2018

24th IARU Region 1 General Conference opens

Delegates at IARU Region 1 Conference 2014

Delegates at IARU Region 1 Conference 2014

The First Plenary of the 24th IARU Region 1 General Conference was opened at 10:30 on Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Grand Hall of the Flamingo Grand Hotel, Albena, Bulgaria.

The message of Dr Kristalina Georgieva, European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response was read by Mr Encho Gospodinov.

Dr Kristalina Georgieva

Dr Kristalina Georgieva

“Dear IARU Conference participants,

Dear radio messengers in times of trouble and hope

Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my pleasure and privilege to address your General Conference. The timing for your gathering could not be more indicative for the world we live in and the challenges we all face today.

The lives of millions of people is impacted by troubling events: conflicts in Africa and the Middle East (and sadly, in Europe); natural disasters all over the world with all the un-predictabilities of the mother Nature and the responsibilities of the human beings for the Climate Change; human waves of migrants and refugees moving from one place to another, and assorted diseases often trailing the disasters and conflicts. In short, this is a world, which does not stop to surprise us every morning when we open the TV screen or a newspaper.

At the same time, the world has never been better connected and wired. Today\’s communications are a real miracle once considered a fantasy coming from the novels of Arthur Clarke or Rey Bradbury. Never before, we had this privilege to transmit or exchange information with such accuracy, speed and scope of distribution. And never before so many people from all corners of the world and all layers of the society had access to this information. The arrival of internet really made our planet a Global village and ever since our live changed forever in the way we deal with information. Politics, diplomacy, journalism, technology, science, research, banking, literally all changed overnight with this powerful instrument.

However, there are moments in life when a good, stable, reliable and independent information tool is the only one we can use to save lives. And this is the one we call simply the RADIO.

IARU_Region_1_logoImagine a major natural disaster, which knocks down all modern information tools in the affected area: with no electricity, no internet, no telephone and fax connections, not even the old telex machines. No trains and ships moving, no roads to use or airports functioning. Nothing. We know a tragedy has happened, we know many are dead, and even more still alive, but trapped and helpless. And no one can help them as nobody knows what has happened. Because there is no information.

Luckily, there is a last resort: the radio amateurs; the people who are the eyes and the ears of the world in time when all other information channels are silent. “Amateurs” is actually not the right word in this case: these are professional communicators who are listening to the heartbeat of the planet and registering the emotional vibrations of people who may be in danger. In short, you are the last technical miracle, which is independent, reliable information channel, which can transmit an important piece of news from any place in the world, any time, by anyone who knows how to operate this wonderful creature, called radio.

Your advantage is that you are independent. A well-trained radioman with good equipment and ever-charged batteries can be a fantastic link between two villages, two countries or two continents. When organized in a Union, you are a communication superpower in time of total electronic darkness. But the most important part of your equipment is the people you have; the Bravehearts of men and women listening to people who may be in danger and may need help; the professional live-savers called strangely amateurs, who nevertheless act as volunteers when and where they are needed.

IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and Microwaves C5 Committee

IARU Region 1 VHF, UHF and Microwaves C5 Committee

In your history, you have many examples of lives being saved because some of your members caught a signal from a village, a region or un-accessible place that someone needs help. We need your skills and services because we will have more and more disasters in the future. The dry statistics reveal troubling trends: during the last 20 – 30 years, the number and the intensity of the natural disasters have increased dramatically. So did the number of people killed or affected. The earthquake in Haiti in 2010 killed 230 000 people alone ….  Between 2003 and 2012, some 6 700 disasters hit the planet with 2005 being the darkest one – 810 disasters in one year. Typhoons in the Philippines, floods in Pakistan, China or Europe, droughts and famine in Africa, garnished with conflicts, are now almost daily events. The economic losses from these disasters went up from $ 50 billion to $ 200 billion a year since the 80s.

Every Red Cross volunteer will tell you that during a disaster the most needed and precious live saving element is not food, water or medicines. It is the timely, accurate information that is the most needed. As timely and accurate information saves lives, prevents major tragedies, stops rumours, which create panic and leads to even more casualties. This is how solid information flow becomes the backbone of a successful communication strategy. In short, everything, which you do and helps your societies to organise themselves better, is vital. Local and national authorities count on you as the last bastion of reliable information channel. Your professional skills and your humanitarian duties make you more than radio amateurs; you are truly needed guardians in time of troubles and I hope you will always stay as a pillar of hope and courage for all who are in danger.

Thank you for your noble work. I wish you every success in this Conference.”

Kristalina Georgieva

Source IARU Region 1

IARU Region 1 Conference documents and pictures

23 cm band and WRC-2018