Southampton students to launch 434 MHz eclipse payload

Assembling SUSF payloads for solar eclipse launchThe University of Southampton Spaceflight Society will be launching for the solar eclipse on Friday, March 20, with two 434 MHz Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) balloon payloads.

The transmitters are as follows:

MAJORA – 434.211 MHz USB, 600 bps RTTY, 600 Hz Shift, 8n2 – (SSDV + no GPS)
OLAF – 434.149 MHz USB, 300 bps RTTY, 880 Hz Shift, 8n2 – (SSDV + GPS)
There may also be a backup tracker on 434.700 MHz USB.

The launch will take place from Pepperbox Hill near Salisbury, at 7am due to the NOTAM, so it will be sent up slowly, perhaps landing in France.

Live launch webstream: http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0dny
Prediction: http://predict.habhub.org/#!/uuid=eb10ee6e7030c615d2e0f49243add969e42465b0
Project page: http://susf.co.uk/launches/eclipse/
Eclipse summary page: http://ukhas.org.uk/news:balloon_launches

Thanks in advance to all those who will try to listen

Matt Brejza

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/16/434-mhz-balloon-launch-at-bbc-stargazing-event/

Ulster 434 MHz Solar Eclipse Balloon

Radio amateur Philip Heron MI0VIM reports on a Raspberry Pi balloon which will be launched for the eclipse and should be receivable across the British Isles.

All being well there will be a launch from Cookstown, N.Ireland on Friday, March 20 at about 0700 UT.

The plan is to have it rise high enough before the time of maximum solar eclipse, and maybe image the lunar shadow on the horizon. This will have a slow ascent rate and should hopefully float at about 36km, on a path which takes it south towards Dublin, before turning east to Wales and on towards Germany.

Callsign: EAGLE
Frequency: 434.250 MHz USB
Mode: RTTY 300 baud 8N2

The payload consists of a Raspberry Pi A+, camera and a Pi In The Sky module. It will be sending SSDV images throughout the flight.

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/16/434-mhz-balloon-launch-at-bbc-stargazing-event/

434 MHz balloon launch at BBC Stargazing event

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M0RPI

Radio amateur David Akerman M0RPI will be launching a 434 MHz balloon from the BBC Stargazing Live solar eclipse event in Leicester on March 20.

The flight is to primarily to take photographs during the partial solar eclipse. Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV), RTTY and LoRa telemetry beacons will be transmitting from the balloon in 434 MHz, so plenty of stuff to tune in to.

The launch activities will be recorded and some of the footage will be transmitted on the special BBC Stargazing show from 9am to 10am on that day.  There will also be a couple of very brief live segments where, hopefully, Dave will get to show some pretty live images.  Also, assuming the payload is recovered, some of the recorded video should end up on the main Stargazing show in the evening (9pm-10pm, BBC2).

There will be 2 Raspberry Pi trackers each sending telemetry and SSDV using both RTTY and LoRa modulation. RTTY frequencies are Upper Sideband (USB).

Pi #1 (camera with solar film):
MARVIN:  434.300 MHz, RTTY, 910 Hz shift, USB, 300 baud 8 N 2
ZAPHOD:  434.350 MHz, LoRa, Implicit mode, Bandwidth 20.8 kHz, Error coding 4:5, SF6

Pi #2 (bare camera):
KRYTEN:  434.400 MHz, RTTY, 910 Hz shift, USB, 300 baud 8 N 2
RIMMER:  434.450 MHz, LoRa, Implicit mode, Bandwidth 20.8 kHz, Error coding 4:5, SF6

UPDATE March 18 – An additional beacon has been added:
BUZZ: 434.315 MHz, 425 Hz shift, 50 baud, 7 N 2

Launch time 8am Friday, March 20, 2015

As well as the TV stuff, the BBC are running a “spectacular live event” from the racecourse, open to the public from 9am to 3pm and then 6pm to 9pm.  Entry is free to please do come along if you can.  They have a real astronaut, Paolo Nespoli IZ0JPA, and plenty else of interest – see
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/stargazing-live-leicester

Radio hams will be at BBC Solar Eclipse event
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/03/02/radio-hams-will-be-at-bbc-solar-eclipse-event/

The 434 MHz signals transmitted by High Altitude Balloons can have a range of up to 800 km. The path of the balloons can be tracked in real-time at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Useful links for tracking, receiving and decoding the telemetry from 434 MHz balloons can be found at
http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Listen for 434 MHz balloon signals online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

APRS balloon heads for UK

CNSP-22 Predicted Track for February 26 to March 1, 2015

CNSP-22 Predicted Track for February 26 to March 1, 2015

An amateur radio balloon CNSP-22, call sign K6RPT-11, is crossing the Atlantic at an altitude of 11,150 metres and should reach the British Isles on Friday, February 27.

The solar powered around-the-world high altitude balloon was released by the California Near Space Project team from San Jose on Monday, February 23 and is expected to reach the UK on Friday. The APRS beacon should have a radio range of up to 400 km.

The amateur radio APRS frequency is not standardized world-wide. The USA uses 144.390 MHz FM while the British Isles and Europe use 144.800 MHz. It is understood the balloon will change frequency to 144.800 MHz when it reaches this side of the Atlantic.

See the K6RPT-11 APRS track at
http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FK6RPT-11&timerange=86400&tail=86400

California Near Space Project
Web http://www.cnsp-inc.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/California-Near-Space-Project/255864787858630
Twitter http://twitter.com/k6rpt

APRS http://www.aprs.org/

APRS frequencies used around the world http://info.aprs.net/index.php?title=Frequencies

APRS-UK Yahoo Group https://groups.yahoo.com/group/APRSUK

434 MHz balloons to launch for JOTA

Chris Stubbs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Chris Stubbs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Radio amateurs Chris M6EDF and Steve G0TDJ will each be launching 434 MHz balloons from Essex for Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) this weekend.

The balloons should be launched from Kingston Ridge Campsite in Essex on the Saturday and Sunday, Lat/Lon: 51.559144, 0.435010 http://www.kingstonridgecampsite.co.uk/index2.html

Chris Stubbs M6EDF posted on the UKHAS Google Group:
I will be launching JOTA1 at about 12:30 on Saturday 18/10/2014.
Using either a foil or 100g pawan depending on the conditions.
434.300 MHz SSB,RTTY, 50 baud, 7n2, 450Hz shift.

Steve G0TDJ posted:
Callsign: JOTA2
Date-Time: 19/10/2014 – 12:30pm
Frequency: 434.450 MHz SSB
Mode: RTTY 50n7 with 450Hz shift.
My launch will be at around 12:30pm (+/- ish) Tracking stations will be appreciated. This time, I’m going to try for a float since I will hopefully have plenty of time to prepare. The payload will be running on a Maplin AAA Lithium so expected Tx time will be >24hrs.

The balloon’s FSK (SSB) 434 MHz signals should be receiveable across much of the UK but for those out of range or who lack 70 cm SSB the online SUWS WebSDR can be used instead, see http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Useful links for tracking and receiving 434 MHz balloons http://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

434 MHz balloon B-64 returning to UK again

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams - Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams – Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his solar powered balloon B-64, carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload, from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 UT on July 12, 2014 and it’s still flying.

It completed its first circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere at 16:30 UT on Friday, July 31 and is expected to complete the second circumnavigation in the next couple of days.

On the afternoon of Thursday, August 21 the balloon was just west of Reykjavik in Iceland heading south at an altitude of 12,500 metres.  Radio amateurs in the British Isles are invited to listen out for the balloon which may come in range late Friday or on Saturday.

B-64 transmits 10 mW on 434.500 MHz using the amateur radio data modes Contestia 64/1000 and APRS (M0XER-4).

The path of the balloon over the past 6 weeks can be seen on the UKHAS tracker at http://spacenear.us/tracker/flyb.php

An APRS map showing the past 24 hours is at http://aprs.fi/#!mt=roadmap&z=11&call=a%2FM0XER-4&timerange=86400&tail=86400

B-64 plastic foil envelope - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 plastic foil envelope – Credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

Listen for B-64 online using the SUWS WebSDR, further details at http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Mobile Tracker http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv (note no SSDV on B-64)

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address: ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow balloon chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

 

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

434 MHz Balloon B-64 Completes Epic Journey

B-64 Flight Path July 12 to July 31 2014

B-64 Flight Path July 12 to July 31, 2014

At about 16:30 GMT on Friday, July 31, the solar powered B-64 balloon launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER crossed the 1 degree West longitude line completing its circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere in just over 19 days.

Oliver M6ODP receiving B-64 at St Michael's Mount

Oliver M6ODP receiving B-64 at St Michael’s Mount

The balloon, flying at an altitude of 12 km, completed its transatlantic crossing and came within range of Cornwall in the morning. Oliver De Peyer M6ODP happened to be visiting St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall at the time. He used his Kenwood TH-F7E handheld to receive an APRS packet from the balloon.

As the day progressed B-64 moved from just south of Cornwall up the English Channel and radio amateurs and listeners from Manchester to Nantes in France were able to receive the 10 mW Contestia 64/1000 and APRS signal on 434.500 MHz.

B-64 passed over the Isle of Wight and floated over Bognor Regis and across Kent heading out into the North Sea near Herne Bay. As of mid-day Saturday it was still flying and transmitting over Sweden and being tracked by members of AMSAT-SM.

B-64 APRS packet received by Oliver M6ODP

B-64 APRS packet received by Oliver M6ODP

Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his balloon carrying an 11 gram transmitter payload from Silverstone in the UK at 06:51 GMT on July 12, 2014. While Leo’s earlier balloons had been foil type party balloons B-64 was a  plastic foil envelope that he made himself.

Using the amateur radio APRS network and the UKHAS network the location of B-64 was tracked as it traveled over Europe, Siberia, with a brief sojourn across North Korea, before heading out over Japan and across the Pacific Ocean. It then briefly entered the United States before swinging north into Canada.

It was heard in Greenland by Peter Thulesen OX3XR and on Friday morning finally came within range of the British Isles.

B-64 plastic foil envelope - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

B-64 plastic foil envelope – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Leo has utilised some clever techniques storing positions when the balloon is out of radio contact then later transmitting a log file of previous locations in the comments field of the APRS packet. This enables a fairly complete path to be built up. B-64 only stores 5 days worth of data, where you get a straight line on the track it has been out of radio contact.

See the track of B-64 at http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-64 or at http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

Leo Bodnar M0XER balloons http://www.leobodnar.com/balloons/

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society received the signal from B-64. Just 4 weeks earlier, thanks to Chris Stubbs M6EDF, the Society had launched a balloon CARS-1 from their meeting venue. That balloon didn’t have solar power so the signal only lasted for about 10 hours. CARS training organiser Clive G1EUC reported receiving a strong signal from B-64.

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams

B-64 transmitter payload weighs just 11 grams

Clive is currently taking names for the next amateur radio Foundation course which starts on Thursday, September 4. If you’d like to join the course or wish to find out more about the hobby give him a ring on:
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

The UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) Conference takes place Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the University of Greenwich in London
http://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2014

Further 434 MHz balloon links at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/30/434-mhz-balloon-goes-around-the-world/

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

 

 

Wirral Grammar School for Girls to launch 434 MHz Balloon

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

Pupils at Wirral Grammar School for Girls are planning to launch a High Altitude Balloon equipped with 434 MHz telemetry and Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) transmitters.

The launch is planned for Wednesday, July 16 at around 11:00 BST from Middletown Hill near Welshpool, weather permitting. The balloon will be a 1200g Hwoyee with Helium and the transmitter details are:

Callsign: WG3
Frequency: 434.300 MHz
Mode: RTTY 50,7n2 470 Hz shift

Callsign: WG3TV
Frequency: 434.350 MHz
Mode: RTTY 300,8n2 610 Hz shift SSDV + telemetry

The balloon will carry a Raspberry Pi A with RFM22B based daughterboard. The radio coverage area could extend up to a radius of 700 km which would make it receivable throughout the British Isles.

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

See received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

Listen to Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Chelmsford landing planned for SSDV Balloons

Image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

434 MHz SSDV image from the SUPER balloon launched by Dave Akerman M0RPI on July 12, 2014

Radio amateur Philip Crump M0DNY plans a number of High Altitude Balloon (HAB) flights this weekend transmitting Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI/2E0LTX/M0RPI

The launches will take place from Gilwell Park near Epping Forest and the balloons are expected to land around Chelmsford in Essex.

They are planned as part of the Gilwell 24 Scouts Activity event, taking place from 9am Saturday, July 12 through the night to 9am Sunday, July 13 in Gilwell Park. The plan is to monitor predictions/weather, prepare the payload, launch when convenient, then Philip M0DNY will chase, recover and repeat, up to 2 additional times.

The balloons are 100g hwoyees, and so are only expected to reach around 14 km altitude due to the weight, and increasing chances of wet landing for a longer flight. A Raspberry Pi is being used for the SSDV, and will store images as well as short but frequent video clips.

Due to tracker issues Philip may be flying a borrowed SUSF tracker on 434.613 MHz, replacing his one on 424.125 MHz.

The USB frequencies used will be
• 434.200 MHz – G24HAB – 600 baud SSDV
And either:
• 434.125 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY
Or:
• 434.613 MHz – GILWELL24 – 50 baud RTTY + 300 baud TurboHAB FSK (SSB)

The 434.613 MHz tracker will alternate between 50 baud RTTY and 300 baud binary TurboHAB. To decode the binary error corrected format you need this decoder: http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/mfb2g09/decoder/decoder.jar , which has been updated since last time. To decode the binary protocol you first need to change ‘Encoding’ to BIN and ‘Baud’ to 300. Upon changing the callsign and position you need to press ‘Update’ for the new data to be used. It will be interesting to see the relative performance, the error correction should make most difference where there is noise or fading.

First launch is tentatively scheduled for 2pm BST Saturday. Philip will post updates on Twitter and #highaltitude. There will most likely be a live stream of the launches check http://batc.tv/ch_live.php?ch=3

David Akerman M0RPI and Heston Blumenthal with balloon - Image credit M0RPI

David Akerman M0RPI with balloon – Image credit M0RPI

Dave Akerman M0RPI is also launching on Saturday between 10-11am from Ross On Wye. His balloon will be transmitting on three frequencies one of which will be Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV).

$$SUPER: 434.450 MHz, 300 baud RTTY, 880 Hz shift, USB, 8, N, 2, SSDV
$$UAD: 434.480 MHz, Domino EX22
$$UAR: 434.475 MHz, 50 baud RTTY, 400 Hz shift, USB, 7, N, 1

There should be live video streaming on BATC.TV The chase car is M0RPI_chase:
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

The balloons should have a radio range of up to 700 km providing coverage over a large part of the British Isles and into Europe.

Listen to the Balloons via the Web

Radio amateurs Noel G8GTZ, Martin G8JNJ and Phil M0DNY from the Southampton University Wireless Society, have established an Internet accessible WebSDR receiver near Basingstoke in the UK. It has special helix antennas optimised for balloon and satellite reception in the 144 and 434 MHz bands and can be listened to from anywhere in the world. Listen using the WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://spacenear.us/tracker/

See the received SSDV images on the web at http://ssdv.habhub.org/

Beginners Guide to Tracking using dl-fldigi software http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide

Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) Guide http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:ssdv

To get up-to-date information on balloon flights subscribe to the UKHAS Mailing List by sending a blank email to this address:
ukhas+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Follow the launch day chat on the #highaltitude IRC channel at
http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society have a new short training course for those wishing to become radio amateurs starting on September 4. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC on
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
E-mail: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

MP Congratulates Students on near Space Program

Valerie Vaz MP

Valerie Vaz MP

Valerie Vaz MP has congratulated pupils at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall on their near Space Program which uses a 434 MHz downlink.

Valerie said:

“Pupils at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in my constituency are attempting to beat the altitude achieved by Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from 39,045m, for a fraction of the cost with their own atmospheric probes.”

“The initiative shown by this group of student to design and build the probes and computer systems, while at the same time raising money for the project through sponsorship is commendable.”

“The Beat Felix Team’s first probe, ‘Gagarin’, reached an altitude of 35,118m and was only 3,927m short of their goal. They are now concentrating on their final two probes, ‘Armstrong’ and ‘Hadfield’, which are both set to launch within the next month. I wish the whole team the best of luck and hope they reach their goal.”

More information on Queen Mary’s Grammar School’s ‘Beat Felix’ project can be found here: http://horizon.qmgs.walsall.sch.uk/