434 MHz XABEN and other balloon launches go ahead today

High altitude balloon 434 MHz trackers made by Chris M6EDF

High altitude balloon 434 MHz trackers made by Chris M6EDF

Steve G8KHW planned to launch five balloons XABEN64-68 carrying 434 MHz payloads from Elsworth on Wednesday, March 12. The permit for them arrived at the last minute on Wednesday morning. Technically the flights need a permit despite being 100g balloons as they are on a line rather than mounted in the neck.

The balloons may have a range of 200-500 km so should be receivable on a SSB (USB) radio over much of the UK or can be received World-Wide using the SUWS WebSDR

Steve says: The plan is to launch 5 identical payloads on 5 identical 100g balloons as near identically filled as I can manage in order to see the sort of spread of burst altitudes. The balloons will be launched as quick as I can fill them and launch them – so its likely that all 5 balloons will be in the air at the same time.

With all those flights I’m going to need some help tracking them – so lots of listeners would be appreciated. Callsigns and Frequencies to follow on the UKHAS Mailing List – but all will be on 434 MHz with standard 50 Baud 470 Hz 7N1 RTTY.

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon - Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

SSDV picture from a PIE balloon – Image credit Dave Akerman M6RPI

XABEN64-68 Callsigns and Frequencies (USB):
– uX3 434.250
– uX0 434.350
– uX1 434.400
– uX2 434.450
// skipping 434.500 to avoid BALYOLO
– uX5 435.550

There should be a launch from Westcott, Buckinghamshire on Wednesday at 12.00 Callsign: BALYOLO Frequency 434.500 MHz.

Project Ascend are launching Wednesday at 0900 from Cockermouth,Cumbria. They say please listen out for us on 434.450 MHz USB,  Callsign HAB55331. Further information at http://projectascend.co.uk/

Dave Akerman M6RPI/M0RPI says he’s planning to launch at around 2pm on Thursday, it’ll be a regular payload up-burst-down, probably with 2 trackers. The launch will take place from the field behind Dave’s new house just north of Ross-On-Wye, so receivers in the west of England will be particularly welcome. No SSDV just 50 baud RTTY telemetry. There will be live video streaming of the launch and chase at http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase

The two payloads are BUZZ and ZURG.  Both 50 baud 7 bits no parity 2 stop bits, 480Hz shift. BUZZ is on 434.600 MHz and ZURG on 434.650 MHz.  Former is an rfm22b and latter an NTX2 so they will drift somewhat.

On Thursday, March 13 Adam Cudworth will be launching HABE 12 from Worcestershire on 434.200 MHz.

James Coxon M6JCX launching a PICO balloon on 434.301 MHz USB

James Coxon M6JCX launching a PICO balloon on 434.301 MHz USB

Check the IRC channel for chat about the launches on irc.freenode.net #highaltitude
A web client is available at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=highaltitude

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

Listen to the balloons online using the Southampton University Wireless Society (SUWS) 434 MHz WebSDR located near Basingstoke (51.294N, 1.131W)
https://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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