UKHAS Conference Videos Now Available

James Coxon M6JCX opens UKHAS Conference - Image credit Steve Smith G0TDJ

James Coxon M6JCX opens UKHAS Conference – Image credit Steve Smith G0TDJ

The annual UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference was held on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at the University of Greenwich in London. It attracted those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals.

There was an impressive line-up of speakers in addition to which there were workshops, demonstrations along with amateur radio exams.

Videos of some of the presentations are now available on the British Amateur Television Club (BATC) site at http://batc.tv/

To watch the videos online or download them to your PC:
• Go to http://www.batc.tv/
• Click on the ‘Film Archive’ icon
• Select ‘UKHAS 2014′ from the Category drop down menu
• Click on ‘Select Category’
• Select the video you wish to watch from the Stream drop down menu
• Click on ‘Select Stream’
• Click the play icon ‘>’ on the player
• Clicking on the icon to the left of the player volume control will give you full screen display.
• To download the video file to your PC right-click on the ‘Click Here’  link under the player.

Morning Sessions

09:30 Assembly – Coffee / Tea + Biscuits
10.10 Introduction – James Coxon M6JCX and Anthony Stirk M0UPU
10.20 Predictor – Daniel Richman M0ZDR and Adam Greig M0RND
10.50 Advanced superpressure balloon technology – Dan Bowen K2VOL
11.30 SUWS WebSDR – Philip Crump M0DNY
11.45 Break
12.00 $50SAT Low cost satellite- Stuart Robinson GW7HPW
12.45 Batc.tv Introduction – Noel Matthews G8GTZ
13.00 Lunch / Show and Tell

Afternoon Sessions

Combination of workshop/lectures.

Main Lecture
14.30 STM32+DSP – Adam Greig M0RND, Jon Sowman M0JSN, Matt Brezja M6VXO
15.30 UKHASNET – James Coxon M6JCX

Side Room
14:30 Pi In The Sky – Anthony Stirk M0UPU and Dave Akerman M0RPI
15.30 Amateur Radio Exams

UKHAS Conference http://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2014

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

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

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

Educational STEM 434.3 MHz Balloon Launch Tuesday 2:30pm

Chris Stubbs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Chris Stubbs M6EDF with 434 MHz trackers

Continuing his Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) work with schools, Chris Stubbs M6EDF, will launch a balloon STEWARDS-1/CHEAPO-12 for Stewards Academy, Harlow.

The launch will take place at 2:30pm (13:30 GMT) on Tuesday, June 3. Chris will be using a “mini” tracker with 1 AA battery on a 36″ foil balloon and aims to get the balloon to float for a long duration.

It will transmit 50 bps 7n2 RTTY on 434.300 MHz with about 450 Hz FSK and may have a range of up to 500 km depending on altitude.

Chris took the amateur radio Foundation training course run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) in January 2013. He is keen on both electronic construction and software development and combines the two interests in High Altitude Ballooning (HAB). Chris has built many tracker payloads for his balloon launches which usually take place from Danbury Common near Chelmsford.

M6EDF CHEAPO Micro TrackerDetails of his high-altitude ballooning hardware and experiments are online at http://chris-stubbs.co.uk/

See online real time tracks and frequencies of this and other 434 MHz balloons at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/

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

The role of these 434 MHz balloon launches in teaching maths and science was recently recognised by the Department for Education (DfE) see https://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/11/434-mhz-balloons-have-a-role-in-stem-education/

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) https://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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

Chelmsford 434 MHz STEM Balloon Launch
https://amsat-uk.org/2014/05/17/chelmsford-434-mhz-stem-balloon-launch/

The Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society run training courses for those wishing to get their amateur licence. To find out more speak to Clive G1EUC 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

Post flight update: The balloon floated at an altitude of under 6,000 metres for just over 2 hours.

Flight path of M6EDF's balloon STEWARDS on June 3. 2014

Flight path of M6EDF’s balloon STEWARDS on June 3. 2014

Asian Trek for B-47 Party Balloon

8-Day flight path of the B-47 party balloon

8-Day flight path of the B-47 party balloon

A solar-powered foil party balloon, B-47, transmitting telemetry on 434.500 MHz USB using the amateur radio data mode Contestia 8/250 was launched on Monday, April 28, 2014 from Silverstone in the UK by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER.

The balloon’s eight-day journey took it over the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea before flying over Japan at an altitude of 11860 metres on Monday, May 5.

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

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

Depending on the altitude, the balloon can have a radio range of 300-500 km. See the current track of the balloon at http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-47
APRS backup: http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FM0XER-7

Balloon: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon
Payload: 12 grams solar powered tracker

Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/250
Transmission contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes and lasts about 1 minute
Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.
Enable RxID (RSID) to automatically track the signal drift

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

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Typical party balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical party balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Download the dl-fldigi software from
http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) https://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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

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

Radio ham launches Spud into Space for TV show

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

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

In October 2013 Celebrity TV chef Heston Blumenthal visited radio amateur David Akerman M0RPI to fly a potato to near-space on a high altitude balloon as part of his TV show Heston’s Great British Food.

David Akerman M0RPI and Heston Blumenthal - Image credit M0RPI

David Akerman M0RPI and Heston Blumenthal – Image credit M0RPI

Dave says: “It started with a call from a TV production company who were working on a series for Heston Blumenthal. They’d heard that I fly the Raspberry Pi and wanted to include it in their Pie episode. The idea was to fly a potato as that was the first vegetable to be grown in space.”

Read Dave’s well illustrated account of the event at http://www.daveakerman.com/?p=1496

The show Heston’s Great British Food was broadcast on Channel 4 on Thursday, May 1. You can watch it online during the next few days at
http://www.channel4.com/programmes/hestons-great-british-food/4od

The Spud in Space segment starts at about 24:38 into the show.

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

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

Dave is well known for his balloon flights using the Raspberry Pi computer board. On July 14 2012 Dave, then M6RPI, built and launched PIE1 from Brightwalton, in Berkshire. The images taken by the camera were transmitted in the amateur radio 70cm band (434 MHz) using the Slow Scan Digital Video (SSDV) standard, see
https://amsat-uk.org/2012/07/17/pie1-raspberry-pi-sends-live-images-from-near-space/

His next flight will take place on Sunday, May 4 at around 6:30pm BST and aims to capture the sunset with some new cameras.

The two trackers are:
PIE – 434.650 MHz, 300 baud, 750Hz shift, 8, N, 2.  Telemetry and SSDV.
BUZZ – 434.600 MHz, 50 baud, 460Hz shift, 7, N, 2.  Telemetry only

There will be one or maybe two BATC video streams:
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi_chase
http://www.batc.tv/streams/m0rpi

Expected flight profile is burst alt 30km ascent 5m/s descent 5m/s. Landing spot NW of Cheltenham.

Dave M0RPI http://www.daveakerman.com/

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Download the dl-fldigi software from http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

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

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

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) https://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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

Balloon repeater to launch from Suffolk on Sunday

James Coxon M6JCX launching a PICO balloon on 434.301 MHz USB

James Coxon M6JCX launching a balloon carrying a transmitter payload

LAUNCH POSTPONED: Sadly due to technical issues I’m going to have to postpone this flight for a little longer – no point launching something that will definitely won’t work!

On Sunday, April 27, at around 11am (1000 GMT) radio amateur James Coxon M6JCX will launch the first UKHASnet balloon repeater from Suffolk. He writes:

Just a heads up that I’m going to try and launch tomorrow the first UKHASnet balloon repeater. The aim of the flight is to test both the concept of UKHASnet and if it works the range of the current setup. UKHASnet (http://www.ukhas.net/) is a simple wireless network that uses licence exempt radio modules.

There are a number of nodes around the UK and also in the Netherlands which normally just communicate on a local scale, the balloon payload will act as a airborne node which will hopefully connect these networks together temporarily.

The payload is based on a ATmega328 (arduino bootloader) with a Ublox 6 GPS and a RFM69HW Radio module. It’ll be tx and rx on 869.500 MHz using FSK, 2000 bps and using the UKHASnet protocol. Balloon will be a 100g latex filled for a very slow ascent to maximise flight time, launched from Suffolk. Launch will be around 11:00, however, there are forecasts of showers so this may change.

There is NO onboard 434 MHz module and no RTTY or other traditional format, we’ll be aiming to pipe the location data onto spacenear.us to allow easy following. That said it’ll be possible to hear the payload with good radios and SDRs that can tune to 869.500 MHz and we would be grateful if recordings of signal can be made as this could then be played back and decoded via the hardware (there is no software decoder – yet).

More information can be found on the website http://www.ukhas.net/ and there is a IRC channel on freenode #ukhasnet where you can follow the progress. A web client is available at http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=ukhasnet

As with many of my flights this is highly experimental so probably won’t work so don’t get disappointed if it gets delayed, postponed or fails!

UKHASnet http://www.ukhas.net/

A UKHASnet Workshop was held in March http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2014/march/ukhasnet_a_uhf_mesh_network.htm

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

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

7-Day Arctic Tour for B-46 Party Balloon

7-Day Arctic Tour for B-46 Balloon

7-Day Arctic Tour for B-46 Balloon

A long duration foil party balloon transmitting Contestia 8/250 telemetry data on 434.500 MHz USB was launched on Friday, April 18 from Silverstone in the UK by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER. Its seven day journey has taken it to Iceland, Greenland across the Norwegian Sea and down into Finland.

According to the current projected course it may continue south into Russia and travel close to the Ukrainian border.

Depending on the altitude, the balloon could have a radio range of 300-500 km. See the current track of the balloon at http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46

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

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

Balloon: 90cm Qualatex foil party balloon
Payload: 12 grams solar powered tracker

Telemetry: 434.500 MHz, USB, vertical polarisation, Contestia 8/250
Transmission contains two lines of telemetry every 4 minutes and lasts about 1 minute
Time between telemetry data is filled with beeps at 3 sec intervals.
Enable RxID (RSID) to automatically track the signal drift

Tracking link: http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-46
APRS backup: http://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FM0XER-6

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

You can see online real time tracks and frequencies of balloons at http://spacenear.us/tracker/

Typical pico balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter - Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Typical pico balloon with tiny solar powered 434 MHz transmitter – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER

Download the dl-fldigi software from
http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:dl-fldigi

Listen to balloons online (when in range of south-east UK) from anywhere in the world with the SUWS 434 MHz WebSDR (select USB) https://amsat-uk.org/2013/12/28/websdr-for-434-and-1296-mhz/

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

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

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