UKHAS Conference Cambridge Sept 10

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

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

The UKHAS Conference will be held at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, on Saturday, September 10, 2016. There will be an opportunity to take the amateur radio Foundation Practical Assessments and Exam.

The conference attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals.

Tickets can be purchased from the wiki page and cost just £10 each.

This is our first year away from London but the change in location also comes with a greatly reduced ticket price, with thanks to Andy Batey G7LBL for offering up the facilities. Hopefully this will offset any increased difficulties in travel and Cambridge is still well connected to the major transport hubs.

For those who haven’t attended before, the conference is a great opportunity to learn more about the hobby and meet new faces. There will be a series of structured talks, workshops and discussions.

If you would like to speak or run a workshop, please do get in touch with either Daniel Saul M6DSA or Steve Randall G8KHW. Contributions don’t need to be directly linked to ballooning and we look forward to all suggestions.

As in previous years, there will also be the opportunity to take RSGB amateur radio exams on the day. Please contact Phil Crump M0DNY if you are interested email: phil <at> philcrump.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you all in September!

Cheers,

Daniel & Steve

UKHAS Conference Booking https://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2016

Those intending to take the amateur radio Foundation exam may find this free Online Foundation course useful http://www.essexham.co.uk/foundation-online

Last year’s conference had an impressive line of of radio amateurs giving presentations
https://amsat-uk.org/2015/08/17/2015-ukhas-conference/

Schools in mass launch of 434 MHz balloons

Successfully launched tracked and retrieved - Credit Hobb Computer Services

Successfully launched tracked and retrieved – Credit Hobb Computer Services

TV presenter Jason Bradbury 2E0JAB was among those present at a mass launch of 25 balloons transmitting in 434 MHz on Thursday, May 12, 2016.

Tracks of some of the balloons - Credit PitsProject

Tracks of some of the balloons – Credit PitsProject

Balloons from 25 schools were launched in batches of five from RAF Cosford. Each balloon carried a payload incorporating two small cameras and the Raspberry Pi In The Sky telemetry tracker. The balloons transmitted on unique frequencies ranging from 434.040 to 434.790 MHz.

Jason Bradbury’s balloon reached an altitude of 33 km before it burst and the payload parachuted back to Earth. The next problem was finding it. He tweeted:

Call out to my radio amateur friends. Need help finding 434.04mhz telemetry binary code

The balloon was eventually found stuck up a tall tree.

Watch the BBC TV Midlands Today report on the event

The Sentinel newspaper report – Students are flying high as experiment takes them to the edge of space http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/VIDEO-Engineering-students-launch-giant-balloons/story-29266315-detail/story.html

Pi In The Sky telemetry board
http://pi-in-the-sky.com/
https://twitter.com/pitsproject

Sent into Space
http://sentintospace.com/
https://twitter.com/Sent_into_space

Useful High Altitude Balloon links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

Getting ready for the launch - Credit KMF Metal

Getting ready for the launch – Credit KMF Metal

UBSEDS15 balloon launches from Bristol Saturday

UBSEDS balloon envelope

UBSEDS balloon envelope

In March the 434 MHz and APRS balloon UBSEDS14 flew around the northern hemisphere. On Saturday, April 30 a new balloon UBSEDS15 will be launched by the University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. The signal from the balloon may have a range of 400 km so should be receivable across the southern UK.

Richard Meadows M0SBU writes:

Another pico launch from Bristol this Saturday, April 30. The launch will be at 0900 ISH. As before the payload is transmitting on 434.600 MHz USB, with an output power of about +6dBm. Each transmission of Contestia 16/1000 will be preceded by 10 seconds of pips and RSID.

This payload uses solar panels to generate power. Hopefully the transmission rate will be once per minute during the day, and once every two minutes at night (if the payload operates at night). It’s also capable of transmitting APRS packets, but will only do so outside countries where the amateur license is not permitted airborne (like the UK).

It will probably head south quite quickly after launch, so trackers on the south coast are particularly appreciated. More details will appear on the website http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/flights.html

UBSEDS14 tracker payload

UBSEDS tracker payload

Despite the weight constraints the team have managed to employ sophisticated Geofencing technology to prevent the balloon transmitting when over certain countries and also to select different APRS frequencies depending on the territory being overflown.

UBSEDS on Twitter https://twitter.com/bristolseds

Online real-time tracking of balloons http://tracker.habhub.org/

Useful High Altitude Balloon Links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

UBSEDS15 Solar Powered Balloon http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/04/30/ubseds15.html

UBSEDS14 around the world balloon http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/03/07/ubseds14.html

One of the students involved in the project is Richard Meadows M0SBU. He took the amateur radio courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Manager
Email: training2016 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

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

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/

UBSEDS14 balloon flying across Pacific

UBSEDS14 balloon flight track as at March 14, 2016

UBSEDS14 balloon flight track as at March 14, 2016

On Monday, March 14 the UBSEDS14 balloon, launched by University of Bristol students, passed over Japan and out towards the Pacific, having traveled over 15,497 km since launch.

The University of Bristol Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UBSEDS) launched their balloon on Monday, March 8. Powered by a single AA Lithium Energiser Battery (LR91) the balloon has been transmitting about 5dBm of Contestia 16/1000 on 434.600 MHz USB at 4 minute intervals as well as APRS during its flight at an altitude of about 11,000m.

The balloon has a diameter of 1.5m and the payload weighs just 21.3 grams. Despite the weight constraints the team have managed to employ sophisticated Geofencing technology to prevent the balloon transmitting when over certain countries and also to select different APRS frequencies depending on the territory being overflown.

UBSEDS14 information is available at
http://www.bristol-seds.co.uk/hab/flight/2016/03/07/ubseds14.html

UBSEDS14 balloon launch
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/2016/march/ubseds14_balloon_launches_today.htm

Useful High Altitude Balloon Links https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/

One of the students involved in the project is Richard Meadows M0SBU. He took the amateur radio courses run by the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society (CARS) at Danbury in Essex. Further information on the courses is available from the CARS Training Manager
Email: training2016 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://g0mwt.org.uk/training

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

Find an amateur radio training course near you https://thersgb.org/services/coursefinder/

A free booklet is available aimed at introducing newcomers to the hobby that can also be used as a handy reference while getting started, see
http://rsgb.org/main/get-started-in-amateur-radio/alex-discovers-amateur-radio-2/

2015 UKHAS Conference

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

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

There’s an impressive line-up of radio amateurs among those giving presentations at the UK High Altitude Society (UKHAS) conference in London on Saturday, August 22, 2015.

The UKHAS conference attracts those interested in learning about building and flying High Altitude Balloons or in tracking their 434 MHz signals. The conference takes place at the University College London (UCL).

Schedule:
09:30     Assembly – Drinks & Biscuits
10:00     Welcome & Introduction
10:10     10 years of UKHAS – Steve Randall G8KHW & Ed Moore M0TEK
10:30     HF Pico – Andy Nguyen VK3YT (Streamed)
11:00     Crossing the Karman Line – Laurence Blaxter & Leo Bodnar M0XER
11:30     Break
11:45     QB50 – Dhiren Kataria M6END MSSL
12:15     Stratos School Habbing – Dave Green
12:45     A balloon-borne accelerometer technique for measuring atmospheric turbulence – Graeme Marlton
13:15     Lunch
14:15     A Short Guide to Parachutes – Ed Moore M0TEK
14:30     Predictor – Adam Greig M0RND & Daniel Richman M0ZDR
14:45     UKHASnet Weekend
15:00     Flexible timings: workshops, discussions etc
– IQ Sampling and Software Defined Radio for Beginners – Adam Greig M0RND (G06)
– Eagle CAD Workshop – Anthony Stirk M0UPU (G08)
– UKHASnet node demo – James Coxon M6JCX (Lobby)

UKHAS are also offering the option to complete the amateur radio Foundation Practical Assessments and Exam at the conference. This has been fully booked, perhaps a sign of the shortage of Foundation exams in central London.

Conference registration information is at
https://ukhas.org.uk/general:ukhasconference2015

434 MHz Balloon Launch at Dorset Rally

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO1 foil balloon

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO1 foil balloons

Jules G0NZO hopes to launch a 434 MHz balloon BONZO8 from the Flight Refuelling ARS Hamfest on Sunday, August 9 at Cobham Sports and Social Club Ground, Merley, near Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 3DA.

The Hamfest lecture stream will start at 11am with a talk on Transverter and RXGEN designs by Kevin Avery G3AAF.

At 11:45am Jules G0NZO will be giving a quick overview of High Altitude Ballooning in the UK and an equipment demonstration. Subject to prevailing weather conditions the launch is planned for 12:30pm and listeners across southern England should be able to tune into the signal on 434.650 MHz USB as well as follow the balloon track online.

The balloon launch will be either a 100gm latex balloon, or a pair of 36″ foil balloons, filled for minimal free lift, to attempt to get the payload to float for the maximum distance. If a latex balloon is used, a simple polythene parachute will be attached, for safety.

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO3 Latex Balloon

Jules G0NZO with the BONZO3 Latex Balloon

The payload is a basic tracking beacon. Radiometrix NTX2 licence exempt transmit module, modulated with RTTY, by a PIC processor and Ublox GPS receiver. Powered by 3xAAA lithium batteries.

BONZO8 Frequency 434.650 MHz USB, ASCII 7 bit RTTY at 50 bps. Approximately 320 Hz shift.

Depending on altitude the 434 MHz transmitter may have a range of around 250 km.

At 1:30pm Essex radio ham Justin G0KSC (InnovAntennas / Force 12) will give a talk on Antennas and at 2:30pm Colin G4KLB will be talking about HamTV from the International Space Station (ISS).

Talk In to the Hamfest will be on 145.550 MHz FM and the gates are open from 10am to 4pm. There is disabled access from 9.30am. Admission is £3.50 and there will be trade stands, a car boot sale, licensed bar as well as lectures. Details from Tony G3PFM on 07743 475018.

Hamfest information http://www.frars.org.uk/cgi-bin/render.pl?pageid=1432

High Altitude Balloon links for online tracking, UKHAS mail list / chat room, WebSDR
https://amsat-uk.org/beginners/balloons/