Another VE3KCL Balloon Adventure

courtesy: and
Dave, VE3KCL launched his latest balloon, 'S-4', on Friday, August 21st. He timed the launching very well as it was immediately swept-up by high-speed winds and, unlike earlier attempts, shot up to the north and out over the North Atlantic very quickly.

Like earlier flights, 'S-4' also uses a special U3 firmware version on an Arduino Nano board, with a QRP Labs Synthesiser, along with two hydrogen-filled party balloons with HF antennas hung between them. You can read all about Dave's previous flights here and keep up on the balloon's track here.

The balloon is transmitting data regularly on the following schedule:

0:00 CW ID, and 22wpm CW on 30m, 20m and 17m bands
0:01 JT9 on 10,140,450: "#CS#AT" (callsign, altitude)
0:02 JT9 on 10,140,450: "#LT#A0" (latitude, temperature on analogue A0)
0:03 JT9 on 10,140,450: "#LN#A3" (longitude, battery on analogue A3)
0:04 JT9 on 10,140,450: "#M6#GS" (6-char Maidenhead locator, groundspeed)
0:05 JT9 on 14,078,450: "#CS_#M6" (callsign, 6-char Maidenhead locator)
0:06 WSPR on 10,140,250 (standard WSPR transmission)
0:08 WSPR on 10,140,250 with special data telemetry encoding
0:10 22wpm CW on 15m, 10m and 6m bands
0:11 Calibration
0:12 Repeat...

Frequencies to listen on are:

Minute Mode Tag Frequency (Notes)
00:00 CWID. 10.140450 (GPS off)
00:12 CW 05 10.139150
00:27 CW 05 14.100550
00:42 CW 05 18.109150
01:00 JT9 00 10.140450
02:00 JT9 03 10.140450
03:00 JT9 04 10.140450
04:00 JT9 01 10.140450
05:00 JT9 02 14.078450
06:00 WSPR. 10.140250 (normal WSPR)
08:00 WSPR. 10.140250 (encoded WSPR)
09:50 CW 05 21.150150 (GPS on)
10:05 CW 05 28.205150
10:20 CW 05 50.070150
10:35 QRSS. 10.140450 (continuous 'space')
10:55 calibration
12:00 restart the sequence

Let's wish Dave luck and hope that this one makes a successful circumnavigation. It would be the first by a Canadian amateur I believe.
Steve McDonald, VE7SL, is a regular contributor to and writes from British Columbia, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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