Hi all. I've recently rekindled my interest in balloon tracking ie Radiosondes. But I keep checking to see if there's any activity of UK high altitude balloons, but there doesn't seem to be any since the start of the covid pandemic..

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Brian Walker

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Mar 10, 2022, 2:55:09 AMMar 10
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The European's are still quite active, so I'm wondering where have all the UK guys gone. Cheers 73 Brian g0hdi

Medad rufus

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Mar 10, 2022, 12:26:07 PMMar 10
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A lot of high altitude balloon appears to have moved to long distance pico ballooning, as opposed to up-down weather balloon flights. The picoballoon mailing list hosted by groups.io is significantly more active. Some UK folks are active there.

Medad

On Thu, 10 Mar 2022 at 07:55, Brian Walker <darkj...@gmail.com> wrote:
The European's are still quite active, so I'm wondering where have all the UK guys gone. Cheers 73 Brian g0hdi

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David Akerman

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Mar 10, 2022, 12:38:40 PMMar 10
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I have a flight coming up mid April, and I'm hoping to do some more this year.  I suspect the non-pico side of the hobby will get more active once the weather is more conducive to launching.

Dave

Brian Walker

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Mar 10, 2022, 1:01:34 PMMar 10
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Thanks Guys. I've never heard of picoballooing before so will have to look into it. Do they use similar frequencies to Hab's and is there are dedicated tracking  software, or will fldigi still work?.

Steve

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Mar 10, 2022, 1:05:33 PMMar 10
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There is still latex ballooning going on in the UK - but not at the rate it was.  I've only done a couple of latex flights myself over the last couple of years - and both of those were LoRaWAN and not UKHAS radio based.  I'm still selling latex balloons to UK folk - maybe 25% of my overall balloon sales this year - certainly down from the heady days.   I'm thinking some flights may have moved to other tracking methods (such as LoRaWAN)

I'm sure Covid, high Helium costs and now high Fuel costs are all contributory factors.  Likewise not having a UKHAS conference for 2 years (due to covid) has put a dampener on things. 

As Medad says quite a bit of the interest has swapped to the much cheaper pico balloons.

    Steve

dan...@adkin.net

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Jun 7, 2022, 11:21:14 AMJun 7
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Hi Steve, looking into doing a release or few. Have collected a few sondes and reprogrammed but looking into info on sizes and permissions etc. But firstly need to get balloons, where do you sell them and at what cost?

Thanks

Mark Jessop

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Jun 7, 2022, 6:52:51 PMJun 7
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The Pawan 100g balloons that Steve stocks ( http://www.randomengineering.co.uk/Random_Aerospace/Balloons.html ) will launch a RS41 to ~20km without issues, if you accept a slow ascent rate (<2m/s). 

You can also cut down the weight of a RS41 considerably by removing the foam shell, the 2xAA holder, and running it off 1xAA. I have a photo gallery showing this process here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/p3jxUYRWsbAALfGp8
With this process, you can get the weight (including battery) down to ~35g, which is below the 50g 'small' balloon threshold here in Australia.

Depending on how you set your transmit rate, you can get ~24 hours battery life out of the 1xAA. For a longer duration flight I usually go with ~20 second updates of 4FSK telemetry ( https://github.com/projecthorus/horusdemodlib/wiki ).

73
Mark VK5QI



dan...@adkin.net

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Jun 8, 2022, 9:09:15 AMJun 8
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Thank you for your reply. Appreciated.

Dan

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