Monday, September 1, 2014

High altitude balloon launch Friday Sept. 5th

The balloon launched on Friday night around 8pm.

9/7/14 UPDATE from N2NXZ:
You probably see the last position on the map.
Bill,VA3XCD came home just in time to grab the signal and gatherthe GPS positions before signal was lost.
The tracker was set to sleep after the first 7 hours,it will resume @ 7:00 pm this evening (9/7) and run another 15-20 hours straight.
Where it ended up is anyone's guess. I think due to the low altitudes,it may have survived the first evening. Should this have occurred, it would have soared double or more of that altitude at sunrise and throughout the following day. So that would mean it very well could be well over the Atlantic ocean and still flying.
The launch went exactly as planned except for the tree incicdents and the GPS glitches.
The 10.135 mhz RTTY beacon should still operate for many more hours,every hour on the hour for 15 minutes. I have been listening every chance possible,nothing heard yet.
Here is the only info left using prediction charts. This will have a Hysplit option where you can see projected flight path.
I would not give up on it yet and still need to notify other operators in the Azores and Europe this morning.
Feel free to share this information Tony and thanks for the email.

(message from N2NXZ)   - NOTE - MOVED TO 8pm Tonight 9/5/14
My name is Jim, N2NXZ - located in grid fn13ch / Hilton, N.Y. This is a request to assist for tracking a high altitude balloon scheduled to launch on September 5,2014 @ 5:00pm EST / 21:00 UTC.(May change due to weather or equipment issues) Payload will consist of (2) two separate transmitters in the bands of 70cm and 30m.
The main GPS tracking will be on the frequency of 434.651 mhz (70cm) USB using RTTY 50. Decoding software (below) will automatically select this mode once configured. This data when received will place the balloon`s location on the map specifically for the callsign N2NXZ-7 indicating your callsign as the RX station.
Decoding software is also specific for tracking and can be found here.
This balloon will be designed to "float" and the goal is to cover many miles if everything goes as planned. But this is never guaranteed and the need for ground tracking stations is important. Your help would be greatly appreciated especially in the flight projection between my location,Hilton,NY to the East (downwind). The tracking transmitter will be timed to operate for 7 hours from launch to conserve battery power should it stay aloft in this period. A second transmitter on the frequency of 10.135 mhz (30m) will be used for RTTY beaconing. It will operate once every 15 minutes every hour. Timing could change as it will begin at any given time. We are going to try starting on the hour at launch.
The HF beacon will aid only in locations that tracking may not be available and is of course propagation dependant for certain locations. Due to temperature changes at altitude,frequencies listed can drift dramatically +/-.
My contact information - email:
Tracking software questions or assistance can be found here by simply logging in. No registration required,only the anti spam code and nickname (your callsign is best).
Progress or discussions related to current balloon activity will be here also. This is much easier for participants to communicate other than individual emails. Some of you are already familiar with this process and this message is general to some who are new to tracking.

Again, your assistance is very much needed and appreciated. Please feel free to pass this information to others that could help.Looking forward to seeing you on the map!

Jim, N2NXZ

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