Monday, April 9, 2018

Balloons over Russia.........

.....balloon headed round the world!


I launched a balloon from Rochester NY on February 13, 2018 and it is still flying around the earth after 55 total days in the air.

This flight is using 2 very small balloons that cost $1.50 each using helium which makes it even more fascinating.

WSPR transmits 2 times in a row with the first being call sign and grid locator and the second using special Telemetry created by Hans Summer of QRP Labs. Hans was kind enough to allow me to use this special firmware for this U3S based transmitter.

Photos of payload,real time flight data and launch seen here:

This site works best for mobile devices:
Details about the custom builds can also be found on these websites.

Hope to have more stations receive the signals as it is in a very tough location over middle Russia and may be closer to Japan in days to come. 10mw transmitters over Russia to Japan and mid Pacific are VERY difficult to receive. Beam antennas would be a great help. 

Also 30m WSPR is used but the antenna is optimal for 20m band. JT9 for both 20/30m is also used.

Jim; N2NXZ
(please pass this on to listeners around the world)


  1. Another tracking method seen here with built in Trajectory prediction -!mt=roadmap&mz=3&qm=1_day&f=U3S23
    Not many spots this morning,very tough place for radio signals.
    I should note this payload operates from pure solar energy,no battery.

    1. I would also like to note,if you do not have HF capability or find it challenging,here are remotes around the world that also have built in WSPR decoding software in the extensions.Some good,some not so good but fun to use -

  2. If anyone is listening for balloon telemetry,here is a new page in which you ask questions, see or hear any signals.
    Transmission format as follows -
    20m WSPR x 2(WSPR dial 1409560) followed by JT9 x 2 (14078)
    30m WSPR x 2(WSPR dial 1013870) followed by JT9 x 2 (1013870 @ 1650 hz)
    2 minute calibration,repeat sequence.

  3. Still flying somewhere North of Japan.Only 2 spots early this morning but no locator was received.Altitude looking great @ 9400m / 38 knots.Solar event really killed the bands last few days making it even harder to spot signals from that region.Good thing there are remote receivers online as the only 2 spots were received by myself using several in Japan.Sometimes wish I had a big beam antenna here for 20m band :) Remotes are interesting and great tools that even have WSPR extension built in -
    Not the best receivers in the world,but good for times like these.

  4. 04/18 - Still flying !
    Expected to cross over NY early this morning.
    As U3S23 -!mt=roadmap&mz=4&qm=1_day&f=U3S23

  5. May have got into 35000ft clouds over night.
    I saw the charts before bed last night and did not look good.
    No signals from it today...most likely has taken on moisture and dropped like a rock :)
    Give it awhile yet,but doubtful it made it.
    I have another sitting here waiting to release...soon as this one is verified as finished.