Saturday, April 20, 2019

Finger lakes Balloon launch on Sunday 4/28/19

The Amateur Radio Club at Cornell, W2CXM, is planning a high altitude balloon flight on Sunday, April 28, 2019 between 10am – 1pm.   Our Rain Date is the following Sunday, May 5 at the same time.   The picture above is representative of imagery we capture on these flights.  It was captured from a launch we did from the Rochester Hamfest in 2017.  Lake Ontario and Rochester are visible.
This year’s payload will include a typical set of cameras as well as a cross-band repeater, which you are welcomed to try.  The transmit side of the repeater is a very simple VOX activated affair, so you will want to make a moment of noise to wake it up before speaking.

In addition to the cameras and repeater, we will also have a special DTMF activated payload with its own tracker which we will drop on command.  This is just to add some additional fun and technology to the experiment.

We generally launch the balloon somewhere West of Ithaca so that it descends into farm country just Northeast of Ithaca.  It’s a little early to know the exact launch location, but typically it’s in the Dansville area.  Here’s a typical flight pattern, though we won’t know for sure until the day before launch. In this example, the balloon bursts over Seneca lake, at about 100,000 feet, and the payload descends by parachute to land Northeast of Ithaca.

The payload will include three APRS trackers.  We’ll also have chase vehicles.
                W2CXM-11:        Main Payload
                W2CXM-12:        Main Payload backup (on 144.990)
                W2CXM-13:        Drop payload
                KD2EAT-9:           Main Payload Chase
                KD2JEE-9:            Drop payload Chase
                WB2EMS-7:        Airborne reconnaissance (weather permitting)
Our cross-band repeater will be configured as follows:
Repeater receives on:                   144.580 PL 103.5               (takes about ½ second to wake up Vox)
Repeater transmits on:                 447.025 at 100mw

More details for the flight are on our web site,  We will continue to update the content there as the flight nears.

Mike Hojnowski / KD2EAT
Advisor, Amateur Radio Club at Cornell

......These guys always do some pretty cool stuff! Good luck and Thanks for the update Mike!


  1. When and where will the results of Mays launch be made available ?

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