434 MHz party balloon B-64 completes epic journey

07:53 Fernando Luiz de Souza 0 Comments





At about 16:30 GMT on Friday, July 31, the solar powered B-64 party balloon launched by radio amateur Leo Bodnar M0XER crossed the 1 degree West longitude line completing its circumnavigation of the northern hemisphere in just over 19 days
Oliver M6ODP receiving B-64 at St Michael’s Mount
The balloon completed its transatlantic crossing and came within range of Cornwall in the morning. Oliver De Peyer M6ODP happened to be visiting St Michael’s Mount
in Cornwall at the time. He used his Kenwood TH-F7E handheld to receive an APRS packet from the balloon.

As the day progressed B-64 moved from just south of Cornwall up the English Channel and radio amateurs and listeners from Manchester to Nantes in France were able to receive the 10 mW Contestia 64/1000 and APRS signal on 434.500 MHz.

B-64 passed over the Isle of Wight and floated over Bognor Regis and across Kent heading out into the North Sea near Herne Bay. As of Friday night it was still flying and transmitting.
Typical 434 MHz solar powered payload – Image credit Leo Bodnar M0XER
Leo Bodnar M0XER launched his balloon from Silverstone in the UK at 07:00 GMT on July 12, 2014.  Using the amateur radio APRS network and the UKHAS network its location was tracked over Europe, Siberia, a brief sojourn across North Korea before heading out over Japan and across the Pacific Ocean. It then briefly entered the United States before swinging north into Canada.

It was heard in Greenland by Peter Thulesen OX3XR and on Friday morning finally came within range of the British Isles.

See the track of B-64 at
http://spacenear.us/tracker/?filter=B-64

or at http://habitat.habhub.org/mobile-tracker/

Members of the Chelmsford Amateur Radio Society received the signal from B-64. Just 4 weeks earlier, thanks to Chris Stubbs M6EDF, the Society had launched a balloon CARS-1 from their meeting venue. That balloon didn’t have solar power so the signal only lasted for about 10 hours. CARS training organiser Clive G1EUC reported receiving a strong signal from B-64.

Clive is currently taking names for the next amateur radio Foundation course which starts on Thursday, September 4. If you’d like to join the course or wish to find out more about the hobby give him a ring on:
Tel: 01245-224577
Mob: 07860-418835
Email: training2014 at g0mwt.org.uk
Web: http://www.g0mwt.org.uk/training/

What is Amateur Radio ?
http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio

Further 434 MHz balloon links at
http://amsat-uk.org/2014/07/30/434-mhz-balloon-goes-around-the-world/

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