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General => General Chat => Topic started by: DaveBev on April 12, 2016, 12:51:50 pm

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: DaveBev on April 12, 2016, 12:51:50 pm
I attached a radio  to a couple of party balloons and they are looping around Greenland at the moment at over 100mph.
You can see the map here: http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)
Dave
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: German_EE on April 12, 2016, 05:12:08 pm
OK, that's cool  :-+ :clap:
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: botcrusher on April 12, 2016, 08:21:20 pm
That's really cool!
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: DaveBev on April 13, 2016, 12:03:23 pm
An Update:
The solar radio just woke up about an hour ago near Iceland and is sending telemetry every 12 minutes or so.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: MrSlack on April 13, 2016, 12:07:42 pm
Very cool - thanks for posting!

Will watch this avidly.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: rrinker on April 13, 2016, 12:36:56 pm
 :-+ Very neat!
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: German_EE on April 15, 2016, 12:50:35 pm
Welcome to Europe! I know that you are running a QRP transmitter on the balloon but please could you provide some more detail about how you transmit and receive the telemetry?

Also, do micro transmitters like this come under C.E.P.T. ?
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: ciccio on April 15, 2016, 01:34:02 pm
When I was a child I've dreamed about building something similar, but technology was not available.

Congratulations, and thank you very much for sharing.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: TinkerFan on April 15, 2016, 01:36:06 pm
I've been following it for a few days now.  :-+ :-+
It would be really interesting to see how it follows different streams. above the Atlantic ocean.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: ANTALIFE on April 15, 2016, 02:24:44 pm
Super neato
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: macboy on April 15, 2016, 02:31:49 pm
This is very interesting. I am impressed by the duration and distance of this flight.

I think that most of us on this forum want to more about your payload. I see an Arduino mini and I assume a GPS module. I like the use of thin enameled wire to reduce weight. How does it transmit its telemetry data, and who is receiving it?

Maybe before flight S-10, some brilliant people here could help you reduce your nighttime power consumption so that you could send telemetry at least a few times to get better tracking over night.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: DaveBev on April 16, 2016, 09:59:00 pm
Hi
The Balloon is powered down now, but there is a possibility it could be transmitting as early as 03:30 UTC April 17th... when it powered down a while ago, it was just off the coast of Turkey and will possibly start transmitting telemetry after sunrise tomorrow in Iraq.
The telemetry method is explained if you look on the index for S4 to the left of the map page. http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)
Basically the transmitter sends out a regular 2 minute wspr transmission... (google it if you are not familiar with that term) then it sends a 2 minute wspr telemetry report. The telemetry is folded into the wspr format so it looks like a wspr report. This method will allow the decoding of up to 20 different channels or balloons  at the same time.  Telemetry could be any items you want, but in this case it is speed , more accurate maidenhead indicator, altitude, on-board temperature, battery voltage and a few bits for gps reception.
It is all explained on the web page... there are some cool toys there too.
Dave
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: MrSlack on April 16, 2016, 10:23:18 pm
If it goes any further south it'll probably get shot down :)
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: Psi on April 16, 2016, 11:46:04 pm
Unfair :P  I want to fly my RC plane at 10020m, but have to should obey the 100meter limit  :-DD
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: ez24 on April 17, 2016, 02:06:58 am
Thanks it is interesting
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: apelly on April 17, 2016, 07:08:04 am
Was about to ignore this thread as click-bait. Glad I didn't! Thanks mate.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: German_EE on April 17, 2016, 07:55:28 am
Your balloon passed right over Lake Constance on the German/Swiss border which is one of the busiest air traffic areas in Europe, well done on surviving that one!. This is fascinating and I'm wondering where the balloon will end up next, south to Africa or east to India?

After the flight an article in one of the ham radio magazines or maybe here or on Eham.net would be appreciated.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: Kilrah on April 17, 2016, 08:08:27 am
Very interesting indeed! I've followed several high altitude projects/launches but always go up, pop and fall down over the course of a few hours with a rather well predicted trajectory, never knew there were long range/duration experiments.

What's the regulation around those? Can you jsut throw anything up as long as it's lighter than X? Feels kinda surprising you can have something wandering around uncoordinated right in the middle of where airliners fly.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: crispy_tofu on April 17, 2016, 08:11:53 am
That is very cool, thanks for sharing!  :-+
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: DaveBev on April 18, 2016, 04:29:19 am
Hi
An update.... the Balloon just woke up in Turkmenistan and is heading for Uzbekistan.. yesterday there was a problem with the gps not handing off the data to the transmitter... so we used the wind plot to figure out the direction of the balloon. http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)

To answer your question about aviation worries.. the payload including antenna weighs less than a house sparrow and is wrapped in insulating foam.
Some birds that weigh 20 times more, regularly fly over the Himalayas at 28000' and there is a vulture that can fly up to 37000 feet .. amazing
Weather balloons have never caused an accident in aviation since they were first used, and over 400000 of these balloons carrying a transmitter of a 250gms weight (over 10 times heavier than a sparrow) are launched every year.
Weather balloons expand to 16' sometimes but even in launch size, weather balloons are about 10 times bigger than the party balloons I launched.
The antenna on the balloon is designed to fail at 3lbs pull in case it catches on anything. The solar cells are so fragile that they shatter on contact with any object... I have done this a few times by mistake.
I cannot see any danger to commercial aviation that could be worse than a bird strike with a small sparrow. A Boeing that can weigh over 500000 pounds, would not be hurt even if it managed to find a balloon to hit... and that is probably one chance in a million.
Dave
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: Fulcrum on April 18, 2016, 05:18:31 pm
This is a really cool project. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: CatalinaWOW on April 18, 2016, 05:31:27 pm
Hi
An update.... the Balloon just woke up in Turkmenistan and is heading for Uzbekistan.. yesterday there was a problem with the gps not handing off the data to the transmitter... so we used the wind plot to figure out the direction of the balloon. http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)

To answer your question about aviation worries.. the payload including antenna weighs less than a house sparrow and is wrapped in insulating foam.
Some birds that weigh 20 times more, regularly fly over the Himalayas at 28000' and there is a vulture that can fly up to 37000 feet .. amazing
Weather balloons have never caused an accident in aviation since they were first used, and over 400000 of these balloons carrying a transmitter of a 250gms weight (over 10 times heavier than a sparrow) are launched every year.
Weather balloons expand to 16' sometimes but even in launch size, weather balloons are about 10 times bigger than the party balloons I launched.
The antenna on the balloon is designed to fail at 3lbs pull in case it catches on anything. The solar cells are so fragile that they shatter on contact with any object... I have done this a few times by mistake.
I cannot see any danger to commercial aviation that could be worse than a bird strike with a small sparrow. A Boeing that can weigh over 500000 pounds, would not be hurt even if it managed to find a balloon to hit... and that is probably one chance in a million.
Dave

I agree with everything you have said here.  But if you posted your project on an aviation website, particularly an airline pilots website you would receive more abuse than you could possibly believe.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: MrSlack on April 18, 2016, 05:52:27 pm
They are a bunch of whiners according to a commercial pilot friend of mine or "plane supervisor" as he titles the job as it pretty much flies itself.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: DaveBev on April 18, 2016, 06:05:34 pm
Hi

Also there is some Intrigue here as to why the gps went blank and did not work yesterday over Syria Iraq and Iran

Some think it may be electronic countermeasures to discourage non mil-spec gps's from directing munitions and other bad stuff accurately to their targets in that area... The gps woke up like nothing was wrong at sunrise, this morning, in Turkmenisan. Today it flew over the Russian space port called Baikonur Cosmodrome... their equivalent to Cape Canaveral.

Dave
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: MrSlack on April 18, 2016, 06:08:06 pm
Possible and an interesting idea. It's easy to locally jam GPS which is one reason why they turned off the whole selective availability thing. The signal at ground is very weak.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: cimmo on April 19, 2016, 03:34:26 am
Click bait thread title.
I might have been interested if it was given something more descriptive - like "radio in a balloon around Greenland".
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: ez24 on April 19, 2016, 04:25:55 am
Click bait thread title.
I might have been interested if it was given something more descriptive - like "radio in a balloon around Greenland".

I agree, the OP can change the title
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: botcrusher on April 19, 2016, 11:31:17 am
Are you using the watchdog on the arduino?  It could explain why things kick back in, and it probably has / will save your bacon.
Title: Re: You might find this interesting.
Post by: DaveBev on April 19, 2016, 05:44:24 pm
Hi
Not using the watchdog timer in fact am running the atmega out of spec ... at 20mhz at 3.3v and it seems to be happy.. I have efuses set at 2.7v
Ok so I have been asked to change the title  so I will

Dave
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: ez24 on April 19, 2016, 07:44:20 pm
Nice title  :-+
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: botcrusher on April 20, 2016, 01:28:14 am
Love the new title.
Thumbs up to running things out of spec. Always 100% stable
most of the time ;)
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: ez24 on April 20, 2016, 01:40:33 am
Balloon got afraid of Iraq and made a U turn

http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)

Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: German_EE on April 24, 2016, 04:51:51 pm
Yep, it's STILL going and on target for a round the world trip  :popcorn:
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: ez24 on April 24, 2016, 08:07:22 pm
I think it is headed for California

Is it chasing the solar plane?
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: botcrusher on April 24, 2016, 11:56:56 pm
Wow. I must say flight time is quite something. This thing has been around the world in under three weeks, not burst or been shot down, leaked, electronically failed or otherwise stopped working.

Out of curiosity, are the electronics encased at all, or just braving the elements?
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: macboy on April 25, 2016, 04:42:44 pm
Looks like it has entered Canadian airspace again, narrowly missing the lowest reaches of Alaska, and returning to its home country. It has now traveled over 47000 km.
This is very impressive, and I am watching the progress every day.
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: miguelvp on April 25, 2016, 04:55:05 pm
It might take a dip into the pacific.
Edit: maybe not, might endup on the mainland and take a little detour over the US to pop back where it started.

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=221.92,32.93,330 (http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=221.92,32.93,330)

I think the launch site for the balloons was critical for this endeavor, seems it caught the jet-stream right on, good job!

Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and can now smell Canadian Bacon frying...
Post by: ez24 on April 25, 2016, 10:27:00 pm
I think it is getting closer to the sail plane.  As far as I know the plane is in San Francisco (Moffit Field) and will probably go to Phoenix but I do not know when.  It will be funny if they cross paths.  Not funny if the balloon takes it down.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and can now smell Canadian Bacon frying...
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 25, 2016, 11:40:48 pm
This is really awesome!  I figured weather balloons basically just died after a certain height, did you get lucky or is this a different type of balloon? 

Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: DaveBev on April 26, 2016, 01:47:46 am
The balloon is a 36" party balloon that is usually inflated with helium and usually says" Happy Birthday" or " Too Old to Retire " or some other stuff. This type of balloon is called a Superpressure balloon, however the name is a bit misleading, as the "super pressure" in this balloon is only about 1/4 psi. What happens with a normal weather balloon, that is made of latex, is it goes up and expands up to 10 times it's volume till it bursts and then comes down by parachute. In a Superpressure balloon the envelope is less elastic and can't expand more than maybe 25%. It will rise till it is expanded, and cannot expand any more. At this point the density of the gas in the balloon becomes constant, at a certain altitude, and it will float along at this level ...depending on the weight of what it is lifting. In this case the float level is 10000 meters or 32800 feet.

All explained on the pages of this site http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: Brumby on April 26, 2016, 01:57:19 am
I will be interested to see how close it might go the the original launch position.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: German_EE on April 26, 2016, 05:13:13 pm
A request, on the second lap of the world please could you use a different pair of colors? This would make lap #1 easy to differentiate from lap #2. Also, the next time the girlfriend gets lost I'll just show her your route map, we've finally found something that has poorer navigation skills than she has  :-DD
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: ez24 on April 26, 2016, 05:29:47 pm
How were you able to track it over some sections of the Pacific?  ships ?
thanks
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: botcrusher on April 26, 2016, 09:20:09 pm
Oh man, so close, come on, come on.... What's up with the dead zone almost *exactly* over Nevada and Arizona?
Seems oddly exact, and i don't see why those states would jam gps. No war right? XD
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: Vgkid on April 26, 2016, 10:16:47 pm
Oh man, so close, come on, come on.... What's up with the dead zone almost *exactly* over Nevada and Arizona?
Seems oddly exact, and i don't see why those states would jam gps. No war right? XD
Area 51...
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: miguelvp on April 26, 2016, 10:20:50 pm
How were you able to track it over some sections of the Pacific?  ships ?
thanks
QRP has a long reach with little power, in the balloon case its even better because of its altitude.

Look at this videos posted on the RF side of the forum:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/rf-microwave/explaining-the-black-art-of-rf-design/ (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/rf-microwave/explaining-the-black-art-of-rf-design/)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: botcrusher on April 26, 2016, 10:22:10 pm
Lol.
Doubt they jam gps over two entire states.
Plus, if it flew over area 51, I'm sure it would have been greeted by a pair of f-22s /  defensive laser / cruise missile / probably the laser.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: miguelvp on April 26, 2016, 10:22:34 pm
Oh man, so close, come on, come on.... What's up with the dead zone almost *exactly* over Nevada and Arizona?
Seems oddly exact, and i don't see why those states would jam gps. No war right? XD
Area 51...
Batteries drain quick during the night, needs the sun to wake up again on the next day.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: ez24 on April 27, 2016, 01:30:14 am
Oh man, so close, come on, come on.... What's up with the dead zone almost *exactly* over Nevada and Arizona?
Seems oddly exact, and i don't see why those states would jam gps. No war right? XD

The US is always at war with the "bad" guys.  So far the bad guys are not flying party balloons   :-DD :-DD :-DD
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: DaveBev on April 27, 2016, 01:53:55 am
On the quiet part over Nevada and Arizona... The Balloon transmitter was sleeping, and it needs about 16 degrees of sun over the horizon to turn on the electronics.. .that happened this morning near White Sands in New Mexico at about 13:00 UTC.  The transmitter transmits on 10.140265mhz and is received by automatic receivers all over the world and received spots are put in a database at Wsprnet.org where anyone in the world can access the information. The Ham call for the balloon is VE3KCL, and by typing that in, you will get the location and time of the received signals.
There is a Ham in New Zealand who regularly received the signal from the balloon all over the world as signals in this particular frequency band, travel quite far at certain times.

On coming home: One can never really trust a weather report , but if you look at the attachment, you could be hopeful that the balloon might come home to Ontario tomorrow... at which point, if it does, I will pop a cork on a bottle of champagne. And this would complete the balloon's rather drunken and lengthy circumnavigation of the globe.

http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)
Title: Re: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: klunkerbus on April 27, 2016, 02:24:02 am
I haven't been following the weather for the entire path, but I'm impressed the balloon survived the weather in the northerly path through the middle of the US. 

FOLLOWUP COMMENT: Damn. Hadn't meant to suggest impending doom for the balloon. 
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 27, 2016, 02:54:41 am
The balloon is a 36" party balloon that is usually inflated with helium and usually says" Happy Birthday" or " Too Old to Retire " or some other stuff. This type of balloon is called a Superpressure balloon, however the name is a bit misleading, as the "super pressure" in this balloon is only about 1/4 psi. What happens with a normal weather balloon, that is made of latex, is it goes up and expands up to 10 times it's volume till it bursts and then comes down by parachute. In a Superpressure balloon the envelope is less elastic and can't expand more than maybe 25%. It will rise till it is expanded, and cannot expand any more. At this point the density of the gas in the balloon becomes constant, at a certain altitude, and it will float along at this level ...depending on the weight of what it is lifting. In this case the float level is 10000 meters or 32800 feet.

All explained on the pages of this site http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)

Oh wow I missed that part, that's awesome.  so really this could pretty much stay in the sky for quite a while then, it would have to basically fail from fatigue or slow leak or something. 
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: Mr.B on April 27, 2016, 02:56:13 am
Fascinating.
Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: Silveruser on April 28, 2016, 01:44:38 am
No updates today, did NORAD shot it down?   :(
Title: Re: Balloon flies over war zones doesn't get shot down now traveled 31000km
Post by: macboy on April 28, 2016, 12:36:28 pm
It might take a dip into the pacific.
Edit: maybe not, might endup on the mainland and take a little detour over the US to pop back where it started.

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=221.92,32.93,330 (http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=221.92,32.93,330)

I think the launch site for the balloons was critical for this endeavor, seems it caught the jet-stream right on, good job!
That is a very interesting visualization of winds. Unfortunately, your link shows surface winds. The following will show the winds at 700 hpa which is closer to the 10000 ft altitude of the balloon:
http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/700hPa/orthographic=258.83,40.57,330 (http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/700hPa/orthographic=258.83,40.57,330)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: DaveBev on April 28, 2016, 04:11:41 pm
Hi All

Well yesterday the balloon did not wake up as usual. It had made it clear over a terrible storm in the Midwest Usa and was entering North Dakota when the sunlight and battery ran out ,and it went to sleep.

Unfortunately there is no "Walt Disney Ending" on this flight.

The flight however, was pretty amazing, and averaged 3000km per day and the only fuel used was sunlight and a couple of cubic feet of hydrogen, that could have been produced by some  balls of aluminum foil and drain cleaner..

So EEVblog members ... get building....

Thanks for your interest.

Dave
Title: Re: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: klunkerbus on April 28, 2016, 04:18:35 pm
Pretty impressive flight. Being a licensed but inactive ham, the flight was interesting to follow. Be sure to start another thread on your next flight...
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: German_EE on April 28, 2016, 07:53:44 pm
11/10 for this, it has been a fascinating project. I look forward to the next flight!

 :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: TheSteve on April 28, 2016, 08:17:14 pm
A very cool project - so painful to not know how it met its demise.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: nctnico on April 28, 2016, 08:23:13 pm
A very cool project - so painful to not know how it met its demise.
Same here! Perhaps social media can be used to find the balloon. After all it almost made it back home!
Title: Re: Balloon flies 47000km and is trying for the "Full Monty 360"
Post by: ez24 on April 28, 2016, 08:26:59 pm
No updates today, did NORAD shot it down?   :(

It would be my guess considering the location.  Probably with 20mm cannon.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Halcyon on April 29, 2016, 06:46:15 am
Give it a few days, they'll be some grainy photos/footage in the news about a "UFO" in that area. ;-)
 :popcorn:
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ez24 on April 29, 2016, 06:57:09 am
I suggest the OP contact NORAD and just ask them.  You never know.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: continuo on April 29, 2016, 07:00:36 am
Would such a small, mostly non-metallic object show up on radar?  :-//
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Halcyon on April 29, 2016, 07:00:54 am
I suggest the OP contact NORAD and just ask them.  You never know.

Or you could try their TTY line... the password is joshua

(http://i.imgur.com/cfPL5pe.jpg)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: XOIIO on April 29, 2016, 07:16:49 am
Man, I've always wanted to do something like this, awesome, even if it did end abruptly.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Brumby on April 29, 2016, 08:08:25 am
An abrupt end was always likely - but it is an amazing achievement.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Kilrah on April 29, 2016, 08:10:06 am
Maybe it landed home in your backyard?  >:D
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: dannyf on April 29, 2016, 12:26:03 pm
Fascinating to read. Well done.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 29, 2016, 12:32:22 pm
Actually, yes. The f-22 has a radar ping the size of a marble.
Title: Re: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: SeanB on April 29, 2016, 06:49:31 pm
Depends on the frequency, if you had a metal length that resonated as a quarter wave at some point in the radar chip it will show up quite well. Very hard to make a radar absorber that is good over a wide band, you generally can achieve reasonable attenuation in some bands and this comes at the expense of not having any straight lines or regular curves.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ez24 on April 29, 2016, 07:18:43 pm
I think NORAD has big antennas in North Dakota pointed north.  Here is the contact info for them

http://www.norad.mil/Contact.aspx\ (http://www.norad.mil/Contact.aspx\)

Actually they may get a kick out of this knowing they shot down a balloon that went around the world vs a balloon sent up by stoned Washingtions

They may let the next one go by if they know about it  :-+

I sure hope there will be another one and if too expensive try Kickstarter
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: Melt-O-Tronic on April 29, 2016, 08:55:39 pm
11/10 for this, it has been a fascinating project. I look forward to the next flight!

 :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

No kidding!  This thread went right to 11 and just kept on going.   :D
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and is has just Vanished
Post by: MT on April 29, 2016, 09:20:54 pm
So EEVblog members ... get building....
Thanks for your interest.
Mars next, someone can do it in a similar low fat/sugar mode!
Example, make a bigger balloon who then lifts the rocket as high as possible, then launch rocket, direction mars, GPS wont work!  :)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: miguelvp on April 30, 2016, 02:33:20 am
I think NORAD has big antennas in North Dakota pointed north.  Here is the contact info for them

http://www.norad.mil/Contact.aspx\ (http://www.norad.mil/Contact.aspx\)

Actually they may get a kick out of this knowing they shot down a balloon that went around the world vs a balloon sent up by stoned Washingtions

They may let the next one go by if they know about it  :-+

I sure hope there will be another one and if too expensive try Kickstarter
I really thought you were kidding.

Of course they just shoot random things off the sky, because of course they have to spend our tax money right?
;)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: boffin on April 30, 2016, 03:45:18 am
Surprised they didn't take pot-shots at it as it went about 10km east of Groom Lake aka Area 51
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ez24 on April 30, 2016, 04:05:11 am
I really thought you were kidding.

Of course they just shoot random things off the sky, because of course they have to spend our tax money right?
;)

No I was not kidding.  A blip over North Dakota could be an ICBM.  Also 20mm bullets are far likely not to harm someone when they come down there because of the sparse population.  One falling from the sky will go through a roof.

I wish someone had the balls to contact NORAD, I do not  :--


Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Red Squirrel on April 30, 2016, 05:12:52 am
Probably best not to contact them.  With the bureaucracy of today's world I would not be surprised if you need some kind of permit to do something like this and could get in trouble. 

I think it's pretty inevitable when sending something like this out that it will just vanish either due to human or natural cause, and it would definitly be cool to be able to know what caused it but would be a tough thing to do unless you can have 24/7 telemetry which would be hard to achieve.  I think it's awesome that it worked as well as it did and kinda makes me want to try it.  Would be neat to set one up that takes aerial pictures or something too. 
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: miguelvp on April 30, 2016, 06:29:03 am
I think it's more plausible that it was cold weather and that the balloon wont hold the gas forever. It was a great run as it was after so many days.

Those party balloons stay inflated for a while but not over two weeks. The chances of being the gov or military are pretty much nill.


Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: continuo on April 30, 2016, 08:26:28 am
I'm with miguelvp on this. The darn thing was over war zones and countless densely populated areas with heavy air traffic and lots of radar - no one cared. It's a miracle in itself that it even lasted that long, it had to end someday.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 30, 2016, 10:16:34 am
How so? It was launched in Toronto. Assuming the OP isn't an american who went to canada to launch, i don't see how he could get in trouble with norad when asking about a balloon.

Perhaps the next one should include a UHF receiver and microSD card, and some way to auto tune to the local airband and broadcast the recorded data back home/ to pre agreed points around the world
(Maybe not, use of airband frequencies are a tad dubious.)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: stmdude on April 30, 2016, 01:19:00 pm
How so? It was launched in Toronto. Assuming the OP isn't an american who went to canada to launch, i don't see how he could get in trouble with norad when asking about a balloon.

NOrad = North American. It's staffed by US and Canadian forces.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ciccio on April 30, 2016, 03:30:11 pm
To the O.P. :
thank you again for sharing. Hope to read of a new flight.
I reported this incredible story to some friends who worked in atmospheric research and they believed me only after I've pointed them to this post.
Best regards
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 30, 2016, 04:54:21 pm
How so? It was launched in Toronto. Assuming the OP isn't an american who went to canada to launch, i don't see how he could get in trouble with norad when asking about a balloon.

NOrad = North American. It's staffed by US and Canadian forces.

Yeah, but let's be real. who's got nukes, and who is worried about being nuked. not canada XD

Also, if they shot it down for kicks (if they did shoot it down) that makes more sense because you'd have to be quite drunk to mistake a balloon for an ICBM!

-Far, far too slow
-Radar would basically tell them it's a party balloon / something the size of them
-They don't shoot down birds, do they?

Anyways, this mystery will probably be never solved.
Should totally put a backup battery with the sole purpose to flash an led periodically and perhaps try a few powerful bursts of data to locate it upon landing.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: timb on April 30, 2016, 08:49:13 pm
When I was a kid, I studied for my ham license, but never actually took the test (mid-90's, the Internet was really starting to catch on, so my attention went to computers). This has kind of inspired me, now I'm seriously thinking about getting my license and doing something like this.

So cool, much wow.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: KE5FX on April 30, 2016, 10:11:14 pm

No I was not kidding.  A blip over North Dakota could be an ICBM.

You're 98 balloons short.  :-DD

Although I do wonder how the export cops at the Commerce Department would react if that thing came down in North Korea, Iran or Sudan. 
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 30, 2016, 10:15:32 pm
We have intercepted your high tech espionage device!

-you mean two party balloons an 8 bit mcu?

XD
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Skimask on April 30, 2016, 10:17:25 pm
A blip over North Dakota could be an ICBM.

I didn't see anything.
Just a few lowly B-52H's flying over the house...
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 30, 2016, 10:33:09 pm
I was talking to someone about the balloon, they brought up the possibility of an emp.

They can be aimed fairly precise using the right method. I saw a friend make one using a crt coil, crt cap, and metal dome to focus it.
It made iphones flip out, then lock up and shut off. :rofl
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: continuo on April 30, 2016, 10:35:10 pm
The North Koreans know a thing or two about how to scare the, uhum, crap out of their southern brothers by the means of evil party balloon attacks...  :-DD

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/12135252/North-Korea-bombards-South-with-used-toilet-paper.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/12135252/North-Korea-bombards-South-with-used-toilet-paper.html)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ez24 on April 30, 2016, 10:58:17 pm
The North Koreans know a thing or two about how to scare the, uhum, crap out of their southern brothers by the means of evil party balloon attacks...  :-DD

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/12135252/North-Korea-bombards-South-with-used-toilet-paper.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/12135252/North-Korea-bombards-South-with-used-toilet-paper.html)
To me it looks like Dave's balloon went over N Korea.   Actually that is why I thought NORAD shot it down.  NORAD does not want balloons of used TP flying over N. Dakota.  (see the connection - they are both North).  Can you just imagine the headlines in the summer  - "Korean shit hits the fans"
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: TerraHertz on April 30, 2016, 11:07:00 pm
What a great project!
As for why it died, rather than it being shot down, what about failure of the balloon due to UV/sunlight degradation of the balloon skin? Or water penetration of the electronics. Something really simple like 'string broke.' Or icing up and sinking to the ground due to over-weight.

Or, if the military did notice it and act, could well have been done using the new anti-missile laser systems.

Suggestions for next time:
 - A power down/wakeup timer and enough battery capacity for at least a few fixes during the night.
 - A message on the outside "If found, please contact ..." (in a few different languages)

And in the the probably too hard or too heavy category:
 - Tiny camera from a mobile phone, and ability to transmit images.
 - A small reserve battery, some means of detecting falling, low altitude or on ground, to allow a final burst giving last known position. Then a small RF pinger - very short burst every hour, for several days. Give the last known location and ping frequency to the geocaching community and see if they can find it.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on April 30, 2016, 11:46:58 pm
Balloons make good target practice for lasers...
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Skimask on May 01, 2016, 01:55:27 am
I just noted the date/time of the last update.
That area of the state got beat up pretty good a few days ago.  And just happens that I'll be near Hettinger SD on Monday and Tuesday of thus coming week.
Wouldn't that be a trip to find it on the side of the road...
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Psi on May 01, 2016, 02:38:33 am
Probably best not to contact them.  With the bureaucracy of today's world I would not be surprised if you need some kind of permit to do something like this and could get in trouble. 

For most countries it's legal to operate/launch unmanned vehicles when you fly under 400feet and only during the daylight hours (Model RC rules). Anything above 400feet or operated at night requires authorization from the country's aviation body. (Which they normally only grant to commercial operators, not hobbyists)

In USA i think you need to be registered now, even to fly under 400feet.

So make no mistake, an unmanned balloon traveling around the world is classed under the same rules as RC and totally illegal in pretty much any country it fly's over.
 
 
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: continuo on May 01, 2016, 10:42:12 am
Please... Lasers...

They probably shot it down by using the highly advanced "Balloonwall 420 APBM" (anti party balloon missile) system.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3E9VwqZ0Xk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3E9VwqZ0Xk)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: rdl on May 01, 2016, 11:36:19 am
How could a balloon drifting with no means of control be considered an "RC" model?
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Psi on May 01, 2016, 11:42:37 am
Control is not a requirement, it's still classed as an unmanned aerial vehicle or drone (depending on terminology in the specific country)

It's scary what the law applies too. Like those simple toys that spin a propeller up to speed and release it into the air.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: rdl on May 01, 2016, 11:55:14 am
I don't know, but it might make for an interesting legal case. I know all the FAA rules use the words "flown", "controlled", and "operated" when referencing UAS, none of which seem to apply in this situation.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Brumby on May 01, 2016, 12:30:17 pm
I don't know, but it might make for an interesting legal case. I know all the FAA rules use the words "flown", "controlled", and "operated" when referencing UAS, none of which seem to apply in this situation.

As I see it, "controlled" would not seem to be immediately applicable, but we (or certainly I) don't know is - what technicality could be applied in a legal case.

However, "operated" and "flown" make no inference of control - other than an intention that has been carried out.  These two terms would apply, IMHO.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: CatalinaWOW on May 01, 2016, 01:46:52 pm
When you fire a rifle at a target, there is no control of the bullet during flight.  Try convincing the courts of law that you weren't responsible for that bullet based on that lack of control.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: janoc on May 01, 2016, 02:31:35 pm

So make no mistake, an unmanned balloon traveling around the world is classed under the same rules as RC and totally illegal in pretty much any country it fly's over.

Um, not really. There is a special category in the rules applying specifically to weather balloons and similar scientific stuff. Most of these high altitude balloon launches are done under that category, not RC modelling rules (which wouldn't apply for the many reasons you have outlined).

Now whether or not the flight was legal under the weather balloon rules is another story - normally that needs a permission (not hard to obtain), some countries require that there needs to be some sort of a flight termination device onboard and the device is not permitted to fly across country borders.  But those things differ between countries.

For example for UK:
https://ukhas.org.uk/guides:faq#do_i_need_to_get_permission_to_launch_a_weather_balloon_in_the_uk (https://ukhas.org.uk/guides:faq#do_i_need_to_get_permission_to_launch_a_weather_balloon_in_the_uk)

US:
http://community.balloonchallenge.org/t/regulations-overview-including-contacting-the-us-faa/676 (http://community.balloonchallenge.org/t/regulations-overview-including-contacting-the-us-faa/676)

So considering this was a bunch of party balloons with a lightweight payload, it was in all likeliness completely legal to launch and fly if they got the FAA paperwork done in time. Better check the actual rules next time.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Brumby on May 01, 2016, 03:38:14 pm
So considering this was a bunch of party balloons with a lightweight payload, it was in all likeliness completely legal to launch and fly if they got the FAA paperwork done in time. Better check the actual rules next time.

The paperwork is likely to make sure someone doesn't try something like this:
(http://s1.wallippo.com/thumbs/300x250/pixar-up-movie-ae0a4fd12ece1ac0c6acfeb10622b633.jpeg)
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: botcrusher on May 01, 2016, 05:07:59 pm
Camo it with cotton balls :P
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: timb on May 02, 2016, 12:12:29 am
So considering this was a bunch of party balloons with a lightweight payload, it was in all likeliness completely legal to launch and fly if they got the FAA paperwork done in time. Better check the actual rules next time.

The paperwork is likely to make sure someone doesn't try something like this:
(http://s1.wallippo.com/thumbs/300x250/pixar-up-movie-ae0a4fd12ece1ac0c6acfeb10622b633.jpeg)

But they do! Haven't you ever heard of Lawnchair Larry? (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters)

The FAA wanted him charged and jailed, but it turns out he didn't actually break any laws! (Well, he did break at least one when he drifted into active federal airspace over a *major* airport, hence the $1500 fine.)

The way I see it, what the OP is doing is absolutely no different than letting a couple of party balloons go. There's no danger to passing aircraft (they regularly impact birds much larger than the balloons + payload) and no danger to people on the ground.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Carl_Smith on May 02, 2016, 04:13:26 am
I'm in North Dakota.  I didn't see your balloon.   :)

It's kind of strange that the line on the live tracking map ends like a mile from the North Dakota Border.  Seems suspicious.  They were waiting at the border.  :)

Seriously though, the height was 9980 meters, so unless the balloon popped and fell like a rock, it probably ended up somewhere many miles from the end of the tracking line...

Very interesting project.    :-+
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: ez24 on May 02, 2016, 04:31:39 am
I hope we have not scared the OP from trying again by quoting all those laws.

I think he should put a little fan on it, so if it get close to ND again, it will come on and blow it around ND
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Brumby on May 02, 2016, 05:21:48 am
So considering this was a bunch of party balloons with a lightweight payload, it was in all likeliness completely legal to launch and fly if they got the FAA paperwork done in time. Better check the actual rules next time.

The paperwork is likely to make sure someone doesn't try something like this:
(http://s1.wallippo.com/thumbs/300x250/pixar-up-movie-ae0a4fd12ece1ac0c6acfeb10622b633.jpeg)

But they do! Haven't you ever heard of Lawnchair Larry? (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters)

The FAA wanted him charged and jailed, but it turns out he didn't actually break any laws! (Well, he did break at least one when he drifted into active federal airspace over a *major* airport, hence the $1500 fine.)

The way I see it, what the OP is doing is absolutely no different than letting a couple of party balloons go. There's no danger to passing aircraft (they regularly impact birds much larger than the balloons + payload) and no danger to people on the ground.

I'd forgotten about him.

In checking his story, I found there have been other efforts around the world - at least one of which was not too successful.  There was also someone who did the UP! house thing.


Still, I think the FAA would be interested.........
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Psi on May 02, 2016, 07:11:42 am
I don't know, but it might make for an interesting legal case. I know all the FAA rules use the words "flown", "controlled", and "operated" when referencing UAS, none of which seem to apply in this situation.

As I see it, "controlled" would not seem to be immediately applicable, but we (or certainly I) don't know is - what technicality could be applied in a legal case.

However, "operated" and "flown" make no inference of control - other than an intention that has been carried out.  These two terms would apply, IMHO.

I could be wrong but i don't think "controlled" actually refers to "controlled flight".  In this case i think his link was TX to balloon only, but if it had two way comms it would be "controlled" even if that control was not to cause a change in flight path.

Don't get me wrong, i think the OP's balloon flight was awesome. Just saying the FAA wouldn't find it awesome at all.
They like to set examples of people when it comes to things flying in "their" airspace that they have no control over.
eg lawnchair man, and that was before all the drone panic set it.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: Brumby on May 02, 2016, 07:46:09 am
I could be wrong but i don't think "controlled" actually refers to "controlled flight".  In this case i think his link was TX to balloon only, but if it had two way comms it would be "controlled" even if that control was not to cause a change in flight path.

Fair enough.  I'm not aware of the context of the terms, so I will admit to flying blind...  :D
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: timb on May 02, 2016, 09:28:59 am
So considering this was a bunch of party balloons with a lightweight payload, it was in all likeliness completely legal to launch and fly if they got the FAA paperwork done in time. Better check the actual rules next time.

The paperwork is likely to make sure someone doesn't try something like this:
(http://s1.wallippo.com/thumbs/300x250/pixar-up-movie-ae0a4fd12ece1ac0c6acfeb10622b633.jpeg)

But they do! Haven't you ever heard of Lawnchair Larry? (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Walters)

The FAA wanted him charged and jailed, but it turns out he didn't actually break any laws! (Well, he did break at least one when he drifted into active federal airspace over a *major* airport, hence the $1500 fine.)

The way I see it, what the OP is doing is absolutely no different than letting a couple of party balloons go. There's no danger to passing aircraft (they regularly impact birds much larger than the balloons + payload) and no danger to people on the ground.

I'd forgotten about him.

In checking his story, I found there have been other efforts around the world - at least one of which was not too successful.  There was also someone who did the UP! house thing.


Still, I think the FAA would be interested.........

Yes, if I remember right there was a priest down in South America somewhere (I think) who did it once semi-successfully. He tried it a second time, only to be killed after drifting into a large storm, which swept him off the coast, where he fell into the ocean. Apparently, he *did* have a GPS onboard, but unfortunately didn't know how to operate it. So he couldn't relay his position to the ground. A naval ship found his body two weeks later.

He received a Darwin Award!

A ton of other people have done it as well. In fact, it's actually an extreme sport now!

As for Lawnchair Larry, a few years after his flight, he shot himself in an apparent suicide. At least he'll always live on in our hearts. (But not his own, because that's where he shot himself. In the heart.)
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 knots at the moment
Post by: DaveBev on May 09, 2016, 01:32:20 pm
A new balloon attempt to float around the world, was launched this morning.
The radio is a little lighter at 18gms, and if all goes well, could float at about 10500 meters above sea level.

live map here :http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html

Dave
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on May 09, 2016, 03:10:08 pm
And it speeds out of the gate!

I'll be watching this new one closely for sure!
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: bitwelder on May 09, 2016, 04:42:58 pm
I wish the winds would make the balloon fly west...
it would pass the United Danger Zones of A. right away, instead of waiting that it has almost completed to an entire round across the globe  ;D
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 knots at the moment
Post by: john_p_wi on May 09, 2016, 05:35:28 pm
A new balloon attempt to float around the world, was launched this morning.
The radio is a little lighter at 18gms, and if all goes well, could float at about 10500 meters above sea level.

live map here :http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html

Dave

Awesome Dave, subscribed.

Go little guy, GO!
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on May 09, 2016, 05:45:52 pm
If one coated the balloon in that paint they used on the SR-71...
Outdated, but It is a freaking party balloon.
Title: Re: Balloon flies 51000km and it has just Vanished
Post by: hendorog on May 09, 2016, 08:24:04 pm
Probably best not to contact them.  With the bureaucracy of today's world I would not be surprised if you need some kind of permit to do something like this and could get in trouble. 

So make no mistake, an unmanned balloon traveling around the world is classed under the same rules as RC and totally illegal in pretty much any country it fly's over.

Its fine where we live:
"Free Balloon means a pilotless aerostat without propulsion in free flight, having a gas capacity greater than 1.5 m³"
As long as the payload is < 4kg it is a light free balloon. If the gas capacity is < 1.5m^3 it doesn't seem to be regulated at all.

https://www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Part_101_Brief.htm (https://www.caa.govt.nz/rules/Part_101_Brief.htm)

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 knots at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 09, 2016, 08:33:05 pm
A new balloon attempt to float around the world, was launched this morning.
The radio is a little lighter at 18gms, and if all goes well, could float at about 10500 meters above sea level.

live map here :http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html

Dave

Thanks Dave  :-+ :-+ :-+

Lets hope it will stay away from North Dakota, you know what they say about N. Dakotaians

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 knots at the moment
Post by: Skimask on May 09, 2016, 11:14:34 pm
Lets hope it will stay away from North Dakota, you know what they say about N. Dakotaians
What's that???
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 knots at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 10, 2016, 12:27:23 am
Lets hope it will stay away from North Dakota, you know what they say about N. Dakotaians
What's that???

The last one disappeared over North Dakota after traveling around the world.  It is suspected that it was shot down by a F-16 on orders of NORAD

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Skimask on May 10, 2016, 02:25:00 am
Only thing military flying around this area is B-52H's...and they are not equipped for offensive air to air weaponry.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on May 10, 2016, 11:40:57 am
What about turrets with freakin laser beams!

Seriously though, i just noticed it's a foil balloon... Could explain why it was shot down.

I do suppose it has to be a foil balloon...
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: jitter on May 10, 2016, 02:11:29 pm
Awesome thread.
I just bookmarked the site for flight S-10. Hopefully it will be as successful or even better than S-9.

As for the reason of the demise of S-9, IMHO it's likely it just failed, given the history of the previous flights. Besides, if it can fly over war zones and be discussed openly on the internet, it seems likely to me that those who might have an interest might be aware of it but are just not bothered by a DIY device that does nothing more than report its position.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Brumby on May 10, 2016, 04:07:20 pm
The answer, my friend ...
is blowing in the wind.
The answer is blowing in the wind.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: CatalinaWOW on May 10, 2016, 07:14:58 pm
For all those thinking this thing got shot down, please explain to me who shot it down, and why.

If it was the Americans, why did they let it fly over the western US and then shoot it down as it left US territory.

If it was the Canadiens, why did they let it fly over eastern Canada, depart unmolested, then fly over part of western Canada unmolested, and then shoot it down either just before or just after it entered Canadian airspace for the third time.

Too bad it didn't make it all the way home, but one heck of a trip for a low cost experiment.  Maybe one of these days one of them will make it around the world twice.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Len on May 10, 2016, 07:43:47 pm
For all those thinking this thing got shot down, please explain to me who shot it down, and why.

It was aliens, because it was about to bump into their invisible spaceship.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: cvanc on May 10, 2016, 08:36:32 pm
For all those thinking this thing got shot down, please explain to me who shot it down, and why.

It was aliens, because it was about to bump into their invisible spaceship.

I KNEW IT!! (adjusts tinfoil hat)
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 10, 2016, 08:51:09 pm
Quote
If it was the Americans, why did they let it fly over the western US and then shoot it down as it left US territory.

I think it was because it got in the way of the radar that faces north, not west, to see nukes from Russia coming in over the north pole.   I just believe the military would not tolerate a blimp on their radar screens.  So I hope the next one will stay clear of North Dakota.

FYI  Here is the map on the new one again:

http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html)

(no red/blue explanation this time - but I assume red is day ?).   I am amazed how it can be tracked over the oceans.

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Len on May 10, 2016, 09:03:21 pm
I think it was because it got in the way of the radar that faces north, not west, to see nukes from Russia coming in over the north pole.   I just believe the military would not tolerate a blimp on their radar screens.  So I hope the next one will stay clear of North Dakota.

Or maybe it just failed after a few days, like every other balloon they've launched.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: continuo on May 10, 2016, 09:07:40 pm
How many party balloons do they sell over there in the US every day? How many of them end up floating around somewhere in US airspace? The air force has to be really busy shooting them all down  :-DD
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Silveruser on May 10, 2016, 10:28:22 pm
I have to confess. I get a smile every time I read this thread. A simple mention of five letters has caused so much speculation, a perfect Internet experience, we even have aliens and tin foil hats.  :scared:

I'm sorry guys, I'll never mention those letters again.

George
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 11, 2016, 12:17:31 am
My guess is that it just failed, either air started to leak, or some kind of thermal shock had it burst etc.... or maybe even a bird (do any birds even fly that high?) , I don't think any government would be that interested in shooting it down, and there are probably lot of similar foreign objects in the sky, like other actual party balloons that were lost.   I think it's incredible it lasted as long as it did.   I'd still be a bit worried of getting in trouble if they do intercept it though, you know how ridiculous things are now days, seems you can't do anything fun anymore.  Just look at all the rules for drones and the fines for not obeying are ridiculous.   But it would be kinda hard to track where it came from so I would not worry.  I doubt they'd pursue it for very long unless it actually brought down a plane or something which I doubt is even possible.   Could be neat to make a throw away email address (use Tor) and have instructions on the payload to send details if found though. If another civilian finds it they might do just that and you'd get to know if it fell out of the sky, and where.

Could be neat to mount a camera that takes aerial pictures once in a while too, what kind of bandwidth does the radio have?  I imagine it's not very high or reliable enough though. 
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 11, 2016, 12:34:18 am
I have to confess. I get a smile every time I read this thread. A simple mention of five letters has caused so much speculation, a perfect Internet experience, we even have aliens and tin foil hats.  :scared:

I'm sorry guys, I'll never mention those letters again.

George

NORAD  = 5
Alien  = 5

Ha that is it!  NORAD shot it down because they thought it was an alien (and it is related to a Calif TV commercial on a lottery called 5's).  Dang who would have guessed that Calif told NORAD it was an alien ship that had to be shot down because it influenced their lottery.

FYI map:
http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html)



Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on May 11, 2016, 11:47:30 am
It was a foil balloon with metalic payload. Would have shown nicely on their screens compared to the average rubber party balloon...

Lol. I love the internet.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: continuo on May 11, 2016, 04:33:13 pm
A metallized balloon should be pretty stealth with all its curvy, non straight surface. To draw more attention by NORAD it is recommended to add a dedicated radar reflector to your bunch of party balloons, just to make sure they actually get a chance to shoot it down   :-+


https://community.balloonchallenge.org/t/radar-reflector/656
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 11, 2016, 07:03:00 pm
Attached is the last flight for those who do not know, Flight S-9

Funny at this time no blue line (night) for Flight S-10. 

I wonder if the balloon is down?

http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html)




Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: rrinker on May 11, 2016, 08:31:36 pm
 There's been no update since 21:42Z. I think it's dead, Jim.

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Red Squirrel on May 11, 2016, 11:50:43 pm
Maybe glueing a bunch of cotton balls on it is not a bad idea after all.   :P 
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on May 12, 2016, 01:27:49 am
That cloud looks awrfully like a balloon... :-DD

I'm weary abiut the lack of updates, but it is pitch black right now in balloon land, It's still possible it could wake up in the morning somwhere over europe/africa
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: rrinker on May 12, 2016, 01:42:36 am
 Oh I'm just a little black rain cloud, hovering over the honey tree....

(Disney's Winnie the Pooh, the first one)

Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: continuo on May 12, 2016, 02:24:04 pm
(http://www.fangirlwednesday.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Its-Alive.jpg)


http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s10.html)
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: CatalinaWOW on May 12, 2016, 02:30:26 pm
At least on this trip it isn't wasting time doing donuts over the big islands in the north atlantic.  Great stuff.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Mr.B on May 17, 2016, 03:42:21 am
Thats a bit sad...   :-BROKE
DaveBev (OP) seems to have lost S-10.
No updates for a couple of days now.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 17, 2016, 04:02:54 am
I think DaveBev is on vacation - in Cuba.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: HansSummers on May 18, 2016, 11:25:38 pm
Hi all

I work with Dave VE3KCL on the firmware and software side of these balloon flights. I run QRP Labs http://qrp-labs.com (http://qrp-labs.com) and the balloon flights essentially use my Ultimate3S QRSS/WSPR TX kit qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/u3s (U3S) but with 1) Arduino nano board which is smaller, and 2) Special firmware which transmits the telemetry over WSPR. Note that this is NOT an Arduino sketch - it is just the Ultimate3S code special version, programmed onto an Arduino Nano board, which uses the same processor (ATmega328).

I read all the forum posts and just a few comments briefly...

Firstly I believe S-9 was brought down by bad weather. Even at 10,000m altitude, there is some weather which reaches up that high. A leak would result in a slower descent. Although the flight time was 18 days, the balloon should be able to stay up much longer than that.

Tracking over the oceans was mentioned a few times. The balloon transmitter has a power output of about 16mW on 10.14MHz. The signal encoding is very low data rate, which results in a very narrow bandwidth, approx 6Hz. This narrow bandwidth means a very high signal-to-noise ratio is achieved in the system, and this makes it possible to receive at very long distances despite the very low power. A station in New Zealand copied some of the transmissions from Europe for example, by long path - this is over 20,000km. That's several oceans and continents!

Regarding S-10, it has a problem with its GPS. This doesn't just mean that we don't know where it is! In the U3S the GPS is also used for frequency calibration (to correct temperature drift) and for keeping the real time clock accurate. WSPR is a mode which is synchronised to the 2nd second of even minutes past the hour. There are a few seconds of tolerance, but if the real time clock drifts outside this then there is no decoding.

There were two reports from S-10 today but only one of the WSPR transmissions (telemetry) so we do not have the position. Those reports could have been random false decodes of the noise, but their timing was correct for S-10... which is unlikely by chance... so who knows. S-10 might still be doing Ok, just not very good at telling us about it!

Another related topic - Bob ZL1RS is the station I mentioned in New Zealand who received the balloon flights from the other side of the world. He now has an ocean buoy in the South Pacific, which also uses a similar system. He is also using a Ultimate 3S transmitter. A much more leisurely 2 knots speed in the ocean currents ;-) More details here http://www.qsl.net/zl1rs/oceanfloater.html (http://www.qsl.net/zl1rs/oceanfloater.html)

Hans
http://qrp-labs.com (http://qrp-labs.com)
http://hanssummers.com (http://hanssummers.com)
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on May 18, 2016, 11:32:23 pm
HansSummers thanks for the update
Title: Re: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: helius on May 29, 2016, 05:23:21 am
what really threatens america is party balloons:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/party-balloons-trigger-brief-white-house-lockdown/ (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/party-balloons-trigger-brief-white-house-lockdown/)
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Mr.B on June 15, 2016, 03:39:47 am
Looks like we have a Flight S-11.
http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s11.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s11.html)
Currently about 17 hours in.

It would be nice if the OP would come back an comment on S-10 and now S-11.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on June 15, 2016, 07:38:42 am
It would be nice if the OP would come back an comment on S-10 and now S-11.

I agree
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: CatalinaWOW on June 15, 2016, 02:58:23 pm
Looks like the balloons finally got someone's attention.  The web site is hacked and now my anti-virus rates it too dangerous to visit.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on June 15, 2016, 05:37:14 pm
You sure about that? Chrome doesn't seem to think anything is off about it. Do you have some kind of plugin anti-malware? The heuristics engine has probably just gone mad.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: TinkerFan on June 15, 2016, 07:00:12 pm
Firefox doesen't have any problems with it either.
BTW: :-+ :-+ for your seccond atempt
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on June 15, 2016, 07:27:51 pm
Firefox doesen't have any problems with it either.
BTW: :-+ :-+ for your seccond atempt
Quote
seccond atempt
   ?
I believe S-11 means  11 attempts  - right ?   They are listed on the left side of his web page.  S-9 was the best until NORAD shot it down with their ground-to-air laser system (works only on party balloons - but still cost $100 billion).
 
FYI  My Firefox is ok also
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: TinkerFan on June 15, 2016, 07:37:21 pm

 
Quote
seccond atempt
   ?
I believe S-11 means  11 attempts  - right ?   They are listed on the left side of his web page.  S-9 was the best until NORAD shot it down with their ground-to-air laser system (works only on party balloons - but still cost $100 billion).
Sorry, I didn't saw that, but still thumbs up for repeating it again and again
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Artlav on June 15, 2016, 08:40:49 pm
Wow!
I was thinking of doing something like that, but had no idea about WSPR.
The idea was to either put a cellphone modem or the Iridium modem on the balloon.
But the former probably won't work far from cities and out of the country, so there will be some spotty tracking and then silence.
While the latter is obscenely expensive for a disposable job.

So, this basically rely on the network of tracking stations that can pick up the standard 50 bit packet?
Is there any way to send back more data?

How common are the conditions that allow stunts like hearing a balloon over Europe from New Zealand?
If that can be done more or less all night, then that should be enough for a very compressed picture or something of this scale.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: jitter on June 15, 2016, 08:54:36 pm
I don't think a cell phone will work at that height. I once made a hot air balloon flight, only a couple of hundred meters in the air over flat land (not even hills). When I tried to phone up people who I was flying over to tell them to look up in the air, it was almost impossible to get a signal from the cellular phone network (GSM).
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: CatalinaWOW on June 15, 2016, 09:41:10 pm
Chrome works for me also.

When accessing via IE, Norton AV reports

6/15/2016 2:33:30 PM,High,An intrusion attempt by qrp-labs.com was blocked.

Web Attack: Exploit Kit Redirect  4,
"qrp-labs.com (51.255.207.70, 80)",qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s11.html

I'm not a Web jockey so I don't know if this is a false alarm from Norton, or what.  I have had no problems previously when accessing ve3kcl's website via IE.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: botcrusher on June 15, 2016, 11:07:14 pm
IE has some hooks deep into the system, half the features probably get blocked by A/V on the basis that it is an integrated backdoor engine.
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 16, 2016, 03:47:42 pm
Reading this thread got me reading on WSPR, really interesting stuff. 
Title: Re: New Balloon cruising at 120 at the moment
Post by: ez24 on June 16, 2016, 06:02:56 pm
Reading this thread got me reading on WSPR, really interesting stuff.

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/ (http://wsprnet.org/drupal/)

I like to link to S9 once in awhile so people will find it.    S-11  is the current flight which can be found on the left side of the screen.  Scroll down to see the flight path of S-9.  It almost made it around the world.

http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html)

pics :  http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html#photos (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html#photos)

Circuit boards included here