W6MRR-24 away.

Several of our recent launch’s have been troubled with tracker problems. The issue seems to be fake microcontrollers that don’t operate well in cold temperatures. The symptom was the tracker worked great on the ground but intermittent in the air. Using spray “Super Cold” located the the problem. A new batch of microcontrollers were used and the problem was fixed.

We launched a balloon on April 17th. It lit up later and the unexpectedly stopped reporting. Based on altitude I thought the one balloon had developed a flat. Robert K6RGG noticed it was sending the 18th. I was late turning on the WSPR to APRS gateway so only recent tracks are shown on APRS. It looks lit if has a pinhole leak in one balloon so it may not be up for long. Work continues on preparing cheap Chinese balloons and we are testing newer 32″ spherical balloons that should reach higher altitudes.

You can track it on APRS.fi and lu7aa.org with the complete path .

Launch on April 17th at 9am

We’re launching a pico balloon this Sunday morning, April 17th at 9:00 AM pacific time.

If you’re in the area and would like to see the launch, please join us at the Berkeley Marina on the north side on Marina Blvd. See the map link below for the location.

https://goo.gl/maps/MMQV1r6QkAc6164D6

Pico Balloon SSTV on 20 m – First Light

Last Sunday Kazu AG6NS and I tried putting up a tethered pico balloon up flying Kazu’s SSTV code on a ESP-32. It was sending “Martin-1” mode SSTV directly modulating a Si5351 clock generator chip. Due to slow but steady light winds it spent most of the time flying horizontally. We will have something ready to fly soon – stay tuned!

SSTV Tethered Balloon – Sunday, March 6 @ 11:00AM @ Berkeley Marina

We’re trying something new this time: floating a tethered balloon with an ESP32-CAM that will transmit SSTV images on 20m, frequency 14.236MHz USB Mode Martin-1. This is a project that Kazu AG6NS has been working on recently, with some help from Martin W6MRR.

To see this in person, go to the northern area of the Berkeley Marina as indicated around the position identified on the map link below:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Marina+Blvd,+Berkeley,+CA+94720/@37.8711288,-122.3163393,17z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x80857f273b8af06b:0xac033978e48548de!8m2!3d37.8706008!4d-122.3145618

For those who are unable to make it, see if you can decode some of the images!

Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 11:00AM pacific time.

Launch on February 27th at 9am

We’re launching a pico balloon this Sunday morning, February 27th at 9:00AM pacific time.

Additionally, there may be testing of a separate SSTV camera equipped payload.

The launch site is on the south-west side of the Berkeley Marina. See the map below for the position.

https://goo.gl/maps/EfSxrt9wGARLZXMJ8

Launch on January 30th at 9am

We’re launching a pico balloon this Sunday morning, January 30th at 9:00 AM pacific time. If you’re in the area and would like to see the launch, please join us at the Berkeley Marina on the north side on Marina Blvd. See the map link below for the location.

https://goo.gl/maps/MMQV1r6QkAc6164D6