Dave VE3KCL/QRP Labs Balloon S-9 now flying

Hi all

Dave VE3KCL launched his S-9 balloon yesterday. It uses a QRP Labs QRSS/WSPR transmitter (http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/u3s.html) with about 16mW power output on 30m band, using WSPR for tracking. See http://qrp-labs.com/ultimate3/ve3kcl-balloons/ve3kcl-s9.html for live map tracking, photos and more details. Dave's transmitter, antenna, batteries and solar cells weigh only 23g in total!

The special WSPR tracking method uses two WSPR messages:

1) Standard WSPR message with callsign "VE3KCL", which provides the 4-character Maidenhead locator position of the balloon

2) Special WSPR message where the callsign 1st character is "0" and the 3rd character is "4" (ITU unallocated callsigns); all other callsign characters, locator and power field are re-purposed to send the balloon telemetry. Data sent is: Maidenhead 5th/6th characters for better resolution location, altitude, groundspeed, battery voltage, temperature, and GPS/satellite status bits.

After launch from Toronto yesterday, S-9 ascended to 9,000m altitude, flew South-East right over New York Times Square, out into the Atlantic, then North. Currently flying very fast, 140 knots (approx 260 kph, 160 mph).

73 Hans G0UPL

Image icon Transmitter payload155.89 KB
Image icon Day 1 path217.51 KB
Image icon Day 1 data111.59 KB
Image icon New York fly-by199.82 KB