WB8ELK pico balloon aloft

Bill Brown

Testing out my new design for a pico balloon APRS tracker. It has been aloft for 7 hours now. Was launched from Bowling Green KY around 2 pm CDT as part of the Vette City Hamfest.


This board weighs 8 grams (16 grams total with 350 mAh LiPo battery and antenna). It puts out 27 milliwatts and has been consistently getting into the digipeaters. It is S-9 here at my farmhouse in Alabama at a distance of 120 miles and was an S-7 from 180 miles away earlier. It is frequency agile and transmits APRS on 144.340 and then 30 seconds later on 144.390 and alternates back and forth.

I will probably launch the solar-powered version sometime this week.

The projected battery life for this particular flight is about 10 hours or less. It is doing well considering it is quite cold at altitude now after sunset. I didn't expect the LiPo battery to last this long after sunset.

- Bill WB8ELK

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