Carvel is the closest upper air sounding station. Before we launched our first balloon, we went for a tour of the station and saw how they filled and launched their balloons. We based our first fill device off of their design.
We then chased and recovered a number of radiosondes. We had just moved into Sherwood Park, and my neighbors discovered they had a crazy neighbor early.
I would be standing on the front lawn waving a UHF yogi at the sky, and then every few days, I would lay on the lawn staring at the sky with binoculars. Burst was observed visually as there was no way to decode telemetry.
I learnt how to judge where the radiosonde would land based on where the balloon burst overhead. I was picky and only chased the ones that burst almost at my zenith. That meant they would land about 5 to 6 miles east of me. Burst west of my zenith meant a shorter drive, and deviations north or south of my zenith meant a north or south recovery.
You needed to know where the sonde would land fairly precisely as the radio signal on the ground would only propagate about a mile or so.
Toughest recovery was just a few miles south of us. We got to the area and could hear the sonde. Chased it down to a cow pasture behind a house, but the signal seemed to be moving on us. It ended up that the lift line got tangled around one cow’s leg, and the sonde was going for a tour as the cow grazed. As luck would have it, cows are curious, and the herd came to see what these silly people were doing in the next field over. Serendipity helped as the tangled line came free as the transport cow decided we were not that interesting after all.
On Fri, Sep 4, 2020 at 7:30 AM Mark Conner N9XTN <mconner1@...
James - not sure where you're located relative to any Environment Canada upper-air sites, but you could build a radiosonde ground station and chase those!
73 de Mark N9XTN
On Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 9:24 PM James Ewen VE6SRV <ve6srv@...
There haven’t been any balloons to chase around here with this silly pandemic. I’m getting bored!