Saturday 26 September 2015

Pigs in Space

To celebrate HAMFEST this weekend a high altitude balloon was launched carrying 70cm ham radio tracker and slow scan Digital TV.

I used VB audio cable software, which allows you to feed the audio from the web SDR to the FLDIGI sound input. Again this is free software and can be downloaded here:

To track this balloon we used a web software defined radio based in Cleethorpes, North East Licolnshire: Thanks to Lee G4TNX

Tuned into 434.575MHz USB

The software to decode the pictures and share to Internet is called FLDIGI (HAB mode) you can get a copy here

To set up:
DL client--configure--Location tab, look in the information section on the web sdr the Lat and Lon is there please use it.
Operator tab--fill in your call sign or nick name along with other details. Save and close
DL-client---check online is ticket (send your data to the map and to the images web site.
Click on view--ssdv RX, this will show you what bits of the image you have been able to decode

Looking on the HAB tracker website:
We could see *Pinky* and Piglet and were able to monitor their movement.
We could also see our station (MXoMXO) as a pin on the map.

We were able to see the decoded images at
This site collects all the packets from FLDIGI users and combines them to get the best full image.

Now we are ready to go..

Above: pre-launch picture of Pinky and the crowd starts to gather

Above: top left image is from the SSDV web site, Top right is what we were able to decode directly from the web sdr. Along the bottom is FLDIGI decoding the data

Above: Full image form the SSDV web site, you can see all the stations who uploaded at least 1 packet to help complete the picture.

Above: Side by side what we weer able to decode on the next picture, getting higher!
Above: Caught my Call Sign and needed to change to the club call.
the blue circle is the expected range and the green is the confirmed range, lines in from stations reported position / image data

Above: as the balloon got higher we lost the signal for a bit
Above: Full image just above the clouds...

Above: This is the money shot Pinky in near space and the curvature of the earth below.

Above: Full near space image

Above: parachute deployed we are heading down as the HAB has popped.

Above: Pinky on the way down back to earth, another stunning photograph in near space, We managed to get most of the data direct for this image.

Above: Altitude dropping 2.6 meters a second at this point... Many stations still reporting in.

Above: On the decent we lost Pink again and only got 1 frame for this image!

Above: This was the last image, incomplete, before Pinky crashed back to earth, we managed to get most of the picture. It will be good to see what state the box was in when it was recovered.

Above: Pink Chase car seems to have found the HAB / Pink box..
Thanks to M0NRD and the team. This has been a great experience.

Andrews blog can be seen here:
I am happy to report that Pink landed Safely and has been recovered ;-)

Andrews twitter page: 

Saturday 5 September 2015