FreeDV HF Digital Voice Mode: Global QSO Party April 27/28th

Featured

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group is proud to announce a new event on the Amateur Radio Calendar. The FreeDV HF Digital Voice QSO Party!

The aim is to encourage as many Radio Amateurs as possible to learn about FreeDV and encourage as many FreeDV signals to be on the air as possible to help spread the word about this new mode.

If you can use WSJT-X for FT8 or any other digital modes software then, with the addition of Headphones and a microphone on your PC, you can switch to digital voice transmission in an instant! Its that easy! So why not give it a try? This is a great way to experiment with something new from the comfort of your own armchair. All it takes is a little bit of time to download, install and setup the software – nothing more!

What to know more? The QSO party rules are below, plus details of where to get FreeDV are included later in this bulletin. Read on!


The Rules

When: April 27th 0300z to April 28th 0300z 2019

Where: All HF Bands from 80m – 10m (excluding the WARC bands)

How: Work as many stations as possible using the FreeDV 700D or FreeDV 1600 modes in 24 hours.

Centre Frequencies: 1870kHz, 3630kHz, 7180kHz, 14130kHz, 21180kHz, 28330kHz (chosen in accordance with IARU Bandplans)

Points: Stations participating can earn points per QSO

  • 1 point per contact within a continent
  • 5 points per contact between continents
  • 50 points per contact with VK5ARG

(AREG’s club station is planned to be manned for the 24hrs looking particularly for inter-continental DX on 40/20 and 15m)

Multipliers:

  • 1 per call area in VK/VE/JA/ZL per band +
  • 1 per DXCC entity per band +
  • 1 per inter-continental contact

Final Score:

  • Sum all points x sum all multipliers

You can work a station once per band.

Stations earning 50 points or more will be entitled to an emailed PDF certificate indicating their successful participation in this inaugural event!

Categories:

There is one entry per station callsign only.

Log Submission:

You MUST submit your ADIF formatted log via email within 7 days after the event to:

FreeDV.QSOParty (at) areg.org.au


What is FreeDV?

FreeDV is an open source digital voice transmission mode developed for HF Amateur Radio by David VK5DGR. It is founded on open source principles with the Codec2 specification and code fully available to the Amateur Radio community at no charge.

The latest development, FreeDV 700D mode has performance equivalent or better than SSB on HF – a remarkable achievement in only 700 bps!

Why FreeDV?

FreeDV 700D outperforms SSB at low SNRs – you can get an easy copy of 700D when SSB is unusable.

Amateur Radio is transitioning from analog to digital, much as it transitioned from AM to SSB in the 1950’s and 1960’s. How would you feel if one or two companies owned the patents for SSB, then forced you to use their technology, made it illegal to experiment with or even understand the technology, and insisted you stay locked to it for the next 100 years? That’s exactly what washappening with digital voice. But now, hams are in control of their technology again!

FreeDV is unique as it uses 100% Open Source Software, including the speech codec. No secrets, nothing proprietary! FreeDV represents a path for 21st century Amateur Radio where Hams are free to experiment and innovate, rather than a future locked into a single manufacturers closed technology.

FreeDV can be used on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Where can I get FreeDV?

FreeDV software and more information is available from the FreeDV Website!

FreeDV.org

Supporting Events?

If you live in Adelaide, South Australia, there are two events planned prior to the QSO party to help you get FreeDV operational. AREG will be holding a “Tech Night” on April 5th at the clubrooms in the Fulham Community Centre starting 7.00pm. In addition, David VK5DGR (FreeDV’s creator) will be our guest presenter at the April AREG meeting on Friday the 12th. Doors open at 7.15pm for that event.

AREG is also looking to re-launch the FreeDV WIA News Broadcast. New times and frequencies will be announced soon! This provides a perfect opportunity to experiment with FreeDV reception while the broadcast is running for 30 minutes, plus you can participate in the callbacks afterwards.

At the April meeting a new version of FreeDV is also going to be released that promises significantly improved audio fidelity over the communications grade 700D and 1600 modes. Why not put it in your diary and come along – visitors are most welcome!

Want to know more?

Who can I Talk To?

Login to the K7VE FreeDV QSO Finder to find other Hams using FreeDV.

Support

Please post your questions to the Digital Voice Google group

Developers please subscribe to the Codec 2 Mailing List.

IRC Chat

For casual chat there is a #freedv IRC channel on freenode.net

We hope to see you on FreeDV!

Next AREG Meeting March 8th (early) – 6m Moonbounce

The moon at moon set (4am) with our 6m EME antenna – Photo by Scott VK5TST

Several weeks ago, members of AREG headed out into the country side to try an experiment that many had wanted to do for many years – bounce a signal off the moon. With the help of Peter VK5PJ who has the necessary high power permits, we were able to achieve just that!

The team involved will take people through the events of that weekend and share what we learned about EME procedures, RadHaz management, JT65A and what it takes to send a radio signal over a half a million km journey to the moon and back.


Meeting Date and Time

NOTE This month’s AREG meeting is occurring one week early on the 2nd Friday of the month, so as to avoid clashing with the John Moyle Memorial Field Day Contest the following weekend. The hall will open at 7.15pm and the meeting will commence at 7.45pm sharp with a short AREG business meeting. The guest presenters will start by ~8pm. The presentation will be followed by coffee and cake and an opportunity to discuss EME with those who were there.

AREG meets at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham (formerly known as the Reedbeds Community Centre).

Visitors are most welcome!

VK5RSB Repeater Maintenance – New 70cm Antenna

AREG is pleased to report that its VK5RSB 70cm service is now back to full working order after suffering from an intermittent receive fault for many months now.

The problem was tracked down to a faulty antenna allowing water ingress into the feed line. A new dipole array antenna has now been installed and the feed line has been re-terminated. Early feedback suggests the repeater’s coverage has been restored to normal. Further reports would be most welcome!

The long and short of the story is,

  • The LDF5-50 coax termination connector at the top of the coax was removed and internals examined. Plenty of corrosion was found – all green!
  • The new antenna checked was then checked on the ground with network analyser and was given a clean bill of health before being installed at the top of the tower
  • The coax end at the top of the tower was then cleaned and a new connector was fitted and sealed

Meanwhile,  down in the hut, Paul VK5BX could not help himself. He pulled the rack installation apart and refitted all of the equipment and created additional rack space, helped by Peter VK5APR.

Once the VK5RSB repeater was all connected back up, the system was tested. The team measured 75 watts up the “stick”, with 1 watt returned, an excellent outcome!

AREG wishes to thank all crew on site for their help and participation. The crew were,

  • Ben VK5BB, lead, 1st rigger,
  • Colin VK5ACE, 2nd rigger,
  • David VK5MDF, “gofer” ground member
  • Hank VK5XB, “gofer” ground member,
  • Paul VK5BX, ground technician and antenna tester,
  • Peter VK5APR, ground technician assistant

On return from the site there were a number of QSOs with a number of different people, all gave good signal reports and all QSOs were free from that intermittent receive/transmit noise, including the hourly AREG announcement! Further reports are welcome to secretary (at) areg.org.au

Horus 52 – On track for Saturday 9th Feb Launch

AREG is once again involved with the University of South Australia’s Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program this year, which is run by UniSA on behalf of the International Space University. The launch, which was scrubbed last week due to the predicted landing zone is now planned for this coming Saturday 9th Feburary, with liftoff planned for ~11AM. The weather is looking much better!

The current predictions look as follows:

Payload Plans

While some details are still to be worked out, it’s looking like the following payloads will be flying:

  • RTTY – 434.650 MHz
  • 4FSK – 434.640 MHz
  • Wenet – 441.200 MHz  (downward facing images)
  • Wenet #2 – 443.5 MHz (horizon-facing images)

There is still a chance the second Wenet payload will be dropped from the launch due to weight restrictions, so if you don’t see any signal on 443.5 MHz, that’s what’s happened!

As always, amateurs from across the state are encouraged to take part, by collecting the telemetry data and relaying it to HabHub on the Internet. This data is used to help fill in any missing data the chase teams fail to capture, which they can use to help maximize their landing zone prediction accuracy. In that way, everyone taking part is adding to the success of the mission.

Tracking details will be provided closer to the launch. Keep watching the AREG website for details!

 

Getting Started on 630m (476kHz) – 7.45pm February 15th

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday 15th of February. This month we have Andrew VK5CV as guest presenter who will introduce the world of the 630m band on 476kHz. Andrew has been an active experimenter on this band for some time in Adelaide and is a fountain of knowledge on how to put a signal on air on this band, even from a suburban block.

www.qsl.net/dl4yhf/mf/mf.html

Example of an MF transmitter setup

Meeting Location and NEW TIME!

The meeting will be held at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Court, Fulham. From this month, AREG meetings will be starting earlier and will have some format changes. The hall will now open at 7.15pm and the meeting will start at 7.45pm on the dot. The restructured and shortened business meeting will be first with the guest presenter starting by 8.15pm.

After the formal part of the meeting, refreshments will be available (tea, coffee and cake) and you will have the chance to discuss what you have heard with the presenters each month! We hope this new format is a positive development for those attending AREG meetings!

Visitors are most welcome!

Advanced Notice – March & April Meetings – New Dates!

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group also wishes to advice that we have changed the dates for our March and April meetings.

  • The March meeting will now be held on the 8th of March (2nd Friday) so as to avoid clashes with the team setting up for the John Moyle Field Day. The topic for this meeting should be confirmed shortly.
  • The April meeting will now be held on the 12th of April (again the 2nd Friday) so as to avoid clashing with Easter Good Friday. This meeting will hear from David VK5DGR on his work to develop FreeDV2020 – a new high quality audio version of his FreeDV HF digital voice transmission mode that uses roughly the same bandwidth as FreeDV 1600

Stay tuned for other special events that are also planned in the coming months! More information will be published on these as they are confirmed!

UniSA: Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program – Horus 52 – POSTPONED TO 9th FEB

AREG will be launching a high-altitude balloon for the International Space University’s South Hemisphere Space Studies program, conducted by the University of South Australia again this year. The planned launch date is Saturday the 2nd of February, with liftoff around 10-10:30AM. The launch site will be the usual Mt Barker High School Oval location.

UPDATE 2019-01-31: Due to poor launch-day weather, this launch has been re-scheduled to 11AM on Saturday the 9th of February.

Payload Plans

While some details are still to be worked out, it’s looking like the following payloads will be flying:

  • RTTY – 434.650 MHz
  • 4FSK – 434.640 MHz
  • Wenet – 441.200 MHz  (downward facing images)

There may be a second Wenet payload on 443.5 MHz capturing outward-facing imagery, though this is yet to be confirmed.

As always, amateurs from across the state are encouraged to take part, by collecting the telemetry data and relaying it to HabHub on the Internet. This data is used to help fill in any missing data the chase teams fail to capture, which they can use to help maximize their landing zone prediction accuracy. In that way, everyone taking part is adding to the success of the mission.

WENET PAYLOAD NEWS

There have been some updates made to the Wenet HD imaging payload and receiver software, however all changes are backwards compatible. If you have a functioning Wenet receiver system, you *do not need to update for this launch*.

However, if you’re a bit more adventurous, the latest updates are on Github here: https://github.com/projecthorus/wenet

You will likely need to wipe your existing Wenet directory and follow the setup instructions from the start.

Stay tuned for further updates as we get closer towards the launch date…

73  Mark VK5QI

HNY 2019: January Meeting – HF Remote SDRs & AREG’s Remote Site Project

Firstly, Happy New Year 2019 to everyone. This year promises to be yet another action packed fun filled series of events brought to you by the members of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group.

Next Meeting – Friday January 18th – 7.45pm

The next meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group Inc will be held on Friday the 18th of this month. The topic of the evening will start with a short introduction to the world of remote HF SDR receivers and how to access them.

It will then be followed by a workshop event looking at the original AREG project intended to setup and host one of these systems here in Adelaide. The original project was plagued with problems, most notably getting an internet link out to the site some 40km away from VK5RWN. In the end we weren’t successful in getting the microwave link to be stable. The secondary issue of local site noise at the receive site was never even addressed because the internet feed couldn’t be resolved.

Now that 2019 is here, and the opportunity of a new site has presented itself (that solves the internet access issue), the club is looking for members to form a new team to try and complete the project. The second half of the meeting this month will explore what tasks need to be done to make this a reality and we will be looking for volunteers to put their hands up to help

Visitors are always welcome! The club meets at the Fulham Community Centre, Phelps Crt, Fulham from 7.45pm. The presentation starts at 8.00pm and will be followed by coffee and cake before a formal business meeting.

We look forward to seeing you all there!

AREG 20th Anniversary – Horus 50 Flight Report

Introduction

The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group was formed in July 1998 with the aim of promoting experimentation and self learning using Amateur Radio. 20 years on, the group is a vibrant and active body that has brought together people from many walks of life, all with the common interest of experimenting and learning about radio and electronics.

One of the founding project ideas conceived by Adrian VK5ZBR, Ben VK5BB and Rod VK5UDX that drove the creation of AREG was project “Skyhook“. The aim, back then, was to fly an amateur radio payload under a weather balloon. For various reasons that goal was never achieved. However, through Project Horus (which joined AREG several years ago under the then stewardship of Terry VK5VZI), that original dream became a reality.

The view from Horus 50 – River Murray in the foreground with Adelaide in the top left of shot

This flight marks Project Horus’s own milestone, having now launched 50 “heavy – 30km plus” balloons over 8 years. In that time it has become one of the most active amateur high altitude balloon projects in Australia.

To commemorate both the 50th flight and the 20th anniversary, AREG and Project Horus have decided to fly an all Amateur Radio oriented payload, promoting our core experimentation theme. The aim was to maximise involvement of the amateur radio community in the project. Here is the story of that flight.


Horus 50 – Launch Preparations

The launch crew arrived on site at Mt Barker High School by 8.30am ready to prepare the payloads and the balloon. Mark VK5QI who was flight lead was assisted by a number of AREG members including Will VK5AHV, Andrew VK5AKH, Theo VK5IR (first time Horus hunter), Kim VK5FJ, Marcus VK5WTF, Oly VK5XDX, John VK5BJE and Grant VK5GR with a number of other visitors and members who came along to watch as well. Assembly of the balloon train went to plan and, with relatively calm conditions prevailing, the filling of the balloon went smoothly too.

Liftoff

After the obligatory calls to Air Traffic Control, the team was set and the balloon took to the skies on schedule at 10.00am ACDT.

Ground Tracking & Control Stations

In support of the flight, another AREG team had set up camp approximately 50km away at Bear Rock Lookout, up above Palmer on the eastern edge of the Mt Lofty ranges. Manned by Peter VK5KX and Matthew VK5ZM, this ground station provides a vital backup telemetry link, gathering all of the signals from all of the payloads and uplinking them to the internet for the chase teams to use.

This data, when mixed with the rest of the information being received by amateurs across the state, is used by the chase teams to help fill in any packets they miss from the balloon, improving the accuracy of their landing predictions and providing a safeguard for the landing positioning data.

Meanwhile the second ground team, consisting of Grant VK5GR and Oly VK5XDX, went to the top of the ranges above Brukunga to establish VK5ARG net control for this flight’s voice repeater. We weren’t able to collocate these teams as the UHF high power up-link would have overwhelmed the tracking data down-links.

The Chase Teams

Once the balloon took off, the Mt Barker based chase teams packed up the launch site and prepared to head out. Meanwhile Darin VK5IX also started the chase, in his case also from the Bear Rock lookout. There were a few new chase teams this time which was great to see! The teams were:

  • Mark VK5QI: Mark VK5QI, Will VK5AHV, Theo VK5MTM (his first Horus chase)
  • Liam VK5LJG: (Just Liam, his first Horus launch, though not his first balloon chase)
  • Kim VK5FJ: (Just Kim in the car)
  • Marcus VK5WTF: Marcus and family
  • Darin VK5IX: Darin, Glenys, Cam, Greg.

It was great to see more people getting out chasing!

 

Tracking and Telemetry Data Processing

There were many ways to track the flight. The usual balloon telemetry collection site was in full swing at habhub.org where all four payloads were being tracked. Amateur Radio operators and the general public could also track this flight via the Amateur Position Reporting System (APRS) on websites like aprs.fi

APRS Tracking from aprs.fi

habhub.org tracking and telemety hub

The other very important aspect of the flights is the data collected by the distributed listener network of amateur radio enthusiasts spread across the state. This adds a huge level of reliability and redundancy to the system that the project team really appreciates. It also gives everyone an opportunity to contribute to the project, even if only from their own radio shacks.

The interest in this flight was very high and there were many first time listeners as well as many regulars tune in and gather the telemetry off one of the RTTY or 4FSK payloads, as well as through the APRS Internet Gateway network.

In all of these a special mention goes to Andrew VK3BQ who takes the prize for the most distant telemetry decoding station at over 600km away in Melbourne.

Here are the results of how much telemetry each station was able to contribute (Note – This is per-callsign used when uploading, so some stations may have duplicate entries):

100 Baud RTTY Beacon 434.650

CallsignPackets Received% of Flight Received
VK5NG85076.2%
VK5ZRL84575.7%
VK5AKK78270.1%
VK5EU77769.6%
VK5KX-264157.4%
VK5APR42738.3%
VK5DJ40836.6%
VK5ALX32829.4%
VK5KX-0232128.8%
VK5ST17415.6%
VK5KX-816214.5%
VK5KX-0813912.5%
VK5DMC13311.9%
vk5st736.5%
VK5NEX373.3%
VK5KIK322.9%
VK5QI-9292.6%
VK3BQ191.7%

4FSK Binary Beacon 434.640

CallsignPackets Received% of Flight Received
VK5QI-9169388.2%
VK5KJP166686.8%
VK5WTF123964.6%
VK5NEX119362.2%
VK5LJG-9117661.3%
VK5ST-9105655.0%
VK5LJG88946.3%
VK5FJ-987745.7%
VK5TRM84243.9%
VK5DSP62732.7%
VK5FAAP32416.9%
VK5ST623.2%

A huge thank you to everyone who collected the telemetry!

This telemetry stream also allows us to analyse the path the balloon took and to confirm the flight’s vital statistics:

Not all plain sailing for the telemetry

The flight was not without it’s gremlins either. The 4FSK binary telemetry payload, which was a recovered Vaisala RS41 Radiosonde that has been re-programmed for use on 70cm, lost PLL lock at 13km on descent, and regained it at 9km altitude (about 6 minutes later). The air temperature at 13km was <-60 degrees C according to the morning BOM radiosonde launch, and -40 degrees C at 9km. The team suspects that the payload froze for a period due to it running lower power than it would for a normal sonde launch, thus not generating enough internal heat to keep from freezing. It is hoped to test this out sometime in the towards the end of the month with a small test launch carrying the same payload but running 3dB more TX power along side another RS41 PCB in a custom foam box (similar to our RTTY payload boxes).

The LoRa tele-command payload also had a fault where it lost GPS lock for the second half of the flight just after burst, likely due to it getting knocked around due to the huge dynamic shock that ripples through the payloads when the balloon bursts. This time, the GPS unit took 20 minutes to regain lock, probably because it was falling so fast (~20-60m/s). The team will be investigating some better AA battery holders, and possibly putting a big capacitor across the power input to hold up the GPS through that very dynamic part of the flight.

It goes to show, every flight is an experiment and that the team learns something new every flight!

Payloads – Slow Scan TV

The main attractions of this flight, of course, was the flying voice repeater and the first flight of the Slow Scan TV transmitter.

The live pictures broadcast over Slow Scan TV were a spectacular success, with amateurs across VK5 and VK3 able to receive them using all manner of tools and systems. The SSTV signal, running 250mW used what is known as Scottie 2 format (commonly used on HF).  For the first time these images were accessible to almost everyone without any special software (which the previous high definition Wenet SSDV picture system does require). This helped generated an unprecedented interest in the flight.

We had clubs and individuals from the Riverland, South Coast, across Adelaide, and in one case from as far away as Melbourne all receiving the SSTV transmitter.

Rick Kearsley (from the South Coast ARC) received SSTV images from Horus 50 from Normanville SA with  by VK5LEX/P and VK5VCR/P.

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In the Riverland, Peter VK5PE and Ivan VK5HS joined in the fun.

AREG also received copies of the pictures received by Steve VK5SFA and Liam VK5LJG and know of several others in Adelaide who also successfully received the images live from the balloon (including our primary ground station at VK5KX/P, who received one only 500ft off the ground).

Last SSTV Image before landing captured by VK5KX

The best effort award however must go to Alan, VK3DXE who from the eastern side of Melbourne was able to receive the SSTV transmitter at apogee using his EME station. Not a bad effort for a 250mW FM transmission on 145.1MHz at over 630km range.

VK3DXE Receiving Horus 50 SSTV from Melbourne over 600km away

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This was the array Alan was using.

Photo thanks to VK3DXE

From the balloon’s perspective we also kept a copy of the images on the SD card. This is what they looked like prior to broadcast.

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Payloads – Voice Repeater

The other amateur radio related payload flown was a cross band voice repeater. This machine had a receiver on 438.900MHz (with a 123Hz CTCSS tone) and a transmitter on 147.500MHz running approximately 1 Watt. This was a return to the original voice repeater flown back on Horus 9 and 23 after the problems with narrow band FM on the more recent repeater flights.

During the flight, it became clear that this old machine still had some problems. Unfortunately the faults didn’t reveal themselves until after lift off. The repeater was de-sensitising its own receiver (a suspected 3rd harmonic problem), and with the rather windy flight aloft, there was also a lot of swinging around of the antennas (TV Ribbon J-Pole antennas) which made contact very difficult to achieve through the balloon. None the less, 32 contacts were logged through the repeater by stations from as far as Millicent in the SE, Renmark in the NE and Whyalla / Port Pirie in the Iron Triangle to the NW.

Contact Map (created using tools.adventureradio.de/analyzer/)

The following is the full log of the contacts made through the balloon with net control.

VK5ARG Log

CallQSO_Begin_DateQSO_Begin_TimeFreqModeQTH
VK5QI2018-11-032338Z147.5FMGlenelg
VK5GR2018-11-032338Z147.5FM
VK5PET2018-11-032339Z147.5FMStrathalbyn
VK5XB2018-11-032341Z147.5FM
VK5IR2018-11-032341Z147.5FMMansfield Park
VK5BJE2018-11-032341Z147.5FMMaurice
VK5WTF2018-11-032344Z147.5FMMunno Para
VK5APR2018-11-032345Z147.5FMFlinders Park
VK5KX2018-11-032345Z147.5FMSalisbury Park
VK5ZM/P2018-11-032346Z147.5FM
VK5ZAR2018-11-032347Z147.5FMBroadview
VK5BB2018-11-032351Z147.5FMRedwood Park
VK5IX2018-11-032352Z147.5FMFreeling
VK5YX2018-11-032356Z147.5FMHallett Cove
VK5PE2018-11-040013Z147.5FMRenmark
VK5DJ2018-11-040014Z147.5FMMillicent
VK5HS2018-11-040015Z147.5FMRenmark
VK5ST2018-11-040019Z147.5FMAngaston
VK5ZRK2018-11-040020Z147.5FMRidgehaven
VK5DMC2018-11-040023Z147.5FMPort Pirie
VK5ALX2018-11-040024Z147.5FMWhyalla Playford
VK5XB2018-11-040029Z147.5FM
VK5SFA2018-11-040053Z147.5FMWoodforde
VK5AKK2018-11-040100Z147.5FMCrafers
VK5WU2018-11-040108Z147.5FMHope Valley
VK5TEC2018-11-040115Z147.5FM
VK5HS2018-11-040118Z147.5FMRenmark
VK5CV/MOB2018-11-040120Z147.5FM
VK5EU2018-11-040122Z147.5FMHilton
VK5KBJ2018-11-040126Z147.5FMAldinga Beach
VK5ZM/P2018-11-040128Z147.5FM
VK5JP2018-11-040142Z147.5FMNorth Haven

Payload Recovery

As sure as the laws of gravity go, what goes up must come down! The balloon climbed to over 35km before bursting and returning to earth. The following are the vital statistics of this flight:

MetricResult
Flight Designation:Horus 50 - AREG 20th Birthday
Launch Date:2018-10-03 23:14 UTC
Landing Date:2018-10-04 01:59 UTC
Flight Duration:2 Hours 45 Minutes
Launch Site:-35.07568, 138.85701
Landing Site:-35.184284, 139.755216
Distance Traveled:82.6 km
Maximum Altitude:35,861 m

The chase teams themselves were in an excellent position to recover the payloads and indeed watched them land from about 1km away. After contacting the land owner (to seek permission to enter and collect them), all of the payloads were successfully recovered, ready to fly another day.

Recovery Team – L-R VK5IR, VK5LJG, Greg, Cam, VK5WTF, VK5IX, VK5AHV, VK5QI

Conclusion

At the end of the day the team was very happy with the results. What was even better were the number of people who participated in the event, either on site or from home with tracking, SSTV, FM voice, or just tuning in on social media and following along via the Internet. It truly represents the aims of AREG in promoting experimentation in Amateur Radio to see all of the people who joined in. To each and everyone of you, thank you for your participating!

To the teams that built and flew the balloon, a special thank you to you as well. May there be many more!

73 de Grant VK5GR