Woohoo! A weather balloon! Edit: a project loon balloon!


Okay, 1 month in to this new hobby and I decided to upgrade to the FA antenna. Right now it’s mounted to the eaves of the garage until I can get an antenna mast kit for the chimney. But, wow! What a world of difference it’s already making!
In the photo below you can see a weather balloon out at 129 nm and 57,000ft. Yes, i’m Giddy at the moment :slight_smile:

Just as an aside, today I also completed my mobile ads-b rig and took it for a spin during this morning’s commute. It worked great and I can’t wait to use it for road trips/commutes.


That’s actually a Project Loon balloon, FWIW. They’re nice and visible at 60k ft :slight_smile:


Can you expand on this? What’s the goal/objective? How do you keep distances and speeds accurate, for example? MLAT is not possible, I would think.


Oh cool! Thanks obj! How does one tell it’s a project loon? (I grew up In New Mexico and saw weather balloons as a kid all the time. Hence why why brain went there first)


The Project Loon balloons fly with HBAL callsigns and if you look up the registration, the address is the Google HQ: https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=245LB. IIRC they’re mostly (all?) registrations ending LB.


MLAT is possible with a usb gps dongle. I’ll do a full right up about my mobile gig soon. But the high level reason is “I wonder if I can!” I believe others have set up mobile configs as well. For me it started with the realization that the cheap 1090 antenna I started with had a magnet on its base. I also work about 2 miles from San Jose airport and a decent amount of my commute has me close to the flight path. Once I decided to upgrade my home antenna, it was just getting the other pieces in place.


Well there you go! Thanks for sharing how you figured it out. I’ll definitely add that to my tool box on how to get more insight on the interesting flights I see on my map.


Ok…you have the setup connected to a cell phone then.

That’s good enough a reason.:wink: