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


#1

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.
Chris


#2

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


#3

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.


#4

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)


#5

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.


#6

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.


#7

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.


#8

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

That’s good enough a reason.:wink: