Thank you for visiting our website. Below you will find a little history of our group and information about our current flights. We are now tracking two Pico Balloons, AA6DY launched on September 3rd 2022 and K9YO launched on October 10th 2022.
Since our first launch we have flown 25 balloons (actually a little more, we kept some flights to ourselves). Six ended up in trees (we found a fix for that). Six balloons never said hello (we think we have a fix for that). We had eight balloons that traveled the United States. We had nine balloons that left the United States. We had three balloons that almost made it around the world. We have two balloons flying around the world. AA6DY that has made it around the world three times and still flying. K9YO has made it around the world twice and still flying.
On our menu you will find our “Blog” which tracks all of our flights from the most current to tidbits, build sessions and anything that we may have found interesting about our hobby.
The “Earlier Flights” cover from our first launch on September 25th 2021 through our 11th launch on January 26th 2022.
“Locate and Track” will provide current launch information, including projected direction, Jetstream and tracking other Pico Balloons around the world.
Our “Technical Page” is continually updated, providing the “How To” information on how you can build and fly a Pico Balloon.
If you like what you see, we hope that you will become a follower and receive posts when published on our Blog. You can become a follower right here on our website by clicking the WordPress link and creeating a username and password, or you can reach me on QRZ 73, Cary KD9ITO
Meet our original Group, started June 9th 2021 “The Bottlecap Balloon Battalion“
The Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade, picture taken October 8th 2022
Also with the Northern Illinois Bolltlecap Balloon Brigade, pictured below on the right, John Walsh, W9BLN
We started out in June of 2021 as the Bottlecap Balloon Battalion (Named after the movie “UP” the Ellie Badge, Bottlecap Merit Badge) there were 10 of us to start, aged 11 years old and up, kids, their parents and friends, some licensed in Amateur Radio some having an interest in science and engineering. We met monthly to research and report and had our first launch on September 25th 2021.
Pico Ballooning is a part of Amateur Radio also known as Ham Radio or Hams. We’re licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allowing us to communicate to other Hams throughout the World. Pico meaning small, we send a small transmitter, with GPS tracking and antenna on a balloon filled with Hydrogen, rising to 47,000 feet, and travelling with the speed of the Jetstream. As we travel, our GPS is able to locate our current location, and other information is gathered depending on what chips we have on our transmitter while using other programs to gather other inflight information.
Other Hams can receive our signal and are reported on a computer using WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporting) from anywhere through the internet. Our total package of transmitter, antenna, and balloon weigh less than an ounce, that is really small.
As the interest in Pico Ballooning has peaked with every launch, we have become Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade or NIBBB. The NIBBB is a part of a larger Pico Balloon Community, we learn and share from others in our community.
September 3rd 2022 Launch, our 24th Launch. We launched 2 balloons, AA6DY and KD9UQB and only heard from AA6DY. Our Pico Balloons can be tracked on our website tab, “Locate and Track”.
This is a slideshow on preparing for Pico Balloon AA6DY Launch September 3rd 2022
September 10th 2022 How to Build the Solar Panel Package taught by Jim Janiak, KD9UQB
Please click above to Contact us for comments and click on the Blog tab to see our launches starting with the most recent.