11th Launch January 26th 2022

February 5th 6:40 p.m. KR9T asleep at 22:46 zulu Grid Square BP90li Flight Time 10 days 5 hours and 6 minutes

We have enjoyed a wild ride with our balloon KR9T, we woke up just south of Alaska and have gone to sleep sharing the border with Alaska and Canada. We are just Northwest of Mt. St. Elias which is the second highest mountain in both Canada and the United States elevation 18,008 feet, Mt. St. Elias stands on the Yukon and Alaskan border. Mt. Huxley is located in Alaska, 12,614 feet and Mt. Newton British Columbia is a modest 800 feet. KR9T is enjoying a current altitude of 8,440 meters, 27,683 feet.

KR9T asleep at 22:46 zulu Grid BP90li sharing the border with Alaska and Canada

February 5th 12:50 p.m. KR9T is awake at 18:36 zulu at Grid Square BO66ac just south of Anchorage, Alaska Flight Time 10 days 1 hour and 14 minutes

We had 4 groups participating in todays wakeup Grid. Marty Boroff WD9GYM Grid BP72fa, Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB Grid BO86df, Jenni Meyer KD9TPK BO80kg, and The Mulley Clan, Gordie KD9TVR, Kyli and Doug KD9TPM Grid BO70pb and the winner is Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB for Grid BO86df, 263 Km from Wakeup. Just to see how good our wakeup teams are doing, they were all within 750 Km from the wakeup grid. That makes 4 wins for Tami Witbrodt, KD9IXB.

KR9T has now made it nearly around the Globe. We started out on January 26th in Highland Park IL, a suburb of Chicago and now just off the coasts of Alaska and Canada. We are expecting that KR9T will be traveling today over North America. Based on the NOAA HYSPLIT model from John KD9THB, we look to come very close to Chicago as we head east. It becomes difficult for some to determine the altitude of our balloon, but we are very fortunate to have in our Technical Team, Michael Seedman AA6DY and John Walsh KD9THB to make all these calculations, to show that we have been with slight variations at 8640 meters, 28,300 feet.

We are so excited to have families compete and follow our balloon. Welcome to the addition on Kyli Mulley to the Mulley Clan. Kyli is Gordie’s older sister and is preparing to pass her technician license. Also part of the Mulley Clan is Bob Mulley, Doug’s Father who got his technician license with his Grandson Gordie.

We are preparing to introduce new and exciting programs for more to get involved in our Pico Balloon Hobby. Congratulations to all on this tremendous feat.

Wakeup February 5th 2022 Grid Square BO66ac 18:36 zulu

February 4th 10:15 p.m.

KR9T is now asleep at Grid BM04jk 03:16 zulu Flight Time 9 days, 9 hours and 46 minutes

February 4th 2022 5:30 p.m. John, KD9THB created the NOAA HYSPLIT Trajectory Model For February 5th through February 8th

February 4th 19:56 zulu 1:56 p.m. CDT KR9T is awake at Grid Square AM33lw Flight Time 9 days 3 hours and 6 minutes

We had for groups participating in our Guess the Grid Square. Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB Grid RM38nn, Jenni Meyer KD9TPK Grid RM97fb, Wendy Berg KD9RDV Grid AM09hs and The Mulley Clan; Gordie KD9TVR and Doug KD9TPM Grid AN46pe. It’s getting harder to track these contestants, because they were all very close the the wakeup Grid. But we have a new winner Jenni Meyer KD9TPK Grid RM97fb 864 Km from the wakeup Grid. Congratulations to Jenni KD9TPK who is the Advisor for the newly formed Central School Amateur Radio Club in Glencoe, IL.

February 4th 10:30 a.m. While we’re waiting for our wakeup, I thought I’d share this.

Nice to have company, we’re never alone

February 3rd 10:00 p.m.

KR9T has just passed Japan, with the Sun at 35 degrees, at least another hour of sunlight. Some are predicting we’ll awaken just west of the dateline, some just east. I’ll let you know in the morning.

QM27ia 3:34 zulu, still awake with the Sun at 35 degrees

February 3rd 6:00 p.m.

KR9T woke at Grid PM85as at 12:36 zulu on February 3rd having traveled 8 days 6 hours and 24 minutes. We had 4 groups participating in Guess the Grid Square Marty Boroff WD9GYM PM90ij, Wendy Berg KD9RDV PM87fn, Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB PL69wv and Art Paton N9AEP PM02ob and the winner is Wendy Berg KD9RDV for Grid PM87fn 197 Km from the wakeup Grid. Congratulations Wendy. For those participating in the next wakeup, Grid Squares must be emailed to me by 10:00 p.m. CDT, click on Contact US above and email to Cary

Wakeup PM85as Tsuruga, Japan

February 3rd 3:30 p.m.

As we’re approaching wakeup, for those competing in our guess the grid square, your predictions must be in by 4:00 p.m. CDT. As we are getting closer to the International dateline line, and you’re competing for February 4th, your grid square must be in by 10:00 p.m. this evening, on February 3rd. Good Luck!

February 3rd 8:00 a.m.

KR9T went to sleep at 8:04 zulu at Grid Square OM42hq after 7 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes maintaining an altitude of 28,400 feet.

KR9T asleep at 8:04 zulu Grid OM42hq at 28,400 feet

February 2nd 8:48 p.m.

KR9T woke on February 3rd 2:04 zulu, at Grid Square OM14vg Flight Time 7 days, 8 hours and 54 minutes We had 4 groups predicting our wakeup Art Paton N9AEP Grid NM89mg, Marty Boroff WD9GYM Grid MM48hc, Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB Grid PM20xa and The Mulley Team Gordie KD9TVR and Doug KD9TPM Grid ON64ba. The winner is Art Paton N9AEP Grid NM89mg for 686 Km from the wakeup Grid Square, Congratulations to Art N9AEP.

Wakeup February 3, 2022 OM14vg 2:04 zulu Map from Habhub Tracker

February 2nd 8:15 a.m.

KR9T traveled from the Kazakhstan border now over China heading south, asleep at 8:56 zulu at Grid Square NN53nl Flight time 6 days, 15 hours and 26 minutes

February 1st 10:20 p.m.

KR9T woke at 2:44 zulu, 8:44 p.m. only showing a 4 digit Grid, NN29. At 4:06 zulu, 10:06 p.m. we received Grid Square NN37fx. The Gordie Mulley KD9TVR and Doug Mulley KD9TPM of the Mulley Team with their Grid Square of NO10lu was the closest to the wakeup. Other predictions were from Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB and Marty Boroff WD9GYM. Congratulations to the Mulley Team. We are now in northern China sharing the border with Kazakhstan on the west and Mongolia on the east and Russia to the north. Flight time 6 days 11 hours and 6 minutes.

February 1st KR9T went to sleep at 10:46 zulu at Grid LO95pk near Petrushkino, Russia Flight time 5 days, 17 hours and 16 minutes

February 1st 5:56 zulu KR9T wakes at Grid LO74ce near Usen Ivanovskoe, Russia

We had 3 groups competing for the Grid on wakeup contest. Wendy Berg KD9RDV KO85ss (Moscow), The team of Gordie Mulley KD9TVR & Doug Mulley KD9TPM LO53tw (Bol’shoe Mikishino Russia) and Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB LO70ge (Novonadezhdinka Kazakhstan) and the winner is the Mulley Team Gordie KD9TVR and Doug KD9TPM for LO53tw for a distance of 274 Km from the wake up point. Just for information purposes, Gordie Mulley is 11 years old and the youngest member of the NIBBB. Congratulations to Gordie and Doug, Well Done!

January 31st 9:40 p.m. NOAA HYSPLIT Trajectory Model for 84 hours, Feb 1st through Feb 4th 2022

Update January 31st at 8:15 a.m. CDT

While we were sleeping, KR9T was traveling, We had 4 contestants for predicting the Grid Square on awakening; Marty Boroff WD9GYM KP21te, Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB KO34cv, Doug KD9TPM and Gordie KD9TVR Mulley LO45ns and Jenni Meyer KD9TPK LP60aa and the winner is Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB for KO34cv near Akarteli Belarus. As you can see from the maps below on January 30th KR9T woke in Belarus and January 31st KR9T woke near Belarus after flying in a loop, similar to the NOAA Hysplit model provided by John KD9THB. Congratulations to Tami on her 3rd win in this flight, that’s a Hat Trick!

January 31st 12:36 zulu KR9T went to sleep at Grid KN79hp, Flight time 4 days 19 hours and 6 minutes

While we were sleeping, KR9T was flying from Kyiv Ukraine to Poltava Ukraine

KN79hp Near Poltava Ukraine

January 31st 7:54 zulu 1:54 am CDT KR9T woke at KO40vs near Kyiv Ukraine Flight time 4 days 15 hours and 6 minutes

KO40vs Kyiv Ukraine

January 30th 7:30 a.m. CDT KR9T went to sleep at 11:14 zulu near Malaya Russia. Flight time 3 days 17 hours and 44 minutes.

January 30th 7:16 zulu, 1:16 a.m. CDT KR9T woke at KO55er near Lugovskie Belarus

We had 4 groups participating in the Guess the Grid Square on awakening, Art Paton N9AEP with JN97mk, Marty Boroff WD9GYM with JO27mb, Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB with JO65ln and Doug and Gordie Mulley KD9TPM and KD9TVR with JN99kl, and we have a tie Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB and Art Paton N9AEP were both 1404 Km from KO55er. Below are the projections from John Walsh KD9THB

Thanks to John Walsh KD9THB from our Technical Team, we now have the NOAA HYSPLIT Trajectories for the next 48 hours thru January 31st 2022

January 29th 2:45p.m.

Michael and I were discussing our travels and noticed the transmission had stopped at 13:54 zulu, on further examination we realized what the issue was. I sent an email out to our group and posed the question, not to be alarmed and what would be the reason for this, knowing we were last flying at 28,000 feet. Congratulations to Bill Fiely The U.K. does not allow transmissions over their country. The onboard GPS chips are programmed to stop transmissions over the U.K, Yemen and North Korea.

January 29th 2022 6:15 a.m. After spending most of the day missing in action and presumed dead, KR9T is found alive and well 11:56 zulu just south of Iceland at grid Square IC31ce just south of Iceland Now Flying 2 days, 18 hours and and 46 minutes

Grid Square IP31ce 11:56 zulu January 29th at 28,000 feet

January 28th 5:10 p.m. KR9T has stopped transmission after One day, 22 hours and 6 minutes

Michael, John and I have been following our balloon all day and after a couple of calls and a zoom meeting we are officially calling this flight over.  The last transmission received was at 15:36 zulu at Grid Square GN29ce

The purpose of this flight was to test using two balloons for gaining extra altitude which we did achieve. For our 8th Launch KD9ORR, we reached an average altitude of 24,000 ft., for our 11th Launch KR9T we achieved an average altitude of 28,300 feet until sometime around wake up today. 

For comparison purposes, on December 22nd 2021 we launched KD9ORR twice, once at 9:30a.m. and again at 11:30am. The first attempt landed in the backstop of a baseball field. By adding 2 more grams of free lift for a total of 6 grams got us what we needed to clear the trees and the field. The total package weight with free lift was 24.2 grams. 

For KR9T we used two balloons sharing the lift between the two balloons. The total package with 6 grams of free lift was 24.7 grams with each balloon lifting 12.4 grams. 

Our hope was that with the extra available volume in the balloons would get us that additional altitude. 
So, this was our first try of a 2 balloon launch with these newer balloons. We’re going to be trying many 2 balloon launches again,  with different configurations. We need to keep trying new things which gives us all an opportunity to learn and improve. 

Flight KR9T 1 day 22 hours and 6 minutes

January 28th 7:34 p.m. 13:34 zulu KR9T wakes at Grid Square GN17ap St Pierre and Miquelon, France

We had 6 predictions received for our first Grid Square received, three of them were so close I had to show them all. At the bottom of the page directly below St. Pierre and Miquelon was the Mulley Clan of Doug KD9TPM and Gordie KD9TVR with grid GN02qa, Next up was Jenni Meyer KD9TPK, Jenni is the Advisor of the new Central School Amateur Radio Club Grid FM73mt the Southern tip of Nova Scotia and the Winner is Tami Witbrodt KD9IXB Grid FN96rw at the Northern tip of Nova Scotia. The other players were Wendy Berg KD9RDV with Grid FN71bg, Marty Boroff WD9GYM FN60bv and Rick Richard W5AOD HN17xc.

Congratulations to Tami KD9IXB for our first winner for launch KR9T

St Pierre and Miquelon in North America, Country France

January 27th 3:40 p.m. How Low Can It Go

And I don’t mean the altitude. At 21:26 zulu we received Grid Square FN50dc with the Sun at 3.6 degrees, though we’re really looking at 21:24 for accuracy showing 3.3 degrees, that is really low and we’re still steady at 8640 meters 28,300 feet. So here we are, from Highland Park IL to just past the East Coast over the Atlantic Ocean. Travel time 1 day, 3 hours and 56 minutes. Where will we wake up tomorrow, send your Grid Square predictions in, use any of the available links on this website, click on Contact Us above and send to me by 8:00 p.m. CDT Cary KD9ITO

January 27th 2:00 p.m.

We are now starting the contest to guess the Grid Square upon KR9T awakening on Friday January 28th. We launched KR9T at Olson Park in Highland Park, IL at 11:30 a.m. yesterday, KR9T fell asleep around Elkhart Indiana and had awoken this morning around Atlantic City NJ. We are now over the Atlantic Ocean at a steady altitude of around 28,000 feet. Using all the available links from our website, you have the opportunity to participate in our contest, win bragging rights and be posted here on our website. A new winner will be posted every day while KR9T remains in the Jet Stream. KR9T woke up this morning around 7:14 am CDT. Remember, wakeup occurs when the GPS chip on our board receives a signal from 4 satellites, we have power to transmit a signal and a ham station receives our signal, that’s what generates a TX grid square that shows our position on a map. I will post the last grid square received here. Good luck to all.

January 27th 2022 8:09 am

Good morning, KR9T awoke at Grid Square FM29vg over Dover, Delaware at 13:14 UTC and is now over the Atlantic Ocean

January 26th 2022 9:10 p.m.

John updated the NOAA trajectory for 48 hours and 84 hours and increasing the altitude to 9690 meters

January 26th 2022 7:10 p.m.

I was trying to figure out what we should be considering as a successful flight or a successful launch. It should start out as making it out of the park or just above the trees. It was a close one this morning. Michael found us a larger park and we had to figure out which way the wind was blowing. Michael being the patient one held onto the transmitter until the balloon starting rising and went for a run. This was the first time we were using 2 of the newer balloons with Hydrogen. We were planning on launching KR9T on January 21st, but after having KV3T land in a tree we decided it best not to launch a KR9T at that time.

Below is the picture of Michael weighing the package, 18.7 grams plus 6 grams free lift for 24.7 grams divided by 2 was 12.4 grams of lift for each balloon. Our last reading from John is that we went to sleep at 21:16 zulu over Elkhart Indiana at an altitude of 9,690 meters or 31,800 feet. This was a slow rising balloon which is what we were really aiming at, along with 2 balloons for a higher altitude.

January 26th 2022 2:33 p.m.

We updated the tracker to include timeslot 4. When we programmed the transmitter we listed to transmit on the 4’s ie, 19:04 z, 19:14z, 19:24z, 19:34z 19:44z, 19:54z which should show the correct altitude in meters. If you want to see all the transmissions received you can remove the timeslot.

January 26th 2022 12:00 p.m.

We had a group of 4 of us who were able to withstand the 5 degree temperatures to launch KR9T, Michael AA6DY, Cary KD9ITO, Don KK9H and Stewart KB9LM.

January 23rd 2022 11:30 a.m.

What’s all this stuff about trackers and trees. After we visited a tree, yet again on January 21st, we decided that Duke Childs’ Field will be on hold until we can find a bonafide tree trimmer which will be a little difficult since this is a public park. Michael was able to locate another field nearby, Olson Park, 1861 Ridge Rd. Highland Park, IL 60035. Olson Park is South of Route 22, Half Day Rd. The entrance to the parking lot is on Ridge Rd (West end of Park). The snow is now tapering off in Chicago and the temperatures will be around 5 degrees on Wednesday when we meet at around 11:00 am, but it’s also expected to be a sunny with a mild wind. We will be posting Active Flight 2022-01-26 for KR9T after the launch.

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