15th and 16th Launch KK9H/2 and AA6DY/4, May 4, 2022

We had 2 beautiful launches today at our brand new location high on a hill at Willow Hill Golf Course in Northbrook, Illinois. A big thank you to Kari and Kent for letting us use this great location, please visit their website and view their gallery https://www.willowhillgolfcourse.com/

Michael, AA6DY and I met at his home to prepare the balloons. We had just received our shipment of 10 SAG balloons from balloons online. Because we ordered 10, shipping was included. For $166.00 we have the same balloons that Tom Medlin W5KUB was very successful. While I’m writing this, Tom’s balloon W5KUB-110 had flown for 34 days, 60,000 miles and almost 3 laps around the world crashing just west of South Korea in the Sea of Japan. Congratulations to Tom on a wonderful flight. Didn’t take long to get another one up, Tom is now flying W5KUB-111. For more information on Tom’s flights please visit https://ham-tv.com/balloon/

I have written before, that we are part of a larger Pico Balloon community and share information freely. We had nearly flown around the globe on 2 flights using the 36″ round pillow shaped balloon. But to get the altitude and be as successful as Tom and many others, we needed the 32″ Sphere shaped balloon. Currently out of stock https://balloons.online/orbs-32-silver/

I should mention, that we had successful lift off for our two balloons KK9H/2 and AA6DY/4, but will have to wait till tomorrow to get the tracking information We weren’t able to get a signal from the twilight of the 7p.m. launch. As I started to say above that Michael and I met to prepare the balloons. There has been a lot of discussion on how to seal these special balloons. We decided to cut up one of these balloons and test the sealing. The body of the balloon sealed well, and the valve itself sealed well. We first inflated the balloon to test the self sealing and under pressure there was no leaking, but to heat seal we had to remove the paint inside the valve with acetone and a Q-tip. We sacrificed a balloon to test the sealing, pictured below.

The balloons that we chose for this launch were sold by balloons online and manufactured by SAG. Unique to this balloon is a valve and a separate tab that we use to tie the package. The Sphere balloon is very close to being round like a ball so having the package holder away from the valve works well. pictured below

Next was filling the balloons to 24.2 grams including 6 grams of free lift

Below is a slideshow of the launch of KK9H/2 and AA6DY/4 and our friends and family that shared our launch

We’ll be following these balloons at http://wspr.rocks/

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