June 24th W9BLN and KB9LM end of day report

We are now 5 days and 10 hours into our flight.

Before I get into our report, I’d like to introduce one of our members of the NIBBB. One of the balloons we’re flying is W9BLN, which is John Walsh’s callsign, who is a member of our Technical Team. John, who recently upgraded to General, changed his callsign from KD9THB to W9BLN for Balloon. I met John at his VE session when he received his Techncian license and told me of a project he was involved in. John is also volunteering with the Adler Planetarium’s Far Horizons GoNet Project in Chicago, IL.

That evening after his exam I followed the Far Horizons High Altitude Balloon Launched from Lebanon Indiana to fly over Indianapolis Indiana looking at Light Pollution from 60,000 feet. I followed their launch till I had to go to sleep to get to our 2nd Launch on October 2nd 2021 at Central School in Glencoe IL, where John was able to join us. Far Horizons plans far ahead to make sure the Jetstream goes where the balloon needs to go, to be able to recover the payload with thousands of dollars of equipment and of course the pictures of the flight.

We are very excited to finally be able to fly W9BLN representing two balloon projects, Far Horizons and us. please click on this link to learn more about Far Horizons

Now to our report

We receive our balloons’ location in part from the Amateur Radio stations around the world that are able to receive our signal. KB9LM has stayed at the same 7,000 square mile Grid DL79 since yesterday. KB9LM was last heard at 21:52 UTC 3:52pm CDT from a station in West Jordan Utah, about 1800 Km from the DL79 Grid. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s wake up in hope to get another Grid location to determine the balloons direction.

W9BLN last transmitted at 23:58 UTC 6:58 pm CDT at Grid EL47JT

After circling over the Gulf of Mexico, we were looking for W9BLN to find some direction and pick up some speed. Looks like we did just that. We’re now heading north at between 25Km and 30Km an hour. We’re using different programs to track and map out our balloon. W9BLN is flying the new U4B from QRP-Labs. They have their own tracking program which shows the locations 6 character Gridsquare which gives us a 15 square mile grid, the altitude in meters, speed in knots and battery in voltage. The battery in voltage is so important telling us how well our solar panel package is doing. One of the stations that has been regulary receiving W9BLN is VK4CT around 14,000 Km away in Australia, helps having an antenna 30,000 feet up.

W9BLN flying at 29,000 feet and 14 knots heading north

I’ve updated the Ventusky Jetstream link for tomorrow at 7am at 29,000 feet.

Sometime after I wakeup and before I head to Field Day, I’ll update our Balloons.

Till tomorrow, 73, Cary

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