News you can use, Hamvention May 19th to 21st 2023

Hamvention is the World’s largest Amateur Radio gathering, attracting hams from around the globe. Hamvention is taking place this weekend May 19th, 20th and 21st 2023 in Xenia, Ohio.

Congratulations to our team member, Ken Daniel, K9YO who has been chosen as one of the speakers. The Amateur Radio High Altitude Balloons Forum will take place on Friday May 19th 2023. at 11:45 am in Room 3. Hamvention Forums Schedule 2023

There will be four presentations for this session, “Introduction to long duration amateur radio balloon flights”, “Build your own Arduino – based WSPR Pico Balloon tracker”, “Launching Amateur Radio Pico Balloons from Antarctica” and “The QRP-Labs U4B Pico Balloon tracker

The moderator of this Forum will be Bill Brown WB8ELK, and the speakers, Ken Daniel, K9YO; Todd McKinney, KN4TPG; Hans Summers, G0UPL; and Dave Beverstein, VE3KCL

We owe our long duration flight successes to the expertise of Ken Daniel. Ken has created a website Pico Balloons by K9YO, Everything about Flying a Pico Balloon. Ken has provided the information on how to build his three part Arduino based tracker, for the PDF instructions, please visit Pico Balloons by K9YO-Transmitter

Todd McKinney, KN4TPG is the research gradulate student that lauched our Pico Balloon KD9UQB for our team member, Jim Janiak. Jim designed the Low Sun Angle – High Power solar array for Pico Balloon KD9UQB launched from Neumayer Station III, Antarctica on November 24th 2021.

If you’re attending this year’s Hamvention, we hope you can drop by and see the Amateur Radio High Altitude Forum, and say Hi to Ken.

73, Cary KD9ITO

April 15th 2023

We’ve been a little quiet here, and still working. This morning, several of our members met at the Lake County Makers Faire at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. Enjoing the Makers Faire were Doug, Kelsi, Kyli and Gordie Mulley, Ken Daniel, Cary Willis, Janet and Calvin (Cal) Knowles and Michael Seedman.

We added a few members to our NIBBB group, and continue to meet and plan. Next up in our launch Queue are two of our younger Generals; Gordie Mulley KD9TVR and his sister Kelsi Mulley KE9LSI. Gordie is 12 years old, in the 6th grade, and until today was our youngest General. Kelsi is 16 years old and a Sophomore in High School. Gordie and Kelsi received their General license in August of 2022 and have have been waiting patiently for their launch date. Pictures of of the NIBBB members from September of 2022 are on our home page along with slide shows of the launch of Pico Balloon AA6DY and our solar panel build session at the bottom of the page

Here at the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade (NIBBB) we’re always looking at “What’s Next” What our next project will be, either an improvement in our Pico Balloon project or a new project.

The NIBBB members are all licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Amateur Radio operators. These exams are conferred by Volunteer Examiners also known as VE’s. We now have our own exam team, the NIBBB exam team. The NIBBB is made up of 18 members, five of whom are volunteer examiners. We have two Lead Examiners, Doug Mulley KD9TPM, and Cary Willis KD9ITO, the rest of the NIBBB VE team are Jim Janiak KD9UQB, Ken Daniel K9YO and Michael Seedman AA6DY.

Our exams are conducted using the exam tools electronic testing program. Candidates take their exams on laptops or tablets that they provide. They get their results as soon as they click submit and three of our examiners will sign off on their exam. The results of the exam are uploaded to our national organization the ARRL the same day as the exam. There’s another step for newly licensed hams requiring an additional fee paid to the FCC.

Today we conducted our first examination for our youngest member Calvin (Cal) Knowles KD9WNU. Cal is 11 years old, a 6th grader at Central School in Glencoe, Illinois and a member of their Ham Club. Cal received his Technician license on February 11th 2023 and soon after joined the NIBBB along with his mom Janet. Janet KD9WVO received her Technician license on March 22nd 2023.

Today Cal upgraded his license to General and is now our youngest General, (he’s actually an Acting General until his callsign is updated on the FCC website which should happen Monday). I think Gordie is actually relieved that he no longer has the youngest General title. For those licensed hams around the world please visit Cal’s QRZ site at

Pictured below is Cal taking his exam. We don’t normally mention how well someone does on their exam, but we’re so proud of Cal having received a perfect score of 35 questions correct out of 35 questions. He took his time taking his exam and reviewed his exam before submitting, Well Done!

And the proud parents, mom, Janet Knowles KD9WVO and dad, Alex Knowles pictured below with Cal KD9WNU in the middle

The NIBBB is looking forward to more youth getting licensed in Amateur Radio. It’s easier than ever to learn with online programs like Ham Study is the same organization that gives us our exam tools testing program. Janet informed me that she bought Cal an ARRL General textbook before his exam that he got through in 2 days. Cal used Ham Study to prepare for the exam and the ARRL Handbook for a better understanding of Amateur Radio.

We’re still checking the weather for our next launch. Here in the Chicago area we’ve been experiencing wild weather patterns. We’ll have a nice sunny day but very windy or rain and snow. Today it was in the 80’s, sunny and windy in the morning and rain in the afternoon, Monday we’re exepecting snow. For launch weather we look for sunny or partly sunny days, very mild winds at ground level and mild wind gusts.

We have had very succesful launches at 5 degrees below zero. We can launch in very cold or hot days as long as the winds are mild at ground level. Once the balloon reaches maximum altitude it will follow the speed and direction of the Jetstream or weather pattern at that altitude. The balloon can travel at 2 miles per hour or 200 miles per hour, visiting the world at a snails pace or around the world in 10 days, it’s pretty amazing following our balloons in flight. At the ground we look for mild winds, with less of a chance of the tracker package hitting a tree or bouncing on the ground.

Stay tuned for Gordie and Kelsi’s Pico Balloon launch

Congratulations to our NIBBB team, to Cal Knowles on passing his General license, his family and the Central School Ham Club for their support.

73, Cary KD9ITO

February 14th, 2023, K9YO, Missing in Action, KD9UQB, 7th Circumnavigation.

Pico Balloon K9YO last reported on February 11th at 00:48 zulu near Hagemeister Island after 123 days and 18 hours of flight.

Hagemeister Island is an uninhabited island in the U.S. state of Alaska, located on the north shore of Bristol Bay at the entrance to Togiak Bay. The island is 16 miles long, has a land area of 115.9 square miles, and its highest point is 604 feet. It has no permanent population at the 2000 census. Wikipedia

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Trajectory showed Pico Balloon K9YO making the 7th circumnavigation on February 13th around 18:00 zulu, and then traveling north of the Day/Night Change Line.

Below is a screen shot from Ventusky from February 11th showing the possible wind speed and direction. The darker colors near Hagemeister are 63 mph, the green color further north is 24 mph.

Ventusky is interactive, you can change the date at the lower left hand corner and slide the time at the bottom. This is a nice site to play with, search a location, and change the parameters on the left. Clicking on any location on the map will open a screen with information for that location.

The links for Ventusky and NOAA are on our Locate and Track page for each balloon.

Two of the several programs we follow to track our balloons are NOAA and NOAA showed us going in a general eastward direction, lu7aa showed us going northeast. Pico Balloon K9YO on lu7aa

lu7aa shows a projected location using Ventusky. Projection seen below for February 15th 2023, 03:58 zulu, Grid DQ14er, 4 days and 3 hours from our last official report.

For now we are calling Pico Balloon K9YO Missing in Action.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched from Neumayer Station III in Antarctica on November 24th 2022, completing the 7th Circumnavigation, on February 14th 2023 at 18:12 zulu at Grid ID52vd.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB last reported flying at an altitude of 11,560 meters, 37,928 feet, completing the 7th time around the world in 82 days and 12 hours of flight.

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Model shows Pico Balloon KD9UQB heading north also by Ventusky for February 14th 18:00 zulu

We update the NOAA Hysplit Model and Ventusky every day our balloons report. The WSPR Spot Database is updated automatically everytime our balloons receive a report.

Though you may not be seeing regular posts here, we update our Locate and Track page daily when our balloons are reporting. The WSPR Spot Database is updated automatically everytime our balloons receive a report. Pico Balloon K9YO and Pico Balloon KD9UQB have their own WSPR Spot Database link on our site and the easiest way to see when our balloons report. The WSPR Spot Database shows the reporting station and the distance to our balloon in Km and miles.

Thank you for following the NIBBB. 73, Cary KD9ITO

March 4th 2023; We’re Back, with updates

We have a few more followers to the NIBBB. We met this morning and decided it was time to bring back our site. We will be updating our website with posts from members of our group, so stay tuned.

We want everyone to know we discuss Pico Balloons here. We share what we know so others can do what we do. We’re licensed as Amateur Radio Operators by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and follow the FAA regulations relating to balloons.

We welcome your comments, however, we may choose not to accept your comments or delete them. We are taught as Amateur Radio Operators that a 5 year old could be listening, so please be civil.

We believe Pico Balloon K9YO is now lost, and we’re ok with that. Pico Balloon K9YO was launched on October 10th 2022, having flown 123 days and 7 circumnavigations around the world.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB reported March 4th, 2023, at Grid DH05ld, at 02:02 zulu, just after 8pm our local time on March 3rd 2023, at an altitude of 38,585 feet. Pico Balloon KD9UQB had been traveling in a circle over the South Pacific Ocean east of Peru, South America

Pico Balloon KD9UQB, March 4th 02:02 zulu, Grid DH05ld, altitude 38,585 feet

While we were at our breakfast meeting on March 4th, Pico Balloon KD9UQB reported at Grid CG86tt, 14:52 zulu, just after 9am our time at an altitude of 6,431 feet. At 9:22 am our time, Pico Balloon KD9UQB was at an altitude of 2,822 feet. The WSPR Spot Database shows Pico Balloon KD9UQB losing altitude.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched on November 24th 2022 from Neumayer Station III, Antarctica as part of a special project. Pico Balloon KD9UQB last reported on March 4th, 2023 at Grid CG86ts at 15:12 zulu having flown for 100 days, 9 hours and 12 minutes, and having completed 7 circumnavigations around the world.

Flight of KD9UQB launched November 24th 2022, to March 4th 2023, 100 days, 9 hours and 12 minutes

We’d like to thank the new followers of NIBBB and those that have asked to financially support our group. We are a very small group of 18 members, our youngest is 11 years old. We rely on the expertise and team approach of our group, and all our members assist in making our launches a success. We thank you for your offer. For very little money, we get so much enjoyment, and are not accepting donations at this time.

For those that are interested in building and flying Pico Balloons, the 1st step is getting a license in Amateur Radio. I recommend this site which provides free learning (Study Mode) and practice tests. You can find an exam session remote by zoom or in person at “Find a Session” It takes about 10 hours of study time to pass the Technician license, a little more to get a perfect score. The real learning takes place after you get a license, we call this a license to learn. There are 3 classes of licenses; Technician, General and Amateur Extra. Our youngest General is 12 years old.

Once licensed, we urge you to join a Ham Club in your area, volunteer and get involved.

We end our messages with “73” which means, Best Wishes.

73, Cary KD9ITO

A statement from the NIBBB on current events

We at the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade are excited to see the recent interest in our hobby. The goal of our group is to share factual and technically correct information about pico balloons and the flights of those that we launch. Our desire is to continue pursuing that goal in the midst of all this.

There has been particular interest in one of our pico balloons, one that transmits call sign K9YO. As noted on our “Locate and Track” page and blog, the last transmission from that balloon received and reported to the WSPR system was on February 11, 2023, and indicated that balloon was near Hagemeister Island, off the southwest corner of Alaska. Since we have not found a transmission from that balloon since that time, we have declared it “Missing In Action”, as we have with previous flights. At that time, K9YO had circumnavigated the globe 6 times and was nearing the completion of a 7th lap. Unfortunately, that’s where the factual information on its location ends.

At that time and as we often do, we used NOAA’s HYSPLIT model to predict where the balloon may go from there. (The graphical output of that model can also be seen on the “Locate and Track”.) It’s important to note that this is a model, the output of which is dependent on the quality of the inputs we provide and predicted weather information. There are plenty of instances in our own experience where the model inaccurately predicted the path. Therefore, using that model output as a sole means of asserting the balloon’s position at a point in time is not supported.

Additionally, it is not unusual for significant periods of time to elapse between received transmissions. This is due to a variety of factors. At the latitude of K9YO’s flight, available sunlight to illuminate the solar panels is a big one. To account for this factor, we’ve experimented with a variety of solar panel configurations. Since it was launched on October 10, 2022, there have been several periods, one as long as 30 days, in which we did not receive a transmission from pico balloon K9YO.

As has been widely reported, no part of the object shot down by the US Air Force jet over the Yukon territory has been recovered. Until that happens and that object is confirmed to be an identifiable pico balloon, any assertions or claims that our balloon was involved in that incident are not supported by facts.

Please note that we construct and launch our balloons in accordance with applicable regulations, as described in this blog post. This includes compliance with FCC regulation regarding radio transmission from the balloons. The call signs used in these transmissions are assigned to General or Amateur Extra class licensees within our group who have passed the requisite exams and are registered with the FCC. (If you’re interested in amateur radio, we’d encourage you to check out for more information about the hobby and how to get licensed.)

We track all of our balloons daily. We have systems to notify us when new transmissions are received and reported. We regularly post to the blog on the progress of those flights, including our pico balloon currently in flight around Antarctica. We invite anyone to follow our blog to receive notification of those posts, including any updates on the flight of pico balloon K9YO.

At this time, no members of our group are giving or are planning to give interviews.

We have temporarily disabled comments on our site. The volume was overwhelming for our small group.

— The members of the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade

February 3rd 2022, More about Balloons and updates to our Website

I suppose this is a good time to talk more about balloons, our hobby of Pico Balloons and other balloons.

As licensed Amateur Radio operators, we follow regulations for launching a balloon. Here in the United States we follow the Code of Federal Regulations 14 CFR Part 101 This information is found our our Technical Page

Our Pico Balloons are 32 inch diameter with a 100 inch circumference, pre-stretched prior to launch and becomes full at highest cruising altitude (Between 32,000 feet and 50,000 feet depending on the package weight)

Our Trackers, solar panel, and antenna packages are lighter than a small bird. Our balloons are filled using a gram scale filled at less than a cubic foot of gas, enough to lift the package +- 8 grams of gas, and are exempt from 14 CFR 101

Below are excerpts from 14 CFR 101

This part prescribes rules governing the operation in the United States, of the following:

  • (1) Except as provided for in § 101.7, any balloon that is moored to the surface of the earth or an object thereon and that has a diameter of more than 6 feet or a gas capacity of more than 115 cubic feet.
  • (2) Except as provided for in § 101.7, any kite that weighs more than 5 pounds and is intended to be flown at the end of a rope or cable.

And Part 4

Except as provided for in § 101.7, any unmanned free balloon that –

  • (i) Carries a payload package that weighs more than four pounds and has a weight/size ratio of more than three ounces per square inch on any surface of the package, determined by dividing the total weight in ounces of the payload package by the area in square inches of its smallest surface;
  • (ii) Carries a payload package that weighs more than six pounds;
  • (iii) Carries a payload, of two or more packages, that weighs more than 12 pounds; or
  • (iv) Uses a rope or other device for suspension of the payload that requires an impact force of more than 50 pounds to separate the suspended payload from the balloon.

§ 101.17 Lighting and marking requirements.

(a) No person may operate a moored balloon or kite, between sunset and sunrise unless the balloon or kite, and its mooring lines, are lighted so as to give a visual warning equal to that required for obstructions to air navigation in the FAA publication “Obstruction Marking and Lighting”.

(b) No person may operate a moored balloon or kite between sunrise and sunset unless its mooring lines have colored pennants or streamers attached at not more than 50 foot intervals beginning at 150 feet above the surface of the earth and visible for at least one mile.

(Sec. 6(c), Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655(c)))

[Doc. No. 1580, 28 FR 6722, June 29, 1963, as amended by Amdt. 101-4, 39 FR 22252, June 21, 1974]

§ 101.19 Rapid deflation device.

No person may operate a moored balloon unless it has a device that will automatically and rapidly deflate the balloon if it escapes from its moorings. If the device does not function properly, the operator shall immediately notify the nearest ATC facility of the location and time of the escape and the estimated flight path of the balloon.

I’ve previously wrote about our Team Member, John Walsh, W9BLN who is a member of the Adler Planetarium Far Horizons Project. John volunteers with the GoNet Project that monitors Light Pollution in the Chicago area. They launch weather balloons that get as big as a house at maximum altitude. These balloons carry a 10 lb payload with cameras and other equipment costing thousands of dollars. These High Altitude Balloons with expensive payloads must be recovered. Far Horizons has a launch committee and a recovery committee. I’ve followed a past flight on APRS that usually lasts 5 hours. The Far Horizons group flys a flight plan with the FAA.

The Code of Federal Regulations is a good read, and I hope you follow our link above.

On our Locate and Track page we have several links to follow the worldwide Amateur Radio Pico Balloons in flight that are registered through APRS. One of the links is Amateur Sondehub

From Amateur Sondehub January 31st 2023 showing K9YO and KD9UQB with the group

We are a small group of Pico Balloon enthusiasts.

Sondehub also tracks other balloons flying around the world at

These are very crowded skies.

Clicking on the Sondehub links above and scrolling out will show all the registered balloons flying around the world.

New from the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade

From the start of our program in June of 2021, besides having fun, our goal was to teach others how to build and launch Pico Balloons. This is a continued work in progress.

Our Team Member, Jim Janiak, KD9UQB has designed and started to teach our team members how to build our solar panel packages. Jim has updated our website on the solar panel builds.

When you visit our main page you’ll read about the introduction to our program and our members. The heading on each page show the links for more information.

Two recently added links are information on how to build our Low Sun Angle – High Power solar array with Bill of Materials and the Standard Array with Bill of Materials. The Low Sun Angle High Power array was designed and built by Jim for the Antarctica launch on November 24th 2022, now on the 71st day of flight and getting ready for the 6th circumnavigation.

Our Pico Balloon K9YO after missing in action for 30 days, made the 6th circumnaviation on January 31st 2023, and is expected over Finland around February 4th.

For updated information on our balloons in flight, please visit our Locate and Track page. For posts starting with the most recent please visit our Blog page.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions. I can be reached through my QRZ page or the Contact Us link on our website.

73, Cary KD9ITO

January 27th 2023, Pico Balloon K9YO, Returns

Pico Balloon K9YO was missing in action after last reporting December 26th, 2023 after the 5th Circumnavigation and 76 days and 23 hours of flight. We were hoping for the best for a safe return.

On January 26th 2023 K9YO came back and reported at Grid ON25LL over Mongolia at 03:08 zulu.

It was Ken Daniel, K9YO that alerted our team that Pico Balloon K9YO reported just passing Japan on January 27th 2023 and asleep at Grid QN74LL at 04:08 zulu.

We did an 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Trajectory seeing a move over the North Pacific Ocean towards Alaska, but waiting for today’s report to confirm.

After 109 days and 5 hours Pico Balloon K9YO has reported on January 27th at Grid AO01LL at 22:38 Zulu flying at an altitude of 12,000 meters

Pico Balloon K9YO reporting Grid AO01LL January 27th 2023 now flying for 109 Days and 5 hours

The 84 hours NOAA Hysplit Trajectory is showing Pico Balloon K9YO heading north into darkness and over Canada preparing for another circumnavigation around January 31st, 2023

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon K9YO and Pico Balloon KD9UQB with the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit as seen above, Ventusky for windspeed and direction, and APRS for the world view for both our balloons. We’ll continue to follow these balloons and will update the Locate and Track page.

Also, our Technical Team has updated our website with information on how to build our solar panel packages. These pages are still a work in progress, please visit

The Low Sun-High Power solar panel is being used on our Pico Balloon KD9UQB for Antarctica with build pictures coming soon, please visit Power Solar Panels

Welcome back to our Pico Balloon K9YO now reporting on January 28th 2023, at Grid AO12bv, 00:20 zulu.

73, Cary KD9ITO

January 26th 2023, Pico Balloon KD9UQB, Fifth Circumnavigation, 05:34 Zulu, Grid IE75ri

Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched on November 24th 2022 from Neumayer Station III, Antartica

The cyclinder solar panel array, Low Sun Angle-High Power using a flexible film for the panels was designed by Jim Janiak, KD9UQB specifically for this launch.

Low Sun Angle-High Power Solar Panel Array

On January 26th, 2023, at 05:34 zulu, Pico Balloon KD9UQB, Circumnavigated the World a 5th time in 62 days and 23 hours, reaching Grid IE75ri at an altitude of 11,240 meters, 36,878 feet.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB, completed the 5th Circumnavigation on January 26th 2023 at Grid IE75ri, altitude 36,878 feet

We are predicting by using the 84 hour NOAA Hyplit Trajectory, that Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be south of Tasmania around January 29th 2023.

Best Guess, January 29th 2023, Grid QE33dw, 18:00 zulu

Our Locate and Track Page has been updated for the 84 hour NOAA Trajectory, Sondehub for Float, Ventusky for wind speed and direction and APRS for location on the world map.

In addition, our Technical Team has provided two new Headers to our website with information on how to build our solar panels.

  1. Power Solar Panels, showing the build of the Low Sun Angle- High Power Solar Panel used in this Antarctica Launch
  2. The Standard Solar Array with Instructions and Bill of Materials.

Please feel free to contact me at the link above “Contact US” clicking on the link will forward to my email. Questions and Comments are welcome.

73, Cary KD9ITO

January 16th 2023, KD9UQB, 4th Circumnavigation

Pico Balloon KD9UQB was launched from Neumayer Station III, Grid IB59UI, Antarctica, on November 24th 2022. After 53 days and 1 hour of flight, Pico Balloon KD9UQB made its 4th Circumnavigation around the world.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB had reached Grid ID65LE at 07:32 UTC flying at an altitude of 10,840 meters, 35,566 feet, completing the 4th Circumnavigation around the world.

With several more hours of sunlight and flying north over warmer temperatures. Pico Balloon KD9UQB has been reaching altitudes of 11,100 meters.

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Trajectory model and Ventusky shows Pico Balloon KD9UQB traveling in a faster Jetstream arriving south of New Zealand around January 20th 2023.

NOAA Hysplit Model for 84 hours
“Best Guess” Pico Balloon KD9UQB around January 20th 2023, Grid RC54HJ

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB showing the 84 hour NOAA Trajectory, Ventusky for windspeed and direction, and APRS for current location on the world map. The WSPR Spot Database updates automatically. We are seeing Radio Station KFS reporting at 09:22 UTC from Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco California, 15,137 Km or 9,406 miles from our balloon.

Also on our Locate and Track page is the Sondehub link showing all Pico Balloons in flight around the world. Below is from Sondehub showing the past 3 day path and forward projected path based on different altitudes.

Sondehub Float showing past 3 day path and forward projection of Pico Balloon KD9UQB

Congratulations to the NIBBB Team, and many thanks to our followers.

73, Cary KD9ITO

January 14th 2023, KD9UQB, Falkland Islands

How time flies when you’re having fun. Pico Balloon KD9UQB has moved a little north enjoying more scenery. Pico Balloon KD9UQB reported on January 14th, 20:04 UTC at Grid GD08EN, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic archipelago. KD9UQB is now enjoying an altitude of 10,900 meters, 35,752 feet and flight time of 51 days and 13 hours.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB at Grid GD08EN, altitude 35,752 feet

We’re expecting Pico Balloon KD9UQB to circumnavigate the world a 4th time around January 16th 2023, at 15:00 UTC.

The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model shows Pico Balloon KD9UQB continuing around Antarctica passing Heard Island and McDonald Islands around January 18th 2023 at 06:00 UTC near Grid ND38tt

Best Guess Pico Balloon KD9UQB, January 18th 2023, Grid ND38tt

Our Locate and Track page is updated at least once a day for the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model showing the projected path at altitude. The Ventusky link shows the wind speed and direction, and APRS for current location on the world map. The Sondehub link shows all Pico Balloons in flight around the world. The WSPR Spot Database updates automatically with every 1st packet received, showing among other data, the reporting station and their distance to our balloon.

The WSPR Spot Database is showing that on January 14th 2023 at 11:52 UTC, Seto, JA5NVN received our signal at a distance of 17,201 Km or 10,688 miles. Thank you Seto for finding our balloon.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying with a low sun-high power solar panel package operating on 20mW, or .02 watts. The actual solar panel and tracker used for this flight is shown on our Locate and Track page in the Pico Balloon KD9UQB section.

73, Cary KD9ITO