December 6th 2022, K9YO, 4th Circumnavigation and KD9UQB

Pico Balloon K9YO has circumnavigated the world a 4th time. Pico Balloon K9YO reported at 16:20 UTC at Grid FO01 near Waskaganish, Quebec, Canada flying at an altitude of 12,240 meters, 40,147 feet. Pico Balloon K9YO was launched on October 10th 2022 from Libertyville, Illinois a northern suburb of Chicago, making the 4th circumnavigation in 57 days.

Pico Balloon K9YO 4th Circumnavigation December 6th 2022, 16:20 UTC Waskaganish, Quebec, Canada

Pico Balloon K9YO woke to report the 4th circumnavigation and went back to sleep. K9YO will be traveling northwest over the Arctic Ocean around December 10th.

K9YO Best Guess December 10th 2022

Looking at Ventusky for the Jetstream from December 10th forward, it’s hard to predict where or when Pico Balloon K9YO will next report. Here’s the link for Ventusky December 10th K9YO at our expected location as per NOAA.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be traveling around Antarctica, for at least the next 84 hours as per NOAA, looking closer at the 2nd circumnavigation.

Below as of 22:22 UTC, Grid OC23bx, flying at an altitude of 10,540 meters, 34,571 feet.

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloons K9YO and KD9UQB. The WSPR Spot Databases automatically update for all our balloons on our Locate and Track page. Pico Balloon KD9UQB is also flying as W5KUB-115 and can be tracked at this link Sondehub W5KUB

Congratulations to the NIBBB Team for another circumnavigation. The next update will be around December 10th when KD9UQB will be looking for the 2nd circumnavigation.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 5th 2022, K9YO & KD9UQB

AA6DY is still MIA, but showing up on our APRS link in case it decides to come back. Pico Balloon K9YO reported today as expected near our prediction, at 19:30 UTC and just 90 minutes late. Pico Balloon KD9UQB has been very busy today first waking at 01:52 UTC, going to sleep at 16:52 UTC and waking at 21:52 UTC all on December 5th. Now that KD9UQB is south of the Day/Night Change Line, sleepy time is over.

Pico Balloon K9YO woke at 19:30 UTC at Grid DO00xj northeast of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, flying at an altitude of 12,420 meters, 40,738 feet.

K9YO at Grid DO00xj, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada altitude 40,738 feet

Based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, K9YO will circumnavigate the world a 4th time tomorrow, December 6th around 15:00 UTC. The NOAA model also shows that K9YO will travel thru Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota before heading northeast towards Ontario, Cananda for the 4th Circumnavigation.

Best Guess for K9YO around December 6th 2022 15:00 UTC

Below is the 84 hours NOAA Hysplit model for Pico Balloon K9YO which shows the Jetstream traveling north of the Day/Night Change Line into darkness. I’ll provide another 84 hour model after tomorrow.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB has been very active today. Waking at 01:52 UTC at Grid KD96FB, going to sleep at 16:54 UTC at Grid LC97NV and waking back up at 21:54 UTC at Grid MC24CV. Pictured below is Pico Balloon KD9UQB at Grid MC24SE at 23:32 UTC and still flying. There appears to be a new altitude record for KD9UQB now reaching 10,900 meters, 35,752 feet.

KD9UQB at Grid MC24CE altitude 35,752 feet

The easiest way to keep track of KD9UQB is by Sondehub at this link W5KUB and click W5KUB-115 or scroll out to see all the W5KUB balloons. To track all the Pico Balloons around the world please go to our Locate and Track page and click SondeHub Balloon Tracker at the top of our page.

Below is a picture from the APRS link on our Locate and Track page showing our three balloons with the newest locations of K9YO and KD9UQB with AA6DY at the last known location November 24th

December 5th 2022 K9YO over Canada, AA6DY MIA over the Equator and KD9UQB over Antarctica

Our Locate and Track page is now updated for our active balloons with the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, Ventusky for wind speed and direction, APRS and Sondehub for tracking all Pico Balloons flying around the world. You can also find the current Grid for our balloons by clicking on WSPR Spot Database for each balloon on our Locate and Track page.

The other nice part of the WSPR Spot Database link is it shows how far the reporting station is from our balloon at the time of the report. On December 5th at 01:52 UTC, Station KFS in Northern California reported 17,814 Km or 11,069 miles from our balloon, that’s pretty amazing.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 4th 2022, K9YO and KD9UQB

We believe Pico Balloon K9YO is traveling north of the Day/Night Change Line and can only predict the current location.

We believe that Pico Balloon K9YO is north of Alaska over the Beaufort Sea at around 18:00 UTC

We’re predicting that Pico Balloon K9YO will be waking on December 5th around 18:00 UTC just over Canada, near the State of Washington.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB also flying as W5KUB-115, was launched on November 24th 2022, from Neumayer Station III Antactica. KD9UQB made the First Circumnavigation on December 4th around 05:00 UTC at Grid IC78NM over the Southern Ocean. Pico Balloon KD9UQB traveled the world in 9 days and 23 hours, flying at an altitude of 10,780 meters, 35,358 feet.

Below is the map of the first circumnavigation of Pico Balloon KD9UQB, also flying as W5KUB-115.

Below is the 84 hours NOAA Hysplit model from December 4th thru December 8th 2022.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB just passed the Day/Night Change line and had gone to sleep around 18:00 UTC. As our balloon starts traveling closer to the Antarctica coast, we expect longer flights and daylight hours.

The NIBBB now has 3 balloons that have circumnavigated the world.

Any updates to our Pico Balloons will first appear on our Locate and Track page. The 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, Ventusky for wind speed and direction, APRS and Sondehub has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB. We hope to hear from Pico Balloon K9YO tomorrow, and are still checking for signs from Pico Balloon AA6DY, last heard on November 24th.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 3rd 2022, AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB

Pico Balloon AA6DY is still MIA, Pico Balloon K9YO has moved north of the Day/Night Change Line and not able to report.

The general update of our balloons is that AA6DY last reported on November 24th, just west of West Africa. We believe that AA6DY is over Central Africa near the Equator and not able to report. K9YO last reported yesterday December 2nd and is expected to start transmitting again around December 5th over Canada. Around the time K9YO reports we should be nearing the 4th circumnavigation. Pico Balloon KD9UQB has left Chile, South America, headed back towards Antarctica, and the 1st circumnavigation sometime tomorrow.

Below is from our Locate and Track page showing our 3 balloons on one page.

K9YO heading North, AA6DY wating to report and KD9UQB ready for the 1st circumnavigation

Below is from Sondehub showing the projected “Float” for the direction of Pico Balloon K9YO. The different colors represent altitudes from 11,000 meters to 13,000 meters close to our actual altitude. The Float model is taken from the NOAA Model, providing an estimate beyond 84 hours.

K9YO projected Float from Sonehub

Pico Balloon KD9UQB started transmitting on December 3rd at 07:32 UTC at Grid GD02TP and went to sleep on December 3rd at 22:12 UTC at Grid HC96hi traveling at an altitude of 10,720 meters, 35,162 feet.

Because of the cylinder solar panel that Jim KD9UQB designed, the tracker continued to transmit at the Day/Night Change Line or sun’s elevation at 2.1 Degrees. The highest sun’s elevation reached today while transmitting was 51.4 degrees. Pico Balloon KD9UQB received transmissions for 16 hours today. We expect as we travel further south, and travel around Antarctica, the transmissions will continue 24 hours a day.

Below is near the last report at the Day/Night Change Line. The RED map point at the bottom is Neumayer Station III where KD9UQB was launched on November 24th 2022.

Below is the NOAA Hysplit Model showing the projected path of KD9UQB from December 4th thru December 7th.

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB for 84 hour NOAA Hysplit Model, Ventusky for wind speed and direction, Sondehub for tracking all Pico Balloons and APRS for tracking all our balloons.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 2nd 2022, AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB

Pico Balloon AA6DY is still Missing in Action, future posts will be about K9YO and KD9UQB until we hear from our missing balloon.

I have to start with a correction. Pico Balloon K9YO is preparing to make the 4th Circumnavigation. I heard from Ken Daniel, K9YO this morning who was predicting Pico Balloon K9YO would be entering what he referred to as “a day of the midnight sun” and the balloon may not be heard for a day or two. I actually have more information on that since Pico Balloon K9YO has reported.

Pico Balloon K9YO reported at 23:10 UTC at Grid QN83OT, east of Nemuro, Japan over the North Pacific Ocean. K9YO reported at an altitude of 12,240 meters, 40,147 feet.

K9YO at Grid QN83OT, altitude 40,147 feet

Below is the general area where K9YO reported. The yellow line is called the Day/Night Change Line.

Below is the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model. The good news is we’re expecting our 4th circumnavigation around December 6th, the not so good news, it looks like we’ll be flying in the dark and not reporting till around December 5th. Pico Balloon K9YO is still reporting as I’m writing this post.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB is also still reporting near Punta Arenas, Chile, South America flying at an altitdue of 10,420 meters, 34,178 feet

KD9UQB near Grid FD26VC , altitude 34,178 feet
KD9UQB near Puntas Arenas, Chile

Below is from Sondehub, W5KUB-115 clicking on “Plots” shows the flight of KD9UQB from the launch on November 24th thru December 2nd 2022 To see the complete flight you would need to change the reporting to 2 weeks.

We’re expecting Pico Balloon KD9UQB to continue around Antarctica

Our Locate and Track page is updated for Pico Balloons K9YO and KD9UQB, 84 hours NOAA Hysplit model, Ventusky for wind speed and direction, Sondehub for tracking all Pico Balloons around the world and APRS. The easiest way to track KD9UQB is at Pico Balloons W5KUB Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying as W5KUB-115. Our Locate and Track page also shows the circumnavigations of all our balloons.

To become a follower of the Northern Illinois Bottlecap Balloon Brigade to receive emails of posts when published and comment on our posts please click on the WordPress link on our website https://nibbb.org/ you will be instructed to create a username and password. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions by clicking here Contact Us or through QRZ.

73, Cary KD9ITO

December 1st 2022, AA6DY, K9YO & KD9UQB

We’re still calling AA6DY MIA, (Missing in Action) and hoping for a report

Pico Balloon K9YO reported at 04:40 UTC at Grid MN83RM near Almatay, Kazakhstan flying at an altitude of 12,540 meters 41,131 feet.

K9YO at Grid MN83RM at 41,131 feet

I suppose this happens when I’m late writing a post, just need to update the data.

Below was the start of my report starting a couple of hours ago.

Pico Balloon K9YO will be moving east over China and possibly North Korea on the way over the Atlantic Ocean towards Canada. If we fly over North Korea during daylight hours, our transmitter will not transmit data. We’re able to see the path of our balloons using the NOAA Hysplit model for 84 hours. This information along with Ventusky for seeing the windspeed at altitude.

Now to the new report.

Pico Balloon K9YO is reporting again on December 2nd at 03:30 UTC at Grid OM79XM, near Beijing, China, Flying at an altitude of 12,420 meters, 40,738 feet

K9YO Grid OM79XM altitude 40,738 feet

It looks like the Pico transmitter will be turning off over North Korea. The transmitter will start sending data once the balloon passes North Korea, and we’re still flying in daylight hours.

Pico Balloon K9YO is on a fast track heading east. Our Prediction based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, is that K9YO will be over Canada near Montana around December 5th 2022, and nearing the 4th circumnavigation.

Best Gues of K9YO around December 5th 2022

Our Locate and Track page is partially updated. Ventusky is from December 1st and the APRS is not yet updating for K9YO. The NOAA Hysplit model is current. Clicking on Ventusky and hovering your mouse over that area will show the widspeed. On the lower left hand corner of the page you can change the date, and at the bottom scroll through the time. By clicking on our link will show the windspeed at the altitude the balloon is currently flying which can be seen on the left hand side. By changing the date and time and zooming out will show the balloons direction for up to two weeks in advance. This is just a model and can change. We can accurately predict the direction using NOAA up to 84 hours ahead.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB launched on November 24th from Antarctica was transmitting continously from November 28th till December 2nd 02:42 UTC when the balloon moved north into the sunset towards Argentina.

KD9UQB at Grid DD74XE

Based on the 84 hour NOAA Hysplit model, it looks like Pico Balloon KD9UQB will be skirting the south tip of Argentina and then continuing to circle the Antarctica. Locate and Track

We’ll update APRS soon. You can follow all our balloons on this link APRS for AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB the Pico Balloon KD9UQB data changes so quickly, the best way to track is on Sondehub by clicking here W5KUB Pico Balloons Pico Balloon KD9UQB is flying as W5KUB-115.

73, Cary KD9ITO

November 30th 2022, AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB

Patience is a virtue, and the NIBBB has good news to report.

First, Pico Balloon KD9UQB also flying as W5KUB-115 is still happy flying over Antarctica. The easiest way to track KD9UQB and all the current W5KUB Pico Balloons is at this link W5KUB Pico Balloons

Below is the track from Sondehub for Pico Balloon KD9UQB launched on November 24th thru November 30th 2022. We were predicitng that KD9UQB will be circumnavigating around December 3rd, updates on our Locate and Track page. KD9UQB is reporting flying at an altitdue of 10,600 meters, 34,768 feet.

Jim Janiak, KD9UQB had built a solar panel especially for this flight. We have been using another solar panel also designed by Jim, a horizontal package with 7 polycystalline solar panels, where we receive signals starting about an hour after sunrise, or when the sun is around 26 degrees.

This new panel using 3 plastic film panels has been receiving a signal as low as 1.8 degrees and as high as 57.7 degrees. This wide range has allowed KD9UQB to receive signals over a longer period of time. Actually, the last continuous reporting was from November 28th thru December 1st at 00:54 UTC.

KD9UQB Solar Panel Package

We heard today from Tom Medlin, W5KUB that the area around Somalia, East Africa, where Pico Balloon AA6DY was predicted to be flying has been experiencing storms with cloud tops as high as 46,000 feet. That’s right around the altitude of our balloon. This coupled with not having Amateur Radio Stations that can hear our signal. We may be just above the clouds or in the storm, or no where near the storms, we’re in a wait and see mode.

We’re still calling Pico Balloon AA6DY MIA (Missing in Action)

Pico Balloon K9YO had come out from hiding and reported on November 30th 2022, southeast of our prediction. K9YO reported at 06:30 UTC at Grid LN58GU over Kazakhstan flying at an altitude of 12,540 meters, 41,131 feet.

K9YO at Grid LN58GU, 41,131 feet

We’re predicting that Pico Balloon K9YO will be near Alaska around December 3rd 2022. Nearing a 4th circumnavigation.

Best Guess, K9YO around December 3rd 2022

Below is the image from APRS showing K9YO over Kazakhstan, AA6DY at the last report and KD9UQB over Antarctica near a circumnavigation between South America and Africa. This link is active on our Locate and Track page as well as NOAA Hysplit and Ventusky for wind speed and direction.

Thanking everyone for your patience and helping us track our balloons.

73, Cary KD9ITO

November 29th 2022, AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB

Pico Balloon AA6DY and Pico Balloon K9YO are still Missing in Action. We still believe both balloons are flying but are in areas not received by Amateur Radio Stations.

Pico Balloon KD9UQB is alive and well flying over the Antarctica. We expect KD9UQB to circumnavigate in a few days. It’s a shorter trip around the world at the Antarctica, it also helps having a reporting station down there.

Our Locate and Track page has been updated for Pico Balloon KD9UQB, please scroll to the bottom of that page. There is a new link for Sondehub W5KUB which shows the 4 balloons flying. W5KUB-112 is now flying 171 days, W5KUB-113 is flying 54 days. W5KUB-114 and W5KUB-115 are the balloons launched from Antarctica. To follow these balloons on Sondehub please click here W5KUB To Follow the W5KUB launches on Tom Medlin’s website, please click here https://ham-tv.com/balloon/

From the Sondehub link you can track the projected “Float”, where the balloon is expected to go based on the NOAA Hysplit model as well as “Plots” for specific data about the balloon.

Below is from W5KUB-115 (KD9UQB) “Plots” which shows the path (Red Dashes) of Pico Balloon KD9UQB from the launch on November 24th through November 30th 02:00 UTC

On our Locate and Track Page has a NOAA Hysplit Model which shows KD9UQB circumnavigation in a few days. Below is our Best Guess for December 3rd 2022.

Best Guess December 3rd 2022

While we’re waiting for our other balloons to report, you may see a delay in reporting here. We encourage you to visit the links on this post for updates on Pico Balloon KD9UQB and also the APRS link for all our balloons at this link APRS for AA6DY, K9YO and W5KUB-115 (KD9UQB) which is also on our Locate and Track page

Any visitor to our website can become an NIBBB follower by scrolling on this page and clicking the WordPress link. You will be instructed to create a username and password. Once you’re a follower, you will receive emails of posts when published and allow you to comment on posts.

73, Cary KD9ITO

November 28th 2022, AA6DY, K9YO and KD9UQB

While we’re still following KD9UQB, over the Southern Ocean south of the Tasmanian Sea.

We expect in some areas of the world where our balloons may travel, we may not hear from them for days or even weeks, and then, they appear again.

Both Pico Balloon AA6DY and K9YO are Missing in Action, with an explanation.

AA6DY last reported on November 24th approaching West Africa. The NOAA Hysplit Model was showing AA6DY traveling across central Africa to Somalia on November 27th. Assuming that NOAA Trajectory was correct, I used that location and altitude and created another NOAA model for 84 hours which could explain why AA6DY still hasn’t been heard.

This is where AA6DY was expected by November 27th.

Below is the new NOAA Trajectory from November 27th thru December 1st

Which brings Pico Balloon AA6DY to just south of where we were, still off the coast of Somalia

Pico Balloon K9YO was last heard on Novmber 26th over Romania. Below was our Best Guess for Pico Balloon K9YO on Novmber 30th, usually a very quiet area for picking up signals.

As we wait to hear from our balloons, we’re still following KD9UQB on WSPR also tracking as W5KUB-115 on APRS and all our balloons together on APRS and our Locate and Track page with the new updated projected maps

We received an email from Hisami, 7L4IOU from Japan who was looking forward to picking up our Pico Balloon K9YO, WSPR signal approaching Japan. I hope this post helps you track our balloons. Thank you Hisami and all our followers around the world that help all our Pico Balloons find their way.

73, Cary KD9ITO

November 26th 2022, AA6DY, K9YO, & KD9UQB

Pico Balloon AA6DY still hasn’t reported yet, we’re expecting that it will report around Novmber 27th 2022 near Somalia, East Africa around Novmber 27th. Until then we’re calling Pico Balloon AA6DY Missing in Action. Pico Balloon AA6DY was flying close to the Equator at an altitude of around 47,000 feet.

We are still showing our 3 balloons on one page using APRS, though two have changed locations, it’s still nice to see them together.

KD9UQB is flying under the W5KUB-115 Balloon designation and KD9UQB under the APRS callsign and has been traveling mostly east, south of India towards south of Australia. KD9UQB which was lauched from Neumayer Station III in Antarctica is expected to travel the world staying near Antarctica.

Pico Balloon K9YO which is following the northern worldly travels, is reporting on November 26th at 07:50 UTC at Grid KN35HK near Bucharest, Romania at an altitude of 12,540 meters, 41,131 feet.

K9YO at Grid KN35HK at an altitude of 41,131 feet

Our “Best Guess” for K9YO around November 30th 2022, southeast of Moscow, Russia

K9YO Best Guess for Novmber 30th 2022

While we’re waiting for Pico Balloon AA6DY to come back from the missing. Our Locate and Track page has been updated for our other balloons for APRS, 84 NOAA Hysplit model, Ventusky for wind speed and direction and Sondehub for tracking other Pico Balloons around the world.