PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no GPS

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ZL1RS
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:51 pm

Saw the 08:25 and 08:33 transmissions here very weakly on the 150 degree Beverages while looking for PS-57 off the coast of Brazil. After changing to the 220 degree Bev the signal has increased to 'huge'. I'll get a decode on the next transmission ...
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:09 pm

... big ears got the following at 08:56 UTC on the 220 degree Beverage antenna ...

Image

It was also readable by ear with a '539' audio report ... there is no question that it is PS-56.

The last two sets of voltage telemetry were 4203 and 4211 indicating that the balloon has been in full sun for several hours. We'll keep an ear on the voltage and try to detect the sunset and get a rough idea of position.

73,
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:04 pm

There was a sudden voltage drop between the 10:39, 10:47 and 10:55 UTC transmissions indicating PS-56 lost the sun. Looking at the day/night terminator and considering the signal is quite strong here (and therefore probably not further than 20 degrees off the 220 degree peak heading of my Beverage), a location "south of VK3 or VK5" would be a reasonable guess.

(edit: correct UTC time)

73,
Last edited by ZL1RS on Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:15 am

The PS-56 'wake up' transmissions started at 17:48 UTC indicating a sun rise time of 16:45 UTC or a bit earlier. The signal is strong on the 220 degree Bev and a lot weaker on the 150 degree Bevs, so it must be greater than 200 degrees azimuth from this QTH.

Wild guess for the morning based on the sun rise terminator and azimuth is "well south of VK7, or east of there" ... like around 60S x 150E :J

73,
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by VK5EI » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:57 am

18:52 UTC signal audible with headphones.

73

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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:41 pm

The PS-56 signal is now fairly even on both the 220 degree Beverage and the 275 degree Beverage here. Comparing the differential on WSPR signals from VK, this would indicate PS-56 is somewhere on the line 260 degrees azimuth from this QTH ... mid-Tasman Sea somewhere.

:popcorn:

73,
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by VK4ALF » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:07 pm

CW loud and clear at 07.00 utc

My dipole is pointing SE and the strongest i have heard PS-56

Image
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:42 am

The NOAA trajectory prediction for the position established at the balloon sun set last night is:


Image


PS-56 'woke up' at about 18:23 UTC this morning and is strong on a Beverage pointed to 320 degrees which supports the above prediction.

73,
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by VK5EI » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:49 am

My ears still a bit sleepy I got a battery voltage of 3486 at 18:47 UTC signal audible.

73

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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:34 am

Comparison of PS-56 CW signal on Beverages pointing in two different directions ...

Image

top image from a Beverage pointed at 240 degrees
lower (stronger) image from Beverage pointed at 320 degrees

Voltage decoded at the time (19:26 UTC) was 3627.

73,
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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by VK5EI » Sat Jan 02, 2016 8:10 pm

So far I haven't seen any traces from PS-56 tonight, anyone else ?

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Re: PS-56 HF pico balloon tracking challenge - CW only, no G

Post by ZL1RS » Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:27 am

Nothing here yesterday at all Joe.

Last heard was around 08:50 UTC on 01 Jan when it "went to sleep".
Earlier that evening the voltage reading indicated sunset was 05:20 UTC
It was stronger on the Beverage to 130 degrees than the one to 090 degrees
... so, at a wild guess, possibly between 55S x 135W and 50S x 140W

73,
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