2888Re: [GPSL] 2006 ARHAB Contest summary
- Jan 1, 2007Joe:
That was a wacky flight, one for sure for the new guys. But it looks like Ralph's records are for 2006 only, not for all times. Ralph will probably post an updated explanation of his notes.
At 11:53 AM 1/1/2007, you wrote:
Hi Ralph and the rest,, Happy New Year!
I have a few questions and comments on the below E Mail.
Ralph Wallio, W0RPK wrote:
>Ref's comments below.
>117,127 16Dec06 ANSR-32
>113,074 07Jan06 VWS-3
>108,323 23May06 LaACES-04
>106,183 04Aug06 HABET L-98
> 96,596 22Apr06 Explorer Post 632 2006A
> 94,397 13May06 PRSGC-5
> Flight disqualified by 24-notice rule:
>118,011 22Apr06 WV-4
What does the 24-notice rule mean?
>Longest Great Circle Distance
>552.63 29Dec06 ANSR-33 (ES-OS ZP floater) 
>178.79 04Mar06 WB8ELK HiBall-8
>162.75 17Dec06 UTARC UX-9
>155.20 23Dec06 WB8ELK HiBall-10
And what does the below mean? 2-hour telemetry rule? And web page info rule?
> ANSR-33 limited from 775.31mi by 2-hour telemetry rule
> GPA SD flight disqualified by web page info rule
>400.24 07Mar06 Solar Tetroon SD-9 (Grosse Pointe Academy)
>Flight Time Launch-to-Landing
Ok, Please explain the disqualification's below of this class.
And This one we may have the record for. Yes it was before the days of
GPS's remember we are one of the way back in the beginning old-timers.
But there were many, MANY witnesses of the flight, many of you
old-timers may even remember it! for many reasons. he he he. ugh!
It was launched at sunrise on dec 6th,, what year I honestly don't
remember but it was precisely at 7 am,
The payload consisted of a in band and dual band 2 meter and 440
repeater, two meters and 440 inputs and 2 meter output.
And clock ossc beacons on EVERY band from 160 meters to 6 meters. so
this baby had a signal coming out from it on EVERY band from 160 to 2
each band had a full sized dipole, made from ribbon cable. so it was
two packages, the upper had the two and70cm receiver, (scanner) and it
fed the audio from the receiver along down the ribbon cable to the
transmitter box 130 feet below! This proved to be a mistake as we found
out later. so this whole flight train from top of balloon to end of the
lower dipole was close to 300 feet what a incredible thing to launch! i
was sure glad we had absolutely dead calm winds at launch time.
Launch was un eventful. and soon people from all across the country were
reporting the beacons. and making qso's through the repeater. This was
before GPS's so positioning was purely by beam headings and
triangulation. Launch site was from my home EN43xo
All progressed well this was also before the internet too, so the 40
meter net was up & running! we were getting reports from all over the
The rate of climb seemed right on nominal parameters by the reception
reports and the people gaining access to the repeaters. The chase teams
were in their usual waiting positions, somewhere down range near
Madison,WI of course. waiting for it to come down and go and get it.
Position reports were coming in from locals as well as stations out on
the fringes which of course were the most accurate. between all the
stations reporting in those early days I bet we weren't too far off of
the balloons location than we are now with the gps's. we just don't
have altitude data.
Anyway this thing suddenly kicks into over drive and starts zooming
past madison on a southeast heading. the chase crews take chase, and by
the time they reach the state line of Illinois the balloon was like out
pacing them by a factor of two, so they gave up the chase.
we got on the 40 meter net telling the people we have a runaway and to
start organizing chase teams downrange. which many came out of the
woodwork to give chase.
Ok we are thinking what's happening here. this thing should be on the
ground soon if not already, yet the signal is strong and steady, a old
time tell tale that the balloon is still inflated. it's now 11 am and
still very strong signals. and we are starting to get some weird
interference. were are hearing some voices in the background on the two
The two meter transmitter was locked on continuously, no cor board,
anyway, the background voices are faint but clear. and getting
stronger. what are they?
Actually it sounds like two different conversations in the background.
what in the world? They are getting stronger.
position reports have the balloon over northeast suburbs of chicago,
like 10 miles northwest of elgin. heading ESE.
we ask people on the repeater to hold the traffic so we can hear the
other voices and see if we can figure them out.
They are getting up to about 25% deviation now and are quite easy to hear.
WOW! I know what that is! It's both WGN and WBBM am 720 and 780,
both are HUGE signal transmitters in the northwest suburbs of chicago.
The LONG 130 foot un shielded audio cable between the receiver and mic
input of the transmitter was picking up the signals I'm guessing
somewhat like a old crystal radio set! Oh well live and learn,, next
time a rf link between the two or at least shielded cable!
Well at least we now knew the source of the mystery voices.
Well it's now Noon, and well past the expected flight time. We keep
notifying Chicago center about the flight and they say they still see
the reflector fairly well. so that's good.
conversations resume on the repeater. This is where we had an
incredible QSO, the balloon was Over southeast Chicago, and a Station
(who I do not recall or have a record of) but a station from Golden CO.
called in, we made a QSO,, I thought WOW must be some duct or
something that's over 900 miles from the balloon! thing is the best
was yet to happen! about 15 minutes goes by and then a station from
Virginia Beach VA. calls in! Holy Cow! over 700 miles away!
Now the best part was now the Colorado station calls back in and makes a
contact with the virginia Beach Station!!!!!! ok Direct from Golden
to Va Beach is 1596 MILES!!!! if you take the real path co to va via
the balloon that's 1643 MILES!!!!! How's that for a record!? Yes
there is no proof other than our memories, is there anyone else out
there that remembers these conversations please let us know.
Anyway the balloon continues ese ward. And by all the position reports
it is now crossing the IL and IN border. and continues on.
up here in EN43 we are still hearing it but it is getting weak, and hard
to hear we tell the 40 meter net to have someone take over for us out
there. Someone in Michigan volunteers. and we keep tabs on the thing
via the 40 meter net. The crazy think hugs the IN and MI border and
almost makes it to OH, then, yes this is December,, but it starts
It continues coming back, we start hearing it again from here and
gratefully tank the MI station for taking over. we keep making
contacts, and now WGN and WBBM start coming in again, and we expected
this to happen again cuz it was getting close to them again.
It's getting close to sundown, and position reports have it right over
Elgin IL. A buddy of mine Stu WB9UNX Lived near Elgin at the time, Went
outside to get a possible visual. And THERE IT was! almost directly
above his head, he is also an astronomer like myself and went and got
his telescope and tried to see it.
Via the scope he could see the balloon,, but even through it it was
still very small. he even took a picture of it through the scope. Then
suddenly it vanished!
And we saw the telltale signs of falling payload. all the flutter and
So the chase was on! We called Chicago center and told them it's on
it's way, and they said they still see it, and it's going to be close.
How close no one ever expected!
Various FOX hunt crews from the chicago area got into the hunt. this
runaway balloon was all the talk on 40 and from what I head on all the
repeaters in the Chicago area. Its falling in a almost due east path.
Many teams are in the waiting, finally up here in EN43 we loose signal
at 6:30PM,, for us that's a 11 and half hour flight, reports have it
landing about 20 minutes later so total flight duration 11 Hours 50
Minutes missing the 12 hour mark by 10 minutes.
The ground hunt was ON! problem was,, all of the triangulation reports
were placing the downed payload inside this HUGE fenced in area, with no
Where was it? YIKES! it was inside OHARE! the busiest airport at the
time in the country. We called Chicago Center and they said they saw it
come all the ay down, and also figured that is was on the grounds. they
made a call and had some security people meet one of the chase teams at
agate and let only one of them in to retrieve the thing. They found it
between two taxiways of American Airlines and Fed EX.
they got it, and brought the wayfarer home.
Like i said this was WAY before the internet , web pages, and GPS's,,
but does this qualify for any records?
And how many of you old timers remember this crazy flight?
never did find out why it took so long for it to pop! but what a cool
>8:24 29Dec06 ANSR-33 (ES-OS ZP floater) 
>3:58 23Dec06 WB8ELK HiBall-10
>3:04 04Mar06 WB8ELK HiBall-8
> ANSR-33 limited from 17:24 by 2-hour telemetry rule
> GPA SD flight disqualified by web page info rule
>12:27 07Mar06 Solar Tetroon SD-9 (Grosse Pointe Academy)
>Two-way QSO Distance
>-- No entries --
No proof other than memories, but if anyone else can also remember the
above story will that qualify for this incredible record?
Near Space Sciences KB9KHO
>TNX es 73 de Ralph Wallio, WØRPK
>Hubbert's Peak - The Mother of all Perfect Storms
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