Picoballoon Launch 17: Lodi to Florida

SF-HAB's Central Valley Division launched a picoballoon from Lodi, California, on Thursday November 11th, 2021. The launch party was David WB6TOU and Skip N6NFB. The tracker electronics used this time was a ZachTek WSPR Pico transmitter. Two Chinese party balloons were used for lift.

ZachTek WSPR Pico transmitter front

ZachTek WSPR Pico transmitter back

The WSPR callsign for the balloon was N6NFB, and the APRS callsign was N6NFB-1.

Launch party

N6NFB-1 Flight Results

Unfortunately, the tracker electronics did not power up on launch day, November 11th. We thought all was lost, but it awoke the next day in Maidenhead grid square DL58, which is ~1640 km (~885 mi) southeast of the launch location. The balloon was at an altitude between 9,900 and 11,100 meters (~32.4k to ~36.4k feet). Only 11 WSPR packets were received by the network on the second day.

N6NFB-1 flight trajectory

In total, only 29 packets from this picoballoon were received by the WSPR network, indicating that something was wrong with the transmitter or antenna. This balloon transmitted for 3 days total.

The last packet received from this picoballoon on November 14th was in EL77, which is about 260 km (~160 mi) west of Tampa, Florida. This final day the balloon was floating around 9,900 meters (~32.4k feet) altitude.

Download all the WSPR packets here.