Preparations for the MSWE balloon launch on June 1st 2013

The South Texas Balloon Launch Team (BLT) In cooperation with the Brazos Valley Amateur Radio Club (BVARC) will launch a 300 g helium balloon from Pelican Island (near Galveston TX) as part of the Museum Ships Weekend (MSWE) Activities of USS Cavalla and USS Stewart. The Launch is planned for Saturday, June 1st. 2013 around 12:30 CDT local time (17:30 UTC)

There will be 2 payloads on the balloon:

1.) APRS Tracker (PecanPico3, 144.390 MHz, AFSK1200, 100 mW, callsign N5BPS-11)

2.) 70cm to 10m Linear Transverter
Callsign of the transverter CW beacon (28.6363 MHz) will be N5BPS.

N5BPS Transverter Band Plan:

Downlink [MHz] 28.545 28.595 28.636 28.695 28.745
Downlink Mode USB KK5W USB CW Beacon CW FM
Uplink [MHz] 433.550 433.500 433.400 433.350
Uplink Mode LSB KK5W LSB CW FM

Note that this is an inverting mode transverter. If you transmit LSB on the 70cm band it will turn it to USB on the 10m output. If you increase the input frequency on UHF by 10 kHz it will decrease your output signal by 10 kHz.

Also note that all output frequencies may drift by several kHz when the balloon gets into cold regions at altitude.

It will be possible to work this repeater on multiple frequencies for multiple users simultaneously. Make sure that you’ll hear your signal through the transverter before you call CQ. The BVARC ground station KK5W will be using 433.500 LSB up, 28.595 USB down. So if you want to work the 2 ships through the balloon, you’ll need to transmit at 433.500 MHz LSB. Other SSB stations should use free frequencies around 433.550/28.545. The CW activity should be centered around 433.400/28.695 MHz. For Hams that don’t have 70cm SSB equipment we have a single FM channel at 433.350/28.745 MHz narrow band FM. Please use only this exact channel for FM so that we don’t interfere with other 10m operations.

The test run at Pappas Bar BQ worked great today so we hope for best launch conditions on Saturday. Here is the current weather forecast:


Surface Winds are hopefully not too bad:


And this is the preliminary flight prediction for Saturday:


Wish us luck that we don’t get wet feet!


One thought on “Preparations for the MSWE balloon launch on June 1st 2013

  1. Pingback: BLT33.3 Launch From Pelican Island | KT5TK

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