About

I’ve been avoiding social media for long enough. Now it seems to be about time to finally organize my stuff, pictures, electronic diagrams, layouts, mistakes, setbacks and of course success stories in a blog format. This blog will contain everything Ham Radio, Electronic, Linux, Balloon and Buoy related that I’ll come up with. Thinking out of the box is not excluded.

One thought on “About

  1. Great blog, but I don’t see a “subscribe” button so I assume that it will be necessary to check back regularly. Between 1966 and 1969 my friend, Jack, (WA0QZK now, WN0QZK then) and I (then WN0SSG) released balloons from the SE corner of Kansas with a return post card included, wrapped in Saran Wrap for weather protection. We got replies from up to 400 miles, although most were lost. Most only traveled around 100 miles but the interest that we generated from the finders was very satisfying. One person even called us from central Arkansas, spending far more for the long distance call than we invested in several balloons! (Long distance was very expensive back then.) We purchased “heavy duty garment bags” from a local dry cleaner shop. The bags were used to deliver curtains and wedding dresses, etc, to customers and I don’t know if they still use them. We would gather and seal one end with a rubber band, then blow them up with our breath to make sure they were airtight. We then gathered and secured the loose end with a rubber band while including a plastic straw for gas filling. We then “liberated” a gas range from the natural gas line and filled the balloons with gas using a rubber hose and the above mentioned straw. We then turned off the gas, removed the straw and allowed the rubber band to seal the balloon. We installed the post card of course before final filling. I don’t know the value of natural gas as a lifting agent compared to helium, acetylene or other choices, but it worked for us! I realize now that our main mistake was filling the balloon as full as possible, not leaving any room for expansion.
    Of course we were not worried about ultraviolet degradation either! Looking back, I think our approximately 15% return rate was fantastic, especially in open farm and ranch country with no form of tracking. Eventually the dry cleaning shop questioned our frequent five cent purchases and we branched out to surrounding towns to purchase our air frames. Eventually we decided we would have to confess to what we were doing to the shopkeeper as it was a long bus ride to Coffeyville where we had a selection of dry cleaning shops. To our surprise, he then began giving us our bags free as long as we reported our results to him and showed him the returned post cards!

    73, Roy Crosier AC9DN

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