[aprssig] Weather Data - Hot Air Balloon - Broadcasting?

Jay Bareman Radio_Q at mchsi.com
Thu Oct 20 09:10:22 CDT 2005

I think one thing that has been missed in this discussion is the actual data
that Vic intends to send.  It is a bit of a misnomer when Vic said he wanted
to send weather data and have someone in a hot air balloon receive it and
how could he do that.  

But when he said 'weather data', immediately folks suggested using D7's etc
to decode the weather data.  Various discussions then ensued about
'broadcasting' and was such an action within the rules given the nature of
the intended recipients.

However, and this is where the problem is, the 'weather' data that Vic wants
to send is 'Winds Aloft', the wind speed and direction as a function of
altitude.  By releasing a precisely measured helium balloon and monitoring
its' position from the ground, data about the winds at various altitudes can
be obtained.  Vic has invented such a systems and it works well.  In fact,
in Albuquerque, hot air balloon pilots typically take off and fly a circle
back to the starting point in an attempt to pick the keys to a new car off
of a telephone pole that was located upwind from their launch point.  You
can only do that if you know data about the wind speed and directions at
various altitudes because to get back to the starting point, you obviously
have to fly upwind, something a hot air balloon can't do unless you control
your altitude to get into a wind going the other direction.  BTW, they give
away several cars a year in this contest!!

Vic was looking for some ideas on how to make a portable telemetry receiver
and a display or a printer for use in a balloon.  It would receive the data
from a device where he would manually or electronically enter the readings
from his theodolite.  Presently the readings from the theodolite are
displayed on a printer of the type that went with the older HP hand held
calculators.  If a pilot in the balloon could see the same kind of data that
he was used to seeing when he looked at a display before he took off, it
would be the preferable type of display.

It has been several years since I used one of the systems and Vic's
technology might have changed, but I think what Vic was really looking for
was some ideas on how he could implement such a data link system.  It was a
mistake of the forum to immediately think it was weather data like many
stations automatically transmit currently.  "Weather Data" is "weather data"
- right?

Perhaps some of the designers in the group may have some ideas on how to
address Vic's original request. Although it appears to me this has to be a
very custom system to get what Vic wants to display, maybe there are some
creative ideas which will pop up.

Finally, my sincerest apologies to Vic if I mis-represented your excellent
system and the tremendous software you have developed to assist in mapping
and navigational problems.  However, I saw the SIG going off the deep end on
a compliance issue instead of the technical solution you were looking for.

Jim  K5QQ

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