May Meeting on 05/14/2024 at 7PM at First Christian Church, 306 College Street, Carrollton, GA.   More Info

WGARS August 2022 Balloon Launch

The West Georgia Amateur Radio Society launched a high altitude weather balloon on Saturday August the 6th. The launch was from the club shack at the VFW fairgrounds in Carrollton, Georgia. It turned out to be a beautiful day for such an activity. Clear skies and a nice breeze in the morning getting ready for a 10:15 a.m. launch.

The predicted track put together by Blake, N4BWR, had the balloon coming down somewhere off Hwy 431 in the Oxford/Anniston Alabama area. The payload on the balloon included APRS, a Crossband repeater, video camera, as well as a multitude of sensors (Outside Temperature, Ascent Rate, Descent Rate, etc) This was put together by Brian, WX4BK. (Insert Photo 2022 WGARS Weather Balloon Payload)

The balloon launching was definitely a group effort. Once in the air, we began tracking its ascent immediately on APRS. Assembling in the club shack with our resident meteorologist Bryant, WX4EVR was Richard, KN4FRP (who was actually the first to find the payload after landing), several of us watched the movement. (Insert photos "Balloon Ready to Go" and "Off into the wild blue yonder") Once the chase was on, a rather large group began to make their way down Interstate 20 at rates of speed which we don't discuss here.

Thankfully, the APRS transmitter stayed on the air and going strong until recovery. Joshua, KF4DVW, had assembed a mobile digipeater and I-Gate due to the lack of such stations in the area where the balloon was predicted to come down. This wonderful mobile I-Gate kept even those with just cell phones using APRS.FI up to date on the progress of W4FWD-11. (Insert photo -"Mission Control").

The payload came down in a residential area. Fortunately for us, the homeowner was as excited about it as we were. When we told here why all of these vehicles were crowding around her front yard she wanted a run-down on the balloon, ham radio, etc. We were very fortunate it came down in her yard. (Insert Photo - "Balloon Chase").

If you would like to see video footage of the launch and the recovery, they are both available at our facebook site\WGARS.


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Mon Apr 22 @ 8:00PM
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Mon May 06 @ 8:00PM
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Mon May 13 @ 8:00PM
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Mon May 20 @ 8:00PM
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