This project looks to increase awareness of ham radio to those not currently in the field while enhancing knowledge and excitement of the hobby to those already licensed. Balloon launches attract a great deal of attention. This is not about ballooning per se, rather it is an avenue to attract young people to the hobby of amateur radio through STEM activities, as well as offering existing hobbyists a renewed excitement for trying something new. This proposal covers a two year time frame and will be supported through the Meriden Amateur Radio Club (MARC) in Wallingford, CT. Specific outcomes are centered around education, camaraderie, and fun. In specific:
The project is projected to run for 24 months and is meant to offer a learning experience in
amateur radio, specifically low power, long distance, high altitude communications. Our
balloon launches will utilize WSPR technology to return tracking data and data from
In addition, the club will offer launches as community activities, along with educational talks regarding all aspects of the project (ballooning, ham radio transmitters, solar cells/panels, atmospheric conditions, launching and tracking), with an emphasis placed on ham radio. Ultimately we plan to transition people we impact in our community outreach to our licensing education programs, getting people licensed and active in amateur radio.
u4b.live was created to suit the needs of this project, but we hope that others might find it useful. The site will remain active for as long as QRP-Labs is making the boards.