Project Horus High altitude balloon project


An excellent weekend: Horus 6 7 both launched and recovered

What a busy weekend we've had! Horus 6 and 7 were both launched and recovered successfully, in both cases our chase teams arrived at the landing zone in time to see the payload fall to the ground - on Sunday some video footage of Horus 7 falling to the ground was even captured! :D

Horus 6 (flying the simplex repeater) proved an excellent success - contacts were made all over South Australia and Victoria. I will be organising some special QSL cards to go out to those who made a contact through the repeater - please get in touch with me if you're not on the map and you made contact on the day.

Click to access interactive map of contacts made via the repeater

Horus 7 (flying a camera payload) also proved a huge success - reaching over 35km in altitude, some amazing photos were captured. Here's a teaser - expect much more soon in the full writeup:

Earth from 35km

Grant VK5GR in Matt VK5ZM's chase car managed to get some awesome footage of the Horus 7 payload descending to the ground:

A HUGE thanks to all who helped make this weekend possible - VK5ZSN, VK5GH, VH5ZBR, VK5FPAU, VK5FPAW, VK5BZ, VK5CP, VK5AWP, VK5ZM, VK5GR, Alan, Mark, Scott & many more!

Full writeups are now online - Horus 6 & Horus 7.

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  1. Hi
    The map shows my location as my home at Snowtown. In fact I was portable and on-line in my van in the carpark at Walkers Flat. I tracked the balloon from just after launch and noticed that much of the time I was supplying tracking data to the website. Adrian was only a few kms away and passed me on the opposite side of the river as he headed back south. I followed the balloon over to the Karoonda road and was flagged down by Paul VK5FPAU in the main street! We watched progress from Karoonda and tracked the balloon with the van DF antennas and via the balloon GPS data transmitter but decided not to move as the recovery was already under way. Lost signal at about 300 metres altitude. Unfortunately we missed meeting the chase teams as they went home via a different route. A fun afternoon anyway!

    Cheers Tim VK5ZT

  2. Hi Tim,
    Great to hear from you we noticed you continued to decode telemetry down to a very low altitude. Thank you very much, it was great to have you continually decoding uploading data for us! :)

    Also good to hear VK5FPAU caught up with you we lost him on the chase and I wasnt able to raise him on the repeater.
    Terry VK5VZI

  3. Good to see you around Tim. Please let me know next time you are going to join in and we will make sure that we liaise and have effective communications. I would have like to have seen you at the LZ after you made the effort to join in. Sorry we missed you.
    Adrian VK5ZSN

  4. Was an exciting week end. wasnt expecting to be mission control but it worked out.
    I will come on a hunt some time to see the other end.

    Next time recording the repeater would be good, I would have if I knew. A message on VKlogger would be also a good way to get the vhfers up and listening.
    Got 10 more of the mini video cameras coming, this way hacking around will not be so much of a worry with this many spares.

    Amazing stuff well done to all, take the stuffyness out of the hobby for me.

  5. Hi all what a day it was 28-8-10, looking for the next Horus 8 PS the camera is Mini DV Camcorder DVR Video Recorder PC Web Camera MD80

  6. From:
    Subject: Horus 6 Contact
    Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 22:19:31 +1000

    Hi guys

    I just wanted to say thank-you for the work that you guys put into making Hours 6 a success.

    As someone who only had their Foundation Licence approved a couple of days ago, it was very exciting to be able to communicate through a balloon floating kilometers above the earth, and to be able to hear stations in another state.

    At the time I transmitted through the parrot repeater I was mobile on Goodwood road at Goodwood, operating with 3 watts from a Motorola Hand-held in the car, my signal was still 5/5 into the repeater.

    I would love to provide any support I can in the future to assist with these missions.

    Thanks again for providing the amateur community with a very cool toy to play with.


    Matt Bonser
    VK5FMLB (Owner)
    Relayed from VK5ZBR email.

  7. Hi Tim (vk5zt)

    Last time we saw you was at Mt gambier I think.

    Ok on your location, I will have to change the map to reflect this.

    73s Adrian VK5ZBR.

  8. Everyone, here is the footage from the landing of Horus 7 shot on the weekend.

    I took a lot of other pictures and if I can attend a launch next time would like to turn this into a full short documentary.

  9. P.S. This sort of activity will certainly draw me back to amateur radio! It brings new life for me to the hobby. I look forward to tracking other missions in the future!

    Thanks to Matt VK5ZM for inviting me to be part of his direction finding crew!

  10. Following your exploits with great interest from the UK. Hope to follow you into the sky in the next couple of weeks if we can get the technology to work..

  11. Really enjoyed the experiment, it was great to contact the parrot repeater from Mildura. Will be watching with interest your next venture. Good Luck. Greg VK3MTV.

  12. Adrian,Terry.. Thank you for the opportunity to take part. It was a lot of fun operating the DF with Adrian.

    Tim.. Ill try to be more coherent on the radio after the event next time. If Id been able to communicate our position to you more effectively we may have been able to catch up afterwards. (Ill put it down to brain overload. We really could have used another person with us.)

  13. Congrats to all, particularly Adrian and Terry on two more successful missions. The Parrot repeater was the definite highlight as it involved more operators and greatly assisted in the tracking where there was no repeater access. Thanks also to Adrian VK5ZBR for taking on the position as net controller, settled things down and put some order to the event. I did post some info on VK Logger however it should have been done far earlier as there were not many active in the middle of the day. I also contacted Greg VK3MTV in Mildura who alerted more VK3s, resulting in contacts from as far away as Melbourne. It was a buzz to also hear Micheal VK3ZEA in Pt Lincoln, Frank VK5MW in Roxby Downs. I struggled to hear the chase cars liasing on 80mtrs and wonder if 40mtrs may be a better choice for future missions? Also guys would you add me to your list of operators, from the home QTH and I think that Peter VK5AWP may also have been overlooked?

    Best 73s guys and I look forward to the next flight..

    Rod, VK5ZKR

  14. Terry, I have now finished my attempt at a video montage of the flight of Horus 7 from the on board still camera. Please take a look here: It packs the 3hr flight into about 5 minutes. With the camera platform not exactly stable it has been a challenge to edit something together that is really watchable, but I think this gives a bit of an idea of what the balloon saw :-)

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