by Bill Carroll, KC9CIK
I would like to congratulate Eric Powell (N9RZR) on the fun he had playing with some balloons and a few pieces of electronics. I also want to thank him for getting some really cool media coverage for the Amateur Radio hobby. Eric and his “partner in crime,” Mike Sipin (KA9CQL) managed to launch a payload of electronic gear almost 6 miles into the atmosphere. Their gear included: a tiny computer, camera, temperature sensors, Wi-Fi, radio transmitter, GPS and power supply. All fit into a single soda bottle.
Eric and Mike reminded us of the fun we can have with the hobby and the diversity that it brings with it. Mike explains that one of the purposes of their experiment was to draw others into their fun and they certainly accomplished this. It took a team of people in Tolu, KY to get together and go find the payload that landed in their area. Eric became the point person to contact the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department and coordinate the recovery of their experiment. Eric relayed to the group of volunteers in Crittenden County the last known location and their best-calculated guess of where their payload was.
I am looking forward to Eric’s’ next experiment and hoping that I will be able to join in on the fun. I would love to be a chase vehicle for the next balloon launch. This would be a nice way to introduce new people to Amateur Radio and get more excitement around our hobby.
Please take a moment and read through the newspaper article attached (link below). I also would like to thank Daryl K. Tabor from THE CRITTENDEN PRESS for allowing us to reprint their story. Finally, another “thank you” to N9RZR and KA9CQL for giving me another reason to be excited about the hobby of Amateur Radio. It really is great to be a “Ham.”