Altitude record for FEZ?

Got one to 96653ft yesterday… It’s somewhere in the woods near the aptly named “Fouke” Arkansas if any enterprising individual wants to go hiking.

Here is a picture of the rig. I ended up super gluing everything to the working breadboard implementation instead of taking it apart and trying to solder it back together :slight_smile:

Where did it start from?

Dallas, TX… Driving all day yesterday. I didn’t fill it with enough helium apparently as it took 3 hours to get there. I had enough battery power in it for it to keep operating for the whole ascent and descent though.

I’m up in Central MO, so it is about 3-4 hours from my locaiton. Not sure if there are any forum members in Arkansas or not. Might be hard to find with no transponder though.

Yeah, if it was still beaconing I would have gone into the woods after it but there is a large amount of woods that is very thick around where it came down. I think the chute I used was too small - There was a backup phone beacon in it as well which didn’t beacon either so I think it hit the ground pretty hard. Lesson learned for next time.

Below is where I think the most likely location is. I drove around on the country roads back there and didn’t see it, but the woods are quite thick so it could be in a tree or something. There is about $400 worth of equipment in it with the data radio and cell phone that I’m willing to let the finder keep if they can send me the SD cards or the data on them.

30 miles up! Nice! We may have to petition Gus and crew to start keeping track of records like this. I’m sure you can claim the first “Panda In Space” title… well, technically the stratosphere, but that’s getting a bit nit-picky.

I took a look at the map… looks like you went from east Texas to somewhere north of the Pitcairn islands in the Pacific Ocean and back in under 5 minutes! Was that when the alien spacecraft took it for a brief tropical vacation? :smiley:

Condolences about loosing the gadgetry… do you do the weather balloon thing for work/research or as a hobby?

There were a few bogus GPS plots received, just ignore the wacky ones… and according to my calcs it is about 18 miles. I wish I could delete those plots but haven’t figured out a way to do that. This is just a hobby, this is my first launch.

Played with google earth to visualize the path more:

Here is a link to the full APRS data including the radio towers it was able to contact in 8 different states. There are a few bogus GPS plots, so ignore the ones way out in the ocean.


Updated guess as to the location, blue circle is where I really think it is, red circle if winds changed after last received beacon.

Do you have an image of the balloon? I’m curious how big it is. Also, do you need to file some kind of ‘flight plan’ with the FAA or register with some other gov’t agency to do this? Proximity to Love Field made me wonder.

From what I could find if your payload is under 4 pounds you don’t, so I didn’t. According to the path prediction software I was using ( it wasn’t going to go anywhere near the city so I was quite horrified to see its initial direction towards Love Field as well. But it did eventually turn and go in the direction of the prediction software once it got outside DFW. I could actually see it in the air at around 15K feet near highways 635 and 30 before it started moving at 100mph and got pretty far ahead of me.

I was running an Android phone tracker for the chase as well, if you want to see my chase path, use the callsign KF5JSJ-3 instead of KF5JSJ-1 on the APRS site. KF5JSJ-2 is a backup phone tracker I had in the payload. It worked until around 10K feet and never came back online on the way down unfortunately. If you want to know more about the phone tracker, I wrote up an article here [url][/url]

The balloon is pretty big, here is a picture of the balloon just before release:

I am trying to get in contact with a couple hackerspaces in the area to see if they can go look for you. If they do we may have to drive up and get it from them. Sign of good will and all :> We also may need to supply some beer as payment :>

That sounds awesome actually. If I was equipped at the time to go wandering in the woods or had a better idea where it was I would have tried it on foot while I was there. If I couldn’t get any takers in the next week or so I was going to try it again on a weekend. But if some people are willing to help search the area I bet a group could find it pretty quick so I’m definitely in. They will need to be prepared for the below terrain…

I think i can talk the wife into letting me free on the 15th if you wanna head over there early morning and start looking.

Do you guys have a helicopter? I think you might need one :slight_smile:

Good luck with the search.

There are actually crop dusting companies in the area, I pondered asking one of them for a tour of the area…

The 14th works better for me as I’m going out of town on the 16th, but I can do the 15th if that is all that works. Email me at hunt at webpaul dot net (anyone else that wants to can join in as well) to work out the logistics. Here is what we’ll be looking for:

Did you end up recovering this?

Nope… I went back out again but wasn’t able to find it. Learned a few things from the process though and found the next one: [url][/url]