A balloon is being launched Saturday at noon (EDT) from Peoria, IL. It will carry a simplex repeaters on 444.600 FM voice. Previous similar balloons launched by this group have flown 88,000 to 95,000 feet and have stayed over eastern Illinois during their flight. The call sign is W9UVI (APRS W9UVI-11) and if you have never played with a simplex repeater at that altitude you will be amazed. You only need your handheld tuned to 444.600 with NO OFFSET. I once worked stations in Oklahoma and East Texas from Kansas City on one of these balloons.

Remember that you make a call then wait to hear your own voice repeated, then you WAIT SOME MORE while someone else answers you. You will not hear the answer until they are finished talking and the balloon repeats what they said to you–in other words, you WAIT a little longer. When you clearly hear what someone has said to you, talk back, giving quick information then go
through the wait, listen, wait cycle again. Do not be confused by hearing the repeat of what you just said after you stopped saying it! Never talk again immediately after hearing yourself
or you will jam the up-link signal of the person answering you. Be prepared to hear some bumpkin say: “Dang, the skip is shore in these morning, I de-finite-ly goin call all my buddies.”
When someone doesn’t understand how to use it, it will spoil the fun for everyone.


NOTE: The repeater on this balloon is a simplex repeater, AKA “Parrot Repeater”.  It might help to know a little about simplex repeaters to use this type effectively.  Here is what Wikipedia says:

Simplex repeaters

A type of system known as a simplex repeater uses a single transceiver and a short-duration voice recorder, which records whatever the receiver picks up for a set length of time (usually 30 seconds or less), then plays back the recording over the transmitter on the same frequency. A common name for them is a “parrot” repeater.

Good luck on your listening for this balloon!