W0MXX Balloon Launch, Cummington, MA, October 2, 2021

Seth Kendall writes on the STARS mailing list:

Max [W0MXX] and family are tentatively targeting a launch of our latest high altitude balloon on:

Saturday, Sept. 25th  October 2, 2021

TENTATIVE launch location: Around Stafford, CT Cummington, MA

Note: This will change on the morning of launch, so keep an eye out for posts!
Launch prep begins at 9:30 am with a launch time at around Noon.

(If Saturday is scrubbed, we will shoot for Sunday, and if that’s scrubbed, then next weekend. We will try to keep this thread updated.)


Pick and choose from…

  1. Come to the Launch!  

    1. We start our prep at 9:30 am and aim to launch by noon.

    2. Keep an eye on our posts on the morning of launch for an updated location.

    3. Stream the prep and launch action for those that can’t make it using your phone.  We’ve never done this before, but always been interested, since most people aren’t able to come in person.  Our discord server has a Voice Hangout section that could be used for this, though we’re fine with any platform. (this is not expected if you show up haha, just a fun idea)

  1. Track the balloon online!

    1. https://aprs.fi/#!call=a%2FW0MXX-11&timerange=3600&tail=3600 

      1. This gives live updates directly from the transmitter.

    2. https://tracker.habhub.org/

      1. This is very useful for us, because it will give a predicted landing location.  As it gets close to landing, we can really benefit from people tracking it here, and letting us know where to look.  You can post locations here on groups.io, or if you are tracking it live and able to talk, give us your phone number to keep in touch while we’re on the road.

    3. Join our discord server for the most frequent updates.  We’d love to have you there in general as we work on weather balloons and try to troubleshoot problems!  It’s especially useful on launch day though.

      1. Step 1 – Make a Discord account:  http://discord.com/app 

      2. Step 2 – Join our server.  This invite will expire in 7 days:


  1. Watch this thread on groups.io, or better yet, track the balloon and contribute to it!

  2. Come track the landing beacon!

    1. Bring your 2m mag mount antenna, SDR, and laptop (with wifi access – we use our phone as a mobile hotspot), and try to pick up those final beacons just before (or after) it hits the ground (read: tree).  This can really help us to pinpoint where it actually landed.

    2. Max will post tomorrow with more details about using HDSDR and Direwolf to receive, decode, and publish the GPS data online.

    3. Keep up to date on the predicted landing location using tracker.habhub.org (above) or just tuning into others’ posts on our Discord or groups.io.  I’m not sure where people will post, but we find Discord easier for these kinds of things. 

  1. Come help us physically search for and recover it.

    1. Keep up to date on landing location via groups.io

    2. We’ll agree on a meeting point from which to conduct the search.

    3. Bring some basic survival stuff

      1. Boots, bug spray, water, etc.

    4. Bring your handheld to maintain contact during the search!

    5. We have a slingshot, and are trying to grab a fishing reel in time in order to try and fish it out of a tree should the cutdown system not work.  If you have any other tools you think could help with that, bring em!

    6. If you are a tree climber, bring your gear!  We’ll put you to use!


We’ve seemed to zero into a final launch location:
William Cullen Bryant Homestead
207 Bryant Rd
Cummington, MA 01026 

One Comment on “W0MXX Balloon Launch, Cummington, MA, October 2, 2021”

  1. Comments from stars.radio list:

    Tom Ulrich KC1OCY
    1:02 PM (6 hours ago)
    Sitting at my station in West Roxbury watching APRS. I see a balloon up there…. === Thomas R.M. Ulrich thomas.rm.ulrich@gmail.com +1 (617) 571-8650 KC1OCY / W

    Barbara Irby
    1:03 PM (6 hours ago)
    we’re watching too!! KC1KGS and WB4EJR… — Barbara T. Irby, MS, RPh jbirby@comcast.net (C)617-513-5029

    Max Kendall – W0MXX
    1:20 PM (5 hours ago)
    My tracker stopped, so track our second tracker with the callsign W2CXM-13

    Derek AK1WI
    1:24 PM (5 hours ago)
    Summary: at 1:15pm – was traveling almost due East across Mass toward Ware, then took a sharp left turn to NNE and is now traveling toward Moore State Park – wi

    Tom Ulrich KC1OCY
    1:25 PM (5 hours ago)
    I (or at least my radio) can still see both trackers:

    Derek AK1WI
    1:34 PM (5 hours ago)
    New tracker W2CXM-13 at 1:25pm is moving right along Rte 9 East of Spencer headed approx SW.

    Stuart Solomon
    1:42 PM (5 hours ago)
    It’s awfully high already. What’s the expected burst altitude?

    Max Kendall – W0MXX
    1:50 PM (5 hours ago)
    somewhere around 120,000 ft. also…… WE BEAT 100,000 FT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEW RECORD!!!

    Barbara Irby
    1:51 PM (5 hours ago)
    great work-congrats! — Barbara T. Irby, MS, RPh jbirby@comcast.net (C)617-513-5029 _._,_._,_ Groups.io Links: View/Reply Online (#160) | Reply To Group | Reply

    Max Kendall – W0MXX via temples.com
    2:00 PM (5 hours ago)
    to stars-radio

    Highest Altitude = ~103,000 ft!

    Stuart Solomon
    2:05 PM (5 hours ago)
    Great job Max! Now to find the payload!

    Max Kendall – W0MXX
    2:06 PM (5 hours ago)
    You can track W0MXX-11 now!

    Derek AK1WI via temples.com
    2:08 PM (4 hours ago)
    to stars-radio

    At 2pm I have him just crossing Rte 290 just north of the Mass Pike from the west, altitude down to 37000 ft from 100,000 ft a few minutes ago. On the way down???

    Tom Ulrich KC1OCY
    2:11 PM (4 hours ago)
    I show W2CMX-13 at 28,000 feet over Grafton

    Max Kendall – W0MXX
    2:18 PM (4 hours ago)
    Yes Derek, it is coming down now

    Mindy KM1NDY
    2:20 PM (4 hours ago)
    Way to go Max!!!

    Tom Ulrich KC1OCY
    2:22 PM (4 hours ago)
    Just picked it up at 10,000 ft over Milford @ 2:17

    Derek AK1WI
    2:22 PM (4 hours ago)
    2:15pm – coming down fast 11000 ft and screaming along at 45mph heading into Milford. It won’t be long at this rate…

    Derek AK1WI
    2:28 PM (4 hours ago)
    If I remember correctly you were aiming for Franklin – and it looks like you’ll be right on! Congrats!

    Stuart Solomon
    2:32 PM (4 hours ago)
    did it stop reporting at 1000′? It should be somewhere close to my house.

    Derek AK1WI
    2:35 PM (4 hours ago)
    Max – well that should be easy to locate! Right beside Rte 109. Can you post a photo when you locate it?

    Steve Hoberman
    3:38 PM (3 hours ago)
    Max, So sorry I had to miss your flight. We are tied up with my niece’s wedding weekend. Congrats on your flight!!!! Steve H KC1MWF

    Attachments4:28 PM (2 hours ago)
    We may need an archer… hard to reach with the slingshot.

    6:50 PM (18 minutes ago)
    Mission accomplished! Big time teamwork on the recovery. Footage looks amazing.

    Barbara Irby
    6:56 PM (12 minutes ago)
    Awesome!! excellent-thanks for letting us share your journey! — Barbara T. Irby, MS, RPh jbirby@comcast.net (C)617-513-5029


Leave a Reply