Fox Hunting of a Different Kind

Mike Cormier, K1MJC, writes on the NEMassFoxHunters list:

This morning, as I often do, when, listening to various things with my RTL-SDR, I sometimes go to the “SondeHub Tracker” website to see if there are any weather balloons I might be able to hear using my RTL-SDR.

This morning, I was surprised to see a balloon tracking north eastward over Millis, MA, and heading directly overhead where I live in Waltham MA.

I decided to zoom in on it, and follow it, and to my surprise, it had it landing somewhere in Lexington MA.

As it descended and got closer to the ground, I zoomed in on that area and realized it was just a short drive from where I lived. So I decided to get my 70 cm meter Yagi, jump in the car and head in that direction more precisely Pretty close to the location. It predicted it would be on the ground.

To my surprise, when I got in the area, I could hear the Radio-Sonde loud and clear, and I proceeded to an address that I had put in my GPS, got out of the car with the Yagi in one corner of the parking lot, (it was the horseshoe type, which will go behind the building and come out to the street on the other side of the property) and discovered that it was more towards the street.

Looking in the trees and over the roof of the building, I couldn’t see it, but the signal was strong. Having gotten that far and figuring it could be on the flat roof of the building and it being cold and drizzly outside I decided to head home.

To my surprise, on the way out of the driveway, what do I see? An orange parachute laying across the lane, I immediately jumped out of the car, went around to the front of the building, and there hanging on a string was the Radio-Sonde. Seeing nobody was around, I tugged the Radio-Sonde down out of the bush, wrapped it up and jumped in my car. (I hope nobody will be upset with me for grabbing the Radio-Sonde).


After I got in the car, I noticed it was an on off switch, turned it off, read the label, and this particular Radio-Sonde requests that you do not send it back to the national weather service.

Well, I have a parachute and Radio-Sonde what to do with it? I don’t know, perhaps, just keep it as a souvenir, and toss the plastic parachute, which I cannot seem to find any kind of use for.

All in all, a fun and interesting new kind of hunt for me!

73 Mike K1MJC

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