My homebrew WSPR receiver is placed at a (for The Netherlands) quiet location
in a nearby forrest and connected to a ca. 100m long open ‘bent’ Beverage.
The performance of the setup is quite remarkable and processes every electron ‘passing by’.
It delivered me a first place in the world wide WSPR challenge one day.
In the forrest I received WSPR traces from VK3YT and first thought his data was
somewhat mangled. His locators were in the middle of the Indian Ocean (?)
Bob ZL1RS noticed I was one of the few EU stations receiving VK3YT’s traces
and sometimes the only station in the northern hemisphere copying ‘him’.
It appeared that ‘VK3YT’ was/is a balloon (!!?) with designator PS-57 and
transmits WSPR and JT9 packets at least twice every hour at xx.00 and xx.30.
The output power of the balloon is only 25 mW,
making his traces almost 460000 km/Watt (!)
During an email conversation Bob seduced me to try to receive PS-57
with JT9 too. Balloon telemetry is embedded inside these JT9 packets.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the reception site and installed the
necessary software to process PS-57 JT9 balloon packets.
After 72 minutes I received my first PS-57 JT9 packet (!)
This was the first JT9 decode in my life! One hour later
the receiver decoded another one. See below (click to enlarge in new tabs).
Investigation revealed I also received one PS-58 WSPR trace.
Although this southern hemisphere balloon hunting from the northern hemisphere is
considered to be ‘notoriously difficult’, for me it is ‘by-catch’.
However, I let the contraption also capture balloon JT9 packets
hoping it may be of use to the world wide HF balloon tracking community.