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Author Topic: Looking for radiosonde recordings  (Read 1313 times)

Posts: 7


« on: March 18, 2005, 07:44:36 AM »

Does anyone have an old radiosonde, or recordings of one in action? Twenty five years ago in deepest Devon, I used to hear these things drift past somewhere around 26 - 27 MHz (the transistor shortwave radio I used had around a MHz per centimetre on the dial up there). It was a very eerie sound on an otherwise dead band: each of the sensors on the thing was coupled in turn to an audio oscillator by a rotating wheel, and this was AM'd onto the carrier. The effect was a constantly repeating syncopated musical phrase of 13 notes over five seconds, which gradually varied as the balloon floated through different conditions. The sound of that fading in and out, gradually diminishing to silence, was enthralling.

I checked back on radiosondes recently. They've all moved to 403 MHz (at least in the UK) and gone digital (of course) - Herstmonceux releases two each day, at
1115Z and 2315Z, and I picked up the evening flight on my IC-R2. It's just another burst of FM data. Not the same thing at all. Bah, humbug.

So, if I want to hear those nostalgic notes again I'll have to either find an original device and persuade it into action (although not in or on the air!) or find a
recording. All help gratefully, er, received. I've previously asked in a UK newsgroup and got one recording, which is very helpful, but its short and not particularly similar to the sounds I remember.

Thanks in advance,

Rupert, G6HVY


Posts: 0

« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2005, 03:43:33 AM »

For the truly eerie/fun stuff, you have to go to HF. I'm an Extra but new to HF and listening around is great fun. There seem to be some interesting bloopers and bleepers and creepers on about 6.5MHz, just listen around.

Posts: 149

« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2005, 06:40:33 AM »

Rupert,  I'll have to check and see if I still have a tape around.  I made one several years ago for a science exposition that my Agency (NWS) was participating.  I'm not sure I could send a current B-2 sonde to your, much less the newer GPS-based sondes.  One possibility, however, is that there's someone on Ebay that's regularly selling Visala radiosondes.  I'm not sure if they're the 402 or the 1687 MHz types, though.  The price is pretty cheap!  I've insinuated here at the office that we could save money by buying radiosondes off Ebay!!!  At any rate, I'll look around for the tape (Its 1/4 inch type tape).  73 de K3HVG

Posts: 7


« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2005, 03:38:12 PM »

Hi, Doran

Thanks for that - if you can find it, I'll have no trouble playing it (or rather, my XYL-to-be can do it - she produces radio at the BBC and thus has access to all manner of exotic antiquated formats), and will be happy to return it, refund postage or whatever. My email is rupertg at, if you want to contact me off eHam.

There are plenty of radiosondes on ebay in the UK too; they are cheap and I will buy one for my collection of obscure radio stuff, but they're the digital sort. It's definitely the old ones (I think they may even have been tubed!) with the repeating analogue bleeps that I'm after.

You can get the GPS ones on eBay UK as well, but they're not as useful as they sound. They just transpond the data stream to the ground, leaving the difficult bit for later. Ah, well.

Rupert, G6HVY

(oh, Alexandra - yes, HF is full of high-grade weirdness. I'm still hoping to catch the whalesong/backwards music numbers station, which seems to be some sort of military audio channel feeding back on itself.)
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