May 03

HABEX – 11 Post Mortem

Payload: APRS Tracker – HABEX Board with ZS6ERB-11


  • Launch Time:2015-05-01 11:44:18z
  • Highest Altitude:37417M
  • Flight Distance:602Km
  • Touch Down:2015-05-01 11:44:18z

May 03

HABEX – 10 Post Mortem

Here are the stats on HABEX -10 as flown on 25 April 2015


  • Luanched at  2015-04-25 06:52:55z
  • Altitude Reached: 3366M
  • Touched Down: 2015-04-25 06:29:41z
  • Distance Flown: 21.9 Km



  • Luanched at  2015-04-25 06:29:41z
  • Altitude Reached: 37520M
  • Touched Down: 2015-04-25 06:52:55z
  • Distance Flown: 136Km


Download the KMZ and KML Files from APRS.FI at this link…..


Apr 16

HABEX-10: Accomodation

Hi….. If you want accomodation for HABEX -10 check out this website

Apr 16

HABEX -10: Information Sheet & Payload Pics

High Altitude Balloon Experiment

HABEX @ Lichtenburg Airport

Information sheet: -


Launch date                  :           25 April 2015

Launch time                  :           06:00 SAST


GPS format: -                           All GPS formats to be Degrees, Decimal Minutes


Abort conditions: –                 -     Payload moving into TMA

-       Payload moving into Botswana

Launch site: -

Lichtenburg Airport: -                 FALI

Latitude: –                                 26°10’32.52″S

Longitude: –                              26°11’4.56″E

Payload data


Target payload weight   :           1 Kg

Internet                         :   Search for the payload callsigns

Operational                   :           06h00 AM until recovery


APRS   :           ZS6COG-11      144.800Mhz

Release Mechanism :           Door Lock Actuator

Parachute  :           1.5m diameter, lightweight material.


Parrot repeater   :           Rx Tx 438.550Mhz Simplex No Tones Maximum 60 Seconds Talk Time


Camera APRS :           ZS6COG-12      144.800Mhz

Camera Mode :           SSTV on FM

Freq  :           433-400 MHz FM

Mode :           Scottie 1

Balloon Data: -

Material:                        :           Natural Latex

Tensile Strength            :           16,7 Mpa

Elongation / Stretch       :           560%

Maximum Lift                :           2000 – 2100 g

Length                          :           3200 – 3600 mm

Colour                          :           Beige

Diameter at inflation      :           about 1900 – 2200 mm

Diameter at Burst          :           about 11 000 mm

Cost                             :           $ 118 US….. each

Frequencies/Mode: -


Refer Communications plan: – for details


144.800 MHz: -              APRS                           :

145-500 MHz: -              Primary Communications

Repeater frequencies

Lichtenburg: -

Frequency: -                              145.700 No Tone


Sasolburg, Kroonstad; Leeukop: -        (Sasolburg Radio Club)


Renosterkop (Kroonstad): -145.6625 – 88.5 Hz tone

Leeukop: – 145.625 – 88.5 Hz tone

Sasolburg: -145.600 No tone


North West Cape


Kuruman: –                                                                    Tx 145.750 Rx 145.150 Linked to Tierkop

Tierkop (ZS3NC Northern Cape Radio Club): -                 Tx 145.775 Rx 145.175 Linked to Owendale

Owendale: -                                                                   Tx 438.600 Rx 431.000 Linked to Tierkop

Kimberly: -                                                                    Tx 145.625 Rx 145.025 Linked to Owendale

ZS6COG-11SSTV Camera Simplex Repeater HD Camera HD Camera with PSU

Mar 12

Meeting 2 of 2015 – 12 March 2015


Meeting 2 of 2015

12 March 2014

ERB Clubhouse – Arrowe Park

19:00 – 21:00



  • v  Opening & Welcome: Chris
  • v  Apologies
  • v  Attendance Register: All
  • v  Proposed Agenda:
  1. Payload 1

    • Camera

¨      Camera – Ready

¨      Transmitter – Progress

  • APRS

¨      ZS6LMG – MiniTracker – 70cm 1200Bd – Progress

¨      HAMNET High Altitude AIO Tracker – 2m 1200Bd – Ready

  • Release & Shute

¨      Mechanism – Ready

¨      Trigger / Communication – Progress

  • Gas – Ready

  • Balloons – Ready

  • Balloon Plugs – to be 3D Printed

  • Parrot Repeater – Progress

  1. Payload 2

    • HAG – Progress
  2. Chase Teams

    • Chris Gryffenberg – In
    • Francois & Judy – Tentative
    • HAG – Schalk Heunis
    • Other Chase Teams?
  • v  AOB
  • 11 April Binary Space – Launch in Kriel

v  Next Meeting: 16 April 2015

Feb 11

HABEX Meeting No.1 of 2015 – Success

Minutes of Meeting 1 of 2015

5 February 2014

ERB Clubhouse – Arrowe Park

19:00 – 21:00


  1. v  Opening & Welcome: ZS6COG
  2. v  Apologies: ZS6YFH, ZS6GLN, ZS6PJH
  3. v  Attendance Register: ZS6ZSB, ZS6PHS, ZS6HJF, ZS6COI, ZS6JDY, ZS6LMG, ZS6COG, ZS6GC, ZS6LJK, Cor Rademeyer ZR6PIRATE (HiiHi).
  4. v  Proposed Agenda:
    • Launch Date – 25 April 2015
    • CAMU – Approval Obtained
    • FALI – Lichtenburg
    • Payload

¨      Gas – 2 x H2 Cylinders – via Sci Bono gesponsor van Afrox af.

¨      Balloons – last of the last.

¨      Camera, SSTV met 70cm TX

¨      APRS – Must x 2

  • ZS6LMG – MiniTracker – 70cm 1200Bd
  • HAMNET High Altitude AIO Tracker – 2m 1200Bd.

¨      Radar Reflector – Polystyrene en Foelie.

¨      Parrot Repeater – Hampie (moet net by Chris kry)

¨      BACAR – Chase / Scout vir hulle launch

¨      BACAR Test Run – Telemetry unit.

¨      Release Mechanism – Nuwe kommunikasie moet bewerk word. Meganisme is OK.

  • BACAR Launch – 14/15 Julie. – Stuur asb info oor BACAR vir brief aan GDE skole. Moenie ander goed reel nie – ondersteun BACAR.
  • Launch Self – Dag voor die tyd al deur gaan. Kontank Eddie BNE vir blyplek. Vrydag deurry. Saterdag Launch – Dalk soek tot Sondag toe. Maandag terug op die laaste.
  • Budget – Ten minste R3500-00 per chase team sonder verblyf en kos uitgawes. Spanne sal kostes moet deel.
  • Predictions – Ran prediction on!/uuid=d492d1660e0952e8480d6ac035c59a3497b1bc06
  • From Binary Space

 Hi Chris

We applied and got our FUA application approved! Thank-you so much for your help. Things are moving forward nicely now.

If you wish, you can follow our project at:

The project wikipage:

Our website:

Our Facebook page:

Or you could even join us on the launch date!

v  AOB

  • 11 April Binary Space – Launch in Kriel

v  Next Meeting – 12 Maart 2015 – ERB Clubhouse

Jan 30

Guidelines for applying for CAMU approval

Guidelines to Radio Amateurs for launching High Altitude Balloons carrying Amateur Radio Payloads


  1. Introduction

Air Space in South Africa is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and managed by the Central Aviation Monitoring Unit (CAMU).

The Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) are responsible for the efficient running of South Africa’s airspace environment.

Regulations does allow for flexible use of airspace by users, but a process of application and cooperation is regulated and controlled by CAMU.

The purpose of this document is to assist Radio Amateur Radio operators with the intention of launching meteorological balloons and other experiments into high altitude with guidelines on best practice.


It may be revised from time to time and has been negotiated with the management of CAMU who will guide amateur users on the correct methodology for engaging air space.

  1. Procedure for applying for permission of Flexible Use of Airspace

Any applicant wishing to launch a high altitude balloon should apply for flexible use of airspace (FUA) via the CAMU website at

The regulated area of airspace known as controlled airspace ranges from 20 000 Ft to 46 000Ft above ground level (AGL).

In this band commercial air traffic are controlled by ATNS and airspace has to be sterile for commercial air traffic to pass.

The following conditions for consideration should guide any applicant:

  • Your flight should take place from a registered airfield.
  • You should launch no less than 60 km outside of TMA (Terminal Maneuver Area)
  • ATNS no longer only makes use of corridors as they did in the past. Flight corridors are GPS orientated and covers the length and breadth of SA.
  • The direction and speed of prevailing winds for the intended launch area and time of year.
  • Generally balloon launches should target areas in the North West towards Vryburg as this is the least active air traffic corridor in South Africa.


  1. Launch Procedure

On the day of the launch the launch coordinator is required to be in regular contact with the assigned CAMU specialist.

Intention to launch should be given as per the provided guidelines on the CAMU application. Contact details and names will be provided.


    1. Ascent

Once permission is obtained from CAMU and ATC to launch, the payload can be released. The ascent rate should be such that maximum ascent rate can be obtained by the payload.

When the payload hits 18 000 Ft, CAMU should be advised via phone of the position and height of the payload.

If a glider is attached to the payload it must be released before 20 000 ft. Release must be coordinated with CAMU so they take not of the increased ascent rate of the payload and the area wherein the glider is moving.

When the balloon payload passes through 46 000 ft. CAMU needs to be advised as this will allow air traffic to flow freely in the area.

If there is an intended separation of the payload this must be communicated to CAMU with the application.


    1. Descent

When the payload has hit its ceiling height CAMU needs to be notified that the payload is at apogee and returning to terra firma.

Some payloads may make use of neutral buoyancy to increase the flight duration of the payload. AS long as the payload remains above 46 000 ft this is not a problem.

When the payload however descends, CAMU is to be advised at 60 000 ft that the payload is coming down. After CAMU has liaised with ATC that the payload is to be dropped, the payload must be placed in a direct descent at 50 000 ft, bringing it through controlled airspace as soon as possible. This implies that parachutes and streamers used should be deployed at this stage.

Once the payload or glider has touched down CAMU must receive a final notification in order for them to close the NOTAM and allow for normal continuance of ATC activities.


  1. Conclusion

Although flexible use of airspace is allowed, it should be noted that this is a privilege and not a right.

Flexible use of airspace impacts on air traffic control over the whole controlled air space spectrum. Flights have to be delayed and diverted. A balloon over Vereeniging in controlled airspace impacts on the departure of several commercial flights from Durban and other destinations.

Radio amateurs and any other agencies wishing to make use of flexible use of airspace should liaise closely with the CAMU unit at ATNS.

For more information please feel free to contact the HABEX team as we volunteer our experience and invite any opportunity to launch a balloon in the stratosphere.


  1. Glossary of Terms

Controlled Airspace – 20 000 ft – 46 000 ft.

HABEX – High Altitude Balloon Experiment

BACAR – Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio

HAG – High Altitude Glider

ATNS –Air Traffic Navigation Services

CAMU – Central Aviation Monitoring Unit

Jan 30

CAMU approval for 25 April 2015 Flight obtained

Reference Number: BL 20/01-1
Company Name: High Altitude Balloon Experiment (HABEX)
Contact Person: Chris Gryffenberg
Telephone Number: 0835435668
Email Address::
Type of Operation: Unmanned Balloon
Dates of Requirement: 25 Apr 2015
Duration of the Operations: (0400Z-1000Z) 06:00L – 12:00L
Area/Location name: FALI
Area of operation: 261000 S 0261100 E      R138 MMV 40.7NM
Vertical limits of the area: UNL
Transponder type: NONE
Aircraft type: Unmanned Balloon
Aircraft registration:
Additional Comments: HABEX-10 will form part of the Global Space Balloon Challenge, an international effort to launch unmanned balloons around the world in a predetermined time frame.The payload is an Amateur Radio Payload with APRS (Automated Position Reporting System) updating on aprs.fiThe launch vehicle is a gas filled meteorological balloon with a radar reflector attached to the payload.

Materials used in the payload are plastics, electronics and batteries with GPS receiver and radio transmitter.

The color of the balloon is Latex Coloured.

Size is 2M in diameter at Ground Level and 11 Meters in Diameter at Burst

Tracking is achieved using APRS (Automated Positioning Reporting System) via internet on the website Tracking Provides heading, height above ground level and speed.


ATC/Airspace Requirements:

WE HAVE NO OBJECTIONS PROVIDED: CAMU has initiated NOTAM action for this operation.
THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS TO BE MET: Contact Johannesburg ATC 30 minutes prior to commencement of operation on Tel: 011 928 6454, to advise them of your intentions and coordinate your operation.
SIGNED: Zwelinzima Cira / Martin Cooper
DATE: 29 January 2015

Jan 15

HABEX-10: Date for 2015 GSBC Flight

HABEX -10 will be flying on 25 April 2015

After joining the Global Space Balloon Challenge, HABEX will again be taking to the skies of Africa.


For now the Date has been set as 25 April 2015 and we will be launching EARLY as always.


If you want to partake in the team activities contact convener Chris at:

Cell: 083 543 5668


Meetings will commence in February 2015


Best 73 de


Dec 11

Global Space Balloon Challenge – HABEX Joins the FUN – Serious Challenge for 2015

Global Balloon Challenge


The Global Space Balloon Challenge (GSBC) is the coming together of people around the world to simultaneously fly high altitude balloons from every corner of the globe, celebrating an age where anyone can reach the edge of space for a few hundred dollars and a few weekends of work. By providing a specified launch window and central online platform, the GSBC enables teams to showcase their unique cultures while working together to educate the next generation and push the boundaries of what is technologically feasible.

During the inaugural GSBC, 60 teams from 18 countries on 6 continents flew together, helping each other and sharing their stories every step of the way. People of all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life participated, many of whom had never touched a high altitude balloon or studied engineering before the GSBC. Now it’s your turn – join the fun and show the world what you can do!


HABEX Has joined their journey and you could too!


Go to and sign up.


Then join the HABEX Team you are in. We will reconvene in 2015 to get this balloon aflight!

Older posts «