Contact via helium balloon

Question: If we use a repeater carried by an helium balloon to make a QSO, is it “legal” SOTA speaking?

Thanks de VE2PID

As someone who just came here recently, and needed to receive my own wealth of good Activation advice, I would not presume to even guess at your odds of approval. However I find it an interesting hypothetical question.

“Scenario #1” - The Balloon carrying the Repeater is well aloft and floating free, NOT tethered, and this is now acting as a true Repeater, no different than a Mountain Top Repeater. Easy answer I think. No need to go into any further detail.

“Scenario #2” - The Balloon carrying the Repeater is firmly tethered at your Operating Position. The Repeater is essentially only replacing the feed line you would need to run up to the antenna mounted on the Balloon. An interesting idea, but how do you propose to convey the Balloon, apparatus, and cargo to the Operating Position prior to launch? Could you do it in the spirit of SOTA?

Is there a “PL” tone in the plan for this scheme? Do you spot a Transmit frequency, and advise a Receive frequency offset on the air? So many questions. But why even go there? Just run out a feed line up to the antenna.

So exactly what would the detailed plan look like?

Glenn - AB3TQ

Yes, balloon born repeaters and satellites are acceptable. Fixed repeaters are not.


Brian G8ADD

I don’t think it would be possible. I can only speak a couple of words before the sheer hilarity of the squeaky voice causes me to collapse with laughter. Having an actual conversation would be too difficult and unlikely to qualify as a valid QSO.