WSPR Flights

Good news!

This site is slowly getting archived in favor of our new wider-community effort at Traquito.

Head over to our new site at Traquito to check out the $14 WSPR tracker, realtime maps/graphs, and other great resources!

Here is a summary of the flights you can look at.

DMxx are Douglas Malnati flights.

MMxx are Mark Malnati flights.



First test flight of WSPR tracker.

Kind of a disaster launch-wise.  Got one useful signal, but confidence not high that it all works.

Major success test flight.

Launch good.

Signals good.  Thousands of miles of range of signal.

This is good tech, we should build on this.

Test flight with redesigned Rev2 WSPR tracker.

Failed with no results after crashing on train tracks due to stupid launch attempt.

Test flight with Rev3 WSPR tracker.

No signals received after launch.  Why?  This used to work.

Test flight with Rev3 WSPR tracker.

Put a lot of effort into understanding what is different for this tracker vs old one which worked.

Launched and it fell into the water.  No signals.  No information gleaned.

Why am I failing to even achieve lift outside when it clearly works inside?  Frustrating.

Test flight with Rev3 WSPR tracker.

Got off the ground this time.

No signals.  WTF.

Test flight with Rev3 WSPR tracker.

Baaaarely achieved lift.  Why???

Got great signals.  It's because I was using quarter-wave before, changed back to half-wave and that fixed it.

Max signal distance ~5,000 miles to Hawaii from NJ.

Test flight with Rev4 WSPR tracker.

Testing not using TXCO for AVR.  Turns out not necessary.

Plenty of long distance signals.

Balloon traveled to off the coast of South Carolina before dying.  Cause unclear.

Need better tracking software.

Test flight with Rev5 WSPR tracker.

Board thinner and has removable headers.  Also using magnet wire for antenna.

Much reduced weight.

Managed to blow the launch by ripping off the bottom antenna during release.  Failure.

Need to improve launch procedure.

Test flight with Rev5 WSPR tracker.

Updated tracker software including random WSPR channel selection.

Re-do of prior launch hoping to see how lighter tracker works out.

Some good long-distance signals, but very few updates.

Tracker vanished for a long time, and when it appeared again it was crashing.  Why the blackout?  Why crashing?

Also having real issues with antenna tangling during launch.  Need a better technique.

Test flight with Rev5 WSPR tracker.

Also tracking now with custom tracking software and mapping front end.

Successful software, but flight was short and ended for unclear reasons.

Another flight that was relatively short.

Getting better at launching.

Balloon died after hanging out around 27,000ft for a while.

Made it a few hundred miles off the coast.

This is my second WSPR flight, MM28 failed presumably because I used quarter wave antennas.

This flight was to test the WSPR setup with a half wave transmitting antenna and it worked, I had success in receiving WSPR signals. 

After climbing and transmitting for 2 hours and 45 minutes, the balloon was not heard from again.

First flight without ribbon for strain relief.

Reached 24,000 feet, but was lost in a storm system.

This flight was a test in both battery & flight duration. 

Received 460 transmissions over 46 hours.

Pretty decent flight, got ~1,500 miles traveled off the coast.  Nearly halfway across the Atlantic.

Altitude ~27,000ft.

Lots of good signal reception.

Unclear why dead.  Weather?

First flight using Energizer 123 battery.

Rainstorm ended the flight after 61 hours.

Double balloon, and new battery type.  Hoping for longer distance.

Traveled ~2,700 miles at around 25,000ft.

Made it 3/4 across the Atlantic.

Lots of great signals.

Cause of death unclear.

Double balloon again.

Traveled ~1,500 miles around 25,000ft.

Made it almost 1/2 across Atlantic.

Very few signals.  Not sure why.

Cause of death unclear.

Similar launch to yesterday, but got just one signal and never heard from it again.

Why would there be no further signals?

Confusing because nothing changed really.

Similar launch to last, and again just a very small handful of signals.

Maybe it's the time of year or something where bad propagation?  No changes to the tracker or antenna etc.

My best flight by far.

Traveled 5,010 miles in 155 hours.

Signal reached Antarctica.

Custom-made TR9 balloon, hoping for successful non-bursting flight.


Lots of great signals.  Lived for days.

Traveled ~3,600 miles

Got approx 4/5 across the Atlantic.  Closest yet.

Max altitude ~30,000 ft.

Cause of death unclear.

Custom-made TR9 balloon

Lost signal after reaching 5,500 feet

Solar power test

No batteries or capacitors


Perfect launch

Never heard from it...

First launch failed & recovered.  

Second launch failed & recovered

Third launch - tracker versus power line

Custom balloon test with TR9

Flew for 19 hours

Never exceeded 5,500 feet

Another custom balloon test with TR9

Another failure to reach float