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Author Topic: What is a Radiosonde for?  (Read 4600 times)

Offline BoomboxDX

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What is a Radiosonde for?
« on: September 30, 2014, 1336 UTC »
Really dumb question I know, but what is the purpose of these radiosondes? Are they weather balloons? Are they used for a different scientific purpose?

And what are their primary frequencies? Does someone have to have a high gain antenna to hear them if they are in the vicinity?

The only VHF DXing I've done (aside from some scanning and PSB and Railroad band listening in the past) is when I heard some NOAA weather satellites in the 136 Mhz band, the beepbeepbeepbeep sound that would occur as they drifted over the area.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: What is a Radiosonde for?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 1536 UTC »
Yes, they are weather balloons. They are launched twice a day (just before 0000z and 1200z) from many locations across the US. If you search the web you can probably find the NWS map of sites, it may be given in an early message on this board as well.

They use 1676, 1678, 1680, and 1682 MHz.

If they pass close by (overhead), I can get reception with just a discone antenna. Otherwise I use a modified WiFi dish antenna for high gain.
Chris Smolinski
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Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: What is a Radiosonde for?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 1523 UTC »
Thanks for the info, Chris. Not sure I have a radio that goes that high... but it makes it easier understanding the posts on this section of the forum knowing what these radiosondes are.
An AM radio Boombox DXer.
+ GE SRIII, PR-D5 & TRF on MW.
The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).