Episode 250 – Bill Brown – WB8ELK

Exploration of the edge of space, first by astronaut Jordan Kittinger in Project Highman, began Bill Brown’s, WB8ELK’s, fascination with, adaptation of amateur radio to high altitude weather balloons and later to smaller pico balloons that Bill tracks around the world using amateur radio beacons that he fabricates for his balloon launches.  With over 600 launches to his credit, it easy to say that WB8ELK is an expert in high altitude ballooning and amateur radio.

Bill Brown, WB8ELK: Master of High Altitude Projects
WB8ELK Balloon Flights
Youtube Channel

Hometown:  Findlay, Ohio
First License: July 22, 1969 (day of first man on the moon) , WN8ELK
Ohio State College, BS Chemistry
University of California, Santa Barbara – MSEE


Hallicrafters SX-101A receiver
Johnson Viking Ranger 2 Transmitter

Current Rig:  
Funcube dongle for most reception
Kenwood TS-2000 HF transceiver

73 Magazine

Radio Fun Magazine

Sputnik – first satellite in space launched by Russia

Oscar A06 Satellite

Oscar A07 Satellite


Amateur Radio Television

Slow Scan TV
– Fast Scan tlevision

Vandenberg AFB

Amateur Television Quarterly
– started by Bill and
Henry Rue, AA9XW

Project Man-High

Weather Balloon

“Master of High Altitude Balloon”, by Bill Brown, WB8ELK, QST, May 2017

Amateur radio Pico balloon 36” silver mylar balloon -12 grams is the target weight of pico balloon payload


EagleCad Software

Scientific Balloon Solutions SBS13

WSPRnet 20 meters

Geofencing algorithm
– UK, Yemen, North Korea do not allow amateur flights

WB8ELK APRS Skytracker
– 149.00

Gram tension scale

ARRL Teachers Institute

Habhub.org balloon tracker website

Findme Tracker

Greatest challenge to amateur radio:
Getting students fired up about amateur radio

Ten Ten International Club

Marshall Space Flight Center

​NASA SLS Booster Rocket

Hallicrafters SX-101A GC Receiver
EF Johnson Viking Ranger 2 Transmitter
WB8ELK Pico Balloon Launch
FUNcube SDR Dongle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.