MADHEN EGGSPLORER-1 High Altitude Balloon


On 28th June South Kesteven Amateur Radio Society (SKARS) will be operating a special event station at the Swaton Vintage Day held at Thorpe Latimer in Lincolnshire.

The 2015 Swaton Vintage Day will also host the 10th World Egg Throwing Championship  and in recognition the special event station will have the call sign GB2EGG. This popular annual show raises money for local, national and international good causes.

Egg Throwing is recognised by the English Sports Council and the sport is taken very seriously by some competitors. Hundreds of competitors from Europe and around the world are expected to compete this year. Last years event attracted teams from Germany, Slovenia, Hong Kong and Brazil.


Members of South Kesteven ARS will be operating a radio transmission station with the special callsign GB2EGG. During the day they will attempt to communicate with hundreds of other radio amateurs around the country and indeed the world.

They will exchange callsigns and information and raise awareness of the event.

If you want to see amateur radio in action and find out more details of this fascinating hobby then pop along to the tent and say hello.


While planning the special event station SKARS Chairman Andrew Garratt M0NRD jokingly suggested throwing an egg in to space on board a balloon. Andrew is a keen tracker of high altitude balloon flights but has never done a flight of his own. He shouldn't have yoked as it is now a serious project. The idea coming from Dave Akerman's Spudnik flight for Heston Blumenthals Channel4 television program, where a potato was sent in to the stratosphere.

Subject to Civil Aviation Authority clearance and weather conditions Andrew will hopefully launch a high altitude balloon carrying one lucky egg into the edge of space and then dropping it back to earth under a parachute. In addition to the plucky Eggstronaut the balloon called Eggsplorer-1 will carry a radio transmitter to broadcast its position, altitude and live images of the journey back to earth.

On board cameras will record the journey to be recovered on a successful return to Earth. Radio enthusiasts all around the country will be able to assist receiving the data and pictures and track the progress of the flight via the UK High Altitude Society tracking website.

The cost of this venture is not inconsiderable and so the ultimate party band Madhen have kindly agreed to sponsored the flight, so it is known as MADHEN EGGSPLORER-1

The flights have attracted a great deal of publicity, even featuring on the front page of the Sleaford Standard.



In addition to the main altitude flight, another flight called EGGDX is planned, DX which means distance in radio terminology will consist of a 36" stand foil balloon as you often see at parties. Suspended under this will be lightweight tracker kindly donated by Steve Smith, G0TDJ (pictured below) of ProjectHab together with a blown egg shell

 This will hopefully reach an altitude of around 9-12km where it will float and then be carried by the winds over to the continent.

The radio community will be tracking both these flights, and it has featured on the AMSAT-UK website and others others. The technical information for the flights are as follows

Callsign – MADHEN
USB RTTY 300 Baud 880 Hz Shift – Ascii 8 bits, no parity, 2 stop bits Telemetry and SSDV – Frequency adjustable, final frequency will be posted nearer launch, dependent on other flights.

Callsign – EGG1
Backup tracker
USB RTTY 50 Baud 380 Hz Shift – ASCII 7 bit, no parity, 2 stop bits
Telemetry – 434.650 MHz (old non-tcxo NTX fixed frequency)

Second flight planned, a foil floater with VAYU-NTX tracker kindly donated by Steve Smith G0TDJ

Callsign – EGGDX
USB RTTY 50 Baud 450 Hz Shift – ASCII 7 bit, no parity, 2 stop bits
434.450 MHz (fixed frequency)

EGGDX – will be hopefully around 11am

MADHEN/EGG1 – will be hopefully around 12pm

For information on how to track, visit the UKHAS website where there is an extensive guide on how to do it.

The electronic flight computers and transmitters have been constructed and undergone final testing, all eyes are on weather as where the egg will land up is out of our hands.

Current weather forecast and prediction (as of 24 July), shows it may end up getting wet!

Also there are concerns that the CAA may impose time constraints on the flight due to the very busy Lincolnshire airspace on the Sunday, with numerous flybys by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, the Vulcan farewell flight and other displays.

You can follow developments on twitter @eggsplorer1

South Kesteven ARS welcomes anybody with an interest in radio communications, so if want to be involved in this and other events like this please visit us at the show or visit the South Kestevan ARS website and on twitter @M0SKR and the clubs Facebook page