Bob Sutton - ZL1RS

Bay of Islands, New Zealand



The "BBxx" balloon flight project:

A lightweight 'tracker/telemetry' transmitter comprising a GPS and QRP-Labs U3S based transmitter. Some of the flights use QRP-Labs synthisizer kits to generate the transmitter's signal. Details of each flight can be found HERE. Track the latest flight in the BBxx series of flights at the QRP-Labs balloon flights page and at

ZL1RS balloon flight "BB05" is planned for launch when the local weather conditions allow. There will be tracking and more info at The QRP-Labs "BB05" flight page and here on my 'balloon flights' page.

ZL1RS - balloon transmitter

The BB04 Transmitter

ZL1RS balloon flight "BB04" was launched at 20:45 UTC on 10 January 2018 and appears to have suffered a burst balloon about 4,400 km east of New Zealand after 3 days of flying.

ZL1RS balloon flight "BB03" was launched just after 17 UTC on 07 January 2018 and was lost in an area of bad weather 2,000 km east of New Zealand after 2 days of flying.

ZL1RS balloon flight "BB02" was launched at 17:45 UTC on 17 Dec 2017 and was lost in an area of bad weather in the southern Indian Ocean after 9 days of flying.

ZL1RS balloon flight "BB01" was launched at about 18 UTC on 07 Dec 2017 and appears to have come down in bad weather about 3,000 km west of Chile after 5 days of flying.



The ZL1SIX Ocean Floater project:

An ocean going marine buoy containing a GPS and Ultimate3S based transmitter. This project is intended to drifted in the Pacific Ocean at the mercy of the tides, currents and wind directions while sending its position, battery voltage and temperature information via HF radio telemetry on the 30m band in WSPR and JT9 digital modes. The battery bank finally went flat on 29 June 2017 after 407 days at sea.



WSPR tests:

Experimenting with various antennas on RX and sometimes also transmitting with a QRP-Labs Ultimate3S (U3S) transmitter. The kitsets from QRP-Labs are very well done and a LOT of fun to experiment with.



Six Meter Band Beacons and 'Indicators':

All the significant VK and ZL low band TV transmitters (6m propagation indicators) closed down during 2012/13

The following 6m Beacons are currently operational from ZL:

ZL1SIX ... 50.0110, 25W ERP from RF64VT

ZL1VHF ... 50.0433, 20W ERP from RF73MB, attended beacon while a permanent site is being arranged

ZL2WHO/b ... 50.0240, 800W ERP from RF70OM

ZL3SIX ... 50.0399, 100W ERP from RE66EJ

ZL3MHB ... 50.055, 20W ERP from RE57MI

(click thumbnail to open larger image)