Tracking & Recovery

Check out the menu to the left for links to files and pages of interest to the RDF team. If you are new to the EOSS RDF team it is strongly recommend that you carefully read this page as well as the first Six items on the menu:

Equipment for T&R - outlines the basic ready bag (go kit) which includes the essentials for survival on a Tracking and Recovery mission (NEW)

Flight Operations - will go over the procedures followed by the Tracking and Recovery Teams during a flight.

Recovery Procedures  - outlines the safety procedures we want you to follow as well as the method we expect team members to follow to enter private property, and interact with and recover active payload systems on the ground after a landing.

Wide Coverage Repeaters - will indicate which repeaters "normally" are used during a Tracking and Recovery operation.

EOSS RDF System - will go over the grid system EOSS required its Tracking and Recovery teams to use to convey their location information.

T&R Email List - Join the EOSS_Trackers email list to be kept in the loop (from the Tracking and Recovery perspective) on upcoming flights

READ THE RECOVERY PROCEDURES on this page if you are joining us for the first time.

Help us build a database of all the best observation sites in eastern Colorado.

Pre-Flight Net

  • 147.225 MHz (Denver Metro)
  • 145.160 MHz (Colorado Springs)
  • 145.460 MHz (Boulder - link with 11*, unlink with 10*)
  • 107.2 Hz tone on all

Nets begin at 20:00 Local Time

Tracking and Recovery team members are strongly encouraged to check into the net held the evening prior to the flight. This net is almost always held on the Colorado Repeater Association's linked repeater system along the front range of Colorado. Check the Flight Announcement Page for the latest information on times and frequency information.


drawing by Chris Krengel, KB�YRZ

Recovery Procedures


The number one priority for an EOSS Tracking and Recovery team member is to maintain their own personal safety! This is paramount and should never be subordinated to the "needs of the T&R team". Nothing is more important than your continued well being. EOSS will gladly sacrifice a payload if it means we can ensure your safety.

While recovering payloads ALWAYS act in a safe and judicious manner. Rely on your common sense, and when it tells you all is well, corroborate this feeling of well being with your fellow tracking and recovery team members. Maybe your common sense is taking a temporary vacation. Mine apparently did a couple of years ago when I participated in yanking a payload out of some power lines.

Do NOT attempt to remove payloads from said Power Lines. Call the Electric Utility Company. They actually know how to handle this situation safely. Let them.

Do NOT attempt to enter fields with large animals. You are not a toreador, you are a tracking and recovery specialist.

Do NOT attempt to walk across ice covered ponds, lakes, streams or rivers. You are a warm blooded animal not someone who would do well after crashing through the ice into the near zero temperatures of the liquid environment hiding below the surface.

Do NOT attempt to drive through moving water in a vehicle. Unless you KNOW it is safe, meaning you have personal knowledge of a place where you know you can safely drive through a shallow stream, stay out of the water.

Take the above examples as just that, examples, not a complete list of what not to do. Exercise extreme common sense. Talk with your companions before you decide to take any action that could be remotely thought of as dangerous. Maybe they will talk a little additional common sense into you and save us all from a nasty afternoon.

Drive responsibly! Check this page for some warnings on what can happen while driving on the county dirt roads of Eastern Colorado.

On normal hard top roads use all the caution you normally would if driving in an area which you aren't familiar.

Remember, you are NOT driving to aunt Daisy's. You are engaged in a heavily multitasking environment. Not only are you zipping down the road at high speed, you are probably listening carefully to your radio, talking on the radio, changing frequencies on the radio, peeking at a computer screen or APRS display on your radio. This is dangerous stuff. It's dangerous at the speed limit much less beyond it. So, exercise extreme caution and consciously maintain vigilance on your driving tasks relegating all Tracking and Recovery operations to secondary status.

If you feel you may need assistance for an impending or existing medical condition, report immediately to net control! DO NOT HESITATE! Most likely your "problem" will not impact the successful operation of recovery. Much more likely, the T&R coordinator will simply split off one tracker to come to your assistance. So don't be shy about this, speak up. If you worry about what others will think, stop a moment and remember, the other trackers are your FRIENDS! They do NOT want to be chasing about Colorado looking for a balloon only to later learn you were in medical trouble and didn't want to bother them about it. They will all feel guilty if you do NOT speak up!! Also, consider what you would do if you found someone else in need of assistance. Would you hesitate to break into the net and call for help. Of course not. So, don't treat yourself as a "second class hunter". Respect your own needs as you would those of any other member of the Tracking and Recovery team.

Priority TWO

This is obvious but, recover the payload.

Each flight will have different requirements. These special requirements should be covered during the pre-flight net. We are also working on the creation of a "Standard Operating Procedure" for payload recovery. Take a look at this page for information regarding that topic.

Special Files

See Overlay for DF Teams for a rundown on this system and links to files you may be able to print onto overhead transparencies. With these overlays you can properly report DF bearings to the Tracking and Recovery Coordinator.

Nick Hanks EOSS Grid Conversion Utility will give you your EOSS grid X/Y coordinates for any latitude longitude entered.

Paul Ternlund's Spread Sheet DF program

Geralyn Quintana's Brochure (handout for land owners)

EOSS Biz Cards (handout for landowners)