I’ve had a few emails asking how to post in the HAB IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels. This used to be easy, but due to some cretin spamming a great many IRC channels last year, both of the UKHAS IRC channels (#highaltitude and #habhub) have been locked down so that only registered users can post. Registration is fairly easy but not entirely obvious, so I decided to write a short guide.

HAB Channels

We have 2 channels for High Altitude Ballooning on the freenode server:

#highaltitude – this is for general chat about ballooning. It’s the perfect place to ask any questions you may have, or to announce your flight.

#habhub – this is for getting flight documents approved (see to learn about flight and payload documents). It’s also used for adding APRS trackers to the map, and for asking about getting hourly predictors set up.

How To Use IRC

First, open the web client:

You will see the following page:

Fill in your chosen nickname (not that one!). The channel is filled in for you but you can change that if you want to join a different channel. Finally, check the “I’m not a robot” box, even if you a re a robot, and click the Start button.

You will then be joined to the #habhub channel, and you will see the list of current members (people online at the moment) and any new messages that they post. However you will not yet be able to post messages.

Look at the bottom of the screen, and you will see a box with your nickname in it, and a blank box next to that where you you type the following:

/msg NickServ REGISTER password

Obviously (I hope!), you should use a better password than “password”, and your own email address. You need to have access to that email in order to complete the process.

Now, check your email. You should receive something like this:

Now, copy the command given in that email, go back to the IRC client page in your browser, and paste it into the box at the bottom:

Press ENTER and your password is confirmed. You can now post into #habhub, #highaltitude or any other IRC channel on Freenode.

Other Clients

If you expect to use IRC a lot, then it’s best to use a client app (e.g. or a cloud client ( ).

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