IRC

IRC is “Internet Relay Chat” and is the primary means of sharing information between HAB enthusiasts in Europe and beyond. It is a great place to ask for advice about your flight, to tell people when your flight will be (so they can help track it and give you help if needed during the flight) and to show off about if afterwards. It is also the place for getting flight documents approved if you’re using the UKHAS system; this isn’t vital but it does help publicise your flight which is a good thing as others will help receive your telemetry for you.

Freenode and Libera

The HAB IRC channels used to be hosted on the freenode system for many years. However, without getting into the politics of the situation, many of the freenode staff left to create Libera and in response freenode management took various actions such as taking over channels, preventing discussion of the new service and even blocking the popular and highly recommended IRCCloud web portal. So, all of the UKHAS HAB IRC channels were moved over to Libera. So if you see any links to the old freenode HAB channels, ignore them and use Libera ones instead.

HAB Channels

We have 2 channels for High Altitude Ballooning on the Libera 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 https://ukhas.org.uk/guides:documents to learn about flight and payload documents). It’s also used for adding APRS trackers to the spacenear.us map, and for asking about getting hourly predictors set up.

How To Use IRC

First, open the web client:

https://web.libera.chat/

then enter your chosen nick, the first channel to join e.g. highaltitude and click the Start button.

Other Clients

If you expect to use IRC a lot, then it’s best to use a client app (e.g. https://hexchat.github.io/) or a cloud client ( https://www.irccloud.com/ ). I use the latter, which for basic use is free, or there’s an inexpensive monthly or annual fee which I highly recommend paying if you’re a frequent user.

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