Help with a balloon project
I spent past few months playing around with balloons, building beacons and launching them. I had lot of fun and gained some experience building simple HF CW transmitters. My background is mostly in programming (C, C++, .Net, Perl and such) and I also enjoy playing around with digital circuits (using microcontrollers such as PIC, ATMEL, etc.). BUT anything analog is sort of a mystery to me…
I have reached a point where I would like to attempt something larger, build more sophisticated system that is autonomous as much a possible, attach it to a balloon and have the balloon float around for as long as possible. Would anyone be interested in working on this project with me? It would be great to find some new friends, gain some valuable experience and also have fun building this.
I am attaching a "block diagram" of how I envision the flight computer to work. My original plan was to take the VersaBeacon (http://www.nogaqrp.org/meetings/mar2...nAbstract.html) designed by AE4JY and N4IP and modify it to suit my needs as it can easily do SSTV and Telemetry (RTTY or PSK31) and it covers 0.1 - 150MHz.
So, is anyone out there currently bored and willing to spend some time on this with me?
What type of ballon project? Is is on the order of a weather balloon? or something smaller. What altitude do you hope to achieve? Will you be tracking it in order to retrieve it (APRS)? Sounds like a great project! Check out Project M.E.T.E.O.R at RIT (I am a student there). While this project hasn't really gone too far in the last few years, it is quite interesting and hopefully will get a chance to turn into a completed mission!
Thanks for your reply. My goal is to have the balloon floating as long as possible. So I am not shooting for altitude, but for distance traveled. I am hoping the payload will be less than 1.5kg, plus another kilo for liquid ballast perhaps. And yes, APRS tracking while possible; once the balloon will be out of range, then RTTY or PSK31 tracking on HF. Plus I also want to have an SSTV on it. So if anyone out there has free time and wants to lend me a hand, send me an email.
I tried to go to meteor.rit.edu, but the site seems to be dead/down.
I offered some 446 MHz handheld PCB's to balloon launchers about 9 months ago, but they weren't interested. The PC boards were originally for European FM 12.5kHz 446 PMR use.
That sounds very interesting. Do you intend to retrieve the gear when the balloon comes down ? Be an exspensive project otherwise. Be sure and post the freqs when you do launch so we can try to pick it up
Have you tried surplus military hydrogen generator canisters?
Helium SUCKS right now. $$$$$$
Military surplus weather balloons
$20 on E-bay 7Ft when filled, originally supplied with hydrogen canister.
How much can they lift?
Originally Posted by w7lpn
FCC Section 97.313(a) “At all times, an amateur station must use the minimum transmitter power necessary to carry out the desired communications.”
Flying Pig -57 NAQCC 18 ARCI 10223 SKCC 2076T FISTS 5695 CC 764 SOC 400