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Send A Balloon Into Space

The goal of this project is to launch a (relatively) high altitude balloon carrying a
number of digital cameras and some other instrumentation. The project was conceived
and is being implemented in a short time with a crowd of eager volunteers and little
prior experience and a lot of optimism. What follows is a pdf document of our
collaborative wiki!

For more updated information and links, visit the wiki at http://balloon.pbwiki.com
balloon
- APRS INFO 1

- APRS System Test Plan

- AntennaConstruction

- AprsGoogleEarth

- BalloonLinks

- BalloonMath

- BalloonTrack

- Battery Info

- CVS Camera
APRS INFO 1
Base station details

PK-96 TNC
Connected with Keyspan USB->Serial converter. COM4, 9600 7bits, even parity, 1 stop bit.For
terminal operation, power up TNC, type a * to get it trained on the baud rate, and then type
KISS ON to enable KISS mode.

UI-View32 APRS tracking software
Requires Admin privs to run and talk to the serial port properly.Get maps from the UI-View
website. (mirrored here, unzip in the MAPS subdir of the app)

Antenna
The base station antenna is using this design, a 3-element 2 meter yagi, which should give
approximately 7db of gain.

Mobile station details

Garmin GPS 35-HVS
GPS reciever with integrated antenna. Supports a wide voltage range: +6-40 volts.

Tinitrak II
Reads position data from the GPS, encodes it and transmits it on the radio.

TiniTrak Signal GPS 35-HVS
White/brown TX to GPS White
White/green RX from GPS Blue
Brown RS-232 ground Black
Red Positive to battery Red
Black Ground Black

Design thoughts
I have some big questions about what freq to use (and if it's public aprs) how WIDE it should
be... we hope to get upto about 90k with about 5watts@2 meter. Thinking of using a simple j-

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
pole.. welcome feedback and ideas. Balloon flights are a regular occurance on APRS,
happening all overthe continent. Send your information to Ralph Wallio so that
othersinterested in ballooning can find out about your
project. http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/ARHABlaunchannouncements.htm Ralph is our
official announcement bulletin board. Anyone interestedin ballooning should keep an eye on
Ralph's website. Anyone interestedin sending up a balloon should announce it on Ralph's
website soothers can take part in the experience. I would suggest using 144.390, as there is a
large investment in APRSinfrastructure on that frequency. Balloon payloads don't need
longpaths. WIDE1-1, WIDE2-1 would be the maximum path that I would suggestusing. The
packet path only helps when you are on the ground, both atthe start and at the end of the
flight. When the balloon is in theair, it has a better path than any ground based digipeater
listeningfor it. Longer paths only clog up the terrestrial network for noreason, although using
the above path keeps the clogging to a minimum.Older obsolete paths were much worse when
used from a balloon.Remember, you will only see one copy of each packet via the APRS-
ISbecause of duplicate filtering. Rest assured that your packets will beheard by a great many
digipeaters, and also i-gated by many i-gates.It's only the fastest digipeater/i-gate combo that
gets recorded onthe APRS-IS. I'd suggest beaconing at 1 per minute. Longer means
morewaiting and anxiety for you on the ground. Shorter means theland-lubbers get cranky
about all the noise. Generally if you use areasonable path, the general population don't
squawk about rapidbeaconing from a balloon. Most people realize that the noisy packagewill
only be on the air for a couple hours at most. I would also suggest backing the power down on
the 2 metretransmitter. There's no need to have 5 watts. You will be playing withline of site
propagation, and your favourable antenna position (90,000feet) makes up for a lot of
transmitter power. If you can reduce theoutput power, you can get a much longer run time.
You also have theoption of reducing the mass of batteries you need to send up. Reducingthe
mass means more altitude. Run time is a priority, as it is nastyif your tracker turns off before
you hit the ground. Also, is your GPS unit guaranteed to resolve a position above 60,000ft?
Many manufacturers implement the >60,000 ft AND >1,000 kts limitimproperly, and stop
resolving if either limit is exceeded, ratherthan when both are exceeded. Again, Ralph keeps
track of the GPS unitsthat we have tested and proven onboard our
payloads. http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/GPSrcvrsvs60kft.htm If you have any specific
queries, I am more than happy to furnish whathelp that I can... you can contact me directly at
ve6srv(at)rac.ca. JamesVE6SRV
APRS System Test Plan
Goals:

Confirm that APRS beacon functions

- Confirm accuracy of GPS data

- Confirm beacon interval

- Confirm hardware reliability and durability

- Confirm that base station can read and track data

Tests:

Basic functionality:
Test: Cobble the Tinitrak/GPS-35/radio together and verify that they work as a unit and that
the base station will recieve the traffic.Status: DoneResults: The GPS got a lock in about 30
seconds standing outside. It transmitted several beacons, which were recieved by the base
station. It is transmitting using 3ric's call sign, with the "Home" tag. The beacon interval looks
to be several minutes. The coordinate is accurate, but the position on the map display in UI-
View32 was off by several miles.

Extended functionality:
Take Tinitrak/GPS-35/radio unit in car, drive around and confirm that GPS unit can get
readings.Monitor base station to verify reception of beacon data.Verify:

Accuracy of GPS data

- Beacon interval

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
Range of reception

- Power consumption

Robustness:
Perform minimal shock and cold testing of assembled unit. Verify that connections between
components are reliable. Confirm that there are no exposed electrical connections which could
short out. Confirm that wires and connectors are routed in a stress-resistant manner.
AntennaConstruction
Here's what we should build for the antenna: http://www.qsl.net/wb3gck/jpole.htm

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
AprsGoogleEarth
server url: http://tracker.dxpedition.net/
This project does all that we need (is a client-side Java app that fires up Google Earth and
tracks a callsign, but it seems a bit overkill): https://aprskml.dev.java.net/
Here's a server that serves up KML files given a callsign: http://www.openaprs.net/index.html
Need to setup the correct filter call but it exports KML files and provides historic tracking.
Generates a correct KML view given a call sign:
http://www.aprsdepot.com/forum/index.php/topic,34.0.html
They can follow a call sign in real time already:
http://www.aprsdepot.com/forum/index.php/topic,40.0.html
Another site that follows a call sign in realtime: http://db.aprsworld.net/datamart/track-
search.php
TimL has updated ahab_location_google_earth.php to include blocks of the following code,
which use the openaprs.net server to get APRS location data:

300
onInterval

<![CDATA[http://www.openaprs.net/ajax/google_earth/track.php?source=K7MCR&interval=&re
fresh=true]]>

1
OpenAPRS:Some guy in Issaquah K7MCR

300
onInterval

<![CDATA[http://www.openaprs.net/ajax/google_earth/track.php?source=KE7GRE&interval=&r
efresh=true]]>

1
OpenAPRS:Bri KE7GRE

We should create a system which reads APRS data from the internet somewhere, and then
outputs KML (or ideally KMZ) files to feed users of google earth.
Someone created a demo of this here:
http://www.w7mjr.com:81/aprs/keyhole.shtml
http://www.aprs-is.net/javAPRSSrvr/serveradjunct.htm
http://mologogo.wikispaces.com/KML
This is an awesome demo, however, it has some issues..

- The dataset for the entire APRS network is large; the xml file is almost 2 megs.
- It looks like W7MJR is hosting this from a dsl line.
- His updates are every 2 minutes or so.
- It clearly can't support more than a few clients.

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
So we should re-create this demo using a subset of the entire APRS feed, with a whitelist of
valid callsigns. Also, we can have it feed in stuff from mologogo phones.
Here's the XML file from the kml file:

com.w7mjr.aprs
APRS data received at station W7MJR
1
http://www.w7mjr.com:81/aprs/aprskeyhole.cfm/aprs.kml
120
0

It seems to have a pretty simple interface. This frontend kml file tells google earth to fetch
new data from X url every 120 seconds.
the aprs.kml (snipped) uses this format:

Stations heard at W7MJR. Last update 24-Feb-07 18:22:48 UTC.

APRS - Boise, Idaho USA
1

147.04

findU
QRZTime: 24-Feb-07 11:03:22 AM MTZ

Symbol: Mic-E Rptr
Lat: 41.014503°Lon: -112.2085°
Comment: DCARC Antelope Island Repeater PL 123.0
KC7RAF>APU25N,TCPIP*,qAC,T2APRSWST:
;147.04 *201322z4100.87N/11212.51WmDCARC Antelope Island Repea
ter PL 123.0]]>

testing

-112.2085
41.014503
30000
0
0.0

1

http://www.w7mjr.com:81/aprs/images/mysymb.png

252
21
21
21

-112.2085,41.014503,

YV6EVC

findU
QRZTime: 24-Feb-07 10:46:33 AM MTZ

Symbol: Home
Lat: 9.4316673°Lon: -64.463333°
Comment: 73dx Grid:FJ79sk yv6evc@gmail.com {UIV32N}
YV6EVC>APU25N,YV6ACM-7,YV5LTR-7*,YV4AJ-7,qAR,YV5KXE-4:
=0925.90N/06427.80W-73dx Grid:FJ79sk yv6evc@gmail.com {UIV32N}]]
>

testing

-64.463333
9.4316673
30000
0
0.0

1

http://www.w7mjr.com:81/aprs/images/mysymb.png

252
105
21
21

-64.463333,9.4316673,
BalloonLinks
Other External Balloon links

Check out other people's rigs: flickr photo group link

Pegasus

- Utarc

- Ham Ballooning

EOSS

- High Altitude Glider Project

- JP Aerospace... Rockoons!

- HABET - High Altitude Balloon Experiments in Technology

- HARC - High Altitude Research Corporation

- NASA Ultra Long Duration Balloon

- NASA Antarctic Balloons

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
ABCs (Amateur Ballooning Compendium)

- fyi, here's another similar project beth found. not sure if this one has made the rounds yet.
BalloonMath
Balloon Math Stuff

Deciding which one to use

We found that Kaymont is a good balloon manufacturer to use and their 1500 Sounding
Balloon is around $60.

- These guys inflated a 1500 to 10lbs lift and attached their 8lb payload to it, although
Kaymont recommends using a much smaller payload. http://vpizza.org/~jmeehan/balloon/

- It seems like the Sounding Balloons will probably make it through the Tropopause if they
have a fast enough ascent rate, but for applications where the balloon needs to stay in the
Tropopause for a long amount of time the Cold Weather balloons are probably better.

- The math on their site as far as the weight ratios go is:

- Average Weight: The weight of the balloon itsself (uninflated)

- Gross Lift: The recommended amount of lift to inflate the balloon to (the negative weight of
the helium in the balloon)

- Nozzle Lift: The Gross Lift minus the Average Weight of the balloon = The negative weight
of the filled balloon

- Payload: The recommended payload weight

- Recommended Free Lift: The difference between the Nozzle Lift and the Payload weight.
If the payload weight is increased, you should also increase the Gross Lift so you keep the
Recommended Free Lift. With this Free Lift value you should achive the specified Rate of
Ascent.

- If we use a 3000, it will go up to 125k feet in around 2 hours and a typical parachute should
provide a descent of about 3-5m/sec which would at most take around 2 hours for it to come
back down.

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
Temperature at different altitudes

http://vortex.plymouth.edu/atmosphere/layers.html - This just says that our lowest temperature
will be around -63 degrees celsius and should be around -23 degrees celsius at 125k feet.

- http://www.utarc.org/wiki/index.php/Amateur_Ballooning_Compendium - This has good math
info and data on atmospheric temperature

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth's_atmosphere - General info on the atmosphere

Recommended Balloon

When checking on balloons from Kaymont, I'd check to see how much the 1200-3000 balloons
are for both the Sounding and Cold Weather Balloons and see which is cheaper. If the Cold
Weather ones aren't that much more expensive I would go with them because it would have
less chance of having problems when going through the Tropopause. All of the 1200-3000
balloons will support the 1050 gram payload so if there is a big difference in price between
them get the one that seems most cost effective.

- Also check to see if their parachutes will support up to the payload we need.

Calculators
This calculator is pretty cool, it'll display the air pressure and temperature for any altitude:
http://bpesoft.com/s/wleizero/xhac/?M=p

How much Gas do we need?

Each 1200 balloon has a 'base volume' of 4 cubic meters. That's 105 cubic feet. We might be
overfilling the balloons in order to to lift our payload.. so let's say on the high side we need to
put in 150 cubic feet.

- 3ric picked up a 290 cubic feet (2400PSI) tank. It's about 160 to 175lbs.

- This should almost fill two of our balloons.. or maybe three if we don't need to overfill.
BalloonTrack
wbaltrak.ini - BalloonTrack Configuration File http://www.eoss.org/wbaltrak/index.html

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
Battery Info
I started looking for larger capacity batteries so we wouldn't be lifting so much packaging.
Bigger batteries also allow more current to be pulled. Lithium Sulfur batteries come in 2 things
that are called C cells: long run, low current for clocks, and high current ones. What's
confusing is that most of the low current ones are now Lithium Thionyl Chloride (look at the
hazmat specs on those!) SAFT makes a full line and the specs are
athttp://www.saftbatteries.com/120-Techno/20-
10_produit.asp?sSegment=&sSegmentLien=&sSecteurLien=&secteur=&Intitule_Produit=LSH&
page=2The LO or LSH series looks like what we want. C Cell:
http://www.fedcoelectronics.com/detail.tpl?SKU=LSH14
D Cell: http://www.fedcoelectronics.com/detail.tpl?SKU=LO26SX Assuming we want to get to
7.2 volts & don't need more than an amp of current draw, C cells are the better power/weight
trade off. Old (but still good ) info. For Ordering: consider getting the energizer L91. I'm not sure
about the e2. The mail I got back from energizer was thoroughly unhelpful (they said chemical
composition info was proprietary). They sent me here: http://data.energizer.com/. Only e2
listed is an akaline. Check out the cylindrical/photo lithium section. Some battery
info Temperature issues:at 35K feet, temp is -50Cat 70K feet, temp is -55Cwe could potentially
get to 125Kft lowest temp we are likely to get to should be around –60C from The Handbook of
Batteries:best performance at –80C and below:lithium-thionyl chloride and lithium-sulfur dioxide
found to have the best performance Other folks
(http://www.utarc.org/wiki/index.php/Amateur_Ballooning_Compendium#Batteries)
recommend Energizer e2 lithium batteries the E2 is a lithium/Iron Disulfide batteryweight 0.5
ozspec sheet attachedl91.pdf, or at data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf (at least, presumably
that's the spec sheet. It's what google gives back for the e2, though the sheet says it's the
L91. not sure if that is google's problem or energizer's problem) voltage drops to 1.4 quickly,
then down to about 1.0 just over 2.5 hours. But that’s rated at 21C. Question: how to determine
how quickly the voltage will drop at –30C and below?Peanut gallery answer: styrofoam cooler,
datalogging multimeter, battery and some dry ice? (boiling point of C02, -78C) 3ric says
everything stops working at 6 volts, and we can go up to 40 volts. What about Solar?solar cells
work for satellites.. perhaps they'd work for this? All depends on the power requirements but if
they're low enough a few PV cells and a supercap or two might fit the bill. PV cells tend to
work better at lower temperatures (as opposed to chemical batteries). Here's a link to a old
solar cell handbook: http://downloads.solarbotics.com/PDF/sunceramcat.pdf . The cells
listed in this book tend to have a min operating temp of -40C but, again, they use PV cells in
space so clearly there must exist some that operate at those lower temperatures. Also, the
voltage produced by a PV cell tends to rise with falling temperature (while max current drops
(but more slowly)) -- this characteristic may be useful in offsetting the voltage dropoff of a
battery system in a combined battery/solar approach. Here's someone's post about the e2
batteries. See: http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-
bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=printer_format&om=323&forum=DCForumID38 Jin, I'm not sure
about your Li CR123A batteries as I use the Energizer e2 AA Lithiums L91. From the data
spec. sheet for the AA Lithiums, the details are given as:-Battery chemical composition:
Lithium/Iron Disulfide (gel based)Storage & operation temperature range: -40 to +60 degrees
C (-40 to +140 degrees F)Shelf Life: 10 years(+)The equivalent to the CR123A are the
Energiser e2 EL123AP (3 volts) and their data spec. sheet gives:-Battery chemical
composition: Lithium/Manganese DioxideOperating Temperture Range: -40 to +60 degrees C
(-40 to +140 degrees F)and the following chart for shelf life (function of temperature).Basically,
in our UK climate condition, the chart predicts a fairly stable 90% plus service even after
nearly 10 years so your 2+ years will be well within the batteries' storage limits!

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
CVS Camera
- About the camera
- Hacking the camera
- Attaching a USB cable
- Software
- Power
- Our assembly
- Useful Links

About the camera
The CVS camera is a small, light, cheap ($20) "one time use" video camera. The idea is that
once you fill up the internal flash, you bring it back to the store and have them "develop" it into
a CD. People quickly discovered that it is extremely easy to hack these cameras and get the
data off of them yourself, therefore eliminating the designed "one time use".
We are using a CVS camera pointed straight down to record the first 20 minutes (or so, until it
runs out of space) of the launch.

Hacking the camera

Attaching a USB cable
Here's the pinout:

Software
Once you have a working USB cable, the camera should show up as a "Saturn" device. The
camera we have has version 52.12 of the firmware. So far the only software I have found that
successfully unlocked and retreived data from the camera is this *specific* copy of "OPS" for
windows, available at:
http://freelowell.com/downloads/camcorderpage/OPSWITHCRONUS.zip

Power
We are powering the camera with a single CR123 battery, connected to the camera's battery
terminals.

Our assembly
http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:58:15
Useful Links
- http://www.bigorangecouch.com/modules/articles/article.php?id=7
- http://freelowell.com/downloads/camcorderpage/Camerahacking.html
- Our mirror of everything hotlinked from here, in case those websites disappear.
balloon
- Camera Software

- CameraWeightLossAndControl

- Communication

- DayOfFlight

- EquipmentChecklist
Camera Software
Links that may help with controlling the
camera http://sourceforge.net/projects/libptphttp://www.gphoto.org/http://www.teaser.fr/~hfiguier
e/linux/digicam.htmlhttp://capture.sourceforge.net/http://www.imagemagick.org/Usage/http://ww
w.wiredfool.com/2006/11/09/tonights-hack/ *some of these might have worked, but the Canon
SDK does not support the Elph series that well. We're taking pictures more invasively by
soldering wires to points on the push-button switch that takes pictures

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:07:13
CameraWeightLossAndControl
Case and LCD Removal The Canon Elph 450 weighs over 5 oz fully assembled. The case can
be removed, it splits into to main halves and a wrist strap attachment. Small screws hold it on
the camera. The LCD screen can be removed while allowing the camera to continue
functioning. There is a single screw hold it on and two ribbon cables. The shorter ribbon
cable is straight forward, while the second wider cable goes through a hole in the camera body
and is plugged in on the opposite side. It may be difficult to reattach those ribbon cables. The
lcd screen is not yet removed in this picture. The ribbon cable just to the lower left of the lense
is connected to the lcd screen. The camera weighs about 2.9 oz after all that, and 3.6 oz
including a battery. Plastic around the ribbon cable can be removed, exposing the switch that
takes
pictures. Control elph450_button_closeup_notes.jpg http://flickr.com/photos/bre/401608730/http:/
/flickr.com/photos/bre/401607852/in/photostream/http://flickr.com/photos/bre/401607059/in/pho
tostream/http://flickr.com/photos/bre/401606017/in/photostream/http://flickr.com/photos/bre/401
605098/in/photostream/http://flickr.com/photos/bre/401603935/in/photostream/ To bypass the
mechanical button, short two of the legs of the push-button switch together for half a second or
so.One of the two ends of the push button (with arrows in picture) is at 3.3V and the other
appears to be floating. It's possible that just connecting the floating side to an external 3.3V
source (ref to same ground) will take a picture. One thing we don't want to do is tie either end
of the push-button to adjacent cameras. If any of the cameras is powered off or fails then all of
the cameras will be unable to take pictures- we confirmed this on the test bench. The battery
ground and the grounding 'planes' around the body of the camera are the same (0 ohms
resistance between them). Field of View The horizontal field of view of the Elph 450 is about 54
degrees. For a decent panorama we should have adjacent cameras overlap by a 2-4
degrees. With four cameras we can easily get a 180 degree panorama.

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:07:13
Communication
Transportation and Communication is being coordinated by EricButler, please contact me if
you have any questions or comments. For location information, see Launch Site.

Communication
We are going to assume there will not be cell coverage at the launch site, and will plan to use
other forms of communication.

FRS
Channel: 7 (462.7125 MHz)

CB
This will be useful while driving, because the range is much better than FRS, and not every
vehical will have a ham radio operator. Let's try to make sure every car has a CB radio and a
GPS, so we can help anyone who has trouble finding the launch site. Channel: 7 (27.035 MHz)

HAM Radio
Frequency: 146.490 MHz Simplex Potentially we can use the Spokane Repeater Group's
network, on 147.200. JonM has a query in about this. This would give us broad-based
coverage and more range than with simplex. Please add your call sign here: See Call Signs

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:07:13
DayOfFlight
Sequence for Day of Flight Tasks

Launch day

- Deploy checklists

- Launch site equipment tests (add description of tests here)

- Camera checkout

- Connect to each camera with minijack cable + USB-to-video + Laptop with WinTV sw

- Verify camera settings are correct: focused at infinity, max resolution, empty sd cards

- Power checkout: Verify batteries are fresh and fully charged

- Other equipment tests??

- Safety check

- Helium set-up

- Balloon lay-out

- Weather check

- Payload and lift-train layout

- Ensure appropriate signage on payload ("harmless science experiment + phone number)

- Fill system set up

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:07:13
- Lift calibration set-up

- Filling procedure

- Launch check

- Shrieker active

- Secondary release timer set and started

- All electronics turned on

- Location beaconing active

- Check readings on ground tracking equipment

- Launch

- Ground systems clean-up

- Tracking & Recovery

- Team coordination

- FAA reporting

- Sight tracking

- Telemetry monitoring

- Landing

- Check for remaining battery power, replace batteries if necessary

- Connect each camera to Bre's laptop with USB

- Download images

- Burn dvds of images

- Use autostitch to create single panoramas

- Upload a good one at full res to Make site, flickr
- Upload to DoubleTake author in germany for giant Quicktime video

- bittorrent full video, reduced HD format versions elsewhere, highly reduced version to
youtube/google video
EquipmentChecklist
Critical supplies
This checklist contains everything needed at the launch site for the project.

If you can be responsible for an item, put your name and quantity (if applicable) under "Who's
Bringing/Count".

Please add any new items and update details!

This list should be printed out, and we should check every item off while loading vehicles.
(Beth)

Project-related Power/Communication/Electronics
(Yellow Case)

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Batteries Car batteries, to pow
EricB: 2x 12v, 26Ah

JonM: 8x6v 10A

WinTV PVR2 USB See item page
spare batteries for flashlights, electr
Video cameras Bre + ?? for recording launch
MoLoGoGo charger(s) TimL
Extension cords (min three)
Power strips (min four) We are short on pow
Ground GPS for JonM's chase ve
SD card readers Bre
USB Bre for ground tracking s

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:07:13
Specific Individual/Vehicle
Power/Communication/Electronics

Check Item Who's Bringing Item Details
Primary Tracking Station 3ric Public Tube
Secondary Tracking Station Bre Bre's laptop
MacTracker station JonM JonM's laptop
Ham radios Anyone who has one Add your name and call sign here
Inverters EricB: 1x300W To power AC devices. Note which cars have one.

JonM: 1x300W

Tim: 1x300W

Ella +anyone else?

Safety/Survival

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
First Aid Kit Bre, Ella
Fire extinguisher JonM Dry ABC

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Balloon Launch Kit

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count
Tarp for balloon filling Beth
Sandbags AdamC
cotton gloves for people handling lines Bre, or anyone who is up around
ground cover tarp PNA
stakes/tent pegs 3ric, Beth, Ella

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:
Ahab

Check Item Details
Who's Bringing

Balloons (Three!)
launch crew

parachute launch crew
payload container (see payload checklist) Ella
rigging (kite string and swivels) Bre/Ella

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Payload Checklist

Check Who's B

MoLoGoGo phone Bre

4 Canon cameras Bre

1 CVS Camera Bre

Make controller/thermometers Bre

battery pack Bre

chirper Bre

secondary takedown device Bre

"Harmless science experiment" signage; incl phone number Bre

GPS/tinytrack/radio/antenna Bre
photographs (see Bre's googlegroups post) Bre

hazard tape Bre

SD cards (one per camera) Bre

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Miscellanous Tools

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Ite
caribiners if you were the one who put them on the list, bring them
duct tape PNA
epoxy PNA
toothpicks PNA
latex gloves PNA
zipties PNA

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Flight toolbox (Yellow and Black Toolbox)

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Soldering Iron(s) PNA
Solder PNA
pliers PNA
wrenches for helium bottle PNA 2 wrenches
electrical tape PNA
Bre
spare batteries

markers/pen/paper Beth
screwdrivers/screwgun PNA
radar gun PNA/3ric
hammer PNA
sledgehammer Adamc for Ella's tent pegs
When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Spare Payload Parts

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Details

Extra MoLoGoGo Phone 3ric

Extra tinytrack 3ric

Extra Canon camera(s) Bre

Extra CVS camera Bre

Extra GPS Not guaranteed

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Transportation-Related (Each car should have chains
at minimum)

Check Item Who's B
Jumper Cables
JonM:

TimL:

Ella: 1
Tow Cables - optional if someone has AAA
Chains Ella: 1
Fix-a-flat
sand or de-icer AdamC

**When complete, list vehicle transporting *specific items in list*:

Ground Station Misc Supplies

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Trash bags Beth pack it out
folding table JonM 8'x30" folding table
camping chairs JonM: 4, 3ricj: 4
Easy-up canopy ???anyone For rain shelter at base sta
Trained monkeys Bre/3ric recovery device
Blankets to ward off the cold
Beth: 1

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:****

Supplies for each participant
Everyone should bring (for themselves, and extra if possible):

Check Item Item Details
Water
Food/Snacks
Sunscreen
Sunglasses
Cold weather clothing, incl: launch site will be below freezing
waterproof boots
extra socks (smartwool!)
gloves, pref waterproof
hat
long underwear if your legs get cold
layers (daytime temps to 50)
change of clothes
Cell phone
Flashlights
camera
Road and terrain maps
Walkie-talkies (FRS/GMRS) If you have one
Binoculars If you have some

GPS

First Aid Kit if you gots
10 essentials!!! http://www.backpacking.net/ten-essl.html
orange vest
balloon
- EquipmentChecklist

- Expenses

- FAQ
EquipmentChecklist
Critical supplies
This checklist contains everything needed at the launch site for the project.

If you can be responsible for an item, put your name and quantity (if applicable) under "Who's
Bringing/Count".

Please add any new items and update details!

This list should be printed out, and we should check every item off while loading vehicles.
(Beth)

Project-related Power/Communication/Electronics
(Yellow Case)

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Batteries Car batteries, to pow
EricB: 2x 12v, 26Ah

JonM: 8x6v 10A

WinTV PVR2 USB See item page
spare batteries for flashlights, electr
Video cameras Bre + ?? for recording launch
MoLoGoGo charger(s) TimL
Extension cords (min three)
Power strips (min four) We are short on pow
Ground GPS for JonM's chase ve
SD card readers Bre
USB Bre for ground tracking s

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:10:32
Specific Individual/Vehicle
Power/Communication/Electronics

Check Item Who's Bringing Item Details
Primary Tracking Station 3ric Public Tube
Secondary Tracking Station Bre Bre's laptop
MacTracker station JonM JonM's laptop
Ham radios Anyone who has one Add your name and call sign here
Inverters EricB: 1x300W To power AC devices. Note which cars have one.

JonM: 1x300W

Tim: 1x300W

Ella +anyone else?

Safety/Survival

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
First Aid Kit Bre, Ella
Fire extinguisher JonM Dry ABC

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Balloon Launch Kit

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count
Tarp for balloon filling Beth
Sandbags AdamC
cotton gloves for people handling lines Bre, or anyone who is up around
ground cover tarp PNA
stakes/tent pegs 3ric, Beth, Ella

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:
Ahab

Check Item Details
Who's Bringing

Balloons (Three!)
launch crew

parachute launch crew
payload container (see payload checklist) Ella
rigging (kite string and swivels) Bre/Ella

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Payload Checklist

Check Who's B

MoLoGoGo phone Bre

4 Canon cameras Bre

1 CVS Camera Bre

Make controller/thermometers Bre

battery pack Bre

chirper Bre

secondary takedown device Bre

"Harmless science experiment" signage; incl phone number Bre

GPS/tinytrack/radio/antenna Bre
photographs (see Bre's googlegroups post) Bre

hazard tape Bre

SD cards (one per camera) Bre

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Miscellanous Tools

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Ite
caribiners if you were the one who put them on the list, bring them
duct tape PNA
epoxy PNA
toothpicks PNA
latex gloves PNA
zipties PNA

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Flight toolbox (Yellow and Black Toolbox)

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Soldering Iron(s) PNA
Solder PNA
pliers PNA
wrenches for helium bottle PNA 2 wrenches
electrical tape PNA
Bre
spare batteries

markers/pen/paper Beth
screwdrivers/screwgun PNA
radar gun PNA/3ric
hammer PNA
sledgehammer Adamc for Ella's tent pegs
When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Spare Payload Parts

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Details

Extra MoLoGoGo Phone 3ric

Extra tinytrack 3ric

Extra Canon camera(s) Bre

Extra CVS camera Bre

Extra GPS Not guaranteed

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:

Transportation-Related (Each car should have chains
at minimum)

Check Item Who's B
Jumper Cables
JonM:

TimL:

Ella: 1
Tow Cables - optional if someone has AAA
Chains Ella: 1
Fix-a-flat
sand or de-icer AdamC

**When complete, list vehicle transporting *specific items in list*:

Ground Station Misc Supplies

Check Item Who's Bringing/Count Item Details
Trash bags Beth pack it out
folding table JonM 8'x30" folding table
camping chairs JonM: 4, 3ricj: 4
Easy-up canopy ???anyone For rain shelter at base sta
Trained monkeys Bre/3ric recovery device
Blankets to ward off the cold
Beth: 1

When complete, list vehicle transporting kit:****

Supplies for each participant
Everyone should bring (for themselves, and extra if possible):

Check Item Item Details
Water
Food/Snacks
Sunscreen
Sunglasses
Cold weather clothing, incl: launch site will be below freezing
waterproof boots
extra socks (smartwool!)
gloves, pref waterproof
hat
long underwear if your legs get cold
layers (daytime temps to 50)
change of clothes
Cell phone
Flashlights
camera
Road and terrain maps
Walkie-talkies (FRS/GMRS) If you have one
Binoculars If you have some

GPS

First Aid Kit if you gots
10 essentials!!! http://www.backpacking.net/ten-essl.html
orange vest
Expenses
1200 gram balloon $65parachute $55make controllerthermal sensors $15Batteries: Radio:
Yasu?Tinytrak 3- $27gps: garmin gps 35battery holders:$3 holds 8aa $2 holds 4.switches 10
for $6cameras: sd300-sd600 brokenboost phone: ebay $30 (mologogo phone) comes with
$10 of boostkite string... $35 forsd cards 2gig $30 each x45 pizzas $100helium: $75?helium to
balloon adapter: $5 kitchen timer: $12surplus powered speaker: $1

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FAQ
Balloon FAQ's

How much will the balloon lift?

How high will it go?

The Launch Planning page shows how to calculate lift, burst altitude and filling. Calculations
will all need to be updated based on the evolving vehicle weight captured in the mass budget.

Where can I get balloons?

- our balloon specs---model KCI 1200

What kinds of things can I fly?

- Where can I launch my balloon?

- Here are some sites in Washington

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 17:10:32
Where are some on-line resources?

Where is the balloon project checklist?

- Where is the balloon launch checklist?

- What will the weather be like?

See the bottom of the Launch Planning page.

Why helium?
Because hydrogen is just too dangerous.
balloon
- GPSInfo

- Ground Systems

- Launch Planning

- Launch Site

- MakeController

- MoLoGoGo Phone

- People and Roles

- PowerBudget

- Pre-Day of Flight Tasks
GPSInfo
3ricj thinks we should use one of these (which he
has) http://www.garmin.com/products/gps35/spec.htmlhttp://www.garmin.com/products/gps35/
We have model: GPS35-HVS which, per the cheat sheet, supports high
alt: http://showcase.netins.net/web/wallio/GPSrcvrsvs60kft.htm It's weight is 3.88oz minus cable.

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Ground Systems
Ground Systems

Helium Fill System
The helium fill system consists of:

1 T-bottle of Helium, 2400 psi, 290cf

- A helium regulator with a barb fitting output output epoxyed into constructed PVC pipe
adaptor (see below)

- [a fill diffuser?] diffuser determined unnecessary because gas output not strong enough to
damage or shred test balloon (condom)

- PVC pipe regular output adaptor: outer diameter of PVC pipe 1.25", 12" section joined with
right angle elbow to 6" section to form a L. open end of 12" section sanded smooth and 6" end
capped---cap drilled to accomodate end of regulator which has been vigorously/permanently
epoxyed into endcap. all PVC parts sealed with primer and pipe adhesive.

Operation:

Insert open 12" into balloon and temporarly lash securely with lace or cord. this will be
removed after filling

Tie-down and launch apparatus
While the balloon is being filled, it will be held down with... anchor apparatus attached to line
attached to filling adaptor (see "tying balloon" page)The payload will be attached after the first
closure of the balloon. end of payload rigging attached to "O" of webbing, or loop of line.
balloon closes like this: tie off after filling, slide O ring of webbing or other rigging onto end of
balloon, just below first tie. bend end in half so that O ring or line is tied around the whole
end/bend of balloon. lash up end that is folded up Prior to launch, the payload, recovery train
and attachment harness will be laid out in line with the predominant wind direction (if any) with
the "lowest" part of the payload the most upwind. When the launch command is given, the

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payload manager will lift the payload gondola and carry it clear of ground obstacles as the
balloon lifts the launch train and drifts upward.

To prevent rocks and dirt from damaging the balloon, a ground cover will be laid out to provide
a location to spread out the balloon.

Ground Communications
See Communication
Launch Planning
Launch Planning

Lift Planning
The weight budget is here. Current estimate: 6.4 lbm (2.9 kg) Some useful data:

Altitude (m) Altitude (ft) Buoyancy (kg/m^3)
0 0 ~1
10,000 32,000 0.356055
20,000 66,000 0.076556
30,000 98,000 0.015852
35,000 115,000 0.00728742

Our balloon, optimally filled, will hold 2.99 m^3 at sea level, and so it will be neutrally buoyant
with about 6.4 lbm load. In order to have adequate lift, we should target a system mass,
including balloon, of 5 lbm. This calculation agrees with the manufacturers specification.

At what altitude will the balloon burst?
The balloon will burst at , where a is the altidude in meters, M_v is the vehicle mass in
kilograms M_f is the free lift in kilograms b is the buoyancy of helium in kg/m^3 as a function of
altitude derived from the above chart This happens because the maximum "neutral buoyancy"
volume of the balloon is 107 cubic meters and that volume will be reached when the buoyancy
function times 107 is equal to the sum of the payload mass plus its free lift. For example, if the
vehicle mass is 4 kg, and the balloon was filled until it neutrally lifted a 4.5 kg bucket, then you
calculate the free lift like this: The helium is lifting the balloon, plus the 4.5 kg bucket, and when
its flying, it will lift the vehicle. Total Lift =4.5 kg + M_balloon = 5.2 kgFree lift = 5.2 kg -
M_vehicle = 5.2 - 4.0 = 1.2 Kg 5.2 / 107 = 0.0486 So the balloon will burst when the buoyancy
function reaches 0.0486, and a rough interpolation on the chart above shows that this
happens at about 26,000 m

How much helium will we fill?
Roughly speaking 1 cubic meter of helium at sea level has a lift of about 1 kg, and 1 cubic
meter of helium is equivalent to 35.3 cubic feet.Helium is delivered in tanks that specify their
equivalent cubic feet of helium (but inside the tank its compressed into a lot less space). The
tank that 3ric got has 290 ft^3 of sea-level helium in it at 2400 psi. You can back out the fill
volume by knowing how much lift you put into the balloon. If you pumped 5.2 kg of lift into the
balloon, it will have about 5.2 m^3 of gas in it, which is 184 cubic feet - that's a lot of overfill for
a balloon nominally targeted at 2.99 m^3.

Flight Planning

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Regulations
Our flight is governed by FAR Part 101 - Moored Ballloons, Kites, Unmanned Rockets and
Unmanned Free Balloons It's important (and easy!) to work with the FAA on high altitude
balloon flights. Imagine for a minute being a passenger in a jet plane travelling at 300 mph at
30,000 feet when the pilot suddenly spots a giant white object headed for the cockpit. Yikes!
The rules are pretty simple. 1) You can't operate in a restricted area (for us, this means over
Hanford Nuclear Reservation) 2) At least 24 hours before the balloon flight you need to call an
FAA flight service station and tell them that you are going to do a balloon lfight. This gives
them time to file a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) to warn pilots 3) You can't fly in the dark
(unless you add a lot of lighting - see regs.) 4) You need a radar reflector 5) Every two hours
during your flight you need to call the FAA and provide a position report, and you need to tell
them when you're done.

Track Planning

Winds

Weather
2/27/07: Current weather forecast is 70% chance of snow Friday and Saturday, possibly
turning to rain on Sunday.The NOAA Aviation Weather Forecast is found here.

Atmospheric Environment
Density and buoyancy calculations are based on a model for the Standard Atmosphere. On
any given day, the atmosphere is unlikely to match precisely the model atmosphere. A useful
calculator for including temperature and pressure offsets to the standard atmosphere can be
found here.
Launch Site
LAUNCH SITE
Special winter considerations: Dry lake beds won't be so dry this time of year. It is very easy to
get permanently stuck in the mud, something to take into consideration when selecting a
launch site.
Our primary launch site is Grimes Lake, WA
Which is: 47.734323 -119.59514
Proposed launch sites:

!

Grimes Lake, Washington - Map
This is a state fishing lake, stocked with trout in the early summer. Not used much by anybody
for anything this time of year. The lakeshore is about 20 miles north of Grant Co. International
airport so it is in good, clear airspace.

Summer Falls State Park, Washington - Map - Link
This state park may have been abandoned, as the latest records show that it is now owned by
the bureau of reclamation. It is on the border of BLM land on Billy Clapp lake. All of this is
pretty good news, as it means that the area should be largely free of complications - as long
as there are no locked gates. This site is about 10 miles due north of the Grant Co.
International airport and is just clear of their airspace. With typical prevailing winds it is likely
to provide lots of clear downrange.

!

Unnamed park/lake between Quincy and George, Washington
- Map
We've used this site in the past. It's a little closer than the other two and is also used for
fishing and hunting. The downside of this site is that it is almost due West of Ephrata and
Grant Co. airports, so, depending on the wind, there is a greater chance for interference with
air traffic from this point. On one launch here we encountered crop dusters that did not appear
to be aware of the NOTAM that we had filed.

BLM site Northeast of Ellensburg - Map
This is a site on Beacon Road in the hills above Wanapum Lake. The site has significant
altitude and excellent clear views to the East. Tracking a balloon is easy from this site as
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there is very good line-of-site coverage for more than 100 miles downrange. The
disadvantage is that this launch site is about 40 minutes of dirt road driving into BLM land,
which makes it difficult for people to rendezvous at the correct point, difficult to get materials
in, and very time consuming to get to the balloon landing site, even if it's only flown a few
miles. Even if it's not a launch site, this might be a good spot for backup telemetry and
tracking to locate.
All sites may have camping available.
MakeController
Status Lights The 4 leds will start off not lit. They count down 1/4 of the cameraInterval each
When they go blank the cameras flash. Debug Mode Led 0,Led 3 Network Ready =Led 0, Led
2, Led 3 Write Error In Debug Mode = Led2, Led 3Camera's DigitalLineOut 0 =
Camera0DigitalLineOut 1 = Camera1DigitalLineOut 2 = Camera2DigitalLineOut 3 = Camera3 -
Current interval one pic per 7 seconds for 2 hours flight this will be ~1000 pics Primary Cut
Down DigitalLineOut 4~515 pictures into flight or ~1 hour the DigitalOutLine 4 goes LOW for 6
camera cycles or 42 seconds.Thermisisters voltage = 3.3 * ( a / 1023.0 )Temp from voltage
needs to be figured out from the reference points we took.Startup Mode Jump a 5V power pin
and AnalogIn 3 for 1 second.Shutdown ModeJump a 5V power pin and AnalogIn 3 for ~10
secondsDebugging ModeJump a 5V power pin to AnalogIn 4 Network Address
192.168.0.200Network Mask 255.255.255.0Port 2112 $ nc 192.168.0.200 2112T Tests
Eeprom by writing all A's to it. $ nc 192.168.0.200 2112 D Dumps the Eeprom over the socket.
$ nc 192.168.0.200 2112 R Reset the Eeprom to all 0's Reprogram mode (DOES NOT WORK
YET)$ nc 192.168.0.200 2112 S:a:b:c a = cameraIntervalb = cameraShutterIntervalc =
cutDownCount ( cameraInterval * cutDownCount = totalBurnTime) Networking Issues The
networking stack has some bug in it I've been trying to chase down for two days where after
you close a server socket it won't let you reopen it. To issue more than one debug command
prejump the board and issue the next command.
Eeprom Issues The Eeprom will only read/write 1 byte at a time so I wrote some wrapper
functions to write and dump the prom.The addressing code shipped with the Make controller
has a bug. Edit eeprom.c and replace all c1...'s with c1 = (unsigned char)((address >> 8) &
0xFF );Floating Point ? Floating point isn't working in Thumb mode, I tried doing a stripped
compile in ARM mode but that didn't work either. Compiling everything in arm mode makes the
code too large to fit on the make controllers flash. I don't have time to sort YAAB out.

(percentage of 3.3v) = ( 100* a) / 1023
330 * (percentage of 3.3v) = storeable value in eeprom(storeable value in eeprom) / 1000 =
analog in voltage to 4 points of percision. We can calculate the temps post "recovery"

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MoLoGoGo Phone
Phone Basics
The phone is a Motorola i415 from Boost Mobile with integrated GPS.Here is a page about
how to use the phone as a GPS tracker that is full of useful information.In order to install Java
applets from a PC, use WebJAL by Harry Thompson (you can also use this to upload
ringtones and other crap to the phone).Supposedly the firmware should be upgraded for better
GPS reception - get the firmware from the Motorola developer website.3ricJ has installed the
MoLoGoGo Java app on the phone for GPS tracking. Our l/p is ahab/ahabahab for the flight
phone and exgf/exgfexgf for the other phone.The awesome coder of Mologogo,
"gravitymonkey," has provided us with Mologogo Solo, which eliminates the map display, can
upload every N seconds instead of N minutes, and has a bunch of other performance
upgrades.Here (PDF) is the user guide for Mologogo.Links for watching the phone on Google
Maps and Google Earth.

http://tracker.dxpedition.net/ahab_location.php

- http://tracker.dxpedition.net/ahab_location_google_earth.php

Weight Relief
The phone was stripped to decrease the weight from 5 oz to 3 oz, and then extension leads
were added so that the antennae could be placed outside the shielded payload box.

Disassembly

Remove the battery cover

- Pull out the battery & sim card - note how they are placed in the shell

- Unscrew the six T6 screws holding the case together

- Pull off the back cover - note the contact connections between the main board and the cell
antenna, GPS antenna, and vibrator which are housed in the back cover

- Peel out the keypad from the front cover

- Pull out the display from the front cover - there are two tabs on the sides of the display that
http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:12:40
are holding it in place

- De-solder or cut the speaker leads; now the back shell is completely disconnected

- Unscrew the one T6 screw that holds the cell antenna shell onto the back shell & pull off the
antenna shell

- Pull out the cell antenna

- Put on a mask to protect from melting plastic fumes

- Use soldering iron to carefully melt the three plastic posts holding the GPS antenna on

- Carefully pull off the GPS antenna, noting the orientation of the two antenna contacts with
respect to the board

Reassembly

Tape the simcard down in the same orientation as noted above

- Zip-tie the display and the battery to the main board

- Solder a 1 ft lead between the cell antenna and the cell antenna contact on the main board

- Solder a 1 ft twisted-pair lead between the GPS antenna and the GPS antenna contacts on
the main board, replicating the orientation of the antenna contacts as noted above

- Place the keypad in place and power-up

- Check phone and GPS functionality -- note that the GPS antenna prefers to be in the
orientation such that the primary plane of the antenna (the face that was attached to the back
face of the phone) is perpendicular to the ground
People and Roles
Who's Involved?
Working on this? Add yourself here and join the group.

Bre

- 3ric

- Beth

- h1kari

- Adam

- Melvin Melvin can't make it. :(

- TimL

- Æther

- JonM

- Keith

- EricButler

- DKP

- Ella

Build Roles

Weight Czar Adam Tell him how much your stuff weighs, he runs the mass spreads
Communication & Trasportation Coordinator EricButler See the Communication and Transportation pages.
Power Czar 3ric Responsible for power budgeting
Enclosure Design Ella Enclosure hardware and layout

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Launch Roles

Fill Master AEther She's working all the ground systems fill ops
Launch Officer Bre Says "Go!"
Cap Comm JonM In charge of ground communications
Recovery Captain DKP Coordinates recovery efforts
FAA Contact 3ric Responsible for calling FAA, and answering the phone if they ca
Trajectory planner Keith Guesses at what might happen
Safety officer Divide Looks out for potential loss of life or limb or property. Distribute
Communication & Trasportation Coordinator EricButler See the Communication and Transportation pages.
Operations Beth Pre-flight operations and checklists
Launch Camera Bre Video camera for launch team
Recovery Camera Video camera for recovery team
Launch Wranglers (4) Hold down balloon during fill operations
PowerBudget
source qty eff 9v 5v 4.2v 4.2vb volts amps watts Duty Cycle runtim
gps + tinytrack measured 1 100.00% 0.23 9 0.23 2.07 100% 2
make controller datasheet 1 100.00% 0.05 9 0.05 0.45 100% 2
radio idle measured 1 100.00% 0.05 4.2 0.05 0.21 97% 2
radio TX measured 1 80.00% 0.39 4.2 0.39 1.638 3% 2
camera idle measured 4 80.00% 0.4 4.2 0.1 1.68 0% 2
camera photo measured 4 80.00% 1.2 4.2 0.3 5.04 100% 2
CVS record measured 1 80.00% 0.33 4.2 0.33 1.65 3% 2
CVS idle measured 1 80.00% 0.25 4.2 0.25 1.25 97% 2
0
0
0.28 0.58 1.60 0.44 13.988 total w

battery 3.2 9

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:12:40
Pre-Day of Flight Tasks

Pre-Day of Flight Tasks

Pre-launch Avionics checkout

- Cameras

- Turn system on for 1-2 hours, triggering cameras etc.

- Download images, stitch a few of them

- Upload some or all to DoubleTake author in Germany for huge video creation

Pre-launch day

- Call FAA (3ric)

- Check supplies (EquipmentChecklist)

- Review checklists

- Assign roles

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balloon
- Recovery System

- Secondary Abort Device Test Plan

- Shopping List

- Software

- Tasks and Todo

- Tracking

- Transportation

- TransportationAndCommunication

- WeightBudget
Recovery System
Recovery System
The primary recovery system is a parachute, attached on the top to the balloon harness and at
the bottom to the payload harness. Swivels are used at each attachment point to prevent
tangling and twisting oscillations during flight.

Parachutes

http://www.kaymont.com

- http://www.the-rocketman.com

Questions

How did 3ric size the parachute?

- 3ric - ask bre, I don't know how he selected it.

- How much does it weigh?

- 6.2 ounces

- How long are the shrouds?

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- unknown
Secondary Abort Device Test Plan
Goals

Confirm that the timing is reasonably accurate. Late is much better than early.

- Confirm that the cutting mechanism functions reliably.

- Confirm that the cutting mechanism will function at altitude.

- Confirm that the cutting mechanism doesn't pose a threat to the rest of the equipment.

Tests

Basic functionality:
Test: Attach the cutting mechanism to a short length of rope which is suspending a 1lbs
weight. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Time the interval until the timer activates, how long it takes
to sever the rope, and what the behavior of the cutting device is after an extended
period.Verify:

That the timer is reasonably accurate.

- That the timer's power consumption is minimal.

- That the cutting device is effective.

- That power draw after the cut occurs is minimal.

- That the cutting device can remain active for an extended period with minimal danger.

Thermal test:
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Test: Same as the basic test, except inside a thermal chamber. (See thermal testing page)
Shopping List
Equipment
Related: EquipmentChecklist (For launch)

To Buy

hand warmers (costco)

- cotton gloves for balloon handling during filling/launch (costume and display)

- thin foam for radar reflector(do we still need this? YES homedepot)

- swivels for tether and rigging qty-4-5 (kite shop)

- card table http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/fur/282125041.html

- purchase extra GPS (bre) (I *think* we're good here -- Ella)

Bring sd card readers. (move to stuff to bring)

Already ordered

USB<>Serial dongles for ground station tracker. (BRE)

- project boxes! (DKP)

- e2 batteries

- 4 x 2GB SD Card or 4GB SD Card

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:12:44
- http://www.eforcity.com/bcannb4lli01.html?gad=CNGV0_4CEgjzLnO-zCySDRiJp-
j9AyDV7too

Aquired

Buzzer (3ricj)

- thermistor (3ricj)

helium tank, size T, about 175lbs (3ricj)

- fish scale (bre)

- Balloon (bre)

- parachute (bre)

- PVC parts for balloon filling (AEther)

- thick pink foam for payload (John Blunt)

- space blankets (aluminized mylar)

- CVS camera in NYC (bre)

- 4 1/4-20 screws what length?
- ground cover--cheap plastic tarp--for balloon layout before/during inflation(PNA)

- grommeted tarp for holding balloon while filling if windy (beth)

- beer cooler (3ricj has a 72 can beer cooler.. will that work? or should we get something
make from styrofoam?)

- battery holder
Software
UI-View32 @ http://www.ui-view.orgBalloonTrack @ http://www.eoss.org/wbaltrak/ Photo-
stitching panorama software:*Autostitch @
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/~mbrown/autostitch/autostitch.htmlFree and seems to work pretty well,
but no real adjustment. Works very well for fisheye images with lots of images (like
50). *Double-Take - $17 on OSX @ http://echoone.com/doubletake/ Very fast and easy, fine
for our four image stitch job but on very large fisheye jobs not as good. *Flexify @
http://www.flamingpear.com/flexify.html This one looks amazing, but requires photoshop.

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Tasks and Todo
Tasks & TODO Click "Edit page" to edit this list.

To Do before thermal testing

- finish make controller programming

- set up a pic as backup

- finish kitty (jonm)

- Payload harness (aether/ella)

- get batteries from dhl (bre)

- 4th camera set options, rip apart, add wire (bre)

- cables for power.

- 4.2v power regulato

- mologogo update (TimL)

- Build cables for onboard thermal reading (3ricj)

To Do

- Order balloon

- Select Parachute

- Apply for airgas account

- Look for a temperature measurement module... serial data

- Cabin rental for night before (anyone can find and bre will make res.)

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- Create and disseminate map to launch site (your name here)

- Update Balloontrack with our new launch site location (your name here)

- make radar reflector (Æther)

- instal tracker radio in Jon's car (your name here)

- set up a pic as backup (your name here)

- get and label real project boxes (your name here)

- print equipment list and contact list (your name here)

- weather checks (your name here)

- install everything on bre's laptop as backup (your name here)

- second mologogo install (TimL)

Avionics

- Figure out how to power the cameras (Beth, 3ric)

- Program Make controller : (Adam)

- Build ballon filler system using PVC pipe (Æther)

- Battery/watt caculations (3ricj)

- Design & build 2ndary remote cutdown device. (JonM)

- Build 2 meter antenna (myles?)

- Get mologogo working, activate stupid cellphone by calling them before 8pm & turning it
on.

- Build cables for onboard thermal reading (3ricj)
- get microcontroller to control the camera trigger. : (Adam)

- Create process for thermal testing (dry ice, temp probe)

- Mechanical

- Finish Enclosure (Ella)

- Finish hollowing top shell

- Component layout and blocking

- Final check of camera mounts

- Wire routing

- Antenna embedding

- Fin/streamer attachment

- Exterior final shaping

- Mylar attachment/envelope

- Camera lens hole covers

- Sealing tape

- Suspension harness (Æther/Ella)

- Rigging for payload and parachute (Æther/Ella)

- Build balloon-fill anchors (Æther)

- Process for tying balloon (Æther/Ella)

- Enclosure thermal testing (TimL)

- Operations
- Create pre-flight checklist (Beth)

- Create day of flight equipment list (Beth)

- Get FAA clearance (3ricj)

- Using ballon track, create flightplan (dkp)

- Notify ATC with flight plan, payload, etc. (3ricj) See FAAInfo

- Ground equipment todo:

- Get APRS reader working; scanner + antenna + modem + software + public tube laptop
See APRS INFO 1 (JonM)

- Get balloon track software working, create flight plan. see EquipmentChecklist (dkp)

- Get overall flight time

- Check the weather patterns find a place to launch and coordinate tracking vehicles.
(YOUR NAME)

- Get a google earth KML link which reads APRS data real time, so ppl can watch the
balloon float around from the internet. see AprsGoogleEarth(Wes)

- Testing

- Ham APRS dropdown test (bre)

- test plan for battery runtime (YOUR NAME)

- excute test plan
Tracking
This is a collection of info related to tracking. We use a Mologogo phone, and a 2 meter ham
radio on APRS. You can see more info here: Static Map Locations Open in google earth Flight
tracking: APRS

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Transportation
Transportation and Communication is being coordinated by EricButler, please contact me if
you have any questions or comments. Please edit this page using the "Classic" editor!

Drivers
Please add yourself to this list if you are planning to drive. If you are a crazy driver willing to do
potentially horrible things to your car, say Yes under Crazy. We will need people to do off-road
recon once the balloon lands. I would like every vehicle to have:

A CB radio w/ roof mounted antenna (~$60 at frys)

- An FRS radio (Cheap, if you don't have one, someone probably has a few extra)

- GPS, laptop, mapping software

- Chains (We are traveling through the pass, and conditions have been very rough lately.)

- First-aid kit

- Drinking Water

Name Vehical Type 4x4? Crazy? Cargo Space? CB
JonM Nissan XTerra 4 (3 adults) (leaving after 2pm Sat) Yes Moderately Yes, trunk and roof rack Yes
DKP Sedan 4 N Y Trunk N
Ella Golf 2-3 (leaving Sat. morning for snowboarding) N N Trunk N
TimL Civic 3 (leaving after 2pm Sat) N N Trunk & fold-down seats N

Carpool
If you need a ride, please add yourself to this list. When you figure out who you are riding with,
add the driver's name from the table above to the "Riding With" column below, and decrement
the coorisponding "# of available seats" value above.

Name CB? FRS? HAM? Riding With
3ricj N Yes Yes unknown, might drive myself
EricB Yes Yes No Unknown, may be able to drive, but not looking good.
lucasw N N N unknown
Adam N Y Receiver only
Beth N N N

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aether N N N
TransportationAndCommunication
- Communication
- FRS
- CB
- HAM Radio
- Drivers
- Carpool

Transportation and communication is being coordinated by EricButler, please contact me if
you have any questions or comments.
For location information, see Launch Site.

Communication
We are going to assume there will not be cell coverage at the launch site, and will plan to use
other forms of communication.

FRS
Channel: 7

CB
This will be useful while driving, because the range is much better than FRS, and not every
vehical will have a ham radio operator. Let's try to make sure every car has a CB radio and a
GPS, so we can help anyone who has trouble finding the launch site.
Channel: 7

HAM Radio
Frequency: 146.490 Simplex
(Put repeater information here)

Drivers
Please add yourself to this list if you are planning to drive. If you are a crazy driver willing to do
potentially horrible things to your car, say Yes under Crazy. We will need people to do recon
once the balloon lands.

Name Vehical Type 4x4? Crazy? Cargo Space? CB? FRS? HAM?
EricButler Station Wagon 3 No No Yes, large flat trunk Yes Yes No
JonM Nissan XTerra 4 (3 adults) Yes Moderately Yes, trunk and roof rack Yes Yes Licensed, but no
DKP Sedan 4 N Y Trunk N N N

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Carpool
If you need a ride, please add yourself to this list. When you figure out who you are riding with,
add the driver's name from the table above to the "Riding With" column below, and decrement
the coorisponding "# of available seats" value above.

Name CB? FRS? HAM? Riding With
WeightBudget
Item qty Raw Weight Extra Weight Method total notes
GPS 1 8.1 measure 4.4
Radio 1 4.7 measure 1.7
Radar reflector 1 1.8 measure 1.8
tinytrack 1 2.3 measure 0.7
EXGF Stalker 1 4.7 measure 2.4
Batteries 4 measure 5.2
Antenna 1 measure .0.5
Cut System 1 measure 1.8
Camera 4 2.9 measure 11.6
Enclosure 1 16 guesst 8
Cables/Zipties 1 6 guess 0.5
Make Controller 1 3.7 measure 3.7
Balloon 1 42 measure 38.3
Parachute 1 5.7 measure 6.2
Chirpy Thing 1 1.9 measure 1.9
Current modulators 1 1 guess 1
Total OZ 89.7
Total LBS: 5lb 9.7oz

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balloon
- WinTV PVR2 USB

- thermal testing

- tying balloon
WinTV PVR2 USB
About
This is in the n3rd area near the back in a box marked "Video Cameras / Capture Cards". We
need to bring it along so we can configure the digital cameras pre-flight, since they will have
had their screens removed.
We also need a composite -> mini cable, which should be in the same box.

Configuration
This device works out of the box with Ubuntu Feisty.
To set the input to composite, rather than the tuner:
$ sudo -s
# cd /sys/class/pvrusb2/sn-8258104/ctl_input
# echo composite > cur_val

To view the video, you can use VLC:
$ vlc - < /dev/video1

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thermal testing
Basic Info
TimL is using a thermal chamber to test the insulative properties of the structure. Dry ice might
work just as well, but what good is having a thermal chamber if you don't use it for stuff like
this? The thermal chamber is a TestEquity Model 140 that is complete overkill for this project. It
even has a programmable temperature controller that could be used to, for example, run the
standard atmosphere model to simulate ascent. But for now, it will just be used to dwell at high-
altitude temperatures.

No Touchy:

Do not touch the limit controller on the front of the thermal chamber

- Do not adjust the regulator on the N2 bottle

- Leave the power switch on

Payload Testing

fire up electronics

- check that the electronic bits are functioning

- put payload in thermal chamber

- route thermistor wire from inside payload box, through foam plug on side of chamber, to red
digital thermometer

- verify thermistor & thermometer are reading room temperature

- close the door

- open the valve on the N2 bottle

- on the thermal chamber controller, select "Digital Out" then "Event Output 1" then "On" then
"Next" -- this turns on the N2 purge, which prevents the moisture in the air from icing up the
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inside of the chamber

- go back to the main menu and select "SP1" and set to -23 C

- flip the Temp button on. The temperature will start to drop

- check the small N2 regulator on the side of the chamber and make sure it's at "2"

- once temperature stabilizes at -23 C, note thermometer reading

- dwell for 1 hour

- note internal temperature (thermometer reading) again

- lower temperature to -50 C

- note internal temperature again

- dwell for another hour

- note internal temperature again

- set "SP1" to +23 C to return chamber to room temperature

- set "Digital Out" - "Event Output 1" to "Off" once temperature > +15 C, then close the valve
on the N2 bottle

- once temperature >20 C, okay to open door

- check that the bits are still functioning

Secondary Sep System Testing

place representative sep system (nichrome wire wrapped around kite string) on fire brake
(pumice block to protect thermal chamber) inside thermal chamber

- run wires for sep system thru foam plug on the side of the chamber

- lower temperature to -40 C as above

- dwell for 1 hour

- fire sep system

- return to room temp as above
Make a rig for testing the secondary cutdown device.
tying balloon
TOdo: update me with what we are really going to do. no buckets? No barn? stolen from
http://www.eoss.org/pubs/faqloon.htm

"

FILLING THE BALLOON
Fill the balloon indoors or in an area that's very well protected from the wind. You don't
want to have to fight the wind because the balloon is very fragile and it will burst.
Look for an old barn or airplane hanger. Be aware that the balloon will just barely clear a
barn door when it's filled. A home garage door isn't high enough.Spread a tarp on the
ground to protect the balloon and spread the balloon out on the tarp. Handle the
balloon with gloves.Lay the gas tank next to the balloon. (It can't fall over if it's laying on
the ground.) The regulator manufacturers recommend that you crack the valve slightly
to blow out any dust before screwing on the regulator. Be aware that the threads on
hydrogen tanks are "backwards" - you turn them counter clockwise to tighten them.
(This gave me a bad moment on my first solo launch.) Run a hose from the regulator to
your filling adaptor.THE FILLING ADAPTOR: This is a piece of plastic tubing wide
enough to be a snug fit into the open end of the balloon - 1.5 to 2 inches should do it.
PVC pipe is fine. Somehow neck the other end of that tube down to the point where
you can attach the hose from the gas tank to it. Also put a hook on the tube - perhaps by
epoxying a piece of coat hanger wire to the side of the tube, near the end where the
hose attaches. Now tie some twine from that hook to the jug.Start the gas flowing and the
balloon will start to inflate. Try not to get any air into the balloon, especially if you're
using hydrogen! When the balloon lifts off the ground, the jug of water will keep it from
going anywhere.Continue to fill the balloon until the jug "just" lifts off the floor. You now
have enough gas in the balloon to lift your payload, parachute, radar reflector and
connecting cords plus the extra six to sixteen ounces of water you put in the jug.Sealing
the balloon: using heavy twine, tie the balloon neck off tightly above the filling adaptor.
Remove the adaptor. Tie the neck again, four to six inches below the first piece of
twine. Tie your payload cord to the neck between these two pieces of twine. Now
bend the neck over double and tie it again, twice. You will now have the neck of the
balloon bent over double, with the payload suspension cord nestled in the bottom of
the bend and the whole thing securely tied. You're ready to launch. (You can use tie-
wraps instead of twine if you wish, but they're heavier.)"
Solve: How to shelter or restrain balloon while fillingAbove info states that balloon can burst
with stress of fighting the wind.Do we have enough helium to fill two balloons?Will restraining
the balloon with a 4-point tethered net or tarp actually cause more stress to the balloon than
taking the risk of just filling in the open? Solve: Anchoring balloon+filling adaptor while
fillingAttach anchor device to filling adaptor. When anchor begins to lift, balloon is filled with
correct amount of helium anchor device is exact weight of final payload & rigging + extra weight
of hose & filling adaptor = weight/amount of lift desired from balloon fill(does this sound right?)

http://balloon.pbwiki.com/ Fri, 02 Mar 2007 16:12:47