Planned High Altitude Balloon Flight, August 5, 2017 – Postponed to Aug 12


Update 8/12/2017:  Flight complete and retrieved. Report to follow. Flight path (enlarge the screen for full path)

Update 8/9/2017: I’m planning to launch from Wyandot County Airport (56D), on Aug 12, at 9:45AM EDT. The APRS call sign has been corrected to KB8PVR-3. Present predictions are for a 60 mile flight toward the west, landing west (or southwest) of Mansfield OH.

I have some hardware changes. I’m flying my older reliable Canon A495. The battery of the Elph 115 is too weak. Even with shutting down the display, I could only get it to run 2 1/2 hrs, at 3 pictures/minute at ground (warm) temperatures. That’s just not enough time for a mission.

I’m having trouble with my Explorer pHAT. I misconnected wires initially and may have fried something. While the SHT31A gives reasonable output voltage signals, The ADC is not reading them reliably. I’ve also noted that the digital outputs, only provide 0.6V instead of 5V so I think I broke something, and will look into getting a new Explorer pHAT.

Another HAT issue I had is with the Explorer pHAT connected, the Sense HAT was not recognised. There are some GPIO pins the Sense HAT uses for communication, that the Explorer uses for digital IO. So I suspect that the two boards are incompatible. In the future, if I get an Explorer pHAT working, I may pair it with a RPi Zero, and fly two RPis. For this flight I will fly the Sense HAT.

Update 8/1/2017:  I wish I could blame the weather, but I’m just not ready.  I started worrying about power for the RPi.  It’s hard to find specifications, but I think it needs 5V +/- 0.25V. So just hooking 2 Li cells together may be asking for trouble.  I’ve ordered a Sunfounder board.  Long range forecast, for whatever it’s worth, looks good for a week from Saturday.

Update 7/29/2017:  Subsequent weather forecasts are looking pretty bad. However, if weather over Michigan should come down a bit to the SE, a launch from Upper Sandusky may work. The long range forecast, for what it’s worth, for 8/12 looks good.

I am planning to launch a high altitude balloon, Aug 5, 2017.  Details are still tentative.

Planned launch site is Fremont Airport, west of Fremont, OH, off OH-6.  Time: about 9:30 AM EDT.

The mission goals are:

1) Keep in practice.

2) Use Hydrogen as the lift gas.

3) Fly a battery powered Raspberry Pi

Equipment: APRS tracker Micro-trak 1000 (call sign KB8PVR-3)

Cannon Elph 115 Camera with cdhk

Raspberry Pi 1 A+

Pi camera

Sense Hat

Explorer PHAT ADC

1kohm RTD temperature sensor

SHT31A Humidity Temperature

Initial flight path guess is a net of 8 miles to the South West.

Alternative date: Aug 12

Alternative Launch site:  Wyandotte Co Airport, near Upper Sandusky, OH.