[aprssig] Balloon tracking questions

Andrew Rich vk4tec at tech-software.net
Fri Feb 25 14:54:23 EST 2011

Funny you should ask

I am trying out a tiny TX aprs package at the moment

opentracker 434 ISM TX


Look up "project HORUS" here in OZ

- Andrew -

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ted11" <tedlists at hullar.com>
To: "'TAPR APRS Mailing List'" <aprssig at tapr.org>
Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2011 5:44 AM
Subject: [aprssig] Balloon tracking questions

> Hi everyone,
> I've gotten involved with a high-altitude balloon project, and could use
> some advice.  An undergraduate atmospheric science group from my 
> university
> (UC Davis, in Davis, California) had its first launch last April.  The
> tracking and recovery effort, although successful, was a little touch and
> go, and ultimately relied on GPS data provided by the meteorological
> instrument package.  The primary cell-phone based tracking method failed.
> So, this time around, I've offered to implement a better tracking 
> strategy.
> I'm planning to use an APRS based tracker setup.  I'm familiar with the
> Byonics and Argent tracker/radio/GPS offerings, and understand the need 
> for
> a high-altitude GPS.  What I'm a little less familiar with are best
> practices for power supplies and antennas.  I did a few searches 
> (including
> the APRSSIG archive, but didn't come up with a lot of good information, so 
> I
> thought I'd ask the group.
> Questions:
> 1.  Is there a dedicated balloon tracking list I should be sending my
> questions to?
> 2.  Any recommendations for GPS, radio, and tracker combinations?  Any
> particular combinations that do not work well together?
> 3.  What is the best approach for power?  I'm concerned about the extreme
> low temperatures, especially in light of some of the recent failures I've
> read about.
> 4.  What do you recommend for antennas, both on the balloon and on the
> ground?  I've got a VX-8DR I will be attaching to a roof mount antenna on
> the tracking vehicle, but wonder if there is a better approach to match
> balloon and receiver antennas.
> Thanks for the help.
> Ted
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