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Member Since: August 26, 2009

Country: United States

  • I have used your venus GPS module ( http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11058 ) many flights without any issues. I think getting the antenna a few inches away from the electronics helps.

    As for the antenna's I used some circular polarized patch antennas for your 1W digi transceivers. Then the rotating doesn't bother the reception. I would recomend getting a Amateur technician license (no code and the test is easy). Then you can use APRS and use all of their repeaters. I actually have a website (http://www.s3research.com/flightdata/) that logs all of the balloon flights that I find in the APRS stream. They are all over the world. Maany of them are fascinating. The longest launched in California and landed in the Mediterranean sea.

  • Did you look into just hacking the bluetooth stream and using one of your blootooth modules to comunicate with the spot?

  • Do you know if the adhesive is conductive?

  • Not sure if it just a setting that I am using but your countdown header is not showing up in Firefox for me.

  • I've used the venus GPS-09133 on several flights above the 60K foot level without problems.
    As several have said the limit is really max speed and max altitude but some vendors limit if either is crossed. Sirf chipsets are the most common ones to shut down at 60K feet

  • I would suggest 2 radios for backup. I use the xTend radio as a data radio but have a second radio that is an FRS (Family Radio Service) that has a VOX setting. I use your MP3 trigger to "say" the lat, long, and Alt every 2 minutes. Just have the 10 digits and key words as individual files. The voice makes it easy for other people to follow the action without a lot of equipment.
    And forget the cell phone. It is against FCC (not FAA) rules to use one above the ground. Not to mention they don't work very well.

  • I use the Digi Xtend radio on my flights. The thing I discovered was the breakout board with the zigbee connectors was not reliable. I ended up soldering directly to the radio pins.
    Getting bounced around under a balloon will dislodge a lot of things. Best to eliminate all the connectors you can

  • I have been using the sparkfun Venus breakout board (GPS-09133) without problems. I choose it because the documentation specifically says it works above 60K feet as long as you stay under the 1000MPH limit.

  • Keep up the hope. I lost my first balloon payload and 3 months later a hiker found it and gave me a call.

No public wish lists :(