December 12, 2009
News - Sending a Balloon Into Ne…
about 4 years ago
Works great. I literally used it today and the GPS worked up to 102K feet(that’s where the balloon popped). I emailed the new SUP500F firmware, version 1.4.95, to Sparkfun today so they can make it available to everyone. If you need it quickly(before they get around to posting it), send me an email and I will send it to you directly.
It’s a configuration setting using “extrude”. Go here for more information
Add the following line to your KML file under the LineString configuration:
Be sure to put a < in front and a > at the end of the line above (copy/paste won’t work on full line syntax on this web page)
You will need to add the altitude to your “coordinate” lines. A copy of one of mine is shown below where 557.6 is the altitude.
I used a ¼ wave omni antenna and oriented it sideways so the pattern is facing down toward the ground. I bought it from DigiKey and the part number is ANT-916-CW-RCS-ND. I used an 11 dBi yagi on the ground side and it worked great. I had good communications over the entire flight. It was an expensive solution, but it worked very well. Old saying is true….you get what you pay for.
Update on the GPS SUP500F issue at 18,000 meter altitude. I have had correspondece with the GPS chip manufacturer and they assured me that firmware version 1.4.94 would work at over 18,000 meters as long as velocity was low. I sent them the GPS data from my flight and it appears that I found a bug in their firmware. They have sent me an update set of firmware for the module (new version is 1.4.95). I have not tried this firmware yet, so I don’t want to make it public until I have checked it out. I will keep this site updated on testing progress.
No, not special at all. The key is the difference in implementation of the 2 criteria. Are the Altitude/Speed criteria implemented with an “and” or an “or” decision. My application should have worked because I was over 18,000 meters, but I was moving less than 515 m/s.
I am quite happy with the SUP500F….aside from the fact that it lost 3D position fix in my application above 18,000 meters. It’s easy to use and at least in my experience has worked very well overall. I had no problems with performance when on the ground. Good Luck with your project.
Not true on the altitude “spec” of the SUP500F. I even contacted the manufacturer of the GPS chip. It should have worked. I will keep you posted on how the troubleshooting works out on this module.
I used the SUP500F for this project. I’m working now to determine why it lost 3-D position fix when over 18,000 meters altitude.
Lot of pictures can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=39875&id=100000286310645&l=e14ad252bb
My reaction was 110% pure satisfaction. I spent an awful lot of time doing the design and software and just like any effort that takes a lot of time…….it’s nice to have a successful result.
All of the electronics maintain operation and I’m planning another adventure with increased objectives in the near future.
Hi Everyone…I am Jonathan and I designed the board that flew on this balloon project. Some of you have suggested to use the SUP500F GPS Module. That is in-fact the GPS module that was used on this project. I am working now to determine why the GPS lost 3-D position fix when over 18,000 meters altitude. For more photos of the hardware, you can view a facebook album of more photos at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=39875&id=100000286310645&l=e14ad252bb
I also want to include and thank my teammates (Scott, John and Eric) for their assistance with this project. It was a blast and we already have another high altitude Technical Adventure planned.
No public wish lists :(
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