Play-by-play of a high altitude balloon flight

[Greg Intermaggio] and [Shumit DasGupta] at Techsplosion launched a high altitude balloon last week that climbed to 90,000 feet above sea level somewhere over California. The play-by-play of the flight is one of the better stories we’ve seen on high altitude balloon builds.

The balloon, christened VGER-1, carried a SPOT satellite GPS messanger to send telemetry back to the ground. We’ve seen a few home brew balloon tracking devices, but [Greg] decided to use an off-the-shelf solution for the sake of simplicity. Like other balloons the VGER-1 carried a CanonPowershot camera with CHDK firmware.

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Live high altitude balloon launch

[Terry] is planning to launch his high altitude balloon within the next few days. As we’ve seen before he has gone for a general setup – GPS tracking, environment sensors including temperature and humidity and pressure, and 2 on board cameras – all with an expected height of about 100,000 feet. What makes this project unique is the transmission of live telemetry data to a Google Maps or Google Earth interface.

The planned launch date is Sunday the 24th about 00:00 UTC so long as the Civil Aviation Safety Approval for the launch is passed.

As a final note [Terry] wanted to let inspiring balloon launchers to check out the UK High Altitude Society – who have been an invaluable source of information.

Crazy Holidays Extra


After sushi-thanksgiving at my house, I’m beat – but you guys have been busy on the tips line.

In one of those special moments of vengance, the ‘real’ ps3 grill was created. (It’s been built, don’t be fooled by the fund raising graphic they were too lazy to remove.)

In another moment of consumer electronics death, a 25mw 405nm laser was obtained from a blu-ray DVD burner and turned into the closest thing to a light saber I’ve seen.

[James Coxon] sent in his autonomous RC car project. I found his Pegasus high altitude balloon project even more interesting.

If you haven’t already heard about it, if you can hack this ps3, you’ll actually get to own it. Thanks [good4me] and [wierdguy].

[Chris_rybitski] sent in his music syncro’d christmas light control – he runs the AC audio into diode rectifier to drive a SSR.

If you really hate squirells, [Alexiy] thinkgs you might find a remote controlled airsoft gun handy.

Don’t forget to check out the Hack-A-Day Design Challenge. I already announced the iPod, the MAKE controller and Daisy MP3 player kit, but look for another prize announcement soon.

Let the holiday geekery continue!