Avionics Tracking Costs and Advice

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Tommy Richards

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Jun 27, 2022, 4:12:30 PMJun 27
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Hi all,

I’m considering flying a weather balloon, but I was wondering what the costs were for the avionics side? How much does it typically got to get a good radio/GPS tracker setup alongside the ability to track it with a phone?

This would be for a student project so I don’t have a huge budget.

If there are any products you would recommend I should buy that would also be great!


Thanks!

Mark Jessop

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Jun 27, 2022, 5:52:55 PMJun 27
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Depending on where you are located, one good starting point is to go out and recover a Met bureau radiosonde (in particular, a Vaisala RS41), and re-flash that with open-source firmware. Of course, if these aren't launched near you, that can be more difficult. 
You can check to see what's launching near you on sondehub.org, look around 00:00/12:00Z and see what types of sondes are in the air near you. The next step is then to go recover one! (Which is itself good practice for chasing your own balloon launch).

RS41's can be reflashed with the RS41ng firmware ( https://github.com/mikaelnousiainen/RS41ng ) to transmit the Horus Binary 4FSK mode ( https://github.com/projecthorus/horusdemodlib/wiki ) which can be received very easily with a RTLSDR, with very minimal antenna equipment. 
If you go this route, then at least you know that the transmitter you are using is pre-tested!

73
Mark VK5QI

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John Laidler

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Jun 28, 2022, 2:35:24 AMJun 28
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I started by following the guides on Dave Akerman's site. The payloads were based on a Raspberry Pi Zero and the receiver side on full size Pi's, all using LoRa.


If you look at the Uputronics store you can find components and ready built modules.

If you go down the DIY route then a budget of around £200 should be enough, including a balloon and party gas helium. 

This is a rubbish video of my first HAB. I have since gone over to the Dark Side with pico balloons.

Can you tell us where you are based? 


John

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Matthew Patrick

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Jun 28, 2022, 3:01:55 AMJun 28
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I’ve had success using the TTGO-tbeam boards and transmitting data over LoRa and LoRaWAN. They are inexpensive, but you’ll need to be comfortable programming them. 

Tommy Richards

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Jun 28, 2022, 4:11:48 PMJun 28
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I'm located in Surrey at the moment. I'll have a look at those suggestions! Thanks

Tommy Richards

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Jun 28, 2022, 4:14:17 PMJun 28
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I'll have a look at these links, thanks a lot John, I'm based in Surrey.
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