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New Transmitter Chip

The old radio trnasmitter chip was somehow broken so now we have replaced it, the new set-up hasn’t been tested yet. Meanwhile the camera has performed well during testing, showing that it will keep taking pictures for as long as we need it to.


March 29, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Good news on the camera front. We are now using a new camera and instead of hardware hacking it I’ve found a neat little hack for cameras called CHDK. It only works with canon cameras but it is realy good. I’ve installed it onto our (new)camera and after a bit of fiddling around and tweeking it works perfectly.


March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Hi there sorry for the silence.

Work has been taking place on the payload, however the transmitter now seems to be broken meaning that we have to get another one, also the second camera has now broken; meaning that we now either have to get another of the same or a different one.


January 30, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Sorry for not updating regularly recently, so I’ll start with a bit of an update. We have done several radio tests the first and most successful reaching a range of ~2.5km the rest less than 100m clearly something is wrong so I’ll be busy trying to sort this out. We have decided to definitely   launch around the October half term. Even if the data radio isn’t working as we still have the mobile phone transmitter and I can adjust the radio as a beacon and use it like that. That way we will be able track it from further away and home in onto it with in the 2.5km we have reached in testing.

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Take Your Marks…

This weekend we have collected our helium which has kindly been organised for us by Balloonatics, so a big thank you to them for their support, without people like them, projects like our’s would be nearly impossible.

Today( Sunday 11th ) will be a day of final preparations and testing so that we’re ready to launch in the week coming or the one after, unfortunately the weather for next week isn’t looking too good but there’s always the week after.

I have written a series of pre-flight checks and procedures to stop us making a mistake on the launch, to lose the balloon then would be a bit of a pain to say the least.

We had to buy a new camera the other day because a very fragile bit of cable between the shutter button and the main board got broken. It wasn’t me. Fortunately the cameras we’re using aren’t to dear so this isn’t a massive setback.

Oh and one other thing, we now have another new sponsor. Precision Labs from the USA. So a big thank you to them. For those of you interested in science in the real world their website is really rather interesting, I had a look and I though: this is the job that I sit though Chemistry lessons learning to do, but many times more practical and interesting. Follow this link to visit their website:

Wish us luck with the final testing.


July 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Rules

For some reason we can’t just let go of our balloon, we have to get permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We sent them a form requesting a launch window a while back, we have to ask for a window because we can’t launch on a windy day. We are still waiting for some confirmation about the launch but that shouldn’t be too long in coming. We also are waiting for the actual balloon to be in stock so that we can order it. Other than these the only issue we are still working on is the onboard software, but that should be over come soon.

June 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Circuit Boards

Here’s a quick update with pictures of the new circuit boards. The receiver board is pretty much finished but there is still a lot to do on the main board.

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


We’ ve been working full steam ahead on the electronics, the decoder for radio is almost finished and I hooked the GPS up to the computer to test it. Next week I’ll order the phone and the components for the flight computer. Hopefully we should have a complete prototype for the electronics ready by next weekend. I’ll gets some pics of the GPS and radio test circuits ASAP.

May 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Methwold High School

Today Daniel and I went to see Mrs. Walker (our headteacher) about the possibility of our school supporting us in the construction and launch of the balloon. Mrs. Walker kindly agreed to support us and so now we are pleased to report that we are going to be supported by our school: Methwold High School (

It is very beneficial to have such a supportive and enthusiastic school and headteacher, so I would like to thank Methwold  High School and Mrs. Walker personally and also on behalf of the team.

Methwold High School

April 20, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


When I checked my Emails this evening I was pleased to find a Email from Radiometrix saying that they will give us the radio modules. That just knocked £50 off our budget. Oh and I tided up the schematics a bit.

So a big thank you to Radiometrix!

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment