MM02 -2018-05-02

Tracker Details

Tracker Type: APRS

Model: PicoTracker1Rev2

Powered by 2 AAA batteries


msBetweenTransmits = 3000 (3s, 0m, 0h)

lhAltFtThreshold = 10000

hAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 600000 (600s, 10m, 0h)

lAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 45000 (45s, 0m, 0h)

lAlt.stickyMs = 10800000 (10800s, 180m, 3h)

dz.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 7200000 (7200s, 120m, 2h)

Launch Parameters

Balloon and Payload

  • 36" Qualatex, unstretched
  • 32.9 gram payload
  • 5 grams free lift


Flight failed due to apparent damage to tracker, received audible from radio but never received a signal from

On my second flight balloon, I changed the transmitting antenna from 19.4” legs to 38.9” legs to get a full wave.

The tracker was tested in my house and worked well. The next step was to see if the larger antenna would reach receiving towers further away. To do this, the plan was to tether the balloon with fishing line and raise it high enough to communicate with towers, then reel it back in.

Because the balloon was tethered, wind caused it to crash a couple of times. I stopped the test.

General Thoughts / Observations

It was a mistake to only check the tracker with a radio after the crash, should have verified it was fully function with a decoding test.

Thoughts for next time

Decoding test prior to launch

Use of flight checklist