MM07 -2018-07-23

Tracker Details

Tracker Type: APRS

Model: PicoTracker1Rev2

Powered by 2 AAA batteries


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

lhAltFtThreshold = 10000

hAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 900000 (900s, 15m, 0h)

lAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 30000 (30s, 0m, 0h)

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

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

Launch Parameters

Balloon and Payload

  • Two 36" Qualatex balloons, unstretched
  • 28.5 gram payload
  • 1.0 grams free lift


  • Top Altitude - 25,419 ft
  • Duration - 4 hours, 13 minutes
  • Distance - 101.6 miles following path
  • Cause of death - Unknown

General Thoughts / Observations

My first flight using two Qualatex 36 balloons, the idea was to achieve higher elevations and be more protected from weather. The two balloons had a combined free lift of about 1 gram, the first minute of flight showed difficulty in ascending, but once it rose a couple of hundred feet it rose smoothly.

The Balloons rose steadily and reached 25,000 feet as it reached the Atlantic. There was a slight dip in elevation and then I never heard from it again.

Having one gram of free lift could have caused crash at launch time, will go to two grams at a minimum. Will also change the transmission configuration so that there are more frequent transmissions at the time the balloon reaches the ocean. Transmitting every 15 minutes may have prevented understanding what happened to the balloon.

Thoughts for next time

Modify for more frequent transmissions.