Author Archive for Outside Open

Geoff eats the Twinkie from space :)

We sent up a Twinkie and a marshmallow on the top of the payload capsule to see what would happen to them at 90,000 feet altitude.
Well, as you may have guessed, other than a semi-frozen filling, nothing happened to the Twinkie at all! The marshmallow did expand a bit but also tasted “normal” 🙂

CHDK photos from the Canon G9

Here are some photos from the Canon G9 that was poking out of the payload.
The G9 was running the CHDK intervalometer script that I wrote a while back…

HAPPy 1.0 lifts off

Geoffrey Parker releasing HAPPy into the sky 🙂

More high altitude balloon data updates

I spent some one on one time getting to know MS Excel’s VLOOKUP function in order to merge the Arduino temperature data points with the APRS altitude and speed data and then created an interactive graph with the results using Google Docs – pretty interesting stuff:

cloud blanket

Successful launch!

Track it live!

Final launch details

After being transferred between multiple FAA folks and someone in “Military” we have finalized the official launch details for tomorrow!

Launch party will meet at my house at 6 AM and drive up the 33 past Ojai for the launch at 8:30 AM.

Join us in person or track the payload in real-time here…


Thanks to Gabe and Color Services for the awesome recovery notice 🙂

APRS tracking and some gratuitous tweeting!

The Byonics Micro-Trak arrived in the mail today so I set it up and took it for a test drive 🙂
The Micro-Track reads the location information from a tiny attached GPS and transmits it via ham radio and then magic happens and the data shows up on the Internet.
During the flight, HAPPy will tweet it’s location, speed and altitude every 5 minutes so that you can follow along 🙂
After the payload lands, we will (hopefully) find it using this APRS data.

A big thanks to Lesson Planet for sponsoring this critical component of the project!

HAPPy flight plan and launch location.

We will launch the balloon from Morro Bay early Saturday morning. According to the CUSF Landing Predictor and UWYO’s balloon trajectory site, the payload will land somewhere near Paso Robles.
If you are interested in joining the launch or recovery efforts, let us know so that we can meet up.
We will be posting real-time tracking info closer to the launch date that will show the location of the capsule throughout the flight…
most likely

T-minus 5 days and counting!

The launch is getting close! Geoff arrives in Santa Barbara on Thursday and we’ll spend a sleepless 2 days installing the APRS radio/GPS module, Arduino board with sensors, CHDK camera and batteries into the styrofoam capsule for Saturday’s launch!
We are still looking for a couple of sponsors, if you are so inclined, head over to the sponsors page to see if anything catches your fancy 🙂

Here is a photo of the Arduino with SD card (for logging) connected to a Chronodot clock and temperature sensors: