Date   

Re: Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Rodney Sparks
 

I use PCBWay.com for all of my quick-turn PCBs.  A small batch of boards is $23 shipped, and the record so far for receiving boards from them is 69 hours from ordering until boards in hand.  Always good quality too.  Boards that aren't green and 1.6mm thick take a few days more though.

-Rodney


On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 8:31 PM Bill Brown via groups.io <wb8elk=aol.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hi Chuck,

 I get mine from JLCPCB in China.   Send them Gerber files and specify board thickness in mm.  You will receive high quality boards that are ultra-thin in just a bit over a week and they are inexpensive to boot. I order the 0.6mm boards which equates to  0.024 " thickness. You can go with 0.4mm boards as well but 0.6mm seemed to be the best compromise for strength vs thinness.

- Bill WB8ELK




-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck KG5CA <goldsmith@...>
To: GPSL@groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jan 23, 2021 5:22 pm
Subject: [GPSL] Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Question for those of you building ultra-small trackers for pico balloons:

What thickness of FR4 boards are you using, and where do you get them manufactured?
Many shops will build 0.0625" thick, but that seems unnecessarily thick and heavy.  What are good alternatives?

Thanks....


Re: Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Bill Brown
 

Hi Chuck,

 I get mine from JLCPCB in China.   Send them Gerber files and specify board thickness in mm.  You will receive high quality boards that are ultra-thin in just a bit over a week and they are inexpensive to boot. I order the 0.6mm boards which equates to  0.024 " thickness. You can go with 0.4mm boards as well but 0.6mm seemed to be the best compromise for strength vs thinness.

- Bill WB8ELK




-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck KG5CA <goldsmith@...>
To: GPSL@groups.io
Sent: Sat, Jan 23, 2021 5:22 pm
Subject: [GPSL] Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Question for those of you building ultra-small trackers for pico balloons:

What thickness of FR4 boards are you using, and where do you get them manufactured?
Many shops will build 0.0625" thick, but that seems unnecessarily thick and heavy.  What are good alternatives?

Thanks....


Re: Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Chuck KG5CA
 

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 03:24 PM, greg@... wrote:
Oshpark.com
Greg,
Thanks for the referral.  I see they also manufacture 4mil thick polyimide boards.  Might be even lighter.... :-)
--
Chuck / KG5CA
StratoCasters


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

Christopher Rose
 

It did sound fantastic



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: James Ewen VE6SRV <ve6srv@...>
Date: 1/23/21 12:28 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: GPSL@groups.io
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Google's Loon project coming to an end

That would be people reporting not understanding the terms. The payload wouldn’t have been the size of a tennis court. Even the envelope at launch wouldn’t really be that size. 

Take a look at the “auto-launcher” photos. 

A tennis court sized payload with any amount of equipment on it would probably be fairly significant mass. That would require a lift envelope the size of a battleship. 

Imagine that landing on your house, or across a roadway. Definitely needs to have a controlled landing in an area with lots of room to land. 

James
VE6SRV 

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 10:18 AM Christopher Rose <kb8uih88@...> wrote:
Hi, If the payload was as big as a tennis court, how big is the envelope(s)?

-----------------------------------------

From: "Mark Conner N9XTN"
To: GPSL@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Thursday January 21 2021 7:58:33PM
Subject: [GPSL] Google's Loon project coming to an end


Cost wasn't sustainable.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Virus-free. www.avg.com

--
James
VE6SRV


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

Chuck KG5CA
 

Would have been interesting to hear the debrief.  I wonder if they decided a fixed-fixed wing alternative provided more flexibility in coverage than the "mostly" unguided floating vehicle.

https://medium.com/loon-for-all/hapsmobile-loon-first-in-the-world-to-deliver-lte-from-a-fixed-wing-stratospheric-aircraft-114bf4f041ad?source=collection_home---4------3-----------------------

---
Chuck / KG5CA
StratoCasters


Re: Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

greg@bigredbee.com
 

Oshpark.com  does .8mm boards.  I'm a happy repeat customer for prototypes)

Greg K7RKT

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 3:22 PM Chuck KG5CA <goldsmith@...> wrote:
Question for those of you building ultra-small trackers for pico balloons:

What thickness of FR4 boards are you using, and where do you get them manufactured?
Many shops will build 0.0625" thick, but that seems unnecessarily thick and heavy.  What are good alternatives?

Thanks....


Circuit boards for pico balloon trackers

Chuck KG5CA
 

Question for those of you building ultra-small trackers for pico balloons:

What thickness of FR4 boards are you using, and where do you get them manufactured?
Many shops will build 0.0625" thick, but that seems unnecessarily thick and heavy.  What are good alternatives?

Thanks....


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

Carlton Corbitt
 

Wow, Loon has been a neat project to folllow and i wish i could have been apart of.

Dan Bowen are you in the group photo?  
My guess is your the guy standing behind the guy with a bald head?

Carlton


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

James Ewen VE6SRV
 

That would be people reporting not understanding the terms. The payload wouldn’t have been the size of a tennis court. Even the envelope at launch wouldn’t really be that size. 

Take a look at the “auto-launcher” photos. 

A tennis court sized payload with any amount of equipment on it would probably be fairly significant mass. That would require a lift envelope the size of a battleship. 

Imagine that landing on your house, or across a roadway. Definitely needs to have a controlled landing in an area with lots of room to land. 

James
VE6SRV 

On Sat, Jan 23, 2021 at 10:18 AM Christopher Rose <kb8uih88@...> wrote:
Hi, If the payload was as big as a tennis court, how big is the envelope(s)?

-----------------------------------------

From: "Mark Conner N9XTN"
To: GPSL@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Thursday January 21 2021 7:58:33PM
Subject: [GPSL] Google's Loon project coming to an end


Cost wasn't sustainable.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Virus-free. www.avg.com

--
James
VE6SRV


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

Christopher Rose
 

Hi, If the payload was as big as a tennis court, how big is the envelope(s)?

-----------------------------------------

From: "Mark Conner N9XTN"
To: GPSL@groups.io
Cc:
Sent: Thursday January 21 2021 7:58:33PM
Subject: [GPSL] Google's Loon project coming to an end


Cost wasn't sustainable.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Google's Loon project coming to an end

Chuck KG5CA
 

Sorry to hear of their exit, it was interesting to follow their exploits.  One of those unfortunate circumstances where you have to spend many millions of dollars just to find out if a cool idea is really feasible. 
--
Chuck / KG5CA
StratoCasters


Google's Loon project coming to an end

Mark Conner N9XTN
 


Cost wasn't sustainable.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

Bill Brown
 

Congrats to the PENS-10p team. It is great to see how this project has inspired the students (and adults).

- Bill WB8ELK


-----Original Message-----
From: Mike, n0mpm <n0mpm52@...>
To: GPSL@groups.io
Sent: Sun, Jan 17, 2021 6:48 pm
Subject: [GPSL] PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

It’s great to see 170 Jefferson 5th graders receive their “World Travelers” certificate documenting 4 trips around the world for our Pico Balloon, PENS-10p.  During these past 2 months the students learned about balloons and atmospheric science, tracked the voyage, predicted the future path, discovered new countries, provided interviews for local NBC and CBS TV stations, and had fun discussing the experiment with friends and family.  

One student told me that her father, an engineering supervisor at Vermeer Corp, would end his weekly staff meetings with an update on the balloon progress.  One day he forgot until his staff demanded they put APRS.fi up on the screen!  It’s great to see projects like this spark the imagination of young and old alike!
 
Guess what?  I had as much fun as the students!
 


Re: PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

Mark Garrett
 

What a fantastic way for students to get involved with a project that takes them around the world on a balloon they helped launch.  I hope they can keep track of future efforts as it fun to follow along and maybe get a few siblings to get into the class.

On Sunday, January 17, 2021, 06:48:28 PM CST, Mike, n0mpm <n0mpm52@...> wrote:


It’s great to see 170 Jefferson 5th graders receive their “World Travelers” certificate documenting 4 trips around the world for our Pico Balloon, PENS-10p.  During these past 2 months the students learned about balloons and atmospheric science, tracked the voyage, predicted the future path, discovered new countries, provided interviews for local NBC and CBS TV stations, and had fun discussing the experiment with friends and family.  

One student told me that her father, an engineering supervisor at Vermeer Corp, would end his weekly staff meetings with an update on the balloon progress.  One day he forgot until his staff demanded they put APRS.fi up on the screen!  It’s great to see projects like this spark the imagination of young and old alike!
 
Guess what?  I had as much fun as the students!
 


Re: PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

Ted Tagami
 

Fantastic to see this! I too live vicariously through the student excitement, enthusiasm, and curiosity. Well done!

--
"A posse ad esse."

Ted Tagami
CEO & Co-founder
Magnitude.io

+1 510 684 9773

http://www.linkedin.com/in/tagami


Re: PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

Michael
 

Mike, that is awesome! I’ve tried to get some interest here in Granbury, but it appears our schools can’t seem to get beyond their standard curriculum in most cases. Congrats on your accomplishment!

--Michael Willett

On Jan 17, 2021, at 6:48 PM, Mike, n0mpm <n0mpm52@...> wrote:


It’s great to see 170 Jefferson 5th graders receive their “World Travelers” certificate documenting 4 trips around the world for our Pico Balloon, PENS-10p.  During these past 2 months the students learned about balloons and atmospheric science, tracked the voyage, predicted the future path, discovered new countries, provided interviews for local NBC and CBS TV stations, and had fun discussing the experiment with friends and family.  

One student told me that her father, an engineering supervisor at Vermeer Corp, would end his weekly staff meetings with an update on the balloon progress.  One day he forgot until his staff demanded they put APRS.fi up on the screen!  It’s great to see projects like this spark the imagination of young and old alike!
 
Guess what?  I had as much fun as the students!
 
<90C48A2D-F9BC-4D16-AAEA-3E633BEE1CA0.jpeg>
<916FCE9E-9750-4CF8-B5A8-67BED5273C68.jpeg>


PENS-10p. It’s a Wrap

Mike, n0mpm
 

It’s great to see 170 Jefferson 5th graders receive their “World Travelers” certificate documenting 4 trips around the world for our Pico Balloon, PENS-10p.  During these past 2 months the students learned about balloons and atmospheric science, tracked the voyage, predicted the future path, discovered new countries, provided interviews for local NBC and CBS TV stations, and had fun discussing the experiment with friends and family.  

One student told me that her father, an engineering supervisor at Vermeer Corp, would end his weekly staff meetings with an update on the balloon progress.  One day he forgot until his staff demanded they put APRS.fi up on the screen!  It’s great to see projects like this spark the imagination of young and old alike!
 
Guess what?  I had as much fun as the students!
 


Radiosonde launch in 67 mph winds

Mark Conner N9XTN
 


First one popped, second one made it after doing some extra surface data readings.

73 de Mark N9XTN


Virus-free. www.avg.com


Re: Cutdown device?

Michael Hojnowski
 

Bill,

Ya, I plan a similar setup.  I want to make a tiny 3D printed box that the balloon line passes through between parachute and balloon.  The box will route the string just like Joe's setup.  It will have a small ESP32 board with bluetooth which can fire the nichrome.  The main payload will have an ESP32 bluetooth/LoRa  flight computer that can decide when to initiate cutdown.  I can either stick an accelerometer in there or use altitude or whatever.  I may put a second cutdown box between the chute and payload box so that if I get stuck in a tree, I have the option of abandoning the chute and cutting away.

I've fallen in love with the ESP32 boards.  They're SUPER cheap ($5 for the cutdown board I plan to use) and have a ton of functionality, and they're just as easy to program as arduino.  I'll probably be switching over to them for most of my applications.

So many projects, so little time!
Mike / KD2EAT

On 11/24/2020 12:17 PM, Bill Brown via groups.io wrote:
Hi Mike,

  I designed a cutdown many years ago that had a CR123 battery.  I supported the flight train through some ring lugs to keep it from moving (knotted the line where it went through the ring lugs.  I used a MOSFET to actuate the nichrome wire...a few inches coiled tightly around the flight line.  It flew above the parachute and had a small 434 MHz RF receiver which was activated by turning on the 434 MHz transmitter in the main payoad with a coded serial string.  The cutdown box weighed about 3 ounces and just spun around the parachute after cutting down the balloon.

- Bill WB8ELK




-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Hojnowski <kd2eat@...>
To: GPSL@groups.io
Sent: Sat, Nov 21, 2020 7:52 pm
Subject: Re: [GPSL] Cutdown device?

Hey Joe,

I'm planning to make a quite similar setup myself.  Do you happen to know the current draw you get when that nichrome is engaged?   I'm trying to see if I can fire it with a FET and maybe run both the microcontroller I'll be using AND the nichrome from the same power source to save weight/volume on the cutdown device.  Knowing the current draw would help me understand whether I can ride out the "brown-out" when the voltage gets pulled down, or whether I might have to supplement with some caps/diodes or something to protect it.

Thanks for any info you might share,
Mike

On 11/21/2020 10:31 AM, Chief Surfer via groups.io wrote:
Hello Larry!

I invite you to review a cut down I made here.

Joe


Re: Cutdown device?

Michael Hojnowski
 

Joe,

That's awesome!  Thanks so much for making those measurements!  That'll really help with my planning.

Thanks again!
Mike / KD2EAT

On 11/24/2020 11:49 AM, Chief Surfer via groups.io wrote:
Hello Mike!

Using a FET would be pretty cool!

I set up my cutdown for the current measurement.  I used my DMM on the 20 A scale.  When I made the connection, the DMM spiked around 5 A.  After a several seconds, it settled in around 4.25 A.

The cutdown power supply for the nichrome is three Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries.  The energized length of nichrome is about 3/4 inch.  I used 26 AWG nichrome 80.

Joe

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