MM10 - 2018-09-11

Tracker Details

Tracker Type: APRS

Model: PicoTracker1Rev2

Powered by 2 AAA batteries


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

lhAltFtThreshold = 10000

hAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 200000 (200s, 3m, 0h)

lAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 35000 (35s, 0m, 0h)

lAlt.stickyMs = 14400000 (14400s, 240m, 4h)

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

Launch Parameters

Balloon and Payload

  • One 36" Qualatex balloon
  • 29.0 gram payload
  • 1.82 grams free lift


  • Top Altitude - 25,321 ft
  • Duration - 10 hours, 42 minutes
  • Distance - 52 miles following path
  • Cause of death - RF failure

General Thoughts / Observations

This double balloon launch went very smooth, it rose slowly with a 1.8 gram free lift. The first signal was received 29 minutes after launch, this would be the first sign that the flight was in for plenty of signal gaps. With an ascent rate of about 1 foot per second, the balloon settled into a float elevation of 25,000 feet after about 6 hours.

The ascent rate was slower than planned, so the balloon missed its original wind projection and mostly floated around the area. After I left the launch area, the balloon actually floated near my home. I could hear the transmissions on the baofeng radio, but noticed that they were not be sent by way of The missing signals have become my biggest obstacle.

Thoughts for next time

Extra testing of signal reliability under various conditions. Determine any commonality of parts or assembly practices that may cause the signal gaps.