MM19 -2019-04-20

Tracker Details

Tracker Type: APRS

Model: PicoTracker1Rev2

Powered by 2 AAA batteries


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

gpsLockTimeoutMs = 150000 (150s, 2m, 0h)

gpsRetryAfterMs = 10000 (10s, 0m, 0h)

lhAltFtThreshold = 10000

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

lAlt.wakeAndEvaluateMs = 40000 (40s, 0m, 0h)

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

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

Launch Parameters

Balloon and Payload

  • 36" Qualatex, unstretched
  • 29 gram payload
  • 1.69 grams free lift


Miles traveled: 1,625

Flight hours: 18.4

Max Altitude feet: 19,811

Cause of death: Signals stopped

General Thoughts / Observations

Following a strong storm, the goal of this flight was to jump on a fast wind current heading north. Launching in almost dead wind, within 5 minutes it was up to 30 mph and kept climbing in speed. The balloon flew 1,652 miles in 18.4 hours, an average speed of 89 mph. Its peak speed was 121 mph.

After flying northeast over Florida, the balloon crossed over the Atlantic Ocean near Melbourne. It came back over land in North Carolina and continued north through Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, then exited the USA into Canada near Montreal. The last signal in Canada was about 100 miles north of Quebec City.

This flight was the first flight with tracker’s revised software. With a time limited GPS lock there will no longer be excessively long lock times. Judging by the lock times and the APRS graphics, there were very few signal or lock time issues.

Thoughts for next time

Keep attention on GPS data, start tracking GPS mAs to see it it correlates to GPS performance.