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I read about people track weather balloons on the internet and wanted to try that. I have no idea where to start, like how to write the code and what extra electronics I need. Please help if you give me a sample code please explain whats going on in side it and if you recommend me getting other electronics see if its on a website called spark fun for my convince. Thank you so much I don't care how I track it but laptop computer wold be best.
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Riley
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I read about people track weather balloons on the internet and wanted to try that. I have no idea where to start, like how to write the code and what extra electronics I need.

Go back to the internet and research your project to broaden your knowledge about what you want to do. Google is your your friend just using simple search terms. I've seen a good bit about "near space" amature balloon projects.
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Consider the daffodil. And while you're doing that, I'll be over here, looking through your stuff.   smiley-cool

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For the time being Riley I think this is well out of your reach.

Do you have any experience with hardware and/or software?

I've been around a while and I can't think of how to do this off the top of my head, except to interface with someone's web site that already tracks their balloon, and you don't need an Arduino for that.

As for tracking any old balloon I assume they transmit GPS coordinates so you'd have to know what frequency they use and tap into that. This is not a flashing LED project.

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Rob
« Last Edit: April 15, 2012, 08:56:22 pm by Graynomad » Logged

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

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The balloon tracking systems I've seen on the internet use an altimeter, GPS and a radio or cell phone link (SMS I think) to a ground station, which then puts the data on a web sight. However, I am just a casual reader going from memory. There may be a better solution.

Off hand I think you will need to know how to:
  • Get data from a GPS module and an altimeter or pressure sensor
  • Send data out over radio or cell system
  • Receive data from radio or cell system on a PC
  • Automatically update the data on a website


There are a number of tutorials for reading analog inputs and interfacing Arduino to GPS module. I know I've seen some cell phone shields, so there should be some help with that as well. I can't help you on the PC side of things

Another way of doing it would be to have a radio (or maybe optical) beacon on the balloon and several ground stations that track it. You would be limited to line of sight, but that's how they used to do this sort of thing in the primitive days before GPS. I can envision a tracking station that monitored signal strength and moved the directional antennaback and forth to get the angle to the ballon. With several stations spaced far enough apart you can find the point at which the lines intersect. It would be very cool, but probably expensive and not very accurate (compared to GPS).

Steve Turner
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