Space Camera 2

19 Dec 2010


Aka “Project HoHoHo III” This is the second meteorological balloon I have launched. It included some sensors, two flightcomputers and four (!) camera’s. The project failed due to the radio breaking during launch, so i lost all contact, and the payload was recovered 2 months later by a German lady. Also, only one camera worked, and that actualy videotaped for 3.5 hours on just 2 AA batteries. So all is left is the video, which turned out great.

Flight Statistics

Cost €150
Launch 19-12-2010 (13:32 GMT+1)
Recovery 26-02-2011 (DHL package)
Distance (ground) >275km
Time-to-burst 2:40h
Time-to-ground ~3:40h
Max. Altitude ~31km
Weight ~1000g
Contents Sensors, Flightcomputer (x2), Camera (x4)


Where did it go wrong?

I turned the payload on, everything worked. Then i turned the radio off, and let the payload go. Then i turned the radio back on, and everything was distorted. At least the flightcomputer worked 3 minutes, since it made the EOS350D take a few pictures, and it sent me a textmessage that it worked (via the T68i). Then, something went wrong with the powersupply, making the entire flightcomputer and the EOS350D it controlled fail. The cellphone worked too, because it had received a “Welcome to Germany!” textmessage when it landed there. But, the flightcomputer was broken, so it did not parse through a textmessage with GPS info to the phone.



Eventually the payload landed after a long time in the air in an orchard in Osterholz-Schambeck, above Bremen, at the hight of Denmark. After two months i got a phonecall from a very nice lady named Claudia (danke!), and after paying the findersfee and the postage, it took two days after receiving the box. Besides the experience, i now have all the equipment back here, for possibly a new project.

Payload Contents

Canon EOS350D Took 10 pictures the first 3 minutes.
Canon A560 Took 1 picture the first minute.
Canon A720IS Videotaped 3:30hr (!)
Spycam Keychain HD Videotaped 1:00hr but iPhoto corrupted the microSD
Parachute Worked but ripped on touchdown
Radio 434.650MHz RTTY 50b, 5n1(baudot), 350Hz shift
Release mechanism Release when >22km or when falled 600m or past 5.695deg longitude Failed due to power failure
GPS Tyco Vinotech Sirf III (libelium)
Flightcomputer Sensors, chips, SD log: all failed due to power failure

Unpacking the Payload(3D!)


Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


Many thanks to the radio and uk-high-altitude-society community (@freenode #highaltitude on IRC) for helping me track and the support. Too many names to mention! Most of all terry baum (code), daniel richman (code/general), james coxon(website/general), fsphil (general), random (general/electronics), eric de jong (tracking), Lunar_Lander(?) (support). And special thanks to the team on-site: Daniela (support), Onno (driving).