Project: Traveler's Ballooning FAQ's
Groups trying to get started in High Altitude Ballooning have a lot of questions. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Can I use a cell phone to track my balloon?
There are a number of groups that have used cell phones to track their balloons, but it doesn't come without its challenges.
Do I have to notify anybody before flying a balloon?
In the United States, no there are generally no requirements to notify any authorities before launching an unmanned free high altitude balloon. But there are some caveats.
How can I predict where the balloon will land?
How do I fill the balloon with gas?
How much does it cost to fly a balloon?
The answer can vary widely depending on what type of experiements are to take place, and how much equipment you already have or can be borrowed, but the short answer is about $1000.
Is a ham radio license required to fly a balloon?
No, there are no licenses required in order to fly a balloon, however a license may be needed depending on how you are tracking your balloon.
Is Hydrogen gas dangerous?
What are the rules regarding high altitude ballooning?
What equipment is needed to track a balloon?
There are many different ways to track a high altitude balloon, and they all have their own pro's and con's. One of the more common methods is by using amateur radio and a protocol called APRS (Automatic Packet/Position Reporting System).
Where can I purchase balloons?
Most high altitude balloonists are using latex weather balloons to fly their projects. These can be either purchased new, or sometimes are available as surplus equipment. The two main brands are currently available are Totex/Kaymont and Hwoyee.
Why doesn't my tracker show up on the Internet?
Traffic from an ArduinoTrack (or any APRS transmitter) will not always show up on the Internet. This can be caused by several issues. Read More for a full description of how iGating and Digipeating work.