General Warnings and Precautions

The ptFlex is a fairly rugged piece of hardware, built to withstand the stresses of life in near-space. However, it is a piece of electronic equipment and can be damaged if not treated properly.

  • Do not apply power to the ptFlex without first attaching a proper VHF transmit antenna (or 50 ohm dummy load) tuned for the proper frequency. Allowing the transmitter to operate without an antenna attached can permanently damage the transmitter final amplifier.
  • Always treat batteries with respect. Any battery can become dangerous if mishandled, punctured, or allowed to short out.
  • Allow sufficient time to learn about the ptFlex and its configurations before attempting a High Altitude Balloon flight. HABing is an exciting and rewarding hobby, however it can be very unforgiving to the ill-prepared.
  • Always include tracking redundancy on your HAB flights. The recommended course of action is to include at minimum two independent APRS tracking beacons, with separate GPS location receivers. Other alternatives to dual APRS beacons would be backup RF beacons and the appropriate ground-based direction finding equipment, or a satellite-based emergency locator beacon. If these other options are not practical, at minimum write your name, address, and phone number somewhere in the package in hopes that someone may find the capsule and return it to you.
  • Always test the installation and configuration of the equipment prior to a HAB mission. At Project: Traveler, any balloon flight that is not tested and functioning 100% at least one week prior to launch, will cause a cancellation of the flight.