A Floater Lost in Time

Sven (DL7AD) hasimproved the LPC1114 version of the Pecan Pico 6 software. He implemented a Unix like UTC timestamp and cleaned up the GPS coordinate calculations. He has found (and fixed) a bug that arbiarily changed the transmit frequency of the tracker due to false coordinates and the resulting impacts on geofencing. However he introduced a new bug where the APRS timestamp is falsely created when the Unix time crosses UTC midnight.

We’ve launched a floater yesterday evening. The solar powered tracker works fine and transmits positions and telemetry. However the timestamp is corrupt, which causes APRS.fi to reject all position packets. This makes tracking difficult, but we’ve found a couple of workarounds, how DL7AD-11 can be tracked for now:

Telemetry via APRS.fi
Raw Packets on APRS.fi
Position on habhub tracker
Position on OpenAPRS.net (need to find DL7AD-11 manually)
Position & Track on FindU
Position & track on www.DB0ANF.de



2 thoughts on “A Floater Lost in Time

  1. Hello everyone , I have been fascinated by pico balloons for some time now but I don’t know where to start. I am not a programer nor do I have experience in pcb prototyping , and I get the feeling that the aprs tracker on the balloons have to be built. Do you know of anyone who build and sells the system ready and tested?
    Could you email me your reply ? Thank you.

    • Dear Don,
      I don’t think that such lightweight balloon trackers are available for purchase anywhere. There is just a small market and there might be a huge responsibility of the manufacturer if something stupid happens. I recommend to look at the open source design files and code on this website and elsewhere and try to design your own tracker. That’s where you learn the most. If you need support, you may want to ask at the #highaltitude chat at irc.freenode.net .

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