It’s been a long time since I last updated the blog so here’s a quick update as to what’s happening with HABE 2:


The code for the next flight is being mostly rewritten aiming to make it more efficient and easier to read/adjust where necessary. A few weeks back I spent a significant amount of time on the code and as a result it is near completion. There are still however a few more additions and tweaks needed.


Whilst the core tracking and telemetry system of HABE 2 will be the same as HABE 1, there are quite a few new additions that are going to be present on the next flight:

  • Attempt at an uplink – using some easyradios an uplink is going to be attempted. Note: I am not expecting great range, this is merely a test to see just how far an uplink can be maintained with a tiny 10mW transmitter
  • Solar panels – 2 high performance small panels will be flown purely to collect data to determine the plausibility of powering future flights using them
  • Tiny keychain video camera – an extremely cheap video camera will hopefully capture some video footage of the flight (although I’m not expecting anything great – at all!)
  • A570 video mode – using the CHDK software hack I have enabled easy switching between still and video mode. Plans on when video mode will be switched on are currently undecided
  • Cutdown module – whilst I have tested a couple of cutdown modules I’ve designed using nichrome wire I have yet to settle on a design and finalise plans here. A cutdown will be deployed for 2 reasons: 1) many flights with Hwoyee balloons (ones I’m using) have developed a mysterious floating capability resulting in the loss of payloads as the balloon floats off to another country, using a cutdown with a “geofence” will allow me to cut the payload and parachute away from the balloon if this occurs. 2) HABE Glider will require a cutdown module and therefore this flight will act to test out the chosen mechanism

Along with these additions the bugs from HABE 1 have been patched (hopefully!). Most of the systems are currently in prototyping stage (on a breadboard) and are yet to be soldered for the flight. There is the chance that some of the above won’t make it for the next flight and/or some other things may be added.

My aim is to launch HABE 2 before Summer. Current target is around Easter, perhaps before if I get a move on. Though, as always this depends on a range of uncontrollable factors: CAA permit, weather…

Over and out for now