Monday, April 28, 2014

MicroTrak AIO Testing

After configuring the MicroTrak, we took the device outside of Strong Hall to see if we could get a signal at the ground station, which was positioned just inside of the building by an open window. The MicroTrak auto transmitted every two minutes and gave us a position of right outside Strong Hall, as expected. The position was also recorded on the APRS website with Google Maps as shown below. We used the call sign KD8WQP.

Go Pro Camera and Additional Power

Go Pro Cameras are designed for extreme sports, so they are light and structurally sound devices, this is why we implied one on our payload. The camera comes with a plastic case mounted on a pivot stand. We used the stand to anchor the camera into the primary payload.

The Go Pro's internal battery lasts just under two hours in regular conditions. We expect the flight to be around two hours, the payload will experience a large temperature range. The battery will not operate optimally in the colder temperatures, so we added an addition power source. The second power source charges the battery using the micro USB port. The Go Pro uses this port to connect to the USB port of a computer to both charge the Go Pro and download data to the computer. We used a micro USB to USB cable and removed the USB end. We then stripped the cable to reveal four wires, we only utilized the black and red wires for ground and power respectfully. We snipped the extra two wires. We used a nine volt battery for the addition power, a computer supplies five volts out of its USB port, a voltage divider was used to step down the nine volts to five volts.