Step 19: Launch and Retrieval
While in car, turn on MicroTrak and PocketFinder and start recording coordinates.
1. Arrive at location. Fold out table and chairs.!
2. Place plastic tarp on ground next to table. Place weights on end end of the tarp to
prevent movement by the wind.!
3. Take helium tank out of car and place tank sideways on ground next to tarp.!
4. Place payload box on tarp with parachute.!
9. Unscrew helium tank cap.!
10.Attach hose or similar apparatus to the helium tank regulator.!
11. Stretch hose so it lays halfway on the tarp.!
12.Attach rope to hose about 10 inches from open end of hose. !
13.This rope is then connected to a pull scale that is anchored to the ground.!
14.Hand out latex gloves for those who are holding the weather balloon during inflation.
Two people will be underneath the balloon. Two or three people will be holding the
side of the balloon to make sure that the wind does not move it. Make sure no one is
wearing shark objects such as watches, eye glasses, or highly gelled hair.!
15.Take balloon out of package being sure to not stretch the balloon.!
16.Lay it out on the tarp and locate the open end. Place hose or similar apparatus 10
inches inside the open end of the balloon. Place two zip ties and one tied off rope
around the neck of the balloon that is on the hose to prevent air from leaking out.!
17. Start helium flow to the balloon. Make sure to encourage air flow inside balloon.!
18.Once the balloon has been inflated, read the scale to determine if there is 6lbs of lift.!
19. Once there is 6lbs of lift, tie off the balloon.!
20. With the balloon still connected to the hose, take two pieces of 3ft string. Take the
first piece and wrap it around the back side of the neck. Draw the length until they
are equal. Make an x and loop the higher string through the other string. Position the
string so it is about 7 inches from the end of the balloon. Bring each side of the string
back around them balloon. Repeat this x pattern until the string covered 13mm of e
neck. Make a final knot. !
21.Remove the balloon from the nozzle and hook it to the anchor.!
22.Take you other piece of trying and wrap it around the balloon just as before. Bend
the neck of the balloon so it overlaps the previous tie. Repeat the same process of
tying the balloon as before. !
23.Tie the top of the parachute to the bottom of the balloon, with the ends of the rope
hanging off. !
24.Attach the rope to the top of the parachute.!
5. Open lid and place gps, camera running CHDK, hand warmers inside box. Make
sure all devices are turned on, but camera is not running. !
6. Close and tape lid shut.!
7. Tie two box sling knots around the box.!
8. Attach two of the box sling strings to the parachute hook, and the other two strings to
the rope of the parachute.!
25.Apparatus should be complete.!
26. Press the shutter button on the camera and confirm that the camera is taking
pictures every 30 seconds. !
27. Confirm that he GPS devices are transmitting.!
28. Remove the balloon from the anchor and make sure the payload does not leave the
Let it go!