Public Lab is launching a new 🎈 Mini Balloon & Kite Kit as part of Kickstarter Gold -- take a look!

# Public Lab Research note

If this yields halfway decent results, there's potential that anyone could get into basic balloon mapping with not much more than a $15 eBay splurge plus an errand to a big box store to pick up a few pre-filled balloons and some fishing line! ### Replications (0) None yet. Be the first to post one! This is marked this as an activity for others to try. Click here to add some more details. ### 8 Comments Love it! We've been planning to release a minimal kite kit based on a keychain can but haven't run hard numbers or a test. A slightly higher end one could use the Mobius Action Cam but the #16 version of that keychain can (which the Mobius is based on) looks so great! And so cheap! Please post photos once you test!! Nice! John Wells and SNAPS are masters of this. You might enjoy their rigs and strategies: http://www.armadale.org.uk/snaps.htm Next step: Live streaming data from your balloons to the ground. ;) on second thought I think the nylon monofilament will work if you have a good winder for it (I.E. fishing rod). go for at least 10lb. I've tried using a small keychain camera for KAP and I basically just used a miniature version of the standard PET Bottle Rig- http://publiclab.org/notes/code4maine/06-25-2014/kap-test-for-invasives-monitoring-project However, I've got to say the difference in weight affects the stability of the rig considerably. I'd be very interested in getting input from others using small cams like the Mobius on my new research note- http://publiclab.org/notes/code4maine/07-09-2014/kap-rig-for-mobius-action-cam Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'd been traveling a lot lately and then catching up, so most of the equipment has been just sitting around. I've done some basic testing of the camera, and to put it bluntly…it's crap. The reason it was so cheap — free now, actually, once I filed a complaint with eBay! — is that it is a much lower-end model than advertised in the listing. I did pick up a cheap-but-decent reel and rod too, after staring at the fishing line and deciding I didn't want to ever wind it by hand even once :-P Where I'm at with this: • kit cost probably twice as much as hoped (change to$40 for an actually maybe half-decent keychain camera, add $20 for basic reel and rod) • have keychain weight: 15.6g total (7.5g for the PCB+battery, 5.1g for the plastic case, 3.0g for the metal "keychain-y" part) • haven't actually tried the 2ft ballon rig (well I did test if an even smaller balloon could lift it — nope!) Going camping for a few days this weekend though and planning to bring the kit, so hopefully more interesting results soon! So the good news: the fishing reel (and bottom half of a rod) plus a two foot balloon is a real fun rig! Did not have any trouble with the ~10lb line that came on the reel itself. The bad news: the camera is every bit as poor quality as expected. It also has a very narrow field-of-view. Here's a screengrab from a video (there's no intervalometer mode, and video is same resolution anyway, so…), the balloon is a decent ways up: In some ways, the narrow FOV may be alright given the poor resolution but would require some serious software to process into something useful. I think this holds promise, in a few years when Moore's law has had longer to work on these lightweight cameras. It's ultimately more of a$50 kit though ($5 balloon,$20 rod+reel+line, \$25+ for a slightly better camera) and still assumes you'll be able to beg/steal/borrow a small helium tank.

cool flight test!

it looks like its one of those cameras that takes a 640x480 image and upscales it to 1280x960. I've seen several of those. beware! not actually hi-res!

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