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Mini Balloon Kit

The Mini Balloon Kit is based around the 36 inch wide mylar foil balloons found by contributor @patcoyle -- which are much cheaper (as little as $3 each!), and can stay inflated for over a week. They fit in the back seat of your car, or can be taken on the subway. Heck, unlike the big red rubber balloons, they fit through a doorway.



Each can lift about 50 grams -- vs. the classic kit’s 300+, and a little more if there’s perfectly calm weather. Instead of renting a helium tank, you can fill them at a florists’ shop or party store, and shuttle them to where you’ll do your mapping. They also hold up a bit better to sunlight and rough handling, although they’re still delicate. This kit includes everything from the classic Balloon Mapping Kit, but uses smaller mylar balloons, and uses lighter (50 lb test) weight string.

We’ve collected a list range of cameras -- like the Mobius camera we already sell -- light enough to work with 2-3 of these. With a lighter option, that means you'll have a spare balloon.

But there are remaining questions and refinements to make on this kit -- that’s why we’re calling it a Prototyping Kit -- and, just like the original Balloon Mapping Kit, we’re going to collaboratively work on these issues by sharing knowledge on the Public Lab website.


Title Author Updated Likes
What are good sources of cheap bulk giant mylar balloons? @warren 20 days ago
How do I stabilize smaller balloons and prevent them from being blown down in the wind? @warren about 1 month ago
Helium Cylinder (15 Litre) Mobius Action Camera Balloon mapping Kit How long will my cylinder last? @suman 2 months ago
What should we be recording in balloon/kite mapping logbooks? @warren 4 months ago
What's the best way to attach a camera to a balloon? @warren 4 months ago
How much can one 36" balloon lift? @warren 4 months ago
Cheap, lightweight GoPro alternatives for aerial mapping? @warren 5 months ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
KAP Rig for Mobius Action Cam - - @ajawitz - - 0 replications: Try it »
Remove lens distortion from photos with FisheyeGL - - @warren - - 0 replications: Try it »
Make a $25 minimal-helium balloon mapping rig - - @natevw - - 0 replications: Try it »

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balloon-mapping aerial-photography aerial-mapping prototyping mini-balloon-kit