Thanks - Yes used the High Altitude Science Eagle pro kit. And it was really worth it. Seeing how it was our first time it seemed the best way to go. So we had the spot trace on board and the eagle fight controller with a temperature sensor. We downloaded some great data from the fight controller and spot kept us up to date on location. What I thought was funny was that spot trace said it would disconnect from the GPS at about 21,000 feet but we were connected up to burst altitude which was just under 80,000 feet. But all of the components on board functioned perfectly.
Lessons learned - yes we have a few.
1. make sure you have enough helium. we shorted ourselves and it changed the structure of our mission. We were going to fly 15 pongsats on this mission. Our first attempt failed to lift the payload and we had to abort the mission.
Not having enough helium we cut way the pongsat payload which reduced the payload by 100 grams. That was enough for us to regroup and make a second attempt. We only got about 1.5 m/s of lift. That extended our flight time by about 1 hour and 30 minutes. It also allowed the balloon to be pushed around by the wind.
2. Remember to reset the camera when you change the battery. When we aborted the first launch we decided to change the battery in the camera because it had been running for about 15 minutes. By doing so the camera defaulted to factory settings and we only were able to record about 1 hour and 45 minutes of the flight. we also lost the date time stamp.
3. Don't chase the balloon. Head to the recovery zone and wait for the GPS tracker to stop moving. We drove in circles trying to get what we thought was the landing area. Never thought that when the balloon descends that you could get pings on top of each other.
Over all it was a success and we have two more launches to schedule in the next few months. We are a non-profit group here in Stockton California and we did get sponsors to support our launches. So a big thank you to Ojo Technology of Fremont California, E3 Systems of Union City, California and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California Thank you for your support.