High Altitude Balloon Bill of Material (HAB BOM)

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During the last year of work on this project we have developed what we feel to be a reliable and low cost spacecraft for High Altitude Balloon projects.  In keeping with our mission, we decided to open-source the design of our “Dogeship-Class” spacecraft for anybody looking to get into this hobby but doesn't quite know what to purchase for their first launch.  This has been a great machine to learn with and has enough room for experiments while still being very portable and flyable.  This BOM, combined with our HAB User Guide, should get you started!Additionally, we are very open to feedback on this design - seasoned veterans, we want to hear from you!

The links provided in the BOM are all to Amazon.com and use the 'Amazon Affiliate' program.  If you decide to purchase some or all of this Bill of Materials we ask that you use the below links.  You will pay the same price you would normally, but we get a small percentage of Amazon's normal fee (around 4%) as a referral bonus.  Any proceeds from this get re-invested in new open-source material, new HAB experiments, and new spacecraft designs!

Base Spacecraft Requirements (~$110)


Payload Housing (Styrofoam Cooler)

$9

One Required

This comes as a 2-pack, we couldn’t find a single for sale at a reasonable price


Hand Warmers

$9

We used a single warmer last launch which seemed to work fine.  Two on prior launches. [Update Aug 2016: we actually don't use any hand warmers on well-sealed launches now that use a GoPro. The electronics are sufficiently self-heating, as long as they are not in the direct air-stream on ascent and descent] 


Long Zip Ties

$12

Two Required

Key is 36” long zip ties.  This is how we attach parachute and hold everything together.


Short Zip Ties

$7

These can also be gotten at Dollar Tree for $1


Fishing Line

$7

40 feet required

Legally must be 50 pounds or less, we use 40 pound line (the force it breaks at).

40 foot line means if parachute gets snagged in tree the payload should be dangling near the ground


Battery Booster, 5600 mAh

$12

Any USB battery backup will work, we used this on our last flight.  This can run our cameras and TM for >6 hours


24” Nylon Parachute

OR

Top Flight 24” Parachute (PAR-24)

$12

If you have the time we highly recommend checking out the Top Flight parachutes from our friends at

http://topflightrecoveryllc.homestead.com/

 Their parachutes are very high quality!


USB Cable 2-Way Splitter

$4

Splits power from the USB battery to two micro-USB plugs


Kaymont Weather Balloon

>$35 + ship

Kaymont 350 ($35) or larger


Ground Equipment Recommendations

Quick-Launch Inflation System

$60

We developed this after our first launch was a nightmare.  Since we started using it we essentially unpack and launch because of this tool.  We highly recommend this as it makes everything a lot easier pre-launch.  Proceeds go to more research and open-source material


Payload Recommendations

RioRand RS4000 Action Camera

$53

Note: The RioRand is a 720p video.  We recommend a

32GB memory card

for this.

Recommend GoPro for proper 1080p or 4k resolution and/or a still camera for high resolution still photos

GoPro HERO+ (Wi-Fi Enabled)

$175

Recommend GoPro for proper 1080p or 4k resolution and/or a still camera for high resolution still photos.

Used Canon Camera from eBay

$25

Find a used Canon from eBay -we have used the SD780IS.  Make sure to get the appropriate memory card for your camera.

Install Canon Hack Development Kit and run the intervalometer to take periodic images


Telemetry Recommendations (more info here)

HUAWEI Fusion 2 U8665 Tracking Cell phone

$50

NOTE:  A used GSM or CDMA android phone will work fine as well.  Our software (soon to be open-sourced) does require Android version 4.2 or lower (critical function is disabled without root above 4.2)

SIM Card for Ting

or

https://ting.com/shop/gsmSIM

$9

Ting GSM SIM card - No contract, Universal SIM, Nationwide coverage, Only pay for what you use.  We have used Ting for all four launches and have been very happy with their service.  We typically use around 200 texts for a launch, so the price comes to around $13 including taxes.


8GB Memory Card

$8

Memory Card to store Flight Data Recorder file.  Our TM code presently requires a memory card to run.  More details in a future post.

NOTE:  Our cell phone TM system has only flown a few times.  While we are confident in it, if your payload is something you cannot afford to lose we recommend getting a SPOT satellite tracker for telemetry.

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We recommend not cutting a hole (such as this picture) in the Styrofoam that goes completely to the inside of the cooler unless you have prior experience or testing to know that your internal electronics won't freeze.

We hope that you find this BOM useful and inspires you to perform your first launch!  Again, we welcome feedback from any veterans as we work to make our design less complex, more efficient and less expensive.

Disclaimer, Amazon makes us put this here:

Launch with Us is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com