Our May meeting, on Thursday May 4, features Alan Adamson, W7QO, the guy who holds the record for the:
- Longest duration balloon flight (over 200 days)
- Longest distance balloon flight (over 500000 km – which is to the moon and about half way back)
- Most number of circumnavigations – just about to finish 13 and start 14, and still counting
- Lightest trackable payload
- Most number of days of consecutive received reports by a non-satellite system
- What started all this Balloon stuff (for me)
- Overview of the pieces required to join the fun
- Early flight learnings
- Current long duration flights
- How to get involved/started
- What to expect
- Records to be attained
– Alan has more than 30 years of Design, Development, Management, and Delivery of High-Tech communication and security products.
– Designed a variety of microcontroller, ARM based solutions including a frequency agile, fully programmable, RF radio/GPS tracking platform, a 3 axis camera stabilization system, a multi-axis, multi-motor, flight controller, and various small projects targeted at the internet of things environment
– Successful management of an RF consulting business, with focus on rooftop management of RF spectrum, communications technologies, public exposure and RF safety training issues.
– Held engineering and product management positions with BellSouth, BellSouth.com, Hayes Communications, and Symantec.
– 30+ year Holder of an Extra Class Amateur Radio license.
His professional career included working and retiring from BellSouth (before it was AT&T). As a result of his communications background, about 13 years ago he left the world of working for someone else, and started a couple of consulting businesses.
A Different Approach for RF Balloon Flights
He’s designed and developed the following
– an Arduino feature/function/pin compatible STM32F1 and STM32F3 version of what Arduino calls the pro-mini
– a 3 axis gimbal controller for camera stabilization, built on either the STM32F105 or the STM32F405 processor.
– Working for a large West Coast company, he designed and developed the hardware and firmware for a balloon tracking system based upon a satellite modem
– a Silabs Si4463 radio module that can mate to either the Arduino Pro Mini or his ProMini32
The latter is what was used to prove and develop the radio module that he uses on his balloon controller.