Links – Arduino High-Altitude Ballooning (HAB)

I would love to get into near-space exploration projects.  One of the more cost effective approaches is with High-Altitude Ballooning (HAB).

High-altitude balloons are unmanned balloons, usually filled with helium or hydrogen that are released into the stratosphere.  They generally reach an altitude between 60,000 to 120,000 feet (18 to 37 km).

Two open source projects that I came across are the Sparkfun HAB by Nate and Trackuino project by Javier Martin.  Kyle Crocke has developed an Arduino shield based off the the Trackuino project.  I’ll be studying the above designs so that I can start experimenting.

Original Post: Adafruit

Links – Finding Parts

Designing a circuit board is only part of finishing a project.  Finding components is probably one of the most tedious and mundane tasks.  Adafruit put together an article and identified some sources for finding parts.  This will come in handy in those situations where your primary vendor is out of a specific component you need.  I usually purchase my parts from either Sparkfun, Digikey, Jameco, and/or Mouser.

Read about it here: Adafruit: Finding Parts

Links – PCB Fabrication Sources

There are numerous choices when it comes to picking a PCB fabrication company.  I’ve been using ExpressPCB since their software is very easy to use.  The problem with ExpressPCB is the software is proprietary to their manufacturing services.  They do allow you the opportunity to purchase your board files in order to have them produced by other PCB fabrication companies, however, you have to purchase a set from them first.

There are other popular options for schematic/PCB software that does not lock you into their services.  Two popular applications are Eagle and Diptrace.  The problem is deciding what fabrication company to use in order to have your boards produced.  Digital DIY has put together an in-depth article comparing some of the many services that are offered.

Read about it here: Digital DIY