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I set out to design a balloon that would be something different and not done before, thus 2 1080p cameras with extended batteries, a still camera and a superb tracking system. It could be built much much cheaper but go big or go home as they say :)

The camera's are GoPro cameras and have their own external battery packs to extend record time to 4hrs. Thus elimitaing the need for external lithium packs and wires.

The tracking system is a small but powerful SPOT tracker that can be found at any best buy. It relays the whereabouts of the balloon as it begins its descent.

I picked up 1.5" foam as it would provide the best shock absorbency for the balloon, thinner could be used but i wanted to play it safe. The foam can be found at most hardware stores but in 4x8 ft sheets.

The camera's themselves are in a waterproof housing which is a great feature if it decides to head for a body of water. THe housing's will also provide more strength to the camera and protect it from a hard landing. GoPro says they are virtually indestrucable

Hand warmers were used to help provide heat when the capsule gets to a certain height, the camera also puts the heat generated to the battery area to help leep it warm.

Equipment Used in the Launch Capsule
Sounding Balloon 350g from Kaymont350g$20
Parachute~10g $30
Gopro HD 1080p cameras~90g, $300 x2 *
Gopro External Battery Pack~15g $50 x2
SPOT personal GPS tracker~10g $38 **
XPS 1.5" Foam~5g $20
Foam Glue~165g, $4
Dowel Pins~5g $3
32gb SD cards~20g 1oz $60 ***
Instant Hand warmer~5g$2
Foam Padding~15g * 4 = 60 g$5
Radar Reflector (aluminum foil)~0g~$0
Total~800g, /w misc.~$150

* Obviously 2 of the cameras and 2 battery packs might have been a slight overkill so you could save a ton just by going with a simple point and shoot with modded firmware but I wanted to get great shots my first time out.

** For the GPS tracker I went to a best buy and it just so happens the one i wanted was on clearance, it is orginally $150 but i got t for $38 so a huge cost savings there.

*** The SD memory cards just happened to be on one day so i grabbed 2 of them for a total of 60 bucks so for a class 10 card it would cost more.

Feel free to leave any comments!!