Project Horus High altitude balloon project


Birth of a carputer

I've put together a simple carputer to handle the balloon tracking and map plotting automatically. It's essentially a smallish desktop running from an inverter, with a backup battery & diode block to let me start the car without rebooting the PC.

The Icom 706MKIIG is controlled by the PC for automatic tuning & tracking - there's also a GPS module onboard, a 3G internet connection, and an ad-hoc wifi network broadcast, allowing me to control the lot from my netbook. Velcro straps keep the whole thing from sliding around in my boot.

More info soon, pics below!

Filed under: Build Leave a comment
Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. That looks like an awesome idea.

  2. To be a critic; how about a laptop! you would have 5 times less weight, 10 times less space, ГЎnd you have a keyboard, mouse, screen, and it uses less power (ГЎnd already has a battery!). but if you dont have one; then its obivous!

  3. Tim I do have a laptop, this carputer gets put in the boot and controlled via a terminal services session (over wifi) from the laptop. The main reason for doing this is that the carputer is able to handle the decoding and uploading of balloon telemetry, along with running our local mapping GPS software, while the laptop is not bound by half a dozen USB/audio cables (audio input, radio control, GPS, 3G internet, etc), which makes moving about (getting in and out of the car etc) much easier.

    The carputer also handles a 3G internet connection which it shares over wifi to the laptop other devices connected. Once the carputer is on, it doesnt really need any attention, it handles almost everything automatically, which means the person doing the navigation has a much easier job!

  4. Hi Terry, I have always wondered, doesnt the hard drive play up while being driven around???

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.