CQ CQ CQ, this is November Victor Nine Papa..

High Altitude Balloon Part 3: Power

Powering this whole setup was the problem that took the longest to solve. The trackuino has a DC barrel connector and can run off 6x AA batteries. The Canon cameras run off 2x AA batteries. The video transmitter and camera run off 12v DC. They all had different power requirements and I didn't want to have to charge several packs of batteries before launch. Or worse yet, have something run out of power halfway through the launch.

So I decided to standardize my power in the form of 2 high capacity lithium polymer batteries. I had 2 5200mAh batteries laying around and with a few DC-DC buck converters I was able to satisfy all my power requirements and only need to charge 2 batteries before launch.

Here's a diagram of how I wired up the components:

I used my small bench power supply to estimate the power consumption of each piece of hardware and used those values to plug into a battery life estimator to see if I had enough horsepower to run the setup for 3 to 4 hours. Based off my measurements and the battery calculator it told me I could run the whole setup for 8.4 hours off the two batteries.

The digikey Battery Calculator made this really easy: https://www.digikey.com/en/resources/conversion-calculators/conversion-calculator-battery-life

Here are the buck converters I used, they are readily available off Amazon and eBay.

And here's the battery tray I designed in Tinkercad to hold both batteries as well as 3 of the buck converters