by Head Full of Air LLC

A kite-balloon offering quiet, long-term flight for videography, communications, and meteorology.

View all updates Oct 19, 2018

Airborne Networking

Airpup and a wireless network node can fit in a backpack and be taken anywhere.

Flying to 500’ extended our amateur radio mesh node’s range from 0.2 miles to 1.25 miles. We managed about four hours of broadcast time for a Raspberry Pi 3 and a WiFi dongle.

This project was a quick hack— with further power optimization we hope to fly all day without changing the battery, and keep the network up all weekend without refilling Airpup.

Fly-able Broadband-Hamnet node

Mitch Bayersdorfer of Clackamas County ARES has been working on a Raspberry Pi-based replacement for the WRT54G-based Broadband-Hamnet nodes CARES currently deploys. The system serves up CARES Field Operations site, emergency response info, and VoIP functionality.

Simplify your setup!

Mitch Bayersdorfer brought a mesh node to Dorkbot PDX the same night I brought Airpup. We made an impromptu flight to 50 feet, as well as plans to try again at a higher altitude.

Using Mitch’s Raspberry Pi 3, Tendak USB 3 hub, and an Alfa AWUS036NH WiFi dongle, we made some quick hacks and a 10Ah USB battery to reduce the size of the setup.

I launched the node from the backyard, and Mitch drove a second node around to check the signal strength.

50% signal strength was observed at 1.25 miles, a significant range boost without any antenna optimizaton.

Next steps

The goal is to reduce the flying node to a Pi Zero, smaller battery, and a better antenna, probably a Discone.

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of $8,000 goal

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Winder, Line, & Safety Gloves

Premium cut-resistant driving gloves made from goatskin lined with woven kevlar. Get smooth motions while protecting your hands. A wooden winder with 500' of braided Dacron line. Made in the USA from sustainably sourced birch plywood. Braided white dacron line made in the USA by Shanti Kites.


Head Full of Air LLC

Mathew Lippincott created Head Full of Air LLC to further his passion for low-cost kite and balloon flight systems and open hardware. Through Head Full of Air, Mathew has created learning resources for NSF- add NASA- funded educational projects as well as led public workshops.

Mathew Lippincott

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