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Mini Balloon Kit

The Mini Balloon Kit is based around [the 36 inch wide mylar foil balloons](/notes/patcoyle/09-07-2015/mobius-non-fish-eye-and-small-lifter-wrapup) found by contributor @patcoyle -- which are much cheaper (as little as $3 each!), and can stay inflated for over a week. They fit in the back seat of your car, or can be taken on the subway. Heck, unlike the big red rubber balloons, they fit through a doorway and can be stored indoors. They do lift much less than our standard rubber weather balloons, however -- see below for more! We carry this kit (and extra balloons) in the Public Lab store: > ### Materials * 2-3 [36 inch mylar balloon]( (or [from BallonsDirect]( * 1000 feet of 50-pound kite string * carabiners, zip-ties, other clips and such to attach it all together * a camera that [weighs less than 60 grams](/q/14219) [![IMG_20170610_174338_397_(1).jpg](]( ### Lightweight Each can lift about 50 grams -- vs. the classic kit’s 300+, and a little more if there’s perfectly calm weather. Instead of renting a helium tank, you can fill them at a florists’ shop or party store, and shuttle them to where you’ll do your mapping. They also hold up a bit better to sunlight and rough handling, although they’re still delicate. This kit includes everything from the [classic Balloon Mapping Kit](/wiki/balloon-mapping), but uses smaller mylar balloons, and uses lighter (50 lb test) weight string. We’ve [collected a list range of cameras](/q/14219) -- like the Mobius camera we already sell -- light enough to work with 2-3 of these. With a lighter option, that means you'll have a spare balloon. But there are remaining questions and refinements to make on this kit -- that’s why we’re calling it a **Prototyping Kit** -- and, just like the original Balloon Mapping Kit, we’re going to collaboratively work on these issues by sharing knowledge on the Public Lab website. Also see posts on #kite-balloon-hybrid for some interesting ideas! ## Questions [questions:mini-balloon-kit] [![IMG_20170930_165501_188.jpg](]( ## Activities [activities:mini-balloon-kit] ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
Arsath " Hi, nice question we can't say exactly how long it will last it depends upon the size and material of the balloon. you can refill the cylinder or ..." | Read more » about 3 years ago
dusjagr "We are getting amazingly good results using the miSphere 360 camera. due to the gyroscope and other sensor, post-processing using their standard so..." | Read more » over 3 years ago
Bronwen "Yes, please do share and let us know how your week of aerial mapping goes: that sounds like a great project! When we get helium in NYC we go to a p..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
pfhs "Thank you @bronwen! This is our first year, so I think I will get one of each kits and give it a try. I will report back with our successes (and fa..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
Bronwen "Hi @pfhs thanks for reaching out! The 5' balloon should be fine for two days of use, without re-inflation, but will have diminishing returns after ..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
rd786 " " | Read more » about 4 years ago
daisywatson "Thanks Warren :) " | Read more » about 4 years ago
warren "There are some options here! #fisheye Hope that helps! " | Read more » about 4 years ago
daisywatson "I love GoPro, and I am following up to the question as I do want to know for some alternatives to it for aerial mapping. I have already been readin..." | Read more » about 4 years ago
warren "Just noting that @csik has had trouble with some of these types of cameras recently: I chocked it up to not being familiar with the cameras but fo..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
liz "oh yes if there's any way you could explain more about how i could build one too, so that i can help test your method, that would be awesome! " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Hi, this is also really cool. I'd love to see these written up more fully as activities. You can post activities at" | Read more » over 4 years ago
greg_george_Tufts "We are working on another design in parallel to the magnus effect design described above. We are using principles of the Allsopp Helikites, but add..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Agreed! it's so cool to see spinning. " | Read more » over 4 years ago
zengirl2 "This looks awesome @Tufts_Jumbo! " | Read more » over 4 years ago
warren "Great! We'd love to see more photos and a video -- you can post it as an activity (you should be seeing a prompt to do this below your posts here) ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
Tufts_Jumbo "Warren, we have just completed some full-scale testing. Currently we are refining and collecting data before we make any claims. We will definitely..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
Tufts_Jumbo "I couldn't directly upload the video so I uploaded it to my youtube account. The link is here: I apologize in advance..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
Tufts_Jumbo "We came across a lot of design challenges and setbacks, but my team and I have just conducted some full scale tests and we are very happy with the ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
WilMac "I am at high altitude (6,000 ft) and if there is even 5 m.p.h. it is near impossible to fly. I am using high grade helium from a welding shop and ..." | Read more » over 4 years ago
zengirl2 "Would love to see this if it is posted yet! " | Read more » over 4 years ago
stevie "Hi @edugil The rule of thumb I've used in the past is if the wind is over 10mph, go for a kite! check out these wiki pages: -" | Read more » over 4 years ago
edugil "Solved, ballons --> no wind, kites --> wind :) " | Read more » over 4 years ago
mrw0116 "Chris, thanks much for these details. This gives me a much better idea of costs and how much helium I might need. " | Read more » over 4 years ago