Support FAQ


Pi does not boot

Make sure you followed the instructions correctly on the Raspberry Pi site.  Then try another card.  The green "ACT" light should flash after power-up, and then flicker as the Pi boots; if not then you will probably see that it is very weakly lit, which means that the Pi cannot boot from the SD card.

What batteries do you recommend?

AA size Energizer Lithium cells.   These are specified to work at down to -40C and are known to be reliable in high altitude balloon flights.  Other makes of primary (not rechargeable) Lithium cells are available, and these should be fine however few people, if any, have tested them for HAB flights, so their performance may not be as good.

Do not use other types of cell.

What run time should I expect?

About 20 hours with the above cells, which is plenty.  You can save weight and use AAA cells in which case you will get about 5-6 hours.  Both the above assume that you are using a model A or A+, that you disable the monitor output, and that the batteries are not powering anything else.

Can I use a model B or B+ or V2 B Raspberry Pi?

Yes, however you will vastly reduce the run time for no benefit whatsoever.  We recommend using a model B/B+ for developing, configuring and testing only; for flights use a model A/A+.

It all works except there are no images being downloaded

Check that the camera is connected, that the configuration file (pisky.txt) has a line to enable the camera, and that the camera is enabled in raspi-config.  Also check that the SD card isn't full.

It doesn't appear on the map

Check that you have GPS lock (i.e. the telemetry includes your position), that the "Online" box under "DL Client" in dl-fldigi is checked, and that you have created a payload document for your payload ID.

How heavy is the PITS board?

The weight breakdown is:

  • Pi In The Sky Main Board  -  19.2g
  • Raspberry Pi A+  -  21.5g
  • Header + Standoffs  -  9.3g
  • GPS antenna  -   55.0g
  • Battery Holder+Clip  -  13.4g
  • Energizer L91 Lithium (AA)  -  14.5g x 4

So the total launch weight iof the is about 180g.

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