Skip to content
High Altitude balloon Locator (for Android)
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Failed to load latest commit information.


   Copyright 2012 Raymond Finzel

   Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
   you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
   You may obtain a copy of the License at

   Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
   distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
   See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
   limitations under the License.

1. Install High Altitude balloon Locator ("HAL"). Turn on your phone's GPS. Your phone will need to have a text messaging plan, and be warned that HAL will send quite a few text messages.
2. Navigate to High Altitude balloon Locator and open.
3. Estimate the time at which your balloon will be landing.
4. Add 30 minutes to that time, just to be safe. Remember, it is ILLEGAL to operate a cellular device from an airborne balloon. Entering a time far enough into the future avoids this technicality.
5. Enter valid phone numbers into the blanks. Make sure to put a reliable phone number into the "primary" blank. No need for a "1" preceding the area code. 10 or 5 digits(to publish to facebook or twitter!) will do.
6. Enter the previously calculated time using the time picker. Check to see that the "AM or PM" selector is correct.
7. Hit "Start"
8. Wait for the loading bar to reach 100%. Heed all warnings and status messages. If the "First Location" status display says "999.0 , 999.0" you may want to cancel the launch process by hitting the 'back' and then 'cancel' buttons, wait for a couple minutes, and then start again. If it continues to display "999.0 , 999.0" you may have a GPS issue. If you are certain that your GPS is working, you may ignore this status. After the GPS has acquired satellites the program will work as prescribed.
9. Make sure that both phone numbers registered have received text messages indicating that they are contacts for the balloon. From this point onward, only the primary contact will receive text messages, unless a text update is requested by the secondary contact. You can always start over by hitting "back" and then "cancel" if necessary.
10. Seal the phone into your balloon package. Somewhere well insulated is a must. In a plastic bag and somewhere where the "back" button will not be pressed by the jostling package is also preferred. If it's a hot day, the phone may overheat temporarily once on the ground, but not before sending back its coordinates. THE PHONE WILL BE IN AIRPLANE MODE UNTIL THE USER SPECIFIED TIME. Texting or calling the device will result only in disappointment.
11. Once the user specified time has been reached, HAL will wake up the phone and send the primary contact a text message containing its GPS coordinates and a message that the package has landed.
12. Wear long pants and prepare to trek through the wilderness to collect your package! 
13. Once HAL has landed(the timer has expired) the "primary" and "secondary" contacts may request a location update by texting the code "whereru?" (case sensitive) to HAL. 
14. If you are satisfied that the package's location has been established, text it the code "thankyou" to remotely cancel the High Altitude balloon Locator. HAL will respond politely. Do not use this option unless you are absolutely certain that you will not need location updates.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.