Tag Archives: Tracksoar

25 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 



This modular smartwatch lets you piece together various links on its strap, each with their own function. BLOCKS has accrued well over its initial Kickstarter goal of $250,000.



This series of high-res, upgradable 3D printers provide Makers with a touchscreen user interface, remote monitoring and print job management via Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Raise3D has already well surpassed its goal of $50,000 on Kickstarter.



This lineup of embedded sportswear stimulates each of your major muscle groups to help you achieve your fitness goals faster than ever. Antelope Club has blown right past its $50,000 goal on Indiegogo.



This DIY kits empowers Makers to assemble, configure and control their own robot. KEYi Technology is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

Glassy Zone


This wearable device tracks your surfing activity as well as your exposure to UV rays. Glassy Pro is currently seeking $35,000 on Indiegogo.



This beautifully-crafted camera system empowers drivers to easily capture, edit and share interesting moments right from the road. Waylens has already quadrupled its goal of $55,000 on Kickstarter.

Shammane Smartwatch


This elegant wearable packs all of the technology and connectivity you’d expect from a smartwatch, without sacrificing style. Shammane is currently $55,000 on Indiegogo.



This upgrade for your existing intercom allows you to enjoy all the benefits of a smart lock without having to change a single thing at your door. LOCUMI LABS just hit its goal of $56,860 on Kickstarter.



This innovative, cloud-linked computer will make it so that you never again have to worry about your hard drive, backing up files or installing software. Solu Machines is currently seeking $227,812 on Kickstarter.



This set of wireless earbuds features a battery-boosting smartphone case for charging and storage. Alpha Audiotronics is currently seeking $200,000 on Kickstarter.



This reliable, high-speed desktop 3D printer spits out objects six times faster than other consumer machines. Readybox has successfully attained its $12,000 goal on Kickstarter.



This countertop-sized biolab enables you to grow living cells and to create new and interesting things, such as fragrances, flavours, materials and medicine. Amino Labs is currently seeking $12,500 on Indiegogo.

Felfil Evo


This open source 3D printer extruder lets you produce your own filament ranging in color, diameter and material. Collettivo Cocomeri is currently seeking $34,172 on Kickstarter.



This connected unit backs up the content from all your devices, either automatically or upon request. Novathings is currently seeking $79,605 on Kickstarter.



This small, lightweight and ready-to-fly APRS tracker will diminish the headaches and costs associated with high-altitude ballooning. Mike Bales is currently seeking $22,000 on Kickstarter.



This smart, customizable and extremely fun doorbell allows you to select from various modes, and to monitor the doorstep right from your smartphone. meeba is currently seeking $40,000 on Indiegogo.



This pair of earbuds lets you to enjoy high-quality sound, all while accessing your smartphone with simple voice commands and slight head movements. LBTECH is currently seeking $250,000 on Kickstarter.



This body scanner can quickly and accurately take your measurements to ensure you always get perfectly-fitting clothes when shopping online. Tom Brooks and Pietro Veragouth are currently seeking $30,000 on Kickstarter.



This unobtrusive system analyzes electricity usage and sensor data to learn an elderly person’s daily routine and notify family members know if things don’t seem right. Howz is currently seeking $91,981 on Kickstarter.



This medical-grade lens attaches to any smartphone camera, enabling you to take crystal-clear images of the moles on your skin. First Derm is currently seeking $25,000 on Indiegogo.



This Arduino-compatible, USB MIDI controller bridges the gap between hardware and software to offer you a complete synthesizer experience. Soudforce Controllers is currently seeking $17,036 on Kickstarter.



This 15-centimeter interactive binary ruler not only lets you draw straight lines, but boasts seven logic gates, four flip flops and a four-bit binary counter. Bradley Slattery is currently seeking $2,935 on Kickstarter.

Tinker Tie


This hackable, Arduino-compatible LED bow-tie can last over 20 hours on a single charge. Atom Computer is currently seeking $1,000 on Kickstarter.



This nifty little gadget converts your body heat into everlasting light, without any external energy source. Rost is currently seeking $5,000 on Kickstarter.

Did you happen to miss last week’s notable campaigns? If so, you can check them out here.

Tracksoar is an open source APRS tracker

The Tracksoar is a small, lightweight and ready-to-fly APRS tracker that’s simplifying high-altitude ballooning. 

Have you ever wanted to capture your own stunning photos of Earth or collect atmospheric conditions from the edge of space? In an effort to reduce the amount and weight of electronic components required for high-altitude balloon launches, Mike Bales of the Santa Barbara Hackerspace has developed an open source, extremely lightweight APRS tracker.


Measuring just 2” x 0.75” x 0.5” in size, the Tracksoar is said to be the smallest, fully-integrated and ready-to-fly APRS tracker available today. And, it can work with just about any airborne platform capable of carrying a payload of 60 grams or more.

“We at the Santa Barbara Hackerspace have been involved in around a dozen weather balloon launches. We have had a lot of fun with these launches and learned a lot, but found some issues. Most of the commercially available APRS trackers are closed source, large, and heavy, all of which add to the complexity of launching a balloon. So we decided to do something about it,” Bales writes.

The Tracksoar boasts an ATmega328P running the Arduino bootloader, a 300mw transmitter, a GPS receiver and antenna, along with pressure, humidity and temperature sensors. The board transmits its location and sensor data once a minute over amateur radio bands (144.390MHz), although its transmission rate can be defined in its software. In terms of power, the tracker is extremely flexible — it can run on anything between 1.5V and 4.5V, ranging from a AAA battery to several double AAs.


Being so compact and lightweight, the Tracksoar requires less helium than its much larger weather ballooning counterparts and can even be employed with a model rocket, RC planes, helicopters and drone. What’s more, it’s simple enough to attach a separate camera so that you can take pics as often as you like from up above.

Not only is it ready for use right out of the box, Bales and its creators designed the tracker to be entirely customizable, hence its SPI/I2C headers for adding new functionalities. On top of that, FTDI and ICSP programming interfaces are available for modifying and updating the Tracksoar firmware.

The Tracksoar can provide near real-time location, altitude and atmospheric data straight from your airborne craft to the Internet. With sites like APRS.fi, you can also receive your data on any computer or smartphone, without a radio. Since it’s open source, the Tracksoar can be tailored for any specific project, and with its daughterboard, Makers can add almost any extra device to expand its sensors, input or output capabilities.


“The Tracksoar is built around the excellent and mature Trackuino project. We have modified their code and schematics and board a bit to make the Tracksoar as compact, lightweight, power efficient, and integrated as possible. The Tracksoar comes ready to nearly ready to fly, just add your Amateur Radio call sign and you’re ready to go,” Bales explains.

So, just how high can this baby go? To date, the team’s most successful test reached 108,000 feet in a matter of two and a half hours. Interested? Soar over to its Kickstarter campaign, where the Tracksoar is seeking $22,000. Delivery is slated for February 2016.