highaltitude.log.20060218

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[01:42] <Professor> evenin all.
[02:07] <jcoxon> hey
[02:07] <jcoxon> hey Professor
[02:07] <Professor> Heya man
[02:07] <Professor> You're the Pegasus guy?
[02:07] <jcoxon> yup
[02:07] <Professor> cool man. I'm working on a very similar project (just for fun)
[02:08] <jcoxon> cool
[02:08] <jcoxon> what you doing?
[02:08] <Professor> I own a gumstix board and was thinking of using that, but the soekris boards have usb that will work with a webcam
[02:08] <jcoxon> ooo right
[02:08] <Professor> eh, just flying a beer cooler up to 100k feet
[02:08] <jcoxon> yeah the lack of usb is an issue
[02:08] <jcoxon> hehe basically what i'm doing then!
[02:08] <Professor> I saw the usb port on the gumstix and bought it and then realized what I did.
[02:08] <jcoxon> oh dear
[02:08] <jcoxon> is a webcam really necessary?
[02:09] <Professor> no biggie, I'll use it for something
[02:09] <jcoxon> why not a digital video camera
[02:09] <Professor> well, I want a camera. this thing has 2GB of storage on it with CF and I can use that for images
[02:09] <Professor> I thought about just buying another but my experience with cameras is that they eat batteries and cost a good amount of money
[02:09] <jcoxon> for pegasus II i've got a digital video camera off ebay for £30,
[02:09] <jcoxon> takes mmc and sd carsd
[02:10] <Professor> ah, cool
[02:10] <Professor> it's definitely an option
[02:10] <jcoxon> records at webcam resolutions
[02:10] <jcoxon> just rig up the shutter to the gumstix
[02:10] <jcoxon> and have it control it
[02:10] <Professor> do you use the gpio board?
[02:10] <jcoxon> the big advantage actually is that it runs off its own batteries
[02:10] <Professor> er, whatever their breakout board is called
[02:10] <jcoxon> no i use a STUART waysmall
[02:10] <Professor> ahhh, okay
[02:10] <jcoxon> and a CFstix
[02:11] <Professor> yah, I'm going to buy a cfstix. No way am I going to lose this netCF
[02:11] <Professor> too costy
[02:11] <jcoxon> :D
[02:11] <Professor> ever build a new filesystem for the gumstix? I just compiled the default buildroot and it's over the 4 megs of flash. it's 6.2 megs or so
[02:11] <jcoxon> yuo
[02:11] <Professor> I just whittled it down to 3.8 by removing modules and other stuff, but have never flashed the thing before
[02:12] <jcoxon> i've done pretty much everything with a gumstix! :-D
[02:12] <Professor> cool
[02:12] <jcoxon> actually this one is my second after i fried my first with 12v
[02:12] <Professor> I noticed right away that the current buildroot binaries do not run on what is installed on the thing. I got it with 2.6.11gum kernel and the current built root runs 2.6.15gum.
[02:12] <Professor> ouch
[02:13] <jcoxon> yeah its worth reflashing
[02:13] <Professor> my "hello world" segfaulted
[02:13] <jcoxon> not difficult
[02:13] <jcoxon> hehe
[02:13] <Professor> cool. I'll get to it. I hope my server has another serial port
[02:13] <jcoxon> :D
[02:14] <Professor> it's a cobalt raq, but I think it's only port is the console port
[02:14] <jcoxon> hmmmm could be a problem there
[02:14] <jcoxon> how are you going to communicate?
[02:14] <jcoxon> radio?
[02:14] <Professor> yah, I'll figure it out. I have an old dell gx110 with fedora 4 on it
[02:14] <Professor> yah, ham radio. was thinking of just buying a brand new yaesu vx-150 ($115 US)
[02:14] <jcoxon> cool
[02:15] <jcoxon> sadly in the UK i can't use radio
[02:15] <jcoxon> so use GSM
[02:15] <Professor> I have a gps chip coming. $50 US for the chip and antenna
[02:15] <Professor> yah, we really don't have gsm here
[02:15] <jcoxon> but get a streesful 2 hour silence
[02:15] <Professor> haha, I read that
[02:15] <jcoxon> where are you (if you don't mind me asking)
[02:15] <Professor> los alamos, new mexico
[02:15] <Professor> 7300 feet above sealevel
[02:15] <jcoxon> oooo cool
[02:15] <jcoxon> yeah definitly got a headstart
[02:15] <Professor> hehe
[02:16] <jcoxon> me being at best 70m above sea level
[02:16] <Professor> I made contact with a company that supplies balloons to nasa, etc. they seem totally willing to sell me a balloon that will pull my stuff to 100k feet
[02:16] <Professor> kaymont
[02:17] <jcoxon> yeah not a fan of kaymont
[02:17] <jcoxon> they ignore my emails
[02:17] <jcoxon> cause i'm not in the US
[02:17] <Professor> I have two old neoprene weather balloons
[02:17] <Professor> ahh
[02:17] <jcoxon> but then i've got a better free source
[02:17] <jcoxon> British Antarctic Survery
[02:17] <Professor> nice!
[02:17] <jcoxon> they give me their old balloones
[02:17] <Professor> surplus? or just donation?
[02:17] <jcoxon> balloons*
[02:17] <Professor> sweet man. that's very cool
[02:17] <jcoxon> out of date for them
[02:17] <jcoxon> perfect for me
[02:17] <Professor> haha, mine are from 1981!
[02:18] <Professor> www.x-division.com/gallery
[02:18] <Professor> first gallery @ the top
[02:18] <jcoxon> ooo cool
[02:19] <jcoxon> neoprene interesting
[02:19] <jcoxon> i use totex balloons
[02:19] <Professor> everybody says they're made of latex, but the documentation on them says it's neoprene
[02:19] <jcoxon> interesting
[02:20] <jcoxon> it looks different to mine
[02:20] <Professor> are the totex balloons white/clearish?
[02:21] <jcoxon> http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~jac208/pegasus/pictures/launch/PA150018.JPG
[02:21] <jcoxon> ( i'm not in the picture though!)
[02:21] <Professor> oh, also, ever think of putting a tail on your payload? kinda like one of those weathercocks so it will always point into the wind. The idea being to stop it from spinning so your camera doesn't spin all over the place
[02:21] <Professor> w0ah, just like a rover
[02:22] <Professor> er, rover from "the prisoner" tv series
[02:22] <jcoxon> before my time :-p
[02:22] <Professor> mine too.
[02:22] <jcoxon> its an interesting idea about hte tail
[02:22] <jcoxon> pegasus II will have the video camera facing down
[02:22] <jcoxon> which should allow me to see how much spin there is
[02:22] <Professor> http://www.beechlog.co.uk/blog200501/rover.jpg
[02:23] <Professor> every balloon video I see has the camera spinning all over the place
[02:23] <jcoxon> hehe
[02:23] <Professor> I figure a meter stick with a sheet of posterboard at the end would fix that
[02:23] <Professor> er, not a whole sheet, but even just a paper plate
[02:23] <jcoxon> yeah it would make sense
[02:23] <jcoxon> will think about it
[02:23] <Professor> cool
[02:24] <jcoxon> strange that no one has ever tried it
[02:24] <Professor> I'm going to, but you're welcome to do the leg work ;)
[02:24] <Professor> I'm probably a few weeks away from my launch. I'm in no hurry. just getting things together
[02:24] <Professor> in reality I might not launch till april or may
[02:24] <jcoxon> i'm launching in 14 days
[02:24] <Professor> awesome man
[02:25] <jcoxon> depending on if the permission comes through in time
[02:25] <Professor> do you have to have a radar reflector?
[02:25] <jcoxon> and i get off my arse and order the helium
[02:25] <jcoxon> no
[02:25] <Professor> cool. we have to here.
[02:25] <Professor> I saw "emergency" reflectors (just cardboard coated with tin foil) for the boating industry for about $15 USD
[02:25] <Professor> I figure I can make one for about $0.15
[02:26] <jcoxon> yeah good idea
[02:27] <Professor> was the pegasus launch your first balloon project?
[02:27] <jcoxon> yup
[02:28] <Professor> cool. this is my first.
[02:28] <Professor> I'm reading everything I can, and am spreading costs across many paychecks!
[02:28] <jcoxon> :-D
[02:28] <jcoxon> good plan
[02:29] <Professor> http://www.codereward.org/
[02:29] <Professor> that's the gps I'm going to use with the gumstix
[02:29] <jcoxon> good plan
[02:29] <jcoxon> does it run TTL or rs232
[02:30] <Professor> ttl, but I have tons of max233 chips (nearly the same as a max232 but has *internal* charge pump caps)
[02:31] <jcoxon> cool
[02:31] <jcoxon> yeah i have a funny set up :D
[02:31] <Professor> hehe
[02:31] <jcoxon> involving my CF GPS
[02:32] <Professor> I think I read that on your site. I considered it but I decided this would be cheaper (just a tad bit more work)
[02:32] <Professor> plus for some reason I think I need my cf card for filesystem stuff
[02:32] <jcoxon> true
[02:32] <jcoxon> i'm not that electronic
[02:32] <jcoxon> so max232 would be beyond me
[02:33] <Professor> oh, if you can wire up a 555 timer to make an LED blinker you can wire up a max232
[02:33] <jcoxon> can't do that :D
[02:33] <jcoxon> hehe
[02:34] <jcoxon> i also like my approach of using equipment that shouldn't really be use like this
[02:34] <Professor> it's not hard. just takes some practice
[02:34] <Professor> yah, I liked what you did with the cellphone. in my area of the States, we don't have very good cellular coverage
[02:35] <Professor> that kinda limits me to using ham radio gear
[02:35] <jcoxon> ham is realtime at least
[02:35] <Professor> true
[02:35] <jcoxon> here in the UK reception is 99% on the ground
[02:35] <Professor> I'll have it send out an APRS beacon every 2 minutes or so
[02:36] <jcoxon> just to say that you've reminded me to get my batteries!
[02:36] <jcoxon> just ordered them
[02:36] <Professor> cool
[02:37] <Professor> man, this is a pain in the butt. I think I'm going to have to install linux on one of my workstations for no other reason than to format this CF card
[02:37] <jcoxon> what os are you running?
[02:37] <jcoxon> why not get knoppix and boot from a cd
[02:38] <Professor> win xp on my lappie
[02:38] <Professor> I grew up using linux since 92/93 timeframe. got sick of it for all it's problems and concentrated on commercial unix for the past zillion years
[02:38] <Professor> I generally don't run linux unless there is a good reason to do so (such as my cobalt server being able to only run linux)
[02:39] <jcoxon> hehe
[02:39] <jcoxon> k
[02:39] <jcoxon> i have an ibook with tiger and ubuntu
[02:39] <jcoxon> though am thinking of replacing ubuntu with gentoo
[02:39] <Professor> you think knoppix has support for usb compact flash devices? (er, my card reader is usb)
[02:39] <jcoxon> yeah
[02:39] <jcoxon> definitly
[02:40] <Professor> okay, I can do that then.
[02:40] <jcoxon> knoppix is bloody good
[02:40] <jcoxon> gumstix should put together a live cd with the buildroot on it
[02:42] <Professor> downloading now. 711 megs, ack.
[02:43] <Professor> this is going to take a while. hehe. I guess I have all weekend to fool around though.
[02:43] <jcoxon> yeah tis big
[02:43] <jcoxon> its suprisingly good
[02:43] <Professor> cool. I've heard of it but haven't experimented with it yet
[02:43] <jcoxon> first thing i use when people's windows messes up
[02:44] <Professor> right on. I have a linux "skeleton key" type cd I use @ work from time to time when we hit old workstations with old administrator passwords
[02:44] <Professor> just fixes up the sam table
[02:44] <jcoxon> hehe cool
[02:46] <Professor> 25 megs down, 685 to go
[02:47] <jcoxon> :-D getting there
[02:49] <jcoxon> sorry Professor but i'm going to have to go - its 2.47am so time for bed
[02:49] <jcoxon> was really good chatting to you
[02:49] <Professor> okay man. I'll catch ya next time.
[02:49] <jcoxon> speak to you soon
[02:49] <jcoxon> cya
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[22:23] <jcoxon> hey all
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[00:00] --- Sun Feb 19 2006