highaltitude.log.20060329

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[16:59] <jcoxon> ooo look at this:
[16:59] <jcoxon> http://www.hyperblimp.com
[20:45] phatmonkey (n=phatmonk@65.98.2.81.in-addr.arpa) joined #highaltitude.
[21:59] <jcoxon> phatmonkey, www.hyperblimp.com
[22:00] <phatmonkey> crazy
[22:00] <jcoxon> hehe
[22:08] robhouse (n=rob@cpc2-port4-6-1-cust34.cos2.cable.ntl.com) joined #highaltitude.
[22:08] <jcoxon> hey robhouse
[22:08] <robhouse> hi
[22:08] <jcoxon> welcome to #highaltitude
[22:08] <robhouse> thanks
[22:10] <robhouse> jcoxon: quick question if I may? how much helium have you been using in your baloon projects?
[22:10] <jcoxon> well...
[22:10] <jcoxon> i'm not actually sure
[22:11] <jcoxon> for pegasus I i got a V sized tank whch is 1.81m3
[22:11] <robhouse> Any idea how much of the cylinder was used?
[22:11] <jcoxon> for Pegasus II I got a T size 3.6m3
[22:11] <jcoxon> nope
[22:11] <jcoxon> sorry
[22:11] <jcoxon> there was no way of measuring without emptying the tank and i didn't have time
[22:12] <robhouse> no probs, knowing that a T sized was sufficient for a 1200gm balloon is a good indicator.
[22:12] <jcoxon> what size is the balloon you want to use?
[22:12] <jcoxon> there was definitly enough
[22:12] <jcoxon> in a T size
[22:12] <jcoxon> the info is from http://www.balloon.co.uk/gas.htm
[22:12] <jcoxon> (though don't use them as a supplier!)
[22:13] <robhouse> I'm looking at a small tethered payload e.g. digital camera for starters using a 30gm balloon. If thats sucessfull, I will probably look to fly a single board computer on a 200-500gm balloon.
[22:13] <jcoxon> whats your aim? pictures?
[22:13] <jcoxon> and from where?
[22:14] <robhouse> yeah, my aim is to get some pictures. I'm based in the UK. I would probably look to launch from either Dorset or Hampshire.
[22:14] <jcoxon> oh right
[22:14] <jcoxon> cool
[22:15] <jcoxon> there are quite a few people looking into launch balloons now
[22:15] <jcoxon> in the uk that is
[22:15] <jcoxon> perhaps we should start a national society, hehe
[22:15] <robhouse> good idea
[22:16] <jcoxon> not sure how would go about it
[22:16] <jcoxon> and what it would provide...
[22:16] <robhouse> I've flown model rockets for a hobby for several years and have done a bit of aerial photography from rockets. I saw your website and though i'd give balloons a go.
[22:16] <phatmonkey> free balloons!
[22:16] <robhouse> lol
[22:16] <robhouse> *thought
[22:16] <phatmonkey> and money
[22:16] <jcoxon> phatmonkey, you still looking for a balloon!
[22:16] <phatmonkey> don't really need a balloon, it's not a concern right now
[22:16] <jcoxon> robhouse, i like the idea of starting off tethered
[22:16] <phatmonkey> lol
[22:17] <jcoxon> our friend on ebay still has lots
[22:17] <phatmonkey> 100,000 ft of string?
[22:17] <phatmonkey> hehe
[22:17] <jcoxon> hehe
[22:17] <jcoxon> but seriously as long as possible - just to test if everything is working
[22:17] <phatmonkey> anywho, better get some sleep
[22:17] <phatmonkey> school tomorrow
[22:17] <phatmonkey> yeah
[22:17] <jcoxon> then you could pull it down and cut it
[22:17] <phatmonkey> yeah
[22:17] <jcoxon> and let it go
[22:17] <jcoxon> night phatmonkey
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[22:18] <jcoxon> robhouse, how close are you to launching?
[22:18] <robhouse> I've picked up 4 x 30gm balloons from Ebay. I was considering using either kite string or fishing nylon, maybe upto 1000ft, to tether the balloon.
[22:18] <jcoxon> yeah, i would go with kite string
[22:19] <jcoxon> thats what i use for my payload/balloon/parachute connection
[22:19] <robhouse> I've got the balloons, i should have a camera tomorrow and i'll hopefully put together a timer circuit at the weekend. then I just need to get some helium and something to tether it with.
[22:19] <jcoxon> though i guess you could get more fishing wire
[22:19] <jcoxon> amazing
[22:19] <jcoxon> i look forward to results!
[22:20] <robhouse> fishing nylon is readily available in ~600m lengths
[22:20] <robhouse> me too
[22:20] <jcoxon> i'm waiting for my gumstix to come to allow me to start on pegasus III
[22:21] <robhouse> I've been playing around with a single board computer. Its a 533mhz p3 with 256mb ram! Its currently got a heavily stripped down version of windows XP on it, but I'm contemplating linux at the moment.
[22:21] <jcoxon> wow
[22:22] <jcoxon> i've just started work on my universities balloon project
[22:22] <robhouse> I'm looking to attach a webcam, serial gps and probably a mobile phone through serial.
[22:22] <jcoxon> yeah
[22:22] <jcoxon> the mobile phone system seems to be catching on
[22:22] <robhouse> yeah, wonder where I got that idea from :D
[22:23] <jcoxon> hehe
[22:23] <jcoxon> seems that during the 90's it was the age of ham radio
[22:23] <jcoxon> now mobile phones
[22:23] <robhouse> yeah
[22:23] <jcoxon> though the nova project (my uni one) are looking into using some unlicenced frequencys as well
[22:23] <robhouse> The computer is destined for a rocket at the moment, but I have a feeling it might get attached to a balloon yet.
[22:23] <robhouse> that would be cool
[22:23] <jcoxon> hopefully we'll find a suitable method of maintaining connection
[22:24] <robhouse> yeah
[22:24] <jcoxon> what size rockets do you use?
[22:24] <jcoxon> and what height do they get to?
[22:24] <jcoxon> (i have no idea about rockets)
[22:24] <robhouse> I've flown stuff upto ~5000ft and have rockets capable of at least 10000ft
[22:25] <jcoxon> wow
[22:25] <jcoxon> i have a mad question, how stable does the launch pad have to be for a launch? and do you require atmospheric oxygen?
[22:25] <jcoxon> (do you see where i'm going with this?
[22:25] <jcoxon> )
[22:26] <robhouse> lol, I can see where you're going...
[22:27] <robhouse> If the rocket is aleady moving vertically at speed, the launch pad would not have to be that stable
[22:27] <robhouse> atmospheric oxygen is not required
[22:27] <jcoxon> and the lack of air reduce drag and therefore allow it to go higher?
[22:28] <robhouse> yes
[22:28] <jcoxon> interesting
[22:28] <robhouse> to give you an idea of how large my biggest rocket is, take a look at this: http://www.robhouse.co.uk/modules/coppermine/albums/userpics/KV3.jpg
[22:28] <jcoxon> right, thats big
[22:28] <jcoxon> very big
[22:28] <robhouse> yeah, its the biggest i've built
[22:29] <jcoxon> i'm at a decision point in my project right now
[22:29] <jcoxon> either i aim to go as high as possible
[22:29] <robhouse> right
[22:29] <jcoxon> or
[22:29] <jcoxon> i work towards creating a sort of geostationary near space satelitte
[22:29] <robhouse> cool
[22:30] <jcoxon> i'm sort of siding with the sateliite approach
[22:30] <jcoxon> well more of a maintained payload at above 60,000ft
[22:30] <robhouse> If you're working towards a satellite approach, i assume you're gonna need a better telemetry system?
[22:30] <jcoxon> oh yes
[22:31] <jcoxon> though i'm a big fan of autonomous system
[22:31] <robhouse> cool
[22:31] <jcoxon> so much of the work will be done by itself
[22:31] <jcoxon> such as maintaining its position
[22:31] <robhouse> yeah
[22:32] <jcoxon> apparently (and i understand why) propellors don't work at those heights
[22:32] <jcoxon> looking into compressed air as a means of movement
[22:32] <jcoxon> (well in my head at least!)
[22:32] <robhouse> yeah, that sounds cool
[22:32] <robhouse> hehe
[22:36] <robhouse> you can see a couple of my better aerial photographs (from a rocket) here: http://www.robhouse.co.uk/aerialpics
[22:37] <jcoxon> ooo cool
[22:37] <robhouse> both were probably taken from around 1000ft
[22:37] <robhouse> I'd like to give a balloon a go and get some from higher altitudes
[22:39] <jcoxon> yeah
[22:39] <robhouse> those pictures were taken from an APS film camera. the camera was modified to take pictures at ~2 second intervals
[22:40] <jcoxon> you going to use film?
[22:40] <jcoxon> for the balloon that is?
[22:40] <robhouse> I'm gonna use a cheap mustek d50 digital camera for starters
[22:41] <jcoxon> okay
[22:41] <robhouse> The APS camera was a lot better quality and a lot cheaper when I purchased it.
[22:41] <jcoxon> i only use digital as its not mechanical and therefore won't freeze
[22:41] <jcoxon> hehe
[22:41] <robhouse> true
[22:42] <robhouse> That APS camera was £20, a decent digital camera would have cost > £200 at the time. Just goes to show how prices have dropped.
[22:43] <robhouse> The mustek D50 was just under £30 on Ebay. Hopefully it won't be too difficult to take apart
[22:44] <jcoxon> i'm sure it'll be fine, how you going to set it the timer? 555 chip?
[22:45] <robhouse> yeah
[22:46] <jcoxon> cool
[22:46] <jcoxon> i've actually never managed to get a 555 timer working
[22:46] <jcoxon> but then i'm absolutely rubbish at electronics
[22:47] <robhouse> I'm not great. If I get problems, I'll pester somebody at work to knock me up something simple.
[22:47] <robhouse> I see a guy on Ebay is selling 500gm totex balloons. They could be a nice step up from 200gm.
[22:48] <jcoxon> oooo 500gm
[22:48] <jcoxon> might look into getting some of those
[22:48] <jcoxon> i've only got 2 200gm left
[22:48] <robhouse> hehe, time to restock
[22:49] <robhouse> I just did a search for 500gm balloon and it turned up 1 seller. Apparently he has quite a few. Hopefully the one you get isn't the one in the picture...
[22:50] <jcoxon> hmmm can't actually find it
[22:50] <jcoxon> do you have a link?
[22:50] <robhouse> http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Meteorological-balloon-500gm-very-large_W0QQitemZ9503713197QQcategoryZ88433QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
[22:51] <jcoxon> thanks
[22:52] <jcoxon> you going for it?
[22:52] <jcoxon> or may i bid for it?
[22:53] <robhouse> I'm not gonna go for that one, but I will keep a track of the seller. I wanna see how my smaller balloon works out first.
[22:53] <robhouse> go for it
[22:54] <jcoxon> cool, thanks
[22:55] <robhouse> no probs
[23:01] <robhouse> what course are you doing at uni?
[23:01] <jcoxon> medicine
[23:01] <jcoxon> hehe
[23:01] <robhouse> cool
[23:02] <jcoxon> the nearest i usually get to ballons are angioplasts
[23:02] <robhouse> lol
[23:02] <robhouse> I'm studying computer science at the University of Portsmouth.
[23:02] <jcoxon> though i might get a grant for the summer to work on the university balloon project
[23:03] <jcoxon> oh cool
[23:03] <robhouse> cool
[23:03] <jcoxon> can you program? hehe
[23:03] <jcoxon> i'm having issues - though i feel perhaps its a platform problem?
[23:03] <robhouse> reasonably well
[23:03] <jcoxon> c++
[23:03] <jcoxon> ?
[23:03] <robhouse> I have some knowledge
[23:04] <robhouse> I'm currently on a placement working for Intel as a System Administrator.
[23:04] <jcoxon> very cool
[23:05] <jcoxon> actually this problem is platform based so i'll have to wait for someone on the forums to reply
[23:05] <robhouse> yeahs, its a good job. I'm based at a small site (~40 people), so I share all the IT stuff with another guy and have pretty much free range over everything.
[23:05] <jcoxon> :-D
[23:05] <robhouse> whats the problem? got a link?
[23:06] <jcoxon> yeah one sec...
[23:07] <jcoxon> http://www.syllable.org/discussion.php?id=1042
[23:08] <jcoxon> though i'll be amazed if you can help
[23:08] <jcoxon> its on a rather random operating system using its own libraries
[23:08] <jcoxon> (though thanks for trying!)
[23:10] <robhouse> yeah, that does appear to be a platform problem. It's certainly got me thinking.
[23:11] <jcoxon> i might have found a bug, the api is still changing
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[23:11] <jcoxon> hey icez
[23:12] <robhouse> fair enough, i've not used syllable before.
[23:12] <icez> hey jcoxon
[23:12] <robhouse> lol
[23:13] <jcoxon> hehe i doubt there are more then 1000 computers running syllable
[23:13] <robhouse> yeah
[23:13] <jcoxon> nice os though
[23:13] <jcoxon> boots in about 10seconds to loging screen
[23:14] <jcoxon> login*
[23:14] <icez> with not much to load after logging in?
[23:14] <icez> :)
[23:14] <icez> windows boots fast, but it takes forever to actually load, you know:)
[23:15] <jcoxon> oh you're done at login
[23:15] <icez> cool
[23:15] <jcoxon> still lacks lots of apps and hardware support but its getting there
[23:15] <jcoxon> i've nearly written my first program
[23:15] <jcoxon> but have got stuck
[23:16] <robhouse> Windows can be made to load faster. I've got a working install of windows XP down to a 260mb install size. It cold boots in under 25 seconds - about 15 seconds of that is the bios.
[23:16] <icez> yeah that's one of the major problems with new OSes
[23:16] <icez> driver support:/
[23:17] <jcoxon> not a big fan of windows
[23:17] <jcoxon> stick to my mac os x tiger
[23:17] <robhouse> me neither, but it does have better driver support
[23:17] <icez> i'm not a big fan of macs price-wise:)
[23:17] <robhouse> lol
[23:17] <icez> otherwise it's not bad at all
[23:18] <icez> things like 30$ for a keyboard protector is stupid
[23:18] <jcoxon> oh i got my ibook very cheap
[23:18] <robhouse> I'm tempted to pick up a mac mini, they're not too bad price wise.
[23:18] <icez> it's a piece of embossed plastic $#@
[23:18] <jcoxon> hehe
[23:18] <robhouse> lol
[23:19] <jcoxon> right i'm off to bed
[23:19] <icez> cya
[23:19] <jcoxon> good to chat to you all
[23:19] <jcoxon> cya
[23:19] <jcoxon> robhouse, good luck with the balloon - do you have a site?
[23:19] <robhouse> I gotta go too - cya
[23:20] <robhouse> not for the ballon yet. I need to update my website full stop. I'll drop you an email when I've got some content up.
[23:20] <jcoxon> cool
[23:20] <jcoxon> cya
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[23:20] <robhouse> cya
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[00:00] --- Thu Mar 30 2006