highaltitude.log.20061108

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[16:11] <mc-> I've been talking to rocketboy, I program PICs, and work for a GPS company, might be able to help somewhere
[16:16] <jcoxon> hi mc-
[16:17] <jcoxon> welcome to #highaltitude
[16:17] <jcoxon> i assume your based in the UK?
[16:21] <mc-> yes, in Surrey, bit of a drive from Cambridge
[16:21] <jcoxon> :-)
[16:21] <jcoxon> cool
[16:21] <jcoxon> well usually the channel has a few more people then this (i'm sure they'll be back
[16:21] <jcoxon> )
[16:22] <jcoxon> I personally don't have much experience with pics as i use gumstixs with intel xscale for my flight computers
[16:22] <mc-> I've got some weather balloons, and have GPS modules + electronics all over my desk here.
[16:22] <jcoxon> :-D
[16:22] <jcoxon> how far is your payload coming along then?
[16:23] <mc-> have several 433MHz modules, and have written PIC code to transmit out GPS pos.
[16:24] <mc-> I switch the GPS on/off, so I can use tiny batteries, AAAs would be enough.
[16:25] <jcoxon> :-)
[16:25] <mc-> Haven't done anything on building in foam though. Anyone good at this?
[16:25] <jcoxon> how is the gps at regaining its lock being turned on and off?
[16:26] <jcoxon> mc-, i've got some experience (I do the Pegasus HAB payloads: http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk)
[16:26] <mc-> I use SiRF modules, they take about 2/3secs to hot start.
[16:26] <jcoxon> oh right cool
[16:27] <jcoxon> people have taken different approaches to payload cases:
[16:28] <jcoxon> I've used packaging from something like a printer - the two ends go together quite well to make a box
[16:28] <jcoxon> though my last one i use layers of polystyrene tiles glued/pasted together
[16:29] <jcoxon> this made it much easier to embed the different parts
[16:29] <jcoxon> however it was quite heavy
[16:29] <mc-> one problem with taking little power, is that there's no heating, so need really good insulation.
[16:29] <mc-> or can the box be painted black, will it warm up?
[16:29] <jcoxon> Nova (the Cambridge project) use blue insulation foam which is probably the easiest to use
[16:30] <jcoxon> good insulation also acts as a cushion when landing :-)
[16:31] <mc-> or can the sun's heat be focussed on the box, with some ali foil?
[16:32] <jcoxon> could do
[16:32] <jcoxon> though on landing it often (well in the summer) gets very hot
[16:32] <jcoxon> as it takes a hour or more to actually get to it
[16:32] <jcoxon> so you need to take that into accout as well
[16:33] <jcoxon> *account
[16:33] <jcoxon> i've never had an issue with just using polystyrene
[16:34] <mc-> I prefer to ask someone else build the foam, I'm better with soldering irons.
[16:34] <mc-> a few other projects here, I'm got some compass modules, and have built some sun sensors
[16:35] <mc-> could be useful for a glider.
[16:35] <jcoxon> interesting
[16:35] <jcoxon> have you seen CU spaceflight?
[16:36] <jcoxon> they have 3 projects on the go: simple balloon payload, parafoil descent and also rockoon
[16:40] <mc-> yes, seen CU spaceflight. I've got an estes rocket in the garage which could be launched.
[16:40] <jcoxon> :-)
[16:40] <jcoxon> they are actually launching Nova 2 this sunday (if the weather is good)
[16:41] <jcoxon> sadly i can't make it
[16:43] <phatmonkey> hi all, just got home
[16:43] <jcoxon> hey phatmonkey
[16:49] <jcoxon> my WR850G wireless router arrived today
[16:50] <jcoxon> managed to identify the 2 serial ports so it should be difficult to add gps and a mobile phone
[16:52] <mc-> how much power does the router take?
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[16:52] <jcoxon> far to much
[16:53] <jcoxon> it claims 12v
[16:53] <jcoxon> though i've found reports of less being fine
[16:53] <jcoxon> will require lots of testing
[16:53] <jcoxon> not like my usual 4.5v for gumstixs
[16:54] <mc-> I meant how much current? I can build you a board which power cycles the router every minute.
[16:55] <jcoxon> one sec i'll find out
[16:56] <jcoxon> 0.5A
[16:57] <mc-> I can build you a board which switches on the GPS+router, then you log a position
[16:58] <mc-> then my board powers everything off.
[16:58] <mc-> If you were on for 10s every 60s, you get a 6X power saving.
[16:58] <jcoxon> very true
[16:59] <jcoxon> was hoping to have it on all the time
[16:59] <jcoxon> i think the plan will be to see what hte actually consumption is
[16:59] <jcoxon> and also if this is affected by turning different bits off
[16:59] <jcoxon> such as the wireless etc
[17:00] <mc-> ok
[17:01] <jcoxon> though if necessary will definitely get back to you
[17:01] <mc-> I've got an old Nokia 5110, I'm happy to donate it to the sky..
[17:02] <jcoxon> :-0
[17:02] <jcoxon> good old nokias
[17:02] <jcoxon> for Peg IV (the one i've just started building) I'm going to use the original Peg I and III nokia 5110
[17:03] <jcoxon> though thank you for the offer :-D
[17:03] <jcoxon> if you have space i recommend including a phone purely cause on landing we have had issues with 434mhz radio links
[17:03] <jcoxon> usually cause the antenna gets crushed!
[17:04] <mc-> since my PIC code transmits a GPS pos, it should be possible to get close to the landing spot.
[17:04] <jcoxon> cool
[17:05] <mc-> Otherwise, I'm trying to make it so cheap, that it's not worth retreiving..
[17:05] <jcoxon> :-)
[17:06] <jcoxon> mc-, feel free to add yourself to the UKHAS wiki
[17:06] <jcoxon> http://wiki.ukhas.org.uk
[17:06] <mc-> If I built a payload, would someone in ukhas be prepared to launch it?
[17:11] <jcoxon> yup
[17:11] <mc-> great, thanks. I didn't know if the launch license was limited to a fixed number of flights?
[17:13] <jcoxon> well depends
[17:13] <jcoxon> i don't actually have a launch permission right now
[17:13] <jcoxon> but its not difficult to get one
[17:13] <jcoxon> and then you can say its for say 2 launches
[17:14] <jcoxon> its also possible to use the CU spaceflight permission if you ask nicely
[17:14] <jcoxon> they have a pretty much unlimited launch window (i had this over the summer with them)
[17:15] <mc-> that's good. I guess it doesn't cover launching rockoons, even Estes size?
[17:15] <jcoxon> i'm thinking rockoons are murky territory
[17:17] <jcoxon> in theory there is nothing in hte law to say you can't but i'm thinking that they've never regarded people doing it as a possibility
[17:17] <mc-> Maybe it's possible to let the rockoon drift out to sea, then there's no chance of hitting anyone.
[17:17] <mc-> I don't mind losing an Estes plus other electronics, to set the precedent.
[17:19] <jcoxon> :-)
[17:21] <jcoxon> could be a possibility
[17:23] <jcoxon> brb
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[18:32] <mc-> hi rocketboy
[18:32] <rocketboy> hi
[18:33] <mc-> we've been emailing on pics + 433MHz stuff, I've finally got on IRC
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[18:34] <rocketboy> Ah yes it all clicks into place
[18:35] <rocketboy> IC you posyted a couple of thins on the wiki
[18:35] <rocketboy> how is the receiver going?
[18:36] <mc-> been playing with 10Hz GPS, haven't made much more progress with rxer..
[18:37] <rocketboy> that's quite fast - what is the interface (USB?)
[18:38] <mc-> serial, can work down to 9600 with just the GGA message
[18:40] <rocketboy> cool - might be fast enough for rocket
[18:41] <mc-> exactly, and would make guidance not too difficult to build.
[18:42] <mc-> or perhaps it's better described as attitude correction..
[18:43] <rocketboy> me thinks - I can envisage all sorts of people becomming very interested in the G word
[18:48] <mc-> have there been any UK rockoon launches ever?
[18:51] <rocketboy> No - I don't think ther have been any - I cant see it being leagal in the UK
[18:56] <mc-> I was suggesting earlier, maybe the rockoon drifts out to sea, then there's no chance of hitting anyone.
[18:57] <mc-> Launching an Estes shouldn't be too hard.
[19:01] <rocketboy> possibly - I'm not sure how far out UK airspace is deemed to go - and if the restrictions on upper airspace (above 24.5K ft) apply there. We (UK rocket flyers) havn't been able to get permission to fly rockets in upper airspace over the land
[19:02] <rocketboy> that is why the UK (in the UK) rocket altitude records stands at a tad under 24.5K
[19:03] <rocketboy> The UK records outside of that are set in the US
[19:06] <rocketboy> however ther is some wording in the Air Navigation Order that is suggestive of it not applying outside of the "UK" - which i would take as meaning UK land
[19:07] <rocketboy> so a sea launch might be OK
[19:11] <mc-> are other countries such as France less restrictive?
[19:13] <rocketboy> I don't know - the US seem reasonably ameanable (based on HAL5 etc.) - I imagine europe is generally too densly populated/covered with air traffic - possibly easen europe might be better
[19:18] <mc-> I'm sure it's possible to choose a location well away from air pathes.
[19:23] <rocketboy> I don't know - I think upper airspace is pretty well cris-crossed to take advantage of great circule routes and jeat stream
[19:25] <rocketboy> (You will notice that I'm a dyslexic bad speller who has poor keyboard skills)
[19:26] <rocketboy> hi
[19:27] <rocketboy> anyway got to go QRT for a bit BBL
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[20:23] <jcoxon> hey rocketboy
[21:10] <rocketboy> hi - im back
[21:14] <rocketboy> Jcoxon - I wanted to ask you more about your linux wi-fi router - the more I think about it the cooler it sounds
[21:24] <jcoxon> hey rocketboy
[21:24] <jcoxon> how can i help?
[21:25] <rocketboy> ah - so how far have you got with this - are you able to build & download to the router yet
[21:25] <jcoxon> right well the router came today
[21:26] <jcoxon> and i'm about to reflash it with the new image
[21:26] <jcoxon> i've done it before on a different model but it shouldn't be difficult
[21:26] <jcoxon> also managed to identify the serial ports
[21:27] <jcoxon> so actually it shouldn't be too difficult
[21:27] <rocketboy> ok - let me know how you are getting on - I havn't progressed with the PIC chip (mainly due to problems with the PIC de-bugger supplier)
[21:28] <jcoxon> this really should be a walk in the park
[21:28] <rocketboy> so I was thinking of may be doing the same as you
[21:28] <jcoxon> power is going to be an issue though
[21:28] <phatmonkey> i put openwrt (or some variant, i forget now) on my useless £40 wireless access point and it was pretty painless
[21:28] <rocketboy> since I havn't got anywhere yet
[21:28] <jcoxon> in theory its consumption is 12v 0.5A
[21:28] <phatmonkey> that was purely for extra functionality though
[21:28] <jcoxon> but apparently its been run on 4.5V
[21:28] <rocketboy> do you need linux on a pc? to download from?
[21:28] <jcoxon> nah
[21:29] <jcoxon> i'm going to use my mac
[21:29] <jcoxon> basically you can use the routers original software onboard to upload the new image
[21:29] <rocketboy> ah - but its got to be unix ?
[21:29] <jcoxon> then after that you can telnet/ssh it
[21:29] <jcoxon> don't think so
[21:29] <jcoxon> just a web browser
[21:29] <jcoxon> however compiling programs will need unix
[21:29] <rocketboy> so how do you compile - on the router?
[21:30] <rocketboy> ok
[21:30] <rocketboy> (thought so)
[21:30] <phatmonkey> is there a buildroot or something for it?
[21:31] <jcoxon> phatmonkey, yeah i think the new version has a buildroot
[21:31] <phatmonkey> neat
[21:31] <jcoxon> http://wiki.openwrt.org/BuildRoot
[21:32] <jcoxon> hmmm looking at it i might boogie over to my ubuntu system to compile
[21:32] <jcoxon> easier then fight mac os x
[21:33] <rocketboy> what is the processor?
[21:34] <jcoxon> ummm
[21:34] <jcoxon> Broadcom 4712 @ 200mhz
[21:35] <jcoxon> its a SOC i guess
[21:35] <jcoxon> though openwrt can run on other routers as well as mine
[21:35] <jcoxon> actually loads
[21:36] <rocketboy> o er
[21:38] <jcoxon> http://wiki.openwrt.org/TableOfHardware?highlight=%28hardware%29
[21:38] <jcoxon> some also have usb
[21:39] <jcoxon> right will be back in a sec
[21:39] <jcoxon> gonna reflash the router
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[21:55] <jcoxon> well that was easy :-D
[21:55] <icez> lucky you
[21:55] <icez> first and last time I did that it fried on me
[21:55] <icez> :/
[21:55] <icez> can you imagine, I didn't have Internet for 2 days!!:P
[21:56] <jcoxon> :-)
[21:56] <jcoxon> oh don't worry i've had fun with dead routers before
[21:56] <jcoxon> trying to unbrick them with tftp and turning them on just at the right time to catch the boot_wait
[21:58] <jcoxon> oooo wireless login
[21:59] <rocketboy> wow - and a web interface?
[21:59] <jcoxon> yup
[21:59] <jcoxon> very nice one as well
[22:00] <jcoxon> openwrt is compared to the best commercial routers
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[22:00] <rocketboy> how cool is that!
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[22:01] <jcoxon> oops wrong button
[22:03] <jcoxon> sweet 1.6mb available
[22:03] Action: jcoxon has ssh'd in
[22:04] <rocketboy> I wonder how much space the compiler would take
[22:05] <jcoxon> urgh is it worth considering!?!
[22:05] <jcoxon> can you not set up something like colinux on your windows box to do the compilation for you?
[22:05] <rocketboy> I just guess it would be quicker turn round for de-bugging?
[22:06] <jcoxon> well all you need to do is compile hte program and then "scp" it to the router over say wireless
[22:07] <rocketboy> quick I guess?
[22:08] <jcoxon> yup
[22:08] <jcoxon> it acts just like a linux x86 box
[22:09] <jcoxon> yay found gpsd as a binary
[22:13] <rocketboy> how about expanding it with a flash card - has that been done?
[22:14] <jcoxon> there is an sd card mod
[22:14] <jcoxon> for some types of routers
[22:14] <jcoxon> hmmm it looks like i'm going to have to upgrade to the openwrt unstable branch
[22:14] <jcoxon> of well
[22:15] <jcoxon> oh*
[22:15] <jcoxon> hehe, this thing won't freeze up there
[22:16] <jcoxon> produces a bit of heat
[22:16] <jcoxon> rocketboy, http://wiki.openwrt.org/OpenWrtDocs/Customizing/Hardware/MMC
[22:24] <rocketboy> i'm impressed - serious hacking
[22:24] <rocketboy> and GPIO
[22:25] <jcoxon> yeah, its v.v. clever
[22:26] <jcoxon> though most of the time the router has been used just as a router
[22:26] <jcoxon> time to take that one step further :-p
[22:27] <rocketboy> absolutly
[22:27] <jcoxon> yay gpsd works (well i don't have a gps to test it but the binary works)
[22:30] <rocketboy> BBL
[22:35] <jcoxon> oh rocketboy i know your away by Robert from CU wanted me to check that you knew about the launch on sunday and whether they could use your radio
[22:47] <rocketboy> I'm back - yeah no problem henry already talked to me about that - I'll bring my PC and antenna too
[22:48] <rocketboy> I also bring my 800g baloon (I'm not sure if their ones turned up yet?)
[22:48] <rocketboy> the jet stream is not looking good at the mo - but it can cahnge in a few days
[22:54] <jcoxon> i won't actually be there
[22:54] <jcoxon> i'm popping home this weekend
[22:55] <rocketboy> shame
[22:56] <rocketboy> (well not if you want to go home)
[22:57] <jcoxon> hehe
[22:57] <jcoxon> though the balloon will probably come towards me
[22:57] <jcoxon> i've got to go home to collect my stuff- i'm jetting off to africa in 3 weeks
[22:58] <jcoxon> not going home in between
[22:59] <rocketboy> wot again - luck wotsit
[23:00] <jcoxon> its a slightly crazy trip
[23:00] <jcoxon> no balloons involved though
[23:00] <rocketboy> ah OK - where about
[23:02] <jcoxon> flying to marrakech
[23:02] <jcoxon> and then crossing the sahara to senegal
[23:02] <rocketboy> just for the fun?
[23:02] <jcoxon> visiting friend in senegal
[23:03] <jcoxon> but its really expensive to fly to senegal
[23:03] <jcoxon> but v. cheap to morrocco
[23:04] <rocketboy> how do you plan to cross the sahara?
[23:04] <jcoxon> bus/a bit of hitchhiking and a train
[23:05] <jcoxon> and then a bit more hitchiking/ bush taxis
[23:06] <rocketboy> fun - going alone?
[23:06] <jcoxon> no, with a friend
[23:07] <rocketboy> good plan
[23:07] <jcoxon> its a rather spur of the moment thing
[23:07] <jcoxon> not sure i would have been allowed to do it alone
[23:07] <jcoxon> and also so much travelling would be rather lonely
[23:08] <rocketboy> ah well wish I was able to do that sort of stuff
[23:08] <jcoxon> well they'll have to be a trip abroad to launch the nova rocket :-p
[23:09] <jcoxon> i'm sure some sahara country wouldn't mind :-p
[23:09] <rocketboy> yeah I guess - or paerhaps out into the atlantic
[23:10] <rocketboy> ah well must away to sleep - C U anon.
[23:10] <jcoxon> indeed
[23:11] <jcoxon> will update the peg IV guide tonight
[23:11] <jcoxon> might see you on sunday if i'm back in time
[23:11] <rocketboy> Ok
[23:11] <jcoxon> though i agree the jet stream isn't great...
[23:12] <rocketboy> the forecast may change - but I have been impressed with the general accuracy of jet stream forecasts
[23:12] <rocketboy> anyway CU
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[23:33] <jcoxon> night all
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[00:00] --- Thu Nov 9 2006