highaltitude.log.20070416

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[15:51] <edwardmoore> hi rocketboy
[15:51] <rocketboy> hi ed
[15:52] <rocketboy> just taking the day off today
[15:52] <edwardmoore> and why not :)
[15:55] <edwardmoore> from a parafoil perspective, i've been doing some very initial (i.e. pen/paper and matlab rather than anything physical) work on a self-tuning control system
[15:55] <edwardmoore> one that measures its own step response
[15:56] <rocketboy> sounds interesting - so what just whack the servo in a small step and measure what happens?
[15:56] <edwardmoore> It might also work on a actively stabalised rocket to compensate for the dynamic pressure tailing off, the weight redeucing and the cg shifting
[15:56] <edwardmoore> yeah basically!
[15:57] <edwardmoore> just add in some disturbance between the control and system elements of the loop
[15:57] <rocketboy> so I guess rate gyros for the measurement?
[15:57] <edwardmoore> yup
[15:58] <edwardmoore> well, i want to finally pull my finger out and get working a reliable inertial measurement unit
[15:58] <rocketboy> you going to build that?
[15:58] <edwardmoore> yeah
[15:59] <edwardmoore> but don't hold your breath- the next 5 weeks i think i'll have to basically give over to exams
[15:59] <edwardmoore> although i can probably get an IMU going... he says
[15:59] <rocketboy> I guess - best to concentrate on those
[16:00] <rocketboy> using a gumstix?
[16:00] <edwardmoore> well it's more the case that i've just realised i really don't understand any of it :)
[16:00] <edwardmoore> DSPic
[16:00] <rocketboy> ah - control engineering a real black art
[16:01] <rocketboy> oooh DSPic - good
[16:01] <edwardmoore> lol, no i mean my engineering course! although the control engineering is wirchcraft too
[16:01] <rocketboy> I'd like to try that myself
[16:01] <edwardmoore> yeah, i really want some accurate timing. I don't think i need aqll the weight of the linux kernal doing things i don't understand
[16:02] <rocketboy> yep - that sounds sound
[16:03] <rocketboy> I assume DSPics get programed in assember?
[16:04] <edwardmoore> yeah, although i've got hitech's c-compiler sponsored to nova/us the other day, which chould be nice
[16:04] <edwardmoore> should/could
[16:05] <edwardmoore> truthfully i don't think running at 100hz sample rate on the IMU will be too difficult, in terms of CPU requirements, so I don't think it has to be that optimised
[16:05] <edwardmoore> just well tested
[16:07] <rocketboy> Yeah - I wanted to use a DSPic for a radio data-link decoder - sampling directly at the IF frequency - 455KHz - should be no probs for a DSPic
[16:07] <edwardmoore> especially as the dspics have niceties like 16bit hardware multipliers. i feel spoilt :)
[16:07] <edwardmoore> they're lovely looking things.
[16:08] <edwardmoore> i've just been looking at the frontpage video from armadillo aerospace
[16:08] <edwardmoore> it's pretty inspirational
[16:08] <rocketboy> havn't seen that
[16:09] <edwardmoore> worth a look- only a few mins
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[16:22] <rocketboy> So good I'm going to download the 62MB version
[16:22] <edwardmoore> lol :)
[16:23] <edwardmoore> i want to make a hybrid rig with 4 legs like their sort of stuff
[16:23] <edwardmoore> tether it
[16:23] <edwardmoore> and play with active guidance
[16:24] <edwardmoore> then put it in a big 'ole rocket
[16:24] <edwardmoore> then put it in a near min diameter rocket
[16:24] <edwardmoore> then put it into space :D
[16:25] <rocketboy> yep - in my oppinion you need active stabilization to get into space (especially from a balloon launch)
[16:25] <edwardmoore> yep i agree with you
[16:27] <edwardmoore> pointing up is just too important. And i'm still not really convinced by tubes
[16:29] <rocketboy> tend to agree - but I guess we will have to wait and see
[16:30] <edwardmoore> yup. being proved wrong is good for the soul
[16:31] <edwardmoore> if you were to stick a bigger nozzle (because of low atmospheric pressure) on, say, the back of a K motor, and you wanted to gimbal it, can you think of, off the top of your head, a flexible coupler to attach motor tube to nozzle?
[16:32] <edwardmoore> one that could take the heat, i mean
[16:34] <rocketboy> what you are talking about is a javtar (or perhaps javatar) or similar
[16:34] <rocketboy> I'd make the nozzel from graphite
[16:35] <rocketboy> guybol it with a sphere shape - I have given this some thought already
[16:36] <rocketboy> guybol = bimbal
[16:36] <rocketboy> gimbal
[16:36] <rocketboy> have to draw it really
[16:37] <edwardmoore> no i know what you mean
[16:37] <edwardmoore> it's kind of what i'm thinking too
[16:39] <rocketboy> http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/gimbaled.html
[16:41] <edwardmoore> yeah that's fazackerly it
[16:43] <edwardmoore> roll control might be tricky though
[16:43] <rocketboy> graphite is reasonably easy to get - aerocon systems US - and not too bad to machine - if a bit messy
[16:44] <rocketboy> why worry about roll?
[16:44] <edwardmoore> i have horrible visions of it spinning up if combustion isn't quite even
[16:44] <edwardmoore> and that saturating the control system
[16:44] <rocketboy> poss
[16:44] <edwardmoore> i think it's probably me worrying too much
[16:45] <rocketboy> probably
[16:45] <edwardmoore> :)
[16:45] <edwardmoore> do you have any links to a javatar?
[16:45] <edwardmoore> google keeps rejecting it
[16:47] <rocketboy> I'm not sure if its javatar or javtar or somthing similar - I cant remember
[16:58] <edwardmoore> off the top of your head, do you know what temp the exhast gases actually are?
[16:59] <rocketboy> humm - bl**dy hot (like red/white heat
[16:59] <edwardmoore> lol, ok
[17:00] <rocketboy> nozzels are normally graphite or similar even then they ablate
[17:00] <rocketboy> (burn away)
[17:01] <edwardmoore> it's pretty terrifying stuff
[17:01] <edwardmoore> right, i need to make an early supper as i'm being sporty tonight (in theory anyway) :)
[17:01] <rocketboy> even the small ones can cut holes in steel plate
[17:01] <edwardmoore> so i'll cya later. good chat
[17:01] <rocketboy> cu
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[17:16] <msweeney> afternoon all
[17:22] <rocketboy> hiya ms - have you got a parallel port lead - I can't find the one I had for the PIC programmer
[17:35] <msweeney> I think so, somewhere!
[17:35] Action: msweeney is trying to pay for a gumstix but crappy website is citing an AVS mis-match and declining my card :(
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[17:49] <edwardmoore> hi all
[17:51] <msweeney> hi
[17:51] <msweeney> do you have any experience of buying things from gumstix?
[17:52] <edwardmoore> pics not good enough for ya :p
[17:52] <edwardmoore> um now, sorry. jcoxon is the man for that
[17:52] <msweeney> well, not for now
[17:52] <msweeney> tut
[17:52] <msweeney> my card is getting rejected because of the billing address - tres annoying
[17:52] <msweeney> i think it may be because im getting it delivered to the US but billing it to the UK
[17:52] <edwardmoore> you could always try the foxboard
[17:53] <msweeney> wassat?
[17:53] <edwardmoore> have a google- it's a nice thing. bit bigger than the gumstix but size isn't a problem really for balloons
[17:53] <edwardmoore> it's another linux-on-a-credit-card device
[17:54] <edwardmoore> but has 2 usb ports, ethernet, and a load of useful things for geeks
[17:54] <msweeney> mhmm, are they as good as gumstix?
[17:54] <edwardmoore> they have more ports, more i/o, they're a bit bigger, and they cost the same
[17:55] <edwardmoore> however the processor isn't as big, but it's not a great deal smaller. and it's not like balloons even tax the processor half of 1 percent
[17:55] <rocketboy> BBL
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[17:58] <msweeney> hrmm
[17:59] <edwardmoore> disclaimer is that i've not properly used either. jcoxon is the linux man
[17:59] <msweeney> i think i'll ask him later the
[17:59] <msweeney> n
[18:00] <edwardmoore> but if you want any electronics help, i might be more useful :)
[18:01] <msweeney> well I will do eventually, steve is kindly gifting me a programmer...I'd hope to start learning to do useful stuff on them soonish
[18:01] <msweeney> only thing is Im meant to be revising for the next month or so
[18:01] <edwardmoore> yeah same
[18:01] <edwardmoore> it's a pain in the arse
[18:02] <msweeney> electromagnetism is a bitch, I can tell you all about how electricity works, just not how to use it
[18:04] <edwardmoore> i'm doing a module on it this coming term
[18:04] <edwardmoore> not much looking forward to it
[18:04] <msweeney> mhmm, you're doing engineering?
[18:04] <edwardmoore> yeah
[18:05] <msweeney> what other physicsy stuff do you do?
[18:05] <edwardmoore> well it's all physicsly really. it's just applied maths/physics
[18:05] <edwardmoore> although the first two years are a lot of ground-work which is more theory
[18:06] <edwardmoore> we have a maths module each term
[18:06] <msweeney> mhmm, I have four maths lectures a week :|
[18:06] <edwardmoore> modules on analogue electrnics, digital electronics, dynamcs, structural mechanics, mechanical vibrations, all sorts
[18:07] <edwardmoore> yeah, 4 of each module per week. it's not the most fun thing in the world
[18:07] <msweeney> mhmm. I'm only in my first yr, its only going to get worse
[18:08] <edwardmoore> yeah same. i prefer not to think about it :)
[18:09] <msweeney> i was all geared up to order my gumstix, am quite annoyed
[18:09] <edwardmoore> might be worth firing an email off to them
[18:09] <msweeney> my friend is coming back to the uk this weekend too, coincidentally, and could have saved me $30
[18:10] <edwardmoore> they're a small and very helpful outift
[18:10] <msweeney> well i have emailed them, it's 10am there so hopefully i should get a reply in fairly good time
[18:11] <msweeney> also just got a quote on 1200g sounding balloons from warren industries...$120!
[18:16] <edwardmoore> miles too expensive
[18:16] <edwardmoore> ebay
[18:16] <msweeney> yep
[18:16] <msweeney> ebay indeed?
[18:16] <edwardmoore> yup
[18:16] <msweeney> search term?
[18:16] <edwardmoore> they're not overflowing with them, but they're on there
[18:16] <edwardmoore> just check who the bidders are
[18:16] <edwardmoore> ukhas members have their ebay IDs on the ukhas wiki
[18:16] <edwardmoore> and the gentleman's agreement is to avoid bidding wars :)
[18:17] <msweeney> yep, I saw them. heh
[18:17] <edwardmoore> meterological balloon, latex balloon, weather balloon.
[18:17] <edwardmoore> stuff like that
[18:17] <edwardmoore> back in 15 mins
[18:18] <msweeney> kk
[18:20] <msweeney> what weight balloons are typically used?
[18:34] <edwardmoore> back
[18:35] <edwardmoore> depends on your payload weight, desired lift/ascent rate and desired altitude
[18:36] <edwardmoore> but basically 300g to 1200g are what i've ever used
[18:37] <edwardmoore> but basically 800/1000 g balloons are the bread and butter
[18:37] <msweeney> mhmm - i just noticed a 500g one on ebay
[18:38] <msweeney> i'd need a 0.5kg payload tho, seems quite light?
[18:39] <edwardmoore> the weight doesn't refer to the lift
[18:39] <edwardmoore> it's the weight of the balloon latex itself
[18:39] <msweeney> nono i know
[18:39] <msweeney> I'm playing around with the burst spreadsheet
[18:39] <edwardmoore> ok... well you can use a more than 500g payload with a 500g balloon
[18:39] <edwardmoore> oh ok
[18:39] <edwardmoore> cool
[18:39] <msweeney> twas just coincidence that they matched up
[18:40] <edwardmoore> well yeah, 500g is at the smaller end but 500g is actually a fair bit
[18:40] <edwardmoore> nova 1 weighed less than that
[18:40] <msweeney> hrmmm
[18:40] <msweeney> how much would you estimate a basic gps+sms+camera setup to weigh?
[18:41] <edwardmoore> 3/400g
[18:42] <edwardmoore> i mean you could get it less than that or more. depends on what camera you get as much as anything
[18:42] <edwardmoore> that's the heaviest item
[18:42] <msweeney> big fat slr ;-)
[18:42] <msweeney> oooonly jokin
[18:42] <edwardmoore> :)
[18:42] <edwardmoore> would be nice!
[18:42] <msweeney> maybe one day, with my Canon sponsorship
[18:43] <edwardmoore> some high quility pics from up there would be amazing
[18:43] <msweeney> yep
[18:44] <msweeney> gumstix replied
[18:44] <edwardmoore> although i think video kind of looks cooler
[18:44] <edwardmoore> oh cool- happyness?
[18:44] <msweeney> they're awfully sorry but cant do anything about it
[18:44] <msweeney> ^^
[18:44] <edwardmoore> .... odd. so they just can't ship to you?
[18:45] <msweeney> well it would cost lots more, and my mate is flying back on friday so itll be cheaper and faster
[18:45] <msweeney> i'll speak nicely to my dad and see if can use one of his cards
[18:45] <msweeney> but now, i am starving and should go and create a culinary marvel in the kitchen. Adieu
[18:46] <edwardmoore> lol, sounds good. cya later
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[22:23] <msweeney> idle
[22:23] <msweeney> whoops!
[22:24] <msweeney> anyone around?
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[22:31] <edwardmoore> hi msweeney
[22:31] <msweeney> evening
[22:31] <msweeney> student loan just came in!
[22:31] <edwardmoore> long shot question...
[22:32] <edwardmoore> it's martin, isn't it?
[22:32] <msweeney> yes
[22:32] <edwardmoore> (that wasn't the long shot question, this is :)
[22:32] <edwardmoore> you wouldn't happen to be the martin sweeney who's macro photos I saw on flickr a couple of weeks back?
[22:33] <msweeney> probably! what sort of macros? i'm flickr user sweeney
[22:33] <edwardmoore> well what are the odds
[22:33] <edwardmoore> it was a dandelion seed head, iirc
[22:33] <msweeney> oh yeah, thats years old
[22:34] <msweeney> taken with a crappy Casio in my back garden
[22:34] <edwardmoore> the crappy casios all seem to do macro well
[22:35] <edwardmoore> i swear you could have a cheap good slr macro if the compacts can do it so well
[22:35] <msweeney> mhmm they're pretty good. I have my eye on that one for a payload
[22:35] <edwardmoore> cool
[22:35] <msweeney> yeah, the lenses for slrs are a bit more complicated tho
[22:36] <edwardmoore> need they be?
[22:39] <msweeney> oh yeah
[22:40] <msweeney> you pay hundreds - thousands for the optics in lenses
[22:41] <edwardmoore> I paid £90 for my tamron 90di on ebay and i prefer it as a macro to any other 90 i've tried :D
[22:41] <edwardmoore> ]'cept maybe an old vivitar manual but they're rare and everyone wants them.
[22:44] <msweeney> mhmm. I have a digi slr and a few film ones
[22:44] <msweeney> and an old leica rangefinder
[22:44] <edwardmoore> you're joking?
[22:44] <msweeney> nope
[22:44] <edwardmoore> i would give up my gf for an m6
[22:45] <msweeney> I have an M2. old skool innit
[22:45] <edwardmoore> :)
[22:45] <msweeney> http://www.flickr.com/photos/sweeney/ - put some pics of my recent trip to prague up
[22:45] <edwardmoore> well i now shoot with a d70 and mainly a mamiya 645 of the older-skool variety
[22:45] <edwardmoore> i adore medium format- it was an ebay killing but it's transformed my photography
[22:45] <msweeney> cool, I like Nikons they're solid
[22:46] <msweeney> mhmm, have never tried :(
[22:46] <edwardmoore> yeah i like them too but i can't really afford the glass
[22:47] <edwardmoore> the other advantage of MF is that the glass is now cheaper on ebay as it can't be used with newer, digital-back-capable bodies
[22:47] <edwardmoore> which is good for me
[22:47] <msweeney> yep!
[22:47] <msweeney> so how did you stumble on my flickr account?
[22:47] <edwardmoore> i have no idea.
[22:48] <edwardmoore> must tbe the whole 7 degrees of seperation thing
[22:48] <edwardmoore> anyway i had a nose around ;0
[22:48] <edwardmoore> :) *
[22:48] <msweeney> good good, whats your account?
[22:48] <edwardmoore> don't have any photos up
[22:49] <edwardmoore> havn't uploaded anything since i first started
[22:49] <edwardmoore> and i'd like to think my stuff is better now :)
[22:49] <edwardmoore> which means no you can't see it :p
[22:50] <msweeney> heh
[22:50] <edwardmoore> that was on deviantart anyway, which seems to have died slightly
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[22:52] <Laurenceb> Hi all
[22:52] <edwardmoore> hi laurence
[22:52] <Laurenceb> got my peltier down to -14
[22:53] <Laurenceb> with better fans, but I reaLLY need a 16v supply
[22:55] <edwardmoore> i missed an iridum flare by 2 minutes
[22:55] <edwardmoore> i got the table up 2 minutes after it happened
[22:55] <edwardmoore> gutting
[22:56] <msweeney> I'd love to get a nice big telescope one day and watch one fly across my viewfinder
[22:57] <Laurenceb> rocketboy, do you have any 1500gram balloons?
[22:58] <Laurenceb> For ultrahab
[22:58] <edwardmoore> well i saw a mag -7 one last night and practically had to squint!
[22:58] <edwardmoore> i couldn't believe how bright it was. it really was almost blinding
[22:58] <msweeney> heh
[22:58] <edwardmoore> then 3 seconds later is was gone as quick as it had come
[22:59] <edwardmoore> have you seen those photos of ISS + shuttle silouhetted in the sun?
[23:00] <Laurenceb> why do you have to register? thats a pain
[23:00] <edwardmoore> for heavens-above?
[23:01] <Laurenceb> yes
[23:02] <edwardmoore> well i don't think it's that nefarious. it's just because you can add all your viewing sites to a database
[23:02] <edwardmoore> and switch between them easily
[23:02] <edwardmoore> or get an email when there's a -8mag flare passing over you or something
[23:02] <Laurenceb> well thats worth it
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[23:06] <rocketboy> lb - I only have 1000 and 1200 balloons at the mo - I can get some 1500 if you want one - but it will take a couple of weeks (I need to order some more balloons anyway)
[23:07] <Laurenceb> well ultrahab wont be launching until july
[23:08] <rocketboy> ok
[23:09] <Laurenceb> some people from oxford atmospheric science dept might be interested in building stuff to put on it
[23:09] <Laurenceb> they've invited me to give a talk on the UKHAS
[23:10] <icez> cool
[23:15] <Laurenceb> they worked on the beagle2 lander
[23:16] <Laurenceb> so not sure if its a good idea :P
[23:16] <rocketboy> the KCI 1500 will work out at about £55
[23:16] <Laurenceb> hmm, I'll think about it
[23:16] <rocketboy> do you want me to get you one
[23:17] <rocketboy> ok - no probs let me know
[23:17] <Laurenceb> to get to 40Km with a payload over 300gram itll be needed
[23:18] <rocketboy> thats an all in price
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[23:19] <Laurenceb> still havent got the glider, hope it arrives tomorrow
[23:19] <Laurenceb> I'll send your radio off to you when I get it
[23:23] <rocketboy> ta - I got my "payload" back a few days ago
[23:24] <edwardmoore> get anything from it?
[23:26] <rocketboy> well - it was mostly an experimate with closed cell and open cell polystyrine
[23:27] <rocketboy> - but it didn't show any noticable differences really
[23:27] <rocketboy> hay ho i'm off to bed
[23:28] <rocketboy> gotta work tomorrow :-(
[23:28] <rocketboy> cu
[23:28] <edwardmoore> lol, ok cya
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[23:44] <Laurenceb> hi mc-
[23:48] <mc-> hi lb
[23:51] <Laurenceb> edwardmoore, where are the iss photos on the heavens above site?
[23:51] <edwardmoore> i don't think they're on their. let me have a quick look for them
[23:54] <edwardmoore> http://legault.club.fr/iss_shuttle.jpg
[23:54] <Laurenceb> wont load
[23:54] <Laurenceb> anyway thanx I'd better be off
[23:55] <Laurenceb> cya
[23:55] <edwardmoore> cya
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[00:00] --- Tue Apr 17 2007