highaltitude.log.20080325

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[06:54] <Sonic^Work> Hi all! Anyone alive here?
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[08:01] <Simon-MPFH> partly
[08:40] <Sonic^Work> Just read about Natrium42's experience... Really great.
[08:40] <Sonic^Work> Would like to know what happened to him.
[08:40] <Sonic^Work> The post about launch was the last one in his blog.
[08:41] <Sonic^Work> Severely warned by FBI/whatever else? :-/
[08:44] <Sonic^Work> And no news about upcoming projects etc.
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[08:55] <jcoxon> morning
[09:07] <Sonic^Work_2> Hello
[09:07] <Sonic^Work_2> jcoxon, Do you know what happened to Natrium42 ?
[09:07] <jcoxon> yup, he is still around
[09:08] <Sonic^Work_2> I've just read about his HALO, it's extremely great
[09:08] <jcoxon> has started working on a payload with a sat phone
[09:08] <jcoxon> oh cool
[09:08] <Sonic^Work_2> Why did he stop posting on his blog etc?
[09:08] <jcoxon> that i don't know but he is still active
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[09:09] <Sonic^Work_2> I even thought he ran into problems with state security...
[09:09] <jcoxon> hehe
[09:09] <Sonic^Work_2> I wonder if such things are possible here in Russia...
[09:10] <Sonic^Work_2> BTW would be nice to have a remotely piloted device...
[09:10] <Sonic^Work_2> SAT phone... Wow, i guess it's damn expensive...
[09:10] <jcoxon> hehe, i guess if you got permission it wouldn't be that difficult!
[09:11] <jcoxon> yip the piloted version is being developed
[09:11] <Sonic^Work_2> Got permission? From who?
[09:11] <jcoxon> in russia? the guys who control your air space
[09:12] <Sonic^Work_2> I guess i would have to explain why the hell i'm going to do it... And convience them that it's not for terror/spy purposes...
[09:19] <Sonic^Work_2> And one more thought... I wonder how much time left until the first DIY satellite reaches Earth's orbit... :-)
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[09:20] <Sonic^Work_2> I heard DIY space rocket is being developed, not without some success.
[09:22] <jcoxon> its slowly getting there
[09:22] <jcoxon> its a lot more work then the simple payload
[09:22] <jcoxon> lots of info on wiki.ukhas.org.uk
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[10:13] <Laurenceb> hi all
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[10:14] <Laurenceb> hey edmoore
[10:14] <edmoore> morning
[10:14] <edmoore> all well?
[10:14] <Laurenceb> ed, on HARVE, did you use a boat winch servo?
[10:14] <Laurenceb> yep, but I've got no food :(
[10:15] <Laurenceb> you?
[10:15] <edmoore> it's a biggun, not sure which though
[10:15] <edmoore> not bad, got a bit of a boring adminey day
[10:16] <edmoore> though am going to spend 2 hours tackling linear algebra - it shall be defeated!
[10:16] <Laurenceb> I'm going to have to do some revision :s
[10:17] <Laurenceb> grrr I should just do some work on the Zagi.... but I'm so tempted to move the rogallo hrdware to a parafoil gondola
[10:17] <edmoore> lol. balloons always win!
[10:18] <Laurenceb> I'm thinking a single atmega168 together with the gyro and gps, super simple
[10:19] <Laurenceb> I'm not sure how much you need to move a parafoil to turn... maybe 20cm difference between wingtips to turn?
[10:21] <edmoore> not sure- hepful answer is 'it depends' on A0A and a bunch of other stuff. but yeah, I'd say if you gave it that much range then at least you've got the capability
[10:21] <edmoore> AoA*
[10:22] <Laurenceb> how much do boat servos turn? 360 degrees?
[10:23] Action: Laurenceb looks on ebay
[10:23] <Laurenceb> oh btw: http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?Prod=BASYS&Nav1=Products&Nav2=Programmable
[10:23] <Laurenceb> ^ though that was interesting
[10:24] <edmoore> oooh good spot
[10:24] <edmoore> cheap!
[10:29] <edmoore> I wish more stuff came in dip packages
[10:30] Action: Laurenceb is getting sick of having to press F2 in eagle every 5 seconds
[10:30] <Laurenceb> dip is ok but it soon gets huge
[10:31] <Laurenceb> I'm ok with soldering surface mount, its just a pain getting boards made up, veroboard is nice
[10:31] <edmoore> I just thought of a cool project for an fpga board
[10:31] <edmoore> the lunar module flight computer
[10:31] <Laurenceb> haha nice
[10:33] <Laurenceb> they use stuff like that in the space instruments lab for prototyping
[10:34] <edmoore> yeah
[10:34] <Laurenceb> usually with labview, so you can diagramatically draw the system and it will do the VHDL for you
[10:35] <edmoore> yes, the xilinx tools let you do that
[10:36] <Laurenceb> apparently that technique is used for flight hardware
[10:36] <edmoore> and i think the altera ones
[10:36] <Laurenceb> yes, the exomars instrument arm uses an altera one I think
[10:36] <edmoore> you can sort of do hybrid stuff aswell - so draw the logic schematics, then for something draw just a box and define its behaviour by writing vhdl
[10:36] <Laurenceb> yes
[10:37] <edmoore> nice
[10:38] <Laurenceb> the guy working on it was ssh ing into the hardware from home... so he wasnt around a lot. It was a bit worrying... i was ready it turn off the power if there was any white smoke :P
[10:38] <edmoore> :)
[10:39] <edmoore> well I *hope* I'll be working on its descent and landing system in a few weeks!
[10:40] <Laurenceb> awesome
[10:40] <Laurenceb> theres resistor cutters to release the arm, similar to my design, but custom made with high temperature plastic
[10:41] <Laurenceb> - this is a metrology arm, I think theres a main motorised arm as well
[10:41] <edmoore> what's on it, then?
[10:42] <Laurenceb> wind sensors and some other stuff
[10:42] <Laurenceb> not sure
[10:42] <Laurenceb> oxford are making the arm and wind sensors
[10:43] <edmoore> cool
[10:43] <Laurenceb> its carbon fibre tube, in about three sections with spring loaded joins
[10:43] <edmoore> must be so awesome to work on a project like that
[10:43] <Laurenceb> about 80cm long when extended
[10:44] <Laurenceb> yes, but theres not really any phd opportunities at oxford like that
[10:45] <Laurenceb> most of the guys work full time, and have lots of experience in industry ect
[10:45] <Laurenceb> I think its basically a money spinner for the department, as they get funding from esa ect.
[10:48] <Laurenceb> last year I was working in the same sub-department over summer, and they had rented out a lab to oxford magnet company... anything to get some funds :P
[10:49] <edmoore> :D
[10:51] <Laurenceb> they were calibrating sensors for MRI scanners
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[11:06] <Laurenceb> edmoore: whats your technique for routing pcbs? try and get the component alignment sorted first?
[11:06] <edmoore> yep
[11:06] <edmoore> external connectors first
[11:06] <Laurenceb> I've got components all over the place :S
[11:06] <edmoore> then get a vague idea of what's best by moving stuff around and seeing what orientation is nicest from an air-wire pov
[11:07] <Laurenceb> yes, I know where the connectors and gps reciever is going
[11:07] <Laurenceb> yes
[11:07] <edmoore> and yeah, may then split the board into logical chunks
[11:07] <Laurenceb> hmm it gets hard when theres a lot going on and its very densely packed
[11:07] <edmoore> sensors----uC----servo drivers/radio/other outputs
[11:07] <Laurenceb> my gps takes up one side of the board
[11:07] <edmoore> yep! it's a bloody nightmare often
[11:08] <edmoore> but that's why we do it i guess :)
[11:08] <edmoore> which gps?
[11:08] <Laurenceb> this is essencially a lassen iq with a bunch off stuff on the back
[11:08] <Laurenceb> for a thermopile based autopilot
[11:08] <edmoore> tiny!
[11:08] <Laurenceb> I'm aiming for 30mmx60mm
[11:09] <Laurenceb> but it has to have everything onboard accept radio
[11:09] <Laurenceb> I'll upload the schematic
[11:13] <Laurenceb> http://wiki.ukhas.org.uk/projects:ukhas_glider_project:flight_computer
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[11:18] <Laurenceb> at the top
[11:19] <edmoore> ok gotcha
[11:19] <edmoore> sorry was making emergency toast
[11:19] <Laurenceb> hehe
[11:19] Action: Laurenceb still hasnt had any breakfast
[11:21] <Laurenceb> I need to lable the connectors, e.g JP6=power
[11:22] <edmoore> details
[11:22] <edmoore> looks good so far
[11:23] <Laurenceb> JP 2-5 are the servo headers
[11:23] <Laurenceb> theres 2 inputs and 2 outputs
[11:23] <Laurenceb> so you can plug in a standard RC reciever
[11:26] <edmoore> ok cool
[11:26] <edmoore> a manual fly in :)
[11:27] <Laurenceb> yes, same technique as on the rogallo
[11:27] <Laurenceb> using pin change interrupts
[11:27] <edmoore> very neat
[11:28] <Laurenceb> ideally youd use the timer capture... but pin change interrupts work ok
[11:28] <Laurenceb> theres a little bit of jitter, thats all
[11:28] <Laurenceb> due to the uart interrupts
[11:34] <Laurenceb> under self guidance it uses hardware pwm, so its very smooth
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[11:37] <edmoore> right, need to hit the day
[11:37] <edmoore> bbl
[11:38] <Laurenceb> cya
[13:04] <edmoore> back
[13:04] <Laurenceb> hey there
[13:05] <Laurenceb> I've screwed up eagle :(
[13:05] <edmoore> how?
[13:05] <Laurenceb> "board and schematic not consistent"
[13:05] <Laurenceb> not sure what to do...
[13:06] <edmoore> does it give you any options?
[13:06] <Laurenceb> I asked on #electronics, they said "delete it all and redo it"
[13:06] <Laurenceb> no
[13:06] <Laurenceb> I think it happened when I renamed N$50 to GND
[13:07] <Laurenceb> but rename N$50 GND in the board window doesnt help
[13:08] <Laurenceb> maybe that syntax is wrong...
[13:08] <Laurenceb> bascially I dont know what to do
[13:09] <edmoore> start again :s
[13:09] <Laurenceb> I think i might just take a break... I've got a headache
[13:09] <Laurenceb> I'm sure there is a solution
[13:12] <Laurenceb> how do you rename a signal?
[13:14] <edmoore> the lil button with a name above a line
[13:14] <edmoore> on the left
[13:14] <edmoore> towards the middle
[13:14] <edmoore> iirc
[13:15] <Laurenceb> thanx
[13:15] <Laurenceb> but its still inconsistent :(
[13:16] <edmoore> it could well be eagle throwing a strop
[13:16] <Laurenceb> I might restart it
[13:17] <Laurenceb> no luck
[13:17] <Laurenceb> this makes no sense
[13:17] <Laurenceb> must be a bug :(
[13:18] <edmoore> have you opened just the schem?
[13:18] <Laurenceb> nope
[13:18] <edmoore> try that
[13:18] <edmoore> then rename
[13:18] <Laurenceb> I always keep them both open
[13:18] <edmoore> then open the brd by clicking the little brd/schem bvutton on the top
[13:20] <Laurenceb> no luck
[13:20] Action: Laurenceb is getting pissed
[13:21] <Laurenceb> I know theres no difference, but I dont trust it if its saying they are inconsistent
[13:21] <Laurenceb> grr if only it said what the difference was
[13:23] <Laurenceb> ffs It looks like I'm going to have to start again :(
[13:23] <edmoore> it'll be good for your soul LB
[13:23] <edmoore> roll with it :)
[13:23] <Laurenceb> why do i even bother
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[13:26] <edmoore> You could try flirting with assember for the AVR
[13:26] <edmoore> make some really nice tight routines
[13:27] <Laurenceb> hmm maybe
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[13:32] <Laurenceb> grr I could start again, but whats to stop the same thing from happening?
[13:38] <edmoore> save regularly
[13:38] <edmoore> and hope
[13:38] <edmoore> maybe switch to a new beta
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[13:43] <rcaron> hey, you guys use AVRs too? i just started dabbling with them myself. what are you using it for?
[13:48] <edmoore> all sorts
[13:48] <edmoore> general purpose microcontrollers
[13:49] <edmoore> I use ARM chips where faster 32bit stuff is more useful
[13:49] <edmoore> but most of the time it isn't!
[13:49] <rcaron> yeah, some guys built a RC ciruit to do timing for the cameras. whole thing ended up being a 3" cube enclosure running off a 9v
[13:50] <rcaron> i shook my head... could be done w/ a simple 8pin
[13:50] <edmoore> when you gotta hammer... :)
[13:50] <rcaron> timing circuit, that is
[13:50] <rcaron> heh
[13:51] <edmoore> but yeah, I always try and remember what they nasa guys had
[13:51] <edmoore> back in the day
[13:51] <edmoore> but equally they had amazing gyros which didn't need nearly as much signal processing, so I feel less guilty about wanting more cpu!
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[14:40] <Laurenceb> 30x38 mm
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[15:10] <Laurenceb> hi again edmoore
[15:10] Action: Laurenceb is routing
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[16:22] Action: Laurenceb is using the autorouter
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[16:45] <edmoore> Laurenceb: that way madness lies
[16:46] <Laurenceb> hehe
[16:46] <Laurenceb> it gets to 80%, then gives up
[16:49] <edmoore> forget it
[16:51] <Laurenceb> grr I need to arrange things better...
[16:51] <Laurenceb> it looks possible to fit it all onto 30x38mm
[16:54] <Laurenceb> haha http://www.b3tards.com/u/4f3e520a1ba01b78eff9/tesco_star_trek.jpg
[17:02] <Laurenceb> any idea how you set the seperation between a polygon and the edge of the board?
[17:13] <jcoxon> afternoon all
[17:18] <natrium42> hi
[17:18] <natrium42> Laurenceb, which program are you using?
[17:18] <Laurenceb> eagle
[17:22] <natrium42> this router is better --> http://www.freerouting.net/
[17:23] Action: natrium42 would still rather route by hand, though
[17:24] <natrium42> freerouting.net works withe eagle
[17:25] <Laurenceb> right
[17:26] <Laurenceb> I'm too busy routing now :S
[17:26] <natrium42> hehe
[17:26] <Laurenceb> 33 airwires down... 97 to go
[17:26] <natrium42> why are humans so good at it and computers suck :(
[17:26] <natrium42> we need AI
[17:31] <jcoxon> well my weekend programming has finally suceeded
[17:31] <jcoxon> have built a parser that directly interfaces with the radio receiving software
[17:32] <natrium42> jcoxon, working on fhalp-3?
[17:47] <Laurenceb> arrg down to 90 airwires...
[17:47] Action: Laurenceb doesnt like routing
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[17:51] <Hiena> Good evening!
[17:51] <Laurenceb> hello
[17:51] <Laurenceb> hmm if I can do 30 airwires a day...
[17:52] <Hiena> Just 30?
[17:53] <Laurenceb> I ate routing :(
[17:53] <Laurenceb> hate8
[17:53] <Laurenceb> bbl
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[18:17] <edmoore> jcoxon: how's progress?
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[19:48] <jcoxon> hey edmoore
[19:48] <edmoore> ello
[19:48] <edmoore> how's it going?
[19:48] <jcoxon> good thanks
[19:49] <jcoxon> made some good progess with atlas downlink
[19:51] <akawaka> atlas?
[19:51] <edmoore> akawaka: our altitude record attempt!
[19:52] <edmoore> using state of the art conceptual design
[19:52] <edmoore> the biggest balloon we can afford, above the smallest payload we can make
[19:52] <jcoxon> it really is the pinicle of engineering
[19:53] <akawaka> so you've tried smallest balloon plus biggest payload and it didn't prove feasible?
[19:56] <jcoxon> edmoore, so i've got my groundcontrol software to actually directly acess the received text buffer
[19:56] <jcoxon> no need for intervening scripts or text file buffers
[19:56] <edmoore> akawaka: yeah, we tried that
[19:56] <jcoxon> and it can turn on/off change freq etc
[19:56] <edmoore> then we tried a slightly bigger balloon and slightly smaller payload
[19:57] <edmoore> and we saw a pattern emerging
[19:57] <edmoore> after we investigated this phenomenon more, we formed a thoery
[19:57] <edmoore> and now we're testing it
[19:57] <akawaka> how big we talking?
[19:57] <edmoore> jcoxon: how?
[19:58] <edmoore> 150g payload, 1500g balloon. ish
[19:58] <jcoxon> well i'm using ruby, and so i used the a piece of software called RubyOSA which is a bridge to the apple events (and cocoamodem is scripted)
[19:58] <jcoxon> so i could in theory contol itunes, finder, safari
[19:59] <edmoore> :)
[19:59] <jcoxon> so of course it'll be reach burst alt - queue paylist
[19:59] <jcoxon> playlist*
[20:00] <edmoore> ceeeeelebrate good time c'mon!
[20:00] <jcoxon> but on a serious note of expansion you can also make it send data - so we could auto control an uplink as well
[20:00] <edmoore> pie in the sky is such a good program
[20:01] <jcoxon> now i just need to make this a little bit more scriptable then i'll start parsing data nicely
[20:01] <jcoxon> scriptable -> threadable
[20:03] <Daviey> threads, eeeeek
[20:03] <jcoxon> this only a simple thread, it'll survive
[20:04] <jcoxon> just so it keeps gathering data and allows you to press other buttons
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[20:41] <fnoble> hello
[20:41] <fnoble> edmoore: im alive
[20:41] <edmoore> so you are
[20:42] <edmoore> 99?
[20:42] <edmoore> will save boring everyone
[20:42] <edmoore> but we need to spend some $$$$$
[20:42] <fnoble> 99?
[20:42] <natrium42> ->iridium++;
[20:54] <Laurenceb> hello everyone
[20:54] Action: Laurenceb is back
[20:55] <Laurenceb> so this atlas thing looks interesting...
[20:56] <Laurenceb> strangely similar to ultrahab..... :P
[20:57] Action: Laurenceb gets back to routing...
[21:08] <jcoxon> oooo i have Gu Brownies - but no ice cream (canary wharf waitrose doesn't stock it :-( )
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[22:04] <mc-> Laurenceb
[22:04] <mc-> did you solve the inconsistent problem in Eagle?
[22:05] <mc-> you don't need to start again, Ive solved it before
[22:07] <mc-> try removing the component on both the sch and brd, where it has inconsistencies.
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[22:11] <mc-> hi natrium42, that freerouter looks really good
[22:16] RocketBoy (n=grunge@217.47.75.147) joined #highaltitude.
[22:19] <jcoxon_> RocketBoy, excellent work with the camera
[22:20] <edmoore> seconded!
[22:20] <akawaka> ?
[22:23] <jcoxon_> akawaka, for atlas as we are going for the lightest payload RocketBoy has stripped a camera down from 107g to 30g
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[22:27] <mc-> edmoore, just sent you an email
[22:30] Nick change: jcoxon_ -> jcoxon
[22:30] <edmoore> just got it!
[22:31] <RocketBoy> yeah - stripping it down was a bit scary - a bit like a game of jenga - remove too much and you have had it
[22:33] <jcoxon> so its powered from the main powersupply?
[22:34] <RocketBoy> yeah - that way we can share the power around - and use the main processor to control the power
[22:34] <mc-> jcoxon, is there a GSM modem on this payload?
[22:34] <edmoore> yes
[22:34] <edmoore> telit
[22:35] <mc-> with a li-ion battery for the GSM?
[22:35] <edmoore> it's all running off the same battery
[22:36] <edmoore> which I think is an energizer lith - is that correct rocketboy?
[22:36] <mc-> you can cycle the power on the GPS, if you want to save power/weight.
[22:37] <edmoore> well we're using a lassen iq
[22:37] <edmoore> but i think it has some power cycling commands
[22:37] <edmoore> will look it up
[22:37] <edmoore> the gsm module certainly has standby modes
[22:38] <jcoxon> RocketBoy, i've made some progress with the downlink software
[22:38] <mc-> is there a radio in there as well?
[22:38] <edmoore> yes - rocketboy's tried and trusted
[22:41] <RocketBoy> excellent
[22:41] <mc-> my current payload is just GPS + radio. Runs off a phone battery. Should last for a few days.
[22:42] <RocketBoy> Ill try to record some rtty for you jcoxon
[22:42] <jcoxon> RocketBoy, yes please, i'm at the parsing stage
[22:42] <jcoxon> we are going for:
[22:42] <jcoxon> atlas,time,lat,long,alt,other_stuff
[22:42] <RocketBoy> sounds good
[22:44] <fnoble> james, can you do something clever to correct obviously wrong digits etc in the gps?
[22:45] <fnoble> and imho go for a fixed width format
[22:46] <RocketBoy> yeah - much easier to read and correct
[22:46] <jcoxon> ummm, if you make it fixed on transmission
[22:47] <jcoxon> but yeah lets keep it a fixed length
[22:48] <edmoore> that's no problem
[22:48] <jcoxon> i'll split it by comma but also check length of the sections
[22:55] <jcoxon> haha, i get this error:
[22:55] <jcoxon> Ruby threads cannot be used in RubyCocoa without patches to the Ruby interpreter
[22:55] <jcoxon> then:
[22:55] <jcoxon> threads started
[22:57] <edmoore> haha....
[22:58] <jcoxon> apparently its not safe and could crash, but it seems to be working okay
[22:58] <fnoble> so how would you rate ruby over python?
[22:59] <fnoble> it does intrigue me
[22:59] <jcoxon> hmmm, i use ruby cause of the rubycocoa
[22:59] <jcoxon> but its growing on me
[22:59] <jcoxon> (and its going to be come the default mac os x scripting language)
[23:01] <jcoxon> i really need to start at the beginning and learn it
[23:01] <jcoxon> but thats not how i learn
[23:02] <fnoble> indeed, much better to learn these things by using them
[23:03] <jcoxon> but its become such a trial and error sort of programming
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[23:04] <fnoble> i hear it is of the perl school of $rypt|c m#difier%s
[23:05] <jcoxon> they like |'s
[23:05] <jcoxon> so yeah
[23:28] <Laurenceb> hi all
[23:29] <Laurenceb> RocketBoy: camera sounds interesting
[23:29] <Laurenceb> have you removed the flash completely?
[23:29] <RocketBoy> yep
[23:29] <Laurenceb> and its working?
[23:29] <akawaka> which camera did you use?
[23:29] <RocketBoy> yep - and I removed the LCD display
[23:30] <RocketBoy> premier DS3080
[23:30] <akawaka> i bought a cheap poloraid on ebay a few days ago and i was amazed at how crappy it was
[23:30] <akawaka> and how basic inside
[23:30] <Laurenceb> nice work
[23:30] <Laurenceb> but a bit hard to see if its working still
[23:30] <Laurenceb> is it arm9 based?
[23:31] <RocketBoy> The main problem was the flash - I had t change the circuitry to fool it into thinging the flash capacitor is charged - otherwise it didn't work
[23:31] <RocketBoy> amtel
[23:31] <Laurenceb> yep
[23:32] <Laurenceb> similar to the one I had
[23:32] <Laurenceb> on ultrahab
[23:37] <Laurenceb> if I have an eagle *.brd file, and send it so someone with eagle installed, will they be able to view it without my libraries?
[23:39] <natrium42> yes
[23:39] <natrium42> the components get embedded into the file
[23:40] <akawaka> mjpeg is probably one of the least processor intensive video codecs out there, right?
[23:41] <Laurenceb> cool
[23:41] <Laurenceb> akawaka: thats what the premier cameras use
[23:41] <Laurenceb> so probably :P
[23:42] <Laurenceb> right I'm off, cya all
[23:42] <natrium42> later
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[23:55] <jcoxon> right i'm off
[23:55] <jcoxon> night all
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[00:00] --- Wed Mar 26 2008