highaltitude.log.20080916

[00:39] edmoore (n=edmoore@88-212-167-121.rdns.as8401.net) left irc:
[00:41] <Laurenceb_> back
[00:42] <Laurenceb_> I had an interesting idea for te radio - if you use both pwm channels with the right resistor capacitor network you can get double the number of effective bits
[00:42] Action: ShellEvil ponders. Is that Sir-Mix-A-Lot Baby Got Back, or The Beatles - Back in the USSR.
[00:43] <ShellEvil> Well - ... In theory.
[00:43] <Laurenceb_> its a bit of a problem with my radio board
[00:43] <ShellEvil> In practice, you're limited by cock jitter.
[00:43] <ShellEvil> err
[00:43] <Laurenceb_> was the uC runs at 12Mhz
[00:43] <ShellEvil> clock
[00:43] <Laurenceb_> aha
[00:43] <ShellEvil> and supply voltage noise
[00:44] <ShellEvil> What are you using the PWM for?
[00:44] <Laurenceb_> void set_pwm(){printf("FAP FAP FAP\r\n");}
[00:44] <Laurenceb_> :D
[00:44] <Laurenceb_> erm anyway
[00:45] <Laurenceb_> the pwm is used for controlling the radiometrix
[00:45] <ShellEvil> you mean it's connected to the FM input?
[00:45] <Laurenceb_> but I'm limited to 12MHz timer clock
[00:45] <Laurenceb_> yes
[00:45] <Laurenceb_> which means only 256 bit resolution
[00:46] <ShellEvil> What's the baud-rate?
[00:46] <Laurenceb_> if I'm to get a high enough pwm frequecy
[00:46] <Laurenceb_> 300 baud
[00:46] <ShellEvil> what's the max input to the PWM module?
[00:46] <Laurenceb_> it works fine at that, but I want to be able to adjust it, and get really wide channel spacing on the FM if I want
[00:46] <Laurenceb_> for e.g. SSTV
[00:47] <ShellEvil> You mean you get 12MHz/256 out of the PWM module, but want more resolution?
[00:47] <Laurenceb_> yes
[00:47] <Laurenceb_> then clock to the module is 12MHz
[00:47] <Laurenceb_> and I;ve set it to 8 bit resolution - 256 levels
[00:48] <ShellEvil> You've investigated the PWM modules, and you can't chain them?
[00:48] <Laurenceb_> how does that work?
[00:48] <ShellEvil> some can be hooked up so that the 2 8 bit PWM modules work as one 16 bit
[00:49] <Laurenceb_> I'll have a delve into the datasheet
[00:49] <Laurenceb_> but I've never heard of that in relation to AVRs
[00:49] <ShellEvil> I would expect getting >8 bits is easy - 16 might be pushing it quite a lot - using resistive adding.
[00:49] <ShellEvil> you're using a crystal?
[00:49] <Laurenceb_> yep
[00:49] <Laurenceb_> SMD
[00:52] <ShellEvil> I wouldn't hesitate to say that if you use one for a 'coarse', and one for a 'fine' adjustment, that'll work fine (to maybe 12 bits - dunno)
[00:52] <ShellEvil> I suspect nasty results if you try to use them as a proper 12 bit PWM though.
[00:52] <ShellEvil> I suspect nasty results if you try to use them as a proper 12 bit DAC though.
[00:53] <Laurenceb_> yeah
[00:53] <ShellEvil> Though things could be made a bit better by using an opamp to sum the currents to a fixed voltage node.
[00:53] <Laurenceb_> oh well, 8am start tomorrow, better get some sleep
[00:53] <ShellEvil> Nighy.
[00:53] <Laurenceb_> cya
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[07:56] <rharrison> morning all
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[09:27] <rharrison> Morning ed
[09:29] <rharrison> edmoore: Lassen iQ arrived :) I'm hoping to get my beacon logging gps data too. Any ideas?
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[09:36] <edmoore> you need some kind of memory
[09:37] <edmoore> a micro sd card could be your friend here. The SD bit is easy, the file system is not so easy, but it's not necessary - you could write something to decode the raw data at the pc, or, as we used to do, just get the micro to read out the data into a terminal over a serial port, as a csv, then copy/paste
[09:45] <ShellEvil> The SD part can be dead easy if you cheat.
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[09:56] <rharrison> Sounds good. Is it that staight forward?
[09:57] <ShellEvil> cheat as in http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8320
[09:58] <ShellEvil> SD isn't easy to drive.
[09:58] <ShellEvil> Unless you find a suitable library for your micro.
[10:01] <ShellEvil> http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=752
[10:02] <rharrison> Sparkfun logomatic v2 on way :)
[10:02] <rharrison> Thanks ShellEvil: was looking at theat allready
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[11:42] <ShellEvil> http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/amateur_balloonist?utm_source=onion_rss_daily :)
[12:14] <rharrison> ShellEvil: Where did you pick up that little snippet?
[12:14] <rharrison> I can't find an other link for it
[12:19] <ShellEvil> I think it was the google applet
[14:04] <rharrison> Sparkfun has some very cool tutorials. You all probably know this but it was a revelation to me
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[17:17] <jcoxon> evening all
[17:18] <gordonjcp> jcoxon: hello
[17:19] <jcoxon> hey gordonjcp
[17:22] <jcoxon> my beacon has been running for 9 hours now :-)
[17:25] <gordonjcp> cool
[17:26] Action: gordonjcp now has the callsign MM3YEQ
[17:27] <jcoxon> gordonjcp, good work! that was quick
[17:27] <jcoxon> I start my course this weekend and then the exam in in 2 weeks time
[17:30] <gordonjcp> cool
[17:30] <gordonjcp> the exam is pretty easy
[17:30] <jcoxon> hope so!
[17:30] <gordonjcp> in fact it's the only exam I've ever got 100% in
[17:31] <gordonjcp> http://www.rsgb.org/tutors/foundation/pdf/sample.pdf
[17:32] <gordonjcp> sample paper ^
[17:32] <gordonjcp> it's got the answer key at the end. Let me know how you do ;-)
[17:33] <jcoxon> hehe
[17:33] <jcoxon> i shall have to do that later
[17:37] <rharrison> jcoxon: Congrats on the beacon. R U logging the GPS as well?
[17:37] <jcoxon> nope, no logging
[17:38] <jcoxon> going for a beacon rather than a flight computer
[17:38] <rharrison> gordonjcp: jc seems to have a habit of getting on with the job efficiently
[17:38] <rharrison> True
[17:38] <jcoxon> rharrison, nah its more that i had all the parts already :-D
[17:40] <rharrison> My iQ arrived today :) With SMA and data interface cables
[17:40] <jcoxon> :-D
[17:41] <jcoxon> so already to build then?
[17:41] <rharrison> I have ordered the logomatic v2 from sparkfun today I'm hoping to have outputs from my beacon to allow the gps data to be recorded
[17:42] <jcoxon> oh that sounds like a good plan
[17:42] <rharrison> Split the tx line out from the gps to 2 devices. Not sure if that is legal but I can't see a problem with it
[17:42] <jcoxon> why not just route it through the AVR?
[17:42] <jcoxon> then you could process it a bit
[17:43] <rharrison> I thought that too, and it is the best soultion if I want to add further sensor data to strings.
[17:43] <rharrison> Thinking baro. and temps
[17:45] <jcoxon> you beacon will evolve into your flight 'puter
[17:45] <rharrison> True, but why not put a tx header on it given so much data's available for logging.
[17:46] <rharrison> It's true you could argue what i'm going to do with the data.
[17:46] <jcoxon> there ain't anything wrong
[17:46] <jcoxon> evolution of a payload is a good thing
[17:47] <rharrison> With my IT hat on I'm trying to think ahead of where I may evolve it to, even if it's not currently on the beacon.
[17:48] <jcoxon> its interesting
[17:48] <jcoxon> our 2 beacons have different roles reflected by the hardware
[17:48] <jcoxon> mine is so that i can mess around with the gumstix in the knowledge that something is coming to get it back
[17:49] <natrium42> hi jcoxon & rharrison
[17:49] <natrium42> & gordonjcp
[17:49] <rharrison> :) Funny I'm going the other way. Trying to make a system that won't need me to send my gumstix up there
[17:49] <rharrison> natrium42: Evening sir
[17:50] <natrium42> rharrison, i heard you are launching the weekend after?
[17:50] <rharrison> Not sure if JC got my email but I think Oct 4th is fixed now
[17:51] <jcoxon> rharrison, yup i got it
[17:51] <natrium42> aah
[17:51] <jcoxon> added it to the wiki
[17:51] <natrium42> rharrison, is that the full flight?
[17:51] <natrium42> or thethered?
[17:51] <natrium42> *tethered even
[17:51] <rharrison> I have told the wife. Beacon testing
[17:51] <natrium42> cool
[17:52] <rharrison> Un teathered. No images. Though I have been thinking a little camera may slip in
[17:52] <natrium42> no gps?
[17:52] <rharrison> Fixed one position only. Yep two
[17:53] <rharrison> JC's going to test his beacon on a diff freq. to mine so I'm in with a good chance of finding it
[17:53] <natrium42> sounds like a full flight to me :)
[17:53] <rharrison> JC Superbeacon MK1
[17:55] <rharrison> Well we have this 32G SD Card kicking around and a camera. It seems rude not to take a couple of pics on the way up to test the camera settings. Plus the para. needs a bit of weight to give it balance on the way down
[17:55] <rharrison> Icarus flight beacon MK2 (MK1 will proabably never fly)
[17:56] <natrium42> does camera support SDHC?
[17:56] <rharrison> Yep
[17:56] <natrium42> cool, that's a massive SD card :D
[17:56] <rharrison> Thats whay it's going 'cus it's simple to set up
[17:56] <rharrison> I'm not sure how the camera will cope with the SD Card
[17:57] <rharrison> Hoping it will just swallow the extra space
[17:57] <natrium42> eh? it should work if it supports SDHC
[17:57] <rharrison> How much video is that. I think that question needs an answer :)
[17:57] <natrium42> but then again, who knows how good their implementation is..
[17:58] <rharrison> Can we video from launch to apogee
[17:59] <natrium42> catch the balloon burst :)
[18:00] <rharrison> Some simple testing needs to be done. If the weather is poor on the day I think i'll film the balloon for the duration.
[18:00] <rharrison> Beat me to it
[18:00] <rharrison> If it's a clear day I'll point it out the side and see what we get
[18:01] <rharrison> Right I'm going to have to drive home. To sort the kids out. I'll be back on at 19:30 BST
[18:01] <natrium42> k, later
[18:01] <rharrison> bbl
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[18:21] <gordonjcp> oh, jcoxon left
[18:21] <gordonjcp> oh well
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[19:37] <robert1971> One child down
[19:38] <robert1971> Two to go
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[19:39] <robert1971> BTW all you experienced circuit makers. Should you always biuld your circuit on a bread board and then transfer it to stripboard after?
[19:50] <gordonjcp> robert1971: depends
[19:51] <gordonjcp> quite often I just build it on stripboard
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[20:38] <robert1971> Right this is fun. Getting the iQ to talk to the usb ftdi :)
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[20:42] <edmoore> greeings all
[20:42] <edmoore> hi robert1971
[20:45] <robert1971> evening edmoore:
[20:45] <robert1971> Icarus beacon MKII is interesting
[20:46] <robert1971> Going for breadboard construction
[20:46] <edmoore> interesting?
[20:46] <edmoore> a noble and time-testing approach
[20:46] <robert1971> Going to start by getting the iQ to talk with the ftdi
[20:46] <edmoore> if it's any help, I have reasonable amounts of experience with breadboard, and why stuff doesn't work on braodboard but does on a pcb
[20:47] <robert1971> Don't tell me that. Do I really have to solder it all to test it
[20:47] <edmoore> no
[20:47] <edmoore> you should be ok
[20:47] <robert1971> phew :)
[20:48] <edmoore> as a rule - high speed stuff can get swamped by breadboard (I wouldn't fly breadboard, if that's what you're getting at...)
[20:48] <robert1971> First challenge is to get the switching regulator to chuck out 3.3v
[20:48] <edmoore> because of the way its constructed, you have parallel sheets of metal with plastic in between
[20:48] <edmoore> i.e. a capacitor
[20:48] <edmoore> so high freq signals can get attenutated by it
[20:48] <robert1971> Not going to fly just get it all connected and tested before soldering
[20:49] <edmoore> but for basics it should be fine :) just have been bitten in the bum before!
[20:49] <edmoore> dragon should arrive tomorrow with luck
[20:50] <edmoore> might make a beacon - seems it's the fashionable thing to do!
[20:53] <robert1971> Well if you get it done before the 4th oct you can lauch it on whats quickly becomming the UKHAS beacon launch
[20:54] <robert1971> Might have to be carefull on the TX freq.
[20:56] <edmoore> indeed!
[20:56] <edmoore> where are you launching from?
[20:57] <edmoore> we may well be doing nova8 on the 4th
[20:57] <edmoore> we have a window opening up on the 1st anyway for a week, where a production company wants to film
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[21:01] <edmoore> greeting RocketboyV1
[21:01] <edmoore> robert1971: ping on the above ^
[21:02] <RocketboyV1> yo - say did anyone of you guys see britain from above - on the beeb a couple of weeks back?
[21:06] <RocketboyV1> clearly not - well I'm well miffed - I was involved in the time lapse filming down felixstowe docks earlier on in the year and the bu**ers gorgot to let me know it was airing - so i missed it :-(
[21:07] <edmoore> RocketboyV1: I did actually see it
[21:07] <RocketboyV1> fand its not on iplayer any more
[21:07] <edmoore> very good it was
[21:07] <edmoore> there was a really good one on sattelites
[21:07] <edmoore> very interesting
[21:07] <RocketboyV1> I thought it would be from the "rushes" I saw on board the ship we were on
[21:08] <RocketboyV1> 2nd largers container ship in the world so I was told
[21:08] <RocketboyV1> CSCL asia - massive 8000 containers
[21:08] <edmoore> blimey
[21:09] <RocketboyV1> everything was very swish - they even had a lift inside the ship
[21:09] <RocketboyV1> but the gang plank was well dodgy
[21:10] <RocketboyV1> it was hanging over the gap between the boat and the dock - i had to jump on carrying a load of camera kit
[21:11] <edmoore> :s
[21:11] <RocketboyV1> I'll think I put a post ot to see if anyone recorded it.
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[21:17] <gordonjcp> RocketboyV1: uknova, possibly?
[21:18] <edmoore> UKHAS
[21:18] <edmoore> UKHAS 1 was lots of us
[21:18] <edmoore> CUSF (us), laurence, steve, jcoxon, and mc
[21:19] <edmoore> good times
[21:19] <edmoore> though I think we accidently tied them all up so they made an incredibly resonant multiple pendulum
[21:19] <edmoore> cos it was swinging about like there was no tomorrow
[21:22] <edmoore> we took this! http://www.nivnac.co.uk/files/HAPSD_NOVA8/HAPS-D_pan1_quarter.jpg
[21:23] <edmoore> ok that was totally random. Just got it printed
[21:23] <edmoore> as you were!
[21:23] <edmoore> bit excitable
[21:23] <edmoore> balloons and helium are cool
[21:24] <wickerwaka> i love that panorama
[21:24] <wickerwaka> its reason enough to launch a balloon
[21:29] <edmoore> we got it printed out at A1 width today
[21:30] <edmoore> and about 2m long
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[21:35] <gordonjcp> edmoore: nice
[21:41] <RocketboyV1> I like the reflection from the estury on the clouds from underneith
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[21:53] <mc-> hi rocketboy, do you know how to design slot antennas?
[21:55] <edmoore> RocketboyV1: me too
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[22:09] <RocketboyV1> yeah they are quite easy - their a sort of negative dipole
[22:10] <RocketboyV1> Its often talked of for rockets - but normally not gone for due to the body-tube weakening
[22:12] <RocketboyV1> I think you just cust a 1/2 wave slot in a sheet or tube (of a certain size) and feed across the gap
[22:12] <RocketboyV1> results in polirization at right angles to the slot
[22:18] <RocketboyV1> Looking it up the tube needs to be about 1/8th wave diameter
[22:25] <RocketboyV1> BBL
[22:33] <RocketboyV1> Looks like the feed impedance is 300 ohms - so its a sort of a negative folded dipole
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[22:54] <robert1971> RocketboyV1: Thanks for the balloons and the mesage not to cut too depp :)
[22:54] <robert1971> deep
[22:55] <robert1971> cooked iQ :(
[22:55] <edmoore> what????
[22:55] <robert1971> Little problem with the data cable around the wrong way
[22:56] <robert1971> Not 100% sure its cooked
[22:56] <robert1971> Tested the SKII on the ftdi chip and seemed to have got it working
[22:57] <robert1971> Using the 5v from the usb to drive the skII
[22:58] <robert1971> The data cable on the IQ has a nice littel indent for the data cable to run in. However it actually runs the other way
[22:58] <robert1971> The shield I should say
[23:05] <edmoore> hmmm, here's to hoping
[23:11] <robert1971> Thankfully not the end of the world will need reorder replacement. Put it down to expeiance
[23:13] <robert1971> On the plus side I have learnt how to use the ftdi card :)
[23:35] <robert1971> edmoore: Soory engrossed in breadboard hell. Was thinking of launching from Cambridge with JC + anyone else
[23:35] <edmoore> cool
[23:35] <edmoore> well we'll be around
[23:36] <edmoore> I'm in cam from the 2nd
[23:36] <robert1971> Any one with a radio is going to be a help :)
[23:37] <robert1971> I'm still a bit green under the coller, so to speak
[23:37] <robert1971> Bit pissed off about the iQ. Such a stupid mistake
[23:37] jcoxon (n=jcoxon@host86-148-58-20.range86-148.btcentralplus.com) joined #highaltitude.
[23:38] <robert1971> The goodnews is that beacon MK1 is nearly complete
[23:38] <robert1971> evening jcoxon
[23:38] <edmoore> jcoxon: we got an a560 from 200g down to 62g today
[23:39] <robert1971> nice one
[23:39] <jcoxon> edmoore, good work
[23:39] <edmoore> fairly nerve-racking at times!
[23:39] <jcoxon> powershots are nice and modular
[23:40] <jcoxon> robert1971, sound excellent - lots of progress
[23:40] <robert1971> my wife's a560 might make a debut on my balloon
[23:41] <jcoxon> edmoore, 62g not including batteries?
[23:41] <edmoore> indeed. going for a common battery pack
[23:41] <edmoore> would be impressive if it did include batteries given they're about 40g!
[23:41] <jcoxon> i know!
[23:41] <jcoxon> thats my plan with an A60
[23:41] <jcoxon> when i finally get a new one
[23:42] <jcoxon> RocketboyV1, ping
[23:42] <RocketboyV1> pong
[23:43] <RocketboyV1> jcoxon:
[23:43] <jcoxon> attaching the radiometrix to a gumstix
[23:44] <jcoxon> ground to the audio card ground or to common ground
[23:44] <jcoxon> i can't remember what we decided?
[23:44] <RocketboyV1> ground the common groung and ignore the gumstix audio ground
[23:45] <jcoxon> okay
[23:45] <RocketboyV1> thinking sstv?
[23:45] <jcoxon> of course :-)
[23:45] <jcoxon> i've finished the beacon
[23:46] <jcoxon> now to build sstv payload as planned
[23:46] <RocketboyV1> excellent
[23:47] robert1971 (n=rharriso@80.176.172.227) left irc:
[23:49] <jcoxon> RocketboyV1, hmmm don't seem to be working
[23:49] <jcoxon> ->999
[00:00] --- Wed Sep 17 2008