highaltitude.log.20090414

[00:11] <SpeedEvil> .
[00:11] <SpeedEvil> koits?
[00:11] <SpeedEvil> oh
[00:12] <SpeedEvil> Also time-poor ATM.
[00:12] <SpeedEvil> _way_ too much to do around hte house.
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[00:13] <jcoxon> http://www.wsplc.com/acatalog/Kits_Vectronics.html
[00:19] <SpeedEvil> Sure.
[00:19] <SpeedEvil> Now how do I tune the above to 7.845MHz :)
[00:20] <jcoxon> which one did you look at?
[00:21] <SpeedEvil> I was assuming they were LOs and amps and mixers.
[00:22] <SpeedEvil> I hadn't looked at the specs
[00:22] <jcoxon> there are receiver kits
[00:22] <jcoxon> they are band based
[00:22] <jcoxon> 29 quid
[00:23] <SpeedEvil> ATM benefit problems - so ~0 coming in, and lots going out, and finite pot of cash.
[00:23] <SpeedEvil> It should get better soonish
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[00:56] <Dan-K2VOL> Evening
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[01:04] <natrium42> hey Dan-K2VOL
[01:06] <stilldavid> natrium42: how do you feel about your xtends?
[01:06] <natrium42> i should try them with yagi antenna on the ground
[01:06] <natrium42> omni doesn't give enough range
[01:07] <stilldavid> I'm radio shopping and they are popping up everywhere.
[01:08] <stilldavid> 900mhz yagis are pretty small, looks like
[01:09] <Dan-K2VOL> Hi Natrium
[01:09] <Dan-K2VOL> were any of you guys familiar with KD7LMO?
[01:11] <natrium42> i remember visiting his site
[01:11] <natrium42> quite sad that he passwed away
[01:12] <natrium42> damn drunk drivers :(
[01:12] <Dan-K2VOL> yes, he was the one who pioneered the liquid ballast design
[01:13] <Dan-K2VOL> we watched his caviezel zp flight back in 2006 test a bottle of anti-freeze with an electric pump
[01:14] <Dan-K2VOL> it worked decently, but it was low-altitude, so the antifreeze was still liquid enough
[01:14] <Dan-K2VOL> he has some really beautiful electronics for balloons
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[10:31] <Laurenceb> hi
[10:44] <shellevil> hi
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[16:05] <jcoxon> afternoon all
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[16:17] <AlexBreton> jcoxon, did you say batteries were your biggest expense on a balloon?
[16:18] <jcoxon> no
[16:18] <jcoxon> i when i used a gumstix that was
[16:18] <jcoxon> or helium + balloon
[16:18] <jcoxon> batteries aren't cheap but no where near the most expensive
[16:19] <jcoxon> AlexBreton, the radio is ready to be sent to you guys
[16:19] <AlexBreton> excellent
[16:19] <AlexBreton> do you want an address?
[16:20] <jcoxon> yes, please email it to me jacoxon@googlemail.com
[16:20] <AlexBreton> OK cool
[16:20] <jcoxon> AlexBreton, i see from your blog you have lots of batteries
[16:20] <AlexBreton> yep
[16:20] <jcoxon> i'm very impressed with your ability to blag free stuff
[16:20] <AlexBreton> my negotiations with Energizer bore many fruits
[16:20] <jcoxon> far better then me
[16:20] <AlexBreton> ;-)
[16:20] <AlexBreton> maybe a logistical error
[16:20] <AlexBreton> I definitely asked for 24
[16:20] <jcoxon> never mind :-)
[16:20] <AlexBreton> maybe they can't divide 24 by 4
[16:22] <jcoxon> hehe
[16:22] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, seeing as you're going to greece tomorrow (*envy*), I should probably pick up the transceiver?
[16:22] <AlexBreton> I am emailing jcoxon your address
[16:22] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, ah good
[16:23] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, i'll just query him with it
[16:23] <AlexBreton> he asked for email
[16:24] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, i'll send him one
[16:24] <sbasuita> jcoxon, how long do you think it will take to get here?
[16:25] <sbasuita> jcoxon, what is your email?
[16:25] <sbasuita> oh
[16:25] <sbasuita> got it
[16:25] <jcoxon> that depends on when it gets sent
[16:26] Tiger^ (i=tygrys@moo.pl) got lost in the net-split.
[16:26] <jcoxon> josh atkins has it - i'll pass on your address - he should stick it in the post tomorrow
[16:37] <sbasuita> jcoxon, cool, thanks! What model is the transceiver?
[16:40] <jcoxon> Yaesu FT-790R
[16:43] <AlexBreton> what batteries go in there?
[16:45] <jcoxon> C
[16:45] <AlexBreton> aha OK
[16:45] <jcoxon> you can use a wall socket
[16:45] <AlexBreton> I assume you won't give us any
[16:45] <AlexBreton> they are cheap anyway ;-)
[16:45] <jcoxon> but you have to be very careful as the socket at the back is reversed
[16:46] <jcoxon> so the central pin is actually negative and the surround is positive - tis a idiotic design decision by Yaesu back in the day
[16:46] <jcoxon> there weren't any batteries in the reciver when i sent it to josh so i assume there won't be when you get it
[16:46] <AlexBreton> is it a UK socket?
[16:47] <jcoxon> ummm its a barrel socket in the back of the reciver
[16:48] <AlexBreton> ahh
[16:48] <jcoxon> so if you can find a wall socket and connect the appropriate plug to go into the back of the radio
[16:48] <jcoxon> it'll work
[16:48] <jcoxon> i'd stick to batteries if i were you
[16:50] <AlexBreton> k
[16:54] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, lol
[16:54] <sbasuita> did you know that you can pwn somebodies telephone line
[16:54] <sbasuita> call them
[16:54] <sbasuita> and don't hang up after they do
[16:54] <sbasuita> they pick up the phone later to call somebody
[16:54] <sbasuita> and you can still be there
[16:54] <sbasuita> v. confusing
[16:54] <sbasuita> (just happened to me)
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[16:57] <jcoxon> hey edmoore
[16:58] <edmoore> hi jcoxon
[17:01] <jcoxon> hows it going?
[17:02] <edmoore> revision
[17:02] <edmoore> just popped ont irc to ask a q on #math
[17:02] <edmoore> about to go soon
[17:02] <edmoore> i am not alive for the next 3 weeks
[17:03] <jcoxon> fair enough
[17:05] <shellevil> edmoore: good luck.
[17:05] <jcoxon> then you'll be laughing :-)
[17:05] <edmoore> yep!
[17:05] <edmoore> everyone else has theirs in june
[17:05] <edmoore> so i should have a nice summer
[17:05] <jcoxon> i remember with great jealousy 3rd year engineers
[17:06] <jcoxon> you working this summer?
[17:07] <edmoore> in CUED
[17:07] <edmoore> ESA work + Martlet
[17:07] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, want to ask energizer for some c cells?
[17:07] <AlexBreton> they cost peanuts
[17:08] <jcoxon> edmoore, cool
[17:09] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, yeh but no but you know you want to
[17:09] <AlexBreton> don't tempt me ;-)
[17:09] <sbasuita> hehe
[17:10] <AlexBreton> they cost little money
[17:10] <AlexBreton> though...OK I'll call duracell
[17:10] <sbasuita> : )
[17:11] <AlexBreton> jcoxon, any specific C cells ?
[17:12] <AlexBreton> just normal alkalines or some sort of fancy rechargeable/lithium ones?
[17:12] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, the best that you can blag ofc!
[17:12] <AlexBreton> chill, recharg is better but I don't have a charger
[17:13] <shellevil> get one
[17:13] <jcoxon> AlexBreton, no need for anything special
[17:13] <shellevil> IMO
[17:13] <shellevil> rechargables will save you lots over a decade or so.
[17:13] <jcoxon> its not like you are launching it
[17:13] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, just ask for a charger as well
[17:13] <AlexBreton> no, ULTRA ones seem good enough
[17:14] <AlexBreton> with HIGH performance cathode
[17:14] <AlexBreton> and graphite
[17:14] <AlexBreton> or some crap
[17:14] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, my pencil has high performance advanced carbon nano-structures
[17:14] <AlexBreton> yes
[17:14] <AlexBreton> ain't that great?
[17:14] <sbasuita> makes me feel good about myself
[17:16] <AlexBreton> I can't find a phone number
[17:17] <AlexBreton> mehehehehe got it
[17:17] <AlexBreton> so, 8 C cells?
[17:18] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, go for twice as many as we need?
[17:18] <AlexBreton> erm
[17:18] <AlexBreton> lemme check their price
[17:18] <AlexBreton> 14 quid for 8
[17:18] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, the fact that energizer sent us over a hundred quids worth suggests that these battery companies can afford it
[17:18] <AlexBreton> yes
[17:19] <AlexBreton> probably scooped them up at the end of the giant conveyor
[17:19] <sbasuita> hehe
[17:19] <AlexBreton> I think 16 batteries for a PORTABLE radio transceiver sounds odd, no?
[17:19] <AlexBreton> C cells are quite big
[17:19] <SpeedEvil> tranciever
[17:19] <SpeedEvil> sender
[17:20] <SpeedEvil> so it needs maybe 10W transmitting
[17:20] <AlexBreton> its the fact it needs 8
[17:20] <SpeedEvil> In practice, it is probably cheaper to use a little lead-acid cell if you care about portability
[17:20] <SpeedEvil> or AA->C adaptors
[17:21] <jcoxon> SpeedEvil, they won't be transmitting though
[17:23] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, so, what you going for?
[17:23] <SpeedEvil> I was meaning for designing battery life
[17:28] <sbasuita> SpeedEvil, interesting idea to use adapters
[17:28] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, http://www.greenbatteries.com/battery-adapter.html
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[17:28] <SpeedEvil> Modern NiMH AAs are probably actually higher capacity
[17:29] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, that way we can use those uber energizer ultimate thingys
[17:30] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, we can get 8 AA->C for 15 dollars
[17:30] <SpeedEvil> http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3657 forex
[17:31] <SpeedEvil> http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.22595 more accurate;y
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[17:32] <sbasuita> pack of 4 for 2 quid
[17:32] <sbasuita> http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AA---C-BATTERY-ADAPTER-CONVERTER-PACK-OF-4_W0QQitemZ140300202577QQcmdZViewItem
[17:33] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, we can get eight for 4 quid then
[17:33] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, shall we go for that?
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[17:35] <mc-> jcoxon, get my email?
[17:38] <jcoxon> yes
[17:38] <jcoxon> i've already sent off the form
[17:38] <jcoxon> but thanks for the offer
[17:38] <mc-> they would probably still take off the VAT if you ask nicely..
[17:40] <jcoxon> its okay
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[18:29] <rcaron> edmoore: i'm doing well, nothing to report on balloon-wise but I fugured I should rejoin the channel
[18:31] <jcoxon> hey rcaron
[18:33] <rcaron> hey jcoxon, what's the longest a balloon's been at altitude?
[18:33] <rcaron> like, our scale stuff
[18:35] <rcaron> looking to do a long-duration mission, probably use solar arrays for power
[18:37] <jcoxon> ummmm
[18:37] <jcoxon> give me one sec i'll check
[18:38] <jcoxon> around 17 hours
[18:38] <jcoxon> with a latex balloon
[18:39] <jcoxon> the difficulty is keeping the balloon up, not really the solar arrays etc
[18:39] <hallam|zzzzz> rcaron, how long were you thinking? a quick analysis I did for the transatlantic one suggested that solar arrays aren't worth the weight (let alone hassle and cost) if the duration is less than 2-3 weeks
[18:39] Nick change: hallam|zzzzz -> hallam
[18:40] <rcaron> yeah, deinitely would require a bit of a balloon upgradefor the durations I want
[18:40] <hallam> I think trying to do that with a latex is probably asking for trouble
[18:40] <rcaron> hallam: exactly. I want to do a month or more. obviously latex is out
[18:40] <hallam> tricky even with ZP
[18:40] <hallam> you'd need a lot of ballast
[18:41] <hallam> maybe IR helium montgolfier
[18:41] <hallam> or you can be the ~first amateur to try a superpressure
[18:41] <rcaron> this is actually work related, basically want to have some science instruments do some long duration auroral monitoring
[18:41] <jcoxon> hallam, its been tried before - superpressure
[18:42] <jcoxon> i think by EOSS
[18:43] <hallam> oh, cool
[18:43] <hallam> if you have serious Budget, you could contact Aerostar
[18:43] <jcoxon> its in the records somewhere
[18:44] <rcaron> yeah, i'll look them up. this is all concept phase stuff. the boss wanted a solar powered UAV, but the tech just isn't there yet (or at least not without super serious $$$)
[18:44] <hallam> I thought several long duration solar UAVs were flying? (if not in commercial production)
[18:44] <jcoxon> CNES would also be a good set ofpeople to talk to as well
[18:44] <rcaron> not at above the cloud deck
[18:45] <rcaron> and not at high latitudes
[18:45] <rcaron> both of which we need
[18:45] <hallam> Aurora has a really neat concept for high latitude solar UAVs
[18:45] <hallam> it's still in fairly early prototyping though
[18:45] <hallam> Z shaped wing
[18:46] <hallam> so you can have the panels pointed at the usn
[18:46] <hallam> sun*
[18:46] <jcoxon> rcaron, what sort of weight would your payload be?
[18:46] <hallam> http://www.aurora.aero/AdvancedConcepts/Odysseus.aspx
[18:47] <rcaron> yeah, looked into those Z wings but from another place. they wanted us to fund additional prototyping
[18:48] <Hiena> Interesting idea to reduce the area.
[18:48] <rcaron> the datalogging and the instruments would be like 3kg, but on a balloon we can't piggyback an existing power and comm bus
[18:48] <rcaron> so, like, 6-7kg tops i think
[18:49] <jcoxon> rcaron, and multiple serial missons won't do?
[18:50] <rcaron> trouble is we want multiple geographically dispersed balloons, so we already gotta do a lot
[18:51] <rcaron> and if the durations are short the replacement balloon will have to be at altitude before the other one comes back
[18:51] <rcaron> (ie overlapping datasets instead of the feared gap in data)
[18:51] <rcaron> scientists hate gaps in data
[18:51] <jcoxon> well the guys down in mcmurdo are the best at long duration
[18:52] <jcoxon> and they use the polar vortex to the advantage
[18:52] <rcaron> makes sense
[18:52] <jcoxon> so it swings round the poles
[18:52] <sbasuita> AlexBreton, just blogged about the gsm stuff: http://alienproject.wordpress.com/
[18:56] <natrium> sbasuita, does that phone also have rs232?
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[18:57] <sbasuita> natrium, hopefully
[18:57] <sbasuita> natrium, we're going to hack that cable later
[18:57] <natrium> it's kinda hard to connect usb to a micro :P
[18:57] <sbasuita> natrium, we've got a few promising sources from the great internets
[18:57] <sbasuita> ; )
[18:57] <natrium> cool
[18:57] <natrium> looks like some pins are missing in the usb cable
[18:57] <sbasuita> ie. a dodgy pinout that doesn't know which way round Rx and Tx are and a spanish forum
[18:58] <sbasuita> natrium, yep, but they are the right pins
[18:58] <natrium> ah, cool
[18:58] <sbasuita> the USB +/- are the same as the Rx/Tx
[18:58] <natrium> perhaps that usb cable is just a serial-to-usb converter?
[18:58] <natrium> or how do you switch the pins to UART mode?
[18:59] <sbasuita> natrium, not sure
[18:59] <sbasuita> natrium, the ericsson developer manual talks about how to set the baud rate through AT commands etc
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[18:59] <natrium> well, that only works if you can send AT commands
[18:59] <sbasuita> natrium, hehe
[19:00] <sbasuita> natrium, but they wouldn't have included that mechanism if the only way to access the interface was virtually through usb or bluetooth
[19:01] <jcoxon> hey natrium
[19:01] <natrium> sbasuita, don't know... i would make sure it works in uart mode because it looks to me as though it doesn't
[19:01] <natrium> hi jcoxon
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[19:14] <edmoore> rcaron: really a month?
[19:15] <edmoore> QinetIQ did 50,000ft solar uavs for some very large number of hours, I remember
[19:19] <rcaron> yes a month. we spoke to qinetiq. their trials for like a week long and happened in arizona/new mexico. also cost a small fortune per vehicle
[19:20] <rcaron> kinda making the idea of a fleet impratical
[19:21] <sbasuita> natrium43, I think we'll find out soon enough when we try and hack it to the arduino board. Else, the knowledge and code we've gained in terms of SMS is still universal to our next choice of phone to try.
[19:25] <natrium43> yeah
[19:25] <natrium43> http://pinouts.ru/CellularPhonesCables/sony_ericsson_service_cable_pinout.shtml
[19:25] <natrium43> this does seem to imply that it has uart
[19:25] <jcoxon> IIRC cdc_acm is serial over usb
[19:25] <natrium43> perhaps it switches automatically between uart and usb
[19:26] <natrium43> jcoxon, the question is whether the usb chip is inside the cable or inside the phone
[19:26] <jcoxon> open the cable...
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[20:03] <sbasuita> jcoxon, natrium43, what you see in the picture of the cable is what there is - no other bits tacked on
[20:03] <natrium43> it might be inside the connector
[20:03] <natrium43> usb chips can be very small
[20:03] <sbasuita> natrium43, http://www.tododream.com/foro/showthread.php?t=12657
[20:03] <sbasuita> that's the spanish thing i was referring to
[20:04] <SpeedEvil> hall: I was pondering a cheapo solar UAV.
[20:04] <SpeedEvil> Oh - he went.
[20:04] <natrium43> not loading for me
[20:04] <sbasuita> =/
[20:05] <sbasuita> natrium43, google cache?
[20:05] <SpeedEvil> works for me
[20:05] <sbasuita> natrium43, http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache%3Awww.tododream.com%2Fforo%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D12657&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=com.ubuntu:en-GB:unofficial&client=firefox-a
[20:05] <SpeedEvil> sbasuita yes - the point is that there may be additional circuitry inside the connecor
[20:05] <sbasuita> SpeedEvil, yep
[20:06] <sbasuita> SpeedEvil, but that forum post indicates he just grabbed the wires and soldered them
[20:06] <SpeedEvil> ah - right.
[20:06] <SpeedEvil> It seems to be encrypted somehow :)
[20:06] <sbasuita> hehe
[20:06] <sbasuita> pictures are a universal language
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[21:51] <Laurenceb> hello
[21:51] <Laurenceb> any payload recovery?
[21:51] <SpeedEvil> nope
[21:51] <Laurenceb> :-/
[21:52] <SpeedEvil> well - none reported here
[21:52] <Laurenceb> linear have dual channel differential PGA/5th order low pass filter
[21:52] <natrium43> i accidentally the payload :(
[21:52] <SpeedEvil> the whole payload?
[21:52] <natrium43> :)
[21:53] <Laurenceb> unfortunately >>4KHz
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[22:23] <SpeedEvil> relo
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[23:11] <Laurenceb> hmf theres got to be something that will do the trick
[23:11] <SpeedEvil> still at the filtering thing?
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[23:15] <Laurenceb> yes
[23:15] <Laurenceb> I think I've worked out the design either side of that
[23:15] <Laurenceb> but I need voltage gain on ~100 and 4KHz lowpass filtering
[23:16] <Laurenceb> I've solved the high spec version design - linear make several ICs that are perfect
[23:17] <Laurenceb> but for HAM use you only need 8KHz bandwidth, so I really want to work on that first
[23:23] <SpeedEvil> digital filter?
[23:23] <SpeedEvil> actually - no
[23:24] <Laurenceb> do you have any experience with GEDA/PCB?
[23:24] <SpeedEvil> I think multipole LC is probably the least bad option
[23:24] <SpeedEvil> I've used pcb
[23:24] <Laurenceb> hmm the inductors are just too big
[23:24] <SpeedEvil> yeah
[23:25] <Laurenceb> I think the AD ICs are effectively the same as QFN
[23:25] <Laurenceb> is there a library of common packages for PCB?
[23:26] <SpeedEvil> the library organisation isn't great
[23:27] <Laurenceb> its surely impossible to be worse than eagle
[23:27] <Laurenceb> - well library organisation is good in eagle, but editing parts is horrendous
[23:27] <SpeedEvil> window -> library
[23:27] <SpeedEvil> then in the filter box, type qfn
[23:28] <SpeedEvil> and then select one of the trees beginning a library
[23:28] <SpeedEvil> pcblib -> ~geda forex
[23:29] <Laurenceb> are perfect
[23:31] <jcoxon> hmmm my lassen isn't getting a lock
[23:32] <jcoxon> its getting nothing
[23:32] <Laurenceb> welcome to the wonderful world of the lassen iq
[23:34] <Laurenceb> try power cycling and taking it outside
[23:34] <Laurenceb> ooh PCB is a breeze to use
[23:35] <Laurenceb> who needs schematics or airwires - you can just leave all that out :P
[23:37] <Laurenceb> anyway I've gtg, cya all
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[00:00] --- Wed Apr 15 2009