highaltitude.log.20090417

[00:02] <Laurenceb> cya
[00:02] Laurenceb (n=laurence@host86-152-36-189.range86-152.btcentralplus.com) left irc: "The day microsoft make something that doesnt suck is the day they make a vacuum cleaner"
[00:03] <SpeedEvil> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8003067.stm
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[00:27] <stilldavid> what a great quote
[00:27] <stilldavid> "The Force appears to be strong in Strathclyde Police with their Jedi police officers and staff"
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[07:19] <jcoxon> morning all
[07:19] <icez> morning
[07:24] <jcoxon> hey icez
[07:24] <rjharrison> jcoxon morning
[07:25] <jcoxon> hey rjharrison
[07:27] <jcoxon> was tempted to launch something this weekend
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[07:31] <rjharrison> I may be away as of last night
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[14:16] <Xenion> moin moin / hello
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[14:50] <Jcoxon> Hey all
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[16:06] Nick change: dave -> stilldavid
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[18:13] <jcoxon> woohoo, got my ublox working
[18:18] <jcoxon> http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcoxon77/3449926347/
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[19:01] <stilldavid> woohoo! now all I need is a radio ;) http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=3095668
[19:33] <sbasuita_> Hmm... I'd love to get into HAM stuff, but transceivers are so expensive!
[19:33] Nick change: sbasuita_ -> sbasuita
[19:40] <gordonjcp> sbasuita: that depends
[19:42] <sbasuita> gordonjcp, how much would we be talking for a basic setup?
[19:43] <gordonjcp> sbasuita: depends what you want to do
[19:43] <sbasuita> gordonjcp, connect up to my computer and send audio?
[19:44] <gordonjcp> which bands are you interested in?
[19:44] <sbasuita> gordonjcp, no idea to be honest
[19:45] <gordonjcp> well, what kind of thing do you want to be able to do?
[19:45] <sbasuita> gordonjcp, communicate with friends
[19:45] <sbasuita> So i guess i'd need a semi-decent coverage
[19:45] <sbasuita> 15 miles?
[19:46] <gordonjcp> so possibly using 2m then
[19:46] <gordonjcp> antennas are the key
[19:47] <sbasuita> I'd be looking for something quite flexible
[19:47] <sbasuita> Wouldn't want to buy some equipment now, and then realise there's an area of amateur radio that i'd really love to explore but couldn't
[19:48] <gordonjcp> well, you can always buy *more* stuff ;-)
[19:49] <gordonjcp> a dual-band ht is always good, because you can play on LEO satellites as well as local comms
[19:51] <gordonjcp> sbasuita: incidentally I spoke to someone 37 miles away who was using about 5 watts on 2m earlier today
[19:51] <sbasuita> wow
[19:51] <gordonjcp> although they were on top of Ben Nevis, at about 4400' asl
[19:51] <sbasuita> Wouldn't it be more economical to go for a base station over a handheld?
[19:51] <gordonjcp> again, it depends
[19:52] <gordonjcp> it's easy to use a handheld in the house, hooked up to a big aerial
[19:52] <sbasuita> gordonjcp, do they usually have audio inputs?
[19:52] <gordonjcp> it's a damn sight harder to use a base station while you're walking about
[19:52] <gordonjcp> sbasuita: usually they'll have at least a mike input
[19:53] <gordonjcp> some will have a switchable mode so you can use them for TNCs
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[19:59] <hallam> hey all
[19:59] <hallam> what's new?
[20:01] <hallam> SpeedEvil: how about this for a serious chase van: http://www.ka5cvh.com/photos/v/Rovers/N8UM_2.jpg.html
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[20:11] <shellevil> insane
[20:18] <hallam> Annoying.. it looks like almost all pickup trucks get terrible mileage
[20:21] <gordonjcp> hallam: depends what you get
[20:22] <hallam> at least anything vaguely modern - do you have any suggestions?
[20:22] <gordonjcp> hallam: I got up to about 50mpg from my Transit Connect van, not sure if they do a pickup version
[20:22] <hallam> wow, that's pretty good
[20:22] <gordonjcp> well
[20:22] <gordonjcp> depends on how heavy my right foot was
[20:22] <hallam> right
[20:23] <hallam> I'm looking at a 1982 Chevrolet LUV that's supposed to get 40-50
[20:23] <gordonjcp> but if you've got a couple of tonnes of steelwork in the back and very very expensive microwave ODUs, you don't want to be throwing them about
[20:23] <gordonjcp> I adopt a very different style of driving in the van to the Citroen
[20:24] <hallam> I'm looking for something suitable for a 20 mile daily commute, occasional long distance and rocket chasing in the Black Rock
[20:25] <Hiena> hallam, you need a van.
[20:25] <hallam> aw, but a pickup has so much more sentimental value to a new immigrant
[20:25] <hallam> you're probably right though
[20:26] <gordonjcp> I've been looking at the Toyota Delica
[20:26] <Hiena> Let face it, even the combi cars has no enough capacity to carry everything.
[20:27] <gordonjcp> Hiena: you'd be amazed what I had aboard on my trip this week
[20:28] <gordonjcp> and I only had the CX saloon up, the mighty Break is still waiting for extensive bodywork
[20:28] <Hiena> Also the vans has a grate fun factor. In a van you could carry lot more friends than in an average car. You could fill it with tons off stuff. No more nervous breakdown due the lack of the trunk area at the family trips, etc.
[20:28] <gordonjcp> bah, it's not a toyota, it's a mitsubishi
[20:29] <Hiena> gordonjcp, i carried 19 people in my old barkas, without any problem. Try that with any other car.
[20:30] <Hiena> I made 400km trips with 6 other person and 12 hangglider on the top.
[20:30] <gordonjcp> Hiena: I nearly bought a Barkas fire engine...
[20:30] <hallam> nice
[20:30] <hallam> when working for a wind energy company, it's probably a sensible idea not to buy something that's an obvious huge gas-guzzler
[20:30] <gordonjcp> Hiena: I had ten people in my CX Break, and I didn't even have the rear bench seats fitted - it's designed for eight
[20:31] <hallam> I don't think I can afford a hybrid that isn't completely bottom-end, though
[20:31] <Hiena> Not to mention, i built a 1 meter RC glider in it on the sire.
[20:31] <Hiena> hallam, the barkas has 900 ccm three cilinder engine.
[20:31] <Hiena> Not to mention it's a two cycle engine.
[20:31] <gordonjcp> hallam: hybrids are a waste of time if you do any significant out-of-city driving
[20:32] <Hiena> gordonjcp, you got a point.
[20:32] <hallam> Most of my time would be fairly short commutes, though
[20:32] <gordonjcp> Hiena: wasn't the barkas 2-stroke triple about 45bhp though?
[20:32] <hallam> I like the idea of a plug-in hybrid
[20:32] <hallam> but $$$$$
[20:32] <gordonjcp> Hiena: which was a lot for a small van in those days
[20:32] <Hiena> gordonjcp, 45bhp? Maybe on the drawing boar. 36 bhp is much real.
[20:34] <Hiena> I worked on the injector feed, kompressor charged Barkas engine at the university. It had a 120HP peak.
[20:34] <gordonjcp> Hiena: I always thought the Barkas looked like the Commer PA, and about the same size
[20:34] <gordonjcp> and that was about 40bhp from a 1600 four-stroke
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[20:35] <gordonjcp> Hiena: http://www.citroen.mb.ca/mystery/index.html
[20:37] <Hiena> Guess both engine has a same consumption. My old car has 8l at the 100km, but it was insane way modded.
[20:37] <Hiena> I never run it under 80 degree water tempertue, even with the extra 15l cooler.
[20:38] <Hiena> My pals ususally called it as a Destroyer or Teapot, because always was under the full steam.
[20:39] <gordonjcp> hehehe
[20:41] <Hiena> What i really liked that car, that run from the acetone up to kerosene anything if it was possible to ignite by spark.
[20:41] <hallam> nice
[20:41] <hallam> I could get a 2CV
[20:42] <gordonjcp> Hiena: I used to run my Nissan Micra on aviation fuel, 100 octane petrol
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[20:43] <mira`baroz> allow
[20:43] <Hiena> Once my pals at the millitary airport filled the half tank with kerosene and smirk at the trip because the coolant temperature went out of the roof.
[20:44] <gordonjcp> Hiena: I ran my Volvo 340 on tractor paraffin once
[20:44] <gordonjcp> it cleaned a lot of gunk out, it went a hell of a lot better afterwards
[20:45] <Hiena> Yup. These are the fuels which is usually not in the user manual. ;)
[20:45] Action: SpeedEvil used acetone in a lighter once.
[20:45] <SpeedEvil> Acetone is a bad idea in lighters with glued together tanks.
[20:46] <gordonjcp> SpeedEvil: haha
[20:47] <gordonjcp> hallam: what scares me is that the 2CV was more advanced compared to the state of the art when it was released in 1948 than the (arguably comparable) Smart car is now
[20:47] <gordonjcp> if you stuck electronic ignition and fuel injection onto a 2CV engine, it would be damn near indistinguishable from a modern design
[20:48] <SpeedEvil> and a cat
[20:48] <Hiena> Please don't talk about the Smart. It has the wors electronic steering gear. Not to mention, it's a overpriced and overhyped junk.
[20:49] <SpeedEvil> there are interesting things happening in IC engines - but at the top end at the moment.
[20:49] <gordonjcp> stuff like alloy heads, alloy pistons, and forged one-piece cranks were high-end aircraft engine innovations at the time
[20:50] <Hiena> Jup.
[20:50] <SpeedEvil> The mercedes Diesotto - variable everything. homogenous charge ignition using retained exhaust gas and a little new air, and a teeny bit of fuel.
[20:50] <SpeedEvil> On low load - switching to conventional on high load
[20:51] <gordonjcp> cool
[20:51] <gordonjcp> one of the real innovations in the 2CV engine was that about the only servicing it needed was regular oil changes, and the valve clearance and points gap set
[20:52] <gordonjcp> bear in mind that in the 1950s most car engines needed stripped and rebuilt every 10,000 miles
[20:52] <Hiena> SpeedEvil, knowing how much fuel goes to waste even in the modern engine, sounds reasonable.
[20:52] <hallam> the sad thing is that (piston) aircraft engines really haven't advanced since then
[20:53] <hallam> they *do* still need stripping and rebuilding after a similar amount of runtime
[20:53] <SpeedEvil> Why would they?
[20:53] <Hiena> hallam, there was no reason to advance.
[20:53] <SpeedEvil> Teeeny market.
[20:53] <hallam> yeah, I know
[20:53] <Hiena> Yup.
[20:53] <hallam> it still sucks if you want to fly one
[20:53] <SpeedEvil> If we had another war, requiring piston engines, but...
[20:54] <gordonjcp> hallam: yeah
[20:54] <Hiena> The most advanced airplane engine what i saw, was a fixed Suzuki GSX 1000 engine with a airscrew.
[20:54] <SpeedEvil> The alleged '5000 quid' subsidy for e-cars could be interesting if you made a very cheap one.
[20:55] <Hiena> 5l/hour consumtion sounds weird even for a hang-glider. Not to mention the speedbike sound at the low-pass.
[20:55] <hallam> I think I will try to save $150k and build one of these: http://turbinelegend.com/ with a few modifications
[20:55] <SpeedEvil> hang-gliders have _sucky_ l/ds.
[20:56] <SpeedEvil> And for the airspeed, you really want a prop the size of a helicopter.
[20:56] <gordonjcp> Hiena: there are a lot of attempts to get diesels into aircraft
[20:56] <SpeedEvil> Which you can't have for obvious reasons.
[20:56] <gordonjcp> although I think the only effective one is the Peugeot XUD conversion
[20:56] <Hiena> gordonjcp, sure. The Cessna diesel engine supplier went bankrupt at the last year. ;)
[20:56] <gordonjcp> there's a company trying to do converted Merc diesels, but they suck as badly in the air as they do in the ground
[20:57] <gordonjcp> the XUD doesn't even need adjusted to run on Jet A-1
[21:02] <Hiena> Jup. The Cessna-172D is same. My co-worker got a licence for it and it was strange when we wen to the jet station instead of the cas.
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[21:13] <SpeedEvil> jet station?
[21:14] <SpeedEvil> oh
[21:14] <SpeedEvil> not as in turbojet
[21:17] <Hiena> I means a fuel station.
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[21:34] <Laurenceb> hi everyone
[21:35] <Laurenceb> ALIEN seems to be progressing well :D
[21:39] Action: Laurenceb wonders if the anger over at digg can solve the world energy problems
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[21:58] <stilldavid> Laurenceb: had the desoldering stuff out yesterday - http://home.stilldavid.com/dave/um96_front.jpg
[21:59] <Laurenceb> oh wow
[21:59] <Laurenceb> A*
[21:59] <Laurenceb> thanks - CC1020
[22:00] Action: Laurenceb grabs the datasheet
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[22:03] <stilldavid> glad to help. of course, you can s/front/back/ if you're interested
[22:05] <natrium42> <Laurenceb> ALIEN seems to be progressing well :D <-- no kidding
[22:06] <natrium42> and they post a lot of reports/pics too
[22:07] <natrium42> sbasuita, you should be able to disable sleep mode inside the camera menu btw
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[22:53] <Laurenceb> this is interesting
[22:54] <Laurenceb> looks like the module uses manchester encoding
[22:54] <Laurenceb> at 2.4Kbaud
[22:54] <Laurenceb> with +-2KHz deviation
[22:59] <Laurenceb> those 14MHz crystals are ~+-30ppm and the datasheet requires +-4ppm
[23:08] <Laurenceb> hmm typical crystals are about +-20ppm over the -20 to 70C range
[23:08] <Laurenceb> so factory calibration wouldnt work - I'm guessing it uses frequency tracking mode
[23:09] <Laurenceb> in which case it will work on a HAB
[23:14] <Laurenceb> stilldavid: I notice some components missing from the back on the pcb
[23:14] <stilldavid> I took the cover off, and didn't touch anything else.
[23:15] <stilldavid> I started removing the sma to use it, but thought better of it
[23:15] <stilldavid> what would "x3" be, anyway?
[23:17] <Laurenceb> a crystal
[23:18] <Laurenceb> but theres already crystals for the transceiver and uC
[23:18] <Laurenceb> so not sure what it would do
[23:18] <shellevil> optional
[23:18] <shellevil> for different pinout crystal
[23:18] <shellevil> if it's cheaper
[23:19] <Laurenceb> yeah... x3 actually looks like a tcxo
[23:20] <Laurenceb> but crystals are expensive... I'd have tried to use just one
[23:21] <Laurenceb> you can clock the CC1020 with a logic level clock line
[23:21] <Laurenceb> and you can get that from the avr
[23:22] <stilldavid> software dev > hardware dev I suppose
[23:23] <Laurenceb> actually... 14MHz is out of spec for the avr at 3.3v
[23:23] <stilldavid> it'd be cool to change the channel on the fly
[23:24] <Laurenceb> but you can run on 12.288 MHz
[23:24] <shellevil> 2-3ppm txcos are cheaper than I'd thought
[23:25] <Laurenceb> hmm the design really doesnt make sense
[23:25] <shellevil> I guess they must be used by the tens of millions in mobiles
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[23:25] <hallam> Laurenceb: you can overclock most 8-bit micros by a *lot*]
[23:25] <Laurenceb> true, but you dont really want to do that in a product
[23:26] <Laurenceb> 12.288 -> avr ->clk_out ->CC1020
[23:26] <Laurenceb> would surely be much more sensible
[23:26] <hallam> fair enough
[23:27] <hallam> see you guys later
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[23:27] <Laurenceb> anyway, without a TCXO theres no way they could make it work without using the AFC mode on the CC1020
[23:27] <Laurenceb> but one you turn that on it should work fine down to -20C or lower :D
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[00:00] --- Sat Apr 18 2009