highaltitude.log.20090915

[00:02] <swilly> south carolina
[00:02] <fuzzylugnuts> Ohhh ok. I'm over in TN
[00:02] <swilly> fuzzylugnuts, i'm currently studying at a university - how big of a time commitment is it?
[00:03] <fuzzylugnuts> depends on a few things, what electronics background do you have, specifically radio type electronics?
[00:04] <fuzzylugnuts> http://www.qrz.com/testing.html
[00:06] <fuzzylugnuts> Alot of the Technician questions are FCC regulations and basic radio theory.
[00:07] <swilly> I don't really have too much experience in radio applications, but I have quite a bit of experience with embedded applications.
[00:08] <fuzzylugnuts> Ok
[00:08] <swilly> thanks for the link!
[00:08] <fuzzylugnuts> Np, glad to help. I got my licence for the same reason
[00:15] <swilly> fuzzylugnuts, one more thing - which category would i need to run an aprs beacon?
[00:15] <swilly> just technician?
[00:16] <fuzzylugnuts> Yep
[00:16] <swilly> great
[00:17] <fuzzylugnuts> what are you planning on doing?
[00:27] <swilly> fuzzylugnuts, I'm just interested in using packet radio to track a balloon payload
[00:27] <fuzzylugnuts> Ok, cool
[00:27] <fuzzylugnuts> lot sof people do
[00:27] <fuzzylugnuts> its pretty reliable if you build it well
[00:28] <fuzzylugnuts> http://coyotefirecracker.selfip.com/balloon/main/balloon_main.html
[00:32] <fuzzylugnuts> 8w is profound overkill for in-flight tracking
[00:32] <fuzzylugnuts> when it was on the ground we could hear it from 2mi away
[00:34] <kichimi> back
[00:35] <Laurenceb> 10mw FTW
[00:36] <fuzzylugnuts> ahhh yeah, its soo nice not having stringent regs ;3
[00:36] <kichimi> where can i go to learn a bit more about radio based stuff?
[00:37] <fuzzylugnuts> Ham radio?
[00:37] <fuzzylugnuts> or basic radio theory
[00:37] <fuzzylugnuts> or...
[00:40] <kichimi> yeah
[00:40] <kichimi> just theory
[00:41] <fuzzylugnuts> ham radio books would be a good place to start. they build up from the basics to some pretty technical stuff
[00:41] <kichimi> okay
[00:41] <kichimi> ill torrent some pdfs
[00:41] <kichimi> erm
[00:41] <kichimi> i meant buy some books
[00:42] <fuzzylugnuts> whatever you have to do.
[00:54] <fuzzylugnuts> anyone made a big-wheel antenna?
[01:01] <forrestv> Laurenceb, i have a question about kalman filters that someone else directed to you
[01:02] <Laurenceb> go on
[01:02] <forrestv> Laurenceb, should acceleration be part of the state vector?
[01:02] <Laurenceb> depends what you are working on
[01:02] <forrestv> i don't think it should because it doesn't depend on the previous state
[01:02] <Laurenceb> what are you making?
[01:02] <forrestv> but to be able to use an accelerometer, you need it to compute the measurements
[01:02] <Laurenceb> it may help with noise reduction in some circumstances
[01:03] <Laurenceb> are you trying to find attitude?
[01:03] <forrestv> that, and position
[01:03] <Laurenceb> with gps?
[01:03] <forrestv> yes
[01:04] <forrestv> so my choices seem to either be to integrate it in the predict phase of the kalman filter - i don'
[01:04] <forrestv> t think you
[01:04] <forrestv> gah
[01:04] <Laurenceb> what hardware? or is this theoretical?
[01:04] <forrestv> you're supposed to do that.
[01:04] <forrestv> right now i'm doing simulations with ODE, but it'll be on an avr
[01:04] <Laurenceb> hmm
[01:05] <Laurenceb> the bigger you make the state vector the more operations
[01:05] <Laurenceb> its n^3
[01:05] <forrestv> right, but i don't see any other way to get acceleration from the state :P
[01:05] <Laurenceb> where n is the size of the state vector
[01:06] <Laurenceb> so you dont really want accel in the state vector
[01:06] <Laurenceb> unless you want something really high end
[01:06] <Laurenceb> I put some basic code on the wiki
[01:06] <forrestv> but acceleration is not state ... it is not continuous and does not depend on the previous state
[01:07] <forrestv> ok, i'll look
[01:07] <Laurenceb> yeah but you have accelerometers right?
[01:08] <forrestv> yes
[01:08] <Laurenceb> http://wiki.ukhas.org.uk/code:4_state_extended_kalman_filter_in_matlab
[01:09] <Laurenceb> so accel is a sensor input, not part of the state vector
[01:09] <Laurenceb> but you might be measuring in a different space
[01:09] <Laurenceb> e.g. body space
[01:09] <Laurenceb> as opposed to world space
[01:10] <forrestv> (i'm using an EKF) the measurement function only takes the state vector as input and has to generate the accelerometer sensor readings
[01:10] <Laurenceb> accel may depend on the previous state
[01:10] <Laurenceb> it depends how clever you want to be
[01:10] <Laurenceb> e.g. for an airframe you can impliment complex nonlinear dynamics models
[01:10] <Laurenceb> especially with an EKF
[01:11] <forrestv> this is for a quadrotor, so it doesn't have much in the way of aerodynamics :P
[01:11] <Laurenceb> but IMO if you are learning abou this start basic
[01:12] <Laurenceb> ah ok
[01:12] <forrestv> i am trying to use the motor outputs as feedback though, for the control vector
[01:12] <Laurenceb> hmm
[01:12] <Laurenceb> its confusing yes...
[01:12] Action: Laurenceb thinks about it
[01:12] fuzzylugnuts (n=hush@65-121-246-2.dia.static.qwest.net) left irc: "sleeps"
[01:13] <kichimi> in theory, if i where to use an SD card on a linux based microcontroller, id need to have the sd card formatted to a journaled filesystem correct?
[01:13] <kichimi> as when it suffers power loss id rather not have too much data loss or a currupted SD card
[01:15] <Laurenceb> forrestv: IMO use the motor data to estimate the error introduced by thrust induced airframe accel
[01:15] <Laurenceb> then remove that from the sensor data
[01:15] <Laurenceb> before putting it into the kalman filter
[01:16] <Laurenceb> in other words, you "preprocess" some of the data before it goes into the filter
[01:16] <Laurenceb> that approach seems to work quite well in the real world
[01:16] <Laurenceb> a lot of applications skip the full kalman treatment
[01:16] <forrestv> Laurenceb, you mean integrate the acceleration data along with the motor data in the predict phase?
[01:16] <Laurenceb> phase? of what?
[01:17] <forrestv> Laurenceb, (wikipedia page at least) the kalman filter is divided into two phases - predict and update
[01:17] <Laurenceb> oh
[01:17] <Laurenceb> I thought you meant phase as in 2*pi radians :P
[01:18] <forrestv> oh, heh
[01:19] <Laurenceb> so yeah, thats one way to do it
[01:19] Matt_APEX_ (n=chatzill@87.112.72.162.plusnet.ptn-ag2.dyn.plus.net) left irc: "ChatZilla 0.9.85 [Firefox 3.5.3/20090824101458]"
[01:20] <Laurenceb> btw my code on the wiki is a bit dodgy
[01:20] <forrestv> ok, i was just worried that the filter was based on the assumption that the predict phase input is not related to the update phase input
[01:20] <Laurenceb> the quadrant detection bit for heading output is screwy
[01:20] <forrestv> well, i guess it does make that assumption
[01:21] <Laurenceb> I will get it working better... at some point
[01:22] <Laurenceb> I based the code on the wiki off a couple of papers on MEMS UAV autopilots
[02:00] fnoble (i=836f0142@gateway/web/freenode/x-kgzsffnphrkwipts) joined #highaltitude.
[02:02] <fnoble> hi
[02:03] <kichimi> hey
[02:03] <kichimi> fnoble: any good with linux?
[02:03] <fnoble> not an expert
[02:03] <fnoble> but ive used it quite a bit
[02:03] <kichimi> know if i can put ext3 on a sd card?
[02:04] <fnoble> i don't see any reason why not
[02:04] <kichimi> okay
[02:04] <fnoble> actually, my gumstix is running off an ext3 formatted sd
[02:04] <fnoble> soyup :)
[02:06] <kichimi> :)
[02:07] <kichimi> i cant afford a gumstix
[02:07] <kichimi> so im going for a bifferboard
[02:07] <fnoble> actually its cuspaceflights not mine really
[02:07] <fnoble> but i get to play with it :)
[02:07] <kichimi> :P
[02:08] <kichimi> well, bifferboard = £30
[02:08] <kichimi> in my budget basically
[02:08] <kichimi> im trying to work out if theres a way i can use a radio modem pipe the output from the serial port over the air
[02:08] <fnoble> id not heard of the bifferboard
[02:08] <kichimi> that would be fantastic if i could
[02:08] <fnoble> just looking it up - looks cool
[02:08] <fnoble> £30 you say ...
[02:08] <kichimi> http://bifferos.bizhat.com/
[02:09] <fnoble> kichimi, for a balloon payload?
[02:09] <kichimi> yes
[02:09] <fnoble> it really depends on the serial port capabilities of the board
[02:10] <Laurenceb> I've used ext3 for the NGW100
[02:10] <fnoble> some serial ports cant go slow enough
[02:10] <kichimi> the baud rate of the bifferboard is 115200 iirc
[02:10] <fnoble> but you should be able to do it
[02:10] <kichimi> so not amazinly slow
[02:11] <kichimi> im really useless with radio
[02:11] <fnoble> yeah, most amateur ballooning in the uk uses 50baud
[02:11] <kichimi> okay
[02:11] <Laurenceb> also 300
[02:11] <fnoble> Laurenceb: hi, long time no see
[02:11] <kichimi> so is 115200 too fast?
[02:11] <kichimi> i guess so
[02:11] <kichimi> lol
[02:11] <Laurenceb> we've got several hundered KM with 10mw at 300baud
[02:11] <Laurenceb> hi fergus
[02:11] <Laurenceb> yeah, been busy
[02:11] <fnoble> ive not been on irc for a loong time
[02:12] <kichimi> i dont think theres a way i can slow it down, perhaps i could explore other option
[02:12] <kichimi> s
[02:12] <kichimi> whats GPIO btw
[02:12] <fnoble> kichimi: it probably has some gpios, its pretty easy to bit bang serial at that speed
[02:12] <kichimi> excellent
[02:12] <fnoble> general purpose input/output
[02:13] <kichimi> can anybody recommend cheap hardware for radio?
[02:13] <Laurenceb> yeah yeah can bit bang 50baud
[02:13] <fnoble> the radiometrix NTX2 is the standard
[02:13] <Laurenceb> *you can
[02:13] <kichimi> expensive?
[02:13] <fnoble> about £10 iirc
[02:13] <fnoble> a few people have managed to get them for free
[02:14] <fnoble> we got a couple sponsored
[02:14] <fnoble> try writing to them and explaining your project
[02:14] <fnoble> Laurenceb: what you working on these days?
[02:14] <fnoble> any payloads in the pipeline?
[02:15] <Laurenceb> maybe
[02:15] <Laurenceb> I've been really busy and am starting at Warwick in oct
[02:15] <Laurenceb> just been in Coventry looking at accomodation today
[02:16] <Laurenceb> I have a payload ready to launch
[02:16] <Laurenceb> - chipcon based repeater and a ublox5
[02:16] <fnoble> oh, what are you doing there? research placement?
[02:16] <Laurenceb> starting a phd
[02:16] <Laurenceb> how did your exams go?
[02:17] <fnoble> oh i thought you were doing a phd in surrey
[02:17] <kichimi> brb
[02:17] <fnoble> better than i expected given how much work i did in michaelmas/lent
[02:17] <fnoble> 1:2
[02:17] <fnoble> (only just)
[02:19] <fnoble> the biffer board has impressively low power consumption
[02:19] <Laurenceb> fnoble: I quit
[02:19] <Laurenceb> whats the current draw of the bifferboard?
[02:20] <fnoble> 200ma apparently
[02:20] <fnoble> the power supply is saying badger2 is currently drawing 220ma
[02:20] <fnoble> i hope to get that down though
[02:20] <Laurenceb> NGW100 is about that
[02:20] <fnoble> but the lpc is a lot les powerful
[02:20] <Laurenceb> 136 average IIRC
[02:21] <fnoble> so how come you quit surrey?
[02:21] <Laurenceb> @6V
[02:21] <Laurenceb> it was an office job
[02:21] <fnoble> that impressive
[02:21] <Laurenceb> didnt really enjoy it
[02:21] <fnoble> fair enough
[02:21] <Laurenceb> yeah and you can turn off the ethernet ect to save more
[02:21] <kichimi> back
[02:21] <Laurenceb> what I'm starting in Oct is a lot more serious
[02:21] <Laurenceb> and better defined
[02:22] <Laurenceb> Surrey isnt a serious university
[02:22] <fnoble> oh cool, still in the space sector?
[02:22] <fnoble> yeah it sounded from what you were saying like things were holding you back there
[02:22] <fnoble> like not even giving you a matlab license
[02:23] <kichimi> Laurenceb & fnoble: so is it okay to transmit on fm?
[02:23] <kichimi> i thought that was illegal
[02:23] <Laurenceb> fnoble : heh yeah
[02:23] <fnoble> kichimi: its ok to transmit on 434mhz <10mw
[02:23] <kichimi> okay
[02:23] <kichimi> would a normal fm radio pick it up at all?
[02:23] <Laurenceb> fnoble: no, condensed matter
[02:23] <Laurenceb> - superconductors
[02:24] <fnoble> you can transmit fm if you like but sideband gives better performance
[02:24] <kichimi> sideband? sorry for the questions, im only just learning about this
[02:24] <fnoble> kichimi: no, its above the range of normal radios
[02:24] <fnoble> a scanner would work
[02:24] <kichimi> okay
[02:26] <fnoble> so the radiometrix sends a carrier frequency of roughly 434.650mhz but its shifted slightly depending on the voltage on one of its input pins
[02:26] dehuman (i=dehuman@zombie.irc.su) left irc:
[02:27] <kichimi> feck
[02:27] <fnoble> with fm you would be applying an oscillating signal to the pin on the radiometrix
[02:27] <kichimi> doesnt this mean that if the batterys freeze its going to shift the further up it goes?
[02:27] <fnoble> im mean to get fm
[02:28] <kichimi> so im going to have to configure the scanner to shift with it
[02:28] <kichimi> well
[02:28] <kichimi> the receiver
[02:28] <fnoble> well your batterys shoiuld be going through a voltage regulator which will make sure that the voltage is what you want
[02:28] <kichimi> also does the part you linked me to include receiving?
[02:28] <Laurenceb> its not that hard to achieve if you only want downlink
[02:28] <kichimi> okay
[02:28] <fnoble> but temperature will shift the radio signal but its not too bad to shift the receiver with it
[02:28] <fnoble> just by hand i mean
[02:29] <kichimi> okay
[02:29] <kichimi> so it looks like i will have to activate the cut off automatically rather than manually
[02:29] <fnoble> yeah, uplink is harder
[02:30] <fnoble> but can be done
[02:30] <kichimi> okay well ill leave uplink to another project
[02:30] <fnoble> if you are interested in uplink we've had some success with the TI CC1110 chip
[02:30] <kichimi> uplink isnt necessary really
[02:31] <kichimi> all i want it to do is to send me status updates
[02:31] <kichimi> all i wanted the uplink for was to be able to cut it off
[02:31] <fnoble> no, its only very recently that anyone has done uplink in the uk
[02:31] <kichimi> yeah
[02:32] <fnoble> its still quite experimental
[02:32] <Laurenceb> fnoble: you have uplink working?
[02:32] <fnoble> yup :)
[02:32] <Laurenceb> with CC1110?
[02:32] <kichimi> :P
[02:32] <fnoble> uhuh
[02:32] <Laurenceb> in flight?
[02:32] <fnoble> 190km
[02:32] <Laurenceb> when was this?
[02:32] <Laurenceb> wow nice
[02:32] <fnoble> nova 14
[02:32] <fnoble> check our wiki
[02:32] Action: Laurenceb hasnt had time to follow things
[02:32] <fnoble> a couple of weeks ago
[02:33] <Laurenceb> this is with the inbuilt 8051?
[02:33] <fnoble> yeah, it was the badgercub
[02:33] <Laurenceb> how were you uplinking?
[02:33] <Laurenceb> with another chipcon?
[02:33] <fnoble> basically just the CC and a venus gps
[02:33] <Laurenceb> yeah sure
[02:33] <Laurenceb> I saw the xrays
[02:33] <fnoble> no, with eds icom, 35W up a yagi
[02:33] <Laurenceb> ok
[02:33] <Laurenceb> how did you modulate?
[02:34] <fnoble> OOK :)
[02:34] <Laurenceb> audio
[02:34] <Laurenceb> oh simple
[02:34] <Laurenceb> I see
[02:34] <fnoble> i had to use a terrific bodge to get it working
[02:34] <Laurenceb> yeah I'm very interested
[02:34] <fnoble> as you know the chip can do FSK which is great
[02:34] <Laurenceb> how did you make it transmit RTTY?
[02:34] <fnoble> trouble is the minimum deviation is about 3khz
[02:34] <Laurenceb> yeah
[02:35] <Laurenceb> so you switched the carrier?
[02:35] <fnoble> so outside the range of the transmitter
[02:35] <fnoble> oh yeah, for downlink we switch the carrier
[02:35] <Laurenceb> - PLL generated carrier
[02:35] <Laurenceb> I see
[02:35] <Laurenceb> and uplink is OOK so its simpler
[02:35] <Laurenceb> nice
[02:35] <fnoble> so its got bog standard 50baud rtty down
[02:35] <Laurenceb> sure
[02:36] Action: Laurenceb has mostly been spending free time working on an n-prize design
[02:36] <fnoble> but for the uplink I couldnt use the built in RX stuff so what i did was use the RSSI function
[02:36] <Laurenceb> yeah
[02:36] <fnoble> i just integrate it over the bit periods
[02:36] <fnoble> so it just measures the signal strength in each bit
[02:36] <Laurenceb> but you have to do bit sync, so a bit more conplex
[02:37] <fnoble> it waits for the rssi to go above a certain level and then does basically async serial
[02:37] <fnoble> i.e. start bit started when the RSSI drops again
[02:38] <fnoble> we just wired a serial port to the morse key input on ed's radio
[02:38] <Laurenceb> ah ok
[02:38] <Laurenceb> yeah simple
[02:38] <Laurenceb> I'm going to try chipcon to chipcon
[02:38] <Laurenceb> with my test
[02:38] <fnoble> that would be awesome
[02:38] <Laurenceb> I did some ground tests
[02:38] <fnoble> you would win the ukhas challenge
[02:38] <Laurenceb> got 600m or so
[02:38] <fnoble> oh thats really good
[02:39] <Laurenceb> but that was with some stubs
[02:39] <Laurenceb> and 3 steel framed buildings in the way
[02:39] <Laurenceb> - stubby ants
[02:39] <Laurenceb> yeah I'll fly it in October hopefully
[02:39] <fnoble> yeah awesome
[02:39] <Laurenceb> might be able to have a weekend free then
[02:39] <fnoble> ok, brb
[02:40] <Laurenceb> I'm completely busy now
[02:40] <Laurenceb> cya
[02:41] <kichimi> radio is confusing
[02:45] <kichimi> the messages i get the radio to send
[02:45] <kichimi> do they need to have to be in a special format?
[02:46] <fnoble> yeah getting your head round the radio stuff is the hardest part
[02:47] <fnoble> back
[02:47] <fnoble> the message doesnt have to be a special format
[02:47] <fnoble> but the in general the data you send can be modulated in different ways by the radio transmitter
[02:48] <kichimi> okay
[02:48] <fnoble> in practice everyone doing ballooning uses FSK modulation which is what the radiometrix allows you to do
[02:48] <kichimi> i read a report where someone tracked another payload and got to it before the team did, do alot of people do that?
[02:49] <fnoble> go and read a bit about FSK modulation and it will probably make more sense
[02:49] <kichimi> okay
[02:49] <Laurenceb> gtg
[02:50] <fnoble> basically the radio generates a high frequency signal called the carrier - the carrier frequency is what we mean when we say a radio transmits on 434mhz say
[02:50] <kichimi> Laurenceb: laters
[02:50] <fnoble> Laurenceb: cya
[02:50] <Laurenceb> cya
[02:50] Laurenceb (n=laurence@host81-154-154-237.range81-154.btcentralplus.com) left irc: "The day microsoft make something that doesnt suck is the day they make a vacuum cleaner"
[02:50] <kichimi> okay
[02:50] <fnoble> but to transmit data you need to change the carrier in some way - thats called modulation
[02:51] <kichimi> okay
[02:51] <kichimi> from this wiki page it seems like it shifts the wave for low data and keeps it stable for high
[02:51] <fnoble> the simplest way is AM which just changes the amplituded, i.e. transmit power of the carrier, ie. for a bit 1 you would send a higher power than a bit 0
[02:51] <kichimi> okay
[02:52] <fnoble> yup - FSK is frequency shift keying - it modultes by shifting the frequency of the carrier a little bit
[02:52] <kichimi> okay
[02:52] <kichimi> and it transmits a binary/digital signal?
[02:53] <kichimi> or is that just the example
[02:53] <fnoble> say you were transmitting on 434mhz, with fsk the transmitter would send say 434mhz for a bit 0 and 434.01mhz for a bit 1
[02:53] <kichimi> okay
[02:53] <fnoble> yeah fsk is for transmitting binary data
[02:53] <kichimi> ahh
[02:54] <fnoble> AM can be used to transmit analog signals i.e. audio by instead of having two different power levels having a continuously varying power level
[02:54] <kichimi> so i will also get better quality data as the amplitude is corrected when its received?
[02:54] <kichimi> which is how digital works iirc
[02:55] <fnoble> yeah, because you know you only have two different levels you just pick the closest one to what you were expecting
[02:55] <kichimi> woop
[02:56] <kichimi> i think i understand that now
[02:56] <fnoble> the equivalent of fks for sending analog signals is fm where instead of shifting the carrier between two different frequencies you vary the frequency as much as you want depending on the voltage you are trying to send
[02:57] <kichimi> ahh
[02:58] <kichimi> okay so now i think i almost understand that
[02:58] <kichimi> now i know so much more about radio
[02:58] <kichimi> it may not seem like it to you but it does to me :P
[02:59] <kichimi> anyways
[02:59] <fnoble> so what the radiometrix does is take an input voltage and shift the carrier by the amount so if you feed it a digital signal with two different voltage levels then you end up with fsk
[02:59] <kichimi> okay
[02:59] <fnoble> anyway, its a bit tricky to start with but there are just a few central concepts to get you head around and then it gets easier
[03:00] <kichimi> i went to maplin today (its next to my college) and some halfwit who works there recommended a GPS USB dongle, it specifies red hat linux in the supported systems section, do you reckon it would come with source code? im about to google the model
[03:01] <fnoble> hmm.. dont know
[03:01] <kichimi> http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=256536
[03:01] <kichimi> found it
[03:01] <kichimi> about to google
[03:01] <kichimi> 'Compatible with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Server 2003, Macintosh OS 8/9/10, Linux RedHat 7.3/8/9'
[03:01] <fnoble> almost all gps output data in a standard format called NMEA
[03:02] <kichimi> 'Bulit-in ceramic patch antenna', i heard this is better in the cold?
[03:02] <kichimi> or am i wrong
[03:02] <fnoble> which is easy to write some code to read
[03:02] <kichimi> okay
[03:02] <fnoble> well, amost all gps use a patch antenna
[03:02] <fnoble> they have always worked well for us
[03:03] <fnoble> im pretty sure that the gps will just apper to the computer as a serial port
[03:03] <fnoble> and if you were to look at the data coming in from that serial port it would be NMEA format
[03:03] <kichimi> okay
[03:04] <fnoble> the only question is what type of USB serial converter chip they have used and weather there is a driver for it for your board
[03:04] <kichimi> its baudrate is 4800 apparently
[03:04] <kichimi> yeah
[03:04] <kichimi> if not i could use a USB to Serial adaptor?
[03:04] <fnoble> ok, then its definately going to appear to the computer as a serial port
[03:04] <kichimi> i mean im only going with this because i can actually buy it on my way home
[03:07] <fnoble> i dont think you can get an adaptor to go USB-> serial, i just mean that the gps inside is probably sending out serial and the dongle has a built in serial->usb converter
[03:07] <kichimi> i didnt think so either, i just googled lol
[03:07] <kichimi> yeah
[03:07] <kichimi> it doesnt provide any details as to what its make and model is
[03:08] <fnoble> if you get a bare gps unit online somewhere then you could just wire it directly into a serial port on your bifferboard
[03:08] <fnoble> sparkfun is a great place to look for all these bots and bobs
[03:08] <fnoble> they have lots of different gps and other sensors
[03:08] <kichimi> okay
[03:09] <kichimi> if you cant tell already, im a better programmer than i am at building things by hand
[03:09] <fnoble> just a new skill to learn
[03:10] <kichimi> lol i tried it in school didnt like it very much
[03:10] <fnoble> but being a good programmer will make your life a lot easier
[03:10] <kichimi> yeah
[03:10] <fnoble> its more fun when you are building something you want to build
[03:10] <kichimi> its to the point where i solve hardware problems with software fixes
[03:10] <kichimi> i had a computer with a dead cmos battery, so i made linux update the time by nfs on boot
[03:11] <kichimi> rather than replace the battery
[03:11] <fnoble> hehe, its often the quickest way
[03:11] <fnoble> hehe
[03:11] <kichimi> nts*
[03:11] <kichimi> i think
[03:11] <kichimi> i cant remember
[03:11] <kichimi> the time serving thing
[03:13] <kichimi> im somewhat limited on IO with my board though
[03:14] <kichimi> im trying to push everything to USB because i have an abundance of USB ports
[03:14] <fnoble> ok fair enough
[03:15] <fnoble> although IO is the main thing to have
[03:15] <fnoble> you dont need processing power very much
[03:15] <kichimi>
[03:15] <kichimi> ahh
[03:15] <kichimi> nope
[03:15] <kichimi> im not sure really
[03:15] <fnoble> im sure that the board has enough to get by with though
[03:16] <kichimi> if i got a Serial > USB adaptor and a serial GPS unit
[03:16] <kichimi> that would be better?
[03:16] <fnoble> may as well go for the usb gps
[03:16] <forrestv> ohh, i just realized a solution that seems to make sense - i predict the acceleration from the control vector and other forces, then put that in the state, and it compares it with the actual acceleration
[03:16] <forrestv> still not ideal :(
[03:17] <fnoble> kichimi: have you looked at the arduino? that might be a good option woth considering
[03:17] <kichimi> i have looked
[03:17] <fnoble> not much processing power but lots of IO and good tutorials on using it online
[03:17] <kichimi> yeah i know but then again
[03:18] <kichimi> what ive got works in theory, i just need to think about GPS, also i looked at it and it scared me
[03:18] <kichimi> i have plenty of IO with the biffer with a USB hub
[03:19] <fnoble> yup sounds good
[03:19] <kichimi> i like the idea of a nice secure linux enviroment
[03:19] <fnoble> im sure the usb gps could be made to work
[03:19] <kichimi> less to go wrong
[03:20] <kichimi> yeah
[03:20] <kichimi> plus this is my first attempt at this
[03:20] <fnoble> the biffer probably has a spare serial port as well if you wanted to go directly from a bare gps unit
[03:20] <kichimi> i know what im doing with linux, im in uncharted terretory with the arduino
[03:20] <fnoble> honsetly the arduino is very easy to use though
[03:21] <fnoble> but the bifferboard has its advantages
[03:21] <kichimi> i have looked at all my options
[03:22] <kichimi> lol
[03:22] <fnoble> cool cool
[03:23] <kichimi> plus
[03:23] <kichimi> i get a journaled filesystem to work with and store data,
[03:23] <kichimi> on the SD card
[03:23] <kichimi> and i can store as much of it as i want
[03:23] <kichimi> well
[03:24] <kichimi> as much as the sd card can hold
[03:25] <fnoble> very true
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[03:29] <kichimi> i can disable the serial console and use it as a normal serial porn
[03:29] <kichimi> port
[03:29] <kichimi> i cant believe i just typed that.
[03:30] <fnoble> SpeedEvil1, SpeedEvil know much about I2C?
[03:30] <fnoble> i dont think serial porn is considered normal
[03:30] Action: kichimi moaps
[03:30] <fnoble> :p
[03:31] <fnoble> anyway, i dont know, have to have a look at the docs for your board
[03:31] <fnoble> im sure it must have more than one serial port
[03:31] <kichimi> i cant find any
[03:31] <fnoble> trouble is you need to shell into it from somewhere
[03:31] <fnoble> cant find any docs?
[03:32] <kichimi> i can shell into it, set everything up and do everything via ethernet
[03:32] <kichimi> i can set SSH up on it
[03:32] <fnoble> ah it has ethernet
[03:32] <fnoble> thats cool
[03:32] <kichimi> yes lol
[03:33] <fnoble> http://sites.google.com/site/bifferboard/Home/howto/connect-to-a-serial-gps
[03:33] <fnoble> looks useful
[03:37] <kichimi> oooh
[03:37] <kichimi> <3
[03:37] <kichimi> now everything is complete
[03:37] <kichimi> i need to get everything together now
[03:37] <kichimi> my case design is down on paper
[03:37] <kichimi> how i plan to power it
[03:37] <kichimi> insulate it
[03:37] <kichimi> balloon
[03:37] <kichimi> helium
[03:37] <kichimi> =D
[03:37] <kichimi> anyways
[03:38] <kichimi> gotta go to bed
[03:38] <kichimi> gotta be up at 9
[03:38] <kichimi> its 3:38
[03:38] <kichimi> nn
[03:38] Action: kichimi throws laptop on floor and goes to sleep
[03:38] <kichimi> fnoble: thanks for your help btw
[03:39] <fnoble> no worries
[03:39] <fnoble> good luck with your project
[03:39] <fnoble> where abouts are you btw?
[03:39] <kichimi> colchester, essex
[03:39] <kichimi> you?
[03:39] <fnoble> cambridge
[03:39] <kichimi> why is everyone in cambridge :P
[03:39] <kichimi> im in cambridge this weekend
[03:40] <kichimi> seeing a mate
[03:40] <kichimi> apparently theres a balloon launch this weekend?
[03:40] <fnoble> we are all in cusf
[03:40] <kichimi> cusf?
[03:40] <fnoble> and then there is jcoxon who was also from cambridge but not cusf
[03:40] <fnoble> cambridge university spaceflight
[03:40] <kichimi> so you go to cambridge uni?
[03:41] <fnoble> jcoxon is like the father of amateur balloning in the uk
[03:41] <fnoble> yup
[03:41] <kichimi> nice
[03:41] <kichimi> i have a friend who goes to anglia ruskin
[03:41] <fnoble> cool
[03:41] <fnoble> well your welcome to drop by our lab to chat if you want
[03:41] <kichimi> hehe
[03:42] <kichimi> depends on my money situation at the end of the week
[03:42] <kichimi> and i dont know my way around cambridge
[03:42] <fnoble> well up to you, we're not hard to find
[03:42] <kichimi> okay :P
[03:42] <kichimi> nn
[03:42] <fnoble> cya
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[08:51] Nick change: SpeedEvil1 -> SpeedEvil
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[11:48] <Laurenceb> hi
[11:48] <SpeedEvil> ihi
[12:25] Nick change: russss_ -> russss
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[12:47] <SpeedEvil> Laurenceb: any progress on the rollago?
[12:48] <Laurenceb> nope
[12:48] <Laurenceb> its pretty much ready to fly tho
[12:57] <Laurenceb> I got involved in building work/working on an n-prize design/working on chipcon-ublox5 hab
[12:58] <Laurenceb> but I rebuilt the tilting mechanism with bearing units, went over all the flight data, and made all the obvious changes to the firmware
[12:58] <Laurenceb> it needs a bit of testing, but I dont have a windows machine
[12:59] <Laurenceb> you have to use avr-studio as trying to use avr-gcc on ubuntu results in larger code for some reason
[12:59] <Laurenceb> theres some screwy configuration files somewhere....
[12:59] <Laurenceb> atmel only support the avr studio distribution
[13:00] <Laurenceb> but they do make a very good job of that
[13:00] <Laurenceb> the math lib is amazing compared to microchip
[13:02] <Laurenceb> geckosenator on #electronics has done some very neat math lib work for avr
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[13:05] <edmoore> lots of new faces!
[13:05] <SpeedEvil> VEry odd.
[13:05] <SpeedEvil> (size)
[13:06] <Laurenceb> my face is old
[13:08] <Laurenceb> so I was in Coventry yesterday, looking for a room
[13:08] <Laurenceb> and one house had bars on all the windows - right up to the loft
[13:08] Action: Laurenceb is wondering what would happen in a fire
[13:09] <SpeedEvil> Moving?
[13:09] <Laurenceb> yeah
[13:09] <SpeedEvil> you doing the do-up-house-and-sell-it thing?
[13:09] <Laurenceb> also trying to avoid burning
[13:09] <Laurenceb> not directly
[13:10] <Laurenceb> I may buy a house in Coventry next year
[13:10] <Laurenceb> and rent to students
[13:13] <Laurenceb> not sure how well that would work... as I'd be living there as well
[13:13] <SpeedEvil> Pick hot ones.
[13:14] <Laurenceb> lol
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[13:32] <Laurenceb> forrestv: ping
[13:35] <kichimi> hey
[13:36] <Laurenceb> hi
[13:36] <kichimi> hows it going
[13:36] <Laurenceb> ok thanks
[13:37] <kichimi> sweet
[13:38] <edmoore> converted to arduinos yet? :p
[13:41] <Laurenceb> me
[13:41] <Laurenceb> are you mad
[13:41] <Laurenceb> http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=6565&Product_Name=Counter_Rotating_BL_System_375W <-- nice
[13:41] <Laurenceb> especially for a VTOL UAV
[13:43] <Laurenceb> mount in a tube with three servo operated fins
[13:44] <SpeedEvil> interesting
[13:45] <Laurenceb> I'm not convinced by your idea for photography
[13:45] <SpeedEvil> Fair enough :)
[13:45] <Laurenceb> with a large D-SLR with 20Mpixles and a good lens
[13:45] <Laurenceb> an a many TB of storage onboard
[13:46] <Laurenceb> flying at a few thousand feet, you can scan huge areas at insane resolution
[13:46] <SpeedEvil> Yes - that's not what I'm aiming for.
[13:46] <Laurenceb> thats how the bird eye view on virtual earth was made, as I understand it
[13:46] <SpeedEvil> So much.
[13:47] <Laurenceb> with a cessnar or something
[13:47] <SpeedEvil> I'm aiming at 'I want a picture of this area today'
[13:47] <SpeedEvil> And your random estate agent or whatever being able to work it
[13:47] <Laurenceb> yeah
[13:48] <Laurenceb> D-SLR and huge drives are cheap
[13:48] <Laurenceb> - relatively
[13:48] <SpeedEvil> yeah.
[13:48] <SpeedEvil> Also heavy.
[13:48] <SpeedEvil> I'm looking for an all-up mass of around a kilo
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[13:48] <Laurenceb> that thing has 1.3KgF thrust
[13:48] <Laurenceb> with their test setup
[13:49] <SpeedEvil> I mean - DSLR are heavy
[13:50] <Laurenceb> yes
[13:50] <SpeedEvil> 200-250g - OK I can do in a 1kg weight budget - just about - DSLR - no.
[13:52] <Laurenceb> point and shoot cams are quite nice
[13:53] <Laurenceb> depends what you want to do
[13:53] <Laurenceb> area scans or just a few shotds
[13:53] <SpeedEvil> Full pano - if I can
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[13:53] <SpeedEvil> hover time may become an issue
[13:54] <Laurenceb> oooh nice http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7230&Product_Name=hexTronik_2_gram_Brushless_Outrunner_7700kv
[13:54] <Laurenceb> an affordable micro brushless
[13:55] <SpeedEvil> But for a fair few yuses - a stupid UI - 'walk to where you want the camera to point' 'walk to where you want to takeoff from' 'tilt the camera to the angle you want the shot to be taken at' (=height), press red button, and retire to a safe distance
[13:55] <SpeedEvil> would work
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[13:55] <SpeedEvil> fun
[13:57] <Laurenceb> well you could do some sort of 3D interface for alignment
[13:59] <Laurenceb> http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=7184
[14:00] <Laurenceb> that site is pretty cool, but delivery takes ages
[14:03] <Laurenceb> youd probably be able to control it with a ublox and single IMU
[14:03] <SpeedEvil> That too, yes.
[14:03] <Laurenceb> depends what the budget is
[14:04] <Laurenceb> the analogue devices IMU is around $700 if you dont buy it direct
[14:06] <SpeedEvil> Planning on whole device having a cost of the order of that - though selling for a fair bit more
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[14:12] <Laurenceb> you thinking of using A123 cells?
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[14:14] <fnoble> hey guys
[14:15] <fnoble> any i2c wizards here?
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[14:16] <Laurenceb> moi
[14:16] <Laurenceb> whats the issue?
[14:16] <fnoble> im not really sure :)
[14:16] <fnoble> so im getting really sporadic results
[14:16] <SpeedEvil> Laurenceb: basically, yes
[14:16] <fnoble> i run my code a few times and I get a cycle of different results repeating
[14:16] <Laurenceb> pull ups ok?
[14:17] <Laurenceb> with avr or lpc ?
[14:17] <fnoble> the first time i get a NACK from the slave when writing out the slave address, but on the scope it seems like its not being clocked correctly
[14:17] <fnoble> lpc
[14:17] <fnoble> pull-ups are fine i think
[14:17] <Laurenceb> maybe something to do with the hardware state
[14:18] <Laurenceb> Ive had similar issues on avr
[14:18] <fnoble> the second time the clock is ok and it looks like the slave replies to the first request causing some wierdness
[14:18] <fnoble> then the third time it works fine only the clock idles low
[14:18] <fnoble> i.e. its low at the start of the transaction and then low afterwards
[14:19] <fnoble> causing the lpc to return a NACK condition again but on the scope i can see the correct data has been sent
[14:21] <Laurenceb> Im guessing some screw up at the start puts the hardware into the wrong state maybe
[14:21] <fnoble> yeah sounds sensible
[14:21] <Laurenceb> AIUI I2C hardware is based on a state machine written in VHDL or whatever on most of these devices
[14:21] <fnoble> i wish i had a logic analyser
[14:21] <fnoble> ok
[14:21] <Laurenceb> bbl
[14:22] <kichimi> this woman teaching my class is making me cringe
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[15:05] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: I guess a point and shoot would be ok
[15:06] <SpeedEvil> Carefully chosen - there are some not too bad ones
[15:08] <Laurenceb> needs to be modified maybe
[15:08] <Laurenceb> or a canaon with chdk
[15:08] <SpeedEvil> perhaps
[15:08] <Laurenceb> would you tilt it?
[15:09] <Laurenceb> to control shot elevation?
[15:09] <SpeedEvil> I'm unsure of the exact design - I was thinking of a mirror
[15:09] <Laurenceb> also it has t fit in the enclosure which would be about 30cm ID
[15:10] <SpeedEvil> yeah - that's fun too
[15:10] <Laurenceb> I suspect if you were clever you could get a range of 10miles or so
[15:10] <Laurenceb> - 20 overall ie operating radius of that
[15:11] <SpeedEvil> Slant photos go through a lot of air though
[15:11] <Laurenceb> no flight range
[15:11] <Laurenceb> before the batteries die
[15:12] <SpeedEvil> yes, it's not designed for that in the stanard configuration.
[15:12] <Laurenceb> so it could fly off to places and take shots from 100m or so
[15:12] <SpeedEvil> I have however considered a pair of clip-on wings.
[15:12] <Laurenceb> you may be able to fly at high speed sideways
[15:12] <SpeedEvil> So you end up with something like ----------o---------
[15:12] <Laurenceb> using the enclosure as a wing
[15:12] <Laurenceb> 100mph or more
[15:12] <SpeedEvil> yes - I've also considered that.
[15:13] <SpeedEvil> VTOL first I think :)
[15:13] <Laurenceb> annular wing
[15:15] <SpeedEvil> And yes, there are many, many options for v2
[15:15] <Laurenceb> http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=9611&Product_Name=Rhino_2250mAh_4S_14.8v_40C_Lipoly_Pack
[15:15] <Laurenceb> theres your batteries
[15:15] <Laurenceb> the specs are insane
[15:17] <SpeedEvil> I was looking at 3/4 cells of a123
[15:17] <Laurenceb> for an IMU your probably best using two dual axis gyros - you can get dual axis cheap now
[15:17] <Laurenceb> lipo has moderatly better performance now
[15:17] <SpeedEvil> Yes, I know - I also want decent life though.
[15:18] <SpeedEvil> I'm planning on drastically oversensoring v1
[15:18] <SpeedEvil> everything from IR sensors to ...
[15:18] <Laurenceb> expensive
[15:18] <Laurenceb> IR is cheap tho
[15:18] <SpeedEvil> or rather - the prototype
[15:18] <Laurenceb> Id fly with 2x dual axis gyros and a three axis accel
[15:18] <Laurenceb> also gps of course
[15:18] <Laurenceb> maybe a pitot tube
[15:19] <SpeedEvil> To see from actual in-flight logs what the filter outputs look like when various sensors are omitted.
[15:19] <SpeedEvil> I've got at least 4 pitots
[15:19] <Laurenceb> have you built any hardware?
[15:19] <SpeedEvil> Not much yet.
[15:19] <SpeedEvil> Basically I've been doing boring stuff much of this year.
[15:19] <Laurenceb> were you planning on counterrotating?
[15:19] <SpeedEvil> But that's getting to the stage wehre it's almost completed
[15:20] <SpeedEvil> I was planning on thrust vanes independantly controllable to counter the torque
[15:37] <Laurenceb> you lose efficiency
[15:48] <Laurenceb> AIUI counter-rotating is more efficient
[15:50] <Laurenceb> gtg
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[16:45] <TheBrian> kind of new here.. but a few months ago I was considering building a contra-rotating machine.. I got a bit stuck trying to figure out all the controls stuff
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[20:24] <Laurenceb> yo
[20:25] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: what I said about counter-rotating, actually the efficiency increase is quite small
[20:25] <Laurenceb> you may as well not bother
[20:34] <TheBrian> I kind of liked contra-rotating blades because the kinetic energy is a lot lower than a big blade.. if it were to hit something, it would do a lot less damage
[20:35] <Laurenceb> AIUI this is for a ducted prop based UAV
[20:35] <Laurenceb> so it shouldnt hit much
[20:36] <TheBrian> ah
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[20:41] <Laurenceb> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3C8V5sinYA
[20:50] <Laurenceb> http://vimeo.com/2954294?pg=embed&sec=2954294
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[21:02] <SpeedEvil> Laurenceb: yes - and in the case of small interfering props - I'm unsure it's a big win
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[21:06] <Laurenceb> for that they just used off the shelf heli gyro units
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[21:08] <SpeedEvil> TheBrian: the prop - in my case - is a 10" one surrounded by a manifold - so it's not _that_ bad
[21:08] <SpeedEvil> Plus - I'm pondering something that jams the brakes on the prop if it gets to within 50cm of something
[21:09] <Laurenceb> opticasl mouse sensors
[21:10] <SpeedEvil> I really want the sensors that you get in the wii
[21:10] <SpeedEvil> That report the centroids of the 10 brightest spot-like objects
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[21:34] <SpeedEvil> http://singularityhub.com/2009/09/15/someone-made-a-flexpicker-out-of-legos-nutty-video/http://singularityhub.com/2009/09/15/someone-made-a-flexpicker-out-of-legos-nutty-video/
[21:34] <Laurenceb> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=2599610
[21:35] <Laurenceb> thats one way to fit a camera
[21:37] <SpeedEvil> http://www.mauve.plus.com/test.png
[21:37] <SpeedEvil> The pods - somewhat stretched out and cut off a bit earlier - one has a camera - a camera with a folded optical system and teh lens at the corner - like the dimage x1
[21:38] <SpeedEvil> right next to that is a first surface mirror and a window
[21:44] <Laurenceb> what did you use for the graphics?
[21:46] <Laurenceb> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1108708 interesting
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[21:47] <SpeedEvil> povray
[21:47] <Laurenceb> ah povray
[21:48] <Laurenceb> using primatives?
[21:48] <SpeedEvil> blobs I think
[21:49] <SpeedEvil> A cylinder, with a cylinder repelling it - for the annulus - and then four ovoid shapes, repellled by four spheres for the pods
[21:50] <Laurenceb> http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1093705 <- wow
[21:50] <Laurenceb> ok
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[21:55] <Laurenceb> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRZFcrikoxg
[21:58] <SpeedEvil> Shiny
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[22:32] <Laurenceb> http://www.google.com/technology/pigeonrank.html
[22:32] <Laurenceb> hmm dont they have anything better to do with their time there
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[22:36] <SpeedEvil> Seen http://www.internetnews.com/breakingnews/article.php/3838436 ?
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[22:56] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: do you have octave installed?
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[23:01] <Laurenceb> http://store.diydrones.com/default.asp nice
[23:03] <Laurenceb> wish they didnt use dspic on their uav devboard
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[23:21] <SpeedEvil> no - need to look
[23:21] <SpeedEvil> I think going to sleep
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[23:23] <fuzzylugnuts> Heya
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[23:41] <fuzzylugnuts> those transcievers I was looking at yesterday cost 850 a pop
[23:41] <fuzzylugnuts> ;_;
[23:43] <Laurenceb> try the UM12 from sparkfun
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[23:44] <fuzzylugnuts> I have 3
[23:45] <fuzzylugnuts> er
[23:45] <fuzzylugnuts> 2
[23:45] <fuzzylugnuts> vhf is preferable
[23:45] <fuzzylugnuts> radiometrix hooked me up with some QPX1s
[23:47] <fuzzylugnuts> those FireLine ones had a super sweetconfig program, remote diagnostics, etc
[23:47] <fuzzylugnuts> if I had funding again I'd get them
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[23:52] <Laurenceb> Yahoo! My Google prematurely tweeted all over your Facebook.
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[00:00] --- Wed Sep 16 2009