highaltitude.log.20091001

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[06:28] <rjharrison> morning all
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[15:59] <rjharrison_> Hi all
[15:59] <rjharrison_> In a boring part of the meeting
[16:00] <rjharrison_> Olimex has shipped Icarus III
[16:01] <rjharrison_> Looking forward to the arival
[16:02] <SpeedEvil> :)
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[16:07] <rjharrison_> Any one out there?
[16:08] <SpeedEvil> ne
[16:08] <SpeedEvil> me
[16:09] <SpeedEvil> (04:01:34 PM) rjharrison_: Looking forward to the arival
[16:09] <SpeedEvil> (04:02:25 PM) SpeedEvil: :)
[16:09] <rjharrison_> Cool just using my iPhone
[16:09] Action: SpeedEvil needs a n900.
[16:10] Action: SpeedEvil is probably not going to get one though.
[16:10] <rjharrison_> They look nice
[16:10] <SpeedEvil> yeah
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[16:10] <SpeedEvil> I could sort-of-afford it on a contract.
[16:10] <rjharrison_> Ooh nice
[16:10] <SpeedEvil> But my credit file at the moment induces hysterical laughter if I was to apply for any form of credit
[16:11] <rjharrison_> Lol
[16:11] <SpeedEvil> 30 quid a month or so.
[16:11] <SpeedEvil> Which isn't actually too bad
[16:18] <rjharrison_> That's fine
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[18:27] <sbasuita> :/
[18:27] <sbasuita> ?
[18:27] <DanielRichman> he's abroad
[18:27] <DanielRichman> ghana I think, wasn't paying too much attention
[18:29] Nick change: xatm092|afk -> xatm092
[18:36] <sbasuita> Jul 09 09:42:19 <jcoxon> then i'm flying to ghana to work for 6 weeks in a small hospital in the north
[18:36] <sbasuita> Bit more than six weeks, but hey...
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[18:42] <Guest80646> Hey, I wonder if one of you could help with my hunt for a cable for my GPS
[18:42] Nick change: Guest80646 -> Cooleo
[18:46] <hallam> hi Cooleo
[18:46] <hallam> what sort of GPS and what are you trying to connect it to?
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[18:49] <Cooleo> hallam: Im not sure of the exact make, but its got a look of a PS2 Adapter on one end and I want to connect it to USB
[18:49] <Cooleo> So a PS2 to USB adapter
[18:50] <Cooleo> I heard a standard one wont work
[18:56] <hallam> right, it won't
[18:57] <hallam> it may have the same connector as a PS2 keyboard but the signals will not be the same
[18:57] <hallam> I think that connector is more properly called a DIN connector
[18:57] <hallam> it probably has RS232 signals on it
[18:58] <hallam> you will need to find a pinout of the GPS connector
[18:58] <hallam> and then get a USB to RS232 serial adapter, and make up a cable to go between the DB9 connector on the serial adapter and the DIN connector on the GPS
[18:58] <hallam> for a pinout, you're going to either need the GPS make and model, or an oscilloscope and some detective work
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[19:00] <Cooleo> ok, I found it its a HI-204E
[19:01] <Cooleo> http://www.ciao.co.uk/Haicom_HI_204E_USB_GPS_cable__6879678
[19:01] <hallam> well that's easy then
[19:01] <Randomskk> and a short search later, http://www.buygpsnow.com/driver/HI-204s/204S.pdf
[19:01] <Randomskk> a ps/2 pinout for you
[19:01] <Randomskk> actually din6
[19:02] <Randomskk> hallam was dead on the money: tx, rx, vcc and gnd plus two apparently unused connectors
[19:03] <Cooleo> Suposidly a prebuilt USB cable exsists
[19:03] <Randomskk> according to that datahseet, too.
[19:03] <Randomskk> it's probably your cheapest option
[19:04] <hallam> if you can find anyone still selling it
[19:04] <Cooleo> Yeah
[19:04] <hallam> looks like if you take it apart you can get the IF data out, which is pretty nice and rare (and probably irrelevant to you)
[19:04] <Cooleo> Theres a person selling the GPS with the cable
[19:05] <Cooleo> Oh yeah? :P
[19:05] <hallam> ask them if they'll just sell you the cable?
[19:05] <Cooleo> Tried
[19:05] <Cooleo> No such luck
[19:07] <hallam> then you'd better either find someone else selling them, or make one
[19:08] <hallam> is this for a balloon application?
[19:08] <Cooleo> Hopefully, once pay check comes through
[19:08] <Cooleo> £300 should be enough
[19:08] <hallam> what are you using as the flight computer?
[19:08] <Cooleo> I dont know yet
[19:08] <Cooleo> Im going to get my cash then look on how I can do it
[19:09] <hallam> ok
[19:09] <hallam> this might not be the most suitable GPS
[19:09] <Cooleo> Oh
[19:09] <Cooleo> I just got it years ago and thought it might be some good
[19:09] <hallam> yeah
[19:10] <hallam> it can probably be made to work
[19:10] <Cooleo> Think its any good to sell or just chuck it out?
[19:10] <Cooleo> Worked fine with a PDA I had
[19:10] <hallam> maybe keep it for use on the ground
[19:10] <hallam> aside from the connection issues, it doesn't look like it works above 18km
[19:11] <Cooleo> Ah :/
[19:11] <hallam> although some GPS receivers say that but then end up working anyway
[19:11] <Cooleo> rather not risk it though
[19:11] <Cooleo> I could include it on board just to see
[19:12] <Cooleo> but have a backup
[19:12] <hallam> could do, though it would tie up a serial port which might be annoying depending on your flight computer implementation
[19:13] <Cooleo> Hmm
[19:14] <hallam> what's your electronics experience?
[19:15] <Cooleo> I built a cockpit out of an old joysticks and switches once. :D
[19:15] <hallam> used a microcontroller?
[19:16] <Cooleo> Nope
[19:16] <Cooleo> Took switches off a Joystick and soldered cable and new ones on
[19:17] <hallam> an Arduino is a good way to get started
[19:27] <Cooleo> Nice piece of hardware, Seems to be used for alot
[19:30] <hallam> it's a great way to start learning embedded systems
[19:30] <hallam> after a couple of projects you will get frustrated with its limitations and move on to something more capable
[19:31] <hallam> people have used them for balloon flight computers before
[19:31] <Randomskk> or you become the stereotypical MAKEer and keep making the same LED projects over and over again
[19:31] <hallam> lol
[19:31] <Randomskk> at least you can use normal avr c on the ide :P
[19:32] <hallam> Randomskk do you get as irritated as I do by the dumb mistakes on hackaday and sparkfun?
[19:33] <hallam> so many of the official sparkfun products lack clue
[19:34] <Randomskk> especially when my nice new sensor comes on a breakout board with e.g. vccio pulled to 5v or no shdn pin
[19:34] <hallam> haha so true
[19:36] <Randomskk> some of their stuff is nice, but mostly they sell a load of bits and pieces that are a pain to get elsewhere
[19:36] <Randomskk> but some of the breakouts...
[19:36] <Cooleo> So im guessing you cant buy balloons prebuilt?:P
[19:36] <Cooleo> Just add helium
[19:36] <Randomskk> hell you probably can somewhere
[19:36] <hallam> I forgive them a lot for stocking the GN3sV2
[19:36] <Cooleo> Voila :D
[19:37] <SpeedEvil> you have to add the helium yourself.
[19:37] <SpeedEvil> Cooleo: of course you can buy balloons
[19:37] <Cooleo> I meant the computer aswell
[19:37] <SpeedEvil> look on the wiki
[19:37] <Randomskk> technically you could buy the balloon with compressed helium
[19:37] <Randomskk> just pull the ripcord and watch it self inflate and launch :P
[19:37] <Cooleo> That'd be so cool
[19:37] <hallam> Cooleo, CU Spaceflight recently developed the BadgerCub, which is a really nice low cost simple flight computer
[19:37] <Randomskk> kinda boring though
[19:37] <Randomskk> hallam: and proceeded to lose it? :P
[19:38] <hallam> cheap enough that you can afford to :P
[19:38] <Randomskk> hehe fair enough
[19:38] <hallam> it's not in production yet I'm afraid
[19:38] <Cooleo> I'd be more worried here about it going into the north sea
[19:38] <hallam> I think they have 2 or 3 left now
[19:39] <hallam> if I get time I'll organise a small production run
[19:40] <Cooleo> I'd be tempted to put an HD camcorder on it
[19:40] <Cooleo> Would be nice to see some HD video from near space
[19:40] <hallam> building your own flight computer is both a lot of fun / good learning experience, and also a major hurdle for newbies
[19:40] <hallam> I think it would be good to have an off the shelf solution
[19:41] <hallam> http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/media.php check out the nova 8 videos
[19:41] <Cooleo> I would guess more people would take it up if they could get an off the shelf solution and just add what componants they wanted
[19:41] <hallam> right
[19:42] <hallam> the badgercub is also great just to slap on the side of a regular payload as an independent, low cost, lightweight backup
[19:42] <hallam> it's less than 100g including the battery
[19:42] <Cooleo> Wow
[19:42] <Cooleo> http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/images/nova8selected/IMG_1003.JPG <-- Amazing pic
[19:43] <hallam> mm, lens flare
[19:43] <hallam> I think that was quite a nice camera on that
[19:43] <Cooleo> Looks pretty nice
[19:45] <sbasuita> http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuspaceflight/3887463272/
[19:45] <sbasuita> wow that is really cool
[19:45] <Cooleo> Would be pretty intresting if you could get a model rocket to launch once the balloons exploded. Be even closer to space
[19:46] <hallam> heh guess what we've been working on for the last 2 years
[19:46] <Cooleo> Haha.
[19:46] <Randomskk> how much extra altitude could you get from a model rocket?
[19:46] <hallam> a lot
[19:47] <Randomskk> how powerful a model rocket are we talking about? :P
[19:47] <hallam> we expect to hit 100km with a ~6kg rocket
[19:47] <Randomskk> !
[19:47] <Randomskk> fair enough then
[19:47] <Cooleo> 6kg is hardly anything :o
[19:47] <SpeedEvil> It depends - laurenceb here thinks it's possible to get to orbit using a couple of stages of basically model rockets
[19:47] <Cooleo> Orbit from a model rocket?!
[19:47] <SpeedEvil> (admittedly with a payload of under 1%)
[19:47] <hallam> I think laurenceb is a bit optimistic
[19:47] <Randomskk> leo at what, 600km?
[19:48] <SpeedEvil> yes
[19:48] <hallam> I think it would need 4 stages
[19:48] <SpeedEvil> however, I can't find any clear errors in his figures.
[19:48] <hallam> not impossible, but debatable whether it's worth balloon launch
[19:48] <Cooleo> So each one pushing up 150km?
[19:48] <hallam> for suborbital shots of *small* rockets to 100 or 200km, the balloon is a huge advantage
[19:48] <SpeedEvil> it's not that simple
[19:49] <hallam> orbit is about speed not altitude
[19:49] <Randomskk> hallam: are you part of cusf?
[19:49] <hallam> yes, though I've now graduated and moved to california
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[19:50] <Randomskk> ah, nice
[19:50] <hallam> the launch will probably be from the Black Rock next summer
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[19:51] <MIke> back
[19:51] Nick change: MIke -> Guest28318
[19:51] <Guest28318> But would you easily be able to launch from where we are, Arn't we too far away from the equator for an easy launch?
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[19:52] <SpeedEvil> That's not really relevant
[19:52] <SpeedEvil> with small rockets , the aerodynamic losses are so hyuge they make the lack of equatorial speed boost _tiny_
[19:52] <hallam> latitude is irrelevant for suborbital shorts. it has an effect for orbital but the penalty is only about 200m/s delta V
[19:53] <hallam> launch site selection for an amateur launch is going to be governed almost entirely by range safety
[19:53] <Guest28318> oh
[19:54] <Guest28318> Would be really cool to see.
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[20:30] <Cooleo2> LED's and makeshift parachutes are fun at night and get weird looks from people walking on the footpath next to my house
[20:45] Nick change: Cooleo2 -> Cooleo
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[21:18] <Laurenceb> hi all
[21:18] <sbasuita> hi
[21:18] <Laurenceb> hi there, ready to launch yet?
[21:19] <sbasuita> almost
[21:19] <sbasuita> need to physically construct a payload
[21:19] <sbasuita> and then testing
[21:19] <Laurenceb> heh cool
[21:19] <Laurenceb> good luck
[21:19] <sbasuita> thanks :)
[21:22] <RocketBoy> Laurenceb - sorry I got tied up last night - I havn't got any propellant here at the mo - but I can measure it Sunday at EARS
[21:23] <RocketBoy> I could give you a good estimate now though
[21:24] <Laurenceb> thanks
[21:24] <RocketBoy> 32.5mm
[21:24] <Laurenceb> I was reading Rocket propulsion elements and the density for AP fuel didnt seem to quite match the measurments
[21:24] <Laurenceb> for 54mm motors?
[21:25] <RocketBoy> 38mm motors
[21:25] <Laurenceb> ah
[21:25] <Laurenceb> ok this starts to make sense
[21:25] <Laurenceb> thats the actual propellant, its inside a cardboard tube right?
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[21:26] <RocketBoy> well - it goes like this - aluminium tube - platic liner - propellant (with paper wrap)
[21:27] <RocketBoy> the id of the 38mm motor plastic liner is 32.5mm
[21:27] <Laurenceb> ah I see
[21:27] <Laurenceb> does the paper normally burn through after a firing?
[21:27] <RocketBoy> yeah - completly gone
[21:28] <Laurenceb> interesting
[21:28] <Laurenceb> is there any visable pattern in it?
[21:28] <Laurenceb> I'm just wondering if the burn through is even or not
[21:28] <RocketBoy> not that I noiced - just charred bits
[21:29] <RocketBoy> the plastic liner is usually intact - just distorted a bit
[21:29] <Laurenceb> any idea how thick the paper is?
[21:29] <Laurenceb> 1mm or so?
[21:30] <RocketBoy> less than 1mm - is just for handling really (and to hold the propellant together)
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[21:30] <Laurenceb> I see
[21:31] <RocketBoy> the plastic liner is about 0.5mm at a guess
[21:32] <RocketBoy> I'll try to take some photos.
[21:33] <Laurenceb> thanks
[21:35] <Laurenceb> ah thats encouraging I guess
[21:35] <Laurenceb> cant be that much heat going into the side if its that thin
[21:49] <Laurenceb> 0.6mm CF with 0.4mm of rubber/HTBT should work
[21:49] <Laurenceb> - for 75mm motors
[21:52] <Laurenceb> from the cesaroni data I calculate a max pressure of 10MPa with some of the fast buring formulations
[21:52] <Laurenceb> the "classic" propellant should be able to run at <5MPa, especially with a wider throat, so that gives a safety factor of 2
[21:52] <Laurenceb> bbl
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[22:00] <Cooleo> WOw
[22:00] <Cooleo> I got a quote for the PS2 to USB cable
[22:00] <Cooleo> £22 shipped
[22:00] <Cooleo> Thats awfully expensivfe
[22:08] Action: sbasuita is torn between physics and comp-sci at university :/
[22:09] <SpeedEvil> you mean to plug in a ps/2 keyb?
[22:09] <SpeedEvil> Cooleo: dealextreme.com
[22:11] <sbasuita> SpeedEvil, I think its for an old GPS
[22:11] <sbasuita> SpeedEvil, intending to mod the wire
[22:11] <sbasuita> but don't quote me
[22:11] <SpeedEvil> A ps2/usb cable for a GPS?
[22:11] <SpeedEvil> Wacky
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[22:28] <fuzzylugnuts> Hey
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[22:29] <Cooleo2> Yeah
[22:29] <Cooleo2> Its DIM6
[22:35] <Laurenceb> sbasuita: comp sci = fancy name for allied maths
[22:35] <Laurenceb> well at a decent uni
[22:35] <Laurenceb> if you go to somewhere dreadful it might be "how to use word"
[22:35] <Laurenceb> *applied
[22:37] <SpeedEvil> hehe. http://xkcd.com/42/ is topical for me.
[22:38] <Laurenceb> physics = applied maths as well :P
[22:38] <Laurenceb> thus we conclude physics == comp sci
[22:38] <Randomskk> does that make engineering applied² maths? :P
[22:40] <SpeedEvil> See http://xkcd.com/435/ for the answer.
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[22:44] <fuzzylugnuts> these phidgets are awesome. I got the the thermocouple one reading some dry ice right now at -75C
[22:45] <sbasuita> Laurenceb, you see, this is why I'm torn! ;|
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[22:51] Nick change: Cooleo2 -> Cooleo
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[22:57] <rjharrison> Hi DanielRichman
[22:57] <rjharrison> Hi Randomskk
[22:58] <rjharrison> SpeedEvil et al
[22:58] <Randomskk> heya
[22:58] <rjharrison> Randomskk you all packed
[22:58] <DanielRichman> hi rjharrison
[22:58] <Laurenceb> HELLO
[22:58] <rjharrison> Li Laurenceb
[22:58] <rjharrison> Hi
[22:58] <rjharrison> How are we all doing
[22:58] <rjharrison> Icarus III has been shipped from Olimex today
[22:59] <Randomskk> engineering question booklet :(
[22:59] <rjharrison> SO fingers crossed should be here Monday
[22:59] <Randomskk> I wish I still had school textbooks. or a better memory.
[22:59] <rjharrison> Randomskk there is always google
[22:59] <rjharrison> and SpeedEvil :)
[22:59] <Randomskk> yup, it's just less concentrated
[22:59] <Randomskk> also time is an issue :P
[23:00] <rjharrison> Hows it going Laurenceb you got your spaceship sorted yet?
[23:00] <rjharrison> DanielRichman how colse is your payload to being ready?
[23:01] <rjharrison> Hey fuzzylugnuts can you get dry ice easily in the US
[23:02] <DanielRichman> rjharrison, er umm... hmm.
[23:02] <DanielRichman> rjharrison, last time we tried to put a date on completion bad things happened
[23:02] <rjharrison> What like?
[23:02] <DanielRichman> it's not going to be long for sure
[23:02] <Laurenceb> sound like our house :P
[23:03] Action: Laurenceb is sick of painting
[23:03] Action: rjharrison has loads of house stuff to do too
[23:04] Action: rjharrison has bulders in the new house and they have ripped out all the floors and dug the cellars out
[23:04] <Laurenceb> its alright for you
[23:04] <Laurenceb> you have money :p
[23:04] <rjharrison> Well at least it is my house
[23:04] <rjharrison> And I get a study at the end of it
[23:04] <fuzzylugnuts> rjharrison: yes, in most places. it costs about a buck a pound
[23:05] <rjharrison> fuzzylugnuts cool That would be fun to play with for testing
[23:05] <Laurenceb> did your house origionally house control gear for the resevoir or something?
[23:05] <rjharrison> How cold can you get a styrene box down too with that in
[23:05] Action: Laurenceb was looking at aerial shots
[23:06] <rjharrison> Laurenceb you have been busy
[23:06] <rjharrison> :)
[23:06] <rjharrison> Yep well thats the house were renting the new house is a bit further away
[23:07] <Laurenceb> ah fairdoos
[23:07] <Laurenceb> it looks nice
[23:08] <rjharrison> Laurenceb it's nice. The paddock is good for drop tests etc
[23:08] <rjharrison> the new house is going to be cool as I'm going to have ha huge HAB shed :)
[23:09] <rjharrison> And a study in the loft :)
[23:09] <rjharrison> I'm hoping to organise a HAB meeting in the backend of the year
[23:09] <rjharrison> Be good to get alot of active minds togehter to see where we can take the hobby in the future
[23:10] <rjharrison> Some where where there is good internet access so we can get a virual presence from tehUS guys too
[23:10] <rjharrison> the US
[23:13] <fuzzylugnuts> : )
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[23:40] <Laurenceb> hmm that rocket data actually makes sense now
[23:41] <Laurenceb> I get a safety factor of 3.5 for the Al wall assuming some cheap alloy
[23:41] <Laurenceb> and the density makes sense as well
[23:41] <SpeedEvil> you''d not been accounting for the paper before?
[23:41] <Laurenceb> I'd assumed RocketBoy was measuring a 54mm motor
[23:42] <Laurenceb> and so overestimated the wall thickness
[23:42] <Laurenceb> but it doesnt make a huge difference
[23:42] <SpeedEvil> ah
[23:42] <Laurenceb> the first stage move from 60mm to 65
[23:43] <Laurenceb> Rocket Propulsion elements suggests http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyl-terminated_polybutadiene for mounting the fuel
[23:43] <Laurenceb> which has low density
[23:43] <SpeedEvil> hmm
[23:43] <Laurenceb> I guess the flexibility is good
[23:43] <Laurenceb> if you have a CF tube
[23:45] <Laurenceb> the first stage tube weighs just 73 grams
[23:45] <Laurenceb> I allowed 200 total for the first stage in the sim code
[23:50] <Laurenceb> you have an issue with the CF coming in 0.2mm thickness
[23:50] <Laurenceb> so you can only get CF tube with thicknesses in units of 0,2mm
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[00:00] --- Fri Oct 2 2009