highaltitude.log.20091027

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[02:29] <juxta-> hmm, I'm trying to get my NTX2 to work - i have it playing 2 different tones, but when I hook it up to my arduino, the tones I get out of it dont sound very distinct
[02:30] <juxta-> and fldigi just sees lots of noise, no distinct bands
[02:32] <natrium42> are you using PWM or voltage dividers?
[02:32] <juxta-> voltage dividers
[02:32] <natrium42> can you check what voltages you are getting?
[02:32] <juxta-> sure
[02:32] <juxta-> sec
[02:34] <juxta-> hmm, 1.6 and 1.3v
[02:34] <natrium42> ok, so not enough difference
[02:34] <juxta-> I was hoping to get around 0.9 and 1.2
[02:35] <juxta-> how much difference should I have?
[02:35] <natrium42> iirc 0.9V for 400kHz shift
[02:36] <natrium42> http://alienproject.wordpress.com/2009/06/
[02:37] <juxta-> yeah - they say 0.9 for space and 1.2 for mark
[02:38] <juxta-> one thing I do notice though is that if i make the tones by hand, ie touching the mark/space to VCC, then the tone comes out, but there seems to be some pitch shift before it settles
[02:39] <juxta-> natrium42: does PWM work well? if so, I might have a look at trying it with PWM
[02:40] <natrium42> well you are toggling between no connection and connection
[02:40] <natrium42> you're not really supposed to float the line
[02:40] <natrium42> i hear that pwm works just as well, never tried it
[02:41] <juxta-> hmm
[02:41] <natrium42> you save yourself the resistors if you use it
[02:41] <juxta-> yeah, and only need one input pin too
[02:41] <juxta-> output, even
[02:42] <natrium42> yep
[02:42] <natrium42> could use attiny :D
[02:42] <juxta-> attiny?
[02:44] <natrium42> it's a very small micro, 8 pins
[02:44] <natrium42> which microcontroller are you using?
[02:44] <SpeedEvil> pwm you need adequate filtering
[02:45] <natrium42> SpeedEvil, one ceramic cap should suffice, no?
[02:46] <juxta-> I'm using the arduino USB board, the deumilanove or however it's spelt :)
[02:46] <SpeedEvil> and a resistory propbbaly
[02:46] <juxta-> hmm, i suspect this might have something to do with the arduinos power source
[02:47] <juxta-> i'm using USB, on my laptop it doesnt play any sounds at all, on a desktop it makes the noisy rubbish
[02:47] <juxta-> I'm powering the ntx2 externally though
[02:48] <natrium42> ok, are the grounds connected?
[02:49] <juxta-> that's a good point..
[02:49] <natrium42> :P
[02:50] <juxta-> hmm
[02:50] <juxta-> I still get the same nasty sound :(
[02:52] <juxta-> maybe I'm not tuning my radio correctly
[02:53] <juxta-> I'm using a NTX2-434.650-10, I have my radio set to USB, and I've tried listening from around 434.645-655
[02:55] <natrium42> so there are no two distinct peaks?
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[02:56] <juxta-> sort of natrium42, but they're very noisy - let me screenshot
[02:57] <natrium42> you might have too much noise on your power supply
[02:58] <SpeedEvil> What's the PSU
[02:58] <juxta-> i switched to powering it off the arduino :(
[02:58] <juxta-> but i have another supply i'll try in a minute
[02:59] <juxta-> looks like the shift is not quite right also
[02:59] <juxta-> www.bogaurd.net/fldigi.gif
[03:01] <juxta-> should I make a recording of it natrium42?
[03:01] <natrium42> hmm, it's alright
[03:01] <natrium42> i bet it's the PSU
[03:02] <juxta-> even though it's running from the arduino's 5V?
[03:02] <natrium42> and it's connected to USB?
[03:02] <natrium42> maybe your computer sends too much noise over USB power lines
[03:02] <SpeedEvil> USB is _shit_
[03:02] <SpeedEvil> noisewise
[03:02] <natrium42> try using one of those USB wallwarts
[03:03] <juxta-> its okay, i have a good supply, 2 secs
[03:03] <juxta-> i'll just hook it up
[03:03] Action: natrium42 hates dealing with noise :/
[03:04] <natrium42> i just end up sticking capacitors randomly everywhere
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[03:08] <juxta-> ok, everything running off a nice smooth 5v now
[03:09] <natrium42> yay
[03:09] <natrium42> but does it work?
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[03:11] <juxta-> fldigi looks the same as before pretty much :(
[03:12] <juxta-> if i just connect mark to +5v, i get a nice clean band
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[03:19] <natrium42> are you setting the pins to output mode?
[03:20] <juxta-> yep
[03:20] <juxta-> I basically used this code:
[03:20] <juxta-> http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk/wiki/doku.php/ideas:notes
[03:22] <natrium42> then everything should be fine in theory
[03:22] <natrium42> sorry i couldn't help
[03:22] <natrium42> need to wait for jcoxon :)
[03:23] <juxta-> no worries, thanks for your suggestions :)
[03:23] <natrium42> bbl, colbert report
[03:23] <natrium42> np
[03:27] <fergusnoble> juxta-: hi, your first screenshot doesnt look too bad
[03:27] <juxta-> really? looks pretty noisy compared to what I was expecting
[03:27] <fergusnoble> the bands get broader when you send data
[03:28] <fergusnoble> in fact they must do due to you now having an extra frequency component on top - your data rate
[03:28] <juxta-> ah alright
[03:29] <fergusnoble> i would expect them to be a bit cleaner but might be worth seeing if the data is decodable
[03:29] <juxta-> well, i've slowed down the data rate to 2 baud atm, trying to debug it
[03:29] <juxta-> and have got some LED's going
[03:29] <fergusnoble> cool
[03:29] <juxta-> i'm only hearing 1 tone
[03:29] <juxta-> not 2
[03:29] <juxta-> just one tone, on and off
[03:30] <fergusnoble> that is a way to check, if you slow the baud rate down slow enough that you can see the mark and space portions on the waterfall individually the lines should be crisp and narrow
[03:30] <fergusnoble> sounds like your shift is too wide then
[03:30] <fergusnoble> or radio tuned off
[03:30] <fergusnoble> that can happen when one tone is in the audio range and one not
[03:31] <juxta-> good point fergusnoble
[03:31] <fergusnoble> most recievers only have a 3khz bandwidth
[03:31] <juxta-> however, if i short mark to vcc, the tone is audible, the same when i short space to vcc
[03:31] <fergusnoble> the second image is a bit strange but im not really sure what im looking at
[03:31] <fergusnoble> but the tones are different frequencies?
[03:31] <juxta-> yep
[03:32] <fergusnoble> ok
[03:32] <fergusnoble> have you got a scope?
[03:32] <juxta-> neg :(
[03:32] <juxta-> actually, I may have mixed this up - on a 5v arduino, do the output pins do 5V also? or 3.3v?
[03:33] <fergusnoble> they are 5V
[03:33] <juxta-> okay
[03:33] <juxta-> then i havent mixed that part up
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[03:34] <fergusnoble> so maybe try slowing the baud wayyy down and just checking that the voltages are right on the radio input
[03:34] <juxta-> yep, about to do that now :)
[03:35] <fergusnoble> I mean that they are the same as when you connect it manually
[03:36] <juxta-> yeah
[03:36] <fergusnoble> they are correct?
[03:37] <juxta-> either pin seems to work OK on its own, if I just have mark connected, i get a series of high tones, if i just have space connected, I get a series of low tones
[03:37] <juxta-> i'll just slow it down a bit more to verify the voltages fergusnoble :)
[03:44] <juxta-> ok
[03:44] <juxta-> looks like you're right fergusnoble
[03:44] <juxta-> I'm getting 0.9/1.2 on transmit
[03:44] <juxta-> but my radio doesnt hear 0.9v
[03:45] <fergusnoble> I cant remember what voltage shift is sensible
[03:45] <fergusnoble> just jank out one of the 2.2Ks
[03:45] <fergusnoble> might do it
[03:45] <juxta-> hmm, actually, I've just started listening a little lower
[03:45] <juxta-> i hear both tones now
[03:45] <juxta-> let me try increase the speed a bit
[03:46] <fergusnoble> might be better to replace them with a variable so you can adjust the shift to match one of the ones supported by fldigi
[03:46] <fergusnoble> ok cool
[03:47] <fergusnoble> you should aim to be listening to it so the traces are bout in the centre of the waterfall
[03:47] <fergusnoble> you get used to the sound of it in the end and can tell just from the noise when its right
[03:48] <fergusnoble> anyway, i think im going to have to physically unplug my internet connection if im going to get any work done tonight
[03:48] <fergusnoble> :)
[03:48] <fergusnoble> so good luck!
[03:49] <fergusnoble> also if those resistors were for a 3.3V arduino your shift will be bigger as you are now driving between 0 and 5V
[03:49] <fergusnoble> might need to tweak the values
[03:51] <juxta-> yeah - the resistor values were for a 5v i believe
[03:51] <juxta-> looking a bit better, still not able to decode it though'
[03:52] <fergusnoble> do the markers in fldigi line up with the centres of the two bands?
[03:52] <juxta-> the line up with the 2 dead spots
[03:52] <juxta-> as in where there's no sound
[03:53] <juxta-> www.bogaurd.net/fldigi3.gif
[03:54] <fergusnoble> hmm, that looks a bit noisy
[03:54] <juxta-> yeah :(
[03:54] <fergusnoble> http://ukhas.org.uk/_detail/guides:waterfall.jpg?id=guides%3Atracking_guide&cache=cache
[03:54] <fergusnoble> this is the kind of thing you want
[03:55] <juxta-> yeah
[03:55] <fergusnoble> thats at 50 baud?
[03:55] <juxta-> yeah
[03:55] <fergusnoble> I've seen something like this before but I can't remember what the problem was
[03:56] <fergusnoble> and if you align it so that the red lines fall on the yellow, i.e. just offset it slightly to one side or the other?
[03:57] <fergusnoble> also, what text are you sending?
[03:57] <juxta-> hello world
[03:57] <juxta-> or something
[03:57] <juxta-> ok, I was sending hello world, now i'm sending 'test arduino'
[03:57] <fergusnoble> ok, so more than just two characters
[03:57] <juxta-> followed by 2 returns
[03:57] <juxta-> yeah
[03:58] <fergusnoble> im sure you know already but you may have to fiddle around with the reverse button
[03:58] <fergusnoble> (Rv in the bottom left of the fldigi display)
[03:58] <fergusnoble> but thats not the problem at the moment
[03:58] <juxta-> oh
[03:58] <juxta-> i didnt know that
[04:00] <fergusnoble> depending on whether your radio is in USB or LSB mode it may be inverting all the data, ie. swapping all the 0s for 1s, clicking the Rv button just undoes that
[04:00] <juxta-> okay
[04:00] <juxta-> i'm in usb mode :)
[04:01] <juxta-> hrm, i wonder what's causing the noise :S
[04:01] <fergusnoble> but in that case you will be getting some garbled looking strings in the decoded output but not as repetative as the ones youve got and the waterfall should still look ok
[04:01] <fergusnoble> are you sure your code is right?
[04:01] <juxta-> yeah, i'm using the code from here:
[04:02] <juxta-> http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk/wiki/doku.php/ideas:notes
[04:02] <fergusnoble> what pins are your resistors connected to?
[04:03] <fergusnoble> the code talks about 9 and 11 but the diagram says 9 and 10
[04:04] <juxta-> i didnt use that resitor layout
[04:04] <juxta-> I used this one:
[04:04] <juxta-> http://alienproject.wordpress.com/2009/06/
[04:04] <juxta-> but yes, I'm using 9 and 11
[04:06] <fergusnoble> hmm, well it looks as if they work in slightly different ways
[04:07] <fergusnoble> the 10k to ground makes me thing they are alternating one pin high and one pin as an input
[04:08] <fergusnoble> whereas the other schematic/code switched between high and low
[04:08] <fergusnoble> perhaps take out the 10k resistor
[04:08] <juxta-> i'll give it a go
[04:09] <juxta-> that widened my shift
[04:09] <juxta-> but still rather noisy
[04:09] <fergusnoble> that might increase your shift though, so you might also want to say swap the 18k for another 27k
[04:09] <juxta-> I'll try the alternate resdistor layout
[04:10] <fergusnoble> oh.. well it was worth a shot
[04:10] <juxta-> :)
[04:10] <fergusnoble> yeah, try rob's resistor layout
[04:10] <juxta-> will try it now :)
[04:12] <juxta-> time to hunt through the horror that is my box of resitors
[04:12] <fergusnoble> hehe, been there
[04:15] <fergusnoble> although, just checked their (alien's) code and it looks like they too just toggle between high and low
[04:15] <fergusnoble> so i was wrong
[04:15] <juxta-> hmm
[04:16] <fergusnoble> a scope would be helpful here to see exactly whats going on on that pin
[04:16] <juxta-> the ntx2 datasheet says that EN should be @3v
[04:16] <fergusnoble> could you rig up a sound card scope?
[04:16] <juxta-> so I presume rob's code is for a 3v arduino
[04:16] <juxta-> I could probably get access to a real scope
[04:17] <fergusnoble> you could try dividing the en input down to 3v but my suspicion is that it wont really matter
[04:17] <juxta-> ok
[04:17] <fergusnoble> but its easy enough to try
[04:18] <juxta-> the noise wouldnt have anything to do with my lack of appropriate antennas, would it?
[04:18] <juxta-> i'm just using a bit of wire
[04:18] <fergusnoble> nope
[04:18] <juxta-> thought not
[04:18] <fergusnoble> it'll work fine on the bench with no antennas on anything
[04:24] <juxta-> trying it with rob's layout now
[04:24] <juxta-> still looks noisy
[04:26] <juxta-> fergusnoble: www.bogaurd.net/fldigi4.gif
[04:27] <fergusnoble> ok, so that doesnt seem to be it
[04:28] <juxta-> if i try with a 20ms delay
[04:28] <fergusnoble> maybe try dividing down the EN pin
[04:28] <juxta-> it seems much cleaner
[04:28] <fergusnoble> can you give me a screen shot?
[04:28] <juxta-> i have the EN pin connected directly to 3.3v
[04:28] <juxta-> yep, sec
[04:29] <fergusnoble> ahhh... yes something is starting to ring a bell
[04:29] <juxta-> fergusnoble: www.bogaurd.net/fldigi5.gif
[04:29] <fergusnoble> i think i had a similar problem before, the delayMicroseconds function doesnt like delays that long
[04:29] <juxta-> it sounds a lot better also
[04:29] <fergusnoble> it overflows and actually delays a much shorter time
[04:30] <fergusnoble> yeah, use a delay(20) rather than a delaymicroseconds
[04:30] <fergusnoble> that should hopefully decode now
[04:31] <fergusnoble> if you get the shift right
[04:32] <juxta-> yeah, shift is a little off, need to bring them a tad closer
[04:32] <juxta-> let me put in a pot
[04:34] <juxta-> 8bits/1 stop/no parity, right?
[04:34] <fergusnoble> yup, for rob's code
[04:35] <fergusnoble> although i think using 7 bits is better, the extra bit is wasted for us and is just another place for noise to corrupt the string
[04:35] <fergusnoble> but dont worry about that now
[04:37] <fergusnoble> also if you are using 1 stop bit you might need to put in delays between sending strings so the decoder can sync up
[04:38] <juxta-> alright
[04:38] <juxta-> at this stage I'm just getting loads of random chars
[04:38] <juxta-> repeated over and over
[04:38] <fergusnoble> try hitting Rv
[04:38] <fergusnoble> the same group of junk repeated?
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[04:39] <juxta-> with RV i get different junk :)
[04:39] <fergusnoble> ok
[04:39] <fergusnoble> and you have gaps between sending strings?
[04:40] <juxta-> just addint a gap now
[04:40] <juxta-> adding*
[04:40] <fergusnoble> that could well be it
[04:40] <juxta-> almost there :D
[04:41] <juxta-> I'm getting 'Test A' repeated over and over
[04:41] <juxta-> out of 'Test Arduino \n\r'
[04:41] <fergusnoble> ok, that probably means your baud rate is slightly out
[04:42] <fergusnoble> one thing to try is to increase your stop bits to 1.5 or 2 bits
[04:42] <fergusnoble> which might fix it but its a bit of a bodge
[04:43] <fergusnoble> perhaps instead of using delay(20) call delaymicroseconds(10000) twice and then try tweaking the value 10000 a bit
[04:43] <juxta-> yeah
[04:43] <juxta-> let me try that now
[04:44] <fergusnoble> probably want to reduce it as the delay(20) will actually result in a bit period a bit longer than 20ms as the rest of the code has also got to run in that time
[04:45] <fergusnoble> the proper way is to check if with a scope and make sure your getting 20ms bits, so if you can get access to a scope at some point it might be a good idea
[04:45] <fergusnoble> if you get the baud rate right then you should get slightly better performance from your radio
[04:47] <juxta-> you're a champ fergusnoble, thanks so much for your help! :)
[04:47] <fergusnoble> np
[04:47] <fergusnoble> got any improvement?
[04:47] <juxta-> I have it working bang on what it should be - I just told it to delay(19), then delaymicroseconds(500)
[04:47] <juxta-> :)
[04:47] <fergusnoble> awesome
[04:48] <fergusnoble> when are you hoping to fly?
[04:48] <fergusnoble> are you in the us?
[04:48] <juxta-> december sometime
[04:48] <juxta-> nah, I'm in Australia :)
[04:48] <fergusnoble> ok cool
[04:48] <juxta-> that damn delaymicroseconds()!
[04:49] <fergusnoble> yeah, its funny, last time i was stummped for ages
[04:49] <juxta-> haha
[04:49] <fergusnoble> i should have remembered it sooner
[04:49] <fergusnoble> it was a real pain
[04:49] <juxta-> what kind of delay would you suggest for sending strings, by the way?
[04:49] <fergusnoble> doesnt have to be long
[04:49] <fergusnoble> something like a second
[04:50] <fergusnoble> you want to be transmitting data a lot of the time so that if you are trying to find it you know to look for that sound
[04:50] <juxta-> okay
[04:50] <juxta-> yeah
[04:50] <fergusnoble> lots of things seem to make a constant tone on the radio when your driving around
[04:51] <fergusnoble> hehe, that warble does your head in after a while though
[04:56] <juxta-> haha, yeah, i've found that even in the short exposure I've had to it this afternoon :)
[04:57] <juxta-> any idea why fldigi doesnt let you have an adjustable carrier shift (ie only a few values)?
[04:58] <fergusnoble> those are the standard values for amateur radio which is what fldigi was intended for
[04:58] <fergusnoble> would be really good to have arbitrary baud rates
[04:59] <fergusnoble> might prod james or rob into patching that into the next version of dl
[04:59] <fergusnoble> s/baud rates/carrier shifts/
[05:00] <juxta-> now I have to come up with a resistor combination to give me the right shift :)
[05:01] <juxta-> wonder if I have a 5k, that would be perfect
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[05:02] <fergusnoble> think there is only 5.6 or 4.7
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[05:02] <juxta-> yeah, i think you're right
[05:03] <juxta-> 4.7 + 330 should be good enough
[05:03] <fergusnoble> so tell me more about your project
[05:03] <juxta-> ah, well
[05:04] <juxta-> relatively simple launch, arduino + gps & datalogging + 2 cameras + NTX2 & SPOT for backup :)
[05:04] <juxta-> www.projecthorus.org
[05:07] <fergusnoble> tell me your launch site coords and i can add them to the predictor iuw
[05:07] <fergusnoble> looks really nice btw
[05:08] <fergusnoble> got most of it together by the looks of things
[05:08] <juxta-> thanks :)
[05:08] <juxta-> wrote the GPS code for the ardu the other day
[05:09] <juxta-> we're not sure of coords yet
[05:09] <juxta-> I'm in Adelaide, it'll likely be about 100-200km north of here where we launch
[05:09] <fergusnoble> yup ok
[05:11] <juxta-> when we have some more idea of the launch site I'll let you know :)
[05:12] <fergusnoble> cool
[05:12] <fergusnoble> its cool that it works in the southern hemisphere
[05:13] <juxta-> why's that?
[05:14] <fergusnoble> I've not really tested in for launch sites outside europe
[05:14] <juxta-> oh you meant the predictor
[05:14] <fergusnoble> (Im with cusf in the uk)
[05:14] <juxta-> I thought you meant you were impressed that HAB was possible in the southern hemisphere :P
[05:14] <fergusnoble> hehe
[05:16] <fergusnoble> whats the JS like over there though? I guess it must go the other way round
[05:16] <fergusnoble> is oz in the strong band?
[05:16] <juxta-> it's not too bad
[05:16] <juxta-> it goes west -> east
[05:16] <juxta-> where I am
[05:17] <juxta-> predictions show around 100km deviation from launch site
[05:17] <fergusnoble> ok, odd, thats the same as here
[05:17] <juxta-> and as low as 50km deviation some days
[05:17] <fergusnoble> I always thought it was some kind of coriolis force thing
[05:17] <fergusnoble> thats nice
[05:18] <juxta-> space isnt really a problem here anyway ;p
[05:18] <fergusnoble> yeah it must be nice
[05:20] <fergusnoble> the sea is about 100km to the east
[05:20] <fergusnoble> for us
[05:21] <fergusnoble> which causes issues sometimes :)
[05:21] <juxta-> ah yeah
[05:21] <juxta-> i can imagine
[05:21] <juxta-> the sea is literally 100m to the west from my house
[05:22] <juxta-> but luckily the jet stream blows the other way :D
[05:26] <juxta-> this is what I've managed to end up with - is it worth fine tuning the resitors further, or is the shift that I have acceptable?
[05:26] <juxta-> http://www.bogaurd.net/fldigi6.gif
[05:29] <fergusnoble> yeah that looks pretty good to me
[05:30] <fergusnoble> the shift will probably vary it bit with temperature anyway so no point being to fussy
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[05:31] <juxta> damn laptop battery running out
[05:31] <juxta> I figured it'd drift with temperature, so I wanted to get it as close as possible, so that it would hopefully not drift out of the range which fldigi can decode
[05:34] <fergusnoble> fldigi has filters matched to the baud rate so its actually covering a wider width than just that red line
[05:35] <fergusnoble> so it doesnt degrade too steeply as you move off nominal
[05:36] <juxta> excellent :D
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[07:56] <MikeMc> Morning
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[11:13] <Laurenceb> http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/10/live-ares-i-x-ready-for-opening-launch-attempt/
[11:13] Action: Laurenceb lols at the kml
[11:13] <Laurenceb> http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/A410.jpg
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[11:17] <Laurenceb> http://ukhas.org.uk/projects:earthshine this is interesting
[11:17] <Laurenceb> anyone here involved?
[11:19] <russss> presumably MikeMc is involved considering he runs Earthshine
[11:19] <russss> :P
[11:20] <Laurenceb> ok
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[15:20] <MikeMc> evening
[15:20] <MikeMc> looks like a nice day for a launch
[15:22] <Laurenceb> MikeMc: you making a HAB?
[15:22] <MikeMc> yeah
[15:22] <MikeMc> slowly
[15:22] <MikeMc> eventually
[15:23] <russss> clearly not a nice day for a launch in florida though :/
[15:23] <MikeMc> you in Florida russs?
[15:23] <russss> no, but I've been watching the nasa launch fail for the last 3 hours
[15:23] <MikeMc> ahh
[15:23] <russss> they just gave up for today
[15:23] <MikeMc> yeah
[15:24] <MikeMc> i wonder if in hindsight Florida was a bad choice of location
[15:24] <russss> I was wondering that too
[15:24] <russss> but it's one of the lowest-latitude places in the USA
[15:25] <MikeMc> true
[15:25] <russss> they could launch from Vandenberg but that's a couple degrees further north so it would cost more in fuel
[15:26] <SpeedEvil> I'm just waiting for the hurricane to come through the VAB
[15:27] <russss> yeah, as weather goes, cape canaveral is pretty awful
[15:28] <SpeedEvil> I still think they should pull all the foam off the shuttle, put it in a baggie filled with neon that it rips off at launch.
[15:28] <SpeedEvil> (the ET)
[15:28] <SpeedEvil> Well - though my first choice would be to nuke the shuttle program of course.
[15:29] <russss> well they're doing that anyway
[15:29] <SpeedEvil> yea
[15:29] <SpeedEvil> h
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[15:29] <SpeedEvil> a decadish late
[15:30] Nick change: MikeMc_ -> Mike
[15:31] Nick change: Mike -> MikeMc_
[15:31] <MikeMc_> using a dongle on a train is always going to be problematic
[15:34] <MikeMc_> who is it that has a launch ready to go?
[15:34] <Laurenceb> moi
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[15:42] <SpeedEvil> just waiting on a ride-along - or got a balloon?
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[15:45] <Laurenceb> ride along
[15:45] <Laurenceb> as I'm not sure if the radio will work
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[16:10] <MikeMc> back
[16:44] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: I was thinking about Ares, you could possibly replace the first stage with a balloon
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[17:20] <Randomskk> omg yay my motor controller made a motor spin
[17:25] <Laurenceb> awsome
[17:26] <Laurenceb> photos?
[17:26] <Randomskk> they don't really capture the motion
[17:26] <Randomskk> otoh something else blew, sparked and smoked this time...
[17:26] <Randomskk> the jumper wires
[17:27] <Randomskk> despite 1/5 duty cycle
[17:27] <Randomskk> two of the jumpers got so hot the conductor melted clean through the insulation, pushing its way out, and in one case breaking
[17:27] Nick change: RocketBoy -> RockeBoy|away
[17:28] <Laurenceb> hmm I'd be careful
[17:28] <Laurenceb> any firmware bugs could cause issues
[17:28] <Randomskk> yea really
[17:28] <Laurenceb> do you have a scope?
[17:28] <Randomskk> well this is just too much current going through the wire
[17:28] <Randomskk> logic analyser
[17:28] <Randomskk> the outputs are fine as far as I can see
[17:28] <Randomskk> looks nice
[17:28] <Randomskk> the issue is that many amps at 12V are going through a thin breadboard jumper wire
[17:29] <Laurenceb> yeah
[17:30] <Randomskk> never gonna work
[17:30] <Laurenceb> breadboard also has high contact resistance
[17:30] <Randomskk> yea.
[17:30] <Randomskk> I'm thinking that now I've seen it spin I could go ahead with the pcb
[17:30] <Laurenceb> this is completely on breadboard?
[17:30] <Randomskk> make up some pcbs with some nice thick traces and decent connectors
[17:30] <Randomskk> yea.
[17:30] <Laurenceb> wow
[17:30] <Laurenceb> thats impressive
[17:30] <Randomskk> I wanted to breadboard to check the basic idea worked
[17:30] <Laurenceb> yeah
[17:31] <Randomskk> http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomskk/3965832295/
[17:31] <Laurenceb> I'd have problably use stripboard, at least for the high current
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[17:31] <Laurenceb> but who cares it works
[17:31] <Randomskk> six fets, six transistors, two quad-AND chips, atmega
[17:31] <Randomskk> the wires that blew are the drain wires connecting the high and low side of each half H bridge
[17:31] <Laurenceb> nice
[17:31] <Randomskk> stripboard would have been much better in retrospect
[17:32] <Randomskk> but I have less of it lying around at home and also no soldering iron here at uni
[17:32] <Randomskk> I was tempted to buy a cheap firestarter while in maplins today but tbh soldering in my room seems like a bad idea
[17:32] <Randomskk> smoke detector aside they are named firestarters for a reason
[17:32] <Laurenceb> I like smd on stripboard
[17:34] <Randomskk> I prefer smd on pcbs though :P
[17:34] <Randomskk> won't take long to design a nice small pcb for the thing, then get a panel made by gold pheonix or something
[17:34] <Randomskk> maybe a one-off by batchpcb first? or by someone faster perhaps, to try it out
[17:36] <Laurenceb> gold pheonix has to have panels
[17:36] <Laurenceb> so you end up with no money and a room full of panels very fast
[17:37] <Randomskk> but they are fast and I do need a reasonable number of these anyway
[17:37] <Laurenceb> batchpcb slow but good... edmoore has been using another chinese service... cant remember now
[17:37] <Randomskk> that said it would be better to wait until I have the pcb for the main flight controller designed and get a panel with both
[17:37] <Randomskk> and in the meantime just get four (or five anyway) of the motor pcbs from somewhere cheaper
[17:37] <Randomskk> seeedstudio were okay but a bit meh and tbh pretty slow all things considered
[17:38] <Randomskk> could go with someone in the UK. engineering dept here actually has a pcb manufacturing service too
[17:38] <Randomskk> that looked pretty good really, fergusnoble had one from them
[17:41] <Laurenceb> http://hackaday.com/2009/09/02/direct-to-pcb-inkjet-printing/
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[17:41] <Randomskk> also very cool but not as nice as proper double sided pcbs with soldermask and silk
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[19:57] <fergusnoble> Randomskk: hi
[19:57] <fergusnoble> Laurenceb: edmoore hasnt been using anything, especially not in china
[19:58] <Laurenceb> what pcb place are you using?
[19:58] <fergusnoble> our boards were done by olimex for badger1 and pcbtrain for badgercub/badger2
[19:59] <fergusnoble> brb
[20:00] <Laurenceb> oh ok
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[20:00] <fergusnoble> pcbtrain are really good but quite pricy
[20:01] <Laurenceb> I see
[20:01] <Laurenceb> yeah thats who I was thinking of
[20:01] <fergusnoble> goldphoenix is the chinese company and I have seen some of their boards (henry got a batch)
[20:01] <Laurenceb> batchpcb use them
[20:01] <Laurenceb> they are good and cheap
[20:01] <fergusnoble> they are really really nice, less than a third the price of pcbtrain and you can get non gree solder mask
[20:02] <Laurenceb> there are a few other chinese places, but more pricey
[20:02] <fergusnoble> *green
[20:02] <Laurenceb> goldphoenix only do panels
[20:02] <fergusnoble> deffo will use goldphoenix next time i order a larger batch
[20:02] <Laurenceb> I havent found an equivalent of batchpcb based in china
[20:02] <Laurenceb> that would be perfect
[20:02] <Laurenceb> theres pcb cart but they are a rip off
[20:03] <fergusnoble> yeah, although I could have got a panel of badger2s from gp for the same price as 4 from pcbtrain
[20:03] <Laurenceb> wow
[20:03] <fergusnoble> just couldn't afford the lead time
[20:03] <Laurenceb> pcbcart is chinese but only moderatly cheaper than pcbtrain
[20:04] <fergusnoble> seedstudio is a bit like a chinese batchpcb i think
[20:04] <Laurenceb> olimex are also lower spec than goldphoenix and practically all the other chinese places
[20:04] <Laurenceb> ok I'll investigate their prices
[20:05] <Laurenceb> where is their site?
[20:05] <Laurenceb> google gives me some band
[20:06] <Laurenceb> aha seeedstudio
[20:10] <Laurenceb> nah they are expensive
[20:10] <Laurenceb> oh hang on thats total for 5 boards
[20:10] <Laurenceb> ok not too bad then
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[20:10] <Laurenceb> oh well gtg
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[20:33] <fergusnoble> bbl
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[20:52] <Randomskk> woo, intermediate license practicals done
[20:52] <Randomskk> all I need to do now is pass foundation and intermediate exams back to back
[20:52] <Randomskk> woooo?
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[21:05] <jcoxon> yay my sparkfun order has arrived
[21:05] <EI5GTB> anyonee here know anything about airbag controll units?
[21:05] <EI5GTB> and moreso the accelerometers in them
[21:06] <SpeedEvil> why?
[21:06] <SpeedEvil> Typically they use ones that go to 50G scale I think
[21:06] <EI5GTB> i took one out of a bmw im converting for track use...
[21:06] <EI5GTB> opened it up and im wondering if i could use the accelerometers forother uses
[21:07] <Randomskk> jcoxon: what'd you get?
[21:07] <EI5GTB> not too sure actually
[21:07] <EI5GTB> says temic on it
[21:07] <Randomskk> sparkfun packages are undoubtably the most exciting packages I tend to receive
[21:07] <Randomskk> EI5GTB: likely to be specific to automobile use
[21:07] <EI5GTB> i see
[21:07] <Randomskk> possibly even with a specifically pain in the arse interface like can
[21:07] <Randomskk> that's not to say you can't use them
[21:07] <Randomskk> just it might be easier to buy some normal ones
[21:08] <EI5GTB> BUT.... taking them from scrapyards would be mighty cheap
[21:09] <SpeedEvil> EI5GTB: you can get samples of 3-axis accells for free
[21:09] <SpeedEvil> even buying them they are $few
[21:09] <SpeedEvil> not many
[21:09] <jcoxon> Randomskk, the key item is a level sensor for ballast tanks
[21:09] <SpeedEvil> and you can pick whichever sensitivity you want.
[21:09] <Randomskk> neat.
[21:09] <EI5GTB> SpeedEvil: oh? i always theought they were might expensive... what kinda money?
[21:09] <SpeedEvil> $3/
[21:10] <EI5GTB> who from?
[21:10] <Randomskk> everyone. specifically sparkfun
[21:10] <Randomskk> free samples from all sorts of companies too, and they are even cheaper
[21:11] <SpeedEvil> http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail&name=497-8548-ND
[21:11] <SpeedEvil> for exaple
[21:11] <SpeedEvil> analog devices, and freescale make them, and will sample
[21:12] <EI5GTB> hmm, i see
[21:12] <EI5GTB> sample to ireland?
[21:12] <SpeedEvil> Don't see wy not
[21:12] <Randomskk> probably
[21:12] <SpeedEvil> but digikey and mouser are both offering 50 quid free shipping qualification
[21:25] <jcoxon> Randomskk, http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9072
[21:25] <Randomskk> ooh. I think I remember seeing that before, either a link here or when it was on new products
[21:25] <Randomskk> pretty neat.
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[22:13] <jcoxon> hmmm this magnetopot works well
[22:13] <jcoxon> but i've found a potential problem
[22:13] <jcoxon> if teh float gets shaken off then the internal magnet drops down and it'lll lose its position
[22:16] <jcoxon> guess i need a much stronger magnet to ensure that it doesn't lose connection
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[22:20] <SpeedEvil> which means more friction, and a bigger/heavier pot
[22:20] <SpeedEvil> s/pot/float/
[22:22] <jcoxon> i certainly can make a larger float
[22:22] <jcoxon> the magnetopot is pretty good at not losing its position
[22:23] <jcoxon> as in the friction inside between the internal magnet and the sides is sufficient to hold it in place unless shaken
[22:23] <jcoxon> i guess i could run a rod down the middle of the tank and place the float on that to stop it moving away from the side
[22:26] <SpeedEvil> is the magnet on the outside lubricated/
[22:26] <SpeedEvil> ?
[22:27] <jcoxon> i'm using this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9072
[22:27] <jcoxon> on the outside
[22:28] <jcoxon> and this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8643
[22:28] <jcoxon> on the inside embedded into some polystyrene as a quick test
[22:28] <SpeedEvil> ah
[22:30] <jcoxon> oooo i've got an idea
[22:30] <bittwist> boo sparc
[22:30] <bittwist> btw
[22:31] <jcoxon> a rectangle float (so i can push it into the bottle) with 2 square magnets one at each end
[22:31] <jcoxon> on one side outside have the sensor and then the other a 'guide' magnet or perhaps a strip of metal which will keep the float in place
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[22:40] <SpeedEvil> hmm
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[00:00] --- Wed Oct 28 2009