highaltitude.log.20091205

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[08:07] <bittwist> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18235-the-pentagon-invites-you-to-play-its-red-balloon-game.html
[08:07] <bittwist> Tomorrow morning, people across the US will start hunting for 10 weather balloons hidden across the country by the Pentagon's research agency DARPA.
[08:07] <bittwist> The treasure hunt is designed to test how well people can coordinate with one another online and will award $40,000 to the first person to enter the GPS coordinates of all 10 balloons, accurate to within a mile. The 2.5-metre-diameter tethered balloons will be flown only in daylight, and taken down for the night.
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[10:07] <edmoore> morning campers
[10:27] Nick change: Jos -> jos
[10:31] Last message repeated 1 time(s).
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[11:28] <juxta> morning all
[11:29] <jcoxon> morning juxta
[11:32] <juxta> hey jcoxon
[11:35] <jcoxon> thanks for the update
[11:35] <jcoxon> (regarding email)
[11:35] <juxta> np
[11:35] <juxta> shame re the cost
[11:37] <jcoxon> yeah
[11:38] <juxta> I've been playing with those radiosondes this afternoon though
[11:39] <jcoxon> we aren't allowed to launch radiosondes here
[11:40] <jcoxon> what make are they?
[11:40] <juxta> Vaisala
[11:41] <juxta> the local BOM is about to launch one
[11:41] <juxta> 1200 UTC
[11:42] <juxta> argh, it's always such a pain to open hard drives up. i just want magnets to make a roof mount antenna!
[11:43] <SpeedEvil> juxta: dealextreme.com
[11:43] <juxta> shipping takes forever SpeedEvil ;p
[11:43] <juxta> i have half a dozen drives smiling at me from my junk box
[11:43] <SpeedEvil> juxta: yeah. I have 400.
[11:44] <juxta> got it, damn screw hiding under a sticker :D
[12:01] <jcoxon> wonder whats going to happen with this red balloon game
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[14:41] <juxta> 6 hard drive magnets makes for a very strong magnetic antenna base as it turns out
[14:41] <juxta> I stuck it on my fridge and had a hard time getting it off
[14:45] <SpeedEvil> a roof-mount car ant?
[14:45] <SpeedEvil> They may rust very fast - depending on the sort of magnet
[14:46] <juxta> yeah, I suspected that might be the case
[14:47] <juxta> I put them all in a shallow metal pan, and filled the pan with glue
[14:47] <juxta> so they should be safe from the elements - but it'll only be for temporary use in any case
[14:49] <SpeedEvil> Also - if it's a metal pan - and your car is not flat, it won't stick nearly as well
[14:49] <juxta> ah
[14:49] <juxta> that's a point
[14:49] <juxta> hmm
[14:50] <juxta> my roof is flat-ish I suppose
[14:50] <juxta> I suspect the force of the magnets may be enough to slightly deflect the roof of my car and have a flush mount
[14:50] <juxta> it feels very strong
[14:51] <juxta> i'll find out tomorro I guess, hopefully it's not skating all over the place
[14:53] <SpeedEvil> add a thin plastic under it, to stop it scratching
[14:53] <juxta> yeah, I was thinking a piece of cloth or something
[14:54] <juxta> then I can slide it off, rather than hopelessly trying to lift it off
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[16:15] <jcoxon> afternoon all
[16:15] <Randomskk> hi
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[16:15] <Randomskk> edmoore: so the ic7000 is ordered :D
[16:15] <edmoore> gosh
[16:16] <Randomskk> the second hand one, £770ish
[16:16] <Randomskk> yay christmas basically
[16:16] <edmoore> :)
[16:16] <Randomskk> need to get an antenna or two
[16:16] <edmoore> get a decent mag mount whip
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[16:16] <edmoore> or make one
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[16:21] <Randomskk> yea, was looking at getting a 144/434mhz one with a trap in the middle I guess
[16:21] <Randomskk> not sure if it'd be better to just go 434 or what
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[16:23] <edmoore> i have one that claims to be both
[16:23] <edmoore> useful for the car just to play with GB3pY and PI
[16:23] <Randomskk> I take it I can live without an ATU?
[16:24] <edmoore> i have managed to so far
[16:24] <edmoore> but i've not done much (well, not really any) HF Tx
[16:26] <Randomskk> I figure you can do hf relatively easily with just a long wire tied to some trees for a dipole or such
[16:26] <Randomskk> the proper antennas tend to get kinda expensive otherwise
[16:26] <edmoore> but it hink it's probably the sort of thing you should do yourself (antenna matching) unless you really are short for time or some pro who can't afford to waste time in a competition
[16:26] <Randomskk> CUWS has that one with the copper tape that extends/retracts as needed
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[16:27] <Randomskk> does that require a manual antenna matcher of some description though?
[16:28] <Randomskk> or rather, do I need to buy anything besides the radio itself and an antenna?
[16:28] <SpeedEvil> Proper packaged antennas should be matched
[16:28] <edmoore> depends on the impedance of the antenna :p
[16:29] <edmoore> * at the freq you drive it
[16:29] <edmoore> you can make some coils to inc the electrical length
[16:30] <Randomskk> e.g. http://www.radioworld.co.uk/~radio/catalog/sharman-nr770h-antenna-p-2389.html
[16:30] <Randomskk> 144/430mhz antenna thing
[16:30] <Randomskk> http://www.radioworld.co.uk/~radio/catalog/sharmans-ex108uv-2m70cm-dual-band-magnetic-antenna-p-6649.html is a 10W max power one but it does have a magnetic base
[16:33] <Randomskk> so239 mates with pl259?
[16:34] <Randomskk> what a great naming convention
[16:34] <edmoore> yup
[16:39] <edmoore> i would go for mag
[16:39] <edmoore> have found it more useful
[16:39] <edmoore> you're going to spend the next 4 years not being in more than onc place for a few weeks
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[16:51] <Randomskk> radioworld's selection of 2m/70cm magmount antennas seems a bit lacking
[16:51] <Randomskk> dunno if maybe it's easier to get a non-mag-mount antenna and stick it in a magmount
[16:54] <RocketBoy> you can get magmounts with a BNC connector
[16:54] <SpeedEvil> You want one designed to work with the groundplane you have on a magmounted thing
[16:54] <SpeedEvil> if it's mounted on a roof
[16:54] <RocketBoy> then plug in one of the many antenna with bnc connectors
[16:57] <Randomskk> there's http://www.radioworld.co.uk/~radio/catalog/m24m-magnetic-mount-144430mhz-048m-p-2413.html and http://www.radioworld.co.uk/~radio/catalog/m72s-magnetic-mount-144430-p-2414.html though it doesn't say what connector they have or anything useful like that
[16:59] <Randomskk> though their naming convention on other products would suggest that the M version is PL259 and the S version SMA
[17:00] <RocketBoy> MFJ do one
[17:01] <Randomskk> radioworld don't seem to carry an mfj one with magmount, unless I'm missing it
[17:01] <Randomskk> not really sure where else is good to luck at
[17:01] <RocketBoy> walters and stanton
[17:02] <RocketBoy> thats waters & Stanton
[17:02] <RocketBoy> (more expensive mind)
[17:02] <RocketBoy> IMO
[17:09] <RocketBoy> 5/8 whip on 2m are good as they dont need a good groundplane
[17:10] <RocketBoy> and on 70cms the groundplane of the capacitive coupling/base of the magmount is usually good enough
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[17:14] <MikeMc68> howdy
[17:16] <Randomskk> this comet m24m is apparently 3/8 wavelength on 2m and 1/4 + 5/8 on 70cm?
[17:16] <Randomskk> 80 watts
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[17:32] <RocketBoy> CPC also seem to to a few antannas
[17:32] Nick change: RocketBoy -> RocketBoy|Away
[17:32] <edmoore> I got mine from ML&S but it doesn't seem to be on their website
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[17:58] <jcoxon> hey all
[17:58] <jcoxon> any tips on using tinfoil as a GPS antenna ground plane?
[17:58] <edmoore> it conducts dunnit?
[17:58] <edmoore> Am assuming it's actually aluminium
[17:59] <jcoxon> yeah it conducts
[17:59] <jcoxon> soldering to it is a tough one...
[17:59] <edmoore> also, thinking about it for more than 0.3 seconds, I would hazard that shiny side up would give you (probably immeasureably) better performance, due to skin effect
[17:59] <edmoore> agreed, that's not a fun job at all
[18:00] <edmoore> but does it necessarily need to be soldered?
[18:00] <Randomskk> oops. looks like I'll be getting a brand new ic7000 instead of a second hand one after all.
[18:00] <Randomskk> they sold the second hand one in their retail store but the website didn't update until the evening
[18:01] <edmoore> they're not cheap since credit crunch. I got mine just before the dollar shot up relative to the pound
[18:01] <Randomskk> handy
[18:01] <Randomskk> I remember when you could get two dollars to the pound
[18:01] <Randomskk> that was when I was making money in dollars and converting it into pounds
[18:01] <Randomskk> shortly afterwards I was buying things in dollars and their value ofc drops massively :P
[18:02] <edmoore> jcoxon: rjw57 has done some more work on this: http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~cuspaceflight/hourly-predictions/ (am plugging it for him as I'm bot sure he's actually at keyboard currently)
[18:02] <edmoore> mouse-over gives launch time, right click lets you get access to the raw sim data, clicking on a spot lets you see the flight path
[18:02] <Randomskk> wow, it just gets better and better
[18:03] <jcoxon> wow you guys are blasting through all this
[18:03] <jcoxon> and firefox now works
[18:03] <edmoore> should be a really useful tool in terms of getting the week at a glance
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[18:04] <jcoxon> yeah
[18:04] <edmoore> props rjw57!
[18:05] <jcoxon> i might get some copper board instead of this alufoil
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[18:38] <RocketBoy|Away> I never really bothered soldering GPS groundplane - the capacitive coupling between the sheet and the bottom of the antenna seems to be enough
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[18:44] <jcoxon> okay
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[18:52] <RocketBoy|Away> it would be good to see just what difference it made - but at 1.5GHz the coupling between the square inch of metal on the bottom of the GPS patch must be quite a lot between it and the metal sheet its standing on
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[18:54] <RocketBoy|Away> thats how the mag mount GPS antenna seem to work - I imagine the metal base acts as a groundplane - coupling between it and the GPS patch
[18:55] <RocketBoy|Away> I havn't noticed any mechanical connection between the patch and the metal base
[18:55] <RocketBoy|Away> on the couple I looked at
[18:56] <jcoxon> okay i'll run a few tests
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[19:31] <Laurenceb> hi
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[20:00] Nick change: junderwood_ -> junderwood
[20:03] <RocketBoy|Away> Hi Laurenceb
[20:03] <RocketBoy|Away> Did I see you write some code for a FSK decoder on the wiki (I can't find it now)?
[20:03] <Laurenceb> yo
[20:03] <Laurenceb> erm it was never posted
[20:03] <Laurenceb> its unfinished
[20:04] <RocketBoy|Away> ah - Ok I must have dreamt it
[20:05] <RocketBoy|Away> (its been known)
[20:05] Nick change: RocketBoy|Away -> RocketBoy
[20:05] <RocketBoy> I'm just trying to get my head round data bit timing recovery
[20:07] <Laurenceb> you need a DLL
[20:07] <Laurenceb> looking at the change in discriminator output
[20:07] <RocketBoy> oh yeah - i see that
[20:08] <RocketBoy> but where the edge occures mid audio cycle in a phase coherent audio - is it possible for the discriminator to detect it well?
[20:08] <RocketBoy> (the bit timing edge)
[20:08] <RocketBoy> so for example in 1200/2200Hz fsk
[20:10] <RocketBoy> where there is a transistion between 1200 and 2200 at 60 degrees into the cycle is a detector going to be able to detect that sort of waveform change
[20:10] <Laurenceb> I'll look at my code
[20:10] <RocketBoy> i.e. how much of a cycle does a transform need to see in order to reliably make the decision
[20:12] <Laurenceb> one I think
[20:12] <Laurenceb> then you have another discriminator half a bit off
[20:12] <Laurenceb> and comare the difference on oputput between bits
[20:12] <SpeedEvil> half - not a quarter?
[20:13] <RocketBoy> with 1200 BPS 1200/2200 FSK (reasonably standard) you only get one cycle of 1200Hz oe 1 5/6 cycles of 2200 per bit
[20:14] <RocketBoy> itsn't it rather difficult to accuratly determine where the bit edge given so little?
[20:15] <RocketBoy> I gess you would need to average several bits
[20:15] <Laurenceb> I dont think so
[20:15] <RocketBoy> guess
[20:15] <Laurenceb> oh for the filter yes
[20:15] <Laurenceb> you filter the DLL output a lot
[20:16] <Laurenceb> I'll dig out my code
[20:16] <RocketBoy> I'm just trying to work out how much worse a zero crossing detector will be than doing true frequency detection using transforms
[20:16] <Laurenceb> its in c99
[20:17] <Laurenceb> http://pastebin.com/m2d43f9e3
[20:18] <RocketBoy> ah I think thats where I saw it before
[20:18] <Laurenceb> http://pastebin.com/m68d2f0ba
[20:18] <Laurenceb> thats the acquisition code - finds and FM data signal with the right baud rate
[20:19] <Laurenceb> it doesnt look for specific callsigns atm
[20:20] <Laurenceb> most of that stuff is complex - I'm using c99 complex number support
[20:21] <Laurenceb> I'm not sure about my DLL/FLL equations
[20:21] <Laurenceb> that needs more work
[20:22] <Laurenceb> and of course the macros need defining to make it stable
[20:24] <RocketBoy> ta - I'll give it a good look over
[20:24] <Laurenceb> I need to talk to someone who has a clue about DLL/FLL filter stabilisation
[20:25] <Laurenceb> or just nick code from the software GPS stuff me and hallam fudged together
[20:30] <Laurenceb> theres two bins seperated by half a bit period in time, and two bins seperated from the high and low frequency prompt bins in frequency
[20:31] <Laurenceb> 6 bins in total spanning time/frequency space
[20:32] <RocketBoy> yeah - I'm doing somthing similar - just timing zero crossing points - the duration drops it into one of the bins
[20:33] <Laurenceb> is designed for a souncard on a linux box
[20:33] <RocketBoy> yeah - i'm trying to do it on a PIC
[20:33] <Laurenceb> I think you could downconvert to 500Khz on a radiometrix with an ADC
[20:33] <Laurenceb> certainly with an AVR, and PIC has faster ADC?
[20:34] <Laurenceb> you only need 50Ksps or so
[20:35] <SpeedEvil> PIC has faster ADC - but is probably generally slower at arithmetic
[20:35] <Laurenceb> enough to span about twice the bandwidth
[20:35] <Laurenceb> yeah - if you optimise this code using signed chars and s16 ints with sinusoid lookup tables it should be fairly fast
[20:35] <RocketBoy> well sampling yes - arithmatic I have no idea
[20:36] <Laurenceb> AIUI its slower
[20:39] <Laurenceb> you may be able to get away with 5 bins
[20:39] <Laurenceb> one halfway across the frequency deviation
[20:40] <Laurenceb> the problem with this code is it requires continuous transmission, but if you have acquisition code that searches for a callsign it should be easier
[20:40] <RocketBoy> yeah I was thining somthing that stongly indicates a transition (middle bin) would be useful
[20:41] <SpeedEvil> mix input with two candidate tones, observe output of low-passed mixers phase, to correct them?
[20:41] <Laurenceb> I used something like high+delta_f and low +delta_f
[20:41] <Laurenceb> two bins
[20:42] <RocketBoy> thats a bit like the "perfect" fsk decoder
[20:43] <Laurenceb> the problem is radiometrix modules arent phase coherent
[20:43] <Laurenceb> at least thats one of the assumptions I made
[20:44] <Laurenceb> so at each bit shift there is an undefined phase shift
[20:45] <Laurenceb> high low high leads to a different phase shift each time
[20:45] <Laurenceb> even if high high high is predictable
[20:45] <RocketBoy> it depends on what level your talking about phase coherance at
[20:45] <Laurenceb> thats what I assumed
[20:45] <Laurenceb> yeah I assumed only phase coherence over a single bit in my code
[20:45] <RocketBoy> they are VCOs - so a data bit will be pahse coherant with the next - i.e there is no phase discontinuity
[20:46] <Laurenceb> yeah but it all depends how well behaved the transition is
[20:46] <RocketBoy> its just that you cant (easilly) define the phase
[20:46] <Laurenceb> 111111111111111111 or 000000000000000000000 will always be better than 010101010110101
[20:46] <RocketBoy> you could sniff the transmitted output and phase lock it
[20:46] <Laurenceb> for phase coherency
[20:47] <Laurenceb> - even when you calculate the theoretical phase shifts due to the data
[20:47] <Laurenceb> its not very ideal
[20:47] <Laurenceb> - it will differ from theory
[20:47] <RocketBoy> yeah - agreed - thats one of the reasons AFSK is used
[20:48] <Laurenceb> all one or all zero will have much better phase coherency than something with lots of transitions _even accounting for the phase difference the data introduces_
[20:49] <Laurenceb> yeah
[20:49] <RocketBoy> (cos the underlying frequency accuracy or phase isn't as important)
[20:49] <Laurenceb> soto simplify it I assume only phase coherency over single bit periods
[20:51] <Laurenceb> but the frequency drift is much slower than the baud rate so you can average many bins
[20:52] <RocketBoy> sure - and it should be
[20:52] <Laurenceb> brb
[20:52] <RocketBoy> bbl
[20:52] Nick change: RocketBoy -> RocketBoy|Away
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[20:58] Nick change: laurence_ -> Laurenceb_
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[20:58] <Laurenceb_> http://livestream.com/teamprometheus
[20:58] <Laurenceb_> they are onlne
[20:58] <Laurenceb_> not much happening :-/
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[21:06] <Laurenceb_> ubuntu flash eats my processor :(
[21:11] Laurenceb (n=laurence@host86-163-133-203.range86-163.btcentralplus.com) left irc: "The day microsoft make something that doesnt suck is the day they make a vacuum cleaner"
[21:12] <Laurenceb_> anyone know anything about how fan throttling works?
[21:13] <Laurenceb_> it seems to be broken on my machine :-/
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[21:29] <Laurenceb_> SpeedEvil: yo
[21:29] <Laurenceb_> how do I set governor to ondemand?
[21:29] <Laurenceb_> or whatever you were saying?
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[21:33] <SpeedEvil> cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_available_governors
[21:33] <SpeedEvil> will tell you teh available governors
[21:34] <SpeedEvil> echo ondemand >/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
[21:34] <SpeedEvil> then changes it
[21:34] <SpeedEvil> this is the most energy efficient and coolest option for any computing load
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[22:01] <Laurenceb_> back
[22:01] <Laurenceb_> ondemand userspace powersave conservative performance
[22:02] <Laurenceb_> bash: /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor: Permission denied
[22:02] <Laurenceb_> even using sudo
[22:03] <SpeedEvil> odd
[22:03] <Laurenceb_> cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
[22:03] <Laurenceb_> ondemand
[22:03] <Laurenceb_> looks like its ok
[22:03] <Laurenceb_> not sure if I set it
[22:09] <Laurenceb_> hmm hovering about 70C with flash player running
[22:14] <Laurenceb_> http://www.protechcomposite.com/servlet/the-Sandwich-Panels/Categories
[22:14] <Laurenceb_> yummy
[22:30] <SpeedEvil> I want tuna.
[22:30] <Laurenceb_> can you see http://livestream.com/teamprometheus
[22:30] <SpeedEvil> (actually I prefer sardine generally)
[22:30] <Laurenceb_> its just disappeared for me
[22:30] <Laurenceb_> oh back... v odd
[22:30] <SpeedEvil> My god, it's full of stars!
[22:30] <Laurenceb_> livestream obviously have code issues
[22:35] <SpeedEvil> I don't see how large the above panels are
[22:36] <SpeedEvil> oh - right
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[00:00] --- Sun Dec 6 2009