highaltitude.log.20100113

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[08:31] <MikeMc> morning all
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[09:05] <MikeMc> Anyone tried the Maple yet ? - http://leaflabs.com/Maple
[09:07] <russss> I'm not sure I would really classify 72MHz as "fast"
[09:07] <russss> :P
[09:08] <MikeMc> compared to an Arduino it is
[09:08] <MikeMc> and it is fast for an embedded system
[09:09] <russss> true
[09:09] <russss> gumstix is smaller and faster though ;)
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[09:10] <MikeMc> indeed
[09:10] <MikeMc> but a lot more complicated to use
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[12:29] <juxta> hi all
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[12:49] <MikeMc> hi juxta
[13:30] <juxta> hey MikeMc
[13:30] <juxta> how's your launch coming along?
[13:37] <MikeMc> so far it isn't
[13:37] <MikeMc> on hold whilst i deal with millions of customer orders
[13:38] <MikeMc> business has gone through the roof lately
[13:44] <SpeedEvil> what're yo doing?
[13:44] <MikeMc> www.earthshinedesign.co.uk
[13:45] <MikeMc> Mainly Arduino Starter Kits
[13:45] <MikeMc> and other bits and bobs
[13:46] <SpeedEvil> neat
[13:46] <SpeedEvil> spike after freeday?
[14:08] <MikeMc> LOL NO
[14:09] <MikeMc> It has been crazy since mid December
[14:12] <russss> wonder why
[14:36] <juxta> can anybody think of why windows would think a com port is in use when it's not?
[14:36] <juxta> and how I can see what process is 'using' it?
[14:57] <SpeedEvil> :)
[14:57] Action: SpeedEvil has finally started getting insulation down underfloor. Taking forever.
[15:04] <juxta> argh so I fixed the stupid com port
[15:04] <juxta> windows decided that my GPS is a 'microsoft serial ballpoint'
[15:05] <SpeedEvil> ...
[15:05] <juxta> so as soon as it gets conected, windows trys to use it as a mouse...
[15:05] <SpeedEvil> :)
[15:05] <juxta> or whatever a serial ballpoint is
[15:27] <tonyb486> lol
[15:27] <tonyb486> http://www.smartcomputing.com/images/smartcomputing/fullsize/293n0314.jpg
[15:28] <tonyb486> thats a serial ballpoint
[15:37] <MikeMc> I USED TO USE ONE OF THOSE
[15:37] <MikeMc> oops
[15:37] <MikeMc> god that's going back a long way
[15:38] <russss> oh man, I forgot about those
[15:48] <juxta> oh well that's obviously preferable to a GPS receiver :D
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[16:07] <SpeedEvil> I had one too
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[16:25] <jcoxon> afternoon all
[16:25] <Randomskk> yo
[16:25] <Randomskk> hurrah, seeedstudio is now manufacturing the pcbs for my motor controller
[16:25] <Randomskk> one step closer to world domina^w^w a working quadcopter
[16:28] <jcoxon> :-)
[16:30] <jcoxon> how long have you been working on that project?
[16:30] <Randomskk> plenty long enough :P
[16:30] <Randomskk> but not at very high average intensity
[16:31] <Randomskk> and then I see people doing one with a sole arduino on hackaday, pffft
[16:31] <Randomskk> though still most people seem to use standard RC transmitters and recievers, PWM control signals and standard RC brushless motor controllers
[16:32] <jcoxon> yeah i saw that
[16:33] <jcoxon> if i didn't spend soo much time on balloons i still want to make a mini robot for my flat
[16:33] <jcoxon> sort of like a mouse that drives around :-p
[16:33] <Randomskk> mod a roomba? :P
[16:34] <jcoxon> i think it'd need to be smaller - don't have that much floor space
[16:34] <jcoxon> pah tis a project for the future - still need to get atlantic halo in the air asap
[16:36] <Randomskk> hehe yup
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[16:42] <jcoxon> some one needs to launch soon :-p
[16:42] <Randomskk> yea I wanna try tracking from cambs! got a long audio cable for my radio specially
[16:43] <Randomskk> really need to hook up a long wire antenna to the hf input
[16:43] <Randomskk> lol so for the first three days after moving back up I was using my radio to listen to the local repeater and radio stations
[16:43] <jcoxon> Randomskk, i might assign you as lead tracker
[16:43] <Randomskk> signal was pretty good, S5 to S7ish
[16:43] <Randomskk> but it coudln't get all the radio stations one might expect
[16:43] <Randomskk> anyway three days later jonsowman comes up and goes oh cool
[16:43] <Randomskk> where's the antenna
[16:44] <Randomskk> and I'm like ".....in my box, still packed"
[16:44] <Randomskk> totally forgot to plug it in
[16:44] <jcoxon> hehe
[16:44] <Randomskk> so it was actually picking all the radio stations and the repeater up perfectly with just its antenna socket
[16:44] <Randomskk> of course once I plugged it in everything shot to S9+60 or so
[16:47] <jcoxon> Randomskk, hmmm or will you want to come along to the launch?
[16:47] <Randomskk> oh good point
[16:47] <Randomskk> can I do both? :P I can leave my radio on with the whip during the launch and come back and track with the yagi perhaps
[16:47] <Randomskk> or chase it, dunno
[16:47] <jcoxon> cause a key thing is we really need a listener from the beginning - seperate from the launch to catch that point when we move inside
[16:47] <Randomskk> I haven't actually seen a launch yet
[16:47] <jcoxon> we ain't chasing :-p
[16:47] <Randomskk> oh, yea, duh
[16:48] <jcoxon> tis a ballasthalo - they don't come back
[16:48] <Randomskk> hehe nope
[16:48] <Randomskk> well except via the postal system
[16:48] <jcoxon> come along to the launch - we'll find someone else - perhaps fergus will
[16:48] <Randomskk> will see what jon wants to do too, can most likely get something set up here
[16:49] <Randomskk> my window faces NW from selwyn, so I should be able to see straight to churchill
[16:50] <Randomskk> could probably borrow the room above mine to get a good few meters more height too
[16:50] <jcoxon> really needs a monitor
[16:51] <jcoxon> its cool we can borrow some local hams who will be able to get it early enough not to miss the handover between the launch team and the network
[16:51] <jcoxon> and if we set up your radio in advance then anything it gets will be even better
[16:52] <Randomskk> yea
[16:52] <Randomskk> will see how it is on the day
[16:52] <jcoxon> it should be a fun launch
[16:52] <Randomskk> could probably work something out with jon
[16:52] <Randomskk> but yea
[16:52] <Randomskk> should be easy enough to get some coverage
[16:52] <Randomskk> get the cuws shack to listen in :P
[16:53] <Randomskk> dunno if their steppIR yagi can do 434 actually, but quite possibly
[16:56] <jcoxon> at the moment i'm improving the float code
[16:56] <jcoxon> *float detection
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[17:01] <jcoxon> oops, dodgey serial port stuff crashes my mac
[17:11] <sbasuita> jcoxon, hi, what address should i send your radio back to?
[17:12] <jcoxon> sbasuita, ooo i'll email you
[17:12] <MikeMc> a launch is imminent?
[17:12] <sbasuita> jcoxon, ok
[17:12] <jcoxon> MikeMc, i'm working on BallastHalo4 as quick as i can
[17:12] <jcoxon> sbasuita, emailed
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[17:13] <sbasuita> jcoxon, it'll be a few days for the snow to clear before i'll get to the post office and send
[17:13] <sbasuita> got your email
[17:13] <jcoxon> sbasuita, oh thats no worries
[17:13] <jcoxon> i won't get it till a weekend anyway as i'll have to collect it as no one will be in to sign for it
[17:13] <Randomskk> sbasuita: I heard it snowed even more in surrey
[17:14] <Randomskk> so gutted, like no snow here, it's pathetic
[17:14] <DanielRichman> Randomskk, yet no school closure. My (school) bus was 1.5hrs late
[17:14] <Randomskk> D:
[17:15] <jcoxon> what are peoples thoughts on time i should wait at float before dropping the ballast?
[17:15] <jcoxon> taking into the account that it takes a bit of time to truely settle into float
[17:15] <Randomskk> 20-30min?
[17:15] <sbasuita> Randomskk, i've had two days of school since we were due to go back on the 5th :D
[17:15] <russss> what's the point of waiting?
[17:16] <Randomskk> sbasuita: also D:, in this case because I have no such no-school
[17:16] <Randomskk> though otoh also lectures still haven't started for me until tomorrow
[17:16] <Randomskk> on the other hand, SHIT, lectures are starting tomorrow I really need to do more work
[17:16] <jcoxon> russss, cause if not it'll dump every time it thinks its floating but not really
[17:16] <Randomskk> also I don't think heavy snow means cancelled lectures for me
[17:16] <russss> true
[17:16] <Randomskk> not sure though
[17:17] <Randomskk> jcoxon: I take it any kind of uplink is more effort than it's worth?
[17:17] <russss> although based on last time, if it thinks it's floating, it's probably within a couple hundred meters of the float altitude anyway.
[17:17] <jcoxon> Randomskk, yeah certainly at the range it might be at
[17:17] <jcoxon> russss, true but i want to see the change with the dumping of ballast
[17:18] <jcoxon> hence the aim to get it to float nicely
[17:18] <russss> it's a fiddly one
[17:18] <jcoxon> but i'm going to add a timer as well
[17:18] <jcoxon> say after 4 hours sod it and dump something as we are getting bored waiting
[17:18] <russss> well, I'd say that if you took BH3 and tweaked the float detection to be +/- 2m/s as opposed to 1m/s it would work
[17:20] <jcoxon> russss, 2m/s is quite close to our planned ascent rate
[17:20] <russss> hmm
[17:20] <russss> how are you changing the float detection then?
[17:20] <jcoxon> looking at the BH3 data we do eventually get a proper float
[17:20] <jcoxon> it doesn't time out as quickly
[17:21] <russss> but to all intents and purposes it had been floating for a while
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[17:22] <jcoxon> cause that seemed to be the issue - it would think it had lost float just before it dumped
[17:22] <russss> yeah
[17:22] <russss> well I would say cut the wait period to 10mins?
[17:22] <russss> just to be on the safe side
[17:22] <russss> because BH3 would have triggered given that
[17:23] <jcoxon> yes
[17:24] <russss> ooh I might work on my telemetry processing/graphing thing on the plane
[17:24] <russss> is the data from BH3 around somewhere?
[17:24] <jcoxon> yeah, one sec i'll find a link
[17:25] <jcoxon> http://www.pegasushabproject.org.uk/wiki/doku.php/missions:ballasthalo:ballasthalo3:flightlog
[17:25] <russss> is the raw tracker data around anywhere too?
[17:26] <russss> (including corrupt packets)
[17:26] <russss> I forgot the URL for that page
[17:26] <jcoxon> http://www.robertharrison.org/listen/view.php
[17:27] <russss> that's the one
[17:27] <jcoxon> buried in there
[17:27] <russss> bonus badger2 data as well
[17:28] <jcoxon> russss, whats your graphing/telem plan?
[17:29] <russss> well first I want to pull all the packets into a message queue, so anyone can attach and get realtime data
[17:29] <russss> then I want to see if I can do any cunning error-correction if there are obvious single-character errors
[17:30] <jcoxon> :-)
[17:30] <jcoxon> would this one day be in a position to be rolled into the main server?
[17:30] <russss> quite possibly
[17:30] <jcoxon> if you spoke with rjharrison he would probably provide access to the mysql database where everything is kept
[17:31] <russss> well ideally the receiving script just needs to push the message onto the queue
[17:31] <jcoxon> oh thats easy then
[17:36] <blomlet> I'm curious. how are you coding the detection of float?
[17:38] <jcoxon> blomlet, calculating the ascent rate and then when it falls within -1 and +1 over a period of time saying thats float
[17:38] <jcoxon> i know it could be more complicated and more effcient
[17:39] <SpeedEvil> Why do you care about float.
[17:39] <SpeedEvil> And not - say - descending.
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[17:39] <jcoxon> efficient*
[17:39] <SpeedEvil> I mean - why would you have a lower limit on the float band
[17:39] <jcoxon> SpeedEvil, cause we are not trying to extend the flight but instead test the tanks and pump
[17:40] <SpeedEvil> oh - right.
[17:40] <jcoxon> so i want to be able to show a big change when we dump ballast
[17:40] <blomlet> how frequently are you reading the altitude?
[17:41] <jcoxon> about every 10 seconds (got telemetry in between)
[17:41] <jcoxon> actually more like 15seconds
[17:42] <blomlet> ok - how lonk will it take to dump the ballast?
[17:42] <blomlet> @long
[17:42] <jcoxon> not sure yet, need to run some tests
[17:43] <jcoxon> probably about 10mins for the whole tank
[17:43] <jcoxon> but only want to dump say 100mls at a time (500ml tank)
[17:43] <blomlet> interesting.
[17:44] <jcoxon> :-)
[17:44] <blomlet> Last in the line of interrogating questions... what %age of the payload weight is the ballast?
[17:44] <jcoxon> about 50%
[17:45] <jcoxon> this isn't a ZP balloon payload - tis a latex floater payload just to point out
[17:46] <blomlet> gotcha
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[18:01] <jcoxon> bbl
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[18:25] <rjharrison_> Evening all
[18:26] <rjharrison_> Hey jcoxon
[18:26] <rjharrison_> How is it all going guys
[18:26] <rjharrison_> any one feeling like launching in this cold!
[18:33] <icez> it's only 15 C :P
[18:37] <natrium42> 15C is cold?!
[18:46] Action: icez is not in the UK
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[21:32] <Randomskk> hmm
[21:32] <Randomskk> if I have a random length wire antenna and it has a certain maximum length I can make it
[21:32] <Randomskk> do I gain anything by having it run that length a few times, i.e. looped?
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[21:59] <Laurenceb> hello
[21:59] <Randomskk> hi
[21:59] <Randomskk> :D motor controller PCBs finished and sent to seeed
[22:02] <Laurenceb> http://gb.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Atmel/ATXMEGA64A3-AU/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMv9Wvg%252bO4wHS6r6znHKcqh6
[22:02] <Laurenceb> cool
[22:02] <Laurenceb> ^ look what I found
[22:02] <Laurenceb> I'm thinking about a decent autopilot board - based on the sparkfun 9DOF
[22:03] <Laurenceb> maybe atmega324p, maybe xmega... not sure
[22:05] <Laurenceb> is really very nice for this sort of thing - 36MHz at 2.7v, DMA, 12 bit adc lots of timers and cheap
[22:05] <Laurenceb> - xmega
[22:05] <SpeedEvil> neat
[22:06] <SpeedEvil> check that the DMA is really DMA - if that matters. Sometimes in some MCUs it will effectivelyt lock the bus
[22:10] <Laurenceb> annoyingly all the decent ones are export restricted
[22:11] <Laurenceb> I suspect atmel trying to conserve stocks - they are utterly screwing up with their fabs atm :-/
[22:11] <Randomskk> and nothing to do with the onboard crypto? :P
[22:11] <Randomskk> you should be fine importing crypto to the states, we're not on the US's list of countries you can't export crypto to
[22:12] <Laurenceb> then why are only some restricted?
[22:12] <Laurenceb> the most useful and likely to be wanted packages
[22:12] <Randomskk> are they also the ones with the better crypto?
[22:13] <Laurenceb> seems to be package related
[22:13] <Laurenceb> suggesting stock issues
[22:13] <Laurenceb> farnell stock then in the UK - but they are out
[22:13] <Laurenceb> huge lead time
[22:16] <Laurenceb> http://gb.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Atmel/ATXMEGA32A4-CU/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMsgSGrx0WqTbC4IMhPXIsLB
[22:16] <Laurenceb> ^ not export restricted
[22:17] <Laurenceb> http://gb.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Atmel/ATXMEGA32A4-AU/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMv9Wvg%252bO4wHS%252btjFoTqKHgM
[22:17] <Laurenceb> ^ restricted
[22:17] <Randomskk> hmm
[22:17] <Randomskk> well yup, perhaps that is just atmel being silly
[22:17] <Laurenceb> only difference is the package
[22:18] <Laurenceb> atmel IS silly
[22:18] <Laurenceb> AVR== avaliable very rarely
[22:20] <Laurenceb> even erik weddington admits its a mess :-(
[22:21] <Laurenceb> - atmel open source coordinator guy
[22:27] <natrium42> Larduinoceb
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[23:35] <Laurenceb> http://uk.farnell.com/atmel/atxmega64d3-au/mcu-8-16bit-xmega-64k-flash-44tqfp/dp/1748561
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[00:00] --- Thu Jan 14 2010