highaltitude.log.20100415

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[08:55] <frazzy> New Zealand recently joined the space race after launching a small rocket into space
[08:55] <frazzy> the guy behind the project was so focused on his project he changed his last name to "Rocket"
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[09:24] <junderwood> Good day for launching balloons in the UK.
[09:24] <junderwood> No aircraft to worry about
[09:25] <SpeedEvil1> ?
[09:25] <junderwood> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8621407.stm
[09:25] <junderwood> http://www.radarvirtuel.com/
[09:25] <SpeedEvil1> oh
[09:26] <junderwood> Didn't you notice it was a bit quiet :-)
[09:26] <SpeedEvil1> no
[09:27] <SpeedEvil1> Commercial plane noise is essentially not over here.
[09:27] <SpeedEvil1> Or rather scheduled commercial
[09:28] Nick change: Speedevil -> n900evil
[09:28] Nick change: SpeedEvil1 -> SpeedEvil
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[10:31] <frazzy> if only I worked for the CIA I could fly drones all day
[10:34] <russss> I guess there might be some static issues
[10:34] <russss> all that ash
[10:37] <grumbel_> it migh give some pretty pictures though
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[10:56] <g8khw-iPhone> Is anyone putting somthing up this morning - to get the volcanic ash plume?
[10:56] Action: SpeedEvil wishes he was.
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[11:44] <grumbel_> parts of german airspace will be closed now, too
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[12:04] <sbasuita> i thought the jumbos could land themselves at major airports...
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[12:06] <grumbel_> the main problem doesn't seem to be landing, but flying through the dust
[12:06] <grumbel_> eg. problems with the engines
[12:06] <sbasuita> ah right
[12:06] <sbasuita> that is a good point
[12:07] <grumbel_> I guess small particles could damage the turbine plates etc.
[12:07] <sbasuita> i remember there was this nasa site where you could get the very latest images from their two polar orbit satellites
[12:07] <sbasuita> can't find it ;(
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[12:11] <ProjectCirrus> holy dung..... were launching a balloon tomorrow
[12:11] <ProjectCirrus> into the ash cload
[12:11] <ProjectCirrus> cloud
[12:12] <ProjectCirrus> what a coincidence
[12:13] <grumbel_> sbasuita: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/satpics/latest_IR.html
[12:14] <grumbel_> not sure if the cloud is visible there, though
[12:14] <russss> I'm waiting for the MODIS visible
[12:14] <sbasuita> yeah same
[12:14] <russss> should be done in an hour or two
[12:14] <sbasuita> http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/abin/passarea/sat/modis/2010/4/15/1000/42/predpass.gif
[12:14] <grumbel_> ah, the visible chanel is here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/satpics/latest_VIS.html
[12:14] <sbasuita> this was the last pass
[12:15] <russss> http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/2010105/
[12:16] <sbasuita> russss, awesome! that was the link i was looking for :)
[12:27] <sbasuita> Am I right in thinking Terra will scan the uk in about 15 mins?
[12:32] <russss> yeah I think so
[12:32] <russss> but it won't be on the site till it passes over Houston
[12:32] <russss> because it only downlinks then
[12:33] <sbasuita> that could be a while
[12:34] <russss> generally mid-afternoon
[12:35] <sbasuita> russss, when will they update http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=United_Kingdom_Ireland ?
[12:35] <russss> those are updated on-demand when the backing data is changed, AFAICT
[12:37] <sbasuita> well looks like another 5 hours till a houston fly-over http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/single.php?orbitmap1.global.2010105.gif :|
[12:38] <russss> I demand realtime imagery
[12:38] <russss> they should use TDRSS
[12:39] <SpeedEvil> I've kept meaning to have a laser pointer tracking mount sorted out for ISS passes where NASA TV is covering.
[12:39] <russss> haha
[12:39] <SpeedEvil> 500mW or so of laser light should be easily visible in the cameras.
[12:39] <SpeedEvil> (of ISS)
[12:41] <sbasuita> russss, http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/directbrod/
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[12:42] <sbasuita> russss, break out the coathanger
[12:42] <russss> sbasuita: apparently you need a min 2.5m dish to successfully receive that
[12:42] <russss> it's quite high bitrate
[12:42] <sbasuita> :(
[12:43] <russss> GSFC put their raw downlink data on an FTP server somewhere
[12:48] <junderwood> Try the 24 hour loop on http://oiswww.eumetsat.org/IPPS/html/MSG/RGB/ASH/ICELAND/index.htm
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[13:16] <sbasuita> http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/abin/piccyhtml/modis/2010/4/15/1139+42/ch2.jpg
[13:16] <sbasuita> username=bugmenot, password=kmw728
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[13:25] <sbasuita> oh wow
[13:25] <russss> http://www.sat.dundee.ac.uk/abin/piccyjpeghtml/modis/2010/4/15/1139+42+42/ch38.jpg
[13:25] <russss> that's not too bad
[13:25] <sbasuita> yeah was just about to post that
[13:25] <russss> that's clearly not just one channel though
[13:25] <russss> I wonder which ones it is
[13:25] <sbasuita> "RGB Composite image reprojected. (High Resolution UK) "
[13:25] <sbasuita> russss,
[13:26] <russss> still doesn't *really* answer the question :)
[13:26] <sbasuita> ;P
[13:27] <russss> the thing has 36 channels, and about 9 of them are in the visible spectrum
[13:27] <sbasuita> russss, top right says "channel 1, 4, 3"
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[13:27] <sbasuita> (in the image)
[13:27] <russss> ah cool
[13:27] <russss> didn't see that
[13:28] <russss> 620-672, 545-565, 459-479
[13:28] <russss> I'm going to hold out for the GSFC imagery
[13:28] <russss> that one seems to be copyrighted by the university of dundee
[13:28] <russss> which is a bit cheeky
[13:30] <sbasuita> mmm
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[13:35] <rharrison_> Randomskk, can I be a pain and ask for the predictor to go back to the 35km alt
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[13:35] <rharrison_> I'm hoping to do a lunch this w/e but it looks like 40K os out
[13:36] <rharrison_> is
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[13:40] <GW8RAK> Project Cirrus - have seen that you are transmitting data at 300baud and 50 baud. Is there any advantage to one over the other?
[13:41] <fsphil> 50 baud should have better range / reliability
[13:41] <GW8RAK> Lower bandwidth and hence higher s/n?
[13:42] <fsphil> yep. the 300 baud is necessary to get the images down at a half decent rate
[13:43] <fsphil> will you be having a go at receiving tomorrow? assuming they're still flying. not sure how volcanic ash would affect it
[13:43] <GW8RAK> Thought so, but still trying to understand all the variables.
[13:43] <GW8RAK> Yes, I'll be listening. At work at 10, so will try to stream the audio over the web down to work. Being the boss does have some advantages.
[13:44] <fsphil> sweet :)
[13:44] <fsphil> reminds me, I still haven't told anyone I'm off tomorrow.
[13:44] Action: sbasuita looks up, sees blue skies, wonders why heathrow has been closed for 2 hours now
[13:44] <fsphil> lovely blue sky here too, although I think the plume has missed us
[13:45] <fsphil> my aunt is stuck in Edinburgh because of it :)
[13:45] <juxta_> fsphil: how are you guys handling the imagine streaming?
[13:45] <juxta_> with regards to error correction/lost blocks I mean
[13:46] <fsphil> I'm using reed-solomon codes to correct for small errors
[13:46] <fsphil> anything larger and the block is lost
[13:46] <juxta_> nice - what's taking the photos/transmitting them? a micro of some kind?
[13:47] <fsphil> A small serial camera I got from sparkfun, it takes the image and spits out JPEG data to a microcontroller
[13:47] <fsphil> an atmega, which does the reed-solomon bits and then tx's it
[13:48] <fsphil> it's nice and simple -- but the jpeg format isn't ideal for this
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[13:48] <juxta_> yeah hpeg doesnt do well with lost blocks does it?
[13:48] <juxta_> jpeg even*
[13:48] <grumbel_> as a single lost block destroys the image?
[13:49] <fsphil> possibly, esp. if it's an early block
[13:49] <juxta_> how are you buffering the stream fsphil? how much ram do you have on the atmega?
[13:50] <fsphil> 4k I think -- the camera sends it out in blocks, which can be whatever size we request
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[13:50] <fsphil> the blocks with FEC and headers are 256 bytes
[13:50] <juxta_> oh nice, that's nifty - so it can do blocks every few seconds to suit your tx rate I guess
[13:51] <fsphil> at 300 baud it's about 4 or 5 seconds per block
[13:51] <juxta_> did you write the RS routines from scratch or use a library on the atmega?
[13:52] <fsphil> modified someone elses code -- I'm afraid I don't understand how RS codes work :)
[13:52] <fsphil> I'll put the code up somewhere shortly
[13:52] <fsphil> it runs pretty quick and doesn't use a huge amount of memory
[13:53] <juxta_> that'd be really cool fsphil - i'd be keen to look at it, I've been thinking of experimenting with RS coding too, but havent yet
[13:53] <juxta_> how are you decoding back on the ground?
[13:54] <fsphil> modified dl-fldigi, my code watches the incoming bytes for blocks
[13:55] <fsphil> I've still to do the uploading bits -- working on that now
[13:55] <LazyLeopard> Ah. Must sort out how to build the latest version on Tiger. Last one I built was from googlecode...
[13:55] <LazyLeopard> ...or on Ubuntu, for that matter. I was given an Ubuntu laptop...
[13:56] <fsphil> should build on ubuntu without any probs
[13:56] <sbasuita> grumbel_, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8622099.stm
[13:56] <fsphil> but don't quote me on that ;)
[13:56] <sbasuita> grumbel_, you're right, that ash is nasty
[13:57] <fsphil> my lunch time is nearly over, bbl!
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[13:57] <LazyLeopard> Trouble is this Ubuntu install is basic, and it's the first time I've looked at Ubuntu, and I'll no doubt have to install a bunch of stuff (like git) before I can fetch the code...
[13:57] <LazyLeopard> sbasuita: Would be cool to fly a balloon through the cloud, though...
[13:58] <DanielRichman> LazyLeopard, I can run you through building dl-fldigi on ubuntu very quickly
[13:58] <sbasuita> LazyLeopard, you would get an ash covered lens though?
[14:01] <LazyLeopard> DanielRichman: Please, but I'll need to get the laptop running, which may take a short while...
[14:01] <DanielRichman> LazyLeopard, tell me when you're ready
[14:02] <LazyLeopard> sbasuita: Yeah, that's a possible problem...
[14:02] <juxta_> rharrison_: are you about?
[14:03] <rharrison_> Yep
[14:03] <rharrison_> skype or type :)
[14:04] <rharrison_> juxta_,
[14:04] <juxta_> hey rharrison_
[14:04] <juxta_> was just wondering about your lens setup - do you put a UV filter in front of the cameras usually?
[14:04] <rharrison_> Always
[14:04] <DanielRichman> LazyLeopard, i'll start spewwing commands that you'll need to run, tell me if there's a problem
[14:05] <juxta_> yeah - I think I'll go a nice hoya next time
[14:05] <rharrison_> Apart from the next launch where I'll have a camera doing both
[14:05] <juxta_> also, are your chdk scripts floating around on the wiki or your site at all?
[14:05] <rharrison_> one in the box and one outside
[14:07] <LazyLeopard> DanielRichman: It's hunting for the wireless network at present... Ok. Ready to roll. Might /msg be better?
[14:07] <rharrison_> juxta_, humm they don't appear to be
[14:07] <rharrison_> I can put them there tonight
[14:07] <DanielRichman> LazyLeopard, join #highaltitude99
[14:10] <juxta_> rharrison_: no hassles, just interested as my a560 came the other day :)
[14:11] <sbasuita> http://twitter.com/sbasuita/status/12221424353
[14:11] <sbasuita> oops
[14:11] <sbasuita> oh well that link will do
[14:11] <sbasuita> (nasa put up the satellite imagery)
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[14:14] <grumbel_> now that's hi-res
[14:15] <grumbel_> sbasuita: thanks for the link
[14:15] <sbasuita> grumbel_, 250m per pixel apparently
[14:16] <russss> the 3-6-7 is nice
[14:16] <russss> http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/realtime/2010105/crefl1_367.A2010105113500-2010105114000.2km.jpg
[14:16] <russss> also you can see fires in scotland
[14:16] <sbasuita> what's the significance of the ash cloud being blue?
[14:18] <russss> blue is IR - absorbed by water, reflected by ash
[14:18] <russss> I think
[14:18] <russss> http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/faq/#faq04
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[14:36] <Randomskk> rharrison_: done
[14:37] <rharrison_> Randomskk,
[14:37] <rharrison_> I'm thinking tomorrow might be fun to get some pictures of the ashcloud :)
[14:38] <rharrison_> Probably see nothing
[14:38] <Randomskk> oooh
[14:38] <Randomskk> yes if it's dense enough
[14:38] <rharrison_> Bu then again
[14:38] <rharrison_> t
[14:38] <Randomskk> but I understand atm it's very fine tiny particles of crap that are just sufficient to bugger æroplane engines
[14:39] <rharrison_> Can always photoshop a nice ash cloud in there :)
[14:39] <Randomskk> haha true
[14:40] <rharrison_> Might even get in the papers for a change :)
[14:40] <russss> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9
[14:40] <russss> c.f.
[14:40] <Randomskk> hah
[14:40] <rharrison_> Just had a Chat with the CAA
[14:40] <Randomskk> blimy
[14:40] <Randomskk> that is quite an ash cloud
[14:41] <ms7821> sbasuita: I wonder why it's so distorted at the top left
[14:41] <russss> ms7821: that's the curvature of the earth
[14:41] <ms7821> left
[14:41] <russss> the georectified version is coming
[14:42] <sbasuita> http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=United_Kingdom_Ireland.2010105.terra.250m.jpg ?
[14:42] <ms7821> not right
[14:42] <russss> sbasuita: yeah, that one
[14:42] <russss> :P
[14:42] <russss> sbasuita: note that checking the jpg file won't help, you have to hit the .html file to get it regenerated. Whenever that happens.
[14:43] <ms7821> yeah, there's still quite a delay - I was also sitting on that page with my finger on F5
[14:43] <sbasuita> russss, ah, thanks for the advice
[14:43] <russss> sbasuita: I have spent my fair share of time trying to scrape these images ;)
[14:44] <sbasuita> russss, do you have a big projected image of a live earth on your wall? :P
[14:45] <russss> sbasuita: stitching those MODIS images gets ugly, there are gaps in the swathes ;)
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[14:45] <sbasuita> that's worrying
[14:45] <sbasuita> my session doesn't usually randomly crash
[14:45] <sbasuita> =/
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[14:57] <russss> damn, that UK/Ireland subset doesn't extent high enough
[14:57] <russss> I think I might stitch them myself
[14:57] <russss> but I'm at work atm :/
[14:59] <sbasuita> you're right :|
[15:03] <sbasuita> russss, although is that ash coming in over east anglia?
[15:04] <russss> no, that's silt in the sea I think you're seeing
[15:04] <russss> (wow, that's quite the tongue-twister)
[15:17] <rharrison_> is that england at the bottom of the pic above
[15:17] <rharrison_> ?
[15:19] <russss> this one? http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/subsets/?subset=United_Kingdom_Ireland.2010105.terra.250m.jpg
[15:19] <russss> yeah
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[15:27] <junderwood> http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMFYR9MT7G_index_0.html
[15:30] Nick change: jonsowman -> jonsowman_away
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[15:47] <rharrison_> russss, thanks
[15:48] <russss> the ESA one is better at this point
[15:49] <rharrison_> I'm assming the billowing white cloud is the ash cloud!
[15:49] <rharrison_> ESA one ?
[15:49] <russss> the ash is grey
[15:51] <rharrison_> Is it over the majority of that image?
[15:51] <sbasuita> this could be even better http://twitter.com/NASA/status/12226994362
[15:51] <russss> no, most of that is cloud
[15:51] <sbasuita> rharrison_, no its at the top
[15:52] <rharrison_> ahh got it thanks sbasuita russss
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[15:56] <Futurity> Hi, I've been reading the wiki about radio modules and I'm a bit confused over the NTX2? Is this the module most used in UKHAS launches? I think i've read it is, but it states it is FM not SSB
[15:56] <DanielRichman> I think we abuse the input pins in some way
[15:56] <Futurity> oh i see
[15:56] <DanielRichman> but yes, the NTX2 is very popular
[15:57] <Futurity> but surely FM has a carrier, where as SSB is just the sideband without the carrier
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[15:57] <DanielRichman> pass
[15:57] <Randomskk> FM doesn't have a carrier
[15:57] <Randomskk> it has a centre frequency
[15:57] <Futurity> hence why you can transmit further on SSB because you can pump more power to the signal as there is no power require for the carrier
[15:58] <Randomskk> well
[15:58] <Randomskk> it has a 'carrier' consisting of the output signal, whose frequency variates to encode data
[15:58] <Randomskk> the ntx2 outputs this signal and variates its frequency depending on the voltage to one of its pins
[15:58] <Futurity> i could well be confused over FM having a carrier. I thought it had one that was wobbled backwards and forwards in frequency, but most likely wrong
[15:59] <Randomskk> the resulting output is that the ntx2 module is either transmitting at one frequency or another a few hundred hz higher, as we only give it two input voltages
[15:59] <Randomskk> so it's outputting a carrier signal all the time, at one of two discrete frequencies
[16:00] <Randomskk> (since its input is two discrete voltages, rather than an analogue waveform)
[16:00] <Randomskk> so it is transmitting FM
[16:01] <Randomskk> however, we listen to it using SSB, with our carrier frequency set to something a bit lower than the lower of the two transmit frequencies
[16:01] <Randomskk> therefore both of the possible transmit frequencies fall into the sideband the radio expects to get audio data in
[16:02] <Randomskk> which means from the radio's point of view, it is listening to an SSB transmitter sending one of two audio frequency tones
[16:02] <Futurity> i see
[16:02] <Randomskk> hey I made this illustration a while back which may help https://randomskk.net/u/ssb_fm.png
[16:03] <Futurity> reading it now :)
[16:03] <SpeedEvil> http://ukhas.org.uk/guides:tracking_guide
[16:03] <Randomskk> the point is that the latter two graphs are identical in terms of what is actually transmitted
[16:03] <SpeedEvil> also has an explanation
[16:04] <Futurity> i see good diagram
[16:04] <Randomskk> so you can hear an FM transmitter that's just sending a constant signal as an audio tone in SSB mode
[16:04] <Futurity> i see
[16:05] <Futurity> is there a curcuit diagram explaining how to hook up the NTX2 for this perpose?
[16:05] <Randomskk> those audio tones are sent down the headphone cable from the radio to your computer, which sees them as audio inputs as though from a microphone, and they are then decoded by software on the computer
[16:05] <Futurity> thanks for the help btw
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[16:05] <Randomskk> well basically you just connect its data pin through a couple hundred ohms resistor to your serial output
[16:06] <Randomskk> there are schematics somewhere
[16:06] <Randomskk> can't find any atm though
[16:06] <Randomskk> but it's just the standard for ntx2 modules
[16:07] <Futurity> i have the SSB transceiver now, but looking to build a simple circuit to tansmit
[16:07] <Futurity> i've found a Microchip simulator that presents the software emulated hardware pins through the serial port, etc.
[16:08] <rharrison_> http://www.robertharrison.org/images/icarus2/Icarus-sch.pdf
[16:08] <Futurity> looking to use an old laptop hooked up to an RS232 GPS to write the software to test it all out without significant hardware investment
[16:09] <rharrison_> Randomskk, good explaination. I think I understand it now too
[16:09] <rharrison_> Nice dia
[16:10] <rharrison_> gram
[16:10] <Randomskk> thanks
[16:11] <Futurity> nice pdf :)
[16:12] <Futurity> does the GPS module output standard RS232, as in i can use a physical GPS with RS232 out for development perposes?
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[16:16] <Randomskk> eh
[16:16] <Randomskk> oh he left
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[16:28] <Futurity> Hi, Update rebooted PC (don't you just love Windows) :(
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[16:28] <Randomskk> you can stop it doing that, I am told
[16:28] <Randomskk> hi jcoxon
[16:28] <jcoxon> hey all
[16:29] <Futurity> hi jcoxon
[16:29] <Randomskk> Futurity: your gps will probably need a usb-serial converter rather than onboard rs232 but it might work, the issue is that real rs232 uses silly voltages
[16:30] <Futurity> This is a very old GPS. All RS232, no usb (usb hadn't been invented then)
[16:30] <jcoxon> just a quick thought, with this volcanic dust cloud coming through, good time to launch a camera payload
[16:30] <Futurity> i take it that the GPS module doesn't use the RS232 voltages then? Does it still use the rs232 protocol though?
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[16:31] <Futurity> jcoxon: A long time before i launch a camera ;)
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[16:31] <Randomskk> jcoxon: rjharrison had thoughts to that effect
[16:32] <jcoxon> well we've got projectcirrus tomorrow
[16:32] <Futurity> Does that have a camera?
[16:33] <jcoxon> on their page they do
[16:33] <jcoxon> Kodak I think
[16:33] Action: DanielRichman really wants to launch :(
[16:33] <jcoxon> bbl
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[16:34] <rharrison_> Hey ProjectCirrus are you going to launch tomorrow
[16:34] <rharrison_> ?
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[16:51] <sbasuita> the winds aren't exactly ideal
[16:51] <sbasuita> oh wait they're n ireland
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[17:05] <earthshine> afternoon
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[17:44] <sbasuita> http://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/technology/explorers_balloons.html
[17:45] <sbasuita> "Participants in the BalloonSAT Exploring Program launch a 6-foot diameter weather balloon, complete with experiments and cameras, into the space-like regions of Earth's upper atmosphere."
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[17:51] Action: SpeedEvil ponders tonights sunset
[17:52] <earthshine> I wonder if it wil be red like they say
[17:52] <Randomskk> last night's sunset was very red for me
[17:52] <Randomskk> possibly unrelated
[17:52] <Randomskk> but it was notably red
[17:52] <Randomskk> I noted it before finding out about the volcano and ensuring ash cloud, that is to say
[17:52] <fsphil> hoping for a good sunset tonight
[17:52] <fsphil> did you catch Venus and Mercury?
[17:53] <earthshine> I took a pic of Venus and Mercury the other day
[17:53] <Randomskk> I should set up my telescope :o
[17:53] <earthshine> only an SLR pic so nothing eciting
[17:53] <earthshine> so just 2 dots one brighter than the other
[17:53] <earthshine> What scope do you have Randomskk ?
[17:53] <fsphil> I keep missing Mercury -- I haven't see nit yet
[17:53] <fsphil> seen it even
[17:53] <Randomskk> earthshine: I can never remember, it's nothing particularly special and I'm not sure I can still mount my dslr to it sadly
[17:53] <Randomskk> it might be an 8" celestron
[17:54] <earthshine> i see
[17:54] <Randomskk> it does have a motorised mount
[17:54] <Randomskk> but I'm never convinced it is actually pointing anywhere useful
[17:54] <earthshine> So no GoTo then ?
[17:54] <Randomskk> it does have goto
[17:54] <Randomskk> just I've never been convinced by it
[17:54] <earthshine> lol ok
[17:54] <fsphil> brb, dinner
[17:54] <earthshine> Mine works excellently
[17:55] <Randomskk> how do you configure/align it?
[17:55] <earthshine> always gets the target dead centre every time
[17:55] <earthshine> I have an EQ6 Pro
[17:55] <earthshine> You need to do a star alignment on 1, 2 or 3 stars
[17:55] <Randomskk> probably much better
[17:55] <Randomskk> yea, this does star alignment
[17:55] <Randomskk> also guesses what the stars are
[17:55] <earthshine> but yours should be pretty much the same
[17:55] <Randomskk> you just point it at bright stars
[17:55] <earthshine> yep
[17:55] <Randomskk> seems like witchcraft
[17:56] <earthshine> once you do an alignment it shoud be accurate, presuming you've done a good polar alignment to start with
[17:56] <Randomskk> will have to have a play again some time
[17:56] <Randomskk> need to buy a new dslr mount for it, I think some of the metal on mine broke
[17:56] <Randomskk> thing is though it's a bit shit
[17:56] <Randomskk> the thing can't take the weight of the dslr
[17:56] <Randomskk> not enough friction
[17:56] <earthshine> have you counterbalanced it ?
[17:56] <Randomskk> no
[17:57] <earthshine> if it is balanced it should be fine
[17:57] <Randomskk> apparently that is my mistake then
[17:57] <Randomskk> not sure how I would go about doing that
[17:57] <Randomskk> doesn't appear to have any obvious way of applying a counterbalance
[17:57] <earthshine> yeah you need to make sure the scope stays horizontal with the cam loaded
[17:57] <earthshine> you might need to buy an attachment
[17:57] <earthshine> you can buy rings where weights attach
[17:57] <Randomskk> will investigate
[17:57] <Randomskk> the results are usually lots of fun
[17:57] <earthshine> either that or slide it further along the dovetail
[17:57] <earthshine> if your dovetail isn't long enough you might need a longer one
[17:58] <earthshine> mounts can usually take considerably more than the manufacturers specified max load
[17:58] <earthshine> I can add about 10kg more than the specs say to mine without any detrimental effects as long as everythign is balanced
[17:59] <Randomskk> just need to balance it then
[18:00] <Randomskk> does software exist to make things pretty given as currently I'm basically just taking normal photos through the viewfinder?
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[18:12] <earthshine> ideally you need to stack images
[18:12] <earthshine> there are lots of free porgrams to do it
[18:12] <Randomskk> might have a play at some point
[18:15] <Upu> My friend does it http://www.veryamateur.co.uk/ SFW :)
[18:15] <Upu> image stacking that is
[18:15] <Upu> might be something on there on what he uses and how he does it
[18:16] <DanielRichman> our school has a grant to buy a large e-telescope
[18:16] <sbasuita> DanielRichman, what is an e-telescope
[18:16] <DanielRichman> it tracks objects automatically
[18:16] <DanielRichman> and takes pictures
[18:17] <DanielRichman> rather than have an eye piece (I think)
[18:17] <sbasuita> DanielRichman, takes pictures of the reading light pollution ;)
[18:17] <DanielRichman> they've got that covered too
[18:17] <DanielRichman> I think it tracks an object over a small period of time then processes it to remove light pollution
[18:18] <sbasuita> right but you'll still be adversely affected by the pollution
[18:18] <sbasuita> you can't just magic it away
[18:19] <sbasuita> the school has a massive habit of wasting money
[18:19] <sbasuita> where the hell is our sports hall
[18:19] <sbasuita> gah
[18:19] <DanielRichman> go talk to t squared
[18:20] <fsphil> I got a pretty nice telescope but I never factored in how heavy it was
[18:20] <fsphil> doesn't get out much because it's just awkward to move
[18:24] <Upu> Anyone got any suggestions on a prototyping/break out board for this chip : http://ava.upuaut.net/files/ism300pcb.jpg. 1.9mm pin pitch is a little odd apparently
[18:24] <Upu> Suspect I'm going to have to make my own break out board
[18:25] <earthshine> light poluttion is not a major factor if you do astrophotography
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[18:34] <rjharrison> ping ProjectCirrus
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[18:36] <SpeedEvil> earthshine: depends on what you're trying to get.
[18:36] <SpeedEvil> earthshine: planets - absolutely not.
[18:37] <SpeedEvil> Detectors with actual decent noise figures, and long integration times - yes
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[18:43] <Hiena> Upu, i would make a small adaptor board.
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[18:52] <sbasuita> "Nick Robinson has just told the BBC that the three leaders have been surprised by how close they will be to each other on the stage. They will almost be within touching distance, Robinson says."
[18:52] <sbasuita> fight fight fight
[18:53] <gb73d> i wont watch it because its just another propaganda exercise, bringing in Presidential style debates
[18:53] <gb73d> why arent all the parties represented ?
[18:54] <sbasuita> gb73d, i think trying to represent all the minor parties would be unworkable
[18:54] <sbasuita> gb73d, these are the ones that have any chance at power
[18:55] <Upu> yeah looks like thats what I need to do Hiena
[18:55] <gb73d> not in a democracy - all have a chance equally thats the big idea
[18:56] <sbasuita> gb73d, well, yeah but we don't have proportional representation
[18:56] <Hiena> Guess, it would takes me about to 40 min to create such pcb. Maybe 35 if i had a coffee.
[18:56] <gb73d> we dont even have democracy if you ask me
[18:56] <sbasuita> gb73d, i'm of the same sentiment
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[19:03] <gb73d> im going out to photograph the sunset bbl
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[19:04] <Randomskk> I would watch it if it got to fisticuffs
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[19:12] Action: N900evil is reminded of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAU7pATH5_M
[19:15] Nick change: jonsowman_away -> jonsowman
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[20:47] <GW8RAK> At last, I've got my GPS module working.
[20:47] <GW8RAK> Found a faulty earth and now it's working.
[20:47] <GW8RAK> I think I've blamed just about everything else on the Picaxe board
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[21:37] <earthshine> what module ?
[21:42] Nick change: jonsowman -> jonsowman_away
[21:48] <GW8RAK> It's a Locsense LS-40EB which is the one from the picaxe suppliers
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[22:32] <earthshine> i see
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[23:20] <jcoxon> hey all
[23:20] <jcoxon> i'm wondering - that ash cloud could be photographed
[23:21] <russss> I suspect it's a bit too dispersed by the time it gets to the south of england
[23:22] <jcoxon> thats true
[23:22] <jcoxon> worth keeping an eye on via sat images
[23:22] <jcoxon> from 30km looking at the horzion for a band at 11km it seems possible
[23:22] <jcoxon> will be interesting to see the projectcirrus results
[23:27] <LazyLeopard> where and when is projectcirrus planning to launch, then?
[23:28] <russss> http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/444588main_icelandvolcano-20100615.jpg
[23:29] <russss> seems to me like the CAA are being overly cautious. at least from those photos
[23:29] <jcoxon> LazyLeopard, NI tomorrow apparently
[23:29] <Randomskk> I suspect the finer particles can spread quite far and do cumulative damage though
[23:29] <russss> the only volcanic ash aviation incidents have happened a *lot* closer to the eruption
[23:30] <jcoxon> russss, apparently the last time a plane went through this type of cloud all 4 engines failed
[23:30] <SpeedEvil> yeah - well - you're likely to get blamed a lot more if it starts raining americans.
[23:30] <russss> yes, but they did managed to get them all started again
[23:30] <russss> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airways_Flight_9
[23:30] <russss> good story
[23:31] <russss> choice quote: 'It was, in Moody's words, "a bit like negotiating one's way up a badger's arse"'
[23:32] <russss> the other one was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KLM_Flight_867
[23:33] <russss> and in both cases they managed to restart all the engines
[23:33] <jcoxon> looking at that picture its more of a issue for the shetlands/orkenys and norway
[23:33] <jcoxon> rather than the rest of hte UK
[23:33] <russss> although I think they ultimately had to replace all the engines. And most of the glass.
[23:34] <jcoxon> well i'll be keen to see the results of projectcirrus
[23:34] <jcoxon> might be worth doing a snap launch on sat if it comes a bit further south
[23:34] <SpeedEvil> jcoxon: visible dust may not be the only issue
[23:34] <jcoxon> could use hysplit to predict its past
[23:34] <jcoxon> as thats exactly what hyplit is designed for
[23:35] <jcoxon> rather than balloon predictions
[23:35] <jcoxon> its path*
[23:36] <jcoxon> sleep time
[23:36] <jcoxon> night all
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[00:00] --- Fri Apr 16 2010