highaltitude.log.20101207

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[08:50] <Laurenceb_> http://i.imgur.com/Y86jn.jpg
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[11:12] <Laurenceb> so, turns out moonraker shipped the wrong parts with my zl-special
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[11:12] <Laurenceb> hopefully it will be more self explanitory when they arrive together with the full instructions
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[11:31] <fsphil> I bet that's a relief
[11:36] <juxta> ping Darkside
[11:36] <fsphil> amateur gear always seems to lack good instructions
[11:40] <Laurenceb> youre not kidding
[11:41] <gw8rak> Laurenceb - that makes things a bit more understandable
[11:42] <Laurenceb> yeah, only thing is they say the wire isnt critical
[11:42] <gw8rak> I noticed on the original article, that there was a home brewed actuator for horizontal or vertical polarisation.
[11:42] <Laurenceb> as long as the wire is vaguely connecting the two driven elemnts its ok
[11:42] <gw8rak> That sounds a bit vague.
[11:42] <Laurenceb> but they recommend drilling two holes and stringing the wires across
[11:43] <Laurenceb> - holes in the plastic covers over the dipole feeds
[11:43] <Laurenceb> i was doing the numbers of their wire, if i twist it i get ~100ohm twisted pair
[11:43] <Laurenceb> *on
[11:44] <gw8rak> The original article talks about the ladder line being longer than the spacing, so let it lie slack. That must cause some detuning, so perhaps it isn't that critical.
[11:44] <Laurenceb> http://www.epanorama.net/documents/wiring/cable_impedance.html
[11:44] <Laurenceb> surely the two elements need the right phasing
[11:45] <gw8rak> I would have thought so, but perhaps ladder line was what he had to hand and it worked.
[11:46] <Laurenceb> they havent shipped ladder line tho
[11:46] <Laurenceb> just plain insulated multicore
[11:46] <gw8rak> Absolutely, so perhaps plain wire is okay.
[11:46] <gw8rak> and the lader line is just overkill
[11:46] <Laurenceb> i dont really see how...
[11:47] <Laurenceb> im not 100% convinced they know what they are talking about
[11:47] <gw8rak> You may have put your finger on something there
[11:48] <Laurenceb> heh
[11:49] <Laurenceb> i think its interesting that twisted pair is 100 ohm using the supplied wire - the elements supposedly get detuned to around that impedance when you add the focussing elements
[11:49] <Laurenceb> so two in parallel is obviously 50 ohms - theres just a j component to that so the cap is needed to cancle it
[11:50] <Laurenceb> the plastic covers are custom made, and have a rubber grommited hole that just fits the supplied wire if it do a twisted pair....
[11:53] <gw8rak> It will be interesting to hear what the correct bits are and how much of a difference it makes.
[11:54] <Laurenceb> theres ~5mm of solid frost on the _inside_ of my double glazing
[11:57] <Laurenceb> crazy frost this morning - about 10mm of solid ice on everything
[12:01] <Laurenceb> temperature up to a toasty -9.5C
[12:01] <fsphil> the heavy snow we had yesterday actually helped, covered up the ice
[12:01] <fsphil> though when that starts to melt things will get ... interesting
[12:04] <Laurenceb> -14.5C last night here
[12:06] <fsphil> nasty
[12:06] <fsphil> our max today is to be -2, -6 tonight -- but to get warmer later in the week
[12:07] <fsphil> above zero temperatures for a few days, might melt it all
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[12:19] <jonsowman> sad panda
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[12:58] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=11&ved=0CCUQFjAAOAo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rrrlabs.com%2FCopper%2FMicrosoft%2520Word%2520-%2520Acid%2520Copper%2520Plating.pdf
[12:58] <Laurenceb> decent plating looks complex
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[13:07] <SpeedEvil> To get it done well needs complex stuff - levelers, ...
[13:07] <SpeedEvil> but it's all well documented
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[13:08] <Laurenceb> well - probably 4 proprietary chemicals there
[13:09] <Laurenceb> then acid/salt/sulphate temperature controlled agitated bath
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[13:11] <SpeedEvil> A lot of the parameters get lots more flexible if you lower the deposition rate a bit
[13:12] <Laurenceb> fields metal might be useful
[13:13] <Laurenceb> very expensive tho - £5/ml
[13:13] <Laurenceb> guess its reusable
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[14:11] <Laurenceb> just spoke to moonraker - they say the waires need to be tight and crossing
[14:11] <Laurenceb> http://www.sandpiperaerials.co.uk/images/12%20%20%20zl%2070cm.jpg
[14:11] <Laurenceb> like that
[14:11] <Laurenceb> its all rather odd
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[14:15] <Laurenceb> presumably a case of 1 guy knows how to build it properly and a lot of people are flogging it without a clue
[14:16] <fsphil> or think they know better
[14:19] <Randomskk> antennas are basically magic
[14:22] <Laurenceb> heh too true
[14:23] <Laurenceb> i have a horrible feeling that ill build this and it wont work
[14:23] <Laurenceb> guess ill wait until the cap and wire arrive
[14:35] <GW8RAK> If all else fails, try with ladder line as per the original article.
[14:35] <GW8RAK> That referred to the ladder line being too long for the element separation, yet Moonraker are saying tight.
[14:36] <GW8RAK> There's probably a number of recipes for generating a ZL special and the differences may come from that.
[14:37] <GW8RAK> If that is the Moonraker aerial in the picture, then it has a reflector when most sources say that a reflector is not needed.
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[14:43] <Laurenceb> thats from sandpiper
[14:43] <Laurenceb> another design
[14:44] <Laurenceb> but i referred the guy at moonraker to the photo and he siad thats how its done
[14:45] <GW8RAK> All very puzzling. I'm glad someone else took the plunge before me :)
[14:49] <Laurenceb> heh
[14:50] <Laurenceb> just measured the dipoles, the forward, driven one is the right lenght for 434mhz, the rear one is too long
[14:51] <Laurenceb> so itll be partly inductive
[15:04] <GW8RAK> "These were folded dipoles with the rear one slightly longer than the inner one which ensures that the aerial has a good front-to-back ratio."
[15:09] <Laurenceb> i suspect maybe thats the key to it working - its not just a question of the delay introduced by the feed wires
[15:10] <Laurenceb> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Dipole_antenna_impedance.svg
[15:10] <Laurenceb> i measure the back dipole as ~0.6 wavelenghts, wheras the front one is 0.47
[15:11] <Laurenceb> so maybe thats why the feed arrangement isnt so critical - the inductive impedance comes into play
[15:12] <Laurenceb> and the trimpot is needed to tune out the parasitics from your ad-hoc feed arrangement
[15:12] <Laurenceb> guess this could be simulated easily as lumped elements
[15:13] <Laurenceb> *trimcap
[15:34] <fsphil> is there a simple way of decoding FM on linux? (eg, converting FSK to AFSK)
[15:35] <fsphil> er, AFSK to FSK even
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[16:23] <Laurenceb> dunno - write a octave script?
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[16:32] <fsphil> possibly
[16:37] <Laurenceb> SpeedEvil: your meter reader script, how doe sit work?
[16:40] <SpeedEvil> stupidly.
[16:40] <Laurenceb> lol
[16:40] <Laurenceb> how do you extract from the video?
[16:41] <SpeedEvil> mplayer to generate 5*5 PNM files in ascii. Process with awk to generate a average.
[16:41] <Laurenceb> i see
[16:41] <Laurenceb> so pnm is an ascii pixel table?
[16:41] <SpeedEvil> Then threshold that average to get when the 'dots' come out
[16:41] <SpeedEvil> yes
[16:41] <Laurenceb> nice
[16:41] <SpeedEvil> and then work out how long it is between dots, and hence power.
[16:41] <Laurenceb> ill read the specs for mplayer
[16:42] <SpeedEvil> I'm rewriting it to cope with the 1/100th markers
[16:42] <SpeedEvil> mplayer -framedrop tv:// -tv width=120:height=160:driver=v4l2:brightness=0:contrast=0:outfmt=yuy2:fps=10 -vf crop=5:5:65:123 -vo pnm:subdirs=frames.yuyv.`date +%s`:maxfiles=1000:ascii -frames 1000
[16:42] <SpeedEvil> which gives me 216J increments, not 21.6Kj
[16:44] <Laurenceb> so pnm is a raw video format?
[16:46] <SpeedEvil> yes
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> P3
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> 5 5
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> 255
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> 120 139 126 131 133 123 129 131 120 110 110 100 060 060 049
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> 127 134 125 120 132 122 122 133 123 095 109 097 032 046 034
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> is the output
[16:47] <SpeedEvil> 5*5 RGB triplets
[16:50] <Laurenceb> i see
[16:51] <Laurenceb> well, im off cya
[16:51] <SpeedEvil> wave
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[17:07] <Zuph> Huge propane heater in the space, barely keeping things at 18C :(
[17:08] <SpeedEvil> I can't tell how warm it is in here, as the thermometer display isn't working due to the temperature. :)
[17:08] <SpeedEvil> I am wearing appropriate clothing though, so am nice and warm.
[17:09] <SpeedEvil> T-shirt, three jumpers, two leggings, jeans.
[17:10] <Zuph> Also, Satellite modems suck.
[17:10] <Zuph> Well, the Orbcomm network is a pain.
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[17:16] <Zuph> As an aside, if anyone wants a copy of the only OrbComm network condition prediction software under $600: https://github.com/Zuph/LVL1-Transatlantic-Balloon/tree/SpeedBall1/Software/orbcommTracking
[17:16] <Zuph> Completely undocumented and unreadable!
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[19:11] <GW8RAK> Laurenceb - knowing your interest in modulation and signal processing, does Manchester encoding have any advantages please? Picaxe have released tx/rx driver chips and I'm wondering if they have any value?
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[19:11] <GW8RAK> I've heard of the technique, but don't know enough about it.
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[19:56] <RocketBoy> hey jonsowman
[19:56] <jonsowman> hi RocketBoy
[19:56] <jonsowman> how's things?
[19:58] <RocketBoy> cool
[19:58] <RocketBoy> recognise this http://imagebin.org/126755
[19:58] <RocketBoy> ?
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[20:00] <jcoxon> evening all
[20:00] <Upu> evening
[20:00] <jonsowman> RocketBoy: hehe :D
[20:00] <jonsowman> nice!
[20:00] <LazyLeopard> Which one's that?
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[20:01] <RocketBoy> thats the payload we launched a couple of weeks back
[20:01] <jonsowman> glad you got it back :)
[20:01] <RocketBoy> expected to have landed just off zeebruge
[20:01] <LazyLeopard> Oh right... Where'd it turn up?
[20:01] <RocketBoy> the amazing thing is it washed up just up the coast
[20:02] <jonsowman> :D
[20:02] <RocketBoy> in southwold
[20:02] <LazyLeopard> Wow!
[20:02] <jcoxon> RocketBoy, link?
[20:03] <RocketBoy> http://imagebin.org/126755
[20:03] <jcoxon> contents?
[20:03] <jonsowman> brb
[20:03] <RocketBoy> just amazing good luck - the guy found it on the beach over the weekend
[20:04] <RocketBoy> yeah all the contents there - just a little wet
[20:04] <RocketBoy> I'll bang a couple more pics up
[20:04] <jcoxon> cool
[20:05] <jcoxon> maybe mine will wash up...
[20:05] <LazyLeopard> What did it have in it? Just a tracker, or other things as well?
[20:05] <RocketBoy> its a testament to duck tape
[20:05] <Upu> haha
[20:06] <RocketBoy> just a radio tracker
[20:07] <Upu> you need to borrow my pink duck tape
[20:08] <fsphil> heh, you'd spot that on the water for miles around
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[20:08] <RocketBoy> http://imagebin.org/126756
[20:09] <Upu> managed to fix the GPS chip on my board yesterday, dunno if we've destoyed it in the process, the hot air rework station is a beast
[20:09] <RocketBoy> http://imagebin.org/126757
[20:10] <RocketBoy> http://imagebin.org/126758
[20:11] <RocketBoy> http://imagebin.org/126759
[20:11] <jcoxon> duct tape is awesome
[20:11] <RocketBoy> I think if the plastic tube that had the antenna in it hadn't broken off it would have been water-tight
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[20:14] <RocketBoy> the bag of sand I had in the bottom for ballast is still dry
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[21:39] <DanielRichman> Sorry, the call sign you entered is not available - please select a different call sign.
[21:39] <DanielRichman> hmmm
[21:39] <DanielRichman> what to choose
[21:39] <jonsowman> DanielRichman: full license?
[21:39] <DanielRichman> yes
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[21:39] <jonsowman> nice :)
[21:40] <DanielRichman> :)
[21:40] <jonsowman> got my intermediate call today. full exam soon
[21:40] <DanielRichman> I've been m6drx & 2e0drx; not 100% sure if m0drx is what I want to go for
[21:40] <DanielRichman> cool stuff jonsowman; I think I saw the tweet
[21:40] <jonsowman> :)
[21:40] <fsphil> congrats :)
[21:40] <jonsowman> yea the M0 is the one that matters lol
[21:40] <jonsowman> are M1s around yet?
[21:40] <DanielRichman> yeah
[21:41] <DanielRichman> didn't the M1s originally be from when there was the morse craziness?
[21:41] <DanielRichman> idk if they're used currently
[21:41] <jonsowman> oh right, no I'm not sure
[21:41] <jonsowman> M0 is cooler anyway
[21:41] <jonsowman> IMO
[21:41] <jonsowman> thanks fsphil :)
[21:41] <fsphil> could be some M1/MI confusion
[21:41] <fsphil> they might skip it
[21:41] <jonsowman> oh true
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[21:47] <DanielRichman> tonnes of these M0s are taken
[21:47] Action: DanielRichman doesn't know what to choose >.>
[21:48] <jonsowman> have you found any maybes that aren't taken?
[21:48] <DanielRichman> Nope.
[21:48] <jonsowman> :(
[21:48] <jonsowman> is m0drx taken?
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[21:50] <DanielRichman> Yeah, it would appear so
[21:50] <LazyLeopard> OFCOM's site seems to be a bit one-directional... Leastwise, when I entered 20LEP it just went on to the next step. No "Yes, that's available. Would you like it?" More "Yes, that's yours now."
[21:50] <jonsowman> heh yes it is
[21:51] <LazyLeopard> jonsowman: Going for the 1st Feb exam?
[21:51] <jonsowman> LazyLeopard: yep
[21:52] <jonsowman> assume you are too? :)
[21:52] <LazyLeopard> I think so...
[21:53] <LazyLeopard> Date's free, but quite a bit of the time between isn't. Need to make sure I have time to learn what needs learning...
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[21:57] <LazyLeopard> Laurenceb: Did you get your ZL Special rigged and working?
[21:58] <jonsowman> fair enough
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[22:20] <LazyLeopard> Must make a decision this week...
[22:33] <DanielRichman> oh now the ofcom site is just broken
[22:33] Action: DanielRichman will deal with it tomorrow
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[22:56] Nick change: DagoRed -> kd0mto
[22:58] Nick change: laurence_ -> Laurenceb_
[22:59] <Laurenceb_> LazyLeopard: note got it ready yet - its a bit complex as it has to have an lna added
[22:59] <Laurenceb_> also havent got the tuning cap yet.. might have time to finish it tomorrow and test, but loads of work :-S
[23:00] <LazyLeopard> Apparently the tuning cap's just a short un-terminated length of coax.
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[23:05] <Laurenceb_> yeah - they are sending a tuning cap which is the method they recommend
[23:06] <Laurenceb_> but im busy with a firmware reverse engineering project
[23:06] <Laurenceb_> anyway, gtg
[23:07] <LazyLeopard> Heh. No rest for the wicked. ;)
[23:07] <LazyLeopard> Good luck...
[23:13] <LazyLeopard> Laurenceb: A friend posted a photo of his working ZL special recently: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rinioth/5242353478/
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[23:22] <LazyLeopard> Time for bed, I think. G'night.
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[00:00] --- Wed Dec 8 2010