highaltitude.log.20120825

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[04:10] <aus> hello - noobie here. wondering if anyone has any recommendations for high altitude radios for the US?
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[04:32] Nick change: aus -> arob
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[07:35] <KT5TK> aus: In the US you will want to look into APRS for HAB tracking. Do you have a ham license?
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[09:21] <G0DJA> Sorry Upu I was away from keyboard when you 'pinged' last night
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[09:38] <gonzo__mob> morning world. No flights this weekend?
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[11:02] <griffonbot> Received email: Steve Aerospace "[UKHAS] Thermal Adhesive Kit"
[11:05] <griffonbot> Received email: John Graham-Cumming "Re: [UKHAS] Thermal Adhesive Kit"
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[12:03] <Darkside> good day RocketBoy
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[12:04] <RocketBoy> yo
[12:04] <RocketBoy> did you catch my flights?
[12:05] <Darkside> yep
[12:05] <Darkside> managed few decodes
[12:05] <Darkside> but my antenna was in a really bad position
[12:05] <Darkside> building in the way
[12:05] <RocketBoy> cool - where were you in uk?
[12:05] <Darkside> yup
[12:05] <Darkside> bath
[12:05] <Darkside> i'm here until the 26th of september
[12:06] <RocketBoy> right - well postioned
[12:06] <Darkside> well, would be if there wasna t building in the way
[12:06] <RocketBoy> in person attendance at the conference - great
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[12:06] <Darkside> the university is on a nice high hill, which does help though
[12:06] <Darkside> yep
[12:07] <Darkside> will be giving on a talk on my rfm22b uplink experiments
[12:07] <RocketBoy> what rig did u use
[12:07] <Darkside> RocketBoy: from the odd frequencies i take it you're using somethign other than a NTX2 now?
[12:07] <Darkside> RocketBoy: funcube dongle + habamp
[12:08] <RocketBoy> great - thats an area we really need to make more of
[12:08] <RocketBoy> Im using an RMM22B
[12:08] <Darkside> antenna was a 1/4 wave monopol for most of the time, but i got out my arrow yagi
[12:08] <Darkside> oh good
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[12:08] <Darkside> with not a huge amount of code you can uplink from th eground reliably
[12:08] <RocketBoy> driving it with a PIC
[12:08] <Darkside> it just means adding a few seconds break between transmissions occasioanlly
[12:09] <RocketBoy> have you got it working with dl-fldigi?
[12:09] <Darkside> the way i run it on my cutdown payload is transmit one line of RTTY, wait 5 seconds, loop
[12:09] <Darkside> RocketBoy: uplinking? no
[12:09] <Darkside> i downlink from it using 300 baud RTTY, but uplink using 500 baud GMSK
[12:10] <Darkside> which can be generated with another RFM22B and amplified, or you can record it with a SSB transceiver and play back the packets
[12:10] <RocketBoy> oh right - from another RFM22B
[12:10] <Darkside> ths 500 baud GMSK packets fit nicelty within the passband of a SSB receiver
[12:10] <RocketBoy> :-)
[12:10] <Darkside> so you can just play the back at higher powers, which is what i've mostly been doing, but i'm looking more into uplinking using the RFM22Bs
[12:11] <Darkside> the main problem was frequency drift, but i've solved that issue
[12:11] <RocketBoy> thats much simpler than tryong to get fldigi to work with it
[12:11] <Darkside> the RFM22B has AFC, so it can lock onto a signal thats a few KHz off, with a long enough preamble
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[12:11] <RocketBoy> right - i'd noticed the heavy drift
[12:12] <Darkside> but yeah, the cutdown payload has been flown and successfuly used on the last 4 horus flights
[12:12] <RocketBoy> esp at higher powers
[12:12] <Darkside> yes
[12:12] <Darkside> thats amplifier temp replated drift
[12:12] <Darkside> i stick to 25mW in australia for the downlink
[12:12] <Darkside> uplink, i've done 100mW successfuly
[12:13] <Darkside> RocketBoy: https://vimeo.com/46031355
[12:13] <RocketBoy> to be honest i ant think of much else other than cutdown that you would need it for
[12:13] <Darkside> oh, i can think of a few things
[12:13] <Darkside> override of automated commands, for instance
[12:13] <Darkside> like, firing a rockoon
[12:14] <Darkside> though if the uplink is reliable enough (which, with enough power on the ground, it is), you could just send said command from the ground anyway
[12:15] <RocketBoy> I guess the simplest thing is to just pre-record the command sequences
[12:16] <Darkside> theres a shot in that video somewhere of me attempting to hit the payload with a rfm22b in a box
[12:16] <Darkside> using a yagi
[12:16] <Darkside> i succeeded a few times, but not as many as i should have
[12:16] <Darkside> i'd forgotten the payload was ABOVE me
[12:16] <Darkside> so i was pointing the yagi the wrong way
[12:16] <Darkside> RocketBoy: yeah, i have a set of 16 commands
[12:16] <Darkside> the way i handle the commands is somewhat simplistic, but it could be made far more advanced
[12:16] <Darkside> the cool thing is the RFM22B handles checksumming internally
[12:17] <Darkside> so if you get a packet, it is correct.
[12:17] <BrainDamage> can't you use a servo on the antenna and automatically home for max signal strenght?
[12:17] <Darkside> BrainDamage: not really an option when mobile
[12:17] <Darkside> and no point tbh
[12:17] <Darkside> its not hard to do it by hand
[12:17] <BrainDamage> aperture is large enough for ballpark aim?
[12:17] <Darkside> what i really want to get this boiled down to is a box that plugs into an antenna
[12:17] <Darkside> and it goes green when it hears th epayload
[12:17] <Darkside> then you get to press a big red button
[12:17] <Darkside> and that terminates the flight
[12:18] <Darkside> at the moment its a little more complicated than that :-)
[12:18] <BrainDamage> http://www.ebay.com/itm/290646714329?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1424.l2649
[12:18] <Darkside> YES.
[12:19] <BrainDamage> it automatically makes your project 3x more satisfactory
[12:19] <Darkside> lol i could probably fit the entire transmitter inside that box you know..
[12:19] <Darkside> my cutdown pcb is pretty damn small as it is
[12:21] <Darkside> but yeah, thats a real cool idea :-)
[12:25] <RocketBoy> so you just recorded the audio file from dl-fldigi and then played it back at the appropriate time with fldigi
[12:25] <RocketBoy> - simples!
[12:25] <Darkside> RocketBoy: no
[12:25] <Darkside> not using fldigi
[12:25] <Darkside> though fldigi was involved
[12:26] <Darkside> when i was starting out, the main problem i had was with frequency correction
[12:26] <Darkside> i didn't have AFC working, so i had to do it all manually
[12:26] <Darkside> so what i would do, is program the board to sent a packet of RTTY, then send the packet i wanted to record
[12:26] <Darkside> i would use the RTTY to tune my receiver sugh that the RTTY was centered on 1500Hz
[12:27] <Darkside> that way, i can then match the cutdown payloads frequency by doing the same thing with the downlinked RTTY packet
[12:27] <Darkside> i was doing the recording and playback using audacity
[12:30] <RocketBoy> humm - still confused why it wouldn't work in fldigi - twiddlet the received signal with the same frequency as the recorded clip and then TX the clip?
[12:30] <Darkside> RocketBoy: fldigi doesn't to recording
[12:30] <Darkside> doesnt do*
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[12:30] <RocketBoy> oh
[12:30] <Darkside> and GMSK != FSK
[12:30] <Darkside> so fldigi has no way of demodulating or modulating it
[12:32] <RocketBoy> whats fldigi file->audio->rx capture do?
[12:33] <RocketBoy> and file-audio->playback
[12:33] <fsphil> fldigi can record
[12:33] <fsphil> but it can't play back for transmitting
[12:34] <RocketBoy> GMSK is just shaped FSK isn't it - i.e. the transition from one frequency to another is shaped?
[12:34] <RocketBoy> ah yes playback must just re-decode the audio file
[12:35] <RocketBoy> (never used them)
[12:36] <RocketBoy> what about file->aidio->t generate then - what does that do?
[12:36] <RocketBoy> tx generate
[12:36] <jonsowman> and it's min shift so the shift = baud rate
[12:36] <jonsowman> and yes the transition is gaussian shaped
[12:37] <jonsowman> error function type thing
[12:37] <RocketBoy> would have thought that it would record then
[12:37] <RocketBoy> humm - time to try methinks
[12:38] <fsphil> RocketBoy: that captures the audio that fldigi produces from its modems
[12:38] <fsphil> nice cluster of storms over england atm
[12:39] <fsphil> http://www.blitzortung.org/Webpages/index.php?lang=en&subpage_0=12
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[12:39] <RocketBoy> bbl
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[15:33] <G0DJA> I found a 'Woo Woo' cocktail recipe the other day, Peach Schnaps, Vodka and Cranberry juice...
[15:37] <SamSilver> G0DJA: i could slaughter one of them
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[15:54] <griffonbot> Received email: MrScienceMan "[UKHAS] Bulgarian teams will launch tomorrow (26th)"
[16:04] <navrac_work> habamp seems to work nicely with the fcd
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[16:07] <Darkside> navrac_work: it does
[16:07] <Darkside> navrac_work: does your FCD have the bias-t?
[16:07] <navrac_work> yep
[16:07] <fsphil> I needs that
[16:07] <fsphil> makes things much easier
[16:07] <navrac_work> nice simple design - Although the filter needs to be even narrower as most of the noise rounder here is in the passband!
[16:08] <navrac_work> bloody alarms, oil tank monitoring and garage door openers!
[16:09] <Gadget-Mac> Any possibility of building in RF switching to allow the amp to be switched out of the circuit ?
[16:09] <Darkside> navrac_work: we won't be able to make it narrower and have it be useful
[16:09] <Darkside> Gadget-Mac: not on that board
[16:09] <griffonbot> Received email: tshado "Re: [UKHAS] uBLOX 6 GPS Modules Proposal"
[16:09] <navrac_work> quite impressive improvement - not a lot of signals round here - but a repeater i can only just hear is there comes up nice and clearly with the amp
[16:09] <Darkside> i was thinking about something like that, to let you switch it out so you could use it for transmit too
[16:09] <Gadget-Mac> Sure, just thinking about futures :)
[16:09] <Darkside> but you'd need a fair amount of isolation
[16:09] <Darkside> else you'll blow up both the amp and the SAW filter
[16:10] <Gadget-Mac> Sure
[16:10] <Darkside> navrac_work: the problem is the filter has to cover the ISM band, and thats where all the interference is
[16:10] <Gadget-Mac> Not sure my circuit design is up to RF
[16:10] <navrac_work> i need a tuneable 100khz front end for habs on 434.075
[16:10] <Darkside> navrac_work: heh
[16:10] <Darkside> sure you could make one
[16:10] <Darkside> but it'll be big
[16:10] <Darkside> cavity filter
[16:10] <navrac_work> 433.9- 434 is a nightmare
[16:11] <fsphil> it is
[16:11] <navrac_work> yep i saw one that might be suitable on ebay a while back
[16:11] <Darkside> heh
[16:11] <Darkside> tuning them is a pain
[16:11] <Darkside> you need a network analyzer
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[16:11] <navrac_work> buying it was going to be a pain - it was collection only and not very cheap
[16:11] <Darkside> yeah
[16:11] <Darkside> its not the thing you want to be using for this tbh
[16:12] <Darkside> Gadget-Mac: i'm a little bit wary of doing switching at these frequencies
[16:12] <BrainDamage> mmm, coax stub filter with external cap for loading the resonator and freq trimming?
[16:12] <Darkside> BrainDamage: i don't think you can tune these SAW filters
[16:12] <Darkside> and they're too wide anyway
[16:13] <Darkside> and you can't get anything narrower for this band
[16:13] <Gadget-Mac> Darkside: Just a thought. Looking forward to playing when the next batch get done
[16:13] <BrainDamage> no, I mean for navrac_work's problem
[16:13] <Darkside> ahh
[16:13] <Darkside> Gadget-Mac: you could do it with 2 coax switches
[16:13] <Darkside> as long as you have enough isolation to not blow up anything
[16:13] <BrainDamage> it's pretty hard to beat SAW when it's about Q
[16:13] <Darkside> mm
[16:13] <Darkside> well, you can do it
[16:14] <Darkside> but the filters become physically large
[16:14] <Darkside> ala, cavity filters
[16:14] <Gadget-Mac> I guess there are very few occasions where you're going to have soo much signal you want to switch the amp out.
[16:14] <arob> does anyone have any recommendations for a gps module for habs? Preferably something I can interface via serial to. (Bit of a newbie here. Building my first hab)
[16:14] <BrainDamage> coax stub is a cavity filter :p
[16:14] <navrac_work> I think a directional aerial is probably the easiest answer to be honest
[16:14] <Gadget-Mac> Not too fussed about TX tb.
[16:14] <Darkside> BrainDamage: yeah, not going to be that good tho
[16:14] <BrainDamage> the problem is the losses, coax got both dielectric and conduction losses
[16:14] <BrainDamage> dropping the Q considerably
[16:14] <Darkside> mm
[16:14] <Gadget-Mac> arob: take a look at the wiki http://www.ukhas.org.uk/guides:gps_modules
[16:15] <Darkside> you could use a coax filter to notch out interferers
[16:15] <Gadget-Mac> Damn, I sound like a regular ;)
[16:15] <navrac_work> arob - we mainly use the ublox6 here
[16:15] <arob> cool thx guys
[16:15] <Gadget-Mac> Again details of ublox on the wiki http://www.ukhas.org.uk/guides:ublox6
[16:16] <Gadget-Mac> Are the habamp's being hand made ?
[16:16] <Darkside> yes
[16:16] <Darkside> by upu :P
[16:17] <Darkside> i designed it, he's putting them together
[16:17] <Darkside> well, for the UK market anyway
[16:17] <Gadget-Mac> Cool.
[16:17] <Darkside> there was at least one australian who wanted one, but it's going to be easier for upu to send him one than for me to do it, as i'm over in the UK for the next month anyway
[16:18] <Gadget-Mac> Tracked some USB dongles down on ebay last night so looking forward to tinkering with SDR
[16:18] <Darkside> cool
[16:18] <Darkside> the software to use them is pretty good on windows
[16:18] <Darkside> not as nice on linux and mac, but its there
[16:18] <Gadget-Mac> No windows here :(
[16:19] <BrainDamage> why not as nice?
[16:19] <Darkside> well, theres GQRX on linux
[16:19] <Darkside> that works well
[16:19] <BrainDamage> you can run sdr# on linux alright
[16:19] <BrainDamage> many people do on ##rtlsdr
[16:19] <Darkside> BrainDamage: oh it compiles with mono?
[16:19] <BrainDamage> it runs directly the binary
[16:19] <Darkside> i haven't been in ##rtlsdr for a while, i was getting too aggravated by the noobs
[16:19] <BrainDamage> but you hve to point the .so to replace the dll
[16:20] <BrainDamage> yeah, the signal to noise ratio there is low
[16:20] <Gadget-Mac> Quite fancy tinkering with the airplane beacon stuff as well
[16:20] <Darkside> i'd use gqrx instead anyway
[16:20] <Darkside> Gadget-Mac: you might have trouble with that
[16:20] <Darkside> finding rtlsdrs with E4000 tuners is very difficult nowdays
[16:20] <Darkside> since elonics went bust and most manufacturers sre out of stock
[16:20] <mclane> sdr# needs a lot of cpu power in linux
[16:20] <Gadget-Mac> Got 2 for <£25 delivered with E4000 tuners :)
[16:20] <BrainDamage> ebay still has few dongles for sale with the e4000 tuner
[16:20] <BrainDamage> but some are a scam
[16:20] <Darkside> Gadget-Mac: or so they claim
[16:20] <BrainDamage> and send other tuners
[16:21] <Gadget-Mac> We'll see
[16:21] <Darkside> you may get it and find its a FC0013
[16:21] <Darkside> which is perfectly fine for HAB use
[16:22] <Gadget-Mac> Well if thats the case I'll be getting a refund :)
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[16:22] <Darkside> i wouldn't bother getting a refund
[16:22] <Darkside> make use of what you get
[16:22] <Darkside> you will be hard pressed to get an e4000 now
[16:23] <Gadget-Mac> Fair enough
[16:27] <Gadget-Mac> How bad are TV style plugs and sockets for attenuation ?
[16:27] <navrac_work> not too bad for rx tbh
[16:27] <Darkside> i desoldered the socket on my dongle
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[16:27] <Darkside> and replaced it with a SMA
[16:28] <Darkside> i'm actually not sure if the e4000's input impedance is 50 or 75 ohms
[16:28] <Gadget-Mac> No chance of that working loose
[16:28] <Darkside> i've read both
[16:28] <BrainDamage> Darkside: I got the datasheet
[16:28] <BrainDamage> one moment
[16:28] <Darkside> BrainDamage: yes we know
[16:28] <Darkside> BrainDamage: i've seen it too
[16:28] <Darkside> it more depends what external compnents are there, not the chip itself
[16:29] <Darkside> the chip itself is 50R input impedance
[16:29] <Darkside> but there are other components between that pin and the socket
[16:30] <Darkside> wait hang on, on my one theres only a single cap
[16:30] <Darkside> so mine is 50R input impedance, and i'm right in putting a SMA socket on there
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[16:39] <Darkside> hrm
[16:39] <Darkside> since terry hasn't done it, i might start on the writeups for the last 4 launches..
[16:40] <Darkside> it's been a while..
[16:40] <arob> anybody had any experience with the u-blox NEO-6M vs the NEO-6Q? Datasheet says the only difference is the oscillator, 6M being Crystal and 6Q being TCXO. Is one better than the other?
[16:41] <Darkside> arob: we've only been using the 6Q
[16:41] <Darkside> we have't had any problems with it
[16:41] <Darkside> that and the MAX-6Q are probably the most commonly used modules by UKHAS now
[16:42] <arob> from my breif research, it seems 6Ms are easier to find in the US for whatever reason
[16:42] <Darkside> nfi
[16:43] <arob> i imagone it probably wouldnt make that much of a difference
[16:43] <Darkside> i got my supply of NEO-6Q's from a distributor in the UK, and my MAX-6Q's from Upu's store
[16:43] <Darkside> http://ava.upuaut.net/store/
[16:43] <BrainDamage> Darkside: as far as I know, everyone just copied the reference design
[16:43] <arob> yes. been there.
[16:43] <Darkside> BrainDamage: i bet
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[16:55] <Darkside> navrac_work: are you coming to the conf?
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[17:51] <navrac_work> HI DARKSIDE - YES ILL BE THERE - SORRY TO BE AN HOUR LATE UIN REPLYING!
[17:51] <navrac_work> and sorry for the capslock
[17:51] <Darkside> lol
[17:51] <Darkside> ok
[17:52] <navrac_work> listening to loud rock music
[17:52] <navrac_work> needed caps!
[17:54] <Darkside> hah
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[19:25] <Lunar_Lander> hello
[19:26] <Lunar_Lander> Neil Armstrong is dead :(
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[19:34] <fsphil> nuts
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[19:35] <RocketBoy> cant believe it
[19:35] <RocketBoy> but its true
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[19:49] Action: LazyLeopard listens to "Hope Eyrie" in his memory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXteSV8rBwY
[19:51] <Lunar_Lander> yea
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[20:27] <SpeedEvil> just heard. :'(
[20:28] <SamSilver> croak?
[20:28] <SamSilver> ribbit
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[20:29] <SpeedEvil> xkcd.com/893/ is depressing.
[20:29] <fsphil> yea
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[20:38] <fsphil> what's even more depressing is that there are people who didn't know who he was
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[20:44] <Lunar_Lander> yeah
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[20:47] <LazyLeopard> The ones who _really_ depress me are the ones who do know, but don't care...
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[20:51] <SamSilver> I was sitting in a dentists chair when he said thouse lines ....
[20:54] <Lunar_Lander> oh
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[21:31] <gonzo_mob> just seen that news. was listening to the b'cast tapes of the mission only last week
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[21:44] <Lunar_Lander> yea
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[22:29] #highaltitude: mode change '+o jcoxon' by ChanServ!ChanServ@services.
[22:29] Topic changed on #highaltitude by jcoxon!jcoxon@87.114.35.132: Welcome to #highaltitude - discuss anything to do with high altitude projects (balloons, gliders, etc) - www.ukhas.org.uk, :-(
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[22:31] <jcoxon> evening all
[22:31] <Randomskk> hi
[22:33] <Lunar_Lander> hi Randomskk jcoxon
[22:35] <jonsowman> why the sad face jcoxon?
[22:35] <Randomskk> jonsowman: you haven't heard?
[22:35] <Randomskk> :(
[22:35] <jonsowman> ... no
[22:35] <Randomskk> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19381098
[22:35] <jonsowman> oh i see
[22:36] <jonsowman> connection not made
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[22:36] <jcoxon> tis a sad time
[22:36] <jonsowman> it is
[22:39] <jcoxon> hows everyone?
[22:39] <jonsowman> good thank you, yourself?
[22:39] <jcoxon> tired
[22:40] <jcoxon> been oncall this weekend
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[22:42] <jonsowman> few days off now?
[22:42] <Randomskk> hey jonsowman you remember how the front pocket of my backpack is an awful mess?
[22:42] <jcoxon> oh no
[22:42] <Randomskk> wait, wrong room.
[22:43] <jcoxon> still oncall tomorrow and monday
[22:43] <jcoxon> :-p
[22:43] <jonsowman> :(
[22:44] <jcoxon> got this pico to sort out
[22:46] <Lunar_Lander> jonsowman, I am OK but sad
[22:46] <jonsowman> why is that?
[22:46] <Lunar_Lander> cause of Neil
[22:46] <jonsowman> yes
[22:46] <jonsowman> it is very sad
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[22:48] <jcoxon> night all
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[00:00] --- Sun Aug 26 2012