[islandlabs] HSinS Contest Launch: Thoughts, Comments, and Progress

Burns, William burns at cshl.edu
Mon Aug 2 23:24:30 EDT 2010


Joe:

Re: the phone:
Jonathan said that he handed it off to someone 2 meetings ago, who asked
aout setting it up.
He doesn't remember who.
Does anyone on the list know who picked up the phone?

Re: Being at the office:
Jonathan ended up having to meet his parents after a long vacation.

Re: Other meeting places:
We could meet tomorrow (Tuesday) at Cold Spring, at 500_Sunnyside in
woodbury, or at Lori's place in Deer Park.
Pick a time.
Any other ideas/locations?

-Bill

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe [mailto:toolfox at gmail.com] 
> Sent: Monday, August 02, 2010 11:15 PM
> To: Burns, William
> Subject: Re: HSinS Contest Launch: Thoughts, Comments, and Progress
> 
> On Monday, August 02, 2010 11:27:39 am you wrote:
> 
> > > * Helium - We talked about getting a 300 cuft monster 
> tank again to 
> > > cut down on the gas cost per flight. We need price quotes first 
> > > thing Monday and a pickup sometime during the week.
> > 
> > I assume you want a quote from general welding.
> > I'll see what I can do.
> 
> We could probably ask at a few places. Ya know...shop around 
> for price a bit. 
> Just because we originally went with a particular shop 
> because they were open on Saturdays doesn't mean they have 
> the best price.
> 
> On the other hand, maybe they do. We also have a bit of a 
> track record with them now.
> 
> > > 
> > > * Phone - I keep hearing that the original phone is "around 
> > > somewhere," that the original phone "is found," and that the 
> > > original phone is "is gone." Which is it? Do we really 
> have it? Does 
> > > it work? Can we load Instamapper on it and test it?
> > > Can we activate it with our BoostMobile account?
> > 
> > It might be buried in one of the balloon-gear bags. I'll look.
> > 
> 
> Jonathan also said that it was in his office. Let's just find 
> it and test it out.
> 
> 
> > > * Camera -  We talked about running two spy cameras. This 
> will save 
> > > weight but run up cost. Are we going to run both as 
> video? This will 
> > > need two extra-big microSD cards, which will drive up the flight 
> > > cost. If one camera will take still shots, we can 
> probably get away 
> > > with a really cheap and small microSD as the picture size 
> is a bit 
> > > small (1280x960?)
> > 
> > I thought we were going with an 8Gig microSD.
> 
> True. 8 GB would be a bit tight for the length of the flight. 
> Remember, the size of the files is about 2-1/2 GB per 
> 30-minute segment. Three 30-minute segments takes up about 
> 7-1/2 GB, so we're almost full. A 16-GB card will give us 
> three hours of storage.
> 
> There's an eBay store in Texas that's selling 16 GB cards for 
> $27.50 with free shipping. I don't know what the speed class 
> is, though...
> 
> > and... I thought the only
> > option was for continuous video. How would still-frames be 
> triggered?
> 
> As I had said, build a simple dual 555 timer circuit that 
> puts out a short pulse every 5 seconds. The short pulse fires 
> a transistor thats hooked across the switch contacts of a 
> spycam. This will simulate a "press 'n' release that takes a 
> still picture.
> 
> With still pictures, a smaller microSD card should do . This 
> depends on the average filesize of the still photos that the 
> spycam takes. I keep asking for this information, and nobody responds.
> 
> 
> > Jay came up with a link to an extremely low cost position reporting 
> > system.
> > I don't know if we'll have time to build it, but it 
> definitely seemed 
> > worth the cost, and actually might be cheaper than the phone.
> 
> I see nothing on the list about this. More info, please.
> 
> > 
> > If possible, we should lauch a position reporting system 
> with a phone 
> > as backup, to prove-out the system.
> > If it's a success, the next launch would be with the position 
> > reporting system only.
> 
> A position (no pun intended!) that Amy and I have been 
> championing for a few months.
> 
> BTW, we've been working on a side project that, although not 
> quite ready for prime-time, is far enough along for a 
> possible demo. We firmly believe in "put up or shut up." We 
> have not been able to "put up" until now, which is why we've 
> been in "shut up" mode. We didn't want to get anybody's hopes 
> up just to dash them.
> 
> This is not for the contest launch, but for the subsequent 
> launch. If all goes well, I might be able to demo something Wednesday.
> 
> No guarantees, though. I still have to prep the dog and pony.
> 
> > 
> > > A still camera has no way to auto-trigger...unless we build a
> > > 555 astable timer running a 5-second cycle and hook the 
> output to a 
> > > transistor across the camera's shutter button.
> > > This needs to be done NOW.
> > > 
> > > I can make these mods if I can get ahold of the cameras 
> this weekend.
> > 
> > Whups. The weekend is gone.
> > 
> > I've got cameras.
> 
> So does Jonathan. He said he was going to be in his office 
> this afternoon working on launch-related stuff. We got there 
> about 5:30, but no one was around. onathan's phone was off as well.
> 
> > Where/when/if you want to meet...
> > Ideally, we should pick a location where we could have future
> > (non-office) lab meetings.
> 
> So we should pick somewhere. Where?
> 
> 
> > 
> > > * On-board power - I suggested a single,central battery pack that 
> > > can supply the on-board systems by tapping various 
> combinations of 
> > > batteries for whatever voltages are needed.
> > > If this won't work easily with the phone, we can always 
> fall back to 
> > > the Duracell USB charger we used in the past. Do we have one?
> > 
> > Yes. There's a chance we'll have to gimmick-up a USB 
> connector for it 
> > though. We seem to be short on cables.
> > 
> > Also... Lori has a minty-boost.
> > It costs a lot more than the USB charger.
> > We should look at the parts on it to see if we can build 
> one cheaply 
> > and/or see if the duracell charger can be bought online 
> 'cause they're 
> > not in stores any more.
> 
> 
> 
> > 
> > 
> > And... If we're going to use a 555, and/or other circuitry, 
> how are we 
> > assembling things? breadboards are relatively heavy and 
> failure prone.
> > Does anyone have perf-board? (I've never used it)
> 
> I can take care of this. I've been soldering for close to 40 
> years now. I've built perfboard assemblies. Let the guy with 
> the dirt under his fingernails handle it.  ;-)
> 
> BTW -- any reason this was sent to me privately and not to 
> the list for archival?
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Joe
> 


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