Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in the swing

Starting to get back into it. I made some sugar rocket parts for Kevin of FAR on the Lathe. This generated a bunch of aluminum chips that swiftly made their way into the house. Since I'm trying to reduce the amount of $$ spent on the

"Calm angry wife with aluminum chip in her foot by purchasing flowers"

budget line item.

I've decided that the lathe needs to move away from the exit door. I can do this by swapping the lathe and a work bench. So next week I need to move some power wiring and add another layer of waterproof sheet rock and or stainless steel sheeting behind the lathes new home. I'm also going to install a troll at the exit door whose job is to throw you to the ground and remove all the metal chips. If you know anyone marketing such a creature please let me know.

On a slightly less serious note I flew the helicopter a number of times on Saturday and all the electronics seem to be working.I've got GPS, IMU, Ultrasonic altitude sensor, compass, RC receiver,telemetry transceiver and netburner cpu all running on an electric Trex 600. I finally solved the GPS problem by moving it to the end of the tail boom. It is all functional, with the current setup the RC receiver is hooked to the CPU and the servos are all driven by the CPU. Right now the CPU just echoes the RC receiver commands and the vehicle is flown manually, but it proves out all the hardware. These tests included the ground telemetry box and RF to Ethernet translator I was showing at the xprize cup. There were a bunch of guys at FAR for a solid motor class and one of them captured me flying the helicopter.


Anonymous said...

ultrasonic wont work very well with rockets. There are some interesting radar alternatives.
More variants

Sensor technology is evolving at amazing speed.

Peter Lund said...

Place one of those small hand-held vacuum cleaners and its charger-cradle on the wall next to the door so it becomes really easy to remove the aluminium shavings from socks, trousers, hair, beard... :)

Paul Breed said...

I realize that ultrasonic will not work on a rocket.
I'm going to add in a barometric altimeter and differential correction of the GPS, the ultrasonic sensor is there to quantify the accuracy of the other two.

Paul Breed said...

The other direct reading canidate is the laser range finder...

Anonymous said...

well, laser wont work either at altitudes where it really matters: in side dust clouds.
if you are considering lasers, i would recommend at least giving a look to cheaper radars as well. its essentially the same thing, at different wavelength.
i have used both ultrasonics and laser rangefinders in robotics, and they both have their problems. DARPA Grand Challenge saw quite a few of these.

Paul Breed said...

Do you have a link/source for off the shelf radar that is not multiple K bucks?

The initial links look like research organizations, or automotive OEMS's