Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beaten by a cable...

I expected to take the silver Ball to FAR on Friday.
I've worked for 18 hrs a day for three days and I'm still 3 hours away from being ready.
I think I have everything working except the GPS.

On The Blue Ball the GPS antenna sticks up and we've broken it off three times. So on the Silver ball I machined a real light aluminum dome that sits on top of the computer cover and the GPS antenna sits on that. It all lines up so it goes directly into the RF tight box the GPS lives in.

Nothing sticking out to break off.... alas every time you open or close the computer box you must unplug and replug the GPS cable. After opening the box 6 million times over the last few days the cable died. If I replace it with a different cable everything works, alas the mechanical fit is such that I can't assemble things with the different cable. We've passed all our integration tests except the last one a simulated takeoff, we can't do that without a GPS lock and no antenna == no lock. I could go and do a static test, but I think I'll wait a day or two and try again. I've been pushing too hard and I'm too tired to think clearly not the right state to be in testing a new system.

One of these days I will learn how long it takes to do vehicle integration.
When you have a pile of individually tested and roughly rocket looking parts you think you have 4 hours of work, alas its days or weeks of work, not hours.

1 comment:

Carl Tedesco said...

Sorry to hear about your GPS cable woes. Did you make any progress on your lunar pad?