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Showing posts from April, 2011

How to add iPod integration to a TV the cheesy way

So, the TV in my hotel room recently had an integrated iPod dock and special controls on the remote to control it. Here's the TV:

And here's the front of the remote:

Flip it over and you've got some iPod controls:

Hey, wait a minute, doesn't the kind of look like there's an entire iPod remote control stuck inside the remote? Surely, Loewe couldn't have done that. So, I dismantled it:

What's the white thing?

Yep, that's an entire iPod remote control inside the TV remote with no electrical connection (which means that if its battery dies you are going to drive yourself mad changing the TV remote's batteries!).

Of course, on the TV side they did a better job, right?

Wait, that looks like it could just be an entire iPod dock with a metal box around it. Let's go round the back and look at the connections:

Whoa. That's just an Apple composite cable plugged into a SCART adapter into the TV. Note how they handled the unneeded USB connection :-)

So, t…

GAGA-1 Release Photos

I didn't take many photos of the release of GAGA-1 because I was busy with other stuff. But there are a few.

Capsule with flight and recovery computer powered up.

Here I am checking that the telemetry from the capsule is being received correctly.

Ed gets the gas cylinder ready:

The partially filled balloon:

Checking to see if the balloon is floating. The ballast in the bag is six cans of Coke which equal the weight needed to lift the capsule at the required rate.

Yes, it's definitely going to go up!

And one final shot showing the balloon before launch:

And then it was off:

GAGA-1: The Flight

GAGA-1 flew on Sunday, April 10, 2011 and took more than 1,800 pictures of its adventure. The flight and recovery computers worked well right up until impact and the capsule landed safely in a field to the west of Cambridge.


Before giving details of the flight, I need to thank all the people who helped make it possible. Most importantly, Ed Moore of CUSF who helped on the day with balloon filling, expertise, a good place for coffee and a snack, and the chase. He was even the one that saw the little yellow square lying on the ground through a line of trees.

Also, very important were the radio amateurs and other enthusiasts who listened to the RTTY telemetry transmitted from the capsule and uploaded to the tracker. In particular G3VZV (and M0LEP) who followed the balloon almost to the ground enabled us to find it.

And lastly thanks to the denizens of #highaltitude for advice and encouragement, and who jumped in at the 11th hour and fixed some bad XML so that the tracker would …

All telemetry received from GAGA-1

This is a deduplicated list of all telemetry received from GAGA-1 via RTTY.
GAGA-1,17,No fix,,,,,23.6,20.6,62*47 GAGA-1,146,08:32:03,52.2138,0.1006,49,0.00,17.3,16.2,64*20 GAGA-1,169,08:32:26,52.2138,0.1006,73,0.00,17.4,16.2,64*24 GAGA-1,191,08:32:49,52.2138,0.1006,77,0.00,17.4,16.2,64*2E GAGA-1,213,08:33:12,52.2138,0.1006,65,0.00,17.5,16.3,64*2B GAGA-1,191,08:32:49,52.2138,0.1006,77,0.00,17.4,16.2,64*2E GAGA-1,235,08:33:36,52.2138,0.1006,61,0.00,17.6,16.4,64*29 GAGA-1,258,08:33:59,52.2138,0.1006,60,0.00,17.6,16.4,64*2A GAGA-1,280,08:34:22,52.2138,0.1006,60,0.00,17.7,16.6,64*27 GAGA-1,302,08:34:45,52.2138,0.1006,62,0.00,17.9,16.7,64*20 GAGA-1,324,08:35:08,52.2138,0.1006,64,0.00,18.1,16.4,64*2E GAGA-1,347,08:35:31,52.2138,0.1006,64,0.00,18.1,15.8,64*2E GAGA-1,369,08:35:54,52.2138,0.1006,75,0.00,18.1,15.3,64*2A GAGA-1,391,08:36:18,52.2138,0.1006,73,0.00,18.1,15.1,64*22 GAGA-1,413,08:36:41,52.2138,0.1006,75,0.00,18.2,15.0,64*27 GAGA-1,436,08:37:04,52.2138,0.1006,72,0.00,18…

Internal log of GAGA-1 recovery computer

This is the internal log from the GAGA-1 recovery computer.
T+1: sms.send(+447...,"Transition to state LAUNCH") T+5: gps2.get() -> 083751.000,5212.8245N,00006.0390E,0.8,26.4,3,304.62,0.18,0.09,100411,09 T+7: sms.send(+447...,"5212.8245N 00006.0390E 26m 304.62deg 0.18kph 09sats (3810mV, 18C, LAUNCH)") T+73: gps2.get() -> 083859.000,5212.8253N,00006.0358E,0.8,35.5,3,340.71,0.21,0.11,100411,10 T+74: sms.send(+447...,"5212.8253N 00006.0358E 35m 340.71deg 0.21kph 10sats (3805mV, 18C, LAUNCH)") T+139: gps2.get() -> 084005.000,5212.8271N,00006.0340E,0.8,32.5,3,337.08,0.18,0.09,100411,09 T+140: sms.send(+447...,"5212.8271N 00006.0340E 32m 337.08deg 0.18kph 09sats (3807mV, 18C, LAUNCH)") T+205: gps2.get() -> 084111.000,5212.8275N,00006.0355E,0.8,25.8,3,330.99,0.10,0.05,100411,10 T+206: sms.send(+447...,"5212.8275N 00006.0355E 25m 330.99deg 0.10kph 10sats (3805mV, 18C, LAUNCH)") T+272: gps2.get() -> 084217.000,5212.8263N,00006.0351…

Internal log of GAGA-1 camera

This is the complete log from the camera. Note that the date and time were set incorrectly on the camera (didn't have that on the check list!).
20110409101444,GAGA Camera Control 20110409101444,Self-check started 20110409101444,Assert property (49) -32764 == -32764 (Not in manual mode) 20110409101444,Assert property (5) 0 == 0 (AF Assist Beam should be Off) 20110409101445,Assert property (6) 0 == 0 (Focus Mode should be Normal) 20110409101445,Assert property (8) 0 == 0 (AiAF Mode should be On) 20110409101445,Assert property (21) 0 == 0 (Auto Rotate should be Off) 20110409101445,Assert property (29) 0 == 0 (Bracket Mode should be None) 20110409101445,Assert property (57) 0 == 0 (Picture Mode should be Superfine) 20110409101445,Assert property (66) 0 == 0 (Date Stamp should be Off) 20110409101445,Assert property (95) 0 == 0 (Digital Zoom should be None) 20110409101445,Assert property (102) 0 == 0 (Drive Mode should be Single) 20110409101445,Assert property (133) 0 == 0 (Manual Focus…