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zeldorf

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Everything posted by zeldorf

  1. Well, that guy may be faking it, but I just saw this on Slashdot and the Iphone bit reminded me of this thread. http://www.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en The Parrot website seems to be under a bit of strain at the moment, here's the news article I saw it in, with videos, http://recombu.com/news/parrot-ardrone-iphone-controlled-helicopter-leaves-us-speechless_M11288.html Looks pretty neat!
  2. I've got the same modules and had the same thoughts. I made an Eagle library for the part and will send that to you if it would help? I tried looking for sockets but couldn't come up with anything the right size.
  3. Thanks, lots of usefull info on that page though it seems to lean towards DIY as the best option. I didn't know you could get inserts to do through hole plating. I would much prefer the DIY route but I'm temporarily back living with my parents at the moment and just don't have the space. Xelax: I'd heard of the sparkfun service and found their forum but couldn't oddly couldn't find their website! I'll check it out but would like to use an in-country service ideally. It's a pain getting nailed with import duty and brokers fees... jonforstedavies: thanks for the suggestion, but I've had bad experiences with ebay in the past and won't go near it now. Thanks guys, Simon
  4. Hi all, Up to now I have made my own PCBs, but my kit is getting old and tired. I'm also rather limited as I can't do through hole plating or the nice extras like silk screening and solder masks without a heavy investment in extra kit. For anyone interested I found this site ages ago about making PCBs (http://www.thinktink.com/stack/volumes/volvi/pcbproto.htm) I'm looking for somewhere to get a few small PCBs made, typically one or two boards per design. I use the freeware version of Eagle for capture and layout, so the boards will be small So far Top Tec PCB (top-tec-pcb.com) seems to be the most reasonable for small orders but I wouldn't have said cheap. Does anyone have any experience with them? Are they OK? Please tell me, who's your favourite fab shop? Thanks, Simon
  5. Hi, I just solder up by hand with a very fine tip, but have had problems doing very small chips with 40+ closely spaced legs. I also make all my boards myself with a UV box and etchant, but have found it a bit hit and miss getting really fine pads to etch properly. I found this site a while back which gives details of DIY solder masks, through-hole plating, etc, and thought it was quite an interesting read if only for an insight into the process. http://www.thinktink.com/stack/volumes/volvi/pcbproto.htm I guess it just comes down to how much time/money you are willing to spend on it. Out of interest, as I understand it solder paste doesn't keep. Can anyone with experience tell me if this is true or not? I'd like to go down the oven route, but don't make huge boards and certainly don't want to be binning massive amounts of paste because it's gone off. Si
  6. Wow! I hadn't even thought about that, its a brilliant idea! I think I need to make more time to play with this sort of stuff...
  7. Wow cyber-flyer, thats some pretty hardcore stuff! My personal opinion is that the larger distros have become far too bloated and slow, which is part of the reason I dislike Windows! They seem to try to focus on whiz-bang animated graphics which sure make it look nice, but don't add anything to the usability and kill the performance. Almost all of my time with Linux is spend on servers in one form or another, so I usually don't even bother to install X. From the little that I have seen I feel that there is such a lack of standards in the way of GUI design that the usability is really suffering, as well as other things... but thats going a bit off topic for here It certainly sounds like you could just install everything from scratch with not too much trouble at all! There is a large group of people using mini-itx boards to build PVRs using MythTV, so if your interested in video drivers, codecs and the like, that is probably a good place to start! http://www.mythtv.org/ There also Video for Linux (V4L) I'd like to muck around with this kind of stuff more, but like anything it's having the time!
  8. Hi JMS, it all depends on what you want to do with Linux. If your looking for a desktop system with the equivalent Office programs then using something like Ubuntu and Open Office should be pretty straight forward. Ubuntu is great for beginners as it introduces you to the programs using point and click interfaces, rather than the command line. Of course there are disadvantages this too, but it's a good place to start. Sooner or later you're going to have to get involved with the command line, and the learning curve starts to looks like a cliff! Don't let that put you off though, once you grasp the basics and start to understand what the system is capable of it is amazing, and great fun! Some of those mini-itx boards also have built in I2C ports on them, which makes it easy to hook up DIY circuits etc.
  9. Hi all, While I am a HUGE fan of linux, just beware that doing anything even remotely complicated with it is likely to require a huge investment of time and pulled out hair. If your prepared to work at it then go for it! It's a really fatastic operating system! Cyber-flyer, that looks like a pretty cool PC to play with, but unless your looking at brewing your own linux distro and getting drivers for as much hardware acceleration as you can lay your hands on, I think you'll run into performance issues. Especially as the CPU is 333MHz. If your just looking to install Ubuntu or similar with a windows type GUI then it will run very slowly, if at all. I think anything like realtime video would be out of the question. As JMS pointed out, 128Mb of RAM is really not a lot these days, even the higher 256Mb option is small. Whats more worrying is that the size of the flash-IDE-storage does not appear to be listed. I can't see this being greater than 4Gb at most which is tight if your looking at an OS and recorded video, but not the biggest problem! If you really want to you can get PC boards based around the same CPU with ports to connect things like harddrives and PCI cards to get around those limitations. I use a fanless mini-itx 800MHz VIA Eden based PC as a small allways-on server at home running linux. I usually just use SSH and the command line to access it, but installed Ubuntu a few months ago to see what the hype was about. The GUI was incredably unresponsive on such a slow machine and I soon scrapped the lot and went back to the command line! I may be talking nonsense, but the XWindows system is rather slow and inefficient due to the number of layers involved. It is worth noting that I didn't try to locate or install any drivers for the graphical acceleration that is available on the board (it would have taken longer than I was willing to spend trying to install them). I did breiefly install windows 2000 as a comparison and found that to be more responsive and just about capable of playing DivX and XVid files when all of the correct drivers were in. It did struggle with DVDs oddly enough. A couple of mini-itx sites if anyones intersted; http://www.mini-itx.com/ http://linitx.com/ Quite a few people install them in cars as media centers, so there are power supplies available designed from running off a 12v car battery. The power requirements are quite a bit larger then 6W though!
  10. Just a quick tip for those who don't know. If you want to find out if your cheap sunglasses are polarised or not, hold them infront of an LCD screen (eg. wristwatch). If you can see the numbers on the display then rotate the sunglasses by 90 degrees. If they are polarised lenses then the display will no longer be readable. Si.
  11. Just what do they expect to do? Ban GPS devices? Make balsawood and plastic illegal? How about electric motors or small propellers? This kind of technology has been available for a while, and have The Terrorists used it? No. Why bother when there are plenty of simpler and more reliable methods to get the job done, and plenty of willing voluteers to help. This kind of knee jerk politics responding to whatever appears in the meda winds me up no end. Someone needs to be hit with a clue stick. Rant over Si.
  12. Thanks Ox, I tried PCB123 a while ago and didn't like it for some reason I can't remeber now. Maybe its time to give it another look. With Eagle (as far as I know) if you want to use a component that's not in the standard libraries then you have to define your own. You can't just place pads and tracks as you like, they have to match the schematic. (Again, I could be wrong but that's my experience). As Eagle seems to be a popular tool I just wondered if anyone had made a library file already. As you pointed out the datasheet has great info for knocking one up, I just hate doing it as it takes ages, and I don't have a printer at home to do a physical check. Thanks, Si
  13. Hi all, I use Eagle for designing my PCBs, and was wondering if anyone out there had a library file for an airwave TX/RX or anything like that to save me knocking one up from scratch? On a side note, can anyone suggest an alternative to Eagle? The maximum board size limitation really gets on my nerves, but I really like the interface! Thanks, Si
  14. JMS, Here's a nice website with info on variable resistors on the bottom half. It should make it clearer what the pins are and which you should use. http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~jcgl/Scots_Gu...art2/Page2.html It's also worth noting that there are two types, liner and logarithmic, which define how the resistance increases as you move the move the wiper across the pot. For your application you would probably want a linear one to make it easier to set. Don't forget that the vibrations inside your plane could slowly change the setting over time. You used to be able to get some trim pots that you could drip wax onto once they had been calibrated to prevent this, but I've just had a quick look and couldn't find anything like it. The wax stops it moving over time, but you can break the seal if you need to change it later. Si
  15. Now where's the fun in that Out of interest, what kind of backup times do you get with those things?
  16. You could use a small PIC to download the configuration to the GPS on powerup, then go into powersaving mode afterwards. This would remove the need for a battery backup to store the config, although I'm not sure what else it might need to store as well. The hard part is finding out what commands to send it, as a quick look didn't dig up any info. Reverse engineering by the com port traffic would probably be the last resort, but not too pretty.
  17. Mark, I think your circuit would work, however it's not the most efficient rectifier. It looks like what you propose is the equivalent of half-wave rectification on a single phase circuit. A more efficient method would be to wire the coils into a wye (a.k.a. star) formation and fully rectify the three phases. Here's a website with a circuit diagram to explain it better http://services.eng.uts.edu.au/~venkat/pe_...s1/ch05s1p1.htm Cheers, Simon
  18. I've gone for the 610 transmitter with the 608 receiver. I wanted to get the smaller 5V 620 receiver, but they're out of stock and didn't know when they would get some more in. With any luck they should be waiting for me when I get home today! I've not got a camera yet, I'm looking for a 5V one, but have only found 12V cams so far. As I've gone for a 5V tx I don't really want to have to have 12V as well. YB2Normal has info on the Panasonic CX-161 on his web page, but from what I can see it was discontinued a couple of years ago. Also the only two UK websites that I can find selling them are both beyond awfull! Any recomendations?
  19. Gareth, fantastic! I've ordered myself a couple of those to play with. Delcam, thats a brilliant website with loads of usefull information! I was wondering about the connection to the radio modules, but your photos removed any doubt. Better than the datasheet! Terry, thats good to hear as I was concerned about the range. I'm not sure where I was looking on the spy store site but I managed to miss all of the more powerfull transmitters! Thanks for all the help guys!
  20. I'm interested in getting a video camera onboard a plane, and also telemetry but not necesarily as the same project. Cameras dont seem to be the problem now (thanks for the links!) but finding transmitters over 10mW is, apart from one 70mW at SpyStoreUk. The range on the specs for them says 100m, but I've never seen anything wireless live up to its range specs! As I would imagine most of the flight time is spent outside that range, is this going to be at all usefull? I'm not looking to control the thing by watching the video feed, but I'm not interested in having a signal thats going to be useless unless im practically on top of myself. As I don't have any real experience with wireless, can anyone tell what sort of practical range I can expect from this sort of power output. I know that ariels and receivers also have a large impact on this, but as receivers don't seem to have much usefull info about them at all, I'm slightly at a loss. I'd probably go for a patch on the receiving end, but what works well for transmitters? Is 70mW really the max available in the UK without a licence, should I just abandon all hope now?
  21. Hi all, I apologise in advance if this is in the wrong section, I wasn't sure where to post this. I've been lurking for a while and thought that someone here might be able to help me. I'm interested in getting some small video cameras and txs airborne, and have found quite a few interesting websites on the subject (this being one of them!) but they seem to mostly be US based and I'm in the UK. Does anyone know of any stores in the UK that stock this kit, or am I going to have to order from abroad? Cheers all!
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