High Altitude Balloon Flight Video is Complete!

Finally after some delay I was able to compile the 20+ Gigs of video into an under 5 minute flight.  We could not have been happier with the results despite having simultaneous dual system tracking failure and missing our target altitude by about 20,000 feet.

All systems were recovered and can be re-used along with our newly acquired knowledge.  The next flight will be even better.

Enjoy!

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Live G+ Hangout and UpConverter case Giveaway!

Last night I tried my first YouTube live broadcast and it was amazing!  I got to spend an hour with a few subscribers/members of the mkme.org community and had a blast!

I learned a few things about my settings and hardware so I decided to try it again this coming Monday at 7:00 pm Eastern time.  During this broadcast I will do the draw for the 3D printed case giveaway live on the air- with a small surprise announcement.

hope you can join!  Post a comment on the event if you would like to join the hangout live on the air.  You can always watch the broadcast live on G+ or YouTube as well.
Here is the giveaway info if you haven’t entered already:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kieSDm5g0cc

Here is the G+ event page.  look forward to seeing you!

http://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ccscj4k50453e5j5tj3cjqmruq0

 

Watch on YouTube here:

http://youtu.be/DPF8p1uZ-UE

Cheers!

NOAA Weather Satellite Images With Cheap SDR Receiver

This morning I decided to fire up the ultra cheap software defined radio (DVB-T dongle) so my PC could grab some weather satellite photos from the NOAA satellites.

If you haven’t heard- you can now buy a $10 USB device which functions as an all band radio receiver.  Tonnes of freeware programs now exist to work with these signals.  One fun use is decoding the weather images directly from the satellites.  It is really a simple process and your PC can stitch together multiple images to cover a large portion of any area.

Here is a composite image which is actually 3 satellite passes today which were automatically stitched together and displayed.  Not too bad for a $10 USB stick 🙂

NOAA Weather satellite software defined radio

I am using a commercial QFH antenna but you can easily make your own as well.  If you haven’t already- check out my videos on the cheap software defined radios- the number of things we can receive is quite incredible!

Here is the website which my receiver automatically updates when I have it configured to receive the NOAA images.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/89861404/WXtoImg/index.html

Here are the tutorial videos I made so anyone can use these little software defined radios to receive satellite weather transmission easily.

Cheers!

3D printer Parts

Recently I had anothere sever clog in the hot end of my Solidoodle 3D printer.  I have cleared these before but this one proceeded to “ooze”  ABS all around the extruder hot end.  Due to the fact that mine is still the original unit encased in a type of “cement”- this was going to be some fun to clear.  I opted for grabbing a new unit while I rebuild the old.

Cheers!

3D Printed Prosthesis Outperforms Commercial Unit

I ran across this video this week and had to share. This is exactly why I started the DIY robot arm with brain interface project. Mine is not suited for this application but the concept is the same. As makers and creators I think we have a unique perspective on certain things. With the advent of affordable and semi-reliable 3D printers- we now have the tools to quickly fabricate components in a matter of minutes- not weeks.

This is just pure cool:

Cheers!
Eric

Work on the InMoov Robot Arm

Did some work on the InMoov 3D printed robotic arm recently.  I had been meaning to get around to fixing a servo issue I have had since I initially assembled the arm.  Basically for my setup- I need to ensure all servos stop before their limits to avoid buring them out.

I concluded some time ago that this particular arm would not be suited for assembly into the entire robot build (which I’m not sure I will do yet).  The arm has a few pieces with strength and quality concerns so I decided I would use it exclusively for my DIY brain/robot interface project.  The arm and brain interface may work out well for a DIY medical recovery/training type tool or some other application.

Here is the video of my servo adjustment.  Some fingers have some travel issues but the adjustments in the code prevent any harm to the servos as a result.

Cheers!

Aurora-1 High Altitude Balloon Launch- Delayed

After much agonizing and running constant landing predictions for the last 6 weeks- I have decided to delay the launch of the High Altitude Balloon.  Currently the conditions in Goderich Ontario Canada are not suitable for a safe controlled launch, flight and recovery.

HAB Project

This, unfortunately, means we will not be able to partake in the Global Space Balloon Challenge hosted by M.I.T university.  Although this was never the primary focus for the mission, it would have been fun to participate.

Much of the recovery area here in Ontario is still covered in spring melt water (and today 2 inches of fresh snow).  This makes recovery difficult.  As well, the high altitude winds have allowed for only 4 suitable launch days in the last 6 weeks of simulations.

We will simply need to wait a bit longer so we can achieve our goal of a near-space mission with our balloon and payload module.  I will update everyone as soon as we have a projected launch window.

Thanks to everyone who has followed along with this project.  It has truly been a fun journey and we haven’t even launched yet 🙂

Follow all the build videos here:

High Altitude Balloon Forum can be found here:

http://mkme.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=24