Long Time No Post

April 29, 2010

So this is just a quick post as sort of an update-with-no-update. The rumors of my death have been mildly exaggerated.  I’ve been busy with personal stuff, and short on budget, so I had to suspend this project for a while. I plan to pick it up next month some time, and hopefully everything will come together. That’s all for now!

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Up to Date Update

November 9, 2009

Wow, been a bit since my last post. I’ve mostly been waiting on things to be delivered. Let’s see where things are at now.

First, the parachute arrived today! I haven’t had a good look at it just yet, but hopefully it will meet my needs and bring everything back down to earth safely. Total cost was $27 with shipping on eBay. (more…)

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Eight is Great

October 27, 2009

The new 8gb SD card came in today, and I spent the last hour or so poking around, trying to get CHDK to work on it. I knew that it was possible, and I eventually found a way that worked for me buried in this topic on the CHDK forums.

Basically, it seems that CHDK needs to be booted off of a FAT16 partition, but FAT16 only supports partitions up to 4gb. In order to use a larger memory card, you need to set up two partitions; a small FAT16 one to boot CHDK, and a larger one (the rest of the available space) which is FAT32 to store images. The problem is, if you use Windows, you aren’t able to partition an SD card like you could a hard drive, and so you need to turn to third party utilities. (more…)

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Tracking Is On Track

October 23, 2009

The phone arrived today! It’s pretty heavily scuffed on the face, but aside from that works fine. I would have posted about it earlier but a) nobody reads this blog, and b) I was busy testing tracking applications. I installed InstaMapper, a free java GPS tracking application, and also AccuTracking, a paid version of the same. From my research, they seem to work mostly the same, although AccuTracking has a more polished feel to it. It also seems to have a larger buffer to hold unsent location updates, which is probably the most handy part. I managed to get them both installed following instructions here, and got them both running at startup following instructions located here. Basically InstaMapper is running as the only allowed “Full-Time App” in the Java settings, and AccuTracking is running under Personalize > Settings > Power Up. I don’t know if I will keep both running all the time, but while I test location feedback (having the phone and driving around with it), etc, it seems the best way to see which I like more. I’m also toying with keeping both running, just to have some redundancy, but I need to see what sort of battery life I get first. I also need to purchase a USB battery charger, and look into if I want to attach an external antenna or not. I’ve seen some cheap ones on eBay, so I may go for one just because it seems better to have than to have not. (more…)

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The First of Many!

October 22, 2009

The camera arrived today, huzzah! It’s a Canon A470 that I picked up on eBay, used, for $50 (including shipping). This is a bit more than was listed for hardware costs at Project Icarus, but I got the i290 for less than they did, so it should all even out, I think. What I didn’t get with the camera was an 8GB SD card; it came with a 2GB one, which was unexpected, but still much too small for this project. I found an 8GB one on eBay for $16 or so, and I’m waiting on that to come in, but the one it came with will at least allow me to play with CHDK while I wait. The camera itself is in good shape, there’s a few scuffs on the body, and the LCD display has a couple of scratches on it, but minor cosmetic issues aside, it seems to be in excellent condition. (more…)

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The Story So Far…

October 20, 2009

I suppose I should give a bit of a recap of how things have been progressing up to this point.

I don’t quite remember when I found out about Project Icarus, but I was a bit late to the party. I suppose I found out about it some time in the last week of September or so, and it instantly sparked my imagination. I knew immediately this was something I wanted to do, and so I read everything on their site, and all the news I could find about it, and started putting together a list of materials I would need. Along with this, I knew I needed to figure out where I could launch from, and so I spent a day or two with the Balloon Trajectory Predictor on the University of Wyoming website, picking out potential sites with the help of Google Earth to view local airports, since I assumed that it would be better for everyone (and more likely to be legal) if I launched far from an airport. Since I live in Chicago, I obviously couldn’t launch here anyway; with two major airports, there was a lot of air traffic. In addition, launching from here usually ends up with a predicted path that ends in Lake Michigan. Not so useful. (more…)

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Hello, World

October 20, 2009

This blog will follow my attempt to emulate many successful near-space photographic efforts, and was inspired specifically by Project Icarus. Some of you may notice that in so naming my effort “Codename: Daedalus”, I have gotten things reversed, however the larger goal of this site is to hopefully provide a collection of resources for other people like myself who wish to send their own cameras skyward. We shall see what happens with that, I suppose. For now I’m going to just chronicle my own progress and go from there. Wish me luck!

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