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Spirit of Knoxville IV Balloon
radio : by Tommy - March 11th 2008, 11:55AM
radio
The University of Tennessee Amateur Radio Club (UTARC) has launched their latest balloon "The Spirit of Knoxville IV". It took flight late last night on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, into Europe, via the swift moving winds of the jet stream.

The team put a computer and GPS on board to transmit the balloon's location and altitude via ham radio. The data stream is sent out via RTTY and CW at ~10.146 MHz. The data is displayed in rather raw format here and in a more presentable flash-based "dashboard" which features a Google Maps fix on the balloon's last reported location.

Quite a few people are monitoring the balloon so the site is a bit slow to load, but to track the little autonomous balloon is pretty neat. Right now, as I write this, it's zipping along at 111mph @ almost 40,000ft out over the Atlantic.

update: The balloon fell short of its European goal. The payload splashed down about 2:00pm CST, 425 miles southwest of County Cork, Ireland. The balloon began losing altitude the night before and never full recoverd. The decent was partly caused by the loss of sunlight heating the gas in the balloon and/or icing on the surface of the balloon. "Grams will make/break you in this business," one UTARC member said. The balloon's exact location was unkown as radio contact was lost at about 1:51pm CST. Better luck next time guys!

tags: balloon ham_radio

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
Image Uploads
neodux : by Tommy - March 10th 2008, 01:49AM
neodux
I've finally grown tired of having to upload images to other hosting services such as ImageShack and hotlink them in my own blog posts. I finally decided to do something about it and create an image upload feature when creating posts.

At this time you can only upload one image only when creating an entry. (You can't go back to edit an image and upload) I'll go ahead and stress the point that this is only temporary.
I'd like to have the ability to better control images that have been uploaded, upload (and display) multiple images, and remove images associated with blog entries (such as the butterfly image displayed here).

So there ya go, one more feature that will be little-used and few will care about, but I can finally say I've mastered PHP file uploads.

tags: neodux features

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
Ultra-Light Alcohol Stove
outdoors : by Tommy - March 8th 2008, 01:55PM
outdoors
While looking at various camping stoves, like the MSR WhisperLite and Pocket Rocket, I came across the old alcohol stove design. I was curious how they worked and found several howto videos on making your own alcohol stove.

Of all the videos I found this one was probably my favorite. I was able to track down some Bud Light in aluminum bottles. It's not Shiner, but it's not the beer I want - it's the containers.

I followed Russell's howto video and was able to hack apart a bottle and assemble it into a modest imitation. It wasn't the most sound design, so I made another. The second stove turned out better than the first and I was actually able to boil a standard sized pot of water!

Pics are forthcoming.

update: From the moment I lit the stove, it took 10 minutes to boil 2-1/2 cups of water (what my dehydrated meal calls for). Not too shabby.

tags: camping stove efficient

( Comments : 4 | Full article )

 
Permissions Boost
neodux : by Tommy - February 28th 2008, 09:20PM
neodux
In hopes of encouraging more posting and feedback, I've bumped everyone's permissions to add/edit posts on neodux.

Almost all of you should be able to create your own entry on neodux if you wish. Just make sure it's not flat out retarded and of some substance to at least a couple of people other than yourself. If you're having problems posting, let me know by leaving a comment on this post.

A few notes on creating a post:
  • Entries are essentially raw HTML, format accordingly.
  • Use inline links to relevant information
  • Check the post's spelling and grammar, please.
  • Chose the most approprate category.
  • ( Comments : 0 | Full article )

     
    Top Ten trash-talk lines...
    sports : by Nate - February 24th 2008, 09:14PM
    sports
    ... for Tony Romo when I play his team in rec-league basketball.

    10. Someone told me you're Tony Roma, I love your ribs.
    9. Do you play rec league football? Our team could use a backup QB.
    8. Aren't you the place-kick holder for the Cowboys?
    7. I was hoping Jessica would be here, but I guess you play better when she's not.
    6. Has anybody ever told you that you look like you could be Tony Romo's little brother?
    5. Don't quit your day job.
    4. How does Jerry Jones' butt taste?
    3. I hope we play you guys in the first round of the playoffs
    2. I watched a lot of film to prepare for this game, well, if Dukes of Hazzard counts.
    1. Sorry, I'm usually better than this, but I just got back from Cabo.

    P.S. Jason Witten is on his team too. This should be fun...

    ( Comments : 2 | Full article )

     
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