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'[OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?'
2000\10\19@112556 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi,

   I know close to nothing regarding wireless transmission such as radio,
packet, satellite and  the like but I was wondering if there would be an
economic way for an autonomous vehicle to send it's position back home ? The
vehicle is a solar powered boat already equipped with a GPS receiver used
for navigation and it would be a piece of cake to add a daily routine to the
PIC for uploading this information to some RF stage. Here is the catch : the
boat can be anywhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and obviously has
very little power available (in fact barely enough to keep it moving). The
boat could stop while it transmits to save power and wait for it's batteries
to recharge before going on, that's not a problem. The required bandwidth is
minimal and only a few bytes would be sent daily. The received data would be
used to update the boat's daily position on a Web site. At this point, I'm
only looking for one-way transmission, nothing would get sent back to the
boat even though that would be cool ...

   I was thinking of something like the transmiters they put in Tuna fish
to track their migration habits. Any idea who makes these things and how
they work ? Is direct ground to ground transmission possible accross the
Atlantic with such little power available ? Is satellite the only way to go
?

Thanks,


Tobie Horswill
Ex Machina, Quibec (Quibec) CAN
spam_OUTthorswilTakeThisOuTspamhotmail.com

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2000\10\19@125557 by staff

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Hi Tobie,

       I'm fascinated, why do you have a little boat roaming around
the middle of the atlantic ocean? Do you do this often? :o)
-Roman



Tobie Horswill wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\19@141410 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi Roman,

   Well actualy, the boat is still in the making ... I'm building it just
because I like the idea of a totally closed and autonomous system, I don't
have the money to travel and the "hi-tech message in a bottle" idea is
something I've been thinking of for some time. The boat should start
somewhere off the Canadian east cost and head for France, Spain or Portugal
and then come back. It'll be saving daily position logs to EEPROM so I can
plot it's course but still, I'd like to have a real-time position feedback
if possible ... And no, I don't do this often, this is the first time. :-)

Regards,

Tobie Horswill
thorswilspamKILLspamhotmail.com


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@142029 by Shawn Yates

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       If you can get the data link, put a small camera on it and have your
own web page attraction.

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@152246 by rad0

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Well, You could use an Iridium Satelite Phone and
hook it up to a modem, and just have it dial up
once a day.  This might be expensive though.

Also, you might want to look into the ARINC system
that comercial aircraft use.  They now have a datalink
system that most comercial aircraft use when transiting
the north atlantic.  You probably wouldn't get permission
to use this however.

Also, you could put an ELT on it, and have it turn this on every
24 hours.  There are satelites that specifically monitor the
uhf 243 and vhf 121.5 frequencies looking for emergency locator
beacons (ELT).  But of course this is an emegency system
and I doubt if the Governments' would appreciate a hobby
boat interogating their system everyday.

You might want to check with the ham radio folks and see if
it's possible to use an hf radio to hook into some
sort of relay system or program.

cheers...


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@154302 by Bond Peter S-petbond1

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> Well, You could use an Iridium Satelite Phone and
> hook it up to a modem, and just have it dial up
> once a day.  This might be expensive though.

Hah.

Peter.  A Motorolan.

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2000\10\19@154511 by hard Prosser

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Interesting.
Also a few problems. Without using a satelite you will probably have to use
HF frequencies. Even without the legal question, this is not going to be
too reliable unless you can find a quiet band to operate on. Additionally,
the lower the frequency, the larger your aerial will need to be for
efficient operation. I'd almost suggest  VLF if it didn't require very
large antenna systems.
An iridium cellphone system  (if it's still operational) might be a
solution - but costly.
Im intreged by this one & will watch for other comments closely.

Richard P



Hi,

   I know close to nothing regarding wireless transmission such as radio,
packet, satellite and  the like but I was wondering if there would be an
economic way for an autonomous vehicle to send it's position back home ?
The
vehicle is a solar powered boat already equipped with a GPS receiver used
for navigation and it would be a piece of cake to add a daily routine to
the
PIC for uploading this information to some RF stage. Here is the catch :
the
boat can be anywhere in the middle of the Atlantic ocean and obviously has
very little power available (in fact barely enough to keep it moving). The
boat could stop while it transmits to save power and wait for it's
batteries
to recharge before going on, that's not a problem. The required bandwidth
is
minimal and only a few bytes would be sent daily. The received data would
be
used to update the boat's daily position on a Web site. At this point, I'm
only looking for one-way transmission, nothing would get sent back to the
boat even though that would be cool ...

   I was thinking of something like the transmiters they put in Tuna fish
to track their migration habits. Any idea who makes these things and how
they work ? Is direct ground to ground transmission possible accross the
Atlantic with such little power available ? Is satellite the only way to go
?

Thanks,


Tobie Horswill
Ex Machina, Quibec (Quibec) CAN
.....thorswilKILLspamspam.....hotmail.com

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2000\10\19@154516 by Don Hyde

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I for one, think this is a super-cool project.

I've been waiting for the ham radio types to come in, who know more about
the radio side, and especially what is legal.  For that kind of range, you
need either a short-wave radio that will skip, or a transmitter that can
talk to a satellite.

For the short-wave approach, the ham guys might know how you can legally
have a remote-operated transmitter off in international waters operating on
a short-wave ham band.  If you put it up using a standard modulation scheme
and publish its frequency and transmission schedule, you can probably get a
lot of help in receiving the reports, with receivers scattered about both
sides of the ocean.

It will take a few watts to push a signal across the ocean, but the message
need only be a few milliseconds long.  50 bytes at 1200 baud is 417
milliseconds.  You should be able to use less than 50 bytes, and possibly a
higher bit rate as well.  I would run the transmitter from a bank of low-esr
capacitors that were charged up from whatever power supply you're using for
motors, etc.  If it transmits, say, every 4 hours, and has a 50% probability
of being received each time, then you will get an average of three position
reports per day.  The probability of getting them all goes way up if you
have 10 receivers at different positions.

> {Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@160139 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, rad0 wrote:

> You might want to check with the ham radio folks and see if
> it's possible to use an hf radio to hook into some
> sort of relay system or program.

Bingo!  You could have the boat send its location via CW (Morse code).
With a pretty simple antenna and very low power, just a couple of Watts
RF, you could make yourself heard almost anywhere.  A suitable transmitter
could be built for a couple of dollars and could, under PIC control,
transmit however often you wanted.  The transmitter could be built to draw
zero power while not keyed.

What you need is a Ham friend who'd like a "maritime mobile QRP beacon"
project, or get a license yourself.  Possible problem: Once your boat
reaches another country, it may be operating illegally!  Each country has
its own rules and license requirements.  You may want to find some hams
who operate MM (maritime mobile) and ask them how to go about it.  The
technical end is really easy, the regulatory part might be stickier.

Dale
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discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
               -- Isaac Asimov

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2000\10\19@160345 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
It is indeed a really nice project idea! I hope Tobie can make it work!

AFAIK, There are several store and forward packet radio satellites in
orbit. These will accept packet messages (transmitted on VHF or UHF freqs)
from ground stations and then allow other users in different locations
(anywhere in the orbital coverage of the satellite) to receive the data at
a later time.

How large is the boat? The amount of signal power needed for the satellite
depends on the satellite,and since I have never done this, I am not sure of
the typical amounts needed. I would guess ,thought, that there is at least
one such satellite which would get a good enough signal from a couple of
watts into a small yagi. There has been a push for a long time in amateur
radio to launch some satellites which had such good antennas and receivers
to be able to get a usable signal from 5 watts into an omnidirectional
antenna, but I don't know if any are currently in operation.

Could you handle an antenna which was about 1.5 meters long and 0.3 meters
wide? What are your weight limits like? Could you deal with having a pair
of motors to point the antenna and a computer with tracking program to
point it properly?

Sean



At 02:41 PM 10/19/00 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> > {Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@161200 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
What is your power budget on the boat (ie: watt-hours per day or some such
units of measure).

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

----- Original Message -----
From: Don Hyde <EraseMEDonHspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTAXONN.COM>
To: <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2000 3:41 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?


> I for one, think this is a super-cool project.
>
> I've been waiting for the ham radio types to come in, who know more about
> the radio side, and especially what is legal.  For that kind of range, you
> need either a short-wave radio that will skip, or a transmitter that can
> talk to a satellite.
>
> For the short-wave approach, the ham guys might know how you can legally
> have a remote-operated transmitter off in international waters operating
on
> a short-wave ham band.  If you put it up using a standard modulation
scheme
> and publish its frequency and transmission schedule, you can probably get
a
> lot of help in receiving the reports, with receivers scattered about both
> sides of the ocean.
>
> It will take a few watts to push a signal across the ocean, but the
message
> need only be a few milliseconds long.  50 bytes at 1200 baud is 417
> milliseconds.  You should be able to use less than 50 bytes, and possibly
a
> higher bit rate as well.  I would run the transmitter from a bank of
low-esr
> capacitors that were charged up from whatever power supply you're using
for
> motors, etc.  If it transmits, say, every 4 hours, and has a 50%
probability
> of being received each time, then you will get an average of three
position
> reports per day.  The probability of getting them all goes way up if you
> have 10 receivers at different positions.
>
> > {Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@162017 by James R. Cunningham

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Me too.  What about using the satellite system that is used to monitor the path of
migrating Whooper Swans between Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland, in conjunction with
one of the tiny transmitters the swans carry on their backs.  Power requirements are
negligible, there is a location update several times a day, and accuracy is fair,
usually within 5-10 miles.

Jim

Sean H. Breheny wrote:

> It is indeed a really nice project idea! I hope Tobie can make it work!

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2000\10\19@162022 by Jeff Meyer

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This may sound funny, but all this talk about the boat has made me think...

Will it stay afloat?

Good luck!
Jeff.

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2000\10\19@162634 by M. Adam Davis

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As this is quite an ambitious project, I would suggest two things:

Invite people from the ham groups to participate
Invite corporations to participate and donate

While this would involve your time and energy, your returns would be greater
than what you put into your efforts in these two areas.

In order to have a long distance transmission, you go as low in frequency as you
can (given antenna limitations), and you get as highly sensitive of a receiver
as you can.

If you want to increase project complexity, you can also get and use a compass
module to give you the direction you are currently pointing in.  Have an array
of antennas which are set up to cover 60 to 90 degrees, and use only one
antenna, pointing towards the USA, or the two antennas pointing east and west.
This would give you a longer distance transmission.

-Adam

Tobie Horswill wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\19@162843 by Greg Maki

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Hi Tobie,

You might want to try contacting ARGOS  <http://www.argosinc.com/>. This is
a LEO satellite system that we use to track drifting buoys. You only need
about 1 watt or so to get up to the satellite and since the frequency is
401.65 MHz, the antenna can be made fairly small. The maximum amount of data
you can send is 32 bytes per message and you can usually send about 7 - 10
messages per satellite pass.

The transmitters usually start at about $500 USD. A couple of manufacturers
are Seimac <http://www.seimac.com> and Telonics <http://www.telonics.com>.

If you need more information, you can email me directly at KILLspammakigKILLspamspamgate.net.

Hope this helps!

Greg Maki


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@162851 by Don Hyde

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As far as satellites are concerned, of course Iridium is pretty much out of
business already, and they are planning to start de-orbiting the satellites
any day now.

But there is at least one other commercial satellite constellation still
going, which is oriented more toward data transmission (It's used to track
18-wheelers, perhaps you've seen one with a little radome on top of the
cab?)  You might be able to talk those people into giving you a unit in
exchange for painting their name on your boat and letting them take some
publicity pictures (like a race car, ya know?)

> {Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@164103 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
----- Original Message -----
From: Don Hyde <RemoveMEDonHTakeThisOuTspamAXONN.COM>
To: <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2000 4:25 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?


> As far as satellites are concerned, of course Iridium is pretty much out
of
> business already, and they are planning to start de-orbiting the
satellites
> any day now.
>
> But there is at least one other commercial satellite constellation still
> going, which is oriented more toward data transmission (It's used to track
> 18-wheelers, perhaps you've seen one with a little radome on top of the
> cab?)  You might be able to talk those people into giving you a unit in
> exchange for painting their name on your boat and letting them take some
> publicity pictures (like a race car, ya know?)

At least you should have no trouble getting time on the satellite mid-ocean.
Not too many truckers drive the gulf stream. :-)

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

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2000\10\19@164108 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
No need to point the antenna: point the boat!

Radio is not my specialty, but...

Transmit on a known schedule.

Transmit highly redundant data.

Look at some of the techniques used to pull usable signals out of the noise
on deep space probes.

I would expect that a few watts would get you where you need to go.


Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@165721 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Ammerman <TakeThisOuTRAMMERMANEraseMEspamspam_OUTPRODIGY.NET>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2000 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?


> No need to point the antenna: point the boat!
>
> Radio is not my specialty, but...
>
> Transmit on a known schedule.
>
> Transmit highly redundant data.
>
> Look at some of the techniques used to pull usable signals out of the
noise
> on deep space probes.
>
> I would expect that a few watts would get you where you need to go.

Oh, and since you know where the boat last was, and it probably hasn't gone
far since then:

A high directional, high gain, antenna on your receiver.

{Quote hidden}

frequency
{Quote hidden}

an
> > > economic way for an autonomous vehicle to send it's position back home
?
> The
> > > vehicle is a solar powered boat already equipped with a GPS receiver
> used
> > > for navigation and it would be a piece of cake to add a daily routine
to
{Quote hidden}

how
> > > they work ? Is direct ground to ground transmission possible accross
the
> > > Atlantic with such little power available ? Is satellite the only way
to
{Quote hidden}

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>
>
>
>

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2000\10\19@180155 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Don Hyde wrote:

> I for one, think this is a super-cool project.

Me too.

{Quote hidden}

I would think a 30 or evem 10M transmitter with a few Watts and a quarter
wave vertical would do OK for this -- nothing terrific, but you'd probably
be able to get coordinates once a day or so.  Plus, once hams became aware
of it, I'll bet you'd have no trouble getting some of them to relay
positions as they were heard.  This sort of thing is actualyl pretty
common, though usually they're fixed beacons used for propagation studies.

> It will take a few watts to push a signal across the ocean, but the message
> need only be a few milliseconds long.  50 bytes at 1200 baud is 417
> milliseconds.  You should be able to use less than 50 bytes, and possibly a
> higher bit rate as well.  I would run the transmitter from a bank of low-esr
> capacitors that were charged up from whatever power supply you're using for
> motors, etc.  If it transmits, say, every 4 hours, and has a 50% probability
> of being received each time, then you will get an average of three position
> reports per day.  The probability of getting them all goes way up if you
> have 10 receivers at different positions.

I was thinking more like Morse at 10WPM or so...  WAY more chance of
someone hearing and relaying, I would think.  Does anyone run 1200BPS on
HF?  I thought all HF packet was 300.  it's been a while since I used HF
packet.  This is about the right time in the solar cycle to be trying
this, though, you should be able to use some fairly high frequencies
(which means smaller antenna) with good results.

Like I said earlier, though, the legal issues will need to be addressed.

Dale

>
> > {Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@192535 by Russell McMahon

picon face
Tobie,

Congratulations!
Sounds like you are well ahead of me.
I've been very vaguely considering both autonomous boat and autonomous
aeroplane projects.
Like you, I have no great reason for a boat project - just seemed like fun.
The aeroplane had rather more point but much less range.
It's highly likely that I will never do anything about either :-(.
We have several offshore islands and also Australia is about 2000 miles from
here.

Can you provide some outline details of your proposed boat.
Say size, propulsion, control, power sources etc.

I envisaged a sailing craft like a broad low catamaran with power needed
only to control sail setting and course.
Possibly an inefficient but high survival symmetric design which could sail
upside down (!) so that it could survive a capsize.
The idea was to have a mast which lowered between the hulls and could be
erected "under" the boat if it was "upside down".

For position location you could consider a series of high energy radio
signals at very well defined times of the day.
Say a burst every 10 seconds for a few minutes at fixed times each day.
At say 100 watts x 0.1 seconds x20 bursts x 4 times/day this is 800 watt
seconds/day or a mean continuous power of under 10 milliwatts!
You could probably get this level of power from solar cells in the middle of
a hurricane :-). (being daytime would help)

If going ship to shore then something around 14 MHz would probably be best
(best at night too).
There is an ISM band at 13.560 MHz afair, which would be near ideal.
This is internationally allocated and this IS an ISM application.
Also happens to be the frequency used for some RFID equipment so high power
use close to shore may be frowned on.
Diathermy units and plastic welders and cheap walkytalkies work on the 2nd
harmonic at 27.120 MHz but propogation there may not be as good.

These signals could be searched for with directional equipment from numerous
positions on both sides of the boat-pond and a fair fix could be obtained.
Using high power bursts for very short periods would allow a very low
average power consumption. If you used relative slow speed data modulation
of these burst to contain position information, so much the better.
GPS would give you very accurate position and data sent need only be a few
bytes.
You should be able to get enthusiastic involvement from the amateur
community.

I believe Iridium is still alive although dying. If so then this or similar
would be probably the most reliable "on demand" method.

Even with GPS and satellite phone the mean power would be very low.





regards


           Russell McMahon

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2000\10\19@200314 by Barry Gershenfeld

picon face
>In order to have a long distance transmission, you go as low in frequency
as you
>can (given antenna limitations), and you get as highly sensitive of a receiver
>as you can.

The lower you go the more lightning and other interference you will
receieve and the really sensitive receiver may not do you much good.

Skip is interesting but the signal may skip right over you.

Another consideration is to speak slowly.  Lowering the data
rate gives you the same gain as raising the transmitter power
would.  (Assuming the receiver knows how to 'gather' the results).
This is in effect what the Morse code guys are suggesting.

Barry

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2000\10\19@224345 by Jim P

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face
Well -

There is Qualcomm and their Globalstar
satellite comm/data system ... *still* in
operation (as opposed to Iridium).

http://www.globalstar.com

Jim


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\19@233501 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi Adam,

   Actually I already have a digital compass onboard to make bearing
corrections because the heading I got back from the GPS receiver was too
slow to update and absolutely required a displacement. So I get "current
position" and "heading to next way-point" from the GPS and "current heading"
from the digital compass. The PIC then calculates the difference and
corrects accordingly. I never thought of using the boat's navigation systems
to orient an antenna though :-) Good idea!

Regards,

Tobie

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\20@003955 by staff

flavicon
face
Tobie Horswill wrote:
>
> Hi Roman,
>
>     Well actualy, the boat is still in the making ... I'm building it just
> because I like the idea of a totally closed and autonomous system, I don't
> have the money to travel and the "hi-tech message in a bottle" idea is
> something I've been thinking of for some time. The boat should start
> somewhere off the Canadian east cost and head for France, Spain or Portugal
> and then come back. It'll be saving daily position logs to EEPROM so I can
> plot it's course but still, I'd like to have a real-time position feedback
> if possible ... And no, I don't do this often, this is the first time. :-)
>
> Regards,
>
> Tobie Horswill
> RemoveMEthorswilspam_OUTspamKILLspamhotmail.com


Seems everybody is fascinated by this idea! Good luck, I wish you
well. I suppose as a "wish list" it would be cool to have a two-way
RF setup, where you could send a command to the boat to tell it to
travel to a new GPS location. That would be cool. I assume you would
use a fully sealed boat so it would be sink proof.
I do wonder about the power available to the little motor from the
solar cells, if this can't match the ocean currents and waves you
may as well just have a "buoy" type thing. But the NZ gentleman
who mentioned using sails is onto something, this would give much
better power than the motor, and at night, and only small electrical
power needed to turn the sail. This is very cool! Especially the
flip-over catamaran system where the sail can also be upside down.
I could see that sailing quite efficiently all over the world for
years! A solar/wind powered robotic sailboat.

I think if you could get it to reliably travel from one country to
another under PIC control there might be a few Colombian "businessmen"
who would buy them from you! (thats a joke!) :o)
-Roman

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2000\10\20@032458 by Graham

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A
>
>I've been waiting for the ham radio types to come in, who know more about
>the radio side, and especially what is legal.  For that kind of range, you
>need either a short-wave radio that will skip, or a transmitter that can
>talk to a satellite.
>
>For the short-wave approach, the ham guys might know how you can legally


I think this project sounds way good as well..

BUT some of the ideas are way over the top....I like the migrating bird
trackers etc, but use of any commercial system will simply move the thing
down to "yeah so what" impact as you will just be using them for what they
are designed for...this is money not fun !!

any 'commercial' or 'institutional involvement may also lead to heavy
politics and control...

also you do not need any high technology or high power for this, you need
PSK31...and you need to exploit/harness its enormous postitive image that
has been created in the last 2 years....that may get you masses of FREE
support and enthusiasm.

my approach would be like this:


..the issues from a 'ham' point of view are that in general (each territory
differs a bit) 'unattended' operation is now allowed, for the various data
link systems we have (some of these do included fully automated self
tracking sat systems) BUT...you need a license in the first place AND the
location of the unattended operation has to be registered....so that rules
it out on a personal basis I think...

which is a GREAT pity because the technical transmission side of this could
be very interesting to many....in the last two years a data transfer system
called PSK31 has been developed by a UK amateur and has taken off worldwide...

this digital data system goes slow, but uses extremely narrow bandwidth (in
the proper use of the word) and thus can operate at very low signal to noise
ratios...it would be just perfect for this application as I believe the
protocol etc is totally open and free, so being compatible with it means
only hacking the code, no messy royalties etc etc....in addition with this
level of efficiency and careful choice of frequency band employed then you
would have a good chance of getting a *very* low power HF (say 14 or 21 mhz)
transmitter with only a few mW power heard (I am assuming the project is
solar based) and in varying locations at varying times of day, so some good
coverage might be expected.

NOW, given that this relatively new data mode has only been launched in the
recent past and has 'rocketed' into view/popularity, I am sure there would
be thousands (literally) of new converts to this mode that would just love
you to do this.....in addition there is a co-ordinated and licensable
'beacon' system operated by the ham community worldwide.

now lets get practical....

this is a kinda long shot, but I would do some web searching and make
contact with the following interest groups within the hobby....I would
advise you to proceed on the basis that this would be a world roving beacon
for use in propogation studies and effectiveness of the new psk31 data
transfer mode. (you may also want to dangle a ham media promotion 'carrot'
along the lines of "first attempt to make an UNMANNED atlantic crossing " or
some such.....AVOID commercial sponsorship etc etc though as this would
contravene many ham rules and be a turn off for those that need to be on
your side )

a) the ARRL beacon co-ordination manager
b) the ARRL propogation studies commitee
c) ARRL probably has some kind of data within the hobby steering group

if you really are unfamiliar with what you want to do and how to do it
(sounds like you might be) then first hook into the releavant 'informal'
groups, I am not totally familiar with the stateside ones, but you will find
special interest groups for PSK31, Beacon building and maintainance, and
there also exists a HAM PIC INTEREST group. (they even have an email forum
like this one, not very active, they are sitting there waiting for someone
like you !!)

using this approach you might just get it off the ground

good luck Graham



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2000\10\20@043527 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Possible problem: Once your boat
>reaches another country, it may be operating illegally!  Each country has
>its own rules and license requirements.

But it has a GPS on board, so with a suitable bit of software when it gets close to land it stops transmitting.

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2000\10\20@043649 by Graeme Zimmer

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Geday,

> also you do not need any high technology or high power for this, you need
> PSK31...

Have a look at   http://www.users.bigpond.com/gzimmer/

It's even got a PIC in it !

........................ Zim

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2000\10\20@043900 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Could you handle an antenna which was about 1.5 meters long and 0.3 meters
>wide? What are your weight limits like? Could you deal with having a pair

Biggest problem will probably be the sail effect of the antenna. remember that initially it is going to go "over and back" across the Atlantic, so one direction will be against the prevailing wind

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2000\10\20@044312 by Alan B. Pearce

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> As far as satellites are concerned, of course
>Iridium is pretty much out of
> business already, and they are planning to
>start de-orbiting the satellites
> any day now.

Make your boat pretty rugged. It is never likely to survive a deorbited satellite splashdown, but it may need to survive a US Navy Fleet going past at 40 knots.

Now did that message get me noticed by Echelon???

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2000\10\20@044931 by Alan B. Pearce

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>The idea was to have a mast which lowered between the hulls and could be
>erected "under" the boat if it was "upside down".

sounds like an application for a Analog devices ADXL202 - to detect which way up the boat is. but having got such a sensor on board, maybe it could log wave height etc (what do you mean the waves are ten miles high - I'm caught in a hurricane).

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2000\10\20@054646 by Simon Nield

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might be worth thinking about putting a passive radar beacon on board. should help avoid being
crashed in to and may deter customs people from hauling it out of the water and cutting it open to
search for drugs... I would imagine they would be pretty suspicious of anything autonomous and
invisible to radar headed over towards europe from the americas.

Regards,
Simon

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2000\10\20@083659 by Russell McMahon
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> As far as satellites are concerned, of course
>Iridium is pretty much out of
> business already, and they are planning to
>start de-orbiting the satellites
> any day now.

>Make your boat pretty rugged. It is never likely to survive a deorbited
satellite splashdown, but it may need to survive a US Navy Fleet going past
at 40 knots.

>Now did that message get me noticed by Echelon???



Doubtful. You probably need to have said something like.

" The vessel has no military applications and does not utilise ionizing
radiation or any other form of nuclear materials. It is not explosive in any
manner as it does not utilise nitrates, perchlorates (neither ammonium or
sodium) or double base components. No propellant is required as energy is
provided by thermonuclear means (Sol) from a distance of some 150 million
odd kilometres (far beyond LEO (low earth orbit) or even GSO (geostationary
orbit) using Helium fusion with various resultant isotopes rather than the
more normal fission reactions which utilise Plutonium or Uranium.
The suggested prospect of it being impacted by a deorbited satellite
(whether a ballistic reentry vehicle or a falling Iridium space craft) is
extremely remote and need not be considered in survivability calculations.
The vessel is more liable to be placed in harm's way by naval vessels,
whether American or Soviet - fishing trawlers may also be a threat but one
can probably rule out submarines, missile carriers, torpedo boats and exotic
craft like Aegis electronic warfare vessels.
Being solar powered eliminates the dependence on strategic fuel supplies -
notably oil or similar, so deteriorating relationships between Israel and
its Middle Eastern neighbours or even the gulf states and Iran and Iraq
should not lead to an escalation of project costings. Nothing that Yasser
Arafat or the Mossad does is likely to have any affect on the project.
Making the craft too visible may make it a target for gunnery practice
(whether by naval forces, pirates, or recreational vessels) but conversely
its low profile in the water may make it appear to be a torpedo or similar
guided weapons system. The most dangerous component may be the PIC
processor. Now that selective availability has been removed, use of the GPS
system for navigation ... "

Good enough?
OK - bedtime. Time to stop this drivelling :-)

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2000\10\20@093614 by Bob Ammerman

picon face
Best laugh I've had in a long while ... Thanks!

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems
(contract development of high performance, high function, low-level
software)

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\20@122132 by Dan Michaels

flavicon
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Graham wrote:
..........
>..the issues from a 'ham' point of view are that in general (each territory
>differs a bit) 'unattended' operation is now allowed, for the various data
>link systems we have (some of these do included fully automated self
>tracking sat systems) BUT...you need a license in the first place AND the
>location of the unattended operation has to be registered....so that rules
>it out on a personal basis I think...
>


Graham, what agencies or rules cover radio transmissions on the high
seas, where no countries have a claim?

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2000\10\20@125630 by Andrew Kunz

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>Graham, what agencies or rules cover radio transmissions on the high
>seas, where no countries have a claim?

The Law of the High Seas is a treaty dating back a LOOOONG time.  Signators
included pretty much everybody.

This same treaty applies to international flight as well.

Andy

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2000\10\21@063425 by Graham

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>
>Graham, what agencies or rules cover radio transmissions on the high
>seas, where no countries have a claim?
>

well I'll answer this, but also make some more OT, but On topic for this
project below.....


in my opinion no countries "have a claim" anywhere in fact, it ticks me off
that governments are raising stealth taxes by selling off what they do not
own in the first place.....but:

there is co-ordination via two or three bodies that meet frequently, the
world is divided into regions, each of the regions attempts to co-ordinate
what member countries do....and the 'head' meeting tries to co-ordinate an
overall policy...

this is necessary as on many frequencies you have little control over 'how
far' ones transmissions go.....co-ordination allows everyone to use at least
something, whereas a free for all would result in nobody being able to do
anything much.....ie even for a project like this the 'system' adds
PROTECTION as well as restriction...if you can find a way in, then your few
mW of psk31 has at least a chance of being useful and getting heard, whereas
if the situation was 'open', then it would degenerate to a power/antenna
war.....so try to look positively on it....


looking again positively at the project in question and the efficiencies of
narrow band slow data rate transmission systems, and adding in current state
of sunspot cycle (we are close to the top which means good propagation at
high HF bands) then perhaps a 'radio control' transmitter at 27mhz using
psk31 would be sufficent to get some feedback if a network of keen 'hams'
could get their attention focused on it....

people are making pretty much worldwide contacts on this mode with as little
as 5 or even 1 watt at the right times....a 'legal' 27 mhz radio control
system might just do it..although I do not know if there are restrictions on
modulation forms etc on this band..of course as this is a long term survival
project one would want to ensure a good deal of over engineering and
capability in the rf PA transistor area to ensure that it ran cool and was
reliable etc etc..

(along the line that one sees in some 432/3 module data sheets, ie a
resitive output T pad which "may or may not be required" during 'testing' or
therafter)

for that matter why not just put it on 27 mhz CB band where legal power
limit would perhaps be more than adequate for psk31 for a few years yet
(until we lose 27mhz 'skip' completely).....in such case though one might
want to choose a rather poor crystal that unfortunately drifts between
channels...and you may want to look at how to utilise a legal modulation
mode with some unfortunately poor keying characteristics.


Graham


-Need *high IP3* AND good N/F ?? try this- http://www.rfham.com

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2000\10\23@145850 by Bruce Cannon

picon face
Russell, that was very funny!  You forgot the current ultimate trigger,
Usama Bin Laden.

Bruce Cannon
Style Management Systems
http://siliconcrucible.com
(510) 787-6870
1228 Ceres ST Crockett CA 94525

Remember: electronics is changing your world...for good!

> {Original Message removed}


'[OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?'
2001\03\15@210118 by Russell McMahon
picon face
How's the autonomous boar project going?



regards


     Russell McMahon
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'[OT]: Long range position feedback anyone ?'
2001\04\22@185436 by Russell McMahon
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Tobie


How is progress on your autonomous boat ???



     Russell McMahon

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