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'[OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedbac'
2000\10\19@213530 by Dan Michaels

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Couple of thoughts. Sounds like there isn't a prayer that
any kind of boat can do it alone. If too small, it will sink
first big wave. If too big, someone will see it from their
fishing boat, and pick it out of the water. Else an oil
tanker will run it over.

So how's about a "PICinaBottle Contest". PIC, solar battery,
tiny GPS receiver, small 20M band morse code xmtr, little
whip antenna sticking out the top, waterproofed in plastic.
$10USD for the whole thing. Toss the bottle in the ocean,
see where it goes. Winner is longest running, longest distance
traveled.

More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
Uses icebergs for slalom courses. You might check what he
uses for a comm link.

www.salon.com/people/bc/1999/11/24/clark/index.html
http://www.businessweek.com/chapter/lewis_m.htm

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2000\10\19@221729 by Matthew Fries

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>More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
>Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
>SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
>vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
>Uses icebergs for slalom courses.

Man! I bet he would just CRY if it sunk....


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2000\10\19@224328 by rad0

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where can you get a gps for
under 10 usd??


----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Michaels" <.....oricomKILLspamspam@spam@USWEST.NET>
To: <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2000 8:35 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedback anyone ?


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2000\10\19@224350 by Greg Maki

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Hey Dan,

Let me know where you can get GPS modules for < $10. ;-)

Greg Maki

-----Original Message-----
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To: EraseMEPICLISTspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU <PICLISTspamspam_OUTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Thursday, October 19, 2000 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedback anyone ?


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2000\10\19@224559 by Dale Botkin
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On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Dan Michaels wrote:

> Couple of thoughts. Sounds like there isn't a prayer that
> any kind of boat can do it alone. If too small, it will sink
> first big wave. If too big, someone will see it from their
> fishing boat, and pick it out of the water. Else an oil
> tanker will run it over.

I'd go for more a "bottle" mode...  or a drifting bouy.  Easy to keep the
antenna upright that way.  I gather, however, that's not what Tobie had in
mind, it sounds like he wants to make it a *boat* with the ability to
guide/propel/sail itself to various places on its own.

If that were the intent, it would be an interesting exercise to develop a
hull design that could tolerate & survive weather, waves, submersion, etc.
A kayak comes to mind, weighted to encourage it to turn right side up.
Solar cells on top, weighted keel on the bottom (maybe WAY down),
mast/antenna combination?  I'm sure he's spent more time thinking about it
that the two minutes I just did.

> So how's about a "PICinaBottle Contest". PIC, solar battery,
> tiny GPS receiver, small 20M band morse code xmtr, little
> whip antenna sticking out the top, waterproofed in plastic.
> $10USD for the whole thing. Toss the bottle in the ocean,
> see where it goes. Winner is longest running, longest distance
> traveled.

Cool idea.  The aforementioned legal obstacles, though...  20M is bad
enough (or was last time I checked in) without a bunch of unattended
drifting QRP stations transmitting at random.  I guess *I* would love to
do it, just wouldn't want a bunch of *others* doing it too!  8-)

> More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
> Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
> SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
> vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
> Uses icebergs for slalom courses. You might check what he
> uses for a comm link.

Jeez, why wouldya??  If I had $30M I'll be damned if I'd have my boat on
its own while I was working.  I'd be in the sucker, somewhere warm, and
there'd be more silicone than silicon along with me, if ya catch my
drift...  <g>

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@232010 by Dan Michaels

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At 09:41 PM 10/19/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>where can you get a gps for
>under 10 usd??
>

Darn, I knew someone was gonna ask that.

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2000\10\19@235504 by Dan Michaels

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Dale Botkin wrote:

>> More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
>> Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
>> SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
>> vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
>> Uses icebergs for slalom courses. You might check what he
>> uses for a comm link.
>
>Jeez, why wouldya??  If I had $30M I'll be damned if I'd have my boat on
>its own while I was working.  I'd be in the sucker, somewhere warm, and
>there'd be more silicone than silicon along with me, if ya catch my
>drift...  <g>
>

He's already been there, done all that. Has a whole crew on board,
2 sailors and 2 systems analysts, but he sails it from Sunnyvale.
Sails it to Tahiti during the week, and flies his Learjet in on
weekends - for latest round of debugging. Back to SV, sends boat
on to Pitcairn. Tuff love.

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2000\10\20@003317 by Dale Botkin

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On Thu, 19 Oct 2000, Dan Michaels wrote:

> Dale Botkin wrote:
> >Jeez, why wouldya??  If I had $30M I'll be damned if I'd have my boat on
> >its own while I was working.  I'd be in the sucker, somewhere warm, and
> >there'd be more silicone than silicon along with me, if ya catch my
> >drift...  <g>
> >
>
> He's already been there, done all that. Has a whole crew on board,
> 2 sailors and 2 systems analysts, but he sails it from Sunnyvale.
> Sails it to Tahiti during the week, and flies his Learjet in on
> weekends - for latest round of debugging. Back to SV, sends boat
> on to Pitcairn. Tuff love.

Call me "not geek enough", I guess.  I'm not much of a sailor, but I'd be
*on* the boat, have someone drop off the lear (well, mine'd be a P-51D or
a MiG) somewhere convenient so I could fly on the weekend.  Different
strokes, I guess.

As it is, even if I built an autonomous boat it would have to make it
quite a way down the Missouri to the Gulf of Mexico before it hit open
water -- even barge pilots mess that up from time to time.  And the only
things I've flown go less than 150 knots...  sigh.

Hmmmmm...  how about a PIC-controlled aircraft carrier...  ???  8-)

Dale
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discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..."
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2000\10\20@003352 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi Dan,

   The boat I have in mind is indeed of the "unsinkable" type ... At first
I thought of something like a Plexiglass barrel with a motor inside whose
shaft would be connected to an off-center mass which would make the barrel
rotate creating enough drag to get it moving in the water. That would be
pretty much unsinkable but rather hard to steer. Also, it would require a
large radius to allow for a sufficient number of solar cells around it.

   So, the model I have in mind at this moment looks more like a sailboat.
No mast, no propeller, no rudder and no keel either. I figure than anything
protruding from the boat is at risk of getting broken by a ship, a rock or
whatever and that a propeller or a rudder is doomed to get jammed in algae
or floating trash. It will be made of 2 shells of 1/4" Lexan suction molded
around a styrofoam shape containing a PIC, GPS, digital compass , batteries,
motors and perhaps somekind of RF stage. Two turbines go through the boat
from bow to stern, sucking in water from the front of the boat and spitting
it out at the back. Instead of a rudder I plan on having a sideways
propeller inside a cavity at the front of the boat. The weight (batteries,
pumps,electronics) is distributed in the bottom of the ship while the top
part is covered with solar cells under the Lexan shell with a window for the
GPS receiver and eventually an antenna.

   I love the PICinaBottle idea! But I prefer the idea of making something
with a "will" of it's own ... :-)

I'll have a web site up shortly with details on construction, navigation,
PIC programming etc ...


Tobie


{Original Message removed}

2000\10\20@005342 by dre Domingos F. Souza

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>>More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
>>Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
>>SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
>>vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
>>Uses icebergs for slalom courses.

       And why the hell he did it?


--------------8<-------Corte aqui-------8<--------------

       All the best!!!
       Alexandre Souza
       @spam@xandinhoKILLspamspaminterlink.com.br

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2000\10\20@020314 by Robert Rolf

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Tobie Horswill wrote:
>
> I thought of something like a Plexiglass barrel with a motor inside whose
> shaft would be connected to an off-center mass which would make the barrel
> rotate creating enough drag to get it moving in the water. That would
Drag is very wasteful of energy. Paddles would be better.

be
> pretty much unsinkable but rather hard to steer. Also, it would require
Not if you split the drum so that it had two halves that could
be operated independently. Saw a robot sumo wrestling competition
where this technique proved to be highly maneuverable. It could turn
on the spot.

a
{Quote hidden}

So how do you ensure that the turbines don't get clogged?
Hope you have a motor control algorythm that knows how to blow the
debris away with a periodic reversal.

> propeller inside a cavity at the front of the boat. The weight
Why not just differential trust? Maybe have a pressure sensor on
the up and down stream ports so that you could ensure balanced drive
should one side get slightly plugged. (or bugged motor or whatever).

(batteries,
> pumps,electronics) is distributed in the bottom of the ship while the top
> part is covered with solar cells under the Lexan shell with a window for the
> GPS receiver and eventually an antenna.

If you use a patch antenna, you can probably use some of the solar
panels
as your radiating elements (depending on what frequency you need).


> I'll have a web site up shortly with details on construction, navigation,
> PIC programming etc ...

Be sure to have a feedback link so that non-techy visitors can
contribute to your success.

Robert

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2000\10\20@040749 by Russell McMahon

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>>     So, the model I have in mind at this moment looks more like a
sailboat.
>> No mast, no propeller, no rudder and no keel either. I figure than
anything
>> protruding from the boat is at risk of getting broken by a ship, a rock
or
>> whatever and that a propeller or a rudder is doomed to get jammed in
algae
>> or floating trash. It will be made of 2 shells of 1/4" Lexan suction
molded
>> around a styrofoam shape containing a PIC, GPS, digital compass ,
batteries,
>> motors and perhaps somekind of RF stage. Two turbines go through the boat
>> from bow to stern, sucking in water from the front of the boat and
spitting
>> it out at the back. Instead of a rudder I plan on having a sideways


I wondered about active power for propulsion but felt that this would make
it more difficult.
Solar is OK but power  levels would be modest and nights pose a problem :-)
.
When you consider that many ships travel large distances self fuelled it
SHOULD be possible to make a small motor power craft which will cross many
thousands of miles of sea. This concept may not scale down well? 1kg of fuel
contains say 5 to 15 kWH of energy. I have no idea of the "kg per ton mile"
performance of sea craft but no doubt this is very well established. I know
that typical petrol powered pleasure boats have mpg figures MUCH worse than
automobiles but I don't know if this has to be the case if speed can be
optimised for efficiency.

As a totally ball park figure say that a pleasure boat achieves say 5 mpg.
This would weigh say 250 kg.
If this scales down/up linearly (I'm sure it doesn't) then a 10 kg craft
with 100% of mass as fuel (almost) would do 5 x 25 = 125 miles on its fuel.
A 1 kg on the same argument would travel 1000 miles odd.
Ships can certainly do MUCH better than this so there is something very
wrong with my assumption set.
I'm sure the model boat boys could help here - Andy?





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2000\10\20@094910 by dre Domingos F. Souza

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>motors and perhaps somekind of RF stage. Two turbines go through the boat
>from bow to stern, sucking in water from the front of the boat and spitting
>it out at the back. Instead of a rudder I plan on having a sideways

       Do you know a turbojet ship? It uses the same arrangement you are planning, but with the output of the water directionable. Eg: You have a flex tube, and after an "escape" for the water. This escape you can turn left and right. It does tight curves, and has lots of eficiency. For filtering, you can use a "windshield wiper filter" - You can cover the front of the boat with a tight mesh, and put a kind of "wiper" in front of it. If something cloggs the water input, the wiper will clean it out, throwing the trash to the sides. It's a bit complicated at first, but you can understand the concept.

       Another good way to move it is using air jets. But you'll have to have lots of power. An aeromodel fuel engine is well suited for this application. Keep the gravity center low, and everything will work.


--------------8<-------Corte aqui-------8<--------------

       All the best!!!
       Alexandre Souza
       KILLspamxandinhoKILLspamspaminterlink.com.br

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2000\10\20@102913 by Tobie Horswill

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I didn't think of orienting the water flow, good idea. I think it would be
less complicated than the sideways propeller I had in mind. Perhaps an RC
servo could do the job of twisting the flex tube. I had also thought of the
mesh at the intake stage but considered doing a "backwash" maybe once par
day. I feel this would be easier to implement than a wiper.

Tobie

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\20@103743 by Tobie Horswill

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell McMahon" <RemoveMEapptechTakeThisOuTspamCLEAR.NET.NZ>
To: <spamBeGonePICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 3:58 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedbackanyone ?


<SNIP>
>
> I wondered about active power for propulsion but felt that this would make
> it more difficult.
> Solar is OK but power  levels would be modest and nights pose a problem
:-)


Actually, depending on battery life, I had planned that the boat would keep
going for a little while after sunset then go to sleep until the charge rate
is sufficient and get moving again.



> When you consider that many ships travel large distances self fuelled it
> SHOULD be possible to make a small motor power craft which will cross many
> thousands of miles of sea. This concept may not scale down well? 1kg of
fuel
> contains say 5 to 15 kWH of energy. I have no idea of the "kg per ton
mile"
> performance of sea craft but no doubt this is very well established. I
know
> that typical petrol powered pleasure boats have mpg figures MUCH worse
than
> automobiles but I don't know if this has to be the case if speed can be
> optimised for efficiency.
>
> As a totally ball park figure say that a pleasure boat achieves say 5 mpg.
> This would weigh say 250 kg.
> If this scales down/up linearly (I'm sure it doesn't) then a 10 kg craft
> with 100% of mass as fuel (almost) would do 5 x 25 = 125 miles on its
fuel.
> A 1 kg on the same argument would travel 1000 miles odd.
> Ships can certainly do MUCH better than this so there is something very
> wrong with my assumption set.
> I'm sure the model boat boys could help here - Andy?
>

I still prefer the "regenerative" and self contained idea of the
solar-cell/battery combination but if anyone can think of a simple way of
implementing a reliable sail system I would be interested. The redundancy
would be great.


Tobie

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2000\10\20@110948 by staff

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Tobie Horswill wrote:
> >
>
> I still prefer the "regenerative" and self contained idea of the
> solar-cell/battery combination but if anyone can think of a simple way of
> implementing a reliable sail system I would be interested. The redundancy
> would be great.
>
> Tobie


Hi Tobie, I have been thinking about this sail thing and it really has
me intrigued. What about "man o war" jellyfish? Very small sails but
go right around the world on the wind.

The best sail would have:
* one rotary axis motor only for reliability
* made of a rigid (or semi rigid) plastic like plexiglass
* folds down totally for times when you DONT want wind power.
(or if the wind is the wrong direction)

So, I thought of this idea. Imagine the boat more bottle shaped,
with a slightly curved top. It is fully sealed, and well weighted
so even after multiple flips it still rights itself instantly.

Now imagine a "sail" which is actually a piece of curved hard plastic,
that when in the DOWN position lies flush over the curved top of the
boat. The same size as the boat top, maybe a touch smaller. It would
be clear to let the solar through, and would also act as an EXTRA
protector from hailstones etc. Sort of like the hard wings on a
beetle. :o)

For simplicity, this sail is mounted at the back on a rotating
shaft, which will need one waterproof seal. Easy. This shaft comes
through the top of the boat at 45 degrees, so when the shaft rotates,
(this is the clever bit) the hard curved "sail" rotates up to fully
up, and can even rotate 360' back to laid down again. Obviously this
gives a simple way to aim the sail to each side, and also have it
fully up for full speed ahead. This only needs one geared motor,
and one rotary encoder, and only one rotary seal exiting the
airtight hull. If the geared motor is a worm type, this gives
no backdriving, so it takes little power to move the sail to
any position, and then NO power to hold it there securely.

I think this would work great, even though the sail would not be
huge, this may give a lot more thrust per 24 hour period than
a small solar electric motor. As the sail adjustment system is very
efficient it can still sail through the night using a small battery
(for sail trimming) which is topped up every day.

The boat could even be programmed to "tack" into a headwind, and
the exact curve of the sail could be engineered to give good
tacking I imagine.
-Roman

PS. I think you would definitely need some sort of wind speed
detector, and wind direction sensor. But I'm sure these could be
made quite small and easily waterproofed.

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2000\10\20@113426 by Dan Michaels

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Dale Botkin wrote:
...........
>
>> So how's about a "PICinaBottle Contest". PIC, solar battery,
>> tiny GPS receiver, small 20M band morse code xmtr, little
>> whip antenna sticking out the top, waterproofed in plastic.
>> $10USD for the whole thing. Toss the bottle in the ocean,
>> see where it goes. Winner is longest running, longest distance
>> traveled.
>
>Cool idea.  The aforementioned legal obstacles, though...  20M is bad
>enough (or was last time I checked in) without a bunch of unattended
>drifting QRP stations transmitting at random.  I guess *I* would love to
>do it, just wouldn't want a bunch of *others* doing it too!  8-)
>


Might be only HamPICs could participate in this contest.

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2000\10\20@113436 by Dan Michaels

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Dale Botkin wrote:
..........
>> He's already been there, done all that. Has a whole crew on board,
>> 2 sailors and 2 systems analysts, but he sails it from Sunnyvale.
>> Sails it to Tahiti during the week, and flies his Learjet in on
>> weekends - for latest round of debugging. Back to SV, sends boat
>> on to Pitcairn. Tuff love.
>
>Call me "not geek enough", I guess.  I'm not much of a sailor, but I'd be
>*on* the boat, have someone drop off the lear (well, mine'd be a P-51D or
>a MiG) somewhere convenient so I could fly on the weekend.  Different
>strokes, I guess.
>

You just don't understand real power. You'll make your million and
retire. Jim Clark is already first to make a billion on 3 different
companies, now working on 4, 5, and 6.
===============


>Hmmmmm...  how about a PIC-controlled aircraft carrier...  ???  8-)
>

Bill Clinton's already got that.

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2000\10\20@114057 by Dan Michaels

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Tobie Horswill wrote:
>Hi Dan,
.........
Two turbines go through the boat
{Quote hidden}

Hi Tobie, good idea with the turbines, instead of propellers.
Hmmm, I could have a JetPICinaBottle. Same idea as yours but for
a bottle shape. 1 inlet, 2 outlets at R-A to each other. Wouldn't
be very fast, but that's not the idea. Just give it ability to go
where it will. Probably have to build a tide table into the
memory.

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2000\10\20@114714 by Dan Michaels

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Alexandre Souza wrote:
>>>More to reality - some guy named Jim Clark [SGI, Netscape,
>>>Healtheon] built a $30,000,000 automated sailboat with 24
>>>SGI workstations on board. He can sit in his office in silicone
>>>vallee and steer the boat realtime in the south pacific.
>>>Uses icebergs for slalom courses.
>
>        And why the hell he did it?
>
>

The rich **ARE** different.

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2000\10\20@120423 by Bob Ammerman

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----- Original Message -----
From: Tobie Horswill <TakeThisOuTthorswilEraseMEspamspam_OUTEXMACHINA.QC.CA>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 10:31 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedback anyone ?


> I didn't think of orienting the water flow, good idea. I think it would be
> less complicated than the sideways propeller I had in mind. Perhaps an RC
> servo could do the job of twisting the flex tube. I had also thought of
the
> mesh at the intake stage but considered doing a "backwash" maybe once par
> day. I feel this would be easier to implement than a wiper.

Um....

How about making the boat completely symmetrical front to back, and
periodically turning around so that the turbine/screens stay clean?

Also, perhaps a simple vane in the water flow would work well for direction
control. You don't need to turn on a dime.

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

{Quote hidden}

spitting
> >it out at the back. Instead of a rudder I plan on having a sideways
>
>         Do you know a turbojet ship? It uses the same arrangement you are
> planning, but with the output of the water directionable. Eg: You have a
> flex tube, and after an "escape" for the water. This escape you can turn
> left and right. It does tight curves, and has lots of eficiency. For
> filtering, you can use a "windshield wiper filter" - You can cover the
front
> of the boat with a tight mesh, and put a kind of "wiper" in front of it.
If
> something cloggs the water input, the wiper will clean it out, throwing
the
> trash to the sides. It's a bit complicated at first, but you can
understand
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\20@122923 by Dan Michaels

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Bob Ammerman wrote:

>> I didn't think of orienting the water flow, good idea. I think it would be
>> less complicated than the sideways propeller I had in mind. Perhaps an RC
>> servo could do the job of twisting the flex tube. I had also thought of
>the
>> mesh at the intake stage but considered doing a "backwash" maybe once par
>> day. I feel this would be easier to implement than a wiper.
>
>Um....
>
>How about making the boat completely symmetrical front to back, and
>periodically turning around so that the turbine/screens stay clean?
>
>Also, perhaps a simple vane in the water flow would work well for direction
>control. You don't need to turn on a dime.
>

I would think something like a reversible peristaltic pump would
work here to both keep things clean and to change directions.
Basically a piece of tubing that gets pinched down by a rotating
cam. Tubing thru hull front to back, pump inside hull. Helps
solve the how to waterproof it problem.

Again, however, the tides and winds would probably overwhelm
anything like this, short of Evinrude twin-diesel powered pump.
Possibly having a sail attached to the whip antenna used as
mast [similar to Roman's idea] would be the way to go.

- danM

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2000\10\20@125407 by staff

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Bob Ammerman wrote:
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Tobie Horswill <RemoveMEthorswilspam_OUTspamKILLspamEXMACHINA.QC.CA>
> To: <RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>

>
> How about making the boat completely symmetrical front to back, and
> periodically turning around so that the turbine/screens stay clean?
>
> Also, perhaps a simple vane in the water flow would work well for direction
> control. You don't need to turn on a dime.
>
> Bob Ammerman


I'm still preferring the sail idea. Less cost in solar, and it sails
through the night. I also think the sail will provide more thrust
on average for the boat size than solar.

Isn't there some guys here who are expert at building model boats?
What size electric motors have you guys used, to power what size
boats, and how fast? Can you give a rough idea of how many watts
needed for a boat of the expected size, and how strong are the
currents and wind drag? Solar power in the atlantic will be down,
maybe 100w/day/square meter or even less.

I mean the idea of a little solar powered boat zooming from country
to country is cool, but what if the physics of the thing leave it
with only 10% of the power needed to beat the ocean currents? It would
be more like a buoy and the motor would be pretty useless...
We need a boat expert! :o)
-Roman

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2000\10\20@125621 by Dale Botkin

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On Fri, 20 Oct 2000, Dan Michaels wrote:

> Dale Botkin wrote:
> ..........
> >> He's already been there, done all that. Has a whole crew on board,
> >> 2 sailors and 2 systems analysts, but he sails it from Sunnyvale.
> >> Sails it to Tahiti during the week, and flies his Learjet in on
> >> weekends - for latest round of debugging. Back to SV, sends boat
> >> on to Pitcairn. Tuff love.
> >
> >Call me "not geek enough", I guess.  I'm not much of a sailor, but I'd be
> >*on* the boat, have someone drop off the lear (well, mine'd be a P-51D or
> >a MiG) somewhere convenient so I could fly on the weekend.  Different
> >strokes, I guess.
> >
>
> You just don't understand real power. You'll make your million and
> retire. Jim Clark is already first to make a billion on 3 different
> companies, now working on 4, 5, and 6.
> ===============

I understand it fine.  I just don't need to exercise it.  All I need to
keep me in toys is a few million.  For a few billion I could play with
people's lives and smallish governments, for a few billion more I could
play with large governments -- but I'm not interested in playing with
those.  My toys are not THAT expensive.

> >Hmmmmm...  how about a PIC-controlled aircraft carrier...  ???  8-)
> >
>
> Bill Clinton's already got that.

No, that'd be twit-controlled.

Dale
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2000\10\20@131726 by Simon Nield

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>Also, perhaps a simple vane in the water flow would work well for direction
>control. You don't need to turn on a dime.

or even just varying motor speed to turn. no extra moving parts.

Regards,
Simon

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2000\10\20@134838 by Mark Skeels

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I recall a long time ago seeing an article on experimental devices that take
advantage of the action of waves to generate electricity. I don't know
exactly how they work, but perhaps a moving coil/magnet assembly attached to
a balanced arm which would conceivably generate small amounts of electricity
as the waves cause it to move.

Mark

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2000\10\20@140717 by Bob Ammerman

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Is there  a way to use mechanical wave motion (up and down) to generate
forward thrust?

Perhaps a long 'tail' down into the water with a horizontal plane attached
to it.  As the floating 'head' of our Bottle/Boat bobs up and down the plane
below stays stable. Perhaps some sort of a rack and pinion could convert the
up/down motion into rotary motion for propulsion?

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


---- Original Message -----
From: Mark Skeels <EraseMEmeskeelsspamspamspamBeGoneEARTHLINK.NET>
To: <RemoveMEPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2000 1:40 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedback anyone ?


> I recall a long time ago seeing an article on experimental devices that
take
> advantage of the action of waves to generate electricity. I don't know
> exactly how they work, but perhaps a moving coil/magnet assembly attached
to
> a balanced arm which would conceivably generate small amounts of
electricity
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\20@141136 by Morgan Olsson

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This might be some inspiration for sun-wind combination.  Not that robust as we want though, but the idea of having sails that can be used as solar panels when no wind is nice, and at night all solar panels can be sails...

http://www.solarsailor.com.au/
http://www.solarsailor.com.au/proto.html

Another idea: I think it will be a good idea if the boat is narrow, and place accumulators and heavy machinery in bottom, so if it is upside down, it lowers the sailpanels, which make it flip.

Yet another idea: using two acceleromters we can sense if we are upsoide down, we can calculate tilt to optimse sailing, and we can measyre the waves!

We also need some way to reliably measure wind speed and direction, maybe free spinning rotor and a wind directed fin, like on a normal boat, both read by hall sensors.  They may be mounted on top of a rod that might also serve as antenna? (use good ferrites on signal lines...)


/Morgan

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2000\10\20@142604 by Kris Wilk

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At 01:40 PM 10/20/00, you wrote:
>I recall a long time ago seeing an article on experimental devices that take
>advantage of the action of waves to generate electricity. I don't know
>exactly how they work, but perhaps a moving coil/magnet assembly attached to
>a balanced arm which would conceivably generate small amounts of electricity
>as the waves cause it to move.

Yes, it's a pretty old concept. Remember the watches that never needed
winding? They had little off-balance weight and some other mechanics in
them and your daily hand movements would cause the unit to maintain enough
charge for keeping time.

Now most of the big watch companies are selling new $$$$ versions of these
watches and advertising the technology as if it's a miraculous new
breakthrough. Granted I don't know how the new mechanisms work, but as I
say, the idea has been in use for a LONG time.

I think this could work nicely on a little watercraft bouncing around in
the waves.

Kris

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2000\10\20@143240 by Jilles Oldenbeuving

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After a time the watches stop telling the right time (don't know how to
say this in english), the indexes keep the same position. That's done
to save energy. After you move the watch, it sets to the right time
(wich was still counting, digitally)...


Regards,

Jilles Oldenbeuving
jillesSTOPspamspamspam_OUTrendo.dekooi.nl
-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Kris Wilk <spamBeGonewilkSTOPspamspamEraseMEREEFNET.ON.CA>
Aan: KILLspamPICLISTspamBeGonespamMITVMA.MIT.EDU <EraseMEPICLISTspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Datum: vrijdag 20 oktober 2000 20:25
Onderwerp: Re: [OT]: PICinaBottle <-- Long range position feedback anyone ?


>At 01:40 PM 10/20/00, you wrote:
>>I recall a long time ago seeing an article on experimental devices that
take
>>advantage of the action of waves to generate electricity. I don't know
>>exactly how they work, but perhaps a moving coil/magnet assembly attached
to
>>a balanced arm which would conceivably generate small amounts of
electricity
{Quote hidden}

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2000\10\20@153735 by Dan Michaels

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Bob Ammerman wrote:
>Is there  a way to use mechanical wave motion (up and down) to generate
>forward thrust?
>
>Perhaps a long 'tail' down into the water with a horizontal plane attached
>to it.  As the floating 'head' of our Bottle/Boat bobs up and down the plane
>below stays stable. Perhaps some sort of a rack and pinion could convert the
>up/down motion into rotary motion for propulsion?
>


Now that we are really getting far out here, I think the deep
ocean currents are well mapped. So send an inflatable sea
anchor down on a 1000' long filament, and catch the currents
for long distance traveling. Then when you near the point you
want to go to, reel it in, and set your little sail/etc.

- danM

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2000\10\20@162704 by James R. Cunningham

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Might I suggest that you make the fineness ratio on the order of 5 to 6, to minimise drag.

Jim

Morgan Olsson wrote:

> Another idea: I think it will be a good idea if the boat is narrow,

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2000\10\20@165627 by Andy Howard

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> From: "Roman Black" <@spam@fastvid@spam@spamspam_OUTEZY.NET.AU>

> I'm still preferring the sail idea. Less cost in solar, and it sails
> through the night. I also think the sail will provide more thrust
> on average for the boat size than solar.

> Isn't there some guys here who are expert at building model boats?
> What size electric motors have you guys used, to power what size
> boats, and how fast? Can you give a rough idea of how many watts
> needed for a boat of the expected size, and how strong are the
> currents and wind drag? Solar power in the atlantic will be down,
> maybe 100w/day/square meter or even less.
>
> I mean the idea of a little solar powered boat zooming from country
> to country is cool, but what if the physics of the thing leave it
> with only 10% of the power needed to beat the ocean currents? It would
> be more like a buoy and the motor would be pretty useless...


The Gulf Stream is the main current the boat will encounter, it runs up the
east coast of the US and then heads out NE-wards past Newfoundland. Max
speed is about 2 m/sec, about 4-5 knots I think that is.  After that it
heads off towards Scotland and Iceland, slowing as it goes. Partway across
it splits and one leg heads southwards at low speed.

I'm no Vasco de Gama, but I think a small solar-powered boat is going to go
to Iceland whatever you try to do with it. Coming back might be trickier.

As for sails, maybe the rigid aerofoil type sails that are fitted to some
big freighters and tankers might be a good idea, they're more steerable and
more weather resistant than fabric types.








.

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2000\10\20@171333 by Andy Howard

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> From: "Bob Ammerman" <spamBeGoneRAMMERMANspamKILLspamPRODIGY.NET>


> Is there  a way to use mechanical wave motion (up and down) to generate
> forward thrust?
>
> Perhaps a long 'tail' down into the water with a horizontal plane attached
> to it.  As the floating 'head' of our Bottle/Boat bobs up and down the
plane
> below stays stable. Perhaps some sort of a rack and pinion could convert
the
> up/down motion into rotary motion for propulsion?

How about hingeing the boat/bottle in the middle, having a ratchet and pawl
arrangement and use it to either wind a clockwork motor or even better a
generator from one of those clockwork radios to charge the batteries.

Main problem is likely to be corrosion I suspect. Keeping all this dry is
going to be quite some trick in a mid-Atlantic gale with 60+ foot seas.
Keeping it in one piece, ditto.

Toby, how big a boat are you thinking of making?




.

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2000\10\20@204453 by Bill Westfield

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>    Is there  a way to use mechanical wave motion (up and down) to generate
>    forward thrust?

Yeah.   Gravity.  ie ... Surfing.

There's actually a song (and an SF story) called "Waverider" about a
hypothetical watercraft that would ride the (fast, long, and strong)
midocean waves.  It was alledged that this would result in MUCH faster
travel than conventional craft were capable of.

BillW

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2000\10\21@080322 by James R. Cunningham

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Andy Howard wrote:

> I'm no Vasco de Gama, but I think a small solar-powered boat is going to go
> to Iceland whatever you try to do with it. Coming back might be trickier.

What about Brendan's route?  East by way of Rockall Island, Iceland, and the
Faroes.  West by way of the Azores.

> As for sails, maybe the rigid aerofoil type sails that are fitted to some
> big freighters and tankers might be a good idea, they're more steerable and
> more weather resistant than fabric types.

I work on extensible, viscoelastic membrane wings.  I'd suggest that you might
look at a double-surface membrane as a possiblilty.

Jim

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2000\10\21@093615 by Matt Bennett

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I'm getting into this conversation rather late, but until March, I used
to work on a rather similar project:
<http://sgl.arlut.utexas.edu/asd/sponsored/ssp/pils/index.html>  We put
these little robot boats into the middle of the Atlantic and had them
listen for an impact of a missle during a submarine launched ballistic
missle test.  Neat stuff.  During this job, I had the opportunity to be
at sea for 5 weeks (on a ~300 ft oceanographic survey ship) supporting
it and I have a few observations-

1. Don't count on solar power.  It is very often cloudy at sea, and
infrequently full sun.  if the seas get calm enough for your solar
panels to stay above the water for a while, you're going to get a nasty
layer of salt dried on top of them which kill the efficiency.  In fact,
everything above the waterline will have to survive and operate with a
layer of salt on it.

2. The waves in the middle of the ocean are just big enough to be
annoying- usually between 3 and 5 feet (pk-pk) and relatively long
wavelength.  This motion will serve to work harden virtually any antenna
scheme you have.  Unless you are in a storm.  Thats where you find the
biggies.

3. The sea is incredibly corrosive.  Anything that doesn't corrode is
going to get scum on it.  We saw the beginnings of corrosion to the
aluminum and steel in less than 10 hours of deployment, and even the
stainless steel screws started to corrode after a while.

4.  Don't count on moving around under battery power.  Out little boats
were small (about a foot wide, 3 feet deep and 3 feet long, with
pontoons for stability)  With 2 trolling motors to steer it with
differential steering.  This could keep us in one place against 2 knot
currents for *maybe* 48 hours.  This is with 160A-Hr of batteries (about
200 lb.)

5.  We had differing opinions about marker lights at night- all big
ships at sea are expected to have them.  I don't know how your little
boat falls under these rules.  We put a single while marker light (10W,
I think) on a mast.

6. Your little boat could be considered a hazard to navigation.  If
someone does find it, realistically there is no way to prevent them from
picking it up and taking it as a "service" to the other ships at sea.

7.  Abandon all hope of VHF or higher frequency radios back to a land
based receiver.  We needed bandwidth, so we used 900 MHz radios, which
got us about 10 miles from an antenna 2 feet above the water to an
antenna 90 ft. above the water.  If you have a GPS trained clock, you
can synchronize the two receivers pretty well and get some pretty
impressive operation under bad S/N conditions with modulations like
spread spectrum.

Matt
And to keep it appropriate for the PICLIST- I put a couple of PICs on
it- 2 12C672's, which served as the motor PWM controller (with a bunch
of MOSFETS) and a scuttle controller if we had to abandon them.

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2000\10\21@125818 by Dan Michaels

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Andy Howard wrote:

>> As for sails, maybe the rigid aerofoil type sails that are fitted to some
>> big freighters and tankers might be a good idea, they're more steerable and
>> more weather resistant than fabric types.
>

Now here may be the best propulsion method of all. Sail the PIC
into a local harbor. Lower the sail, and stick the bottle to a
freighter's hull using a little solar powered electromagnet.
Course, you would need a little web device inside the bottle
to check sailing schedules.

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2000\10\21@142650 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi Matt,

   I considered having the "bridge" of the boat only a few centimeters
above sea-level to help keep it's center of gravity as low as possible so I
assume it will be constantly washed by the waves and no salt will get
deposited on it's solar panels. As for the amount of sunlight available to
the solar panels I guess that the washing of the water does have a certain
effect but is it really that important overall ? Cloudy weather I can live
with, the boat will simply sleep more often I guess.

   What would the minimum speed required to fight the currents and get
across the ocean be ? I don't really mind if it takes 6 months for the thing
to get across so I guess I should maybe rename this a "stubborn drifter"
rather than a boat ...

Tobie Horswill
.....thorswilspam_OUTspamvideotron.ca

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\21@143521 by Sean H. Breheny

face picon face
I know next to nothing about crossing the ocean by ship, but I was under
the impression that ocean currents didn't exist everywhere but only in 100
mile or so wide paths. If so, then when you encountered an unfavorable
current (which you could detect by seeing by GPS that you were being driven
backwards), why couldn't you set a course perpendicular to the current and
sail right out of it, and then continue forward?

Sean

At 02:24 PM 10/21/00 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2000\10\21@163320 by Matt Bennett

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Tobie Horswill wrote:
>
> Hi Matt,
>
>     I considered having the "bridge" of the boat only a few centimeters
> above sea-level to help keep it's center of gravity as low as possible so I
> assume it will be constantly washed by the waves and no salt will get
> deposited on it's solar panels. As for the amount of sunlight available to
> the solar panels I guess that the washing of the water does have a certain
> effect but is it really that important overall ? Cloudy weather I can live
> with, the boat will simply sleep more often I guess.
>
>     What would the minimum speed required to fight the currents and get
> across the ocean be ? I don't really mind if it takes 6 months for the thing
> to get across so I guess I should maybe rename this a "stubborn drifter"
> rather than a boat ...

When you're not in a strong current like the gulf stream I think its
usually a couple knots, but I'm no oceanographer so don't trust my word
on this.  I think the gulf stream can be upwards of 5 knots.  I think
solar cells will be able to give you some communication, but I wouldn't
count on them for any sort of propulsion.  With a constant wash of water
you also have to remember that salt water is a pretty good conductor-
which if it washes over your antennas, will act like a lossy medium, and
reduce the performance.  As for drifting- it will work as long as you
want to go in the direction of the current, but to go anywhere else, you
need something to push against- sailboats use their rudders and keels in
the water to help re-direct the force of the wind.

Even with constant wash over, junk will build up, just at a slower rate-
you just have to build to be able to accomodate that.

Matt

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2000\10\21@191322 by Kyrre Aalerud

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{Quote hidden}

Nice with the propulsion...
Here's a better idea for the steering:

Use a single pump-system to suck in water, but then split the stream into 3 tubes.
These three tubes go out one go left, one center and the last to the right.  All at the back of the vesel.
Now you need some sort of shutter mechanism to open/close the 3 tubes.  There are about a thousend of these that require very little power.  These have a very low stopping ability, but you don't need much pressure.
Now the boat can steer :-)

So what do you think ?
This system allows for the cleaning solution of backwash, and a high efficiensy pump system would be quite possible to find.  Just select one that can handle salt water :-)

I must say:
Your project inspired me alot!  And if you allow I would like to try something similar myself.  Mabe see if I can find some of those shutters and alike :-)  This is just about the most interseting project I have come across :-)

But I don't see how you can get the GPS system cheap enough though...

   KreAture

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2000\10\21@203752 by Dan Michaels

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Kyrre Aalerud wrote:

>But I don't see how you can get the GPS system cheap enough though...
>


Philips is producing GPS chip sets. Main processor sells in
$16USD range. It's a place to start, but it uses an 8051-type
processor [stowaway - get it to manage the bilge], rather than
PIC:

www-us.semiconductors.com/publications/content/file_450.html
http://www-us.semiconductors.com/pip/SAA1575HL

Also,

http://www-us.semiconductors.com/pip/UAA1570HL_1

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2000\10\22@010532 by Tobie Horswill

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Hi Kyrre,

   Sure, go ahead! If we ever get these things to work, we could have them
meet in the middle of the pond! Or exchange them via some waterway and send
them back via UPS!

Well, right know my budget is  about $1k (Canadian) for the whole project
but I suspect I might blow it once I get to the Lexan shell part... I'll see
once I get there. A decent GPS with NMEA 0183 via RS-232 and way-point
capability is just below 150 U$ here, the digital compass I got for $99 from
Jameco. Yes there are less expensive OEM GPS options but I'd have to do the
way-point stuff with the PIC and add an
external antenna etc ...I've received some interseting info from Greg for
position feedback with the ARGOS system. I've sent a few emails to see
exactly how much this would cost. It would allow me to have near real-time
position feedback which I could have posted on my www site!

I must admit that Matt's posts about salt-water and solar panels have left
me a little disapointed :-( But I want to make a few speed tests and gather
some more info about tides, currents and all before going for a sail boat.

{Original Message removed}

2000\10\22@031848 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>motors and perhaps somekind of RF stage. Two turbines go through the boat
>from bow to stern, sucking in water from the front of the boat and spitting
>it out at the back. Instead of a rudder I plan on having a sideways

       Do you know a turbojet ship? It uses the same arrangement you are
planning, but with the output of the water directionable. Eg: You have a
flex tube, and after an "escape" for the water. This escape you can turn
left and right. It does tight curves, and has lots of eficiency.

Down here we call them "jetboats" :-)
We * invented them!




RM

* (well - a NZ farmer did).

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2000\10\22@031900 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>Again, however, the tides and winds would probably overwhelm
>anything like this, short of Evinrude twin-diesel powered pump.
>Possibly having a sail attached to the whip antenna used as
>mast [similar to Roman's idea] would be the way to go.


A speed of 4 or 5 knots allows you to go almost anywhere at sea except in
tight tidal channels when you have to time your moves.

An amphibious jeep named "Half Safe" crossed the Allantoic USA to Africa
thence to Spain and England soon after the 2nd world war. Nobody's life is
complete if they have not read this book. He/they went on to travel around
most of the world but the original trip was the real challenge of the
unknown. Speed was up to 5 knots as I recall. Survived a full Atlantic
Hurricane that the Royal Navy (wisely) ran from and they were given up for
lost.



RM

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2000\10\22@094536 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>As for sails, maybe the rigid aerofoil type sails that are fitted to some
>big freighters and tankers might be a good idea, they're more steerable and
>more weather resistant than fabric types.


A local "inventor"  produced a "yacht" quite some years ago that had a LARGE
3 blade wind turbine on a mast which drove a standard in water propeller.
It could tack DIRECTLY up wind.
A MOST impressive looking boat - windmill on deck and no sails :-).

Perhaps a suitably robust design, perhaps with blades that not only
feathered (pitch) but had the ability to bend away from the wind, and/or a
mast that lay down, may be viable. Probably would involve rather more
development than is possible in a project of this nature.

Maybe a Savonius rotor style wind turbine instead? - can't think of any
advantage over a standard propeller turbine but it would look most
impressive :-)




RM

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2000\10\23@080342 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Philips is producing GPS chip sets. Main processor sells in
>$16USD range. It's a place to start, but it uses an 8051-type
>processor [stowaway - get it to manage the bilge], rather than
>PIC:

But can you get them in one and two off? I tried to get a ST GPS chipset, actually the development set with software, and got told unless I was interested in purchasing something like 25000 chip sets, they were not interested.

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2000\10\23@084744 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Down here we call them "jetboats" :-)
>We * invented them!

>RM

>* (well - a NZ farmer did).

and as far as I know he is still the only person to have taken a boat all the way up the Colorado River, rapids and all.

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