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'[OT] Boston mistakes LED lights in the shape of a '
2007\02\01@140233 by Nate Duehr

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Wow,

The photos are hilarious.  Viral advertising gone bad, I guess.
Although how the authorities in Boston could be this stupid, I don't
know.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/31/boston.bombscare/

Of course CNN themselves did a nice job of spreading the panic.  You
can see that if you watch the video.  It sells commercial time, I
guess.

All these Jack Bower wanna-bees treating a box with LED's on it in the
shape of a cartoon character saying a phrase that character says all
the time... like it was a bomb.

Because you know, Fox shows us each week on "24" that all bombs will
have pretty LED count-downs and blinky lights...

Nate

2007\02\01@141821 by Alex Harford

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On 2/1/07, Nate Duehr <spam_OUTnateTakeThisOuTspamnatetech.com> wrote:
> Wow,
>
> The photos are hilarious.  Viral advertising gone bad, I guess.
> Although how the authorities in Boston could be this stupid, I don't
> know.
>
> http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/31/boston.bombscare/

CNN photoshopped the photos to remove the middle finger.  Here is the
real photo:

http://www.drudgereport.com/boston.jpg

and the YouTube video of them being placed:

2007\02\01@142037 by Mike Hord

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> Although how the authorities in Boston could be this stupid, I don't
> know.

The way the authorities are dealing with this INFURIARATES me.  It
wasn't a demonstration of how good they are at reacting to possible
threats, it was a demonstration of how poor the judgement skills of
the establishment have become.

1.  These things were in place for days or weeks before this whole
debacle occured.  No terrorist group in their right mind would leave
bombs visible for weeks before detonating them.
2.  No terrorist group would leave bombs in highly visible locations
with animated cartoon characters on them.
3.  This obviously was NOT a hoax, and yet the authorities insist
on repeatedly publicly referring to it as one.  I heard this morning
that at least two people have been arrested related to it.

This is a demonstration of how mass hysteria over "terrorism" has
completely replaced common sense.  I didn't think things had
gotten this bad, but I guess they have.

Mike H.,
who once (summer of 2001) reported a mysterious package to
the police only to be completely ignored.

2007\02\01@143930 by James Newtons Massmind

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> Wow,
>
> The photos are hilarious.  Viral advertising gone bad, I guess.
> Although how the authorities in Boston could be this stupid,
> I don't know.

It does seem like they could have handled that without locking down the
city...

..and still have been overly cautious.

1. restrict pedestrian access to the area
2. get the hiway patrol in place
3. stop traffic
4. blow the box up
5. let the traffic go

What should that take? 1/2 hour soup to nuts?

> www.cnn.com/2007/US/01/31/boston.bombscare/
>
> Of course CNN themselves did a nice job of spreading the
> panic.  You can see that if you watch the video.  It sells
> commercial time, I guess.

Anything that makes news is worth blowing out of proportion when your
business is selling the news.

> All these Jack Bower wanna-bees treating a box with LED's on
> it in the shape of a cartoon character saying a phrase that
> character says all the time... like it was a bomb.

True, although I'm not sure I would be willing to walk up to a box like that
and prove to anyone it wasn't a bomb, assuming I didn't know for sure in
advance. I wonder if the company that made them and put them out had their
phone number / address on them so that people could look and know who to
call.

> Because you know, Fox shows us each week on "24" that all
> bombs will have pretty LED count-downs and blinky lights...

Anything that is sitting in a public place and hasn't been claimed or
identified could be a bomb. Worth caution, but not necessarily bringing a
city to a stop.

---
James.


2007\02\01@144446 by Orin Eman
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Seattle area reaction:

"To us, they're so obviously not suspicious," said King County
sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart. "They're not suspicious devices or
packages. We don't consider them dangerous."


seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/302011_devices01.html

2007\02\01@153949 by Jinx

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> We truly are losing the battle against the terrorists if we continue to
> live in a state of terror

If you can't show a cartoon character (from a program I never
understood) flipping the bird, the terrorists have won

The authorities are beating this up so they don't look so slack

Just look at the language they use here and the dented pride/egos
behind it - "bomblike" "hoax" "outrageous" "corporate greed"

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/02/01/boston.bombscare/index.html



2007\02\01@163822 by Jinx

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> Because you know, Fox shows us each week on "24" that all
> bombs will have pretty LED count-downs and blinky lights...

I find this person's reaction interesting -

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/02/01/boston.bombscare/index.html

"I don't understand how they could be terrified. I would if it was a
bunch of circuits blinking, but it wasn't"

The Hollywood portayal of a bomb is pretty well ingrained

2007\02\01@165434 by Nate Duehr

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On 2/1/07, Martin Klingensmith <.....martinKILLspamspam@spam@nnytech.net> wrote:
> "BRB" I'm going to buy some LEDs.

You could make a fortune selling kits to make copies of the Boston
devices right now, I'm sure.  Not sure it'd be wise or ethically very
intelligent, but sure would be funny.  And I'd happily buy one to put
at my desk at work... (might need mods to remove the middle finger
LED's power so HR weenies wouldn't have a hissy fit).

Nate

2007\02\01@173024 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2007-02-02 at 10:38 +1300, Jinx wrote:
> > Because you know, Fox shows us each week on "24" that all
> > bombs will have pretty LED count-downs and blinky lights...
>
> I find this person's reaction interesting -
>
> edition.cnn.com/2007/US/02/01/boston.bombscare/index.html
>
> "I don't understand how they could be terrified. I would if it was a
> bunch of circuits blinking, but it wasn't"
>
> The Hollywood portayal of a bomb is pretty well ingrained

Hehe, yup, reminds me of a few lines for a recent show I watched
(House):

House: I've evil.
Eve: Evil people don't say they're evil.
House: That sounds like an easy loophole.

Similarly, all you have to do is SAY you're NOT a threat, and all should
be fine, according to most people... How could it be a bomb, it didn't
have any blinky lights and no "beep beep beep"...

Scary. TTYL

2007\02\01@174930 by Marc Nicholas

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Good job they didn't do that in Canada. I hear those guys make the
Americans look like tree-hugging Liberals!

-marc

On 2/1/07, Nate Duehr <natespamKILLspamnatetech.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\02\01@175351 by Mike Hord

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> Similarly, all you have to do is SAY you're NOT a threat, and all should
> be fine, according to most people... How could it be a bomb, it didn't
> have any blinky lights and no "beep beep beep"...

Exactly my point.  The whole point of a bomb is to kill people and destroy
property.  If it is obvious, someone will notice it, people will run, and the
bomb squad will wreck your hard work.

I would hazard a guess that your average GI, fresh back from Iraq and
accustomed to looking for bombs all the time, would have noticed a
thousand OTHER objects near these things (old tires, tied up plastic
bags, a full McDonald's bag, etc.) before worrying about them.

Mike H.

2007\02\01@175724 by Jinx

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> Good job they didn't do that in Canada. I hear those guys make the
> Americans look like tree-hugging Liberals!

Well the Mounties did root out that cell led by Gordy Bin Laden eh

2007\02\01@235055 by William Chops Westfield

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On Feb 1, 2007, at 10:59 AM, Nate Duehr wrote:

> All these Jack Bower wanna-bees treating a box with LED's on it in the
> shape of a cartoon character saying a phrase that character says all
> the time... like it was a bomb.
>
"I am a 30 second bomb.  I am a 30 second bomb.  29.  28.  27..."

BillW

2007\02\01@235434 by William Chops Westfield

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On Feb 1, 2007, at 2:53 PM, Mike Hord wrote:

> The whole point of a bomb is to kill people and destroy property.

The whole point of a TERRORIST bomb is to cause terror.

BillW

2007\02\02@072218 by Matthew Miller

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On Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 08:32:37PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> "I am a 30 second bomb.  I am a 30 second bomb.  29.  28.  27..."

Ha ha! That made me think of the bomb from "Dark Star" where the main
characters try to convince the bomb that it is malfunctioning and should
_not_ detonate! Maybe sentient bombs are all we need to bring world
peace... :)

Matthew

--
The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.
  -- Socrates

2007\02\02@112343 by Peter P.

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I really hate to say this, but I think that the sale of helium balloons should be
forbidden in the states. Can you imagine after this Boston incident what would
happen if a bunch of Mickey Mouse mylar helium balloons would escape and start
drifting through the airspace ? 'el quaida killer balloons' ? 'anthrax delivery
device' ? 'passenger aircraft snare' ? 'bin laden's secret zeppelin' ? The US
could end up nuking someone before morning comes and they see the 99 balloons ...
so I think that helium balloons should be categorized as weapons of mass
something or other until further notice. Although I think that CNN footage
showing F16s shooting sidewinders at bunches of balloons would be cool to watch.

Peter

(I wonder if a bunch of drifting balloons could be arranged to show an image of
a pighead on a PPI - that would give the saying 'when pigs will fly' a whole new
meaning imho)



2007\02\02@123829 by Tamas Rudnai

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Balloons are no harms for airplanes. They can hit several large birds
without any problem. If it carries a huge metal bar it could cause serious
damage on the motor or on the fuselage -- see the accident of Concorde. But
to lift up only 1 piece of metal bar which is very heavy so you need many
balloons together to take the lifting force and then to hit an aircraft...
small chance, very small. Look how many flacks they had to shoot to get down
couple of airplanes in the WW II...

Tamas


On 2/2/07, Peter P. <.....plpeter2006KILLspamspam.....yahoo.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\02\02@124036 by Peter P.

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Precedent ? (in MA too!)

http://www.ladyada.net/pub/research.html

Peter P.


2007\02\02@130254 by Peter P.

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> Balloons are no harms for airplanes. They can hit several large birds
> without any problem. If it carries a huge metal bar it could cause serious
> damage on the motor or on the fuselage -- see the accident of Concorde. But
> to lift up only 1 piece of metal bar which is very heavy so you need many
> balloons together to take the lifting force and then to hit an aircraft...
> small chance, very small. Look how many flacks they had to shoot to get down
> couple of airplanes in the WW II...

This is not about what the balloons carry. Mylar balloons reflect radar (and
light) like chaff does. A bunch of balloons floating over a city in darkness can
take up any shape. Even the shape of a pighead imho <g>.

Peter P.


2007\02\02@131403 by David VanHorn

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>
> I think that any kits coming out now will be very cheap ... because they
> will be
> assembled by convicts <g>


The real crime of course being "making officials look silly", which
frequently carries severe penalties.

We're all still paying for that one when someone taped a florida(?)
politician's cell phone call.

2007\02\02@131700 by David VanHorn

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The power companies don't like mylar balloons at all, especially the ones
with long metalized mylar streamers that can bridge power lines when they
finally come down.

2007\02\02@152001 by Jinx

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> and that before you know it, some smart alec with a "Better Bin
> Laden Than Bush" bumper sticker is getting arrested for it, and the
> First Amendment is in the toilet.  Of course, I DO know about the
> logical fallacy there

Maybe you've seen this story

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20925632-38200,00.html

Although I think he's being pig-headed - "Most people use common
sense and don't go out of their way to offend people" - I understand
why he feels the way he does

Except I think what he's doing is along the lines of "freedom of
speech doesn't mean you can shout Fire ! in a theatre". Air travel is
very safety- and terrorist- conscious and the last place you want
bickering and a fist-fight is on a plane

2007\02\02@153102 by Howard Winter

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Matthew,

On Fri, 2 Feb 2007 07:19:21 -0500, Matthew Miller wrote:

> On Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 08:32:37PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:
> >
> > "I am a 30 second bomb.  I am a 30 second bomb.  29.  28.  27..."
>
> Ha ha! That made me think of the bomb from "Dark Star" where the main
> characters try to convince the bomb that it is malfunctioning and should
> _not_ detonate! Maybe sentient bombs are all we need to bring world
> peace... :)

Given the way it ended, I think NOT!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\02\02@154541 by Howard Winter

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Bill,

On Thu, 1 Feb 2007 20:51:46 -0800, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 2:53 PM, Mike Hord wrote:
>
> > The whole point of a bomb is to kill people and destroy property.
>
> The whole point of a TERRORIST bomb is to cause terror.

Well yes-ish, but really it's to advance the aims of their cause, using terror as the means.  Which makes the current mob a bit unusual since they don't
seem to have aims which can be met.  The IRA, Basque separatists, and so on all had/have an outcome which they tried to advance using violence,
which is why they claimed responsibility and often announced their actions beforehand.  But Al Quaida are different - there is nothing that anyone
can do that would cause them to say "OK, that's what we were after, we'll stop now with a job well done".

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\02\02@154745 by David VanHorn

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>
>
>
> Given the way it ended, I think NOT!  :-)


Well, the only reason he was in counseling, was that he had such a short
fuse!

--
> Feel the power of the dark side!  Atmel AVR

2007\02\02@163621 by Mike Hord

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> http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20925632-38200,00.html
>
> Although I think he's being pig-headed - "Most people use common
> sense and don't go out of their way to offend people" - I understand
> why he feels the way he does
>
> Except I think what he's doing is along the lines of "freedom of
> speech doesn't mean you can shout Fire ! in a theatre". Air travel is
> very safety- and terrorist- conscious and the last place you want
> bickering and a fist-fight is on a plane

Hadn't seen that, Jinx.  I don't think any response I could put out
to that story would pass James's sniff test WRT politics, so I'll just
say that the story increased my overall level of frustration with, well,
everything on Earth, which is currently higher than ever and WAY
above what is healthy.

Mike H.

2007\02\02@173129 by James Newtons Massmind

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>
> This is not about what the balloons carry. Mylar balloons
> reflect radar (and
> light) like chaff does. A bunch of balloons floating over a
> city in darkness can take up any shape. Even the shape of a
> pighead imho <g>.
>
> Peter P.


I've just had this picture of a huge build: On a scale even larger than the
"Helium Raft" done over at Mythbusters. A truly massive frame of bamboo
lifted by a ring of mylar helium balloons with a few extra in the middle...

...arranged in the shape of a smiley face.

So the local air traffic control or military radar operator is sitting there
minding his business when off from the left comes floating this blip...

Given the load capability, we could put LED's and coin cells or just little
mirrors on the bottom.

---
James


2007\02\02@175230 by Peter P.

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James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewton <at> massmind.org> writes:

> I've just had this picture of a huge build: On a scale even larger than the
> "Helium Raft" done over at Mythbusters. A truly massive frame of bamboo
> lifted by a ring of mylar helium balloons with a few extra in the middle...
>
> ...arranged in the shape of a smiley face.
>
> So the local air traffic control or military radar operator is sitting there
> minding his business when off from the left comes floating this blip...
>
> Given the load capability, we could put LED's and coin cells or just little
> mirrors on the bottom.

I'm not sure how it could be done. This sounds like a MIT hack project (but one
done far away from Boston at least in the near future - their jaded nerves need
some quiet).

I'm not sure how to shape the pi^H^Hsmiley face. I was thinking of simply
launching the balloons in formation, simultaneously from a field, on a day with
slow and constant wind. That should form an image that will break up slowly.

Mylar balloons usually have this solid tail thing which is heavy and are filled
with air-helium mix so they don't raise too enthusiastically. I understand that
mylar balloons can last a really long time in the air unlike latex (weeks).
Mylar is very tough as plastics go and it does not let the helium diffuse out
like latex does. It is also tough enough to withstand serious internal pressure.
It is nearly impossible to burst or tear a mylar balloon under normal conditions.

Peter P.


2007\02\02@175840 by Cedric Chang

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Freedom of speech does mean you can shout "fire"  in a theatre.
Then the ushers throw you off their employers "private property".
Anyone who panics because someone shouts "fire" and does not verify
the situation is a moron and deserves a Darwin removal.

The public really should get their heads screwed back on. Including on
an airplane.

Cedric


On 2007-Feb 02, at 13:18hrs PM, Jinx wrote:

> and that before you know it, some smart alec with a "Better Bin
> Laden Than Bush" bumper sticker is getting arrested for it, and the
> First Amendment is in the toilet.  Of course, I DO know about the
> logical fallacy there

Maybe you've seen this story

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,20925632-38200,00.html

Although I think he's being pig-headed - "Most people use common
sense and don't go out of their way to offend people" - I understand
why he feels the way he does

Except I think what he's doing is along the lines of "freedom of
speech doesn't mean you can shout Fire ! in a theatre". Air travel is
very safety- and terrorist- conscious and the last place you want
bickering and a fist-fight is on a plane

-

2007\02\02@180416 by Peter P.

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James Newtons Massmind <jamesnewton <at> massmind.org> writes:

> I've just had this picture of a huge build: On a scale even larger than the
> "Helium Raft" done over at Mythbusters. A truly massive frame of bamboo
> lifted by a ring of mylar helium balloons with a few extra in the middle...
>
> ...arranged in the shape of a smiley face.
>
> So the local air traffic control or military radar operator is sitting there
> minding his business when off from the left comes floating this blip...

I think that the blip needs to be real huge to show a shape. Probably 100 meters
(300 feet) between bunches of balloons (10-20) thethered together. Otoh 10-20
balloons will lift a not so little battery and circuit. Probably 100 grams or so
or more.

Peter P.




2007\02\02@180554 by Cedric Chang

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Al Quaida has made it clear what they are after....
Everyone but their mob has to "get out of town"

Cedric


On 2007-Feb 02, at 13:45hrs PM, Howard Winter wrote:

Bill,

On Thu, 1 Feb 2007 20:51:46 -0800, William "Chops" Westfield wrote:

>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 2:53 PM, Mike Hord wrote:
>
>> The whole point of a bomb is to kill people and destroy property.
>
> The whole point of a TERRORIST bomb is to cause terror.

Well yes-ish, but really it's to advance the aims of their cause,  
using terror as the means.  Which makes the current mob a bit unusual  
since they don't
seem to have aims which can be met.  The IRA, Basque separatists, and  
so on all had/have an outcome which they tried to advance using  
violence,
which is why they claimed responsibility and often announced their  
actions beforehand.  But Al Quaida are different - there is nothing  
that anyone
can do that would cause them to say "OK, that's what we were after,  
we'll stop now with a job well done".

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2007\02\02@194026 by Nate Duehr

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On 2/2/07, Cedric Chang <EraseMECedricspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTnope9.com> wrote:
> Freedom of speech does mean you can shout "fire"  in a theatre.
> Then the ushers throw you off their employers "private property".
> Anyone who panics because someone shouts "fire" and does not verify
> the situation is a moron and deserves a Darwin removal.
>
> The public really should get their heads screwed back on. Including on
> an airplane.

Great!  I think what you're saying then is that CNN deserves to go out
of business?

Nate

2007\02\02@195834 by Cedric Chang

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On 2007-Feb 02, at 17:40hrs PM, Nate Duehr wrote:

On 2/2/07, Cedric Chang <Cedricspamspam_OUTnope9.com> wrote:
> Freedom of speech does mean you can shout "fire"  in a theatre.
> Then the ushers throw you off their employers "private property".
> Anyone who panics because someone shouts "fire" and does not verify
> the situation is a moron and deserves a Darwin removal.
>
> The public really should get their heads screwed back on. Including on
> an airplane.

Great!  I think what you're saying then is that CNN deserves to go out
of business?

Nate

Probably...  Please explain further the connection ?
( I hate CNN and never watch it )
(If I was the marketplace [ and I am not ] , then CNN would go  
bankrupt )

Cedric

2007\02\02@201540 by Nate Duehr

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On 2/2/07, Cedric Chang <@spam@CedricKILLspamspamnope9.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

CNN and other news outlets probably helped CAUSE most of the Boston
panic.  Their video coverage was a bit, "over the top", shall we say.
Perhaps they'll win awards from their peers for helping create
boogie-bears where none existed.

And I agree with you.  I don't watch them.  They're bored
pseudo-journalists who love the smell of anything ... anything at all
negative, because they have nothing to talk about most of the day.
Same thing with Faux News.

Nate

2007\02\02@210627 by Jinx

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> Freedom of speech does mean you can shout "fire"  in a theatre.

You can say anything you want, but you may have to face the
consequences

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shouting_fire_in_a_crowded_theater

"the phrase "shouting fire in a crowded theater" has since come to be
known as synonymous with an action that the speaker believes goes
beyond the rights guaranteed by free speech, reckless or malicious
speech, or an action whose outcomes are blatantly obvious"

You just don't tempt fate unless you're a complete wonk. Which, at
18, this guy probably is

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10422292



2007\02\03@011537 by Robert Rolf

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James Newtons Massmind wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Well, your BEST 'mirror' for RADAR signals is a corner cube reflector.
http://roswellproof.homestead.com/RAWIN_construction.html

Easy to fabricate out of stiff foil. Suspend several from a single balloon,
With all strings weighing the same, and all balloons with same lift power,
you could launch from a large field near an airport (just not TOO close) and
pull it off with zero wind conditions. (All balloons would rise at same rate).

Now the PIC version of this would have a magnetron tuned to the airport frequency,
and using the interrogate pulse, fire off a response at the appropriate time after
the pulse, and progressively with the scan. (Think propeller clock where the sweep
is the beam sweep, and the LEDs are times after interrogate pulse).
Most dishes have quite poor off axis sidelobes so it would be easy to WRITE stuff
on a radar controllers screen, if you wanted to.
And most airport radar domes are quite far AWAY from the airport so that they
can see the runways clearly (outside the 'dead time' of the interrogation).

You could probably get away from needing a magnetron by setting up a feed horn to
collect the interrogation pulse up close, then send it back with switched delays
achieved with loops of coax or commercial delay lines (like used in old DRAM controllers).
PIN diode switches controlled by a PIC of course.

Feed horn >--|
8 way split  |---- Delay line 1---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 2---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 3---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 4---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 5---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 6---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 7---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.
             |---- Delay line 8---- Shorting PIN switch--- Terminator.

When the PIN switch is closed (shorting line), you get a reflection,
delayed by 2x delay, which goes back out the feed horn.

When the switch is open, the signal is absorbed by the terminator, so no reflection.

With a good splitter there is little extraneous reflection.

Frequency independent. Switches see only a couple of milliwatts, and only when
they're making a 'pixel'.
Pulse rates are on a few hundred hertz so the PIC can easily keep up with changing
the switch patterns for each pulse (or clusters of pulses).

Have fun....

Robert



2007\02\06@045848 by Ray Warren

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On Thu, Feb 01, 2007 at 08:32:37PM -0800, William Chops Westfield wrote:

>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 10:59 AM, Nate Duehr wrote:
>
> > All these Jack Bower wanna-bees treating a box with LED's on it in the
> > shape of a cartoon character saying a phrase that character says all
> > the time... like it was a bomb.
> >
> "I am a 30 second bomb.  I am a 30 second bomb.  29.  28.  27..."

I still enjoy rereading that book occasionally but the movie was
disappointing .
Ray Warren

2007\02\12@092642 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> This is not about what the balloons carry. Mylar balloons
>> reflect radar (and
>> light) like chaff does. A bunch of balloons floating over a
>> city in darkness can take up any shape. Even the shape of a
>> pighead imho <g>.
>>
>
>I've just had this picture of a huge build: On a scale even larger
>than the "Helium Raft" done over at Mythbusters. A truly massive
>frame of bamboo lifted by a ring of mylar helium balloons with a
>few extra in the middle...
>
>...arranged in the shape of a smiley face.
>

In the early days of my apprenticeship, with enough knowledge to be
dangerous, I had this idea for a hydrogen balloon with an oscillator on the
station frequency of a local sports station when there was a big match on. I
figured that a single transistor oscillator hung from the balloon with a
reasonable length of wire, and a similar length of wire below the oscillator
making a dipole with the oscillator in the middle, would blank out a
reasonable area for a minimal oscillator power.

Never got around to building one though.

2007\02\12@195944 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In the early days of my apprenticeship, with enough knowledge to be
> dangerous, I had this idea for a hydrogen balloon with an oscillator
> on the
> station frequency of a local sports station when there was a big
> match on. I
> figured that a single transistor oscillator hung from the balloon
> with a
> reasonable length of wire, and a similar length of wire below the
> oscillator
> making a dipole with the oscillator in the middle, would blank out a
> reasonable area for a minimal oscillator power.
>
> Never got around to building one though.

Many years ago (1970's?) Auckland University Engineering students did
similar as a capping week stunt.

Large plastic sheet balloon with hydrogen generated by an oil drum
generator using alumin(i)um and sodium hydroxide. Carried flashing
lights.

As happens with NaOH/Al hydrogen the product was rather wet (they may
even have had a water scrubber) and the balloon did not lift as well
as intended. They flew it and it crossed the city at quite low
altitude - hundreds of feet typically, pursued by vehiculated
students. A 'bonus' which they swore was not intended was that the
flashing lights caused considerable radio interference and attracted
attention. The story I heard told was that it ultimately ran into EHT
lines and caught fire, but that is too much to hope for as the outcome
of such a tale and may have been post priori embellishment.

Regrettably I didn't get to hear about this until after the event.
Maybe just as well :-).

No, that's NOT why I want to build a plastic sheet welder! :-)

       Russell







{Original Message removed}

2007\02\12@202525 by Brian Kraut

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In college we had very cheap thin garbage bags in the dorms.  We made a
simple balsa wood square frame on the bottom that we taped the bags to and
we ran a thin wire from corner to corner on the balsa.  We hung a wad of
cotton soaked in a mixture of model airplane fuel and rubbing alcohol
(straight alcohol would get too hot and melt the bag and straight model fuel
would not get hot enough) and lit it.  They would get the best we can tell
over 1,000' high and we have watched them for over five minutes before they
disappeared and we could not see the flame anymore.

I went to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University which was located on the
Daytona Beach airport property so we would get plenty of attention,
Sheriff's helicopters, school security, etc.  Lots of fun.  I suppose the
statute of limitations has run out by now!

Brian Kraut
Engineering Alternatives, Inc.
http://www.engalt.com

{Original Message removed}

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