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Mar 09, 2007, 03:11 PM
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The Halogen Heroine

So with no magnetometer, decided to retry the halogen range test....with a copter. Got a dismal 200ft before the halogen winked out from loss of signal. That sux.

Some error correcting codes are necessary for any kind of normal flying, but while reading LDPC explanations, it appeared LDPC only works if the phase of the bits is known. Our problem is more phase shift errors than substitution errors because the phase modulation encodes 1's faster than 0's.

So with the range test misery completed, it was time to demonstrate the most powerful application of copters: very expensive flare guns. 2 novel things happened with the halogen. It took a real long time to light up the first time and it really sucked power from the motor.

The halogen consumes 2A, you see. With only a 4Ah battery, that greatly impacts flight time and engine thrust. Also the ESC freaked out when it was on the ground and the halogen first came on. Seemed to go into low voltage failure mode. Subsequent lightings in a hover were quick, with no ESC freakout. Really need to light it on the ground.

The halogen was rated for 6V but we only have 5 on the copter, so naturally it wasn't its best Steven Spielberger brightness.

Had 2 electronics anomolies. First the PIC programmer lost an op-amp. Suspect the programming cable was briefly plugged in wrong.

Secondly, the copter firmware failed to boot once in the field. It had 2 B power cycled to boot.

Just 4 U homegamers, we have a timelapse movie of the whole night.
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