05.24.07

Measuring day

Posted in Hardware at 4:35 pm by Tessa

To explore the limitations of our flying friend, we spend the whole day measuring. First we wanted to know the lift of our balloon. The physics department of the university was so kind to lend us their spring scales so we could weigh every component very precisely. We removed all unnecessary objects from the gondola and were able to spare 15 grams, which seems nothing, but is actually quite a lot in Zeppy world! But still, the battery of the camera we want to attach to the gondola, is too heavy, so we have to get a bigger balloon and a more weight-efficient power supply. After this, we measured the range between the transmitter and receiver. We needed a big room, because our building has its stanchions and window-frames all made of metal, which obstructs the connection with Zeppy. So, when it flies through a door opening, the connection is immediately lost. The corridor was a good spot, because this is a very high space. The range was approximately 10 meters, which is not enough, so we have to find a way to make the signal stronger.

Weighing the gondola:

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Matthijs controlling Zeppy in the corridor:

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Going up in the corridor:

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05.14.07

Laptop controlled blimp

Posted in Hardware at 3:26 pm by Tessa

Today, we made it possible to control Zeppy with our laptop instead of the remote. To be able to do this, we had to mutilate the remote and solder the poor thing to a brand new relais board we bought for this purpose. This relais board could be connected to the laptop with usb. Now Zeppy flies on the instructions of simple keyboard pressings!

Jaldert busy soldering:

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Admiring the relais board:

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Laptop controlled Zeppy:

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05.05.07

Meet Zeppy!

Posted in Hardware at 12:21 pm by Tijs

About a month ago, we received our little toy-blimp!

We first went to a local diving-shop ‘de tuimelaar’ to fill the blimp with a little helium.

Meet Zeppy! : :)

Blimp baloon

With very cheap-looking controlls:

Gondola

Which were to be paired with each other, with nothing but sticky-tape:

Assembling Zeppy

Only remote-controlled, and far from anything robotic, but still a lot of fun!

More material at: http://tumblecow.net/blimp/