RP-MSP Update 59, IPSR-6


I was sick a majority of the week, so I will talk about what I did over the weekend. On Sunday I came in to do a static waterproofing test. I did this by running a hose over the webcam system and running all the electronics.



I finished all of the B-Roll Cuts. All I need is Tanner's segment and Juan to finish writing the Kickstarter.


RP-MSP Weekly Update 16

This week was a huge success for the A/V data collecting system. We attached the underwater camera to the nacelle and we had all of the LAN camera server systems working properly. Additionally, I was able to control both the navigation system and the camera system without any significantly readable drops in voltage or amperage.

Next week Tuesday I have an AP exam, but on the following days I will se if I can plan a day in the pool.


RP-MSP Update 58, IPSR-5


Today we did not work on much, since we had completed everything, other than discuss potential dates for testing the video system in the pool. I also ran further tests and everything is continuing to work OK.



I finished all of the interview segments, now I need to get some B-Roll film and cutaways. I am planning on coming in on Sunday to work more on the Kickstarter as well as design the static test assembly.


RP-MSP Update 57

As soon as I entered the monitoring lab today I instantly began working on the boat. I attached the camera to the velcro on the motor nacelle and I tested the entire system after. Everything was working nominally, which includes the guidance systems and the data systems.


RP-MSP Update 56, IPSR-4


Today, I didn't do much. I discussed the options that we had for attaching certain cameras to the boat. Firstly, I suggested that we use the other servo to have a modular camera system. Secondly, I suggested the use of a gopro rollbar mount to stabalize the gopro.



Today I continued editing the video, I am almost done.


RP-MSP Update 55, IPSR-3


Today I made my attempt at connecting everything together, including the camera and the video server. We accessed it and everything worked excellently. However, I was not able to connect through the server locally without an internet connection. I was told that Jacob solved that problem.


Today I filmed M. Ho for his segment in our Kickstarter funding video.


RP-MSP Update 54, IPSR-2


Today I attached the access point and the video server. Everything seems to be working perfectly. I did have an issue of not being able to connect to the video serve but that is because I forgot to plug in the ethernet. Therefor, I assume that when I do plug it in, it will work fine.

Next class, All I need to do is plug in the camera and we will be fully functional.



I was looking for a force sensor for the static test assembly, but the Vernier sensors in the E-Lab only go up to 50N. I will continue my search.

Next class I will finish my video of M.Ho so that I can create a Kickstarter video.


RP-MSP Update 53, IPSR-1

Today I completed the new electronics system for the craft, all we needed to do was connect to main terminal to the battery and connect the servo to the main terminal. I then put the pelican case back on the boat and the router into the case.

We need to retape the holes with aluminum foil tape, however.

Island Photography Sounding Rocket (IPSR)
For more information, visit mhdupont.com

Since I had finished this, I used the remaining time to talk about my sounding rocket tests with Dr. Bill. We discussed various ways to test the specific impulse and thrust of the rocket. He wanted to test a small portion of the fuel in a flask to test for impulse, but I was thinking more about doing a vertical static test with a fully-fueled rocket.

I have three main reasons why I prefer this method:
1. It would be more accurate to test an efficient burn with an ideal nozzle.
2. We could test the duration of the burn which would give us a minimum and maximum height of the apogee.
3. We could determine the overall weight of the launch system.

The following picture is a release of our current understandings of the rocket's potential and the possible test procedure:


RP-MSP Weekly Update 15

Since we didn't have the chance to come to class on Tuesday, we had a short week to work on the project.

Overall, this entire week contained me working on the electrical system, while Jacob diagnosed the servers and softwares. I successfully removed all of the old power wires, and replaced them with the newer wires.

In a previous post I explained that the old thin wires were a fire hazard. Also, we had too much excess wires (about 7 feet) and I trimmed it down so that now we are using less that 1.5feet of wiring.

I only need to make two more connections next Tuesday. Then, the rest of will be open for me to help diagnose the server issues.


RP-MSP Update 52

Today I worked thoroughly on the electronics system.

Firstly, I found screws that fit perfectly into the phidgets boards. Therefore I was able to attach the board into the plywood and creat a literal "circuit board."

I replaced all of the old power wires with the newer, thicker wires, and I cut everything so that there is no wire longer than 6". I only need to work on the servo connection, the ethernet connection, and the connection from the main terminal wires to the power source.

Everything looks a lot cleaner.


RP-MSP Update 51

Today I started on the gut-and-cut process of the electronics system. We are doing this for two main reasons:

1. It looks very messy, and 5 ft wiring is not needed in a box that is 1 foot on its longest axis.
2. Thin wires that are close together act similar to toaster wires or even a solid-fueled rocket ignition.

To begin this process, I stripped an unused power cord. These wires inside the cord are thicker and better insulated so they would suit better.

Before, I notice that the usb connections would have all of the phidgets boards sticking up in the air, so to solve this problem I am planning on screwing in the phidgets to a piece of plywood. This would also allow me to have connections that are no longer than 5 inches inside of the case. My planned layout to the board is near exact to the most recent electrical diagram posted on this page.

I believe that next class I can finish the new circuitry quickly with no problem.


RP-MSP Update 50

Today was senior service day, but I did come in over the weekend so I will talk about that.

The most recent Sunday I came in with my brother to show hime around the E-lab. He mostly was building robots with Mr. H so I think he is excited about coming to HPA in a year and a half.

In the meantime I was working on the boat a bit and this what I found/worked on over the weekend:

I connected the video box to the system and I was a little troubled because I noticed that everything is starting to become a huge clutter. On Wednesday I will gut and cut the wires to a more attractive length. However, connecting the wires into one terminal doesn't allow any room for the camera wiring so we may need another lawnmower battery.

I ran into two problems during the set up. Firstly, the controls kept disconnecting from what I assume to be everything being plugged in. Maybe this caused the amperage to decrease significantly and not give enough current to the router. Secondly, since the access point has no internet connection, I was not able to access the video live stream through public IP. I trust that we can overcome this obstacle easily.

I believe that the new issues I brought up are the only obstacles before we have a completed electrical system (pre-hydrophone).


RP-MSP Weekly Update 14

This week, I did quite a bit:

On Tuesday, I discovered that we would be using an ROV video camera for the feed instead of GoPros. This allowed us to save both time and money, especially when time is money. Jacob spliced into the camera's power line and troubleshooted various connections. While he was doing this, I emailed Dr. Bill for an LMR400 radio cable, which we received and hooked up on Friday.

I also researched how to configure the Phidgets throughout the week and determined several things:
1. Phidgets is compatible with a wide variety of languages with the most common being C#.
2. Phidgets has a configuration interface so that we don't need to rewrite the code straight from the source.
3. The configuration interface on the webservice requires a username and password and we need to find the default settings for this.

When Jacob was sick on Wednesday, we had several visitors so I had the opportunity to share and present my project. On this day, I was able to review the circuit and circuitry diagram and determine a good place for the new base station and video server. However, we may need another battery for insurance.

On Friday, I finished up the week by setting up the workbench near an external power and ethernet port to allow ease of accessibility for configuration of the access point. I had another class this morning, but hopefully Jacob was able to further configure the access point during his Computer Science class.

Throughout the week, during my free time, I went onto codecademy.com to learn JS. I am 66% finished with the 10 hour course. When I finish I am planning on taking the AngularJS lessons for web apps, and Python as a first step to C# for outside-of-school projects. My goals for objective-based languages are as followed: (Python [first step]--> Swift [for iPhone Apps]--> C++ [for robotic projects]--> C#[for unity and game development]). It will take a long time, but I have nothing to do over summer.


RP-MSP Update 49

Today was packed full of things to do.

First, we opened the class doing a task for Dr. Bill by connecting the speaker system in Mr. H's lab so the robotics students could listen to music.

We followed this by configuring a Wi-Fi access point, which we will use to replace the radio server. This will allow us to connect to multiple ethernet ports, which lets us simultaneously use the PhigdetsSBC and the Video server.

We were able to configure the access point to allow us to connect the same antennae to the box, which will give us the same amount of range as the previous setup.

Finally, we moved our workbench across from where we previously were so that we had access to an external power supply and ethernet port. This would allow us to configure the access point with the building's internet and power so that we don't need to draw any power from our battery.


RP-MSP Update 48

Today we had more visitors and I was able to create a showcase video to present my project. The video outlines our navigation test, however it is only one clip.

I also read the manual for the phidgets to learn how to confider the PhidgetsSBC and to me it shows that the easiest way is through its built in configuration interface (go figure).

I also reviewed the circuitry diagram to see where I can add the camera system. The only thing that we need is an ethernet splitter.


RP-MSP Update 47

Today, we spliced into the ROV video camera's power wiring so that we could connect it to the iBoat. In addition to this, I e-mailed Dr. Bill for a request for some new radio cables (LMR 400).

While Jacob was troubleshooting the video connections and the servers, I was researching on what coding languages the Phidgets use so that we could change the direction of the servo.

I determined that Phidgets can run on C#, which is convenient because I was planning on learning C# for Unity. Also, since I have MonoDevelop, it makes things a step closer.

Next class, if I have no duties, I will take C# tutorials.


RP-MSP Weekly Update 13

This week we made progress with the video electronics system, as well as an easier way to use the navigation system.

Video: We concluded that we are using two Go Pro Hero 3's for the video, as they can connect to our streaming device through a third party housing. This will allow us to shoot in 1080p at 60fps.

Navigation: Because of its ergonomic design, we will be using an xbox 360 controller for the phidgets.


RP-MSP Update 46

We did not work on the boat today, since we are in need of ordering the final components. However, summer interns from Cornell came over for a tour of the projects and we presented our project to them.


RP-MSP Update 45

Today we logged on to the camera live feed server, and we set up the resolution and compression for a camera to get familiar with the website. Conclusively, we determined that we wanted to use GoPro's because of their 4K capturing capabilities.

We requested an order for the cable that would connect a Go Pro to the video connections on the server hardware.


RP-MSP Update 44

Today we opened class with a discussion on our hardware for capturing the necessary A/V.

I then divulged into a conversation about my outside of school project, which will soon be updated on my website (mhdupont.com). The project is a sounding rocket that will take time-lapse photos during it's flight.

Finally, I used the rest of my time in class to learn javascript on codecademy, which I hope will help me add more features to my website.