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Comment Re:You can probably afford hardware (Score 1) 78

I'm assuming you already have access to some sort of laptop/desktop to post to slashdot? I'd say skip the shields, get a cheap arduino clone, probably one with the USB port NOT the separate TTL programmer if this is your first Arduino experience. Don't forget a USB CABLE for it. Small breadboard, some suitable jumper wires, (or perhaps you can recycle some old cat5?) and a few cheap servos ($5 ea). No real need for a "shield", you can directly connect most servos. It's also quite easy to convert the servos to "continuous rotation" if you want a speed-controllable (propulsion) motor rather than a position-controllable (steering) one (assuming you also have access to some tiny screwdrivers, knife/clippers, etc). Recycle bits of spare wood/plastic/card for body, wheels, arms, whatever. You can make really simple sensors by just having INPUT_PULLUP wires touch GND wires when bumped. Servos can steer/push/pull/propel/twist things. You can LATER look at more reliable switches/buttons, light/IR/temperature/distance/other sensors, RGB LEDs, displays, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc once you've had a bit of fun and have a better idea what you want to build. Remember most Arduinos already have 1 status LED, and Serial.print() for debugging/control whilst still connected to USB.

Comment AMOS (Score 1) 414

Used to love AMOS, years ago. AMOS was pretty much "BASIC with nice looping, functions/procedures, and easy access to some cool Amiga graphics $#!+ like sprites, scrolling, and blitter".
These days, probably JavaScript, and honestly I wish Canvas/SVG/WebGL/SOMETHING was even half as easy as AMOS for quick-yet-pretty graphical stuff :-/

Comment Re:buying balloons (Score 1) 51

Check your local air regs, you may not be allowed to launch a 30-footer without special permission. You probably CAN launch below some specified weight-limit though, which is usually enough for a GPS, APRS board, small 2m transmitter, camera, and batteries.

Nick VA3NNW, part of the http://haven-1.elven.ca/ team

Comment Re:Heard it, relayed (Score 1) 51

Can't help wondering if the "?????" is NOT a bad decode, but a bad GPS fix. The rest of the frame is quite well-formatted including the / and O. It looks like it still has Altitude (the A=) but the value looks dodgy compared with when it DOES have a fix.

Nick VA3NNW ... recently been studying APRS101.pdf and oh, my, what a mess, not so much a standard, looks more like a dumping ground of every new format anyone felt like inventing :-(

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