24 February 2014

Diamond Harbour

Yesterday I did some sailing in Lyttelton Harbour for the first time since arriving.

I sailed across to Diamond Harbour with some of these people:



Diamond Harbour is quite pretty, and has views back to Lyttelton:



We went to see the Black Velvet Band:



Generally a pretty good day out, although we did bail out a bit early because the weather forecast was for thunderstorms later in the day.


23 February 2014

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.617766 LON: 172.722850
Timestamp: 2014-02-23 02:03 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.617766&lon=172.722850
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.624050 LON: 172.736950
Timestamp: 2014-02-22 23:00 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.624050&lon=172.736950
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.613100 LON: 172.729100
Timestamp: 2014-02-22 22:30 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.613100&lon=172.729100
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

22 February 2014

Position tracking

I've sorted out the issues with the sat phone sending tracking reports, well in essence discovered that the phone has stopped sending tracking reports except when it's just been turned on.  So I'll have to manually turn the phone off and on again when I want to send a position report.

So I've set up my mail server to receive and distribute these position reports to a few different sources -- the basic Iridium format which gets posted to this blog, along with links to the YOTREPS tracker and the MarineTraffic position report.

It's possible to get MarineTraffic to do tracking as well, but it costs money.  YOTREPS does tracking but it only tracks to the nearest minute (1 nautical mile) -- so (like subatomic particles) you can either know where I am or where I've been but not both.

So there will be regular updates to this blog, each one will contain a link to the current position (which should be accurate), a link to the (only roughly accurate) YOTREPS tracker, and a link to MarineTraffic (which should also be accurate).  MarineTraffic will also track my position even if the satellite phone is switched off as long as I am in range of an AIS receiver connected to the internet (coastal waters, basically).

The YOTREPS and MarineTraffic links stay the same each time, they are:

http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST

http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Tomorrow we're going out sailing, just across Lyttelton Harbour and back and I will test this out by resetting the sat phone a few times.  I've sent out a few test position reports and it seems to be OK so far but I will see how it goes out on the water.

I've also set this blog up to receive updates which I can send via sat phone, but they won't propagate to facebook and Google+ which will only happen if I post via the web interface.

So if you want to see all of that, and if you have a google email account or a yahoo account, please subscribe to this blog (which you can do with any google or yahoo email account).

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.611583 LON: 172.702450
Timestamp: 2014-02-22 07:40 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.611583&lon=172.702450
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.611649 LON: 172.702450
Timestamp: 2014-02-22 07:18 UTC
Iridium position: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.611649&lon=172.702450
YOTREPOS tracker: http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=CHIARAST
MarineTraffic position: http://marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?zoom=10&mmsi=503518300

Chiara Stella position report

Current position: LAT: -43.611649 LON: 172.702366
Timestamp: 2014-02-22 07:08 UTC
Position on a map: http://map.iridium.com/m?lat=-43.611649&lon=172.702366

test post via email

Nothing to see here ... just a test post via email.

Directional antennas

Paul, my neighbour, built a small gadget which I thought impressive enough to blog about.  It's based on an arduino and a fluxgate electronic compass.  The aim is to keep a payload, e.g. a directional antenna (wifi or TV antenna for example) facing in a constant direction, even on a swinging boat.

The base is fixed to the boat, the payload sits on top, and the gadget sits in the middle, reading from the compass and driving a small motor to keep the payload facing in the same direction.

Here are some front, top and side photos:


The arduino board is mounted on top of the gadget, it's a standard type of arduino board, the entire thing is powered through a USB adapter.

Mounted under the arduino board is the fluxgate compass.  I guess you could feed in NMEA data from an existing on board fluxgate but the one mounted here is so tiny it forms part of the unit.

Here's a video of the thing in operation: