Print Shortlink

Long overdue update


First and foremost, sorry for going quite. Things have been really hectic recently and I haven’t had much chance to work on the Autonboat. There isn’t much news available so I’d thought I’d post some pictures of the progress so far (sorry about the rubbish lighting). I’m thinking more and more about if I should create a mould or just carbon fibre/fibreglass over the balsa wood. Currently creating  mould is winning as this will give me far room inside.


and in other news….


Those kind people at rock 7 who will be providing the satellite communications in the form of the Rockblock have updated the design (well they announced it on the 1st Oct, told you I had gone quite). Here’s what they’ve announced.

We’ve completely redesigned the charge storage circuit.  It now stores a lot more charge, which means that the initial ‘charging’ period will now take a little longer.  We’ll post some graphs of actual behaviour in the next few days, but we’re expecting it to take around 3 minutes at 95mA to reach full charge.  What this means is that we can guarantee to be able to successfully transmit, even with relatively poor satellite visibility, without demanding additional power from the host.  We felt that it was important that the device should work with 100mA limited USB ports.  The possible frequency of transmissions will now depend almost entirely on your view of the sky.

We’ve also added some more signals to the ‘direct header’.  As well as direct access to the 9602′s 3.3V UART, you now have the ‘Ring Alert’ and ‘Network Available’ signals too.  There’s also a ‘sleep’ control, which enables you to switch off the 9602 and put the rest of the circuit into a low-power state.  The valuable accumulated charge will be maintained, so the module will be ready to transmit within a few seconds of being woken up.  We estimate that in low-power mode, the module will draw something like 80uA from the host.  Again, real-world measurements are on their way.”

Really looking forward to getting the device to start testing. You can check the device out over at


Greg and the team over at fishpi have made some great progress with their POCV, It should be to long before it hits the water. Head on over to to catch up on the progress.