Posts

Autonomous FPV Drone Build Log

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Fun Classwork : Combining an Autonomous Flight Controller with an FPV Style Drone  Fall 2020 has been off to a rough start with covid-19 restrictions and unrelated personal medical emergencies that caused a late start to my semester. Fortunately the university was prepared for virtual courses because of covid, so I got lucky between accommodating professors and a situation that was already setup for my situation.  Anyway, this drone sensors course has been a fun break from some intense classes. The goal here is to build an autonomous drone using the Ardupilot software. Students can choose to use S500 style drone parts from the university or buy their own drone to build. I chose an FPV style drone, the Xilo Phreakstyle Bardwell edition. This kit was chosen because it would be my first FPV build and it allowed me to be lazy. Or so I thought... As it turned out, replacing the Xilo F4  FC with the Pixhawk mini 3DR added a lot of problem solving to this build. Lets get into it... Begin 17/1

On the State of HW

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Geoscience Programming With the COVID-19 self-quarantining deep in effect, I gave myself a goal: create mini programs to solve my homework. Why? Because I noticed in my hydrogeologic field methods course, before the pandemic, that it was simpler to write one program to solve a series of problems than to redo calculations ad nauseam. So if "complex" or repetitive calculations are involved, then code. I'd like to say I'm fluent enough in python to make quick work of this; however, it seems I'm a bit rusty, so I've been using matlab as I brush up in my spare time. Current programs Hydrogeology:  Step-Drawdown Test Matlab .m file that calculates Transmissivity from Discharge, Drawdown, and time using the Rorabaugh (1953) method of analyzing step-drawdown tests. My program uses three steps and takes Q in gpm, s in ft, & t in hours. Uses a checksum to verify calculations and then appends data to an excel file. GitHub Link    Transmissivity Calcul

Mitsubishi MP 286L Laptop Teardown

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Mid-quarantine project : teardown & documentation of 1989 laptop Much in the style of iFixit, but with my commentary, herein is the documentation of a 1989 Mitsubishi MP 286L laptop. Affectionately referred to online as a luggable , this laptop contained a few fun parts I'd not seen in a laptop before [MiniScribe HDD, whole PSU, full size mechanical keyboard]. I'll talk about the parts, process, useful sites on finding info on old electronics, and most likely pose a few questions as the documentation goes along. Tools: (1) screwdriver [phillips #0] (1) pry tool [any] Rule of thumb for screws : the pointy ones go in plastic and the machine screws connect metal parts. The case: This laptop was given to me from a family member and I've lugged it around for at least 5 years now. It was kept because of its [now] unconventional shell, which I plan on modifying into a cyberdeck build. If you've not heard of a cyberdeck, they fun builds you should check out. Part of my hope

Adv Log: Grand Teton

The Grand Teton A two day summit attempt What's up clay? Tyler and I are going to climb the grand teton tomorrow and Friday. We have a permit for 5 people and our one roommate just backed out so there's an open spot. Would you want to come?  - Jason @ 18:55 Wednesday July 31st, 2019 6:30 the next day I was loading my pack into a minivan with a cold cup of leftover coffee in my hand, wondering if I was ready for this. The Grand Teton is a 13,775 ft / 4199 m tall mountain in NW Wyoming; famed for looking super cool especially from the right angle, being the second tallest peak in the state, and have sections with a technical (read: roped up climbing) ascent. My highest peak to date. About 9:30 we rolled into the ranger station to check in for our backcountry camping permit and get bear cans. In the ranger station is a board with climbing gear attached and a scary story of a group who got struck by lightning. The gear is a combination of melted and broken

Intro to GIS

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Geographic Information Systems (&/or Science) is art and methods of representing data as it relates spatially. This is most commonly done via maps and they're quite literally everywhere. Eg. On the news showing political representations, in parks showing location data of landmarks, in your realtors office, everywhere. Which is why I was so shocked when I found out about this field, I had never heard of GIS or any of this before, yet I'd see its work almost everyday. So without further ado, here are some basic examples I've created so far this year in my introductory course to the GIS software by ESRI, ArcMap. As you can see, this is a super basic map and without a doubt sucks. However, this "project" was a useful tool in teaching about the differences in projections. If you know the geography of the States, then you know Colorado is a simple square. This map shows how even similar projections can vary. You can see in the "UTM Coordinate Systems Zone 13&qu

Data Harvesting

facebook, amazon, google  With all the limelight on Facebook with the Cambridge Analytica "scandal" and hearing about how all my data was up for grabs of the highest bidder, I decided to have my own look. What I found will shock you! Just kidding, it probably won't. Seemingly unlike most social media users, I didn't expected that the things I said online were completely private. Even as a high schooler with very little computer security knowledge,  I'd heard the phrase "if you're not paying for the product, you are the product" one too many times to forget. I always went online with the mindset, or at least usually did, that this could all be tied back to me so don't be an a$sh013. If you're not paying for the product, you are the product Downloading your facebook data is surprisingly simple. I suspect that is more-so a byproduct of the news than original design. Few clicks in settings and the compilation that is life on facebook starts proce

Using Python for Research

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EdX HarvardX Over the past two weeks I've started an online course covering python basics, python research libraries, and some specific case studies. To start,  edx.org is a fantastic site with a great cause: spreading knowledge. You can take free courses from leading institutions like Harvard , but enough of the unpaid promotion. My interest in this course stemmed from a few places. Namely, the desire to learn python, use machine learning libraries, and general lust for information. EdX has a ton of learning python and python for _blank_ courses available from universities & corporations. However, as a totally bias human being, I wanted to take the Harvard   course being I have a sibling there (or maybe I don't, you'll never know internet reader). Regardless, I wanted to learn the programming language python in a directly applicable way and this course offered that. So I signed up. Python appealed to me after watching videos on machine learning and seeing how easy pyt

Learning Python

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robobcb$ python3 classifier_challenge.py;  After watching a youtube video on machine learning by  Siraj Raval, I was inspired. Seeing how 10 lines of python could utilize a machine learning library was enough to convince  me that the C and JAVA I learned in uni were not enough. Time to learn another language. In this video "Intro to Deep Learning #1" Siraj lays out his code for utilizing the tree classifier from scikit learn to predict the gender of someone given the height, weight, and shoe size. Whether or not these actually correlate  to a gender is irrelevant as this is about how different algorithms learn from a given data set.  In the video, I was challenged to take the code he started and move it to the next level by adding in 3 more classifiers and then compare their accuracies. If implemented correctly, the code should only print the most accurate prediction and which classifier predicted it. I used three libraries to complete this challenge: numpy, sklearn, and text