- Ready to use on board PIC18F452
- 20 Mhz XTAL
- 1 LED per output
- Standard 0.1" footprint (2.54mm) for I/O
- Miniature 48mm x 68mm adaptable PCB
- 1.5 Amp power supply with nanofuse
- See web site for details and add-on board
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Continued from Page 6
for Near Space endeavors. This would
apply both to all active Near Space
enthusiasts and to yourself. By printing columns giving advice on the
activity, and especially by giving
everyone the ability to associate themselves with you by using the logo
you've designed (which is quite nice,
by the way), you might be opening
yourself up to lawsuits for any Near
Space craft that damages anyone's
property or worse, hurts someone on
re-entry. I say all this in a spirit of a fellow (even though inactive) enthusiast
for a new hobby that you are creating
almost single-handedly, it seems; it
would be a shame to have it
become aborted in such a short time
due to someone being sued — or
because someone becomes careless
and does cause any damage or harm.
So, I wish you good luck in the
future of your new hobby, and hope
you will look into this topic so that
people who engage in it can learn
how to protect themselves against
Near Space groups use software to predict balloon flights.
With this software, we can keep the
near spacecraft from landing in a
town or other high risk environment. The parachute used to recover the near spacecraft lands it at
about 10 mph. The near spacecraft
also carry audio beacons that can
be heard over 100 feet away. About
the only risk we run is scaring cattle when they hear the near spacecraft landing.
The National Weather Service
and military launch over 100
weather balloons per day. In over
50 years of launches, there is yet to
be an incident of a balloon harming a person or their property during the launch, flight, or landing.
My book (on the Parallax
website) discusses how to safely fly
near spacecraft. However, you
bring up a good point so I may
write something up for N&V to put
peoples' minds at rest. You're right,
there are too many people ready to
sue at the drop of a hat. But I think
model ariplane and rocketry people
are taking far larger risks due to the
speed and mass of their toys. The
fact that there are more of these
toys out there also increases their
chances of an accident.
A couple of near space groups
have liability insurance. This is a
topic I need to investigate more and
I think it would make for a good
article. The problem is that
researching it takes me away from
the science side and moves me closer to the dark side (lawyers!).
Thanks for your comments. I hope
you enjoy the articles and get a
chance to go to a launch sometime.
Onwards and upwards, Paul
Dear Nuts & Volts:
Talk about unbalanced. Ed
Driscoll’s article in the July 2005 issue
about blogs is an advertisement for
rightwing blogs. Regarding the blogs
you feature; you claim Instapundit is
moderate? And Powerline is the
premier rightwing blog. Hugh Hewitt is
clearly right of center. Check out
Technorati for the most popular blogs.
Among the top 10 are DKos (3rd),
Talking Points Memo (7th), and
Eschaton (9th). Three of the top 10
are liberal blogs, only one is conservative, the rest are pop culture or technical blogs. Powerline only comes in
21st, and Hugh Hewitt is 41st, just two
above Baghdad Burning.
Even though N&V is a technical
magazine, Ed did not even mention
any of the hundreds of technical blogs
(Gizmodo and Engadget), two of
which are in the top 10. I feel Ed is
obviously just pushing blogs that
carry his viewpoint. However, not all
the readers of N&V share that POV.
To the folks at Nuts & Volts, if you
can't refrain from partisan politics in a
hobby magazine, you are going to lose
some of your readership. N&V is
where I go to relax, to get away from
politics. It's a shame I had to put up
with this clearly partisan piece. You
can visit my blog at http://crob