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Preparation

Clicking on an image will take you to a larger version (30 - 50 kB) of eahc picture.

The onboard camera (already with the lens removed. Humberto didn't give me the time to take a picture in original state.

First idea for the trigger: recover the solenoid of this old doorbell. But it resulted way too weak.
So we had to roll our own. After quite a few experiments, this was the result.

Another view, with its anchor.
The battery compartment was just below the trigger button, the ideal place to mount the trigger coil. The coil form is just visible.

The camera contained some unexpected things, like this transistor circuit, apparently to detect the end of the film roll, and to rewind.
The hybrid combination of many different modules forced us to plan a variety of power supplies, each with different requirements for current and capacity.

To avoid large temperature differences between cells, each battery block was rigidly glued together with hot glue.
General view of the the beacon and the controller.

Detail of the RF part. The 'weird' things are RF inductors, reinforced with drops of hot glue to avoid problems with vibrations (falls!).
Otra vista de la baliza.

The prototype of the image generator for Slow Scan Television (SSTV).
This was the image record in the EPROM

Starting the construction of the payload. No time for printed circuit boards!
Idem, solder side.

After making most of the connections... Though it doesn't look too reliable, this technique never failed me!
Foto sensor: translated, a photocell from an old calculator. This is a low budget project... A BNC connected permits comparing sizes

Preparation of the foam block. The marking is the place where each module will be placed. This is relatively high density foam, for its mechanical resistance, and much better quality.
Idem, un poco mas de cerca.

The compartments for the electronic modules where 'opened up' by just approximating a heat source: Large holes with a small butane flame, and fine adjustments with a soldering iron (without touching). This space will receive the beacon.
One of the battery compartments.

General view of the cuts, almost ready...
The beacon (with its shielding), with the antenna output. Above the breacon, the SSTV image generator.

The excessive weight, even after cutting out large parts, forced us to cut corners, literally, from the outside of the foam block.
We even shaped the exterior form to adjust itself to the contents. This is where the camera is located.

Final touch: the design of the label, inviting whoever finds the payload to return it as soon as possible


(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ mail