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Darren Long

Hobbyist Developer of Windows Applications

AstroClock

This clock was designed as a dark adapted functional homage to two wrist watches and the computer onboard the Saturn V rockets, all playing their part in mankind’s exploration of space.

The OMEGA SPEEDMASTER, of 5 watches from different brands submitted to NASA, only this model survived the vigorous testing and went on to be worn on the moon! This clock features its stopwatch and tachymeter.

The OMEGA SPEEDMASTER SKYWALKER X-33, this both analogue and digital watch was developed for the European Space Agency to assist astronauts in planning their mission tasks. This clock bundles in the majority of its functions.

The SATURN V GUIDANCE COMPUTER used a system of Verbs and Nouns, this clock has been programmed so that each function is assigned a verb, each function then has 8 nouns (variables) available to it. The clock automatically knows the correct set of nouns to use by the function that is currently selected.

I’ve found it very useful myself to count down to rocket launches, which are usually advertised in eastern or universal time.

Download from: https://github.com/darrenlongdev/AstroClock

AstroOrganiser

I have made this Astrophotography Capture Manager, for organizing astrophotography session data. Its available for free download (for non-commercial use).

Data is held in a localised SQL database (single .db file) and a folder directory is automatically created for observation sessions. Equipment can also be organised within the application and called into each record. Images can easily be opened in third party software of your choice for processing.

The GUI can easily be switched between light and dark modes for observing sessions.

Download available from https://github.com/darrenlongdev/AstroOrganiser

E-02 Rocket

Since my previous rocket launch I’ve been working on a new version of the rocket, which is a 2 stage rocket propelled by D9-0 motor in stage 1 and a D9-7 motor in stage 2.

The parachute system from the previous launch has been swapped for a mylar system this time which will bring the rocket back to earth much faster. This will allow me to use a smaller launch site as the rocket will not travel so far down wind.

The launch controller hardware has been redesigned since the last launch and has been succesfully tested.

The launch controller software has also been reprogramed to work with the new timings.

I’ve built an onboard computer with integrated video camera which logs speed and altitude data to a micro SD card and video to another micro SD card. An Arduino is employed as the processor, taking readings from the altitude sensor and controlling the operation of the camera.

I’ve had help from a couple of my work colleagues around the control of the integrated camera, and the building of the rockets fins and motor mounts.

Bi-Directional Watch Winder

I needed a watch winder for my automatic watch, so bought a cheap one and added my own computer to it using an ATMega328 chip on an Arduino to hold my program (written in C++) and an L293D chip to control polarity to the motor.

My PCB was made using strip-board, cutting breaks in the tracks with a drill bit and copper tape to create strips in the other direction. When turned on it waits 10 seconds, then smoothly accelerates to start a clockwise rotation. After a minute of rotation it slows to a stop, waits 10 seconds then rotates in a counter clockwise direction. It repeats this 30 times before resting for an hour. Then the loop starts again.

cFS

The Core Flight System (cFS) is a software package that I have written to one day be used in a weather balloon which I plan to launch to around 100,000 ft, 3 times the height of a comercial airliner. The primary objective is to take photo’s of the curvature of Earth.

The cFS stays in permanent contact with ground control via http requests using Spacex StarLink satellites for connection and via a series of beeps over radio wave should connection drop. When the balloon reaches its maximum altitude it will pop and parachute back to Earth. The ground control software will automatically download photos and data logs from the cFS so that if the payload isnt recovered, footage and data will not have been lost.

Follow and contribute to the project here at: https://github.com/darrenlongdev/weatherballoon

 

Character Clash

Character Clash is a two player card trading game I made, each player is given a set of cards at random and must battle the cards stats against each other. Special cards allow a number of special moves including evolving cards and steal opponents cards. The game manipulates csv and ini data and can have new cards easily added into the game. I created it more as a way of testing how I could manipulate csv data.

Updates to Rocket

After the previous launch of the rocket some modifications were required to the launch controller hardware. So I introduced some new circuitry to which safely tests the continuity of the igniter without the risk of the rocket launching early.

Then I got to work on a data logger to sit in the top of the rocket. This consisted of an Arduino, altitude sensor, micro sd card shield and battery. This will enable me to log both speed and altitude on future flights.

 

Media Server

Written a media server and client for my home media collection. The system runs on a server indexing all media files both categorizing them and creating generic covers should one not exist.

The system indexes, Films, Series, Documentaries, Music, Photos, Web Links and Applications.

A client is used on computers to connect to the server to explore the database and stream the media.

I’ve gone the the extent of adding in a jukebox, music video player that plays in random order and photo frame which randomly picks and displays your photo collection.

Programmers Calculator

Based on the work of AutoIT programmer scintilla4evr, I’ve created a calculator that allows AutoIT script to be entered directly and comments added against each calculation allowing the user to view the history of calculations. Output is shown in Decimal, Binary and Hexidecimal numeral systems.

Lists of available functions can be found under headings in the Index menu. These include Percentage Operations, Average Operations, Rounding Operations, Bitwise Operations, Programming Operations, Scientific Operations and  Time / Distance / Volume / Temperature / Weight / Pressure / Storage Conversions and Calculations. Even calculations such as DaysToChristmas() are available.

Variables can also be created on the fly and recalled during calculations. A set of predefined variables are also available.

The application is skin-able, can be set to be on top of all other windows and allows use of hot keys.

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