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Thinking of using a wine bottle with a cork that barely sticks out.

Anyhow, I want to put in a GPS, a battery (that can last 1 month hopefully) and a transmitter and to be able to collect position about every minute or so. I am thinking about the possibility of harnessing the power of the waves to generate electricity.

Off-the-shelf components are preferred. What are my options as far as hardware and software choices?

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: I want to measure current, not wind, so I want the bottle to be as much in the water as possible.

I also want to launch several bottles in order to figure out the degree to which the current is chaotic. This means that I need to control the costs. Also I would need to recreate similar tide conditions. I am curious if objects in the ocean channel move in a zig-zag manner (tide vector would be perpendicular to overall current in this case due to a river), if the tide is strong enough to push it against the current, and whether things stick around or flush out into the open. Thank God for GPS.

This is related to a possible drowning mystery - no body found yet. There is a chance that the person is still in the ocean. The trouble is that it could be anywhere by now; it has been a few weeks. There are many islands on the way to a completely open ocean, so it could be stuck in some particular location.

I wish I have thought of this earlier. I did not know the person myself, so do not worry about expressing sympathy. I am approaching this cold-headed; I just find it very intriguing.

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closed as off topic by Josh K, quack quixote Apr 2 '10 at 5:26

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Although not an entirely computer related question, sounds like a very interesting experiment, +1! –  heavyd Apr 2 '10 at 1:43
    
Although it sounds interesting and definitely a 10 on the cool projects to do chart, it isn't explicitly computer hardware or software related. –  Josh K Apr 2 '10 at 2:30
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GPS is a passive system, so unless you expect someone to randomly find the bottles later and return them to you, you will need to have the bottles report their position via RF. A cell phone will not likely have the coverage necessary from sea level so your talking short wave radio or satellite. –  Chris Nava Apr 2 '10 at 2:34
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while this is fascinating, Super User isn't really a DIY electronics project site. this is better suited to a discussion forum like Make, and possibly other Stack Exchange Q-n-A sites. –  quack quixote Apr 2 '10 at 5:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Thinking of using a wine bottle with a cork that barely sticks out.

(thinking to myself) ... uuu, this is gonna be good :-)

Anyhow, I want to put in a GPS, a battery (that can last 1 month hopefully) and a transmitter and to be able to collect position about every minute or so. I am thinking about the possibility of harnessing the power of the waves to generate electricity.

The upper part, by my opinion has a few (too) optimistic drawbacks:
- a battery which can power a GPS unit for one month (my GPS rarely makes it through the day)
- transmiter (unless we're talking about a small lake, or a canal) means: more power needed, more space needed (in a bottle), an antenna needed ...
- dimensions of the transmitter depend on the range, but a bottle seems to small for any of them
- also, would you mind sharing some thoughts about how do you plan to generate el. by waves ... I know a few methods, but none comes close to this ... unless, we're talking about generating power through some kind of kinetic motion ... in which case the power generated is negligeable to power any of the above

Off-the-shelf components are preferred. What are my options as far as hardware and software choices?

Personally, (I'm serious), I'd go with the Admiralty charts which already have currents displayed. Don't take this the wrong way, or as a mockery but the idea seems somewhat unrealistic to me, at this point.

Thank you in advance!

EDIT: I want to measure current, not wind, so I want the bottle to be as much in the water as possible.

I also want to launch several bottles in order to figure out the degree to which the current is chaotic. This means that I need to control the costs. Also I would need to recreate similar tide conditions.

And weather conditions since the behaviour of the ocean floor strongly depends on them also.
~~~

Edit: Have you tried getting a wave atlas ?

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Thanks, I just want to get some info. What is the best resource for nautical charts in USA? –  Fantomas Apr 2 '10 at 3:15
    
@Fantomas - Couldn't say. That is, I can't say who would be the best chart suppliers in the USA, since being an European, I've no idea who you've got over there ;) But I have seen, some fiiine links on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nautical_charts mentioning NOAA charts, have used them in the past a few times, and they're decent enough. You might also throw a quick look at oceanservice.noaa.gov <-- hope some of this helps. Btw, wave data are usually collected in so called seakeeping atlases (or global wave atlases) but they might be a little out of your league for something like this –  ldigas Apr 2 '10 at 3:41
    
expensive also (they're mostly oriented towards nav. arch's). –  ldigas Apr 2 '10 at 3:42

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