Whilst I am sitting here in the library slowly losing faith in society I am still trying to get on with work. It does seem that there is a lot of people out there, and even in here where people are not willing on just putting their heads down and getting on with things. Anyway, getting on with the purpose of this post, my progress this week.
The main focuses for me this week was to properly know what I was wanting to do for phase 2 and then get on with it. I am focussing heavily on electronics and the making of the mark 1 model. So to start off with I will talk about the electronics.
After weeks of deliberation of how I was going to achieve it, I have decided on the rather risky yet ultimately safe (if you know what I mean) method of using 2 Arduino’s. This would help improve the reliability of the product and it would mean that I could quickly and efficiently get the code to work and do what I wanted it to do. I split it up into two parts. One for each Arduino. One of them will take over the roll that the PicAXE played up until this point and do all the flashing and vibrating when a message is received on the phone. The second Arduino will take over the more complicated task of doing the mood light and the pulsing etc. Things which I am finding a little more difficult.
Talking of things that are difficult. It is a well held belief in the class that Arduino is easier to programme than PicAXE. I am going to say rubbish. There is no way that it is. As an example, for the basic code I used for the LED’s to light up and a thing to vibrate took very little coding and very little time with the PicAXE. With the Arduino, I have spent the good part of a few days getting it to do the same thing. Not only that, with the PicAXE I managed to have a decent number of inputs from LDR’s. With the Arduino however, I can only get 2 to work. I really want three but I only have two working at the moment. Having three would have been more reliable but I guess that I will have to make do with two unless I do more troubleshooting.
Going on to the aesthetic side of things, everything is moving along nicely. But, and this is a big but, I am getting cold feet about the design that I am evidently going with. Yes it is simple and yes I wanted it to be simple, but I don’t really know if it shows my ability at all. I will have to keep going with it because I have spent so much time looking at how it all fits together and the way it is all going to work within the design that I have chosen. Also, I spent a good three hours on the laser cutter yesterday cutting out pieces that will make up the mark 1 hand in for the 20th of this month.
All in all, there were 90+ pieces cut out yesterday and in seeing them all together it is rather impressive and it is swaying me to make the final thing in a similar sort of manner. I managed to get a good deal of packaging sorted yesterday and I found out that I will be able to fit 2 arduinos and corresponding breadboards inside which is encouraging. I haven’t taken all the pictures off my camera yet so I can’t show you what it looks like just yet properly, but I did take some on my phone, which are the ones that are dotted about this post.
The video below shows the quick test I did of how the LED’s would show up when shone through the couple of blocks of Acrylic. In low light it looks fantastic, but in brighter conditions it doesn’t really fare too well, but it is supposed to be used at night.