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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Quiet Time?

As you can see, I'm taking a bit of a break here...

I still haven't decided how to handle the inter board communications yet.

I've had a couple ideas on how to approach this, but because I already made a bad less than ideal choice in how it works now (discussed in another post) I want to make sure I find the best solution, so I'm in no rush... 

Right now, everything is running as well as it ever has, I'm really very happy with it, and in fact, it's getting extremely hard to find new ideas and slip them in. Seriously, I never check plants to see if they need watering, and I never see droopy plants any more.... Once I can afford the pumps etc, I'll be doing completely automated watering, but financially, it's not a top priority.

When I get in a situation like this where sitting here thinking about it isn't getting me anywhere, I just walk away from it, stop thinking about it... First, I sit down and define the problem as best I can, in writing (point form) in a file called thoughts.txt which I edit right in the IDE. Here, I organize, yep, my thoughts... Once I've defined the problem, I start outlining any possible solutions... They down't have to be complete solutions, and can be outside the box so to speak, since I'm just gathering my thoughts at this point. Then I forget about it, move on to something completely different, or go take a nap, or anything to get it out of my head. While I'm otherwise engaged, there's a little part of my brain that, in a background thread, taps into the cosmic knowledge base and sifts through it, and if and when it finds an answer, it will fire an interrupt in my brain, and I'll go "Eureka!"

Ok, it doesn't always work like that... but it has served me well. If I get an idea, I go back to my thoughts.txt file, add it, and review what's already there... If I still don't see a clear answer, I go away again, do something else...

So, it's been a week now, my documents is growing, but still haven't decided yet. No big deal, I'm not in any rush, like I said, it's running fine now, but I do want to make changes more for future capacity...

To keep busy, I've gone back to my R/C cars. My 1:6 scale Beetle is a full FPV rig, meaning I drive it using a video screen and a camera mounted pointing out the front window. I also have a Mustang and a Camaro, each smaller than the other. These are all TOY radio control cars that I've converted to using proper 2.4Ghz radio equipment and modern servos. The radio gear and servos are all left over from my R/C hobby days, so this has been an out of the drawer type project. Anyhow, the Beetle has an OSD, or On Screen Display, module which overlays text on the video from the camera, so when I've driving, I can see things like GPS position, direction, speed, battery voltage, current draw, anything I deem important enough... This OSD module is an Arduino Pro Mini and a Max2456 breakout board, and software I wrote last summer. The Camaro has no Arduinos in it, but the Mustang does. I didn't have another ESC (Speed controller) for the brushed motor, but I did have an L289N H-Bridge Motor Driver board, so I hooked it up to a Pro Mini, and wrote the code to read the R/C receiver channel for the throttle, and to send the proper commands to the L289N to control the motors speed and direction based on the transmitter commands. I also created a voltage sensor for 12v, and monitor the battery voltage so if it gets low, it will limit your speed so it doesn't damage the lipo batteries.

Anyhow, that's what I've been up to, and why there have been no new posts...


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