Final Project, Jul 11

Final Project

Although my final project is not yet really finished at the moment i am overall very happy with it. It looks good, more or less exactly as i wanted it to look. I will finish the project anyway later on. First i need to have a little holiday, to compensate my girlfriend and our children for the last 5 months. I worked a lot during the during daytime, but also spent numerous hours at night, in the weekends and even during dinnertime! And off course recover myself from 5 intense months with sometimes a high work pressure.

Improvements for the project:

  I want a better housing for the oled display in the case I will probably make a 3d printed design that fills the room between casing and display.
  There is need for an on/off switch on the outside of the case I will try to assimilate that in the above 3d print, so the on/off switch will be next to the display.
  I like to have the hammering device as part of the case Welding! I need another course :) I would like to weld a gutter that the hammerkop led to the ice. With springs. So you can pull a handle, let go and then the spring pushes the hammer down. At the right height also a spring, so that it is raised. In this way, the hammer also has no contact with the ground / table / ice if it is not measured.
  Female micro-usb in the back of the case for charging The is already room for it in the case, but it didn’t found a cable with the female plug till now. Probably going to order it from ebay
  Closing the case and keeping the two parts together I am going to make that with the welded hammer part. A large U profile of the outer diameter of the case, with a bolt closed by a nut, to keep the hammerpart in place and clode the 2 shelfs of the case together. On the back i am oing to use a wire of memory metal to keep the to parts together
  From sight it looks better when i put the electronics on the other site of the case. I milled the other side but have to replace all electronics. That will be done after i debugged the newly designed board (see under electronics design)
  logging measurements Adding a bluetooth board connected to the electronics designed board. For sending the measurements to a mobile phone. The phone needs a program that logs to a database and also combines it with time and position. Another course: programming for arduino and/or IOS
Power Managment    
  trigger alarm on low power Connecting the gate from the LiPo gaugemeter board to my PCB. Already did that, seen my comment on improvements for “electronics design”
Electronics design:    
  alert to my board when the battery’s SoC goes below a threshold value Almost done. I redesigned the board and made a connection for the extra loose cable on the flatcable that goes to the powermanagment boards. This connection is connected to PB2 now.
  get rid of the bypass wire Like i said: i redesigned and milled the board
  Debugging the new board I have not had the time to debug the board. I found one problem (led on gate 13 is not blinking), but need more time to debug. After that is done, i also will update my documentation and files
  Better high peak, timing and calculating ice-thickness I now can detect peaks, i can see the time between peaks for the 1st and second piezo. But i also have to measure it with a ossiloscope and see if it compaires with the numbers i get from the atmega board. This will also consume again some time. And again: I will finalize the project anyway :-)

On my fabacademy experience

It’s finished! It was (and still is) as i’ve been in a huge roller coaster for the last 5 months. Overall i learned an awful lot of new skills. Starting with basic skills as documenting what i did and working with a mouse, to controlling the Shopbot to do what i want it to do. Overall i’m very happy how it went. From the start i set a number of personal goals that I wanted to achieve besides learning a lot and getting as much as possible out of the course.

  • doing the fabacademy with only free and opensource software. As you could have read i’m a supporter of the opensource philosophy and active practitioner. For me it’s part of the philosophy of Waag, Fablab Amsterdam and the project we do. It’s all about Open Fair Inclusive. But only work with opensource software also has it boundary’s. Specially when designing in 3D i had sometimes a hard time working with FreeCAD. The software is not that mature and intuitive as the commercial and closed counterparts. But also because i was the only one in our Fabacademy group in Amsterdam that used the program. Together with others that use the same software you have great support for each other. Off course there is the internet and search engines so you have a shitload on information about opensource software available, but sometimes it’s easier to formulate the right question or find the right keyworks when others sitting next to you work with same software. But against the current and with a lot of self-will and perseverance I managed to do the fabacademy with only opensource software!

  • Get a better understanding of the machines in our Fablab. This was the initiator for me (and my employee) to do this year Fabacademy. I was asked and will maintain the machines at Fablab Amsterdam from now on. Off course i said yes as for me it is a nice new goal and i was looking for new challenges after doing fabschool for the last 4 years. As you could have read, i learned mastering the machines during the academy. Some more than others. I have a bit of a biased attitude towards 3D printers (the microwave of this century!). The Shopbot i really adore on the other hand. I like to make big things, with big machines but also because it is a machines that should be handled with respect. Anyway: during the last 5 months i learned to work with the machines, and also learned how the machines work. So now after the fabacademy i’m slowly taking over the maintenance of all of them.

  • A thing i didn’t expect to happen is that i really enjoyed documenting! Even during the course i had some much effort of my own documentation on machines, procedures and setting. And during writing it made me often better understood what i was doing, why i was doing it that way, and even sometimes gave me a better insight in what i was doing was completely wrong or not the best way to do it. And i also liked that others used my documentation to achieve (parts of) their own projects. So this was a great unintended side effect of my roller coaser experience! I know it’s an important aspect of the fabacademy, but never thought about it the way it worked out.

  • Another personal thingie is that i wanted to master vim. Vim is a highly configurable text editor for efficiently creating and changing any kind of text. It is included as “vi” with most UNIX systems and with Apple OS X. For 20 years i was a emacs adept, mostly using joe a full featured terminal-based screen editor, and has some of the key bindings and many of the powerful features of EMACS. But I also had the tendency to use vim in the past 20 years, simply because it is part of almost any standard linux installation, and i knew of the power as editor as such. So before starting the fabacademy i decided this was a good moment to take this tendency seriously and switch to vi(m). In the beginning it took me a lot of time and effort to learn all new keybindings. But now after 5 months i am only using vim on all machines and servers i maintain. And off course i did all documentation and coding for the fabacademy in vim.