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Networking and Communications Assignment

This assignment was, to summarize it in one word... terrible. 

This assignment was pretty straightforward, or so it seemed, connect two or more boards in a network and get them to "talk" to each other, however, implementing them in the lab would not be as simple as it would seem:

networking workflow

Due to time constraints, I only got to try to work on the example boards provided, these being the hello Radio serial (bus) and APA network boards. 

First, I tried to make a hello radio board, and because of this, I milled the board according to the design found in the site.

hello radio board milled

As I was soldering the parts to the board, I realized that we did not have all the parts available at the lab, some of which could not be replaced (in particular, the Inductors) so I had to the drop the idea and move on.

hello radio half done

Second, I Started by milling and stuffing the APA boards, with varied results, as it can be seen in the photo below, due to the quality of the milling bit, so soldering became a kind of messy affair. 

Sending load board to modela
However, even though I was able to program the boards to  work, after several instances of trial-and-error, i did not get the boards to communicate, just facing the answer "timed out"

APA boards net not working

Unfortunately, the troubleshooting and debugging process was unsuccesful, as I was unable to reprogram or retest the boards. Time to move to greener pastures.

In second instance, I went for the helllo.bus boards serial network.

hello bus  bridge traces
hello bus node traces 

this time the process was slightly easier, stuffing the boards was kind of complicated, in particular the position of the Tiny45, I don't know how, but in some boards the 45 was soldered reversed, so it was no surprise that the boards could not be programmed. However, I found the mistake eventually and corrected it.

hello bus network boards

So after this ordeal, the boards were ready to work, but, as I was t rying to communicate them, something weird happened, even though I programmed each node board with a definite number, as I opened the serial terminal to send the messages, only one node received at the time, and the answer from the node was noisy, probably because of the boards soldering.

programming Hello Bus

Terminal -bad- response



Patience is Key to this assignment, and is something very difficult to have with time constraints over your head.

Second, as a matter of personal opinion, I think the I2C protocol sould be looked in more depth.

Third, even after all the previous assignments, soldering can still be painful to work, keep focused.

Fourth, as previously stated, take into account Hofstadter's law into assignment planning, it -painfully- works.

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