So I’m just going to start again.
Mostly what happened is that I got stuck on some very frustrating bugs with my new hardware design and it took far too long for me to ask for help, so I lost all motivation to work on this project and found other shinier things to play with.
I’m now past that hurdle, and I think I have a way to keep motivation and progress going in the right direction. I’m going to have a weekly or so meeting where I can ask for help and people can ask me basic questions about my designs, helping me to fix problems as they come up, and readdress all my basic assumptions.
This is basically what most advisers do for their students, keep them on task by asking questions and act as a sounding board for problems. Maybe that’s something that could/should be used more widely in at-home science arenas?
General updates since my last post:
Following a series of discussions with my analog adviser (hi Steve) and my physics adviser (hi Lee), I’ve started working on version 0.4 of the electronics (now with actual theoretical chance of working!). I received the (painfully small) surface mount parts from DigiKey and Newark, and managed to solder them to SMD-DIP adapters for breadboarding.
Things I learned:
- Arduino ints only go to 2^15, that is a problem when dealing with 16-bit DACs.
- My new DAC’s “write” command only means here’s some information, not do something with the information I’m giving you.
Bart from BuildLog sent some makerslide, a 400-step stepper motor, and other amazing things as part of his Makership project so I can build a solid linear actuator for the rough approach.
Funding and Support:
Wow, thanks so much to all the amazing people who decided to help this project with funding, parts donations, and their generous time:
Individuals: Nikos G., pdp7, T. Joseph N., David C., Bruce G.
Time and advice:
Steve F., Ian S., Lee