What I've been upto

I've been busy with university work and also getting a job (hooray!) so I haven't been doing much for projects or content for this site. The good news is, I'm on a break from the job as it only runs during uni semesters and I've finished my exams. I apologise for no content in the time being since I've been wanting to concentrate on my final year of studies, but I have been working on things recently especially after getting a Raspberry Pi delivered to me. I've been playing around with it a bit and have managed to put my entire website onto it. At some point in time, I'll be moving my site from its current location to where I'm living now, but want to play around with the Raspberry Pi for the time being. The main thing I'm wishing to do is get SPI working in some C code to allow me to communicate with a Leaflabs Maple Mini. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the RTC working on the Maple Mini and feed back the time to the RPi via SPI. The main part of that little project is learning about linux modules, interacting with them and also how to access CPU peripherals safely in linux.

I've also got all of the components I needed to finish off the Bus Pirate, although in the move, I've lost the PCB and microcontroller so need to rediscover where those have been placed. The UAV transmitter board has not been resumed as of yet, however during the semester, I have thought about the design a little and will be attempting to get back into designing the board soon. A small change is most likely going to occur which will increase the pin count of the main microcontroller to increase flexibility with some systems and also make more IO available for other tasks. I've also in some ways realised it's not quite as suitable for the end task that I'm hoping for, but will still prove useful during development of shorter range systems (the actual system used for a later project may use the transmitter board as is, but will not actually do data transmissions to the plane) but regardless of the end application, the experience of designing the board will be beneficial especially when developing the UAV boards for MEHA and SEPA.

Talking about MEHA and SEPA, sadly, they've been gathering dust on my shelves as the hunt for a suitable place to fly them has not been found as of yet since I'm very concerned about the aircraft I'm seeing flying over head in the area I'm currently living in. This is due to my belief that they're on approach to an airport that isn't too far away. And going to an RC club currently isn't a solution because of restrictions of the MAAA and also the transmitters I have currently. I previously have mentioned this in another post. I also have changed my mind slightly on which plane to initially convert to a UAV. I'm thinking that I will be using my AXN plane as the gliding capabilities could prove more forgiving in certain circumstances while developing but also will allow me to see when I switch platforms, the effort involved in getting the system working on a more unstable platform. Another reason could be that the AXN is a larger but cheaper plane than the YAK54.

I've also submitted a new version of the Wire library to Leaflabs to be included in future versions of libmaple after finally completing the library after all of this time. There are some improvements still to be made using the library, however the main parts are working and will do the job fine. Going to be trying to learn how to use github soon to make development easier in the long run. Also makes code development easier as I can push changes onto github instead of making multiple versions of slightly similar programs and uploading them into folders on my webserver so others can grab them.

I am planning on creating content for this site soon. The things to look forward to are:

  • Raspberry Pi review and perspective
  • Turnigy 9X hardware review and how easy is it to mod it?
  • Setting up a RPi web server with Joomla (Not as easy as it should have been)
  • Setting up a script or a program to run at boot time on the RPi
  • Microcontroller programming/development, where to get started?

Lastly, my girlfriend had been wanting to go to a pop culture event called Supanova in Sydney this year. The previous year, she had gone as Chell from the game Portal and made a portal gun using bottles, paper mache, the front cover of a clear display folder, some black card stock and some custom electronics designed by myself. This year she wanted to make a new one as the previous year's gun was damaged at the event and in the move to Victoria. The new one was constructed using floral foam, car body filler (bondo), PVA glue, 3mm thick MDF board, nuts and bolts, spline, hot glue, PVC pipe and some sheets of foam. The electronics used before in the old gun was also reused in the new one. You can see the finished portal gun on her DA account and also check out some her art there, if you like something, you can check out her RedBubble account.