Life lessons -
Your microcontroller tools will change without warning.
(Let me back up) Atmel has two different types of ICE200
emulators - the ICE200 and the tiny ICE, both of which have
an ICE200 instruction manual. Who knew? I spent a good
couple of hours trying to figure out why the ICE200 was
producing random signals on the ports (actually, I might
have played a little quake somewhere in there). I switched
back to my old emulator (the tiny ICE) on a whim, and all
was well. Another problem is the new AVR studio doesn't
see my ICE200.
Frankly testing new boards is not the time to find out your
tools don't play well together. I'm this close >| |<
to finding a friendlier microcontroller...
OK, I'm done venting. Here is an update on my boards -
I'm avoiding programming the controller board as long as
possible (really I'm avoiding the learning curve) by
operating off the emulator board and the expansion board.
Since the whole objective of plugging this brand new stuff
together is to test it, you can imagine the problems I'm
running into. Problems like placing pass-through
connectors incorrectly aligned (damn!), ordering the wrong
parts, receiving the wrong parts, not receiving parts until
next month, leaving stuff out, etc. My boards are so bad I
might be forced to order and populate a new set of ``trial''
boards. This is a huge hit in time and money, but the
trade off is I get my boards closer to solid operation
before I lay down real money for the Predecessor-platform
One thing I have to keep in mind - once the problems with
these boards are smoothed out and I know they work, then
the circuitry component of my robotics infrastructure is
secured (for the time being) and I can move on to other
Other things like welding aluminum parts - which I haven't
been doing. I'm waiting on a part for my Sherline Lathe -
a 4-jaw self-centering chuck. I think this will make the
whole mechanical motor interface thing go a lot smoother
because I can center one of the holes so much easier.
On the brighter side - I figured out (for the most part)
how I want my legs to extend from the body. It's hella-
cool, I'm going to use gear racks (more on this later).
What else? Oh yeah, my last class is tomorrow. I somehow
managed to pass all the courses for my CS degree, but I
don't have enough credits to graduate from this particular
University, so I get to take this last class. Yeah, my
life is like that.
Whatever, as long as I get this robot to work.