Older blog entries for aplumb (starting at number 17)

My pack of ultracapacitors arrived yesterday. Now all I have to do is make time in between work and caring for a newborn to start work on my Sapien Autopsy to graft them in as a battery replacement power system...

Jin, brilliant as always. I like how you wired the ADXL202E on DIP8 socket for test; I'm going to have to borrow that idea.

In other news, my two Robosapiens arrived, but not before the baby arrived, so deconstructing them will have to wait. I have a few ultracaps on order (thanks Steve), my goal being to replace the battery-based power system with caps in one of the Robosapiens and rigging up some solar trickle-charging to keep them topped up.

Ah yes, if you buy more than 100 ultracaps they only cost $22 each. No I didn't buy that many; I asked when quantity price-breaks kick in.

Steve, thanks for the link to those 350F caps!

Any idea on the cost and who might carry them?

Welcome to the site, Jin!

I know a lot of people around here are going to find what you've been up to (and sharing with ORE) most interesting.

pcalnon, when you look at the datasheet for the ADXL203, the leads/contacts are the brass-coloured rectangles you can see on the middle picture, right next to the penny. They are all surface-mount devices, so not the easiest thing to work with.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend investing in one of the little Evaluation Boards. You can plug them into any old breadboard and start exploring what they do right away.

Hope this helps!

Hey Steve, if getting the spybotics to drive in a straight line is proving challenging, consider equiping it with a MEMS rate gyro, interfaced via I2C out of a PSoC. The voltage delta out of the gyro is proportional to the turning rate and signed, so it shouldn't be too difficult to do some simple self-calibration and control.

I should have some more time this weekend to continue exploring the PSoC Mini Dev Kit.

Well, I don't think I'm going to make tomorrow's deadline for the contest; a single weekend isn't enough. It's gotten me off to a good start though. It motivated me to power up the MEMS Accelerometer and Gyroscope Eval boards I picked up a while ago.

Ideas and plans are coming together...

25 Mar 2004 (updated 25 Mar 2004 at 15:51 UTC) »

Almost completely out of the blue, I received a PSoC Mini Development Kit earlier this week for Cypress' PSoC International Design Contest.

...the deadline for submissions is midnight, March 31, 2004!

I'm going to hide out in the basement over the weekend and see what I can come up with. Fortunatetly there are lots of related resources available online:

This is one cool family of chips! An interesting way to add reconfigurable, analog sensors and actuators to your 'bot.

[edited to add link to PSoCDevelopment site]

There is hope!

A colleague at work suggested having a look at Knoppix. It's a full Linux install on a bootable CD.

It works so well, in fact, that I'm typing this from just such a CD session running on the board in question. Full USB support and everything!


Been spending the day, on and off, trying to get a Linux distro installed on the X-board. Decided to focus on Debian (network install) and LFS (install to a bootable USB drive on another system).

I found this site which describes the process for adapting an existing system to USB-boot.

The challenge with the X-board is that the onboard 128MB is the primary IDE partition - /dev/hda - and you can install one other IDE device as the slave - /dev/hda. The bios supports booting from /dev/hda, /dev/hdb (HD or CDROM), USB (mass storage), or network. No second IDE channel for /dev/hdc and /dev/hdd devices. I have a regular IDE DVD-ROM drive and one of those external USB HD cases. I can boot off an HD in the USB case, but stock-Linux installs "forget" that they're running off USB; the DVD-ROM isn't recognized as being a bootable device, so it has to be in the /dev/hdb IDE device mode to be usable.

So now I'm going to try the LFS route onto a bootable USB IDE drive, then use that to build a more compact install into the onboard /dev/hda 128MB flash.

Now if I could just find a source for the 200-pin SODIMM connectors to built a 'bot around this board...

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