28 May 2001 phil   » (Observer)

Well, I guess seeing as this is my first entry, I'll start off with the current status of my latest project.

Obviously, I'm working on a robot (yet to be named). I'm using a BS2SX as the controller. Being an experimental project, I'm giving it all the sensors I can think of: IR proximity,light, touch, sonar (if i can ever get the thing working), and sound (if I can ever understand op amps so that I can make an amplifier). I've also designed myself a carrier board for the BS. I decided that there weren't enough I/O ports for my purposes, so I multiplexed (and demultiplexed) them. I now have (when I make the board - I've only prototyped it) a BS2SX with 8 I/O, 8 inputs, and 8 outputs.

Being my over confident (yet so pessimistic) self, I may have made the project too big for just starting out in robotics. But then again, it's just a group of electronic circuits (or one big one, depending on how you look at it) on wheels. I have plenty of experience with electronics, that's helped me out alot though the course of this project.

Well....here's a list of what I've done so far:
-spend a few hours (over a course of a few days) doing research
-design circuits (except the sonar, which I found on the internet, I designed everything from the switch debouncer [no longer has a practical use after choosing not to make wheel encoders] to the IR sensor, to the BS carrier board)
-buy parts
-prototype circuits (sonar still doesn't work)
-design PCBs

Here's what I've learned:
-don't assume, double check pinouts
-moms don't like the table in the dinning room used as a workshop
-how to design PCBs (much, much better than point to point soldering) -other little things that I came across while doing research

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