Weekly Update 9-2-16 to 9-12-16

First off I still haven’t figured out where I want to fit these updates into the week. Right now I am thinking either Tuesday or Thursday, but we will see. Now that we have the housekeeping out of the way let’s move on to what I did since my last post.

I started this week by working on prototype 5. It is still not fully working, but it’s getting better and I’m narrowing down the problems. I have been going through the connections with the logic analyzer and have found a bunch of the connections seem very noisy and kind of bad. I have been doing my best to tighten these up but I’m not sure why this happened. I have done this a lot and have not had this sort of overall connections that transfer data but do it poorly. I do not know if I got sloppy connecting things or if I soldered poorly, or if the solder itself is being weird. It doesn’t matter too much though. I know the problem and not it’s all about fixing it. Right now the only non working component is the RTC, and I hope to get that sorted this week.

In addition to building prototype 5 I have been doing battery tests on the sharkduino. I have found that the device can run for about 43 hours at 2Hz and about 64 hours at 12Hz on a 400mAh LiPo. These time are much lower than we want, but not out of the realm of what we expected about the device. One of the big goals going forward is to increase these times. The first and most obvious is to just use a bigger battery, and we can do this to a point. We will probably use a battery at least twice the size of the one we did these initial tests on in deployment. The problem with just increasing the battery however is it does make the device larger, heavier, and more expensive. We are also going to look into ways of making the device more efficient. We need to check that there is nothing in the hardware or code that draining current unnecessarily. We are also exploring the idea of changing the integrated chips we’re using for some of the sensor to possibly find some lower power options.

Finally this week I have been doing a lot of research and planning for the semester. Due to budget reasons we need to buy a lot of what we want to use for the semester soon. Because of this I have been coming up chips sets I want to try for the wireless charging in addition to looking at kits to prototype NFC and BLE with. Additionally I have been thinking about the hardware I want for any other improvements or changes to board. This is all kind of difficult because I am essentially guessing what I am going to want to use in designs I haven’t made yet. In addition to this I have been doing general planning for the goals and focus for the semester.

I will outline some of the hardware choose and research I have done in a later post once the I have done more of it and the dust has settled a little.