This is my fourth and final post summarizing the work I did on the SharkDuino project before the creation of the blog, the first three parts can be found here.
This post will cover the work I did during the fall semester of 2015 and winter break. This post will be a little a shorter than the previous ones since this project went on a small hiatus during the fall semester for me to focus on school work. At the beginning of this semester we decided that we should start to create prototype sensors to begin getting preliminary data with. To do this we needed to create versions of the system off of the breadboard. To save money we decided that we would remove the pins on the set of components we had been working with so that we could reuse them in the prototype sensors. This sounds easy enough in theory but in practice it is difficult to desolder to remove the pins of the breakout board and ended up taking me quite a long time to do. Once I finished desoldering I then tested the components to find out if I had broken them during the process. I did end up ruining the micro SD reader while desoldering by accidentally removing the solder plates needed to make new connections to the board. Overall this process was long and painstaking, and worth it for some of the pricer components, such as the pressure sensor, but for the cheaper components I should not have bothered and just bought fresh ones.
Once all the components had the pins removed it was time to solder them together with wires. To do this first board I simply layed out all of the components on a piece of cardboard and cut holes in it, essentially creating a solderless breadboard. I then connected the components together with wires, splicing when I wanted multiple components to connect to the same pin on the Arduino. The results of this can be seen below, it’s not pretty but it worked.
After I finished soldering the device together everything did not immediately work. I started by first uploading a blank sketch the the Arduino to confits that it could connect to the computer. I then ran code to test all of the components individually and found that the accelerometer and temperature sensor were working, but the SD reader and RTC were not. After some long hours going over all the connections with a multimeter I was able to eventually identify some cold solder joints and repair them, once I did this the SD card began to work the RTC still was acting funny. After a little bit more troubleshooting I found that the battery one the RTC had died, I replaced that then got more normal behavior from the RTC when it was used alone.
Now with the hardware working it was time to get to work on the software. I found that all of the components would not work together properly. The SD would work with the accelerometer and temperature sensor, but once the RTC was added the SD card would break. The cause of this problem and my solution to it are the topics of my first weekly update.
This brings me up to when this blog began and I began posting weekly about the nitty gritty of the project. In this series I tried to give an overview of the work done without getting too bogged down in the details, but in doing so I am sure I left out some important information. If anything else of importance comes to mind, or I find some lost notes I will be sure to post about it. Regardless I hope this series has been informative about my early work on this project and provides useful context to the work being done now.