Project Log

February 10th, 2004: Lab Day 3 Semester 2

Where: Jobst 248

What got done:

Today was a fairly traumatic day in lab. The only good part of the day was that we managed to get our motors, gears, and wheels ordered. We also sent off for the voltage regulator we will be using for our power supply. Now for the down sides. The admittedly unsophisticated microprocessor interface between the microcontroller and the hbridge is not going to work. I've come up with a new plan that uses a buffer IC that provides an open collector output. I'm hoping to use a pull up resistor to provided the needed voltage for the MOSFETs. On that note the MAX660 voltage doubler is a fantastic little chip that will be providing us our 6V rail. I received the MAX660's in the mail yesterday. Maxim, the company that makes the chips offers free samples to anyone who asks. One other good thing did happen I guess. Ajax got some code up on the microcontroller and made some lights flash. It was demo code but still its code working on a board and that's a start. However, while working with our microcontroller we found that it did not come with an A/D converter. We double checked our documentation and the catalog from Phytec and it sure enough was supposed to have one. Talking to our advisor it would seem that there was a miscommunication between ourselves and the lab director resulting in the ordering of the wrong microcontroller. This makes our task even more difficult due to the new need to interface an external A/D converter.

What needs doing:

First off we need to find an A/D and then we need to figure out how to interface it. After that I need to redesign the interface hardware for the microcontroller. We also need to get moving on some software and the sensory inputs. We have an IR transmitter receiver pair so we can get to work on the communications as well. The miracle effort must now begin.