Project Log

February 3rd, 2004: Lab Day 2 Semester 2

Where: Jobst 248

What got done:

In lab today the H-bridge motor control system was implemented and physically tested. It appears as though the pspice models were very accurate to true life. For now I used the Mabuchi FA-130 motors that we have currently to at least test the circuit. All of the values for current and voltage was as expected from the computer simulations. We also were able to get the lab directors to install the software for our microcontroller. This came as good news but we were disappointed when the software turned out to be an evaluation version. The software is fully functional but is limited to 2k of code and data memory. This will not be enough. We will either need to get our board to work with the old version of Keil that we have a full license or find a way to use the new software. What ever the solution may be we have yet to find it. Later in the afternoon we got on the phone and began calling vendors for solar panels and motors. We had very good luck with the solar panels getting them ordered with a lead time of only about a week. Where we didn't have good luck was in the motor department. Apparently a 16mm motor costs roughly $100 with a gear train and encoder the package cost is $200 per motor. This would be $400 for one robot. Worse yet they have an 8 week lead time. At this point Maxon was deemed an undesirable supplier mainly due to the extreme cost and long wait. A replacement solution will be found.

What needs doing:

We need to find new motors ASAP. That is really priority one. The second thing we need to do is find some opto-electronics for our sensors. Along side of both of these we need to figure out how we are going to actually write the code for the system. Much needs to be done very soon in order for this to work. And thus the work continues.