I've managed to keep on top of things for a while but now there are a large number of tasks queueing up again. I'd love to know why project work is so bursty - admittedly my scheduling is fairly ad-hoc but it seems to happen in commercial projects I'm involved in as well (where I don't get to set the schedule).
Anyway - here's whats in the queue at the moment ...
My updated Babyduino boards have arrived (my first attempt at a board design was not as successful as I had hoped). The new boards at least have correct component footprints and seem to match my original schematic and breadboard layout so I have high hopes for them.
I haven't had a chance to solder up a sample one yet, hopefully I'll get an opportunity to do that this weekend. I don't think I'm going to get a lot of time to do any serious testing though, if I can get them to a stage where I can load a sketch and blink some lights I'll be happy for now.
I published the 3D files for the PiStation up on Thingiverse a little over a week ago and that's generated a good response. I designed some PCB layouts for the button board and power supply for that project to replace the stripboard versions I was using (once again, I used Seeed Studio for the boards). These arrived yesterday so I can make up a newer, prettier (internally at least) version of the project.
I've also come up with a better way to mount the PCB's inside the case which will require some changes to the design of the printed baseplate. I'm working on that tonight and hopefully can having something printed to test by the weekend as well. Some more soldering and hopefully I'll have a second unit completed (this is now version 3 of the design though) and running. Which is handy because I'm going to need it for the next item on the list ...
Bench Testing Tool
I've gone through a number of iterations on the base design for this project and I've finally settled on a set of specs and have a pretty good idea the hardware I'm going to use. Tonight I hope to get this site updated with that information and send the appropriate links and feeds to the competition site so it can be tracked easily. I'm already a bit behind on this but judging by the state of the competition site I'm not the only one.
More details on this in the near future - there's no point duplicating here what I have to write up for the competition anyway. There is a lot of software development involved with this project than with most of my other hardware oriented projects and a definite fixed timeline so it is going to get priority over most other things. Luckily I can reuse a lot of parts, techniques and designs from some of my previous projects as well so hopefully that will help cut down the implementation time.
So, a lot of things have come together over a short period of time - I'm going to have a couple of busy weekends ahead of me to try and keep up. As I mentioned earlier the Bench Testing Tool project has priority - that one has a fixed deadline associated with it if I want it to be considered for the competition. There's a bit of pride involved there as well.