Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Hackweek Day 2

Added on by Spencer Wright.

Unsurprisingly, it's trickier to troubleshoot a handmade PCB than it is to make a PCB by hand. We (and by "we" I mean Zach, with my mostly moral support) spent a bunch of the day ringing out one weird bridge to ground. It's frustrating work, and we ended up only isolating it partially before putting our mind to more tangible problems (we'll return to it tomorrow or Thursday).

Added the thru-hole components. Click to "embiggen," or whatever.

Our board layout was a heavily utilized tool today. Click to "embiggen," or whatever.

Meanwhile, I spent a lot of the morning setting up a new domain to use for hosting projects. I also explored a few more APIs, and then spent the middle of the day refreshing my shell scripting chops. I took a UNIX class in college but couldn't invoke sed to save my life, and I suspect that our next step in getting some simple data transfer going will involve a serial port monitor, cURL and the Google Docs API. Suffice it to say that I've got a bit of re-learning to do before I can start learning again.

In the afternoon, we pulled out my XBees and did a refresher on their configuration. The new version of XCTU is available for Mac (thank god), but the interface is foreign to me and I had to familiarize myself before I could give Zach anything resembling a primer. By the time the evening rolled around, though, we had them up and running again, and Zach had played around with a high-temp temperature sensor enough to get it reading data to an arduino.  

Tomorrow we'll probably throw a few of these things together - XBee, the temperature sensor, and a AC rated relay - and get a feedback loop going that will boil water and then shut the hot plate (the same one we did our reflowing on) off. I would like to then use cURL to schedule the whole thing by making a PULL request from Google Calendar, but we'll see how the afternoon goes.  

Hackweek on! Spencer out!