Monday, July 25, 2011

gMeter: ...

Oops, it's August and gMeter is very incomplete. That's probably because the part I really care about (tangible mechanical things) are not the important part. Alas, progress has still been made and to satisfy the self-imposed minimum project SolidWorks/machining time, I came up with a cool sheet metal enclosure. I've never made one before, but SolidWorks has a great tool for laying them out, with a nice "flatten" tool to get a drawing of the part for construction. Got all the materials, time to cut, mill, and bend!

You'll notice a right flange is omitted, motivation for which will become more apparent later. Out of context, I'll admit, it's not very exciting. Especially following my last project, which could do wall flips! Though, anyone who has ever programmed a microcontroller will appreciate the inherent awesomeness of that itself. Which brings me to my next point -> electronics.

The board containing the logic and everything else is ready for fabrication. I'm going the DIY route and etching it tomorrow, so look for an electronics/etching post soon. I used an Arduino Nano to prototype everything before porting it all over to the ATtiny2313. This would have gone a lot quicker if I hadn't fried the regulator on the Nano and consequently the not-so-cheap ADXL335. Fortunately the Nano still runs off of USB power and a brave friend has loaned me an accelerometer. I look forward to having a nice clean pcb to replace this sea urchin looking setup.

I need to invest in normal-sized breadboards.

On the flip side of all this procrastinating, my attention has been finely concentrated into the sexiest thing on four wheels. In our 5th year of ECSEW, the tinyKart is a sub-50lb e-cart you can essentially wear. The idea being to make it lighter than a single battery from the original cap kart, circa 2008. Mainly this is done through prevalent, if not exclusive, use of 6061 aluminum. Without a driver it will have a better power-to-weight ratio than a Lotus Elise, with a -healthy- driver the figure is more comparable to an E92 BMW 328i. I say will because as you can see it still needs to be wired up. More to come on that and gMeter very soon as the August building marathon begins! Leaving for school in 11 days, bring this.