Saturday, June 2, 2012

Catching Up

Wow it's been a long time since I last posted. Busyness and schoolwork and then moving to Dallas for a summer internship at TI and general laziness added up, I guess.

In chronological order:

My good friends Jamison Go and Xo Wang and I visited MIT and MITERS over spring break mid-March. We managed to bring three electric vehicles in two pieces of luggage: Safety Razor, Razor Wind, and the newest incarnation of Velociryder with breadboarded (but functional) circuitry. This involved a panicked redistribution of weight in front of the luggage check in as our suitcase ended up being 70 pounds, while the limit is 50. In the end, our flight was successful, and the TSA screeners didn't lose any parts.

While at MITERS, us Georgia Tech guys completed a 12 hour build, the Scooter-Ass-Kart, one of the most dangerous vehicles to ever have been constructed there.

Two people wiped out riding it, and one battery pack damaged. Thank god for dent tolerant A123 cells.

Upon return, I started assembling the Velociryder's actual circuit board. While the breadboard + Arduino works, its not pretty, and doesn't use the encoders.

Hot air reflow.

Everything is so nice and straight and aligned.
I ignored common sense and soldered everything on at once. Luckily, neither soldering errors nor circuit design flaws damaged the PIC microcontroller. When I was clicking around the programmer, I accidentally sent 5 volts to the chip instead of the required 3.3 volts. Now, whenever I try to program it, I get verification errors, always in the same block of memory. Ah poop. Discouraged by this setback, I put the Velociryder back on the shelf.

While at MIT, everyone else had practical vehicles. That is, they move faster than the Velociryder's slightly-above-walking speed. And they were lighter. Knowing I would be going to Dallas over the summer, most likely car-less, I decided what I was going to do. Make something useful! Thus, project Scooty Puff was born.

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