Light Probe – No Shortcuts

I’ve been too busy lately to really commit the time to go build out a proper frame for the light probe. Instead I’ve build a bunch of half-assed mock ups which all generally suck and failed to work.  I guess the moral of the story is that there is no shortcut here and I need to just go build the thing.

That said, I’ve decided to add a dedicated CLI tab to the application so I

The CLI Tab

don’t have to keep switching back to the Arduino IDE’s serial monitor. The next step is getting it wired up. This will require me to learn some new techniques as I don’t really know how to write a buffer type variable, or even if one exists that I could just make use of. While contemplating this I again found myself looking for a quicker easier way to do it, and again half-assed some things that didn’t work and were rolled back.  Again proving to me that there are no shortcuts. I think I might include that on the site motto going forward…

Latest build here.
Latest source code is on GitHub.
I’m on Twitter. 

Light Probe – Update

Spent a good chunk of this weekend tinkering. Got the Arduino IDE for Visual Studio plugin up and running. (and mostly functional), though I still can’t get it to actually upload to the Arduino. Still, it beats running one IDE for Arduino and another for C#! Plus I wrapped the Arduino Code, Fritzing file, and C# code all into one Solution and got it on Github.  The servos are mostly reacting as expected finally.  Still some tuning required, but we’re making progress. Some highlights from this weekend include:

  • Servo’s move different amounts based on how much variance there is between the sensors. Bigger difference between sensors, bigger movement. Then as the sensors get closer together the distance moved each time decreases.  Eventually, I’ll map this to a parabolic function or something similar, but for now it’s all about KISS. I’ll eventually probably also eventually adjust the delay in a similar fashion to allow the servo to complete it’s moves before the next cycle.
  • Cleaning up! While it’s not sexy and doesn’t really bring any new functionality, I did some (desperately needed) housekeeping on the Arduino code.  Just the basics… combining redundant code into functions, commenting things, etc.
  • Consolidating into a real version control system! I had to learn how to use Github at some point. May as well be now…

Goals for this week:

  • Build the prototyle hardware. Probably going to mock it up in cardboard before I hit the shop for real.
  • Get manual calibration of the sensors working
  • Get manual calibration of the servo limits working

That’s all for tonight. You can check out the code and schematics at the Github page.