PComp, Wk 13: Semaphore Jacket – Progress, Pt. 3

ok before I get started

I’ve been watching the “Great British Bake Off” as I work on my soft circuits and JUST as I was typing the title of this post I hear the word “semaphore” and I’m like, am I going crazy? BUT NO. Norman, a contestant on the show, KNOWS semaphore and one of the hosts asked him to spell out BAKE in SEMAPHORE.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/scottybryan/norman-really-likes-exotic-pesto?utm_term=.ttzzg7xNO&sub=3417565_3591391

See guys, it’s a real thing.

Anyways, on to the actual post…

So, I was feeling stuck. My first circuit was a dud, my second circuit was a dude and so was my third. I couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on, so I started asking around. Joe helped me do some multimeter tests and while it said connectivity was totally good, when we plugged it into the microcontroller? Zip. Tried a regular arduino uno? Nada.

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Joe being super helpful

At this point, Teresa came over. Her multimeter also said the connections were good, but nothing on her Gemma either. Then Teresa had a stroke of genius and realized that I sewed my neopixel data line incorrectly – instead of stopping and tying off between each point, I was carrying data through to the very end! (makes sense why the last one worked intermittently). >< oops. Well, I may have wasted almost 7 hours of sewing but I felt totally fine because now I knew what my problem was and I could keep going!

So, I ripped out my seams (not an easy task, I did a really good job sewing those connections) and set about cutting out two more squares.

I also made them a bit bigger than last time, just in case! Improvements.

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So onto Iteration…8?

I re-sewed my circuit, making sure to really carefully read this page on how to sew neopixels and actually watch the video. If there’s anything that I’ve taken away from all of this is to REALLY read through all documentation first. But also that some lessons do need to be just learned through mistakes and practice practice practice.

When I resewed it, instead of soldering the wires I actually bent and sewed them down like we’d done in soft lab:

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I also obsessively put clear nailpolish on all the end points/knots to ensure no-frays, crossed wires = shorts

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So – 4 time was the charm! I tested it with Kate and she showed me how to thoroughly go through with a multi to make sure the things that touch do and those that shouldn’t don’t.

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I took it home, hooked it up and was able to run the strand test!

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I also tore apart my other circuit, then tested my neopixels and YES! did not burn any of them out. HOORAY! so now off to sew the second.

Also, tried to play around with code but so far not getting anything to work aside form the strand test.

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09. December 2015 by zoe.bachman.itp
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