Project update

Yesterday I promissed to update the code.

I’ve been able to do it, after some effort.

You can check the last version in the herschel’s svn.

We have some work to do in the immediate future:

  • Create a referee gun with the arduino board we bought yesterday from tuxbrain.
  • Decide how to integrate audio with the current hardware
  • Release designs of the boards
  • create some informative sections in the blog. Roadmap, TODO list maybe even create easy links for the first posts on the blog that explain what the project is about.
  • Make the posts both in Spanish and English.
  • Maybe even create an easier to read design for the blog.

In the not so long future we are working in getting our second batch of replicas done and figuring how to get and give more benefit to the community, for example being able to get help from other programmers and also being able to  help other people that would like to build their own replicas.


SVN round 2!

Yesterday I promised to upload the code. Today, I am struggling, again, with svn.

The other time I tried Josep suggested using GIT but I overread something about it and seemed that It wasn’t easier for me to start with it from scratch so I installed the svn console client (I had some experience with it some time ago).

I’m writing this as a reminder to myself and also as an uncomplete and not to clear guide for anyone having trouble with svn and sourceforge.

My steps, on a ubnut box are:

1. install svn

sudo aptitude install subversion

2. create a folder to contain the code

svnadmin create repo

3. Import the code to sourceforge

svn import -m 'your comment on the import'

I’m not sure if that is what was needed but this way the folder I created got associated with the svn repository.

4. download the already available code

svn update

5. make any changes you have to make. In my case the changes consisted in moving all the code I had to a folder inside the folder created in step 2. This is not the way to work in SVN. You should not use numbered folders like we do.

You can check info like that by typing svn info in the folder where the repository is.

6. add the files you create to the repository

svn add filename

7. commit them

svn ci -m 'comment'

From now on you should be able to upload code by making svn commit and retrieve it by making svn checkout.

By the way, I haven’t found the option to ftp upload in sourceforge. The old traditional ftp upload. If anyone knows where it is please let me know. I don’t know why but I always get lost in sourceforge, their interface design and my mind work differently and everytime I get a little glimpse of how it should work they redesign the website. Yes, it takes me a long time to figure how the website work.

Btw, the last version of the code should be uploaded to the svn right now but i’ll give it a dedicated post just to make it clearer.

Herschel’s Irtag at “workshop sobre arduinos”

Today the whole Herschel’s Irtag team (the two of us) has assisted to the arduino workshop made in collaboration between tuxbrain and null-lab at cerdanyola’s casal jove la gresca.

We had the opportunity to assist to a really friendly workshop and we also had the opportunity to speak briefly about our project.

We are suprised and really happy about the warm reception our project had and we are confident that there’s an oportunity for our project to grow outside our circle of friends.

We have also noticed that we should make an effort to better document our project and to publicize it.

We are going to upload a working version of the code tomorrow tops. We promise. Really.

Right now we are working on the audio part of our project and we are aiming to get a modular hardware for it.

Basically we want to have a dedicated artmega microcontroller with the audio part of the hardware that can communicate with our current main board.

But anyway it’s to early to be sure if that would be the way to go so we are wating to decide if we are embeding the sound in our main board or putting it appart before releasing the designs*.

It’s not that we don’t want to release them, is that we never had them in any digital format.

Again, thanks to all the people involved in the workshop and expect to hear more from us as late as tomorrow.

Working on the first batch of finished products!

In our last post we promised some great news. We have great news indeed!

Right now we are working in our first production batch!

We had the production prototypes finished for quite some time and we have some cool pictures of them but we are very lazy about our blog. We also think of it as something for the future, to look back and remember how the project grew. Sorry if there was anyone holding their breath for the update!

And here are the pictures!

Herschel's production prototype 1 front side

Herschel's production prototype 1 front side

Herschel's production prototype 2 back side

Herschel's production prototype 2 back side

Anyway, we made a demostration of the production prototypes a little more than a mont ago with our investors (read friends) and they decided to fund our first production batch (read “they decided to pay their share of the materials and participate on the workshop to build the finished products”).

I’ve uploaded the document for the presentation we did for our friends. Inside you can find some cool pictures of the status of our project. I think it will not be very usefull without us talking but, hey, pictures are pictures [1].

Right now we are working on getting the materials and some minor improvements (that we know should wait for the next version of the hardware but we can not wait and push them through all the process) and we are hopping to have 8 toys to play in the next months.

As for the maturity of the code we are having our first memory usage problems (arduino is a pain when it runs out of RAM) and we are restructiring much of our code (right now I should be writing strings in EEPROM but it’s dull and i prefered to update the blog, apology an all).

We have at the top of the //TODO list releasing some schematics of the hardware and making some kind of UML of the code. Right now it’s, appart from the comments inside the code, as undocumented as it can be. We are not planning to search for more developers any time soon, but we should start with some best practices or something like that.

[1] All the images and graphics made by us inside the presentation are under CC (same as the blog) all images that we got through google images have the licesnse their owners gave them.
We do not know wich license the document itselfs can be, because we used images from other people. We failed to clearly label the pictures so if anyone wishes to have something removed please let us know. We will try to replace the pictures with pictures of our own if needed.

Production prototype ready

The production prototypes are ready and they work.

They are beatiful and we are very proud of them but we are not posting photographs at the momment because we have a public presentation for our friends this sunday and we really want to shock their pants.

We will post some very big updates next week.

940th IRborne

Together with the effort to build the infrared “guns” we started putting together a group to play with. We started some months ago playing with water pistols and, although we are looking forward to the infrared guns we are having a great time.

Trodarlf, one of the team members, has created a logo for our team.

We can’t wait to proudly display it in the field once we have our prototypes working.

Infrared web cam

To test the dispersion of our beam of light we build ourselves an infrared cammera following the instructions found here.

We’ve been able to see our beam of light in a white wall like this:

The beam does not have a lot of distorsion, here is quite difficult to appreciate because of the lack of reference, but we get a “dot” of more or less 20 cm of diameter at 12 meters with the lenses we are working right now.

Unfortunately our lenses are very bad and we’ll need better lenses and in bigger quantities soon.

We are looking for some flat for one side convex at the other 3cm diameter lens.

The problem we are finding is that we do not know in which kind of shop buy “spare lenses”. So if anyone fins this post sometime and know the answer please leave us a comment.

Thanks future guy!

PD having a web cam that can record in the dark only illuminated by a TV remote control is quite cool.