Welcome to the Thornlea NoCO2 Project Site

Welcome to the official website for the Thornlea Secondary School, NoCO2 Launcher Project. For first time visitors, please start from the bottom of the blog and read your way up, doing so will allow you to read "up" to where we are today. There is also a convenient Archive of posts on the right sidebar under "Blog Archive". There are options to subscribe to the blog at the bottom of the page.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Update 16/06/13 Controllers

UPDATE 16/06/13: The making of the acrylic launch buttons/controllers has been interesting, using a piece of 1" Acrylic rod cut 4" long and drilling a hole vertically through it. I will be using 4-wire Telephone extension cables to connect the controller (2 wires for the switch, 2 for an LED so that users can confirm that the controller is plugged in properly).

As you can see here, I kinda messed up the first one

The trick according to my teacher was to go slower.

The next one I did was essentially almost perfect

and the final one was a pain and I broke the drill press at school in the process.

But in the end, I succeeded

Lessons learned: drill slowly (maybe only a couple cm at a time, and allow 5-10 minutes to cool down, don't rush it), if your going to cool it with water, do it from the beginning or don't do it at all, otherwise it separates (as you can see halfway through the second one), never stop the bit inside the acrylic or thats the end of it unless you can pry/spin it off, lastly, it's important to have an emergency stop, that saved my butt more than 4 times on this project.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Wrap up of working at school

With Summer Vacation around the corner, I have to face the reality that this is no longer a school project and have taken it under my wing as what is probably the most expensive/advanced personal project I've ever done. I would like to take a moment to post from my facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cal920c/posts/10152952895525512 :

Modelcarlauncher.blogspot.com hit another snag today, the program it seems is incompatible with Windows Xp (SP2 & SP3). Working with the programmer (unsure if he wants to be named) on a solution, or if we should just write it in the manual. With exams right around the corner, I hope this thing moves more smoothly from now on! gotta thank Numato Lab for helping me diagnose problems and for the boards. Without them over 50% of this project would've been impossible. thanks to my consulting teams as well. Hopefully this thing will be ready for final delivery to Thornlea S.S. (my school) by September. Monday and Tuesday I'll have to collect everything I need from school one final time before the summer, as well as send the DOA GPIO32 (which Numato has graciously UPS'd a new one to me) back to Numato for diagnosis.

As mentioned above, I'd like to thank Numato Labs for their ongoing support of this project. I will soon have some more pictures, this time of the launch controllers (the boards haven't done much as the GPIO is DOA). In addition once the code for the Relay is done (without the GPIO), i'll post that separate from the final code for anyone who doesn't wish to use the GPIO with their unit. Right now as stated were having some Operating system compatibility issues.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Update on situation

UPDATE 07/06/2013: Hoping to speak with Consulting Team 1 this weekend. Will have to check with the school office on monday to see if Serpac has sent out enclosures to us, Or I'll order the samples through my company email (if you're doing this, check with your employer/administrator first).

Good news summary: Relay tree and solenoid code is almost ready! Final assembly is in progress, pictures coming soon!

Good news detailed: RELAY16 code is just about final with a few glitches, that should be ironed out soon. I'll publish it and the VBL files in a ZIP archive when I receive them from Alex.  I have also begun "Final Assembly" even without the working code for the GPIO module; So far I have drilled out positions for the LED Race Trees for both sides of the track and am soldering resistors to the top "Pre-stage" and "Stage" LED's. Pictures will be up soon. Pieces of the mounting frame are being designed in eMachineShop CAD and will be transferred into VCarve (somehow, have to talk to my teacher and a classmate who's an expert in CNC).

Bad news summary: GPIO32 is DOA (until I figure out otherwise), the semester will end before the project is complete.

Bad news detailed: I'm in talks with Numato labs in diagnosing the GPIO32, so far it's not looking good as I have checked: "Pin set to USB Power" "Green LED is solid, not blinking" & "Cable is functioning correctly". This will delay the project further. On that note, I have approximately just over a week of school before exams, therefore I have talked to my teacher earlier today expressing that I wish to take on the project over the summer, essentially: My in-school project just became my summer project.

Thanks, Calvin

UPDATE 04/06/2013: No new code, and not much progress thus far, Will be speaking to VB Alex on June 5, 2013, he said he has code he wants me to try out,also I have just finished speaking with Consulting team 1 on the Arduino Interrupts. Hopefully a productive week ahead, 11 day's to go before this thing must be working.

Serpac Still has not responded about the Boxes.

Once again, I would like to thank Numato Labs for all their help on this project as well.