I’ve given up hope of tying to keep track of how many days I have been working at my senior project. Honestly, there really is no good reasons, except to differentiate one day from the next.
In any event, work still continues on the robot. On Monday and Tuesday I worked on converting an old serial port ISA card into a new serial port ISA card. One might ask what I did to make such an astonishing converstion…other than add the word “new.” All computers need 12 volts to run the serial ports. Older computers accomplished this by actually having a 12 volt feed from the PSU (power supply unit) to the MB (motherboard). New computers don’t have the 12 volt feed on the motherboard. Instead, 10 volts is generated by a MAX232 chip. This prevents the board from having both 12 volts and 5 volts on the board at the same time, a potentially fatal issue. So anyways, instead of dragging 12 volts onto the board, I just removed half the chips (1489’s and 1488’s), resistors, and capacitors on the old serial port ISA card and replace them all with a handful of caps on a MAX232 chip dead-bugged on top of the 8250.
Today we finally got the GPS system working. It required a bit of working because the GPS system wants to accept 9 volts to 36 volts, but we only want to give it 5 volts. Since the electronics inside run at 3.3 volts, we knew there had to be a way to directly input power else where on the board. After some figeting, we finally got it to spew some data. And thus, the GPS worked. I’m currently working on integrating the GPS system into Robocart (that’s the new name I’ve given what used to be called R2 or robot two).