Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Today I finished all the hardware and got it to cycle according to the letters i type in, but i was not able to get the receiving part of my program to work so for now i am going to have to leave that problem unsolved. Now I'm staying up late working on my board and PowerPoint. Have a long night ahead of me.
Monday, January 18, 2010
For the past two days I've been trying to figure out the programming for my transmitting and receiving end off my system. It turns out it's pretty complicated. I have a basic idea for the transmitting half but the receiving side is not as much complete. Also I realized that to transmit video I need to do over 8,000,000 bits per second and my Arduino can't get anywhere that fast. I also picked up a golfball display case that just so happened to be almost the exact same size as my frame and I will be using that for my receiving half.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I solved my problem with the 5V working but not the pin. I still don't know why it does this but I've bypassed the problem. Insted of trying to get power strait from the pin I will put a relay in the circuit and operate the relay using the pin. This also means that I am able to test how fast I can cycle the laser. I figured out that I can cycle it on and off once every five one-thousandths of a second.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Today I started to work more on the programing. I got the receiving side mostly figured out. I got it so that when I point the laser at the photocell it will turn on an LED. Now all I need to do is replace the LED with a fire wire cable hooked up to a computer or camera. On the transmitting side I'm having some problems. The Arduino has two different types of ports in this instance a pin and a 5 volt port. The pin is hooked up to the program and the 5V pin just sends out power. I tested both with a multi tester and they both seem to have the same volts and amps. My problem is that I can operate my laser off of the 5V port but not the pin, but I can operate an LED off the pin or the 5V. This is a major setback until I figure it out. I also planned out my title and board with my dad.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
With two vices and a lot of elbow grease, I got the laser diodes, drivers, and focus lens, out of their cases. One of them I accidentally broke a solder joint, but that was easily fixed. The only bad part was that I badly scratched the nice original case. I also picked up a bunch of supplies from Radioshack. I got some general-purpose printed circuit boards for my power/Arduino board, some photocells for the receiving half of my system, a switch, and some cable-connector-maker. The cable maker makes everything removable, which I learn last year, is very useful. This way I don't have to desolder every time i need to change something. I also figured out my power system and what voltage battery I need.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The lasers came in today and according to how fast I can push my finger, it seems like they should work. I am trying to get the case apart without damaging the delicate diode or any other part of the laser. I figured out that it is glued in there very tight. I also worked more on my programs today and am getting closer to the final programs. I am programing using the Arduino's default programing, program.
Monday, January 11, 2010
As I did more research I realized I may not need to use the piezoelectric block idea, because I think I can just pulse the laser on and off fast enough. Expecting the lasers to come in tomorrow. Once I get the lasers I can test them to see if they can turn on and off fast enough or if they need a few seconds to warm up. Also I started on the programing today.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Starting up late this year. This year I'm build two FemptoSats that will transmit between each other via lasers. So far I ordered the lasers and an Arduino, and am working on learning the Arduino programing language. The design I'm working on is, have a laser point into a prism, that will split the beam in two, have one of the beams go off to the side and hit a mirror and have the other beam continue strait. The mirror, that the second beam is hitting, is attached to a piezoelectric block. This can be altered using the Arduino. I will send a message to the Arduino and it will digitize it into ones and zeros which will then alter the piezoelectric block accordingly. The second beam will then reunite with the first beam, and go to the second FemptoSat. The second FemptoSat will receive the laser signal and send it to the Arduino which will translate it back. One hard thing about using lasers is that the satellites will have to be very precise and exact to hit the receiving satellite. The attitude control will be using motors from a mini-helicopter. This will give the FemptoSat full attitude control.