Derek: 2007 05 16

Progress Update

Actuator Subsystem

1. The I2C wires, both serial data (SDA) and serial clock (SCL), were replaced from single core wires to multi-strand wires. This was because the multi-strand wires were more flexible, thus giving the subsystem the robustness. Any further wiring will be done with multi-strand wires (exception for jumpers on the PCB).

2. After replacing the I2C wires, I had to test the I2C connection. Firstly, the master controller will poll each of the slaves connected to it. If the slave is initialized, that is the actuator is at position zero, the slave will send a “32” to the master. Else, it will send a “44” to the master. Hence, using the LED bar on the master controller (see diagram below), we can observe whether the I2C connection is working properly by looking at the values which the slaves send to the master. The I2C connection was tested and is working properly.


3. The initializing mechanism (see diagram below) had been devised by Roshan previously and I had to implement it into the each of the actuators and test them such that the actuators stop moving down when it hits the limiter switch.


4. Another problem we encountered was that the coupling constantly dislodges which then prevents the actuator from functioning properly (see diagram below). We decided to reduce the gap by fixing metal bits in between the coupling and the top of the base to prevent the coupling from coming apart.


5. The actuator subsystem was tested and it is working properly, we will proceed to fix the mechanical arm.


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