Monthly Archives: August 2012

Updated the hardware page

I’ve updated the hardware page with what I’ve bought and used so far.

I expect two more major expenses (meaning > $10): The 5V rechargeable battery and possibly a new platform.

Progress

Lots of stuff has happened since last update. To start off, I received my L298N motor controller. It was relatively easy to hook up and I am now able to control the two DC motors!

Also, I received my CyberPower CP-H420P powered USB HUB. This allowed me to finally connect high-power USB devices such as a wifi adapter and a webcam.

The L298N controller does absorb a bit of the power to the DC motors, so I had to replace the 3xAA battery pack with a 4xAA one (from 4.5V -> 6.0V) to get adequate output from the motors.

The wifi adapter (TP-Link WN722N) was easy to set up. It works great and now connects on startup without any problems.

I’ve only tried one webcam (Microsoft VX-3000) so far. I’m able to grab some low resolution frames off it, but can only record about 2 seconds of video before it shuts down. I my try a different webcam as I have a few old ones laying around here.

The powered HUB works great as it is able to power USB devices and the Raspberry Pi – meaning I only need one power adapter.

I’ve also written simple software that allows me to SSH onto the RPi and drive it with a simple terminal program. It works well enough.

Still not there though. I’m currently looking at these challenges:

  • Getting a rechargeable 5V battery to drive the HUB and the RPi. I’ll still power the DC motors from the AA batteries.
  • Make the webcam work better for live video feed. I’ll try replacing the current VX-3000 with a different one.
  • Assemble it! I fear the Mr. Basic platform is too small (see photo) for the amount of stuff I need to put on it. I may be able to make it work, but it won’t be pretty.