Let's Make Robots!

First blog post

I'm thinking this might be a better way to track what's going on with my bot (and me with robotics) rather then clutter up the bots page since not much of this is pertinent to the bot itself.  I am still working on it, and I have not disappeared... not that anyone would notice the new guy who never participates in anything leaving. :)

I work as an apprentice electrician (IBEW Local 340) and was recently laid off because of lack of work.  This happens a lot as we work construction and when one job is nearing completion there are less people needed.  As I'm waiting for another job to start up I have time to work on things, just less money to buy them with because unemployment only pays about half of what working does.

I haven't put as much time into my bot as I would have liked lately, as while working it turned out that I only had about 1 day a week (Sunday) to work on it.  And once football season started up I only had about half a day on Sunday as I like to watch the 49ers play.  (Go Niners!)  Also I had started working on another little electronics project which wasn't a robot, I was thinking about putting it up on here, but at the moment it's something that I think might be marketable so I don't want to put it up on the internet until I've completed it and looked into whether or not I could market it.  I think it's a good idea that hasn't been done before and don't want to kick myself later for someone else making it. :)  Once I've exhaused selling options I plan to put it up here for other people to enjoy if they want.

As far as actual progress on Mattingly, well slow isn't even the word to describe it.  I've almost all but hit a complete roadblock in soldering up the board.  I got it all done then hooked it up and one of the 555 timers wasn't functioning at all even though all of it's pin readings were correct.  So I swapped it out with another in case that one was bad and the same thing.  I resoldered the entire socket for that 555 and tried to test it and my regulator wasn't working.  I don't think I burnt out the regulator (though that's a very real option) I think that it might just be poorly soldered in.  So next I'm going to have to resolder that mess.  If that doesn't work I'm contemplating just scrapping this board entirely and starting a new one with the kind of board that has the little copper plates on the bottom as it was a lot easier to use on my other project.  I just hate resoldering the whole thing as there are a LOT of connections.

Another option I'm exploring is buying a small breadboard and hooking it up through that.  (the only breadboards I have are big)  I don't like the "unfinished" look of that but if I made it a part of the chassis it wouldn' really be that bif of a deal.

Anyway, there's my rambling "update" as to what's going on.  Sorry for the length of it, if anyone's actually still reading this then I applaud and feel sorry for you. :)