A dated project report

Just found a draft of an electronics project report of mine, made in 2009:

After the construction of the Smapler, I came away with no soldering station. Dlade kept it, he liked it that much. So a few days after that, I went and bought a station kind of like it, at Electrokit in Malmö. I went there primarily to pick up a Motor Shield circuit board.

The kind shop clerk helped me understand and pick up all the components on the partlist I had included in my order. He was there on overtime, and still helped me. Note to non-electronics folk: A partlist is the textfile exported from the circuit construction application. It tells you what the component labeled R3 in the diagram should be in real life. They look cryptic at first glance, but they’re the very essence of informational economy. Tufte would be pleased.

Me and Dlade had been violent to an old inkjet printer, and gutted it for 2 motors, one DC and one stepper. The stepper motor I have here on my desk. Found its datasheet today! Sometimes it’s a gamble finding Asian manufacturers’ documentation, but it went well. Now I know that it’s a 24v stepper motor.

This was some time ago. I fixed a bug in the partlist (one component was listed with a wrong character in the name…)

The world has moved on since this report.

Dlade and I were not working together at that point, but we have worked together as colleagues for a full year between this report and now. We are no longer colleagues.

The local electronics shop, Electrokit, is no longer in the middle of a residential area, but in a far-away industrial zone. That’s sad; people I know used to come there many times a week. This past year I have been to their new shop exactly once. Freezing headwind bike rides discourage even the most motivated buyers.

My town needs more old-fashioned hardware stores. This image evokes the fantasy of a small-business shop. Morguefile user jari snapped this:

A fantasy. OK. Nostalgia-for-times-I-didn’t-have-to-live-through now put aside.

As I built the motor control board, I ran into a circuit description problem. Some of the values were wrong, and I never got that board to run my motors. I was told my the constructor of the circuit board that my version was an in-between one, and that it could never work. That deflated my enthusiasm for motor control.

As I said, the world has moved on, and now there are new versions of that circuit board.

Published by olleolleolle

Olle is a programmer, enjoying sunny Malmö in Sweden.

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