Cool Engineering

Info on some cool engineering projects

Sunday, December 23, 2007

PhD Announcement

After much prodding and and suggesting from fellow engineers and scientists I have decided to commence a PhD in 2008. The topic will be initially broadly related to underwater robotic vehicles and will hopefully develop into autonomous fault tolerant control of my ROV. Apart from this I will be writing the lecture notes for a second year subject encompassing digital electronics and microprocessors, delivering some of the lectures, writing labs and tutes - and in general being somewhat of an academic.
Having said that I should now have more time for engineering consulting - so contact me with project propositions.

Friday, December 21, 2007

More PCB's

One of my current projects (the UV PCB exposer) is currently on hold as one of the guys from work gave me his one that he made a month or so back. Last night it had its first work out and exposed two boards with excellent results.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

PCB Work

Over the last week or so I decided to get cracking and try and complete some projects that I have been working on for ages. To facilitate this I turned out 2 PCB's in a week - one to control the ROV complete with H-Bridge drivers for each of the motors and the other to control the agitator project. Having tried a couple of different etching techniques I always find I'm happy with the photo - etching results, and yet again the photo etching gave excellent results on what is a reasonably complex board.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Controlling the ROV

Yesterday I picked up Visual basic again after a 3 year absence and threw together a controller for the ROV. This is initially just for prototyping and will enable the user to control each of the 3 thrusters, as well as arming and disarming the ROV.
I have initially chosen a standard similar to the NEMA standard used by GPS recievers. This is a simple layout with comma delimiters, an XOR based checksum and clearly defined message bounds ($ and *).