Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sensor flakiness is flakey

By definition, a flakey sensor is flakey in its flakiness right?

First thing this morning, I set up the sensor on a brick in my workshop and blew air on it with a fan for a while. It seemed fine.

Then I set up the sensor on my mast in its retracted position, which (I hypothesize...) does not give as clean airflow but is good enough for reliability testing. Melissa and I drove around town with it turned on.

Note how the mount does not quite allow it to be set up horizontally, but it simulates about 30 degrees "angle of attack" in this position which is just fine for getting reliability data. This is Melissa acting as PIC of the test vehicle.

The result was that, after a whole morning of shopping and driving around, the probe worked just fine.

Well schmell. That's frustrating. Not only an intermittent failure, but one that's dastardly hard to reproduce.

The good side is that we can continue to acquire data and work around this problem with ops -- e.g. I suspect that disconnecting the battery after switching the circuit off drains it down enough to reset whatever is in there that gets confused. One version of this probe had an on/off switch for the battery itself, which I can easily resurrect. Also, I need to take more data on the voltage drain-down.

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