Friday, April 21, 2023

Flakey flakes

It's hilarious how much of a project like this is about debugging random flakes, rather than the presumed creative and exhilarating stuff that some might imagine it to be.

I've been steadily working on getting a decent display, with an adjustment knob, installed in our airplane and also working for Jimmy. This is the state of affairs on our plane, when it's working:

Notice the nice knob on the panel, behind which there is a little power supply and a USB "volume and play/pause" knob.

So, I figured out the problem with the knob. I think. The problem is a combination of CircuitPython on the microcontroller, and a Raspberry Pi 3A+ (not 3B+ -- I mean 3A+, the stubby one with only one USB connector). Somehow, this combination is flakey. Now that I know, I am using Arduino to program my "volume and play/pause" and it works. Imagine that. The life lost that I will never get back. :)

Today I went off to fly with the setup. It was brilliant. Everything worked great. Until ... it didn't. All of a sudden, the display started blinking off, like it was losing power. I cycled power unsuccessfully a few times, but that didn't fix it. Oh well.

Back home, I put the display and its electronics box in a cardboard box, with a room heater pointed at it, a sex toy rubber banded to it (to simulate vibrations), and a full 14V on the input to the power supply. I also wiggled the connectors. Wouldn't you know -- nothing repro'd. :)


I'm suspecting maybe the power wiring I put in on the airplane end is flakey. Gotta check that out tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

I got my new probe parts in the mail. We have a basic bringup of the main PCB. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, my friend Jimmy is killing it at Outlaw STOL. Hey what's that weird thing on his wing?