12/29/2015, Initial code complete

Screwed up title of last post.  Oh well.  I’ll correct it after I finish this post so people don’t get spammed with two different updates on the same day.  Hopefully WordPress is smart enough not to do that, but who knows.

Joe keeps reminding me that I don’t need to support incandescent bulbs.  The incandescent boards simply support higher current outputs.  A typical incandescent bulb is about 200-350 mA of current (depending on if it is a 44 or a 47 bulb).  The Ablaze 4 SMD bulbs that I have tested are around 80 mA of current.  The incandescent board can support about 350 mA continuous current per bulb.  It can just as easily support LED bulbs, they just have less current per bulb.

So I had to send a bunch of Christmas presents out just before Christmas.  I ended up trying out Ship Gooder. In the US, these guys really rock for low cost shipping.  Even checked out prices of shipping stuff to New Zealand and they were way cheaper than anything else I could find.  Shipped a rather large 16 pound box (16.5″ x 16.5″ x 16.5″) to Pennsylvania for about $10.50.  Stuff got there in about 2 days which is fantastic.  The price was so cheap that I thought it might be a scam, but all packages were received successfully.

Spent far too much time creating a test fixture.  What I thought would take a day ended up taking about 3 days of my hobby time.  For some reason I love creating test fixtures and automated tests for that matter.  Maybe it is coming from a regulated environment and far too many startups.  It also partially comes from my first job of having manufacturing located in the same building as engineering.  When the people on the floor had problems they came up and asked you questions and then you had to go down and fix any issues.  It really taught you to make sure things were working/tested properly so you didn’t get to a situation where you had questionable software and hardware.  (For reference, it is almost always the software)  Of course, I’m not going to run the boards through a heat chamber for 3 days with cycling temperature to verify all the solder joints, but I do remember when that was the gold standard for board manufacturing.

Completed a significant update on the board interface document.  I removed the first generation card information to make it significantly more readable.  Added pictures showing the pinouts of the wing boards.  Added Python example code for generating the CRC8.  Here is a link to the brdIntf document in PDF format.

Still have issue with first neopixel, but haven’t actually taken time to look into it yet.

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