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Fail Blog

Hello readers!  This is my (Ashish) first blog post and I wanted to show our progression while developing Switchmate.  We’d been talking about making a “fail blog” to show all the workarounds we’ve used due to a lack of proper equipment.  This is the first post of the fail blog series.

When we first began developing Switchmate, we very soon realized we needed a battery that could source > 500 mA of current (for the servo).  We began using AAA batteries as they meet this requirement and are a good compromise between capacity and size.  However, for the original prototype we needed 4x AAA to get the 6 V necessary to drive the servo.  Since we didn’t have a battery holder at the time, we used the back of Rob’s calculator as our supply:

Once we had made our “power supply”, we needed a convenient way to measure how much current the Switchmate was drawing so I needed a shunt resistor.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any low value resistors handy so I did the next best thing I could think of and put several resistors in parallel to get our mega-shunt:

Since then we’ve expanded our equipment repertoire and have begun to actually look like an electronics lab.  Much to the dismay of Daniel and Rob, I make a mess of our workspace every time I work on the electronics of Switchmate:

Even my dining table at home has not been spared!

This is the first of many fail blog posts.  Stay tuned for more and don’t hesitate to ask any questions!

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