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!