Week 3:  20th - 26th 
Weapons Check 

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Sunday the 20th Today's Pics 
You know, for the life of me I can't remember what we did today.  The days are slowly becoming one.  Anywho, I know we went to Jiu Jitsu from 1500 to 1700.  After that, we headed to base, ordered some grub, and got to it.  Since the element of mass destruction was basically built except for the minor details, in comes the coding.  Patrick pretty much coded the whole day wanting to bang out the seek out and destroy instructions asap.  Meawhile, Alberto and Derek began nitpicking the da Beast.  This included securing the rear wheels with bracing and the like.  Some arm work was done as well as prepping other sensors for their master.

Monday the 21st Today's Pics 
Monday monday mondaY....  hmmm....  I basically stayed in my barracks and worked from there (mainly on this webpage and some on the code).  Alberto and Derek worked more on the support structure for the da Beast (especially its back two wheels and the so called "chasis").  We met after 2230 (I had Jiu Jitsu practice).  There was a "party" at base however.  Mad people here and there... and more kept coming!  Amidst the chaos though, we were able to continue plowing through business and socialize at the time.  This day I finished the evasive manuevers part of the code while Alberto and Derek continued with the sensor prepping and mounting of them on da Beast (not to mention continuing the work of securing da Beast at all possible weak points).

Tuesday the 22nd Today's Pics 
Weapons check is beginning to gain more momentum.  Today we were at headquarters for most of the day beginning at 1400.  The supplies we needed were here at headquarters as well as practice battlefields on which to test and calibrate our Beast.  Among other things, we began modifications on the tires.  See, they were "squishable".... and that is no good.  Squishable to that extent caused far too much friction slowing down the bad boy significantly.  So, we loaded them puppies up with hot glue to make them harder.  Much much later (after we had bounced to handle separate obligations) we came to the computer lab one floor below.  Turns out the hardest thing on this beast is calibrating 90 degree turns.  There are many ways to implement this: time, shaft encoding, distance sensors, turning and using a wall to stop and right you, etc.  We were trying to implement the shaft encoding.  It sounds simple enough, go so many ticks then stop.  A tick occurs when the breakbeam of the shaft encoder is broken. However, OUTSIDE factors play a BIG part!  These factors include motor speed, weight of the vehicle, slippage, skidding, processor speed, location of breakbeam sensor and pully system on which speed axle...  wind...(heh heh that last one was a joke).  There are probably even more effects that are not listed here.  Anywho, this 90 degree turn business is no joke.  In the computer lab, it was on this turn we worked.  We tried different axles, different programs, and more but called it a night around 230-300.

Wednesday the 23rd Today's Pics 
Hmmmmm..... the early part of the day is a haze...  I want to say that we came to headquarters again and had to perform many modifications to the car (not all the sensors were mounted yet, some were not yet prepped, and some were not in optimal locations).  But since my memory escapes me...ahem

......Jiu Jitsu break......

Now at the computer lab, we began tests on the new sensors, and especially the shaft encoder.  Ninety degree turns were still not on point.  ....coding, testing, debugging....  Derek bounced around 230 since he had work in the morning.  Alberto and I remained till about 700 (yes people, it is Thursday morning, and technically all this stuff should be written under the next heading... but you catch my drift).  We tested the ability of the car to go straight, follow its competition program, etc.  Long night...

Thursday the 24th Today's Pics 
At headquarters again, we figured out something was messed the messed up with the shaft encoder.  Ripping the old one out, we acquired a new one and re-prepped/re-mounted it on da Beast. I did work on the axles, changing the gear ratio from 45:1 to 27:1 (like a said befo', gotta feed da need fa speed, heh heh heh), Derek took care of the encoder and the arm, and Alberto worked his magic with the soldering resoldering of some new and older sensors.

......Jiu Jitsu break......

Now at the computer lab, we continued car modifcation.  To make a long story short, we wired up the IR beacon, mounted the beacon too the wooden post that came with the kit, added "grappler" arms to the front of da Beast, re-mounted the bump sensors on the back of da Beast (making them more permanent), completely changed the the structure around the rear tires that we used for support, ...(proceed to friday....yeah this was a looooooooooooong night)...,

Friday the 25th Today's Pics 
figured out how the arm would be mounted, bought a servo, modified the servo for the arm implementation, added the center start light detector sensor, re-calibrated EVERYTHING, caused mischief, and made some noise.  Wow, that's a lot of stuff.  But it's still not over.  Derek had to bounce by 1000 to head to work.  Alberto and I continued to work way taking a break a little bit later to go to Wendy's and order up a Number 6 Biggie Size (w/ fruit punch... that was mine, heh heh) meals. Coming back was hectic.  Alberto could not find parking.... ANYWHERE!!  We drove around for some time, and nothing.  Eventually Alberto just dropped me off at the lab because Derek would be showing up soon (at 1200 or a little bit after) and went back to finding parking.  Derek was already at the lab and he and I got started again.  ...work work work... yup still here ... work work work...  Alberto is back ....do you realize we haven't slept yet???.... you know, people do WEIRD stuff when they lack sleep (sometimes they act as if they were high or stoned.... like on TV) ...work work work... the lab is filling with people again ...work work work... "Hey, I saw you yesterday.  An all nighter huh?" ...work work work... "Hey guys, check this out...heh heh heh..." Soooo, finally we got to a point where all car modifications were "complete" and all coding, debugging, testing began.  At some point Alberto had to leave, brain was on lockdown.  Derek and I were still at lab ...coding, debugging, testing... We came to realize that some more car modifications were necessary, performed them, then went back on cycle ..coding, debuggin, testing...  I eventually switched from testing the whole special op in one fell swoop to testing the individual phases of the special op.  ...2100...2200...2300...0000 (ummmm... its now saturday... we've been up for a while yo!).  Finally at 0030 we bounced.  Da Beast ver 2.??

Boo Boo: heh heh heh, yeah... you know how peeps accidently do things when they are tired? Yeah... so I hooked up the da Beast's sensors, motors, servo, etc to its on board computer.  I made the mistake of putting photosensor 3 in photosensor 4's port and vice-versa.  Anywho, this blunder was not discovered for a LONG time.  We were just baffled as to why in the WORLD da Beast was behaving so...... rebelliously. I thought we had tamed da Beast but now it was giving us the run around.  Anyway, I decided to try re-calibrating the sensors.  We were getting some WEIRD values.  For some reason, on one part of the black, sensor 4 was reading correctly, but on another side of the black, it was reading white!  The other team that was there noticed how perplexed we were and asked what was up.  We explained it to them beginning with Derek's "Yo man this WILD!  Check this out." They noticed that sensor 3's readings seemed to not change when they were supposed to, but did reflect the readings we were seeing at "sensor 4" on the LCD screen.  Then they said, "Your sensors are probably in the wrong ports cuz see..." ...yeah... we should get some shut eye.

Saturday the 26th Today's Pics 
....ahem.... yeah today I was not available till after 8pm...  Alberto and Derek on the other hand ==>

......Jiu Jitsu break......

After they went to Jiu Jitsu, Alberto and Derek went to base.  There they went over the code I had written in depth.  They also discussed the design of da Beast, the modifications made to da Beast late last night, priorities, goals for today, our strategy, da whole nine.  When I was finally free I called them up.  We got to lab about 2200.  Alberto somehow figured out a way to smooth out one of the output axles.  That was tight.  Next, Alberto and Derek worked on bracing the quick fix tire modificitions made last night, mounted and secured the arm's servo in its final position, and began mounting the IR Beacon.  I worked on updating this site while shooting to them ideas for different ways of doing da Beast mods.  Currently... I am waiting for them to finish so I can get my program on.

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This page was last updated on 7/11/03
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