As the date of my last project log shows, I haven't been working on the Waffle project lately, for a few reasons:
- I reached the maximum memory available on the ATMega328. I'm not an efficient coder, but I realize that if I need to implement the features I want to (nice menus, file transfer interface, message saving, etc...), I'll need more memory.
- Got involved in a 2nd masters degree until late may, I've got less time to work on it...
- Less motivation altogether, other projects pop up in my head...
I'd still like to move this project forward, by restarting from scratch. I've learned the following lessons:
- SMD is not that hard to solder! As long as I stick to the pitch I've used so far, I can hand-solder it...
- Think about battery management from the start!
- Think a bit more about tolerances when designing 3D-printed cases.
- DirtyPCBs is amazing.
- PCBs with round corners are nice.
Cue the Waffle v2.0! Preliminary specs would be:
- ESP32 controller, would add Bluetooth/Wifi capabilities, along with the power of a 32-bit microcontroller! Still waiting on the software stack :)
- RFM69 radio module: they seem to use an efficient digital mode, optimized for battery usage, while staying on the 70cm band.
It'll have to wait until I make it home, get some dev boards to start designing a portable device...