01/15/2019 at 05:22 •
After a long lag I'm working on the hardware for the next version of the Tricorder!
It's not a huge change from the Version 5 to Version 6, more of cleaning up the current design that the Version 5 ended up with. The soldering work is about half done right now, I still need to finish up the sensor array, additional sensors and the door assembly.
The current Version 5 will have some of it's sensors moved to the V.6 (the GridEYE, 9-DOF/ATM, UV sensors) and everything else will be the same sensors in smaller breakout boards.
Changes with the Version 6:
- Slightly re-designed, a bit wider and shorter to allow a touch more room
- Different sensors for:
- Gas sensing, got the newer version of the sensor board
- LUX, IR sensors replaced with same IC but smaller breakout board
- This Feather M0 has a Packet Radio for if I make any hand scanners in the future, still unsure of that
Ultimately I want to keep the older version working, likely remaking the casing so I can fit bulkier sensors into it (like the shape of the TNG Medical Tricorder). Since both will be using the same Feather M0 boards I also want to write one firmware that will work on both units if possible.
Right now I'm focusing on the hardware and will resume on the code afterwords.
06/04/2018 at 22:58 •
Small update- Got a bit of work done on the code today, expanded the Radiation scan mode's functionality. Now it shows avg pulses/second, avg pulse strength (in uSv/h) along with the last pulse detected.
Part of this was making a timer based off of the RTC to count how long the scan mode has been on, this could be useful in other modes later on as well.
I also got a bit further on in building a framework to allow a more interactive UI. The ultimate goal is to have the ALT button switch the button pad's functionality to that of a D-PAD along with Confirm, Cancel and Back. This'll give me a lot more to work with, like highlighting scan elements or using a menu structure. A lot of work to do on this however...
The updated code has been attached to the project, v10.
04/13/2018 at 02:17 •
In the past year the external appearance of the unit hasn’t changed much, it’s all been internal hardware and code changes. As the photos show, the mainboard is getting to be a rat’s-nest of wiring with all of the changes and adaptation that I’ve done. The code, actually, is a lot cleaner than when I was at the same point last year. It’s able to do a fair bit more but isn’t using much more of the Arduino’s (Adafruit Feather M0 Adalogger) memory (still hovering around 30% at this point).
The sensors in the unit haven’t changed a huge deal, I’ve gotten them to work a bit better though and have even been able to adapt the libraries for the Gas sensor to work with the M0 controller (more brute-force really but it works). The total sensor list is posted below.
At the moment I’ve gotten 2 replacement sensor part. One to replace the Grideye sensor so it’s smaller (I can’t do surface-mount soldering yet) and one to replace both the atmospheric sensor board and the 9-depth-of-field sensor board that captures movement. The second will combine both the ATM and 9-DOF into one very small package, saving on the limited internal space within the Tricorder.
There are a few things I want to add into the unit so far: GPS (for both location data and accurate clock updates), Haptics (feedback from button presses, sensor alarms), and finding a replacement and higher quality display are my biggest. The largest hurtle right now is getting the code solid, using the display to give clear and accurate readouts of the sensor data, and eventually rebuilding the mainboard and chassis. The chassis’ ABS/aluminum/polycarbonate construction is rock-solid (it’s been hanging out in my camera bag for the last year) but I want to clean it up since the off-square lines in the current one bother me a bit.
My big inspiration for the project has been the Open Source Science Tricorder by Peter Jansen. It’s an incredible project and I have major respect to the creator.