September 6, 2015

Pebble Rocks Boulder (Day Two)!

A recap of day one can be found here

Outline of work to come!

Day two started out bright and early, we broke our project into three sections. Our pebble app section fell 80% in place by 1:30pm when we finally got around to breaking for lunch, but the Arduino and smartstrap sections of the app turned into a little bit less speedy. Our app uses the GPS from the phone (pebblejs), pebble smartstrap(c), and a serial connection to the Arduono. It took quite a bit of time to get on the latest Pebble version and release candidate which contains all the goodies to use the smart strap, because of this we worked mostly off CloudPebble, and tested on the one device. CloudPebble works pretty smoothly, but the overhead of switching pebble versions, and release candidates was a bit much. The developer environment we used for testing and most of the major development not only crashed, it caused the whole machine to lock up.

Testing setup on the arduino, notice the home made smart strap hookup
Testing setup on the arduino, notice the home made smart strap hookup

Sure there were a couple obstacles with the environment, and taking on to many new things at once, but its a hackathon!

Mike working on the UHF sending and receiving from the Arduino
Mike working on sending the UHF signal from the Arduino, and receiving via radio receiver. Most likely in-between catastrophic computer crashes.

We overcome a large portion of these challenges and are ending the night with a smartwatch on a paracord strap with a firestarter buckle. We have the hardware built for both our testing(Arduino) and production-ish(Teensy) environments. We are sending data from the watch to a computer completely free of cell phone service. We are getting GPS data from the phone, but struggling to get it all the way to the watch to send out in our UHF stream to satellites. We have several marketing/video type things built to help our presentation and explanation along.

Round 1 of our paracourd strap
Round 1 of our paracourd strap
Round 1 VS round 2
We got a bit better at the base of the strap on the second approach. Tomorrow = mounting our prototype.

Day two impressions: I still like pebble watch, but I am now realizing the constant pinging of the phone to location services is doing a number on my phone battery. Tomorrow I will try a static location. The pebble SDK is a bit rough around the edges since you can't write in C or JS, you will probably need to switch between. Mike has been dealing with a lot of the difficulties there, and it looks like quite a nightmare. The team of Scott Owen, Eric Starling, and Mike Cassano are really doing a great job with the real work as I draw pretty pictures, write on post-its, and beat all the Tetris records on Mikes RetroPie.

Eric, wielder of fire and heat
Eric wielder of fire, heat, and the golden sword of battle

More strategy work
Getting an idea of our outstanding work

More strategy work
Eric working on some design stuff, me working on the pebble app, and Mike chugging along on RF