Ponoko (the place where I get my designs laser cut) recently had this 30% off weekend, in “celebration” of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Since laser cutting can get a little expensive (compared to what you get, anyways), and the Christmas delivery window was closing, I decided to get the enclosure design finalized ASAP. This was going to be done sooner, but I had Kim’s picture at the top of my priority list. Don’t trust me with deadlines if it involves shading. (it’s not actually that bad, it’s just me being retarded :c )
To get the designs sent off, I had to make any major hardware changes to the PCB that I needed to, now. The USB HID serial deal from my previous post is something that will require major hardware changes. (usb connector, removal of the old USB thing, etc)
The first part (or what I thought) of getting USB to work was getting the USnooBie bootloader installed. This bootloader would allow the TwitterScreen’s user to upload new code to the device, without an external programmer. Unfortunately, getting this bootloader to work was a pain. Even after about a day of working on it, I made no progress at all. Not long after giving up for now (I will be making this thing work some way or another), I realized that this bootloader was not mandatory. Still, having this bootloader would making things a lot simpler hardware-wise. I’ll have to deal with including a standard 2x3 ISP header for now.
Fortunately, the HID Serial code library worked right after getting it set up. After a while of messing with it, I noticed I could replace the “sleep” button with a software based solution. However, this proved to also be a pain to get working for now, so I’ll save it for the near future. As for the rest of the system, I was able to get the HID Serial library working well enough to finalize the locations of the “important” parts on the PCB.
That reminds me, I am not sure why I didn’t start out with Processing for the host-side application. It is based on a programming language I already know a decent amount of, and it was just easier overall. Since that HID Serial code library comes with a library for Processing, as well as Twitter4j, I will be basically moving to that platform.
The next step was adapting the enclosure design to the modified PCB, which didn’t take long. After a few painful hours of getting my Sketchup designs to cooperate with Illustrator (never used Illustrator until now), I was able to send the finished enclosure designs out to be laser cut. They should be here in just over a week if things go right. I should also mention that Ponoko did not have any more of the fluorescent green acrylic at the time of ordering, so I had to go with the next best color (I think?) : Translucent Gray
Once again, my top priorty is that picture for Kim, which I am actually making progress on. Once that is completed, I’ll get the PCB design finalized and sent off for manufacturing. Then, I’ll finish coding the thing. (this is not the most ideal order, but hardware changes should not arise anymore) If everything goes as planned (aka: I stop procrastinating), both of these projects should be completed before Christmas.
Also, here’s something related to my upcoming projects. c: