We spent all of Friday morning on the project, as we were finally able to get some kit! We had already decided to work in a modular fashion, getting one step complete and working before moving on to the next, and so we started with the sound sensor, being the basis of our project!
We worked out how to wire the thing up with the help of this diagram from the parallax site (our sensor isn’t parallax, but it worked the same!) Wiring up is my worst thing with arduino, so I wanted to know I was doing it right and wouldn’t damage anything, and we were determined not to use a breadboard to keep it as portable as possible.
We then just opened the example analog input sketch, adapted it to show the output in the serial monitor, and uploaded it to see what we got.
Which unfortunately, was not a lot. We were definitely getting values from the sensor, because they changed when we unplugged it, but none of the values actually made much sense, as there was no response to anything we did to the sound sensor. We came to the conclusion that the sensor we were given was probably broken, thought we would check with Mike in the next session, and moved on to the next stage.
We found a really useful tutorial video from Jeremy Blum to help us work out the GPS module, in which he referred us to the TinyGPS arduino library which we found lovely to use. With the help of Jeremy, and the example sketches with the library, we had the GPS module working pretty quickly. We actually weren’t getting any data through, but this was because we couldn’t get a signal to the satellites inside Babbage, and decided we would take the arduino for a walk connected to Karla’s laptop on a day when it wasn’t raining quite as much as it was on Friday!
As we had a little time left over on our Friday session, we decided to move onto next week’s work of playing with the Wifly shield, and found another useful tutorial and library with example sketches to help. However, we couldn’t get it to connect to the SPI UART, so we couldn’t get much further than the start. As this wasn’t work for this week though, we weren’t to bothered by it.
It felt as though we hadn’t really achieved much in our days work, but when we looked back we had the sound sensor code working (and learnt how to plug it in!) even if the sound sensor was potentially dodgy, and we had the GPS going too, so we pretty much did achieve our goal for the day.