Friday, July 31, 2009


The new Orcboards are in! Professor Olson created a revision that is signficantly smaller than the current Orcboards. What this means is that they will be both cheaper to produce and take up less space on space crucial platforms like the Splinters(planned to be mass produced) and the autonomous aircraft. While Professor Olson did the majority of testing for the new revision, I was asked to help in testing to see if everything was fine. I tested all the peripherals and most of the I/O(input/output), along with the current capabilities of the new Orcboard. Everything looks good!

I've been also asked to add support for half-duplex serial communications. Normal serial communications involves both a transmit and receive wire, each one sending or receiving data as a sequence of electrical pulses. This is called a full-duplex setup. A half-duplex setup involves sharing one wire between both data sent and received. This involves making the output high impedance when data is being received (to prevent shorting). Since there exists no firmware for the second serial port, all that will be added also. Thankfully firmware already exists for the first serial port and this can be used for the second with slight modification.

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