Re-organized the forum to more cleanly delineate the development section, as the end user support side appears to have taken a life of its own!

Author Topic: How I develop  (Read 5659 times)

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June 12, 2011, 09:52:07 pm
As most of my posts so far have been technical in nature, I thought I'd post something different for a change.
This is a post of how my development hardware is laid out.

First up - I have a piece of board thats large enough to place parts down on.
There's nothing more annoying than having cables come out or pull something off, so I like to screw my equipment down in a secure way.  Spending the few minutes to screw things down securely make a world of difference!

I've mounted the main board semi securely using screws (around the edges!) and have my serial plugged into my TTL to RS232 adapter.  I've unmounted the top shell also and placed it to the right. 
To do that I've unplugged the left /right motor and the left / right position sensor.  I generally don't need that plugged in unless I'm testing that side of things, and the default firmware works fine with that unplugged.  It makes it easier to get at the mainboard if necessary also.

Going back to the serial side of things -
I have 2 mounted on my dev board - one is connected to a USB adaptor, another to serial cable.  Which one I use depends on what machine I'm on at the time. 

Generally I prefer the Serial as the USB has some timing issues occasionally. Its ok for shell stuff, but uploading firmware can be a bit iffy.

Where possible I've mounted stuff externally - eg wifi antenna.  No real need for that, but I thought I may as well as its one less cable to worry about.

You'll also note that I have 2 wifi boards.  I use both in development, as I need to test different drivers for hardware.
One is an RT3070, another is a VT6656

Power is directly at the back.  I probably should wire up a power on / off momentary switch for resets but for now I just yank the power on / off as needed.

The observant may note a black cable plugged into the alarm out.  Thats ground.  I found it easier to use the pin closest to power on the green connector for ground than the ground at the serial side.  Mostly as I don't quite have the right connectors for the pinsize used, and I keep forgetting to order some.  doh!

On the PC side I either use a Mac or Linux, connected via USB or Serial.
Both cables are long enough that I can put the development board in an appropriate position to do stuff with, and use the laptop.

My Linux box is a venerable T60^T62p  :P with a high resolution 15" LCD  (2048 x 1536)
Its a bit of a hodgepodge of hardware in that T60p shell but it works for what I need, plus I'm one of the few that own such a beast, although there is a thieving bastard in Cape Town that has one too (Rondebosch police suck - I found the laptop for sale, they did nothing...).

In Linux I use minicom to talk to the board.

minicom is relatively easy to use, and does XModem.  So its good for uploading firmware if you don't use TFTP.
My T6x has a proper serial port (in the basestation), so I connect via that.

Hope thats of interest to people :)

« Last Edit: June 12, 2011, 10:02:56 pm by admin »