Planning and Research

The project was planned by creating a calendar of the 15 weeks in a spread sheet then mapping the high level tasks to the weeks. Two weeks were left empty to allow for issues and overruns. Critical path items such as the house were ordered early on and potentially long lead time items such as the battery were ordered as soon as possible.


I knew that I would be out of town for a couple of weeks during the project so I effectively did twice the work in the preceding weeks so that I could have something to show. Many of the posts were drafted well ahead of time and photos or videos were added when they became available, the topics were re-ordered as necessary and some topics dropped or added. The story lines were often written on the way to work in the mornings.


I was not familiar with the Arduino Yún and some of the electronics so lots of research was done into these during my commute from work or during lunch times.


Nearing the end of the project, roughly around the start of June the remaining tasks were drawn up into a "snagging list" each being a single low level item such as "paint frame", "C++ code for blinking LED" etc. This meant that the list of things to do grew quite rapidly but because each was smaller and more focused they also got completed quickly. It also allowed "non-critical" items to be discarded.


The last week was reserved for commissioning but unfortunately some software items over ran and had to be completed that week too.


The Build Process


The process of building was to strip down the old weather house to analyse how the new mechanism could be added. After removing the old mechanism the house was fixed back together. The roof was made so that it could be lifted on and off. The new framework was intentionally made to be stand-alone, this allowed changes to be made without risking filling the house full of holes. It also allowed testing to be done without risking damaging the house. Where possible the new parts added were from the kits provided. The electronics and coding was done in a modular fashion with each component being constructed and fine tuned before incorporating into the over all design.


Next: Enchanted Objects Design Challenge - Testing