Hello everyone from Chrystal and Dale,
We want to thank everyone for this exciting and very big learning experience. Although we didn't complete 100% of what was planned, we will continue to work on this project until finished. For both of us it ended up being a lot more than we figured. From changing our overall plans by adding the whole biology part to the project made it harder to figure out how to do this. We did complete the centrifuge, microscope, some sensors, wireless wifi, recharging station by solar power and partial testing. We are disappointed we let down Element14, the members and all the companies backing this project. We will continue to blog about our updates until completion.
Here is the "Not so final update":
Chrystal was wanting to make a PCB cape for the BBB, so we decided on making one for developing. She searched for information and spent hours on CadSoft to create this board. She used an iron-on transfer that was printed out on a laser printer. After printing out about 7 sheets she finally got the layout correct (I turned out great). I am so proud of her accomplishments on this project, I feel her future will be great.
We got a better solar panel which gave us 11-12 Volts for recharging the batteries and running the centrifuge. I don`t have pictures of the recharge station and centrifuge as they are on a different camera and I couldn't`t download them today. I will upload missing photos shortly.
We attached a wireless keyboard to the BBB and Wifi as well as the 4.3" LCD screen. The Wifi picks up the CC3200 for transferring the sensor information. I still have to reprogram the LCD screen as I had to re-flash the BBB when a programming error I made wiped everything. I thought I bricked the BBB but luckly it wasn't that bad. I didn't like the demo LCD cape OS, it was basically just a demo and after working on it for a week I re-flashed it with Debian and had it like a regular monitor. Programming it to work like a monitor was quite a job and when I re-program it I will give details on how to do this (With lots of pictures for others interested)
The microscope works very well, unfortunately the one Chrystal made wasn't powerful enough to view bacteria. She got only 100X power and had issues on focusing it. I am real proud of how well she thought out the whole project with the biology idea involved. The new microscope that we bought made a huge difference, Chrystal uses it often to check out how dirty the water is. The centrifuge works good, a professional one would be perfect but the one we made is good for now. We have to have it running for 40 minutes for separation of particles. Each tube has to be weighed so each one is equal to keep it balanced.
This is the first half of the report as I need to retrieve the rest of the photos for the sensor demo and centrifuge information.
Again we apologize for not completing what we set out to do, we won't stop until we complete this as it is so important to us. Thank you all again for your support and backing of this project, it has changed our lives and the way we see the planet.
Dale and Chrystal Winhold