Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Breadboard? Breadbox?

        Well, the three of us sat down to begin programming our water level sensor but it turns out we really don't know what exactly we're doing. After some research it looks like the water level sensor needs to be connected using alligator clips to a breadboard. The problem is, we have no idea how to use a breadboard or what it actually does. I did some research and it looks like there are columns in the middle that are all connected to each other and then rows at the top and bottom that are connected. I tried following a force sensor tutorial using what we think is a force sensor form the Arduino kit but for some reason our LED won't turn on. A close friend of mine at MIT is a mechanical engineer who also has a lot of electrical experience and he's going to give me a quick breadboard tutorial tomorrow.
        Another major issue we've run into has to do with our water level sensor. We have been planning on using a Camelbak water bottle that can be connected to our suit but we realized that as we drink from the camelback both air and water leave the pack causing the entire container to compress. This is a major issue given our plan for using a water level sensor. We need the water level to fall at a predictable rate in order for the sensor to determine how much water has been drunk but when the container shrinks and the sides squeeze in the water level hardly falls at all. Sophie and I went through a rather extensive brainstorming session that included using waterproof breathable fabric, turning the entire system upside down and cutting a hole in the top, along with other crazy solutions. Sophie has decided she will take point on resolving this issue and will be driving out to the closest athletic-wear store to do some more research. Hopefully tomorrow night we will be able to come up with some answers instead of just more questions. 

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