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Evan G's Blogtime Array

4 Posts tagged with the sleep tag

This day has been marked with test and trials, some problems and possible fixes to them, a final run down of necessary parts and things to do, a lot of food and fun, and a huge success for the 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains.


Just a few minutes ago, we successfully configured our CAN (controller area network) Jaguar speed controllers to use the attached encoders to maintain a steady rate of revolutions per minute. Sounds simple yes, but it wasn't entirely. The programming team had to dig through documents and tutorials and configured the the CAN Jaguars' control settings and encoder initialization. I must admit, the quality of the documentation of the WPI Library is quite fantastic, that is if one knows how to use it. It is simple enough, but holds all the information a C++ programmer in the FIRST Robotics Competition would need to know.


Keep checking out our live stream to see what we are up to. or Monday is a holiday, so we will be in shop all day. See you then!


Build Season Counter: Day 37 / 46


Fun != Easy

Posted by egiarta1671 Jan 13, 2012

"Fun does not equal easy" is what the above title translates to. And although this is an absolute statement, and absolutes are never true (yes, I see the irony ), I feel that this observation makes for a fair generalization. It is the difficulty of a challenge that makes it exciting and intemidating; it is the triumph of accomplishment that raises the human spirit into joy. It's what makes it fun. And if anyone does have an example of something is the fun && easy, I am sure there's a better antithetical example that he or she is overlooking.


So what's point? Well put simply, for the 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains the past week of the FIRST® Robotics Competition has been fun, but also very exhausting. So far, I know of two sick girls, a man with a broken ankle, four asleep-in-class classmates, and a messy shop room. (Actually, its cleanliness can be modelled with a periodic sine or cosine wave with variable amplitude with positive values meaning "super clean!" and negative values symbolizing "...was there an earthquake or something?!". Right now its approximately zero.) But all of this hasn't kept us away from come back for more. FRC is just too good pass up for daily luxuries, such as sleep and food.


The past three days have brought many successes and setbacks, none which were easy to come by, and we are progressing and a faster rate than I have ever seen before. Crude prototypes have help us select an intake and shooter mechanism. A brand new gearbox design has been confirmed operational. Thanks to the help of epic Pelco by Schneider Electric mentor Joshua Houser (his blog here: Joshua Houser's FRC Blog), finished CAD drawings modeled in PTC's Creo Parametric have been set to Harris Manufacturing. Example code in Windriver and the WPI Library have given us a head start on more advanced control features. A fast moving public relations team have submitted grants, written articles, and improved our website ( And our world champion animation team has gotten a running start on the next Autodesk animation submission.


Nevertheless, we are maybe a day and half behind. Things that should have been completed two days ago have just been finished today. Some team members have been absent because of other priorities (which we encourage them to continue pursuing): drama, tennis, choir, volleyball, college, etc. Unwelcomed technical diffculties today forced the CAD team into performing a mass installation of Creo 1.0 Parametric which I led with haphazard execution. After days of searching and rebooting and installing, we finally have a Github server and the 2012 Drivers Station. Following what seemed to be a scheduling delay with the release of Autodesk's animation challenge, the animation is finally brainstorming up some ideas.


During this initial kickoff week in 2012, we have talked to only a few other local teams. 3970 Duncan Dynamics came by to evaluate problems with the electronics components. 3296 The Neon Knights have been making arrangements for their soon arrival into our ship area. 1323 Madtown Robotics is off to great start and has been discussing some ideas regarding their stategy and drive system. We hope to hear news about other local teams by this week or sooner.


In personal matters, I have an economics test in six and a half hours, and I am not sure if all my homework is done...actually it's not. Still trying to complete remaining scholarships and college applications, but the arrival of build season has rendered that more difficult than ever. Semester finals are coming up, and not a moment too soon. Hopefully the entrance of my final high school semester will spell out freedom and success for the rest of the FRC season.


Build Season Counter: DAY 7


All I Want for Christmas...

Posted by egiarta1671 Dec 23, 2011

is some peace (piece? haha) of mind. It's been a pretty good vacation break so far. No waking up early, no school, no need to do homework. It's been nice being able to do fun stuff rather than busy school work. There is still a lot of things to prepare for robotics however, and time is running out. Unfortunately, someting else that I have needed to do is college applications. Most of them are due by New Year's Day, and there is a lot that needs to be done there. Already the first week of winter break is coming to a close, and I have yet to do any homework. Nothing new really, procrastination is the name of the game in high school.


And these thoughts bouncing around my head have gotten me thinking..."Man, I don't want to thnk anymore!" It's a strange feeling, but it's one that I am sure everyone get once in awhile. My problem is right now, I feel like there's always something to do and that I am forgetting something. And quite often that is the case. I just hope that on Sunday, on Christmas, I can have the peace of mind to just relax and chill with family and friends. Until then though, still got lots to do...


Build Season Counter: Day -15


A Series of FIRSTs!

Posted by egiarta1671 Dec 17, 2011

Welcome to my first blog post on my first blog site page! I think the title is nice and fitting, and the topic at hand gives nice contrast to my latest article found here: The nice thing about life is that the beginning of an end often marks the beginning of a new beginning. And that's preicely what I am doing here. Today marks the beginning of my first blog and post, the first day of winter vacation, and the countdown of the commencement of the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition!


Today also marks the first time in six or so months that I was able to sleep in back to back sequences. Lately, sleeping has become a combersome, yet luxurious requirement of my life. I love it, but shouldn't do it (too much work to be done), yet have to! With 2011 drawing to a close, and the school going on break time, I will definitely enjoy being able to sleep in the next couple of days.


I also played Assassin's Creed for the first time tonight. Thanks to my good friend Benny Wong and his PS3, I will be able to play it for the next two weeks! The trouble is not getting to addicted to the game. I spent a long time getting off my game obsession. A few years and months back even, I would stay up late on the computer just playing games and neglecting other important things, like homework (and sleep!). I think I am controlling myself well so far: instead of playing PS3 late at night,  I am blogging! (Okay maybe not THAT much of an improvement haha.)


Yesterday, I made my first down payment. Nothing serious I can assure you; I just paid $10 of a $20 recommended donation for Science Olympiad, promising of course to present the other $10 sooner rather than later. Why so excited you might ask? Because whenever I asked teachers, leaders, and other friends if I could give them a down payment, they refused and said just pay in full later. Although that request is more than reasonable, I just think the idea of a down payment is cool!


And to finish off my list of firsts is a little melody I made up a few nights ago. Now to be frank, I have made musical riffs before, I just haven't recorded them with intensions to create a whole song out of it...until now! I got a nice minor chord progression for a verse in the mix, and lyrics for the chorus. Still needs work, but the fact that it is recorded means I won't forget how to play it this time! (I would have had plently of songs by now, if only I could remember all of them!)


I guess I lied. One last "first" announcement, but this one is kind of cheating. Anyway, I am excited to see my sister back on the 21st of December! We will be picking her up along when a secret guest at the airport next Wednesday.


That's the end of my firsts for now. I hope to have more firsts in the days, weeks, and months to come. It would be especially cool if the next one included something about the 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains and the FIRST Robotics Competition...!! But we will see. Be sure, however, that this is not the LAST you will see (or read!) of me. Peace!


Build Season Counter: Day -22