Eden of Things – Day 4



Two of our mentors were away today leaving me with the Senors team instead of Byran – what could possibly go wrong – with Andy and Pete working with the UI team.

So most of my notes today are from the sensor team.  The keen started eagerly, getting a Kanban board produced for the days efforts was tricky as Byran had left them with a plan, they had had a night to think about it and were desperate to get on and get some sensors in operation. They weren’t the only team, everybody was fired up, wanting to get on and make more progress as soon as possible.

The UI team now had data in the right shape from the server team and the server team had a data model which allowed them to start working on a data schema for persisting the data.

The sensors team had a busy day ahead of making and coding.  So far they had two sensors, light and temperature via a PCF8591 module but hadn’t managed to send data to the server team yet due to api end points not being ready. It didn’t take long and the had confirmed that data was being sent.

Meanwhile, the other half of the sensor team continued work on making up a sensor station with a prototyping board. After lots of checking, double checking, bending a few header pins due to clearance and a spot of resoldering after it became clear that two male connectors won’t connect.


Finally, the team had a sensor station with no need for any wires, powered by a small LIPO battery, the first version only had two sensors, but was ready to deploy!  A jubilant team was joined by Emo from the server team to ensure that when placed the sensor station was sending data back to the server. We had hoped to get to the top platform in the tropical biome, but with so many visitors, the staff were being kept busy and we could get up there, so had to settle for leaving the station on the highest point of the footpath.


A spot of lunch and it was all hands on deck trying to add more sensors and making additional stations.  By mid-afternoon the team had attached a further 3 sensors and smoked our first components!


Chris’s carefully hand work had one small flaw, once it had been spotted and the voltage regulator and power cables replaced we were close to having completed a second station.  The afternoon disappear with further board modifications to accept additional sensors and a spot of coding refactoring to make the code look beautiful – well acceptable when Byran looks tomorrow to see what I’ve been letting the team get away with.

We ended the date – late – by attempting to deploy to sensor stations into the tropical biome, as we walked across we realised that the code on one of the stations wasn’t working, in fact it wasn’t there, the ESP was acting as an Access Point, it’s default behavior rather that the teams code.  So by the end of the day, we were able to deploy one station over night.

The server team had a similarly busy day, providing diagnostic tools for the sensor team, working on an admin UI and getting very close to persisting the data.

The UI team have improved the look of their first screen and began work on a second screen to indicate where the sensors were deployed and consider how to show trend data.

It’s been another amazing day, can’t believe that we have to draw it to a close tomorrow.


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