Nov 12 – A day of debugging

November 21, 2009

We spent the day debugging various hardware and software issues. Chris figured out that the communication and power loss yesterday was due to low voltage in the router, which was caused by high resistance in the screws in the connector board in the main computer board of the bot. The resistance increased with time as the screws
got loose. Chris fixed this by tinning and tightening the screws. This is not a long-term solution, but will fix the problem short-term. Bart worked till 5:00 a.m. at night
balancing the batteries. This will hopefully give us a lot more total battery energy. Bill and Vickie went out and got the GPS coordinates of the mission points from yesterday. The GPS coordinates provide ground truth for the data (the dead-reckoned position estimates are approximate because of drift that increases with distance).

Kristof and I worked on various navigation and software issues and figured out the cause of various problems that were puzzling us. Most of us came back to Bonney camp early (around 7:00 p.m.) except for Bart.  John and Kristof cooked us an awesome Mexican dinner.
After dinner, I worked a couple of hours with John on analyzing the profiling data from day before.

Bill and Vickie obtain GPS locations of all points that the robot profiles.

We took out the batteries to balance them better.

Bart working on balancing the batteries.

Chris after fixing the communication loss problem.

Kristof and John making dinner.

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We have internet (finally)!

November 21, 2009

We had no internet for almost 10 days. The repeater was down and  people who could repair it could not fly in from McMurdo due to bad weather and other logistic considerations.

It was frustrating to not have internet, but it was also good. People would otherwise move on to their laptops soon after dinner and get busy checking emails, writing blogs, making facebook entries etc. With not internet, there was a lot more talk and a lot more fun and games.

We finally have internet and I will post about the past 10 days slowly.