Life with Deep Racer - Part 1


My Deep Racer has finally arrived back in Australia



There's a few things I have learned already, and I will share them as I go along.

Charging the batteries

Power

The charger for the compute battery pack simply needs a 3-pin appliance cable to connect it to non-US power outlets.  Yes, you can use a plug adapter, but I find they get loose over time.

The LiPo charger needs a 9V 0.5A plug pack.  The centre pin is positive. 

There is a considerable power drain on the CPU battery even when the module is off.  My advice is disconnect both batteries when not in use, because that big pack takes a long time to charge.

Tail light colours

Note that these colours might vary depending on the version of software you're running.  When I first unpacked it, there were no lights at all.


Red - Something is wrong.  The usual cause is failure to connect to WiFi.  The official documentation lists some troubleshooting tips

Blue - Connecting to the WiFi network

Green - Ready to go.  Motor battery is also connected.

wifi-creds.txt

I'm not too happy about this because it does not seem to be consistent.  If there is a SPACE in the SSID or password, you must use single quotes, but you can use double quotes if there are no spaces.  I am not sure if this includes special characters as well.

I have observed, but I am still investigating that the wif-creds method of configuration does not appear to be happy connecting to networks with a hidden SSID.  I will update these notes when I understand what is happening.

Console login

Connect an HDMI monitor, USB keyboard and mouse to the relevant ports and power on.  You will be greeted with a standard Ubuntu login screen.  The password is the same as the default user, but you will be required to change it on first login.

The track

The track is huge!  It takes up a good portion of our open space in the office, but all made with masking tape so it's removable if need be.  Make sure you add a dotted centre line to the layout, because the car's current software is definitely looking for one.

It does work!

Take a look at this (rough) first test of the car on our track

 
 



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