Showing posts from December, 2019

WiFi Tank Robot in about an hour

 (Left to Right, Auric and Oddjob) If you've been reading here for a while, you will probably remember Auric my large quad-track robot.  If not, you can read all about it here . Auric is still developing and getting smarter, but it's also really an expensive project.  I wanted something fun for the kids.  It had to be easy to build and able to handle indoor and outdoor conditions well. The solution came in the form of a "Black Gladiator" chassis from DF Robot .  Mine came from Little Bird Electronics in Hornsby New South Wales, for the princely sum of $A50. What I really like about this chassis is that unlike quite a few "budget" tracked chassis I have seen, this has an aluminum base plate which makes it not only stronger, but it shouldn't flex so much and cause damage to PCBs attached to it. It's a kit so you will need a small phillips-head screwdriver, soldering iron, cutters and medium duty hook-up wire.  When I received mi

Seriously, WHY would you do that?

Chapter I  A New (Old Stock) Hope The first computer I got to use was a PDP-11 owned by a time-sharing bureau in Wollongong in the 1970's.  From memory they ran services for car dealers or some such thing.  The operating system was RSTS/11. When I finished high school I was able to get access to a VAX/VMS system owned by the Department of Education.  Security wasn't a big thing, and my lecturer even gave me the phone number for a dial-in port so I could get access on the weekends.  I discovered the machine I had access to was part of a larger network of VAXes and with a few simple commands, I could jump from one to another.  Just looking around mind you, nothing even remotely interesting was attempted. VAX/VMS, and later OpenVMS on Alpha have played a moderate part in my career, and I still enjoy tinkering because of the generous way that Digital,then Compaq and now HP/E have supported the hobbyist community. Emulators are one thing, but getting your hands on