After passing the leak test, we proceeded to mount the electronics rack. This required the coordination of all the sub teams as the mech team is needed to secure the electronics, the electronic team is needed to connect the electronics together and the software team is needed to ensure that all the parts such as sensors are placed in a way to maximise their efficiency.Fig 1: Cables in the Hornet 4.0 Main Housing
Cable management was a big issue we faced during the process. Even though we have separated the wires and the boards into two separated layers in the main hull, the wires are still not organised and tangle with each other easily. To solve this problem, we decided to cut the excess wires and cable tie them together to make the wires more organised. Another issue we faced during the fitting of electronics was the connections between the boards and the power supply. The length of wires that were prepared for connecting the boards was of the wrong length, hence we need to redo the connections.
During the bench test and pool test, we had to do troubleshooting on-site for different problems ranging from not being able to access the Odroid through the ethernet cables to fixing the battery connectors. It was harder to fix the circuitry at the pool since the wires were already fitted into the hornet and were placed at an awkward angle. However, we were able to make the most out of what we brought along and fixed our problems so that the pool test can proceed smoothly.
During one of the pool test, we faced with the tragedy of one of boards burning (just like our hopes and dreams) , thus ending our plans to test the software components. We changed the plans for the day to calibrating the weight and balance of the vehicle and had to rush out to get replacement parts at the same time. The fact that we have schematics and diagrams of our previous boards helped us to redo and fix the issue at a faster pace.
Spending time in the lab after the pool test to do troubleshooting and last-minute adjustments for the next day have become a common occurrence for us. Through discussions of the issues we faced and the solutions which last till late into the night improved our understanding of our systems and we can make use of the knowledge we gained for challenges that might arise in the future.
Those are some of the things we have experienced and we are looking forward to what the future has in store for us.