2020-08-14 (F) Weekly Summary

I decided that powering the miniCard from a USB battery pack wasn't as viable as I thought. My solution was to add a battery charging circuit and a small battery. Unfortunately, the Arduino would not run from USB power or the battery. The only result was a blinking light on the Arduino.

That's not a good light

There are portable chargers with "charge through" or "pass-through" features that allow you to power a device and charge a battery simultaneously. I never looked up their circuits, but I built something like that, maybe precisely like it, with a different charging circuit. The trick was to use a couple of diodes from the incoming power and battery-supplied power. The components worked immediately!
Continuous power in an ugly package

Yesterday's circuit functioned, but it was untidy. I spent the time to arrange my components to make them less prone to damage and tightly contained. I even moved the battery, so everything was neat and cubic.
miniCard in a tidy format

Now that I had a stand-alone unit with no wires coming off in a compact unit, I found an enclosure. The box was clear acrylic, so when I had to make a hole, I used a hot soldering iron to poke through because this kind of plastic is prone to shattering under drill bits.
Pocket-friendly miniCard

One problem with this unit was the tiny battery. I estimated that it ran down in three hours or less. Unless I set a timer, I would let it die every time. My solution was to run a wire from the battery to an analog input to monitor the voltage directly.
Battery, now with monitoring

I wrote a couple of functions that would translate the reading into volts and go into a battery alert mode when it got low. Since there was no wireless communication on this model, I switched to three short buzzes, wait twenty seconds, and repeat. The IMU was powered the entire time, but no direction sensing functions were running.
Revised code behavior

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date. First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6
Completed projects from year 7

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