Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Pirate ship animatronic controller finished, 21/MX system delayed


Due to issues in the storage facility holding the HP 21/MX system, I can't pick it up today. I am guessing I will have to do it next week, since I will be busy later this week and weekend with the fundraiser event.

I did use the time to download many manuals I will need to work on the system, as well as the simh simulator to let me play with the machine language. Until I see the system I won't know what options, components and peripherals are there, thus I can't finish the downloading of manuals now.  


Today I was expecting the delivery of the remaining items for the ship controller - two audio amp PCBs, a TF storage card, mini stereo phone jacks for the PC speaker connection, and some long header pins to increase the quality of the connections between the Arduino and relay board.

Watching the tracking reports of UPS and USPS was reassuring until I received an email overnight that one of the two amplifiers I ordered is 'permanently unavailable' and that part of the order is cancelled. Why the heck couldn't they tell me two days ago when they shipped everything, so that if I had needed that I could take alternative action.

Then received a midmorning email that the shipment was now delayed and won't arrive until tomorrow. UPS truck from Oakland to Sunnyvale left 6:22AM but didn't arrive before 10AM cutoff for today's delivery - a 42 mile journey made at less than 11 1/2 MPH. No refund of the rush shipment charge. I decided to return the items for refund, printed labels today and will drop them off tomorrow after they belatedly arrive.

While I waited for deliveries, I  loaded toolboxes and plastic bins with the supplies and tools I will need later this week. There are so many parts to this project that it will be a logistical challenge to bring everything

When the TF card arrived, the MP3 file was placed on it but I was unable to get the MP3 player board to work. I went as far as to set it up with a serial link and the software from the maker, DFRobot, but their software could never see their board and no sound came out.

I moved on to plan B, which is to use some kind of MP3 player to loop the song and feed it into the powered PC speakers. I chose my iPad, synced the song and verified that all worked well with a continuous loop. All that remains is to wire up the mini phone jack for the gunshot audio board and pack up the controller. 

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