BLOG 5 – Development

When we started the Az/El project about 11 months ago, I actually thought the development would go a lot faster.  Being the primary designer for the electrical part of the project, I had a number of design criteria I wanted to keep for the company products with one of the primary features being to keep the control cable to 4 conductors.  To do that, the design required a dual microcontroller design, the development of the communications protocol and lots of firmware.  To do the firmware development a test environment had to be developed.    The most complicated part of the code development other than working out all the communications was the motor control state machine.  It took 3 code rewrites to get a process that worked, all in all, there are about 10,000 lines of code, including all the comments needed to help remember how it all works.

This is a picture of the development environment used for code debug and testing of course I cleaned up the work area before taking the picture:

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