Thoughts about Ruby, Rails, RubyMotion, iOS, and business growth.

ESC Programming and Calibration for OpenROV

Three ESCs, one for each motor. Each ESC has a switch and a power/signal connector.Three ESCs, one for each motor. Each ESC has a switch and a power/signal connector.

ESCs: New Experience for Me

Electronic speed controllers (ESCs) were completely new to me when I first assembled my OpenROV. This article documents my initial misunderstanding (and eventual understanding) of ESCs so that future builders can move forward with fewer glitches.

OpenROV Assembly Challenges

OpenROV fully assembled.OpenROV fully assembled. I know this problem can be solved. I just haven’t figured it out yet, and I need help from the OpenROV community to do so.

Update: The OpenROV community delivered. Solution: ESC Programming and Calibration for OpenROV.

Parts That Work

Software image updates on the Beaglebone Black work flawlessly thanks to scripts written by Brian Adams and Dominick Fretz. The cockpit software shows a real-time image from the camera, the LED lights are super-bright, and the lasers hold steady at 10cm apart. My fully assembled OpenROV passes the water submersion test. Yes, it’s waterproof, thanks to O-rings and silicon-based lubricant!

What about the motors? The motors work, almost. Could it be the electronic speed control (ESC) settings, calibration, or less than perfect soldering? That’s where I need help.

Be Awesome. Tackle Big League Problems at WindyCityRails

Be awesome.Be awesome. Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios?

  • You have already built a successful Rails app. Now that you’re “done”, you know you can make it better, but you’re not sure how. You want to take your skills to the next level.

  • You recently graduated from Dev Bootcamp, Starter League, Mobile Makers or another school. You’re ready to meet and interact with your next generation of mentors.

  • You are no longer a beginner. You have seen advanced developers in action, and you are determined to get there yourself.

  • Software development is relatively new to you, and you built a successful track record in another profession. You want to meet people who can help you accelerate through the beginner phase so you can launch something useful.

Common thread: It’s time to unleash the awesomeness in your bones. You want to take your skills to the next level, and you are ready to tackle Big League Problems. WindyCityRails is for you.

Wanted: Community Manager

Jamming together. Growing together.Jamming together. Growing together. WisdomGroup is hiring a Community Manager (CM) to help run our user groups and conferences. This is a part-time independent contractor position, mostly remote, with some on-site work during meetings and conferences. The position could become full-time depending on results produced and community growth.

Smart People, Growing Together

Our community philosophy:

When smart people challenge each other to grow, great things happen.

Our community track record is covered in the article How to Grow a User Group.

LinuxBarbados is Global

LinuxBarbados is a user group for open source enthusiasts. The group meets monthly, offering solid knowledge for anyone who wants to ramp up their open source skills. For example, yesterday’s meeting featured a presentation on XBMC by Michael Layne. The presenter dug deep into the tool, offering tips on how to write plugins in C++ or Python.

RVM and Parallella: What a Difference a Shell Makes

RVM is an effective way to manage Ruby versions on Linux or OS X. RVM was working well on my Ubuntu-based Parallella, until one day it stopped:

linaro-nano:~> rvm list
rvm: Command not found.

rvm: Command not found. Fortunately, Zach Briggs and I were pairing at a joint OpenHack – ChicagoRuby event when the problem occurred. Zach is an ideal pairing partner; troubleshooting was smooth because he was there. Time to investigate.

Parallella Quick Start Guide (with gotchas)

Parallella screenshot, 1080p.Parallella screenshot, 1080p. Parallella is a single-board supercomputer smaller than a deck of cards. While today’s fastest laptops contain four processor cores, Parallella has eighteen (2 ARM cores plus an Epiphany chip with 16 RISC cores). The maker of Parallella, Adapteva, is on a mission to democratize parallel computing. The company’s tag line is Supercomputing for Everyone.

Node.js Prep for OpenROV

OpenROV is an underwater robot controlled through a web browser. The server-side of the web app is written in Node.js, running on a BeagleBone Black inside the OpenROV.

You don’t need to know Node.js in order to pilot an OpenROV. And you don’t need to do anything in this article to construct an OpenROV from a kit. But if you’re the kind of maker who likes to dig deep into a project, you might enjoy exploring Node.js.