Last minute hiccups (of course!)

Well, my last classroom sessions this term were yesterday, and by the end of them, my voice was gone. I was hoping that it was just the intensity of the last sessions, but unfortunately today I am still mostly voiceless. And then Angus woke up in the middle of the night with a raging fever and coughing uncontrollably, ending up staying home from school today. At least half the team was healthy, right? Wrong. Despite Erin being fine when I dropped her at school this morning, I got a call from school just after lunch to say that she was poorly and could I come and collect her. Poor mite had a dreadful earache, but fortunately that pain was numbed with some paracetamol.

Meanwhile, I’d spent the morning tweaking our line following (it still occasionally wanders off the line, but hopefully won’t in competition) and the lights (where most of the effort went). All was going pretty well until I went to collect Erin from school, when I left the bot running. When I came back, the battery readings were all still fine, but the Pi wasn’t on. And I couldn’t get it to turn on, even with disconnecting/reconnecting the batteries. I headed off to find a spare Pi, but as I did that, I thought “I’ll just see if it will boot from a phone power bank,” and it did. So I finished off the work I was doing on the lights before worrying too much about what might be causing the problem. My big concern was that it might be the voltage regulator – the one thing for which I don’t have a spare. (I did mean to get one, after trying this one out, but somehow it slipped off the radar.)

Anyway, after working on the lights, and committing all to GitHub, I was gearing myself up to tackle the power problem, and I thought “I’ll just plug the batteries in again, to make sure.” So I did. And everything worked. Which is all very nice, but now I have this worry that it will fail all over again in the middle of the competition on Sunday!

Anyway, we’re heading for Cambridge tomorrow morning. Three of us poorly (hopefully not so in the morning). It’s been years since I’ve been in Cambridge, so I’m looking forward to seeing it again – lovely place! It also means a great chance to catch up with my very good friend who lives and works there. And of course the competition. 😄


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