Viva is done

Well we did the VIva at last. It was a piece of cake. All of us were known by the professors and they only asked specific questions from us.
They never even bothered to test whether we faked our work. We did NOT by the way and the systems that we made work fine.
So this is one of the last tests at uni. The next up will be the report. I'll have to finish it soon and we're good to go out.  

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Cheap Chinese Crap...

Got a blank DVD -R from the nearby shop. Looks like another Cheap Chinese Crap. The DVD was ok after I burnt it and a typical DVD collector would have been ok with it too. But when you run the tests, this comes out. Failures all over the place

Test results for the DVD
Hope the Chinese will someday grow up!!!

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Phew,,recovered at last

My recovery attempts were seriously effected by the performance of the Recovery software. Had to re-install the 32 bit version of XP and then re-install the recovery and clone the HDD from there. Took about 2 hours and the thing finished at 3 am in the morning.

And then I find the PC is infected with that trojan from Chicken Invaders.
Removed that too. Great game, but the trojan that comes with it is not that great. Well, I'm running AV software right now to see what else had happened. I'm going to format this as soon as the report and the paper is done.

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Installed Windows XP x64 for testing

I installed the x64 OS to test whether it works on my PC. Works fine. But for now I'll have to switch back to my old one which is backed up safely in another partition.
Hopefully the backup will work and restore the previous HDD state.
I'm posting now from the x64 OS.

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Project Demos are done...only the viva is left.

We did the project demonstration today using the setup that was decided earlier and was tested by us. We also added some more functionalities to the system and showed them off too. The staff was happy about the thing.

So at last, we have done it. I'm really glad we four did this one with all colours. So ends the university projects. Only the viva is now left. After that we all will have to separate and do the jobs. The worst of it is that Anusha is going to Japan in about a year. Damitha, Devinda and me can meet up even on free time, but after a year, nushi will be gone for 5 years straight. What a loss. Who's gonna tell us what hardware to buy for the PC !!?

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I just hate cycles, fell off one yesterday

Me and nad fell outta the bike on sunday. Damn. I hate bikes. Until i ride it again that is.

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Back In Ogame

I'm back in Ogame. Players from my alliance started going out since there was no action involved in the alliance. So I decided to come back from vacation and play a little. Well, some will get crashed around me. Hope to restore the lost fame from our alliance. Hope Devinda would have some time to do some ACS attacks.

Old enemies, beware, the WIremesh is at loose :P

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Preparing for the Project Demo

I woke up at 9.45 even when I was due at the uni at about 9 am. The alarm rang, but I tucked in for a small nap, and well, It got a little longer. :D. It was the test trial day for the project and I hurried off to the uni.

We did some tests using two cars for the final demo of the project. Anusha's car was as usual the "Train" and we borrowed Tharaka's car to act like a real car. First, we had to make the 100m mark for the crossing to be. So we chose a junction in the campus and then measured 100m using the car's meters and checked whether my system was tallied with the place we chose. After doing some test runs, we adjusted the place that we had to start the car from.


So the plan was to move the train 100m away from the crossing place and test the reception in the car whether it said the correct values. Since Anusha's car was the train, it transmits the distance from its position to the next level crossing. Thats the place we chose as the crossing.

We got Tharaka's car and then gave Anusha the Train unit and then did some tests. Damitha handled the Car unit from Tharaka's car which I drove (Damn these Auto-Transmissions, they don't have the best item in a car, the clutch!!!). He took some photos from there. The first run was unsucessful because for some reason the RabbitCore heated up and the program in it's Flash corrupted. We went back to the lab and reprogrammed it. So in the next run, the timing was perfect. Anusha crossed the juction in the same time that the system marked the crossing.



We managed to do some other stuff too. I sure hope it works in the real demo as well.

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Another Receiver Yipee...!!!

As one by one, our transceiver modules began to stop receiving, we were really worried that we would be left out with no receivers at all. But today, by accident, Devinda and I got to know that one of the damned ones was not damned at all. It was receiving data like a charm.

I got some credit for it, since it was in MY unit for a long time, so told Damitha, its because the module had a good friend to work with. LoL.
Well, now we have enough receivers, we can demo it well. We'll be holding a test demo session tomorrow. There is another event at Uni the same time. Wonder whether we'll be able to do any work with that going on.


At last, the projects are coming to an end. The report is almost over, and the stress begins to releive little by little. May be, just may be, I'd be able to go back into Ogame. I was in vacation mode for nearly two weeks.

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Wesak Festival

Well, for you who is not from Sri Lanka or any Buddhist country, Wesak is the day which we celebrate the Birth, Enlightenment and the Passing away of Buddha. All three things happened in the same day, the full moon day of the "Wesak" Month. So Wesak is the Sinhalese name for May. :)

The two days that we celebrate it are national Holidays. (There are two days, Wesak Full Moon Poya day and the Day after Wesak Full moon poya day :D, Dont get confused) Huge Pandols are built and most of the Buddhists make lanterns or make some lighting of many sorts. As for example, at my place there was this bulb-set which lighted in all colours and styles.

The two main attractions for us are the Big Lanterns (Wesak "Koodu" we call them) and the "Dansala", which people give free food and drink for ones that go in the road, mainly people who walk around to watch the lanterns and the decorations. There are many kinds of offerings, for an example, I had the rare chance of going to a Faluda giveaway. Well, there are many around, but this time there weren't many. Me, Nadeera, Madavi and Hasini walked around hoping to find more, but hard luck. Lots of decorations, no Dansalas.

People Observe "Sil" in the wesak day. Its a custom where they go to the temple and then spend the day there, doing religious things. Like listening to Bana (Religious talk given by Monks) and Meditating.
Nadeera and My mom did it, not me. I have this problem of unable to stay in one place for a long time :D

In the day after, we went to see a Big Lantern. It was made by small kids with the help of the temple it was in. My opinion is that it was great. The kids have done a great work. Well, see it yourselves. The thing spins and lights up. And again, my w810i did the best taking the night shot.





And here is a vid of the thing in action.


If you are not from this country, may be you should consider visiting. It not us that say this is paradise, people who go back home just say it, well, come and see that they are absolutely right. Sri Lanka Rocks.

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System Works for SelfTest

Got the Train Unit to do the system wide self test today. Now it does a really good test to determine whether the system is functioning.
We had the industrial demos today. But our project was not on display since it is an industry project itself.

Its a long weekend this time. Its the wesak poya and Monday and Tuesday are holidays. Time to have fun while we write the report.

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Presentations are done

We did the project presentation at last.
Well, we got a set of hard questions, but at the end, it looked ok.
All that is left now is the demo.
Hope that works too.

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Unit casings are done

We did three of the casings of the units of the project. Spent almost two days at Anusha's to finish it to a level that we could install the PCBs into them.

We got the casings from our sponsor but we had to customize them according to the units that we have made. So after a long night shift that ended at about 2 a.m., we got some casings done.
I'm really happy that they are in shape.




This is the train Unit with the casing on

We did some testings with Anusha's car and the units and got a range of 150m for the RF signal.

Have the presentations tomorrow. Hope we'd do well in that, and then comes the hard part, the demonstrations. These systems better work that day.

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Field testing...

We did a field test today at the Mt. Lavinia Railway station with our equipment.
The main requirement was to check whether there were any RF interference with the train engine to our unit.
Seems that there is no such interference, so we can use both frequencies 866M and 433M for tranceivers.
The test itself was actually hard to do. We first had to get the permission and then at the station, we had to get power to the Spectrum analyzer, and had to have the antenna in a close proximity to the engine.
At last an engine came and stopped near where we were, and that was after three others passed or parked too far.

Took some clips with my mobile as proof.
Here is one with an approaching train, the spectrum tells whether there are any interference. No spikes, no interference. The small ones at the bottom is typical noise.



Here is the typical style of our data signal. Note the difference here.


Here's damitha holding the transmitter near the engine while I test the reception. What he didn't know was that a train was due on the very track he was standing, in about 5 minutes.


We were also able to do a unit test there, and guess what, no probs. There were no data loss. We can proceed with the project with no worries.

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Fever....ohhh my..

I too have feverish symptoms now. Got the Transmission in the project working. Still have loads to do. But cant work in this condition.
Concentration is down to Zero.

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Circiuts are going crazy...

Still the train Unit is going haywire. The frequency is still offset about 20MHz. Devinda and I decided that we will leave the matter for now and test the PIC to Rabbit interface tomorrow. This Rabbitcore is a pain in the butt.
Looks like Damitha will not be able to get Anusha to work tomorrow. He's I'll with a fever, and its a bad one too. Poor Nushi.
We all are sick these days, cough and a dry cold. This is hell combined with the project deadline and the malfunctioning circuits.

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Getting the Rear speakers right

Well, since my Mobo supports a 6 way speaker system and I only have 2, I decided to plug in a new pair of speakers to the PC before several months. I re-engineered the speakers by removing the connection wires and bought new two core wires to carry the sound from the rear of the PC to the rear of the room.

Well, I had to work with all my might and soldering abilities to make this happen. Finally I had system correct. But there were issues.

After about 5,6 days the main speaker (Left, with the controls on) went dead. It had some problems but I could not figure out what actually was causing it. The other speaker was also connected to it with the wire that came with it, so it meant that I did not have a correct positioning, it just had to be longer.



This is how it looked before

I planned to make this right today, and removed the speakers from where they are and started the removing the wires. Boy it was hard. The soldering Iron wont heat up at first, and then there was not a good stable place for me to place the stuff. But Finally, removed all the needed wires and connected the new ones. Phew.
Then I realized after soldering, the main speaker was not giving sound unless the PCB was bent to a certain side. Well, what to do. I didn't have the time or the need to see why. I did what needed to be done. I put in a piece of crumpled paper inside to hold the pcb. That was cheating or what? well, it sure did the job. The cramping inside the thing helped holding the PCB in the right position like a charm.

And then I put up a new nail in the position where the extended speaker should be. Tried hammering the wall and a few nails bent, finally got a Concrete-Nail through. And when I tried to put the speaker up, the hole wasn't big enough to make way for the holder. I had to burn the hole with the soldering iron, again doing some non-professional work.

The whole drill was to extend this damn thing for only about a foot and a half !!! Its something. :D

And this is what looks like now



Although both the speakers work, the sound is still poor since the speakers are not of good quality, but hey, once one of my lecturers told, "No matter how harsh sound it produces, its your sound". And I'm 100% compliant with that. :)

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I just got this while surfing for a speed tester

Here, Bill Gates is showing off Win 98 with one of his techies. Look what happens. This should happen to them. After all those hours of error that they put us into. I sure wish stupid Open source developers will be less geekish in the future.

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I hate these power packs

I hate these power packs. I brought the Train Unit home. The power pack is not enough to drive the Rabbit with the LCD. Even without the LCD, the Flash mode does not work. And that is the only thing that I have to check.


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Train Unit done

Hoorraaayyy....
Me and Devinda managed to finish up the train unit today. Have some debugging in the circuit. But its there, so thats big for me.



The stupid cc1000 is again going in the wrong frequency. Though I set to to 866MHz, it goes up at about 900 MHz.

I'll have to deal with that stupid thing. Somehow, I'm going to get that working tomorrow.


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New year visits

We went to Meegoda where one of my uncles live. After they came to our place my aunt wanted Nadeera to come along when we go there. So we tagged along Nadeera and her cousin brother, Chamidu.
When we went there we saw that some new year games were organised in the same day by some people there, right in front of the house, where a small playground is.

There were many games like "guess the Number of peas inside a papaw" and stuff. There were races however. I jumped in and recorded two of them. The run thru the village for the little ones and an interesting the slowest cycler award, an open game.


This is the race for the kids.



In this race, the cyclists can stay in one place but cant put their feet on the ground. The last person to cross the finish line wins. Pretty tough for me. I cant do it in my bike anyway. :D

Me, Nadeera and the cousins including the two Chamidu's played cricket. No photos of it this time since I had to play hard this time :D

It was a great day, although we lost both the tennis balls that we played cricket with since they went to nearby lands filled with weed. Great company.

family.jpg

This is a photo taken there by me, everone is there again exept me, I have to find something to work this around, every time there is a photo, I have to take it. :P

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