23 March, 2011

E-Boda Stylance 2302


Since our good old CRT kitchen TV was failing more often than I had time to send it to the service I decided something needed to be done and take a step forward and buy a new one. Wasn't keen on spending much on it but didn't want to stick with the dying CRT technology either.

So while surfing the net I came across this E-Boda model that promised to be a best price acquisition. It was just big enough for the space I had available, LED technology promising an ultra low power consumption, made by a Romanian firm if wanting to be a little nationalist about it and the good price as I've mentioned earlier.

Got the TV from emag.ro, a big online store here in Romania. They were fast about it and I had it delivered in no time. Got home keen on unpacking and testing it out but that's when disappointment began.

First of all, the table top stand just plugs in into the unit with no screw lock or other locking mechanism which makes the thing pretty unstable if subjected to touching or any physical interaction. Another thing that bugged me before even plugging it in was the power cord. It's not a normal removable standard type but a permanently fixed  cord. Well, if the downsides would have stopped here all would be OK because I knew I can't expect top quality from a best buy.

One of the big upsets came from the response time. It takes as long as a lamp TV to start and switching channels isn't any faster either. Part of the blame for the slow start up is caused by a 1-2 seconds screen with a big E-Boda logo.

The second big upset was with the sound. Sound quality is just plain awful, with no trace of depth or bass. No matter how you play with the sound options from the menu things don't look any better.

Image quality isn't that good either but that might have been a place I was expecting a little compromise.

All in all, I was so disappointed by the TV that I returned it as fast as I could and didn't even take the time to get some photos for this post. The guys from emag.ro were quick as always and now I'm waiting for another cheaper but higher hopes model. I'll be back with comments when I'll get it.

08 March, 2011

Zăganu - 03 Still alive

Finally back from abroad. Good news is that the project is still alive, during those long cold Russian winter nights I had plenty of time to dive deep into the software side of things. Because it passed some time since I last worked with embedded devices, it took me a little to get back in shape and get familiar with TI's platform. I got a hold of CCS and the Luminary Micro platform which even though is way over the needs of the project is definitely lots of fun to play with.

Starting from the info's from starlino.com I got up and running a 6 DOF IMU. It still needs some tunning but all looks good so far.

I also did some rethinking of the hardware and replaced the FR4 center plate with a 2mm thick 160x160 aluminum plate which is lot easier but stiffer. For now i gave up on the octo configuration since I'm still far away from that point so the center plate is square as I've said and the arms got closer together to shrink things a little.

Got to do some power tests and at full throttle with the frame "bolted down" I only got 8A per motor which was enough to give the frame lift off capability but only half of what the motors can put out so I'm considering bigger props.