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TOPIC: Hacking my new SafePet Rotating Litter Box for Cats

Hacking my new SafePet Rotating Litter Box for Cats 16 hours 59 minutes ago #18085

  • hop
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WHAT COMES FIRST? THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?

Idiom or metaphor, it certainly describes where I am with system control. Is it the ESP8266 that makes the STM32F103? Or the other way around? After all, the STM32F103 is a slave to the ESP8266, but then the STM32 does all the work. Yeah, sounds more like the workplace to me. The ESP8266 is the MANAGER, and the STM32 reports to it, and does all the heavy lifting. But then the ESP8266, at least in this stage of my embedded system's development, is more like an operator that handles communication for the STM32. All this helps me put the system into perspective though.

Eventually, the ESP8266, with its vast memory and processing power, should handle managing the project, with one or more slaves to do the heavy lifting. As it manages this group of tasks to the projects core purpose, it has to answer to the hive, or BOSS, that will tell it what to tweak, change, and ultimately do. When the BOSS is away, the ESP is responsible for autonomously managing it's workers to keep the project functioning to it's core purpose. And if the MANAGER (ESP) has to step out for a bit, the workers (STM32) have to function autonomously to handle their tasks without direction. Hmm. I LIKE IT!

Man, developing a standard in this area is like creating an ecosystem. It's nice to visualize the system's hierarchy.
Last Edit: 16 hours 57 minutes ago by hop. Reason: typos

Hacking my new SafePet Rotating Litter Box for Cats 16 hours 46 minutes ago #18086

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When I get my sub-systems priorities straight, and this project completed, it is definitely time to test the system's hierarchy by connecting the ESP8266 to a group of STM32F103 boards. With three serial ports other than the one tied to USB or STLINK interface, it should be easy to daisy-chain the communications without fancy rigging. Of course, all this can be done with a can bus or I2C, but coding is simpler with serial. At least for this exercise. And I will have serial buffering between the workers (STM32 devices).

This will allow me to tweak the command interpreter to recognize addressed sub-systems before deploying this in all my projects.

Hacking my new SafePet Rotating Litter Box for Cats 2 hours 27 minutes ago #18087

  • Jon Chandler
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So many moving parts! Maybe block diagram would help to show everything? I know posting pictures here is a pain so I'll be happy to get it posted if you send me something. Doesn't need to be fancy.

I laid out a circuit board for a friend in Nicaragua to build a sort of data logger out of ebay modules - GPS, cell modem, IN219A to measure voltage and current...all controlled by an ESP8266 NodeMCU board. That is a powerful beasty - his code has grown quite complex!

I had a bit of a revalation when I built the boards. My initial thoughts were that it was kind of silly to solder modules to a circuit board - why not just put all the parts directly on the circuit board. But there are 2 reasons it makes sense:

1. The cost of a module is less thsn you csn buy the loose parts for, and you get a decently-designed workong corcuit.

2. He can duplicate the design with basic soldering skills, mostly soldering 0.1" headers to the board.

Makes good sense to me now.. Sadly, I think the latest batch of boards os waiting in Miami - Nicaragua is torn by a violent civil war right now.

Forgive the typos....it's 4am and I have allergy eyes.
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