Raspberry Pi Project: Update 2

It’s been a busy year. I finished up at Seattle Central College, applied to, and got accepted to the University of Washington’s Bothell campus. I got into their Computer Science and Software Engineering program and have had my nose to the grindstone for the past 7 months. I was elected President of my HOA (long story, still haven’t had to fine anyone), got Audrea into backpacking, went on our honeymoon to New Zealand, and started a company. Busy.


I’ve said Washington was the prettiest place on earth for my whole life. I’ve been wrong.

But back to the project. This all happened a while ago, so consider this fair warning that I’m going to miss some details.


But seriously, this is Christmas day at 10pm. Visit New Zealand.

I landed on using the BerryIMU accelerometer. I sent something like $35 to Australia and waited for a month or so until a tiny chip, four wires, and nothing else showed up. I found the BerryIMU Github repository and downloaded all of the code, only to realize that it was mostly in C. I had no experience with C.


I never knew one chip could cause so much headache, in a good way.

After some time struggling with the tutorials, which assumed far more sophistication than I had at that time, I got the accelerometer values to print to console. I immediately knew I’d need more physics education, and probably some other classes to boot. I wound up taking physics, stats, more calculus, more Java, symbolic logic, and several other classes in an attempt to both A) get into UW, and B) understand what the numbers on my console meant.


I got in!

I wound up putting this on the back burner for about a year. I had to focus on school, HOA stuff, riding club problems, and being a decent husband. Oh, and a trip to New Zealand.


After a quarter of Data Structures in C++, I wound up taking a “Topics in Mathematics for Software Development” and getting far deeper into Python. The BerryIMU repository is available in Python as well, so I started digging into it and found that with a few hours of digging through libraries I would be able to get both the accelerometer and GPS unit to play nicely with the same script.

Pi test2

It doesn’t look like much, but there’s a lot of work in that text.

So that’s where I am now, except it’s kind of not. Right now I’m working my way through an Analysis and Design class where this is the “product” I’m developing. Since “sense-compute-control” architecture doesn’t cover the 25 use cases I needed for a project, it looks like I’m going to be building a mobile app to send messages through the satellite communication board (which I have yet to buy). I’ve never built a mobile app, and have no real idea how to start.

As always, I find myself jumping into the deep end of the pool.

One comment

  1. ctag · April 14, 2019

    Glad to see the project’s still alive!


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