Thursday, June 21, 2012

Week 3: tidying up

Most of the way through week 3 now.  Everything is going smoothly, pretty much on schedule.  I plan to start real experiments come this Monday.

I spent Monday and Tuesday working on coding for the Arduino/webcam setup, and amazingly figured it out.  Check it out, here's the solution I found: I program the arduino to move the motor a set distance, then stop.  I then use the Arduino's built in serial port (genius feature!) to send a signal back to the computer saying "Hey, I'm ready, take a picture!"  Meanwhile, I have a Processing code (new language to me, it's pretty sweet) running on the computer waiting for the Arduino's signal.  Once it gets the all go, it says "Ok boss, picture time," and tells the webcam to take a picture. Slather, rinse, and repeat, for a series of spatially organized pictures of baby spores triggered by the push of one button. Pretty sweet, huh?

Since then, I've been mostly finishing up odds and ends, connecting pieces and cleaning up joints.  Here's some pictures of the flume in a more or less finalized state.

Unfortunately, no field trip this week.  Becca, the grad student who will be working with me on this flume, is currently out of town and delayed in getting back.  She's also my guide to the local algal hotspots, so without her, a field trip is a bit pointless.  Oh well, more on the next low tide.

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