As I ramp up production for the next round of deployments, I am happy to report that the new crop of logging platforms have all passed bench testing (set RTC, r/w EEprom, r/w SD card, I2C bus coms, etc). As I have mentioned before, lifting the tiny light sensor board lines is a bit hairy, so I was expecting at least one of these to crap out due to bridging, etc on those tiny traces.
To give them a more realistic workout, I will rotate through these units as I integrate the new sensors into the main codebuild over the next week or so. Hopefully after that I will have enough time for some proper burn tests before we go into the field again.
There have also been a few tweaks to the power supply modules: I am now using either brass, or nylon bolts wherever possible, and the plastic battery holders have been replaced with aluminum ones from Keystone Electronics. These holders are easily the strongest ones I have ever seen, should be rugged enough to withstand some serious knocking about. I still have not really tackled the hard & soft iron calibration issue yet, but hopefully the removal of the stainless parts used in the previous builds will assist compass calibration when I get there. Still running everything through Shottky diodes, but I have switched over to “Deans” style power connectors after searching the quad-copter forums for something more robust.