I see so many people reaching for the soldering iron to make simple cables, when one of the simplest, and strongest, ways of joining two metal posts, is by wire wrapping. Wire wrapping is a technique of wrapping the bare conductor of a wire around a metal post and has been in use for over 50 years. It is used extensively in avionics and the space industry for its superior ability to handle vibrations and stresses. A simple wire wrapping tool can be picked up at a local Radio Shack, as well as a spool of wire wrapping wire (cheapest place for both that I have found). Here is an interesting PDF on the history of it, and why you should consider learning more about this easy way of making solderless connections.
That in itself deserves a post, but I’ve discovered what I’ll be working on for the next few weeks: Ultimate Wireless Showdown! I’ll be putting 6 wireless modules through a gauntlet of tests to try to determine which has the best bang for the buck, when it comes to wireless transmission of data using an Arduino/ATMEGA328. I’ll be testing the XBee Pro Series 1 60mW, XBee Series 1 1mW, RFM12B, Bluetooth Serial, nRF24L01+, and RF2400P modules.
I have outlined the test setup here, so read up on it if your interested, or on any of the other projects I have in the works. By actually comparing these modules in real world situations, I’ll be able to see which module I should base my future robotic projects on. So tomorrow I’ll start to get the two boards assembled, sporting a lovely 3.3V LCD and microSD card, with a few buttons for fun. Which is why I felt it was necessary to improve my serial cables, as shown in the pictures 🙂 Future, here I come!