Virtual Build Environments and Integrating RFM12B into WirelessTesting

The past two days I’ve been playing around with creating a virtualized build environment, where all of the tools are contained within a virtualized OS. In my case, I was using an instance of WinXP virtualized. While I was able to install all of my tools (Notepad++, Arduino, Python, LScreamer), the actual downloading of the program to the Arduino would take almost double the time, which I believe was due to how VirtualBox handles USB attachments. It was a good experiment, and it may be something I play around with in the future, but right now, it seems better to use a non virtualized OS.

Currently I’m working on adding the RFM12B to my current Wireless Testing project. If you remember from last time, I was verifying that I could write to the SD cards every 100ms. I left the experiment running for a few hours, and it seems there were mixed results. In one case, after a certain time, every write took longer than 100ms to perform (the files were 3MB in size). In the other case it continued on just fine.

So for my Wireless Testing, I should take into consideration that an SD write may take a few seconds to perform, which means that I should hold onto the data that I want to write, and plan the tests to have break points at which saved data can be recorded. I’m still coming up with the exact test methodology, but I should be posting it in a few days. From the methodology, I’ll be able to code the actual test. I should also keep in mind that each wireless module works differently (RFM12B library has checksum’s integrated, XBee’s don’t). A small step in the right direction, is still a step in the right direction!

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