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antedeluvian
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infrastructure
antedeluvian   6/7/2016 5:59:21 PM
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Lindsay

How far away is the camp from typical city infrastructure like power, or is it generated on site?

I am sure I have had this conversation before. I assume you take the kit with you, or at least have it specially delivered. How available are additional components like ICs resistors if someone really gets creative and needs to create their own hardware?

Duane Benson
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Awesome story
Duane Benson   6/7/2016 7:01:17 PM
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Thanks for writing this up. It sounded pretty cool when we met at ESC Boston, but adding in the detail is makes it even better. There are a lot of things that are universal in humans, and the smile of a curious kid is definately one of those traits.

I'm not that familiar with the pcDuino, but I think I'll read more about it.

Linzee
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Re: infrastructure
Linzee   6/7/2016 7:08:26 PM
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Hi antedeluvian,

Thanks for your curiosity first of all!

There is power from the town grid on site. That said it does tend to go down a lot and we use a diesel generator as a backup.

We take everything we need for the camps with us- ICs, cables, chalk, resistors, pencils, instructors, wire, protoboards, sensors, actuators etc. We did buy computer screens in the nation's capital- Kampala. You can find just about anything there if you look hard enough and then haggle profusely. But bear in mind that's about 8 hours away from the site of the camp- and nobody is really making that trek for anything other than a medical emergency. (We had to send a kid home with a toothache this last camp.)

If we're looking for something simple we might be able to find it close by- when we did the farm automation hackathon we went to Gulu (local town) and bought digital wrist watches because it was easier than finding a rtc and it already had an interface and interrupts (we broke out the piezo buzzer pins on the alarm) with which the farmers would be familiar.

Motors are fairly easy to come by for example- motor drivers, not so much. So we tend to pack a lot of multipurpose components like transistors, resistors, etc which can be used for a wide variety of things.

Internet is present, but it's a pay per kb situation. So usually the routers we set up get maxed out about 2 or 3 hours after the kids discover them and go wild with internet freedom cavorting.

All the mangos you can eat and then some during mango season, though!

Linzee
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Re: Awesome story
Linzee   6/7/2016 7:13:48 PM
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Hey Duane!

It was great to meet you and the rest of the techie tribe repping in Boston as well. So cool to see NASA there! (Now I find myself idly pondering zero G manufacturing techniques and centrifuges even more!)

Yeah- the smiles are universal. It's funny. Sometimes I see the same smiles on grown up techies at events like ESC as I do at camps like this. Sure, the tech is a bit more advanced at ESC, but the passion and expression packages/footprints tend to match up.

(Something I'm sure you know a lot about from Screaming Circuits work. I can't imagine the hairlines you've saved and the smiles you've caused with last minute quick turn around jobs.)

Duane Benson
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Re: Awesome story
Duane Benson   6/7/2016 7:30:24 PM
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Linzee re: "the smiles you've caused with last minute quick turn around jobs"

Maybe, but I think the biggest smiles come out when we give away t-shirts

Linzee
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Re: Awesome story
Linzee   6/7/2016 7:44:36 PM
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Yeah. T-Shirts get 'em every time.

That and flash drives- although the emotions displayed with flash drives are more ones of unchecked glee and greed.

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