It’s Alive!

Today the Handy Board arrived from Gleason Research.  It came with everything as promised except for the CD of software.  I ultimately found the Interactive C home page and downloaded the latest version.  The manual that came with the Handy Board (January 2008) is a bit out of date with respect to Interactive C (IC).  The IC manual comes with the download and is pretty good.  The Handy Board Quick Start instructions were very clear expect for one hiccup where the instructions tell you to download the firmware to the Handy Board before turning it on.  Despite these minor issues, I was able to get the USB drivers installed and got a “Hello World!” running in no time.

The IC environment is primitive in comparison to the integrated development environments I deal with in my day job.  I have not experimented with it much but it appears good enough.  I can’t complain about the price either (free).

My next step is get the parts I need to connect my old Technics motors and sensors to the Handy Board so I can start to follow the book in earnest.  Those parts were not at my local Radio Shack, so I had to order them online.  The Handy Board uses a standard 0.1″ circuit board header as the template for connectors.  You have to cut four pins off of the header and solder a few wires but that should be easy.

Here is a brief review of the product I ordered.

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Boot Sequence

Robotic Dreams is my blog to describe my experiences with robots as a hobby.  I’ve always wanted to explore robotics and finally I have the time and money to do so.  I was part of the original Lego Mindstorms beta program around 1999.  I have tried to explore my interests with the RCX brick but found it to be too limited or the sensors too expensive.

I plan to use the Handy Board and the book entitled Robotic Explorations by Fred G. Martin to get started.

Today, I ordered the Handy Board from Gleason Research.  It should be here in about a week.