Just a few minutes ago, here at ‘Wardian Towers’, we achieved just this.  Total Independence.

Independence!

Independence!

Last night after that feverish Blog entry, I carried on and added the ‘7805’ voltage regulator I mentioned.

Double click on the photo to the left and you’ll see it sat on the top left of the board.  Yes, its got a heatsink on, but that was only out of force of habit.  Measurements show that its taking much less than 10 milliamps when running, so it really wasn’t needed.

Once again, I got on the bike, but this time there was none of the ‘fearfulness’ of last night’s adventures.  I knew it would fire up!

And fire up it did, just the same as last night.  First the top-most green LED next to that big, cute electrolytic capacitor below the heatsink, then with a slight increase in speed, the lower green one, just above the other new electrolytic that’s above the empty 40 pin socket.  We were charging!

If you look at this photo, as well as that new heatsink for the regulator and the smoothing electrolytics, you’ll hopefully notice the lack of any wires going to the programming board on the right.  It’s not plugged into the board on the right in any way.  No power and no programming lines.

Okay, it means I have to take the PIC out every time I want to program it, but this is no big bother.

…So now the board is fully ‘capped-up’ with those two electrolytics and a much smaller ‘de-coupler’ to take out any little nasty ‘spikes’ that may appear, and I feel much better, much safer because of this.  It means the circuit is nigh-on ‘bomb-proof’ -at least electrically.  If its to be ‘bomb-proof’ mechanically, then I’d put it in a box, but as I need to be able to get to the PIC to be able to program it, thats not really an issue yet.

So, the circuit is now fully independent of the mains, and I have the laptop to program it with, so now I can use it wherever I like!

Anyway, a quick shower, then off for the morning’s session at LEAF.

Will there be massive praise when I arrive?  Will they have the red carpets out?

I sincerely hope not!  Though I imagine the line; “So why haven’t you brought it to show us??!!” may well be uttered at some point.

No worries.  I’m sure the kettle will be on!

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