Small Car Shell Stuff and PIC Disappointment

After spending so much time putty-ing and sanding, I finally decided that the body of the car should be done. Any tiny cracks and bubbles can be fixed on the final product with some more putty, so I’m not going to sweat the little things right now.

The most important part of this update is actually the PIC24F16KL401 I’ve been working with on the side. I’ve learned quite a bit about the timers and oscillators on microcontrollers and all the stuff that goes into bare-bones programming. The plan was to use a fleet of PICs throughout the car to control the ESC, autonomous steering and braking motors when those came into play, and sensor data collection. Having worked with PICs in the past for college projects I figured it would be a good place to go for electronic control that’s way cheaper than an Arduino, that being said, PICs can’t efficiently drive more than one hobby-grade PWM signal at a time. The issue is that the system clock settings won’t allow for a slow enough PWM period, so the solution most people use is a pretty bad “drive digital pin high for x milliseconds, then low for x milliseconds” method. That’s totally fine for driving one servo as a demonstration, but it has very little practical application.

It looks like I’m going to have to give in and use an Arduino for motor and power supply control and monitoring¬†as it will be significantly easier and Arduinos are practically bulletproof. More to come.