Photogate Part 2

(original post on August 2, 2016)

My work on the Triple Helix project has been moving forward (although it was interrupted for a bit when I went out of town for a wedding). We now have an official documentation site and the GitHub repository has been updated as well.

The Python program now checks the system time every time a new piece of data arrives from the Arduino in order to do much more accurate timekeeping than was being done before. The jump height calculations have improved as a result. I’ve also made a couple tweaks to the interface.

I’m working on building a more robust stand for the transmitter and receiver as well, likely using PVC pipe and some pipe straps on a thin board. Ideally we want to build something sturdy that aligns the photoresistor well with the beam and doesn’t have much of a height profile (which could distort the jump height calculation).

John (who built the pressure plate predecessor to the photogate) pointed out to me that it’ll be easier to get truly accurate jump height measurements if I can improve the sample rate, so I’ll be working on that over the next week or so. I also need to find a way to combine the code into an easy-to-use package for teachers and educators without coding experience.