project Preface
How it finished?
In summing up, most of the tasks that I had set myself in the Project procedure have been completed.

First of all, the item's that were finished like the design and building of the hardware. These were built, the METDEC interface, the weather device board and the Programmer board.

The METDEC interface was completely finished, it needed to have been fully tested with an assembly language program running in the micro-controller. The other parts of the circuit the MAX232 operated giving the required 10 volt output when a 5 volt input was connected to the Tx.

The Programmer board for the micro-controller was built, and the output's tested, they satisfied the requirements set by Amtel (see data sheet). For this to be fully tested a working assembly language program needs to be down-loaded using the programmer. The assembly language program is tested on the emulator and then assembled on the assembler. The program is now changed into HEX code, it has to be more than 4096 bytes for it to be down-loaded. The program can now be down- loaded to the micro-controller with the use of the programmer.

Some parts of the project have been difficult, in January I had trouble getting hold of the micro-controller, but in April I managed to get hold of one, after spending an increasing amount of time on the phone. The same problem except with the assembly language data book from Intel, has been experienced. These were eventually acquired in April.

Due to the increasing amount of time spent on the assembly program an appropriate amount of time wasn't spent on the C program (see gant chart).

The assembly language (assembly / emulating) will not be completed before the completion of the report. But they will be ready for my final presentation the following week.

The multimedia part produced on the Amiga Computer went satisfactorly and was completed. Designing the graphics / Icons and how the interface should operate was interesting. The graphics were designed and produced using various programs on the Amiga, ImageFX (Image processing, rendering) and Deluxepaint (art). All the graphics had to have the same colour palette, so that the graphics appear correct, this is due to only 256 colours being used.

Using Scala Authoring software has given me good experience in authoring. Where you have to design the graphics and icons and how the user should interact with the system to gain the required information. The information has to be displayed in a logical and self explanatory form, where the user has to follow a few basic rules to navigate their way around the system. The system designed (see Multi-media section) is fairly basic, it takes a long time to write the pages with lots of information.

It is basically an educational information system on the weather.

In the future I am going to use the same information, and produce a world-wide web page (internet) where the information can be accessed. I hope also to have the METDEC board sending the data straight to an internet page, where it could be accessed by anyone.

During the summer, I will have the METDEC board running properly, to start recording the data that I am recording by hand.

Some changes that I would like to make is to add further devices like wind direction / speed and also a sun meter. I would like the METDEC part to have the capability to change the program inside the micro-controller remotely with the use of a modem. Eventually I would like to have a prototype running at my local cable station, where it would provide local statistics. It would then be my goal to sell them to a lot more stations, this would be the beginnings of a network. They should all be linked together to create weather predictions. i.e. something happening on one station would happen at another station in a period of time down-wind.

The photographs of the different parts of the project, were taken using a camcorder and grabbing them into the computer through a piece of hardware called Vidi12.

Overall, I found the project quite challenging, accomplishing most of my goals. Most of the skills that I picked up carrying out my project, I hope to use in my job. especially the multi-media part, knowledge of the authoring system Scala which soon will be out on the PC, will be in demand. I have gained further knowledge on micro-based systems, C programming, assembly language and multi-media interfaces in which I hope it will improve my job prospects.
Andrew Lalchan 1994-1999
Project was completed in June 1995

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© 1995-1999 Andrew Lalchan