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Losing My Skills

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Posted: December 17, 2023 | Categories: Miscellaneous

I feel like I'm losing some skills. I'm working on this Microcontroller-based project that I intended to have completed by Halloween (2023) but I wasn't able to get it working in time and, as I continue to work on it, I can't seem to finish it.

The project is a sleeping dragon in a mailbox project that I first wrote about in DFRobot mmWave RADAR. I have this sign that flashes lights inside the sign in a particular way until the mmWave device detects a human at which point it starts flashing the lights more...urgently.

What's supposed to happen next is the sign's supposed to "wake up" the dragon creating sound, smoke and lights. I'm really excited about it, but I just can't get parts of it to work.

Even though I wrote the post here about setting up and using the mmWave device, when I added it to the sign, it just hangs the sketch when I try to detect a human in front of the sign. I've tried two different mmWave boards on multiple microcontrollers and I just can't get it to work. This just makes no sense and I'm really frustrated about it.

When it comes to waking up the dragon in the mailbox, I can't get the microcontroller in the mailbox to read pin state on the sign's microcontroller even though I published a post here about how to do that in Read Pin State Between Two Arduino Devices. This is ridiculous, I used to be able to make things like this work.

Don't even get me started on the dragon in the mailbox, there's a lot of stuff going on there (lights, sound, smoke), but even though everything's coded and works, after a while the sketch simply panics the processor and it reboots.

Sigh, I don't know what to do. I have skills, more than 30 years of experience writing code and more than a decade working with microcontrollers and such. Apparently those skills no longer work for me.

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