Sawppy Documentation Updates

It’s been a few months since I declared Sawppy version 1.0 complete and documented. A project like this is never done and there’s always more to do, but I had reached a good milestone in mechanical design supported by “good enough” electronics driven by software borrowed from another rover project. I released it open source to the world, curious what would happen next.

backyard sawppy 1600

I was very happy to see people go beyond just talking about building their own Sawppy, and have gone ahead and actually done so. In the course of their builds, people have reached out to me with questions about the information I’ve published, which I welcome. It’s always good to have extra sets of eyes to look over what I’ve written. Sawppy documentation is my best effort, but it’s very easy for me to overlook gaps in information because it’s all in my head and my brain doesn’t necessarily notice when something crucial is missing. Having other people try it out and letting me know of their experience is the best real world test, and I add clarifications in response.

And this past week the Sawppy project documentation crossed another threshold: its first external contribution pull request! I really appreciate the work of [TechMav75]. Not just point out gaps in my documentation, but actually rolling up sleeves and helping to patch those gaps based on their experience building a Sawppy. Thank you!

As for software, SGVHAK Rover’s adapted software was always intended as a placeholder, not the long term software solution for Sawppy. Indeed the first three Sawppy builds I’m aware of didn’t use that software, either. Two builders have written their own rover software, and a third has wired up their Sawppy for standard remote control. Nevertheless, some Sawppy builders want to use what works today so I should put in the time to write more detailed instructions on how to adapt that code to drive Sawppy. In the immediate present, user feedback has alerted me to an embarrassing bug that I’ve since fixed. It’s not my first public embarrassment, it won’t be the last.

Thank you everyone who has shown interest in my project. Constructive feedback and questions are always welcome, use whichever venue you are most comfortable with:

  • I encourage asking questions in public so my public answer will be useful to others as well. Go to Sawppy’s Hackaday.io page, click on “Discussion“, and add your comment.
  • If you rather not comment in public, you can send me a private message. From Sawppy’s Hackaday.io page, click on my name up top to reach my Hackaday.io profile, and click “Send a private message”.
  • File an issue on Sawppy’s Github repository.
  • And finally, my favorite: not just file an issue, but also send me your proposed solution via a pull request! Let’s work together to make Sawppy better.

(Cross-posted to Hackaday.io)

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