When I applied for a 3 year position with the “Mining
Automation group” at CSIRO
QCAT (Queensland centre for advanced technology) in November
of 1999 they were in urgent need of someone to design PCB and
create wiring diagrams for an urgent project.
In a nut-shell we had two pressure vessels. One was for power supplies of which there were plenty and the other housed a PC104 stack, the towed array drivers and some stuff I probably shouldn't talk about. We didn't get the chirp sonar till a few days before the gear left QCAT (a surprise – it was much bigger and heavier than we imagined). We didn't see the magnetometers until on the ship a few days before the ship sailed.
Right - Jonno is debugging the software on board the ship a day or two before she sails. The PC104 tube is in front on him. The power supply tube is at 45 degs sitting in the sink, the white tubes on the floor are magnetometers and the orange thing is a deep-sea battery.
Left – Yours truly helping Jonno check the wiring after we did a rebuild to replace a faulty data acquisition board on the night before departure.
All in all things worked, a few things fell over but
considering we had no testing to speak of - we did well - see
The original system used 4 wire for
comms another one or two for power switching. Each wire goes
through a slip ring so fewer wires is very good. The original
system had comms to the INS but nothing else.
There then were a bunch of small jobs I won't go into in any detail. Mainly these were either for the “rapid roadway development” project or the “landmark” longwall mining automation project.
More wiring diagrams, a video switcher, watchdog timer and another interesting project –
Laser scanner ethernet interface.
I was also part of the Numbat team but it was never used in anger, I took it for a walk a few times.