Friday, 24 April 2015

Challenging myself

It is interesting how much a goal for myself has now influenced some of my development as well as a module.

I love mountain biking, I enjoy cycling. But one this is, I need to work on my fitness levels. We look at goals with our students in out learning hubs, be it around my learning, my being or my community. Students have been busy this week looking at their goal from term 1, and working on a term 2 goal. Modelling what I would like to see from the students I included a goal, to be able to run 5 km.

This is a challenge for me, on tuesday I went out onto the field after school and went for a run... I did not get 5 km. But I have goals to help me get to the 5km.

Working towards a goal does sometime require smaller goals, this was something that I took away from the presentation on Wednesday from Live more Awesome, to be able to get to the goal, how are you going to get there. Also "ask for help".

Last year, I decided to try and develop a system to help people work towards a goal, it was to be associated with a Physical Education option as well as helping students develop fitness through running.

I purchased from  a USB RFID reader and associated aerial, some RFID tags, which I have now found are 125MHz, so my idea of using something that had on them (metrocard or AT Hop Card) didn't quite work, as I have now found that there are other frequencies.

Development had been on hold, however I have been playing around with how to get it working, doing readings.

Last week I planned my mytime through the HPSS planing sheet.

I decided that I wanted to try and do something different, to be able to record the data through an electronic system. To develop a way to celebrate personal bests. This whole mytime is around developing personal bests. I am talking to the specialists at school about how to do this, as well have looked at other websites that work towards getting communities of people running and how they manage it.

This is a proof of concept and waiting for an area of the community to be reopened. The idea is develop a way for our community to be a part of this. It needs to be simple enough, accessible and informative.

At the moment the timing system is started by a RFID tag that is setup to reset the timer. Then any tags after it will record a finish time as well as show the student their time. This will be saved to a csv file as a backup. the idea will be for it to be sent live to a mysql server in which it will run a webpage showing a graph, number of km run and also to support the student by showing personal bests.

The hardware was brought through

The extra RFID tags were bought through

Programming has been done in python at present using in particular the sample program

To make the data go through to a website running php and mysql, I needed to install mysql.connector for mysql
as well as pyserial to be able to link to the rfid usb reader

Now I want to make it as small as possible for the environment that it could end up in, so I have it running on a Raspberry Pi at present, though doing some reading I came across that I needed to disable UART on the RPi.
You need to disable uart on rpi to allow serial usb to communicate

Now to change the code to get usb port working on the rpi
serial = serial.Serial("/dev/ttyUSB0", baudrate=9600)

Testing on the bench this afternoon
Installed in its location, with some more graphics and details to come

It is now setup to start timing based upon a RFID tag that has been programmed through its unique number to start a mass start of students. Interesting that I also have one to quit the program as well. They are labelled so I don't get them mixed up.

Next steps, program individual start's through the users RFID tag.
Push all results through to a mysql database (requires a wireless adapter or network connection enabled in its location)
Enable a better user management system rather than using dictionary in python.

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