This is a quick (and long overdue) update on the status of the Benchtester project that I'm building as part of the Brisbane Makes competition.

I've spent most of my available time working on a simple UI for the device. This has grown a little bit larger than I originally anticipated and has grown into a simple touchscreen focused UI framework for embedded barebones and minimal Linux systems that I've dubbed 'QuickUI'. The UI for the bench tool itself is built on top of this.

The QuickUI framework deserves a post (or few) all of it's own and that will follow in due course. In the meantime all the code is available on GitHub if you would like to take a look at it. At the moment the build system is a bit of a mess and the behaviour can be a bit touchy but it works well enough to prototype with. I'm going to do my best to avoid the temptation to polish it too much and come back to it at a later date to clean things up.

Prototyping Stands

If I have any chance of meeting the competition deadline I'm going to have to have circuits ready and boards ordered within the next 3 weeks so I'm going to have to pull my finger out and get that side of the project done. I've printed up a few holders for the boards and LCD I'm using (see the image to the left) so I can start wiring together a prototype.

First up is getting a decent development environment up and running for the Stellaris Launchpad on my main Linux development machine (I've found some good guides here and here which should give me a decent start). Next step is to get everything talking together over I2C and SPI. Then finally I can start working on the external electronics.

All of these activities are deserving of posts in themselves and I'll certainly be taking notes and writing drafts during the process. The posts may have to wait until the project is at least working and in a presentable state or I'm going to run out of time very quickly.