The Main Systems Design

By Dermot Tynan, almost 10 years ago.

In terms of the system architecture, we're planning on using two separate computer control planes to manage and steer the boat from start to finish.

At the lowest level, a custom Atmel (ATmega8) board will act as a basic "autohelm", driving the boat to a specific True Wind Angle or TWA. As the breeze shifts, so too will the boat, to maintain that TWA. This is a basic PID algorithm for controlling the rudder and mainsail in relation to the specified TWA and is very similar in design and implementation to your average sailboat autohelm.

  • February 20, 2013
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Where in the world?

By Dermot Tynan, almost 10 years ago.

So, the truth is, Iles des Saintes, just south of Guadeloupe, is one of my favourite places in the world. It was definitely a case of "love at first sight." If the Microtransat is an excuse for me to travel back there, and spend a little more time in Guadeloupe, then it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

The islands, like Guadeloupe, are a "French protectorate." While many of the islands in the Caribbean are associated with one or other European country, the French islands are different. You can think of them as extensions to the mainland. The language is French (of course), the currency is the Euro, and the local flag is the Tricolore. If you're a European citizen, you can live and work here. That's way too tempting...

  • February 20, 2013
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Let the fun begin...

By Dermot Tynan, almost 10 years ago.

I'm not sure when I first started thinking about entering the Microtransat. I'd love to say it was after much consideration, and the thought that "yes, this can be done."

The truth is, the first time I heard about the race, my immediate reaction was; "that'll never work..." The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to enter a boat. I still don't think it'll work, but this site is for those people who want to follow along, and find out if I was right or not.

I'll be joined along the way by some of the other team members, some of whom have sworn off blogging for the foreseeable future...'

  • February 19, 2013
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