Having spent many hours making the components and testing them in the house, its now time to put it all together and see what stops working as something is ALWAYS going to break or work in a fundamentally different way after installation compared to how it worked on the bench.
It takes a couple of weeks of evenings to make, preserve and install the mounting wooden plates, to run in all the cables, mount all the boxes and brackets brackets and get things running. Each cable is laid in and cable clipped down, terminated in the main control unit, space is left on the mounting plates for known and unknown future enhancements.
Then, finally, its time to throw the big red switch and see if the magic smoke will be released. After a little bit of debugging, it jumps into life and the the door opens and closes when instructed - Success at last. We are now on a par with the £70 units you can buy on-line and have delivered and installed in 2 days, except this has taken many months to do. However, domestic managements comments about white elephant projects can now be firmly rebuffed.
Over the coming weeks, we get reasonable stability and a few odd things happening, so debugging now has to be done remotely, which means the problems of space become apparent. No longer can we just lean over and give the system a prod with a scope probe or a DVM, or just watch what happens when the next code is deployed, now we have to go downstairs, put on boots and enter the pen before we can do anything, so debugging and development is slowed. A better solution must be found.