The USB network server arrived the other day and works really well. I thought it might not work too well with a usb-serial chip but it worked first time which I was really happy about. The software is quite basic (which is good) and after installing it I was able to connect the FTDI chip on the Arduino to my computer and program over the network. Another feature I like is that different computers can connect to the usb device (only one per port) so we can have a few people monitoring the different webcams while I concentrate on the control program.
I decided to go with proper motor controllers for the valve motors the other day (over relays) as it will allow me to have much more control over them. Previously i was only able to send about a 5ms pulse which was about 1/8th of a turn but with the controls i won't even need to pulse the valves as I will be able to vary their speed. Eventually i hope to have a control system using the feedback data to actuate the valves so all i will need to do is select a position and the valve will go to it. I ordered a nice 2A dual motor controller. The other advantage is everything will be much neater as I eliminate 4 relays and the controller is quite compact.
I have also been working on the safety operational plan. Writing it was quite a daunting task as it needs to cover allot but I started with some checklists and have been building from there.
We have also secured a slightly closer test site (1/2 hour drive). If all goes to plan I would like to have everything finished by next weekend for a test the following saturday or sunday. Last time we were rushing to get everything finished and this time I would like to have a week to clear my head and double check everything is %100 operational.