Since the holidays are over, I've had to spend more time (that is, more time than zero!) on other for-pay projects. That has not helped my progress on the contest.
It is quite clear now that I will have to use RF modules. There just simply won't be time to design the hardware let alone code low level drivers for the chips.
With only ten days left now, it looks like I will have to start making some more feature cuts. I just spent 3 hours writing code to implement what I had originally proposed. Its turning into quite a bit of code just for the user interface. I need to allow time to at least get the code to compile, otherwise my project faces rejection at the next step of the contest just because the code won't compile. I certainly won't have done any "simulation". So I'm considering a much stripped down version of the UI. I have an idea that is 1/8th the complexity I had proposed. That should save a lot of time. Time I need in order to finish in TEN DAYS. Yikes.
So, like most engineering projects, time constraints are limiting the features. Nothing new there. Every product on the shelves has had that happen to it.
The basic functionality of the system remains intact, it just won't have usability features I had planned for - and documented in the proposal. The user will have to spend more time fiddling with the interface. Consumers pretty much demand "set and forget". This system will not be consumer ready. But I am determined to make it contest ready...