Oh well, it apparently took a global pandemic to get us started again. The work is currently focused on the PipeMare controller. The firmware for the secondary microcontroller (controlling the power supplies etc.) has been written, and hardware unit-testing is scheduled for this weekend.
Of course, the secondary controller is the simplest half of the PipeMare controller circuit. But one step at a time. When all the power handling is working, we can start testing the actual instrument firmware.