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1  Community / Bar Sport / Re: the wife caught me doing standard stuff on: February 22, 2012, 01:12:11 pm
I got caught sitting doing reflow soldering on an upturned clothes iron balanced on my lap.
The only thing my wife said was "Have you done a health and safety review of that process?"

[I now clamp the iron to the desk - it's actually a lot easier]
2  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / TellyMate examples now Arduino 1.0 compatible on: February 22, 2012, 04:52:42 am
I've just converted all my TellyMate examples to work with Arduino 1.0.
They're all available for download on the TellyMate Shield examples page.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to re-post a video of my favourite - a performance of the closing credits from 'Portal':

"Still Alive" will actually work just fine without a TellyMate (one line to comment out in the source), but you'll need to watch the output on the serial monitor rather than your TV screen :o) (I'm still hoping that someone will hook it up to something like a serial dasiywheel printer and video the result!)

Very few changes were actually required to move to Arduino 1.0; two main things:
  • Functionality has changed in Serial.print.
    Previously, calling Serial.print( my_byte ) would transmit the raw byte, but under Arduino 1.0, it converts it to a decimal string.
    The fix is to simply call Serial.write( my_byte ).

  • There's now a transmit buffer on Serial.
    This caused some timing issues when listening for responses from the TellyMate - very often I'd start listening before the command had even been sent!
    The solution is to simply call Serial.flush() before waiting for a response. That guarantees that all the TX buffer is sent.

3  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Uploading a .hex file using avrdude not in sync er on: November 23, 2009, 03:04:34 am
I'd sort of guessed that the order I'd got from Dan in Ireland was 'Dan IRL'! smiley - I'm just about to post it...

A chap called 'Pixelfrenzy' has posted a great summary on Flickr on wiring up a TellyMate on a spare Arduino.
4  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Uploading a .hex file using avrdude not in sync er on: November 22, 2009, 04:39:40 pm
For those making their own version of a TellyMate, the default compiled version of v.1.0.14 of the TellyMate code will no longer upload onto a chip with a bootloader  - v1.0.14 introduced re-flashable fontbanks which necessitated use of the bootloader memory space.

To get V1.0.14 onto a 328 with a bootloader, a couple of small changes are needed to the makefile (documented therein) before recompiling...
    * remove the 'reprogrammable fonts' functionality
    * reduce the number of fontbanks to 10

Dan, since you're not au-fait with makefiles and the likes, PM me, and I'll send you a bootloader friendly M328p version of 1.0.14.

In the mean time, the .hex file in release v.1.0.11 should work fine on a M328p with a bootloader.
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: toneMelody problem in 0019 on: October 12, 2010, 08:16:43 am
This looks to be a bug in tone(), introduced in 0019 (whilst fixing "Issue 228: PWM remains disabled after tone() ends".)

A temporary work-round would be to insert noTone(smiley-cool; just before the tone comand. That'll work because it ensures that the underlying timer is re-initialised correctly on subsequent tone calls.

[edit: the issue is already logged : Issue 361 : tone command no longer plays frequencies accurately]
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Syntax & Programs / Re: Composite video from Arduino on: January 30, 2010, 07:24:52 am
If it's any help, the following diagram is taken from some notes on Monochrome Composite video signals that I wrote whilst developing the TellyMate. It shows the PAL signal, but the NTSC signal is similar. Note that this isn't a proper interlaced signal - it's a fake-progressive signal - most TVs understand it though.

No matter what you do, you're always going to be up against timing issues when displaying TV signals - there's just not a lot of free time. There's a lot of time-sensitive code in the TellyMate to enable it to read and process serial data without corrupting the display at any time. For more details, see the article about the design of the TellyMate.

If you've got a 'spare' Arduino, here's a thread that details how you can turn an Arduino into a TellyMate and here's a diagram on flickr.

@digimike: you might find that the 75R resistor is not required - most TVs should already have this. Including the 75R on 'your side' effectively halves the voltages being output. See this AVRFreaks thread.

I hope this helps!
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Direct reading of a PORTD bit on: February 23, 2010, 10:30:48 am
You need to use PIND to read the port, rather than PORTD.
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: NOISE on: October 29, 2009, 05:53:28 pm
I thought servos used 50hz PWM as a control signal?
2.5% to 12.5% duty cycle to give end-to-end control.
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Etched a Purpose-Built Arduino - It Does Nothing! on: October 07, 2009, 04:54:31 pm
Are different fuse settings needed for a ceramic resonator?
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re:  chip is "slow" .. clock/frequency probl on: June 14, 2009, 10:32:27 am
The fuses you want are lfuse = 0xff, hfuse = 0xc9 so try the following:

          avrdude -p atmega8 -P lpt1 -c dapa -U lfuse:w:0xff:m -U hfuse:w:0xc9:m

Note: lpt1 and dapa are guesses - something tells me that the lpt1 in particular is wrong for a linux box.

I tend to use an online fuse calculator now (such as rather than bend my head around the datasheet.
11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Have I blown a board, or just a bootloader? on: March 28, 2009, 08:57:35 am
I would like to buy a few chips as replacement, can I get them with the bootloader already burnt (UK).
You can get 3 x 168s pre-programmed with an Arduino bootloader for £9.99 on eBay. Just search for Arduino.
[assuming that 168's are what's required of course!]
12  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Long female header pins? on: May 01, 2009, 02:45:14 am
I've just been sent some samples from samtec (very quick!):


They're 6 and 8 - way long-tailed 0.1" pitch sockets.
The 'F' is for "gold flash selective" (gold flash inside the sockets) but with Matte tin on the tails.
I went for the 'low insertion force' (the '23' in the part) and it seems just right.
I'm assuming that matte tin is OK to use as a connecting pin.

Here's a picture:
13  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Female headers similar to Arduino on: September 08, 2009, 03:23:36 pm
In case it's helpful for bigger orders, I've found two main sources for these long-square-tailed-female-headers.

The first is Samtec:
They're pretty pricey, but they do deliver very quickly.

The second is Don Connex (whose UK distributor is Toby - they've already been mentioned)
I'd happily recommend Toby by the way. Friendly and efficient.

There's a third source, which is 4uconn, but I don't think their tails are quite square (but I'm not sure that matters). Their part numbers are 18688 and 18689.

The samtec parts above are the gold-flash version. Below is a picture of the matte-tin finish version.

[edit: And, as is often the case, I've completely misunderstood the question! - My waffling was for the long-tailed headers that are suitable for stacking shields - the OP just wanted standard female headers... Oh well, someone might find the info useful <sigh>]
14  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: 6 & 8 Way Shield Stacking Headers - UK suppliers? on: September 08, 2009, 05:43:17 pm
Take a look at my post in this thread. I've just picked up a load from
15  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: TV output Shield on: June 21, 2009, 04:55:36 am
Mike, I think it's the other way 'round. The Arduino could be made to become a 'TellyMate'.

I'd assumed that The_Bongmaster was going to remove the chip from the Arduino to use in a stand-alone TellyMate made on a breadboard, but I suppose you're right - the Arduino itself could be made into a TellyMate with the addition of the additional tellymate circuitry! If it helps, I'll draw up a simplified schematic...

Of course an Arduino wired up this way will be single-function, e.g. a TellyMate, but it should respond to serial
data from the PC in the normal way.
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