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16  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Mouse - sensor on: October 25, 2006, 03:08:34 pm
Hey all,

I have hacked up a M$  mouse and nabbed the LED/Sensor component.

Essentially what I want to do is to create my own mouse using this item.

I am working on Getting an oscilloscope so that I can look at the information comming off of this.

I am assuming that it is going to be two PWM signals.     If this is the case, would I use the "pulseIn()" to read this?

Or does anybody know better?

Thanks oh so very much!

17  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: AVRUSB running on Arduino hardware with minish on: March 09, 2008, 02:50:03 am
Oh man!  This is awesome, I will most definitely be following your progress.

18  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Can I use the ATMega8 on it's own? on: November 03, 2006, 09:29:11 am
My larger board has jumpers located where marked, connecting the right to the left.  Is this what mellis and brainfart were talking about?

19  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Create a spark on: October 18, 2006, 08:12:27 am
Hmmm, if I recall right, I have a schematic on how to make a stun gun.

I will look for it when I get home.

off to e-mail myself a reminder  :smiley



Just googled this.
20  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Create a spark on: October 12, 2006, 12:30:19 pm
Not arduino related... but you may get a kick out of this.

21  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Large motors on: May 12, 2008, 12:12:30 am
Another option is to use a separate driver so that you can use the arduino for more.
With the following, you can get by with only using 2 of the arduino's digital outputs.

You will still have to figure out how to handle the amps though.

22  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: overview of sensors on: October 28, 2007, 10:06:34 pm

I don't have any links, but I do know of a few books.

Radio Shack's  Engineer's mini notebook - Sensor Projects  Cat # 62-5026

Siemens - Basics of sensors

Newnes -  Sensor Technology Handbook
       ISBN: 0-7506-7729-5

Newnes - Sensors and Transducers
       ISBN 0 7506 4932 1

Handbook of Modern Sensors  Physics, Designs, and Applications

23  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: how to read a rotary encoder? on: November 29, 2006, 10:43:17 am

I can think of two kinds of rotary encoders.  One that produces two square wave signals that are offset by 90º.   This gives you a timing  of the rotary motion ( how fast the pulses come in are indicative of the speed)    And the direction that rotary motion is traveling in.    The direction is determined by which of the waves is leading the other.  

This is of the type that the old Mice with the ball in it use.  For a more concise discription of this,  go to the website

In this page, it has a link to another that explains the direction portion.

The other is a discreet position encoder.  This will use a pattern printed or screened onto a clear plastic disc.  Probably in a binary progression pattern.   This type of encoder will tell you exactly where it is in it's rotation by reading said bit pattern.  The more bits used the higher resolution you will get.   8 bits will give you 256 postions or ~ 1.4º per.

For this, you will need as many i/o lines as bits of resolution you have.

Admitedly, it has been quite some time since I have seen the latter type.   For the most part, if you need discreet positioning, I think stepper motors are used.  Though, they may be used in a motor that has an optically encoded shaft.

Hope this helps.


24  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Accidental proximity sensor. on: October 31, 2006, 09:42:59 am
seems about right.

Yes, I just had the one end floating, the other into my input.

I am wondering though, how this works.  and if it could be used effectively.


25  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Accidental proximity sensor. on: October 29, 2006, 09:16:37 pm
Ok,,,   I have some weirdness going on.

After working on a little project that I can't quite get to run right   I decided to dumb it down.

I just wanted to check my inputs so I loaded the "Basic Digital Read" example.     Wired things up.  But when I put in a jumper wire into the input pin (that is assigned)  it then acts as some kind of antenae and the whole thing acts like a proximity sensor.

That is,  if I get 8 to 6" from the antenae, the LED will turn on.   the antenae, is only connected to the #7 pin.   and not to ground or vcc  (it is dangling)

what is going on?  

It, unfortunately, is kind of flaky and I don't think it can be used in a positive or effective manner.

Is this some how detectinc capacitance?  Or did I some how manage to fry something.
I have tried other input pins too.

Any explanation would be greatly appreciated.


int ledPin = 13; // choose the pin for the LED
int inPin = 7;   // choose the input pin (for a pushbutton)
int val = 0;     // variable for reading the pin status

void setup() {
  pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);  // declare LED as output
  pinMode(inPin, INPUT);    // declare pushbutton as input

void loop(){
  val = digitalRead(inPin);  // read input value
  if (val == HIGH) {         // check if the input is HIGH (button released)
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);  // turn LED OFF
  } else {
    digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);  // turn LED ON
26  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / ipod screen on: November 03, 2006, 07:51:48 pm
Here is a link to get an ipod screen for $50 us.

I went ahead and ordered myself one just to see what I can do with it.   Hopefully it has a driver with it.   I will keep you posted.

27  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Multiply the analog Outputs up to 12 channels on: October 09, 2006, 02:34:21 pm

It has been a long time since I dabbled in electronics... but couldn't you also add a counter in between the arduino  and the multiplexer?  Then just use a single pin out from the arduino and step through the counter for the output you want?    

Hmm, maybe you would need two pins from the arduino.   One to step the counter and the other to tell the device to activate...  that would probably mean an additional flipflop or something...


28  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling Serial port location  (USB) on: October 19, 2006, 07:27:36 pm

Yea I will probably do just that.   I do have an FTDI chip.  I have the board that was just previous to the NG.  I also got it from Sparkfun.   After all, they are just down the road from me.

It just helps me understand to ask all of these questions.

I really do appreciate the help.


29  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling Serial port location  (USB) on: October 19, 2006, 11:12:45 am

Thanks for your explanations.  I may consider giving it a serial with the utilities.  I do have an XP box, though I have never turned it on.  Also, I have a couple of linux boxes just waiting to become render farms.

Unfortunately, I am not a unix/linux guy.  So... the little code snippet... does that effectively create a symbolic link to the ports?   What then, if you want multiple arduinos connected?

There has to be a way in your app that interfaces with the arduino, to have a way of detecting what port it is.
Yea, the serial number makes complete sense especially if it is up to the designer what form that serial number takes.

Even still, the arduino environment has the ability to detect a serial port with a board that does not have a SN.

I suppose I could dig through all the source code...  blech!

Thanks again for the insights, they are of great help.

30  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Controlling Serial port location  (USB) on: October 18, 2006, 05:51:34 pm

Ok, so I tested this.  it appears that as long as I plug it into the same port, I get the same value.

So then there is no way to predetermine the port.

How about a way for my program to detect what port it is in?

would searching the dev directory for /dev/tty.*  then parsing anything that contains
".usbserial-"  ?

It appears that .usbserial-   is common to all of the ports.

Thanks for the help!

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