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31  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Checking whiat firmware was preinstalled. on: July 02, 2012, 12:55:38 pm
I am using an arduino melzi board that had the firmware pre-installed. I have read a million posts on updating the firmware but I cannot find any on querying what firmware is already installed. Is there a command to do this and is it possible to download the current setup in case I screw up the software?

Yeah, check some posts by Nick Gammon and others. There are a few sketches floating around that will report on fuses and bootloader versions.
32  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: ESD protection ... what rating for capacitors? on: June 30, 2012, 09:45:09 pm
Following on from this thread:

I followed the link to:

And then:

In that document it mentions putting in a 10 ohm resistor in series with a 10 nF capacitor, from left/right signals to ground, to suppress ESD.

What it doesn't mention is, what rating capacitors would you use there? Since you are trying to handle 8 KV ESD, I presume you don't try to find 8 KV capacitors. Would 50V do? Or am I missing something?

Good question.

This led me to my own research, and this: and this: and this:

I'm still chewing on this.

33  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino IDE does not start on: June 30, 2012, 09:31:56 pm
I have the exact same problem, also an ATOM computer.   Have installed Arduino IDE countless times on computers, never a problem...until this little one which uses an ATOM processor.

This one is a fit-pci, small thing, like the shuttle.

So I think we've found something unusual with Java, unfortunately for us.

Not sure where or what to do with this issue.

See here for enabling minidumps on Windows:

Unfortunately, there is no information on this Exception in the Java bugparade, so this is a new JRE bug, or the OS on this architecture is flawed. But something happened on the native side, and the JRE can't even recover -- all it can tell you is that the OS might have a dump of the process prior to the exception.

You could try setting Arduino to use a different JRE than the bundled one.

In your Arduino install folder is another folder called "java". Rename this one to "java_dist". Download the Java 6 JRE and install it to the default location it suggests (probably somewhere in Program Files). The Arduino launcher should find that one instead and use it.


Or, you know, just use the cloud:
34  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Serial.print("!!!"); hangs the uploader? on: June 29, 2012, 06:38:11 pm
Why would you ever need more than one exclamation mark?

Well, the OP says:

Quote from: dlworrell
I was trying to make an error message stand out by adding "!!!" to the end of it...

I do this sort of thing all the time (though I add annotations to the beginning of log lines, not the end.) I use ! usually because I might be searching logs with a text editor that treats things like * special, and I want something quick and dirty that stands out.

This bug violates the principle of least surprise, which is why we are all having this conversation -- someone got surprised again, and then further surprised that others were surprised that he or she didn't know about the surprise.
35  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: This annoying alarm clock project - lack of inputs. on: June 29, 2012, 07:53:44 am
But they can't be ONE bit can they?

No, they can be one bit if all you want is rotation velocity without direction or a known start point.
36  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino UNO: out of sync: expect=0x14, resp=0x64 on: June 28, 2012, 08:00:38 pm
It seems this is a growing problem lately.

I have an idea that this is possibly due to sketch size.  When I load smaller sketches, and comment out several lines from my sketch, the program will successfully upload.  The magic size seems to be about 28,636 bytes, give or take a few.  28,710 bytes is slightly too big.  Unfortunately, this means I need to omit about 5 lines of code, lines which are necessary.  I've trimmed and streamlined everywhere possible at this point, including the complete removal of one of my sensors.

The IDE states we have a 32,356 byte maximum for our sketches, but obviously some of this is eaten by the 2,048 bytes of bootloader data.  IMO, that should be reflected in the maximum allowed sketch size.  The IDE should report 30,308 bytes maximum, although that's still obviously not true - I seem to be losing around 4k.

So, I'm left with either redesigning my project to utilize an Arduino MEGA (which will screw with my shield pinouts and physical construction), use a second Arduino UNO to govern my sensors (which will raise costs and power consumption), or write a program which will parse the raw data on my workstation (which will waste time and cost money).

It seems like 32k is a lot of space to write a program to utilize the Arduino to its fullest.  It isn't.  I realize this isn't the fault of the Arduino makers and rather a drawback of the ATMEGA328P chip itself, but it still kinda sucks.

EDIT:  I should clarify that I have replicated this problem on twelve Arduino UNO boards, both R2 and R3 using both Arduino 1.0 and 1.0.1.

If you need all that last bit of space, get an ISP and remove the bootloader.

Remember that RAM is organized in words, and EEPROM is organized in pages. This means that not everything will round to a single byte, and why you seem to be over-allocated.
37  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: This annoying alarm clock project - lack of inputs. on: June 27, 2012, 07:04:02 pm

A rotary switch - to call it - would need two inputs, right?

Not that I am going to use one, but I am thinking back to how they work.

They use quadrature modulation don't they?  Similar to mice, etc.

They don't have to. A rotary encoder can be as many bits wide as you like.
38  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: randomSeed(analogRead(0)); on: June 27, 2012, 07:01:39 pm
Still better than randomSeed(3); ...

Any ideas on how to make it better?

Search this forum for PRNG and PRNG seeders. There have been some interesting discussions, and lots of pointers to code that might give you better randomness.

... if you need it. Seeding the PRNG with the current date is a terrible thing, but it is a reasonably terrible thing to do if all you need is a reasonably different set of PRNs for each invocation. And you can reseed the PRNG over the lifetime of the program, if you need to select a reasonably different set of PRNs.

But if you need better PRNs, you can get them. You almost certainly need to use a third-party library.
39  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Using resistances on: June 27, 2012, 06:39:44 pm
Hi, I'm begginer in electronic and I connected a dc motor and a led to digital pins in PWM mode of the arduino board without a resistance (I connceted them directly), I want to know if do that is damaging for the arduino board or only is bad for the Led or the motor that use 5v, for that I think that the motor don't need a resistance. It's true?

See here:
40  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Possibly stupid question about supercapacitor voltages... on: June 25, 2012, 01:43:57 pm
[quote author=MarkT link=topic=111448.msg838339#msg838339 date=1340635205

I like to think of super capacitors as somewhere between a normal capacitor and a rechargeable battery - they have aspects of both.

True, but that low internal resistance makes them behave only a little like a battery for the classic abuses of all those Joules.
41  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: My computer wont recignize My arduino uno on: June 25, 2012, 01:36:42 pm
First off, Im new to the arduino system. I got my first one ever yesterday for my birthday. Anyway, I got a little anxious and decided to plug it into an Apple iPad usb wall charger. At the time I did not realise it, but in the past things (such as usb hubs) have gotton broken from getting plugged into it. Is their any chance thats why my computer wont recognize it?

You will need to share some details with us. What platform are you using with the Arduino device? Which Arduino?
42  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: When is it time to take off the training wheels? And then what, AVR Dragon? on: June 24, 2012, 08:17:04 pm
The fact that I can't press Alt-F, S to save my sketch makes me angry.

Angry? Really? It's just a programming environment. I don't complain because nothing uses ctrl-ks to save.

:wq doesn't work either.
43  Using Arduino / Installation & Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino IDE does not start on: June 24, 2012, 08:00:45 pm

So I tried the command you suggested. It errored out. Attached is the log it wrote to my Arduino folder. Really not sure what to do next. I guess I can log a bug report to the url in the log file.

If anyone has any ideas, it would be greatly appreciated.

Not sure if it has anything to do with it, but I'm running this on an Intel Atom processor. Does that matter? Is the Arduino IDE compatible with the Atom processor?



Well, that's not good. Access violation in the JRE. This could be pretty much anything to do with the native runtime environment. It could even be bad RAM, or a bad driver.  We'd have to stare at the coredump to even start figuring this out.

Though, I am confused that your original error report mentions Java 6, and this latest error references Java 7. Is this really what Arduino installs? Why does it report 6 earlier, but 7 here?

We should rule out some odd config problem.

Can you just reinstall the software from a test account that has admin rights? Make sure you run the installer as an admin, and run it as an admin. See if you get the same results.
44  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Possibly stupid question about supercapacitor voltages... on: June 24, 2012, 06:19:53 pm
When I was a kid a mate and I made a short film using his dad's VHS video camera of blowing up model trains using large electrolytic capacitors connected backwards to large voltages  smiley-twist

It was fun...  smiley-twist

Submitted without comment:
45  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: looking for a sketch for Close encounters of the third kind on: June 23, 2012, 09:14:11 pm
i'm looking for a sketch for Close encounters of the third kind
You want a sketch of a movie?

No, he wants a five-tone major scale colour organ of some sort. One assumes not a full attract-the-mother-ship size.
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