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211  Products / Arduino Due / Re: The Due uses the SAM3X8E... But can we compile for other chips? Which ones? on: July 17, 2013, 06:46:50 am
...funny this post should come up about my old thread.

I actually have come to the descision to use the SAM3X8E - it's readily available, dosen't cost the earth and is compatible with the Arduino IDE which allows me to prove the hardware quickly, then move on to writing my actual code in Atmel Studio.

I'm sticking with the 3X8E for now, and may move elsewhere in the future when I've weened myself off the Arduino IDE completely....

...although, I am looking at the SAM3A4C at the moment for a project - USB Host and Device, SD card support & CAN still - also, much cheaper - £3.88 in 25 QTY from Mouser, vs £5.81 for the 3X8E...
212  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Building PC Software to interface with device on: July 11, 2013, 03:33:34 pm
Thanks for the replies!

Regarding EEPROM...

Why not? That's what it's for...

Primarily because of the vast amounts of data I need to store, many tens of large lookup tables - larger than most EEPROMS.

In terms of using the serial monitor, I've got lots of codes working and running where I can input data in the serial monitor and have the controller change values based on that - so the microcontroller side isn't the problem. It's the PC side.

My second edition of this board is unlikely to even use an Atmel MCU...

I'll have a look at Visual Studio - some people have already suggested this to me!
213  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Building PC Software to interface with device on: July 11, 2013, 11:38:45 am
Hi there,

Thanks for your reply.

Writing to RAM isn't a problem in this application, as those parameters that would be adjusted in real time (i.e. during device calibration) once they are set to a satisfactory value, the device would be reset - and the calibration saved permanently into the device and permanently as a calibration file on the PC.

I would rather use flash space, as opposed to EEPROM - in fact, I'm not interested in using EEPROM at all. Writing to flash may be difficult, but that's what I'd like to do. If it makes it any easier, the board I've designed uses an SD card - so data can be stored into certain locations on that card.

Bluetooth and other wireless methods won't be any good in this application, a wired USB / Ethernet connection is what I am using. My first board version dosen't have any Ethernet support, just USB using an FTDI chip to convert between serial and USB.

I would like to develop a standalone piece of software, not do it inside a web browser...and as mentioned above, would need to be able to save and load calibration files to load to boards.

The environment is the advice I'm really looking for here, how to get started if you see smiley
214  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Building PC Software to interface with device on: July 11, 2013, 11:00:03 am
Hi all,

I guess this would be the best place to write this post - I want to start writing a piece of software to interface with a device I built, using an AVR MCU. I've got for example a lot of chips on the board that can be configured over SPI, amongst other things, and I'd like to be able to change some of these options without reloading bits of source code.

Currently the device is using the Arduino software, but soon i'll be rewriting software without the Arduino libraries, and using Atmel Studio...

I want to write a piece of PC based software, that allows me to connect to the device over USB (and possibly Ethernet on a planned new version of the device) and change a load of parameters stored in RAM, or to tell it to use a different bunch of parameters stored in flash.

I'm not looking to write a fancy piece of software, just a black screen with a list of configuration types that one can navigate using the keyboard, expand a change a few options - I would also like to be able to change the data stored in arrays in real time, i.e. a change made on the PC is instantly rectified on the microcontroller.

So a menu such as the following.


However, the only software I've ever written is embedded software for MCUs using the Arduino environment.

Where do I start in making software for a PC in this way, like I say - I'm not interested in pretty graphics, perhaps some black and white wireframe maps of 2D array data and that's it.

I'll give a better example - one feature of the boards is its ability to sense current draw from it's outputs, and shut those outputs down should current levels rise above a defined value, however - I'd like to be able to adjust these values, by plugging my board into a PC, and quickly changing a value in software, as opposed to reloading an updated source code to the file.

I.e. in a menu, change OUTPUT 1 CURRENT LIMIT, from say 2A to 4A.

Where do I start with this?

Ultimately, I would like in the future to build a touch version for iPad too - but let's focus on PC first...

Many thanks in advance
215  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Reading MOSI data from Bosch ASIC, take 2 on: July 09, 2013, 03:41:55 am
Hi there,

Regarding the PM you sent me, and this regarding my old CJ125 thread - I will respond to this in the next couple of days as I am about to revisit it, but have been very busy with other things - but yes, you are right. The reference current is only for the LSU 4.9 sensor, the 4.2 does not use a reference current.
216  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: udword and udbytes? on: May 27, 2013, 04:10:47 am
Ah, that makes perfect sense now - and the same for 'udbyte'. Cheers!
217  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / udword and udbytes? on: May 26, 2013, 05:24:00 pm
Hi all,

Could anybody please shed some light on what 'udword' and 'udbytes' may refer to in the context of RS232 serial streams? Such as "choose the data channels to be sent in the UDWORD positions of the datastream"...

Many thanks!
218  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Making a fibre optic light source on: April 03, 2013, 01:52:00 pm
I use fibreoptic endoscopes for work, and have just got hold of an older Pentax 'scope for filthy cheap money, as it just needed a few minor repairs but didn't come with a light source.

~150W is the typical power level for halogen light sources for this purpose, but I can deal with less.

I have a fibre optic xmas tree and it uses one of these to focus light into the bundle through a colour wheel. Not as powerful as you wanted but maybe a cluster of them would do the job.

Do you actually focus the light into the fibre bundle, or just point the lamp at the end? My fibre connector has a 3mm diameter opening for light, hence thinking I need a little focus. Just wondering if a high power LED would do the job.

Something like this, driven with a 12V source.
219  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Making a fibre optic light source on: April 03, 2013, 03:04:44 am
Hi all,

I'm looking at building up a light source for a bunch of fibre optic cable - I need about 100-150W in terms of typical halogen bulb power...

However, I'm not sure about how to focus this light into a fibre optic bunch - some have mentioned torch lenses etc, but will that not simply melt the end of the fibre bunch? Or perhaps a magnifying glass, that focuses the light onto a mirror, which reflects the light into the source - that way, should a large amount of the heat be dissipated in the mirror?

Any ideas / suggestions appreciated.

220  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / JTAG & ISP over ~2m cables on: March 28, 2013, 10:58:14 am
Hi all,

I've been working on a board for nearing 6 months now, that will ultimately be embedded away and hard to get to for me - but, I'd still like the option of having the ISP & JTAG lines accesible over a cable with cable distances of roughly 2 meters.

What are the likely challenges / issues with this? Seems JTAG themselves recommended very short cables

I've heard something about increasing the signal strength using a buffer, but I can't say I'm entirely sure I know what that means?

221  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: USB Power - Common Ground? SOLVED. on: March 28, 2013, 06:44:39 am
Thanks for all your replies, that's certainly answered!
222  Using Arduino / General Electronics / USB Power - Common Ground? on: March 26, 2013, 10:21:00 am
Hi all,

I'm adding USB connectivity in a design I'm working on, but don't wish to provide 5V from the USB port/cable itself as I've got 5v and 3v3 regulated on the board from a 12V supply.

However, do I still need to connect the ground pin from the USB port/cable to the boards ground?

223  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: High side NMOS gate driver recommendations on: March 23, 2013, 08:17:22 am
I'll be switching both static and/or PWM depending... The chips recommended look like a nice little device, however - a little help reading the datasheet(s) if possible - how does one know if a device is suitable for static switching, or PWM only?
224  Using Arduino / General Electronics / High side NMOS gate driver recommendations on: March 22, 2013, 04:38:24 pm
Hi all,

I've got some high side p-channel MOSFETs providing high side general purpose power switches from a board I'm working on, but as mentioned to me in a thread - you can of course use NMOS if you've got a high enough voltage available for the gate relative to source (why it took somebody to tell me this as opposed to me seeing it is besides the point smiley-grin)

Can anybody a) recommend a high sided NMOS gate driver, as the obvious ones such as the MAX1614 seem to be aimed at power distribution applications in devices such as phones etc, and so have multiple pins for other purposes I don't need.

and b) or alternatively, can I not just use a DC-DC converter to give me the voltage I need (appropriately sized for switching current of course) to drive NMOS gates on the high side?
225  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Inrush current protection using MOSFETs on: March 20, 2013, 04:50:29 am
Using N-channel on high side would be possible if a voltage for the gate is available that is higher than the source or the drain. Like I wrote, that is almost never the case.

That I don't have, so that removes that possibility.

As for the PMOS application, yes - let's hope some others can chime in here too...

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