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16  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Are microcontrollers considered to be kiddies toys in real world? on: April 24, 2014, 08:46:18 pm
SirNickity wrote:
I worry about that with some of my old audio hardware, like my Ensoniq MR and Korg Trinity rack synths
Yep, I have the same fears with my beloved Kawai K5000S Additive Synthesizer.
It is non replaceable, for me.
17  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: The Catweazle on: April 23, 2014, 07:32:03 am
Have you thought of coding up an 'Additive' Synth?
I have a Kawai K5000S, man, is this thing one beautiful piece of sound machinary that is not seen in synths these days.

Additive synthesis is different from the more common subtractive type of synthsizers that is mostly used, where the sound is built up from an fundamental and its harmonics, rather than having a noise source that you then filter out to get the sounds.

I wonder  smiley-grin

Well done with the project so far
18  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: April 06, 2014, 09:05:40 pm
Possums, don't talk to me about possums Tom. Each night I get out to chase them from my small veggie garden here on the mountain.

With a bright LED head torch, I scan the bush and see six eyes out of one tree, four from another tree and a single pair out of another, all waiting for their chance. Some are ringtail, which pretty well keep to themselves. It's the big brush tail possum that has 'no fear'.

Wallabies, they're no problem, even cute and inquisitive  smiley

That is what I should buy, or even make, an electric zapper. I'm about fed up with so many possums at this time of the year.
Picking up possum cage trap tonight so I can give some of them a holiday to a new location they have never seen before.

Tom, what sort of PLC and software do you use then, I'd like to have another option for PLC only projects possibly?
19  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: April 06, 2014, 07:57:17 pm
TomGeorge wrote:
Now if  ABB and Seimens can only get down off their high horses?  Ridiculous prices for software for a start.
I avoid both brands like the plague when they say how much their software is, unforunately its there distributors salesman that looses the sale. I was trained on both brands and got sick and tired of keys and security on their software.
Especially when the key was a so-called uncopyable fragile 3 1/2 floppy.
Tom, I'm wondering if you meant to say AB, as in Allen Bradley from Rockwell Automation, which manufacture a range of PLCs and VSDs rather than ABB which make VSDs and other power technologies for industry?

Yes, you are correct Rob, the software licence I purchased for AB PLCs, RS5000 produced by Rockwell Software for use with AB Control Logix range of PLCs cost me around $4k and it is only mono OS platform as well.

Guess which one it is that I need to continually keep a current live version of VirtualBox to run this software?
I bought it a few years back now and is well out of date and would not be looking forward to shelling out more money to have it upto date. To make it a bit safer from being a software only licence I have it in a USB security dongle. That allows me to operate it from more than one computer. I just need to make sure I don't loose the silly thing now  smiley-eek

As Tom infers, Open Source, love it, and it seems to be a thriving business model. Many who have worked in the traditional business world find it difficult concept to grasp in terms of making any money from it, I am sure.

Tom, I still have some of those 3½" floppies with the activation codes for the older RS500 software for SLC-500 range. A total PITA, but I was able to get around the complex and tricky copy protection and made a few backups, for myself only of course  smiley-mr-green

Hence my desire to utilise the micro-controller these days in my industrial applications when it is appropriate. Did I mention your nice Quub design there Rob?

Like Rob, I am also making mancave, I mean new shiny R&D area for our pursuits. New floor is being laid next week as soon as I finish building this current PLC replacing Arduino project.

I haven't bought anything new for a while, I'm setting some money aside for Quub and looking forward to developing with it. Bugger, I mentioned it again?

Anyhow, Rob, that MIG-150 is looking very attractive in its green and black colour.
20  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: 4-20ma output from arduino 2560 on: March 06, 2014, 04:44:03 pm
Yes, there is definitely a lack of analog interface solutions for Arduino systems where we want to control industrial devices.

I have it mind to develop some boards to do more with analogs, specifically analog inputs from industrial devices.

There are many circuits available on the web, but as retrolefty says, you will need a digital to analog convertor.
You can, again find many sorts of these with various interfaces, I2C, SPI and so on.
You will need a suitable driving opamp to then provide the 4-20mA signal.

Remember, that to drive the 4-20mA signal, you will want to supply the opamp with something other than your 5 volt Vcc supply. Commonly 24Vdc is used and the final stage of the 4-20mA driver modulates the current.
21  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Beginner’s Blog on: March 06, 2014, 04:26:30 pm
Hi Pedro,
Looking at your blog sites, I notice on your contact page you only have a google map of Canberra, no actual way to contact you, is this intentional?

The theme you are using tells me at the bottom 'Responsive Theme powered by WordPress', but when I view on a reduced screen size your top menu collapses as it should, but the drop down menu selection holds no menu items. 

On your other site '' there appears to be a serious problem when you try to scroll down on this page Well, in my Chrome browser it does  smiley-eek

Keep having fun with the blog making  smiley
22  Community / Bar Sport / Re: List of all the 'ranks'? on: March 02, 2014, 06:27:46 am
I'm thinking, is a score 3.35 a good thing then?
That's what we need, a 'Grumpy Old Mens Club'.
I always laughed when they showed up on the Muppets  smiley-grin
23  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: using arduino pins as switches on: March 01, 2014, 10:51:34 pm
It sounds like to me that you really have a need to know that a specified pin is connected to another specified pin, is this correct?

Can you tell us a bit more about what you are trying to achieve, explain what your project is to do, then I can better understand why you wish to use this technique?

But if that is the case, then what you would normally do in this situation is to define a number of pins as outputs that you will sequentially set and reset. Then you will define other pins that will be defined as inputs and you will scan these pins or do a byte read to know which pins are set in accordance to the output pins. This is the simple concept of a matrix as used by most keyboards.

Again, you need to be more specific with providing clear details or we will all go around in circles.
24  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Help develop a new stackable development system on: March 01, 2014, 08:26:56 pm
Fairfax have just called and others, who seemed chaffing at the bit to have interviews and hold press conferences?
They have their printing presses on hold with headlines of 'Quub, - the next must have item'  smiley-grin

Start laying down tracks Rob.
25  Development / Other Software Development / Re: Windows/Linux/Mac Eclipse plugin to compile and upload arduino sketches on: March 01, 2014, 08:09:16 am
Yes I thought your instructions were quite well explained too.
I could have used them last year or was it the year before that, when I was going through this myself.
Still, I learn much by slogging through the hard way.

Thanks Headroom, I hope this will help Ersan and others with using Eclipse.

P.S. You would have had a few more visits just now so I could get the link in my post  smiley
Maybe I should read it again.
26  Development / Other Software Development / Re: Windows/Linux/Mac Eclipse plugin to compile and upload arduino sketches on: March 01, 2014, 07:57:47 am
Sounds like you have really tried to get it going, hopefully I can give you a few pointers to help you get up and working with this great plugin for Eclipse.

Before you start, you must have the correct version of the Arduino IDE already installed on your Mac. You can check on Jantje's site for the correct version you need for a specific version of the plugin. I do find it confusing how Jantje has detailed this and would like to see his instructions for this laid out differently so it is more clear and understandable. But, basically, only certain versions of the Arduino IDE can be used with the plugin. I believe this is because of changes in the way Arduino do things.

But, to let you know I use and others suggest using Arduino version 1.5.2 beta.
I use this version as I am playing with the DUE as well.

There are two basic approaches to having Eclipse work with Arduino, so that you can program and upload from Eclipse to your connected Arduino.

The first is along the lines of what you have done, and this was Jantje's first method of installation.
For this, you needed to download and install, as you have done the specified version of Eclipse CDT (The C/C++ dev system). After checking that Eclipse was installed and working correctly, you would then proceed to install Jantje's plugin.
Normally this is done from within Eclipse.
You can see this here
From there you will see that you need to run up Eclipse and the select 'Help | Install New Software.
Follow the instructions step by step and you should end up with a system that works.

Also, as you are also on a Mac, this may also interest you, a link from Jantje's site

Right, the second method, is far easier and should have you up and working in a very short time.
That is download one of Jan's prebuilt packages from his download area,
Go down to see the Mac OSX packages and select a recent version.
You will need to unzip it and then you can install it..

Now, the problem.
I tried a few of these packages last week for you already, but, as you know I had problems with the installation.
I emailed Jan about this, but he is unfortunately unable to test the situation as he doesn't have a Mac.

To further test my research, I downloaded a bete testers package for Mac OSX and that installed fine for me.
Maybe you might like to try to download a prebuilt package from the download area with the link above and try.
That way, if you have problems, you may tell Jan and we will then need to see what the problem there is.
Maybe it was just me and I did something incorrect, but I tried on both my Macbook Pro and Mac Mini with the same results.
Both installs from the download are failed to install correctly,with errors being generated during the unzip process.
Yet on both my Mac's I could use the beta testers prebuilt package just fine.

Ok, I think that should be enough to get you well and truly confused Ersan  smiley
27  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: push notifications with Google Cloud Messaging on: March 01, 2014, 12:59:26 am
If you are open to using other services, then you might like to look at PubNub.
Main page is

They have an API for Arduino here

It is based on a publisher subscriber model, where you can very easily have your Arduino publish a message.
Any connected and subscribed clients will be notified right away.

It worth reading up on and seeing how this technoogy is used.
I use it currently on my Freetronics EtherMega which has onboard Ethernet and send my data only when a certain change has taken place rather than constant polling of data.

This can make a very responsive system, with new values able to be published from your Arduino at a fairly fast rate and then throttled back to almost nothing while there is no new data.

There are other services like this as well, such as Pusher.
Hope this helps.
28  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: using arduino pins as switches on: March 01, 2014, 12:18:24 am
You say:
I'm not sure how to use arduino pins as switches
That makes at least two of us, switches will only be switches and not Arduino pins  smiley

Actually, what you do do is you connect switches to the pins on an Arduino and have your program detect when one or more switches change state.

So, rather than wasting a digital pin as an output that would appear  never to change state, but only is there to provide a 'high' or 5 volts to one side of your switch, why not just wire it to the Vcc line which is 5 volts?

In fact, what is normally done is to wire it to 0 volts, not the 5 volt line. and ten set the input of the pin to have the internal 'Pull Up Resistor' enabled.

Now what happens is that when the switch is open or in the 'off' state, the pin will be read as high level due to the internal pull up resistor making your input high. Then, when you close the switch you connect that pin then to 0 volts and you will read a low state when you read that input pin.

Simple, right  smiley
29  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Help develop a new stackable development system on: February 28, 2014, 07:29:43 pm
Thank you for sharing the link Chagrin.
It appears that backplane sits on top of an Arduino shield, which to me doesn't represent a way forward, just more capacity to create some mess. Looking at the photos I don't see how that is an improvement on what we already have or how that will be mechanically stable.

Over the past months, a fair amount of thought has gone not only into the electronics of the Quub system, but also into how it can be mechanically constructed and expanded.

It is hoped that it will suit many different situations, from the desktop plaything to robotic adventurer to sophisicated remote monitoring systems and even to finding a place in the niche of industrial control systems. We'll be excited to see what people do with it.

Each iteration of the design has seen requested features and its overall functionality improved, whether that be from people here on the forum, or the ideas talked on late night skype.

The signals that make up what we call the 'stackplane' of Quub have been thought over long and hard now and it is all to easy to keep going with designing and putting new ideas in, with ever decreasing gain. Saying that, what we were asking is for any specific ideas or suggestions you may have we could consider.

The current design of Quub, we think what we have is very good, in terms of backplane signals and how that works to create a very expandable system with per board addressing and vectored interrupt giving fast servicing of IO on the different I/O modules that will become available in time.

Quub is designed to be as rugged electrically and mechanically as we can have for as lower cost as possible.

Talking with Rob, our next step is to have the CPU-2560 board made so we can put it through it tests.
We then expect to make a start on the various IO modules that will make up the Quub system.
30  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: Allegro ACS758 AC Sensor on: February 28, 2014, 07:51:46 am
This question is asked often here, have a look back through some of the forum sections for this.
As you will understand, you are able to measure a steady state current but with an alternating current you will have troubles without some additional tricks.

Some people suggest using a software approach, where you detect and measure only while the current is in the positive cycle. This can be tricky if you're not careful.

A preferred solution is to place a precision rectifier and buffer after the ACS758.
Using this method will more likely give you a more accurate representation of the actual current in the conductor.
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