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1  Products / Arduino Esplora / Re: Accelerometer not working as expected on: October 11, 2013, 02:47:30 pm
Maybe I am misunderstanding what an accelerometer measures. Thanks for the ideas. Still, some of the problems I'm reporting could either be a defective unit or worse maybe a problematic implementation.
2  Products / Arduino Esplora / Accelerometer not working as expected on: October 10, 2013, 08:48:42 pm
I just bought an Esplora. It's my first product from Arduino. Most of its features work perfectly. My only problem relates to the accelerometer which is doing several unexpected things. I'm using the built-in example code to test the accelerometer, here's the code:

#include <Esplora.h>
void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(9600);        // initialize serial communications with your computer
}

void loop()
{
  int xAxis = Esplora.readAccelerometer(X_AXIS);    // read the X axis
  int yAxis = Esplora.readAccelerometer(Y_AXIS);    // read the Y axis
  int zAxis = Esplora.readAccelerometer(Z_AXIS);    // read the Z axis

  Serial.print("x: ");      // print the label for X
  Serial.print(xAxis);      // print the value for the X axis
  Serial.print("\ty: ");    // print a tab character, then the label for Y
  Serial.print(yAxis);      // print the value for the Y axis
  Serial.print("\tz: ");    // print a tab character, then the label for Z
  Serial.println(zAxis);    // print the value for the Z axis

  delay(500);              // wait half a second (500 milliseconds)
}

Shouldn't the accelerometer report changes in all 3 dimensions? When I rotate the Esplora around a vertical access (think: spin it on a table) none of the three readouts change. Nothing! (They all stay around 15,15,160.) When I hold it like I would a game controller, then raise my hands in opposite directions (left=up, right=down) the X_AXIS and the Z_AXIS results change approximately the same amounts. When I tilt it forwards or backwards the Y_AXIS and the Z_AXIS results change approximately the same amounts.

Am I just misunderstanding how accelerometers work? To me they should independently map the three different axes. But as far as I can tell the value for Z_AXIS represents some strange axis that I'm unable to pin down. So I've only got two dimensions that work, and they aren't my preferred ones.

A second problem is that I would have imagined they would report values something like "0..359" or maybe "-180..180" but instead they peak around "-150" and "+170". And the peaks aren't the same for each axis. So the numerical range isn't 360 but around 320. Yes, I can map these values to proper mathematical values, but it's a minor complication I could do without.

A third problem is that they should be proportional to the amount that you turn them. But when I turn my Esplora very very slowly the numbers often go like this: "120 121 122 123 150 151" Why does it jump so suddenly? And at other times it doesn't change the reading at all even though I've turned the Esplora a lot!

The label on the Esplora board next to its accelerometer shows where the X, Y and Z axes should be located. Based on what I observe when I run the program above they mixed up the X and Y in the diagram, and the Z doesn't work when I rotate the device around the Z-axis.

Disclaimer: I'm an idiot on occasion.
3  Community / Products and Services / When can I buy the Esplora? on: January 28, 2013, 04:41:41 pm
When can I buy the Esplora? It's not on the Arduino store-website, and it's not at any of the distributors in Canada, and the US distributor does not ship to Canada. Will it take one month, six months or 12 months before this thing is purchasable?
4  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Question about how to physically connect servos to an Arduino on: January 28, 2013, 09:08:12 am
Thanks for the awesome information. I hope this helps others besides myself.
5  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Question about how to physically connect servos to an Arduino on: January 25, 2013, 03:38:16 pm
Apparently one of the links does address my last question. Sorry, I'll read the links thoroughly before asking any follow up questions.
6  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Question about how to physically connect servos to an Arduino on: January 25, 2013, 03:34:57 pm
Thanks for all the interesting advice. One question... do I really need to use an external power source if my software will be controlling only a single servo at a time? I didn't mention that, but I will be powering only one servo at any given time. Perhaps the reason people think I need an external power supply is that they assumed I was going to move all the motors at once.
7  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Question about how to physically connect servos to an Arduino on: January 25, 2013, 02:05:40 pm
I want to purchase an Arduino and use it as a way to power and control a handful of linear servos. I've never added hardware to an Arduino before, but I have programmed an Arduino(-compatible) before. When I look at the connectors for linear servos (e.g., http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/1-9-gram-linear-long-throw-bb-servo-SPMAS2000LBB) they don't seem to be the same as the connector type (I think they use "JST-SHR connector type") on the headers of an Arduino board. How to I solve this hardware issue? Is there some sort of converter cable available or do I have to make my own solution? I see something here called Tinkerkit which apparently would solve my cabling problem but from what I can see there's a hard limit of 6 Tinkerkit servos and I was hoping to go a bit higher than 6. But I can settle for 6 if there's no other solution.
8  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Can I get an Arduino to work with OCR software and a camera? on: October 25, 2012, 08:42:09 am
Thanks PeterH, I thought 512 MB RAM would be enough RAM in the Due. Maybe not. BTW, that PaulS guy made me laugh for hours with all his rhetorical responses. He's an uproariously funny guy. Duct tape! Okay, perhaps my questions were partly vague, but I'm a noob at Arduino, and I think even we noobs deserve respect. You gave me lots of respect PeterH, thanks kindly.
9  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Can I get an Arduino to work with OCR software and a camera? on: October 24, 2012, 12:43:46 pm
Can I get an Arduino device to work with OCR software and a camera? There is some good free or cheap OCR software, I think one such product called Tesseract, and I'd like to know if it can be made to compile with/for Arduino. And what kind of physical camera should I get, and how would I physically hook it up to an Arduino? I'd be interested in the new Due version for this project due to the higher amount of computation required.
10  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Arduino 1.0.1 causes Mac OS X to crash regularly. Ideas? on: September 22, 2012, 09:32:29 pm
Nick you are a smart guy and I appreciate your help, and I'm sorry if I upset you. Nonetheless may I point out that drivers were never necessary under Arduino software v1.0. I've been using v1.0 for six months with no drivers and no problems. So if you think I need to install drivers, why weren't drivers required under Arduino software v1.0? That is puzzling me. But in any case I did install the drivers today and they made no difference. That is, the device is still not visible to the Arduino 1.0.1 software although I haven't seen a crash yet, but it usually takes an hour for a crash.

The following things happened when the crashes began:

1. Updated Arduino software from 1.0 to 1.0.1
2. Mac OS/X often has minor patches applied automatically, so I can't rule that out.
3. I bought a new Stealthduino from the website because the old one apparently needed a firmware upgrade to work with 1.0.1. By purchasing a new Stealthduino I wouldn't need to apply the firmware upgrade. But I got the old one upgraded anyway by the company and that one won't work either now.

I called it a "firmware upgrade" but the truth is I'm not sure if "firmware" is the right word. I'm new to Arduino technology so I'm not sure if it's firmware, microcode, or something else. Again, I admit I'm quite ignorant here.

Is anyone willing to suggest a product that I could use instead of this one? My wish is that the device plug into my USB port without me having to to any hardware modifications like soldering or jumpers or suchlike, as I don't have hardware tools. Most of the Arduino things I've seen online require an experienced hardware guy to build around them. I'm not knowledgeable enough to do that.

I don't want to go back to v1.0 of the software because I need the Keyboard routines. I was able to hack the v1.0 software to make the Keyboard routines visible but I don't want to have to do that again. However I'm starting to wonder if I did do that would I have the same problem as I'm having now. If not, then it's not the hardware that's giving me the problem. If so, then I think that means it's a software problem, anything from the OS to the Arduino software.
11  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Arduino 1.0.1 causes Mac OS X to crash regularly. Ideas? on: September 22, 2012, 08:20:36 pm
Here are the answers to the questions below. I am using Lion, OS/X 10.7.4. I am using the English version of the Arduino program. I did contact the company owner and he hasn't replied yet, probably because I told him I was posting my question here too. His website says on the link I gave previously that some operating systems may not need USB drivers. And he told me in person that Macs don't need drivers. But in any case because I want to try everything suggested here I did download the drivers, and that didn't solve my problem. Moreoever, I haven't needed drivers for the last six months using Arduino software 1.0. So I can't understand why v1.0.1 would suddenly need drivers. I'm open to changing to another device if nobody knows why v1.0 works but v1.0.1 doesn't work. Any suggestions for a new device? Something simple that plugs into a USB port preferably.
12  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Arduino 1.0.1 causes Mac OS X to crash regularly. Ideas? on: September 21, 2012, 08:52:49 pm
Since I'm new to using Arduino devices, may I ask if you are talking about a driver on the Mac or a driver on the Arduino chips? I've never installed drivers for the Mac. As a result I can't tell if you're implying it's the device or if it's the Arduino software.
13  Development / Other Hardware Development / Arduino 1.0.1 causes Mac OS X to crash regularly. Ideas? on: September 21, 2012, 08:41:44 pm
Each Mac that I own (not just the Arduino program, but the whole OS) crashes about once per hour when I try to use Arduino 1.0.1. I can't go back to Arduino 1.0 because I need the Keyboard routines. I own two separate Stealthduino boards (http://cal-eng.com/?wpsc-product=stealthduino-atmega328) and it happens to each of them on each of my Macs no matter which USB port I'm plugged into. In my mind that points towards an error in the Arduino 1.0.1 software. Or is there another explanation?
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