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1  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: LED and Resistors on: November 09, 2009, 01:10:04 pm
Here's a little secret: everyone here was a noob once upon a time. There are former noobs with good memories, and former noobs with bad memories.

Your question is a good one. It's far better than "I've never soldered two parts together before, and I want to build a self-balancing GPS-guided flying robot with image recognition using this DIP switch. I need someone to write my code for me". We mostly-noobs get a lot of benefit out of seeing the experts explain this stuff.
2  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Arduino Pro Mini - can't upload on: March 07, 2010, 11:00:57 am
I'd say there's a fair chance that your problem comes from not having headers soldered in. It only takes a moment's loss of contact to mess things up completely.

I had a similar problem when I first got a Pro Mini, and in my case, it turned out that I had the FTDI breakout attached the wrong way. I'd just followed a photo on one of the sites, and it turned out to be for an older version of the Pro Mini. I think they've updated it since, but you might check to make sure you have the side marked "GRN" on the breakout going to the side marked "GRN" on the Pro Mini.
3  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: XBEE module compatibility - Chip/antenna version on: February 15, 2010, 08:59:09 am
I do updates with XCTU - I don't know that there are any other ways to do it. You need to click the "Download New Versions" button first to get the firmware on your computer, and then wait a few minutes while it downloads. Then you need to do a "Read" on your XBee module, and then pick the version you want to use, and click "Write". But you do need to have some extra connections to the XBee that aren't provided by all adapter boards. Per the manual,

"Minimum connections for updating firmware: VCC, GND, DIN, DOUT, RTS & DTR".

I have no idea whether or not the XBee shields provide all of the required connections. You might want to ask that separately.

At first, I wired up a connector that had all of the required connections, going through a DB9 connector to my serial port. However, a few weeks ago Parallax.com came out with a nice little $25 XBee USB adapter board

http://www.parallax.com/Store/Accessories/CommunicationRF/tabid/161/ProductID/643/List/0/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName

that has all of the required connections. As far as I know, this is the easiest way to update the firmware. It's a really nice little board, powering the XBee directly from USB. I use it for firmware updates, quick changes to the XBee settings, and simply as a "base station" to send data to a terminal window.

I believe that the Sparkfun XBee USB Explorer (also $25) may be essentially the same thing, but I haven't used one, so no guarantees here.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8687
4  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: XBEE module compatibility - Chip/antenna version on: February 15, 2010, 07:46:42 am
If both are Series 1 XBees they will be able to communicate with each other. The firmware difference won't be a problem, but as Paul pointed out, you need to make sure that the MY and DL and PANID are properly set. All of the XBees I've ever received had PANID set at 3332, so unless my experience has been weird, you shouldn't need to change that.

As for the firmware, all of the modules I've received came with an old firmware version (like your 1084 module), and I've updated them all to 10CD.
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: 12V unregulated power supply for Arduino Mini Pro? on: February 09, 2010, 07:34:40 pm
I've watched the tiny regulator on the Pro Mini produce a very impressive amount of smoke. I'd have never dreamed they could fit that much smoke into that tiny chip. That "thermal threshold" matters.
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Have I fried my Arduino Pro Mini? on: January 18, 2010, 06:06:23 pm
I've fried the voltage regulators on a couple of Pro Minis, and they still work just fine through the FTDI cable and the 5Vin pin. It's quite possible that if you fried everything EXCEPT the voltage regulator and attached circuit, that stuff is still working fine.
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: ARDUINO MINI WITH XBEE on: December 25, 2009, 11:29:22 pm
3.3V Mini or 5V? It'll make a difference to how you connect the TX and RX pins to the Arduino I/O pins.

Do not try to power the XBee from the Arduino's onboard regulator. I've already fried a regulator that way.
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Cannot upload to new pro mini 328 on: December 21, 2009, 01:28:29 pm
This may sound nuts, but...do you have breakout attached to the Arduino the right way? You're getting the error message I got when I had it on backwards.

The breakout and the Arduino both have the outer end pins marked "GRN" and "BLK". Obviously GRN goes to GRN and BLK goes to BLK.
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: How to improve xbee range? on: November 17, 2009, 06:35:33 am
This is a Series 1 60 mW, with considerably better range:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8742

It's a plug-in direct replacement for the one you're using, except as far as power goes. It takes 215 mA during transmit. Your transmitter may need a better battery (did you mean 100 mAH?), and you'll want to make sure that the rest of your power supply can provide that much current as well.

Oh, it's also a little longer (.21") from the pointy end to the flat end, and if you're mounting it inside a Nunchuck, that might be an issue.
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: xbee ADC conversion not working on: November 06, 2009, 11:13:20 pm
Sorry - I haven't received the data to an Arduino, just to a terminal program. That much worked just fine, but it doesn't help you any.
11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: xbee ADC conversion not working on: November 06, 2009, 07:29:28 pm
Have you tried sending and receiving simple data through this pair of XBees? I assume that's what you mean when you say you double-checked them, but I'm just double-checking.  smiley

Do your boards have blinking TX and RX lights on them? Can you tell from that whether the TX board is transmitting? Obviously if not, then that's where your problem is. If it is transmitting, well, you know the drill.
12  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: xbee ADC conversion not working on: November 06, 2009, 12:39:23 pm
Do you have a connection to your VRef pin? I struggled once with this until I tried that. Just connect your 3.3V supply to VRef.

Can you hook up the receiving XBee so that it goes straight into a terminal program? Perhaps the issue is in your code, and that would confirm that the XBee is receiving. Many XBee carrier boards can be connected to an FTDI cable going into a USB port.

What are your transmitting XBee's settings?
13  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Incorrect photo in Arduino Pro Mini guide. on: October 21, 2009, 06:12:43 am
I see that you made the change. Thanks - it looks good. Nice explanation, too.
14  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Incorrect photo in Arduino Pro Mini guide. on: October 19, 2009, 10:08:58 pm
Thanks. It'll help a lot of people, I imagine.

By the way, Mike, I doubt there's any problem with the Mini that you have thrown into your "spares" bin. I've been using mine (the one I had plugged in wrong) quite a bit, and pretty much put it through its paces without any trouble. I wouldn't be too worried about damage to that board.
15  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Incorrect photo in Arduino Pro Mini guide. on: October 16, 2009, 08:30:45 pm
Not at all the same thing, but when I got my first Arduino (a diecimila) it wouldn't program, and I just put it aside for over a year untouched. Later I discovered that all I had to do was download a more current version of the Arduino environment. Now I'm a fan, but I was pretty close to just forgetting about the thing altogether.
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