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1  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Looking for better soldering iron on: March 03, 2013, 03:10:54 am
Well, I went out and invested in a 140/100 watt Weller soldering gun (loving it for these thick ATX wires) and a Benzomatic butane micro torch with a fine tip for electronics soldering. Both out the door for around $45 - if it proves to suffice as this next intermediate step for the next few months, I'll be happy having saved myself from spending an additional $100 for a professional grade station.
2  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Overcurrent in home electronics? on: February 28, 2013, 04:11:50 pm
*Writes in his notebook: E...S...R.*
3  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Looking for better soldering iron on: February 28, 2013, 01:47:51 pm
Could anyone with somewhat extensive experience in soldering share some insight on reasonably priced soldering irons that can handle soldering thick wires (e.g. all the black wires in an ATX power supply which end up acting as a heat sink and making it impossible to melt solder) as well as precision soldering (e.g. SMT).

One I'm considering is the Weller WTCPT 60w which a lot of people seem to like. Are there any others? Pretty much burned through 3 Radio Shack soldering irons (25-35w) and am starting to modify them to force accept tips that don't fit, so I think I'm ready to move into the big[ger] leagues.
4  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Overcurrent in home electronics? on: February 28, 2013, 01:40:56 pm
I have a Sirius remote I picked up that I'd like to do some decoding with and customizing for projects using IR. However, I noticed that there's some overcurrent behavior taking place when I install a CR2025 battery into the remote. The LED stays lit, and any button I press and hold, causes it to turn off, and when I release, it comes back on.

I looked at the emitter via a phone camera and I see it blinking when no buttons are being pushed.

Is it possible something internally like a fuse or something is shot, or that something is causing the circuit to close?

Slight hint: I may have inadvertently tried to pair up an AC adapter or breadboard with similar power rating with the remote, which showed the same behavior, prior to use the designated watch battery. Not sure if that would've done anything, but saw this behavior on one other device...matching an AC adapter's power ratings. Do they always have to be that exact?

At any rate, any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!
5  Using Arduino / Displays / Re: Power drain on LCD? on: February 05, 2013, 02:32:56 pm
Disregard. Turned out to be power interruption at the supply source. Two out of three USB ports on my laptop are dead, so I was feeding a USB keyboard (with extension USB ports) to my remaining USB port and then powering the arduino from the keyboard. Noticed my keyboard flickering out of the corner of my eye which meant it needed to be replugged.

Working fine now.
6  Using Arduino / Displays / Power drain on LCD? on: February 05, 2013, 12:55:20 pm
I have a Radio Shack camera and the SparkFun 16x2 LCD hooked up in my project. I added a couple more LEDs and a push button and noticed now my LCD fades to almost off (backlight is still lit) and comes back right away when I disconnect the camera shield.

Is there too much power drain at this point for me to have these in the same project side-by-side, and if so, would it be better for me to isolate and/or supply 5V to the camera shield separately? I suppose now would be a good time to play with my new variable voltage regulator...
7  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 74HC595 Malfunction (Resolved) on: January 09, 2013, 11:41:53 am
pin 1 on the shift register lost its wire

I am afraid that that is not the right fix, because it is in direct conflict with our experts' advice (on bypassing).

Your fix doesn't count.


Seriously, congratulation on your fix. You learned a lesson about wiring.

Ah but it was the right fix, because even with a capacitor installed, I still would have been one connection short of a completed schematic and then where would we have been? ;)
8  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 74HC595 Malfunction on: January 08, 2013, 06:20:49 pm
So, other possibility might have been this:

After closer examination of the pins in hooking up the ShiftLCD schematic ( I discovered pin 1 on the shift register lost its wire and there is a clean hole in the solder where the jumper wire fell out. Consequently, pin 1 stayed dark the entire time.

Think I'm going to go with a dip socket next time. Some of these wires are starting to loosen up on me.
9  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 74HC595 Malfunction on: January 08, 2013, 05:53:22 pm
Also, would this happen to have anything to do with it remember the last state the shift register was in, per ?
That tutorial has a 1uF cap wired to the latch pin, this is wrong.
You don't have to remember the state of the previous values in the shift register because it is over written by the shift out.

Yeah, which is why I didn't pursue troubleshooting in that direction. I figured it would be overwritten by my new sketch shortly.
10  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 74HC595 Malfunction on: January 08, 2013, 05:52:29 pm
Possibly and more to the point, If the board doesn't have (at least) a 100 nF cap from +5 V to ground right on each IC the board 'can' count itself or count the noise on the + 5 V source at the shift register. I am assuming that the other pins are either pulled up or grounded as per the tutorial and that the capacitor shown on the '595 shift register tutorial diagram IS NOT installed.
The tutorial is a good one except that it doesn't show the missing capacitors.


As mentioned, this follows the ARDX CIRC-05 example (albeit, I've simplified it a bit and rearranged the LEDs so that they light up and correspond to MSBFIRST order so I can quickly see the on/off bits) here:

They do not introduce a capacitor or mention pull-up/pull-down resistors so neither are installed.

Per your comment, it actually does have the effect that the board is counting itself. I started thinking along those lines when I noticed this behavior...but each time I checked the pins, they were all correct, so I began to think it may be something internal.

This is the ARDX Experimenter's Kit, by the way, but it sounds like I'm in need of some additional components to make even their own documented examples work properly.
11  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 74HC595 Malfunction on: January 08, 2013, 04:54:09 pm
Kinda hard to tell the 'backside' of one circuit board looks pretty much like anyone else's.. I would note that you don't appear to have any by-passing installed and that "can" cause many different issues to crop up, including ones similar to if not identical to yours especially with shift registers.


Bypass, as in a capacitor? Also, would this happen to have anything to do with it remember the last state the shift register was in, per ?
12  Using Arduino / General Electronics / 74HC595 Malfunction (Resolved) on: January 08, 2013, 04:18:18 pm
Resolution: Moral of the story is - double check your pins and solder work...and don't skip a pin!

Decimal values (converted to binary of course) 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 ... 255 all light up using the 74HC595 properly wired (ARDX CIRC-05) and sketched in a simple for() loop.

However, it when it gets to decimal 2 (that is, the second LED in series should be lit, all others off), the LED is still off. Every other value from 0 to 255 lights up.

Is it possible I may have shorted or melted something doing solder work to this (attach to PCB, on the right, oriented moon side up), or am I missing something here?

What's even more mind boggling is that the second LED does light up as values are shifted. It's just binary value B00000010 that it doesn't like for some reason (e.g. it will light up B00000011 and B000110). It actually looks like every count on B00000010 stays dark or effects no change. Something's definitely not shifting properly (fortunately for me, my 10 new 74HC595's just came in today :)
13  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Asynchronous Example: Loopable Functions on: January 04, 2013, 10:09:08 am
Here's a nice little loopable function that does a smooth fade in/out effect with an LED and for the most part is asynchronous with the other things taking place in the loop function. Assuming other things aren't causing too many delay()'s along the way, I've found this to work quite nicely for simple security applications (e.g. system armed status indicator, magnetic contact sensor, PIR motion detection, etc). The advantage with this code is that it a) doesn't hang up other parts of your program by being locked into a for() loop with delay()'s and b) doesn't require any external libraries or the use of timers. Just call it in your main loop() function wherever it fits:

void loop_armedIndicator()
    if(fader >= 255)
      fader_dir = 0;
    } else if(fader <=0)
      fader_dir = 1;
    if(fader_dir == 1 && fader < 255)
    } else if(fader_dir == 0 && fader > 0)
    analogWrite(armedIndicator, fader);


#define engage 10

int fader = 0;
int fader_dir = 1;

void loop()
  if(digitalRead(engage) == LOW)

To me, conventionally speaking, it seems that "asynchronous" operations ought to be done in similar fashion where you want multiple things running at the same time, but don't want to bog yourself down with calculating or writing out timer functions (which should be used only for timed mechanisms anyways) or can't afford to hang up the rest of a program while it waits for a for() loop to finish.
14  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Run C++ Program In Arduino IDE on: December 31, 2012, 07:44:24 pm
Means , I required an IDE Like Turbo C++ 3.0 , which i can run my .C & C++ program and generate .exe file. is there any software (IDE ) Like Turbo C++ 3.0  . smiley-cry
Thank you.

Do a Google search for "c programming on Windows." However, on a Windows platform, you're likely going to end up using Visual Studio Express (which is free) for starting out, and eventually paying for Visual Studio if you start getting serious with software development for Windows.

Of course, you also have the option of learning Linux :-)

Along the lines of an IDE specifically, with C/C++ support, another possible option might be NetBeans. I use this IDE for PHP development, but they also have a C/C++ version:

Setup instructions:
15  General Category / General Discussion / Re: Need suggestions for project on: December 30, 2012, 04:31:23 am
Hi guys,

   Can you give me suggestions for some projects using Arduino Uno


   the project should contain some hardware also...

I've listed some of my most recent projects here which may give you some ideas depending on which kit you started out with (mine is the ARDX Experimenter's Kit):,139815.0.html
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