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33766  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Which Arduino for USB? on: October 11, 2011, 05:22:39 am
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I'm planning to connect an old mobile phone (N95) to an Arduino over USB so I can use the hardware onboard the phone (accelerometer, GPS, Wifi) to build a Hexacopter without having to shell out for all the expensive bits.
Think again. Your phone will act like a USB slave.

The Arduino is also a USB slave.

Two slaves can not talk to each other.

For the Arduino to communicate with/control the phone, you will need:
  • A USB Host shield
  • A whole lot of talent and experience to write a driver
  • Not a small amount of luck.

Keep in mind that the GPS and accelerometer built into the phone are not exactly high-quality, high-precision devices.

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My questions is simple enough, which Arduino board should I get?
Any of them that accept shields.

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Is there any way I can use the existing USB, having the phone act as the host controller, to save money?
Well, certainly. If you can figure out how to make the phone act like something it isn't - a USB Host to be exact.

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Essentially, I'll need to drive six motors and maybe three proximity sensors.
Those proximity sensors will be very useful for keeping your helicopter from bumping into things. Right?

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Also, perhaps a movable payload for mounting a camera, but that's not essential at this stage.
Sure, dream big. Are you building a Huey?

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Any thoughts from those more knowledgable than me?
Well, yeah. But, I'll keep them to myself. He-he.
33767  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: VLC RF-controller on: October 11, 2011, 05:12:08 am
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I searched for topics about controlling media player software from an arduino
The first thing to do is identify what media player software you are talking about. Does that software connect to a serial port? If so, you can send data to it.

If not, you may need to develop a custom application that reads from the serial port and uses the media player software's APIs to control the hardware that the media player software interacts with.

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and which media player I should use
You've got your questions backwards. You must choose the software first, then figure out how to control it. Of course, if one of your criteria is "externally controllable via the serial port", that might factor into (and severely limit) your choices.
33768  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: Arduino not talking to pachube on: October 11, 2011, 05:02:19 am
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the code is the example code off the Arduino site and if it is broken I don't have the know how to fix it.
This is why I hate pachube and twitter and other sites like that that try to make it seem like any one can, with no programming or networking experience whatsoever, poat anything they want anywhere.

The error message could hardly be more explicit. You must add a client.print() statement that outputs "Content-length: " followed by a client.println() statement that outputs the actual content length. What length is that? Count the number of characters in your data stream. Take your shoes off if necessary.
33769  Using Arduino / Networking, Protocols, and Devices / Re: Xbee Explorer Regulated Shield on: October 11, 2011, 04:56:43 am
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I'm using an USB bootloader to load the Mega2560 with programs from PC, does this interfere with RX0/TX0
Yes

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that I will use to send data from Arduino to PC via: Arduino Mega2560 --> Xbee ----> radio waves ---> Xbee USB ---> PC?
You need a XBee on the XBee USB, too.

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If I were to use, for example, RX2/TX2 for the wireless link, in which part of the program must I specify it?
All of it. You'd use Serial2 to read from/write to that port.
33770  Using Arduino / Interfacing w/ Software on the Computer / Re: Win7 X64 and Mega 2560 on: October 11, 2011, 04:51:14 am
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BTW why is this tutorial about Uno; why no mention of 2560? Confusing.
Because the same chip is used on both boards, the same install process is used. Typically, one does not but a Mega as their first Arduino, so the process of getting a 2nd Arduino configured and working is more familiar. Perhaps this is why the instructions aren't clearer.

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What are the chances I have a bad board?
Official Arduino? Pretty slim.

Chinese knockoff? Better.

The Arduino does not show up on the Ports (COM & LPT) section until the proper config file is identified for the device. Look for a section called Unknown devices, or something similar. See if the Arduino is listed there.
33771  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: self service bar Program help on: October 11, 2011, 04:43:35 am
Man, you are lazy. Do your own research.
http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardMega2560
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The ATmega2560 provides four hardware UARTs for TTL (5V) serial communication.
33772  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: serial monitor serial.print problem on: October 11, 2011, 04:41:12 am
You want help? Follow directions:
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Put each { on a new line, and use Tools + Auto Format, so you can see the structure of your program.
33773  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How To Pause Timer1 on: October 11, 2011, 04:40:09 am
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I thought Sketch wasn't object oriented?
Think again.
33774  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Timer1 Not Working on: October 11, 2011, 04:34:48 am
It's time to do some research. What happens when the compiler sees a literal, like 2000000?

Hint: the literal is treated as an int. Is 2000000 a valid value for an int?
33775  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Writing To Console on: October 11, 2011, 04:29:37 am
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what am I doing wrong?
Posting snippets, instead of all of your code.
Failing to use Serial.begin() to specify a baud rate and initiate the serial port.
Who knows what else.
33776  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: RFID problem on: October 11, 2011, 04:28:03 am
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I used the code that was from the arduino playground
For what RFID reader?

Is the PC or the RFID reader connected to the serial port on the Arduino? You can't have both there.
33777  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Sweeping servo program question on: October 11, 2011, 04:21:42 am
Typically, servos respond to values from ~500 to ~2500 to define speed and direction, for continuous rotation servos, and to values from 0 to 180 for standard servos.

If you want to position a servo to a specific position, you should use the angle value, and keep track of where you told the servo to go to. When you want to go 5 degrees in the positive direction, add 5 to the current position, and write a new value to the servo.

If instead you are told the new position, just go there.

Until we know something about what Serial.read() gets, any advice is really just blowing smoke.
33778  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How To Pause Timer1 on: October 11, 2011, 04:07:54 am
Timer1 is an instance of?
33779  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Sticky - Blink Two LEDs, independent, no delay on: October 10, 2011, 07:19:44 pm
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makes me wonder how useful our past advice to beginners, 'just check out the blink-without-delay example' was.
I guess it depends on whether you want to give a person a fish, or teach them to fish. Personally, I learn more by experimenting, and learning how to do something myself than by being given code.
33780  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Solar Tracker + Servo Consumption + battery charger on: October 10, 2011, 07:14:56 pm
Dump the 9V battery. Use 4 AA batteries. They will easily last two weeks powering the LCD for a few minutes at a time (make the Arduino shut it off if no activity for some time). Use sleep modes as much as possible.

2.5 W at 9V is 277mA. If your total current draw is less than this, the solar charger will be able to charge the batteries - provided the box is not left in a closet, it is a bright sunny day, the panel is spotlessly clean, etc. Any cloud cover or dust, dirt, fingerprints, etc. will reduce the output (considerably).

Personally, I don't see it as cost-effective. Better batteries are better.
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