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46  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Is this possible? on: August 02, 2011, 07:04:13 pm
Simplify, say you had the normal blink circuit hooked up on 5 of the arduino digital pins each circuit has a wire connected to a resistor, the resistor to the led and the led to ground.

So you have 5 points that each have a wire connected( the arduino pins ) and 5 points that have the other end of the wire connected ( the resistor lead )

So we now have a wire connecting each

pin13       pin12       pin11       pin10        pin9

  to             to           to            to             to

res13        res12       res11       res10        res9

Now pull the wire connection from res9 and move it to res11, res11 to res12 and res12 to res9

pin13       pin12       pin11       pin10        pin9

  to             to           to            to             to

res13        res11       res9       res10        res12

Now we change the connection on pin9 to pin11, pin11 to pin13 and pin13 to pin9  
pin11       pin12       pin9       pin10        pin13

  to             to           to            to             to

res13        res11       res9       res10        res12

Now the circuit I am trying to figure out, or if it even exists would be sort of a "virtual wire", that would completely replace the wire, so those changes could be made without moving the connections,
in this small demo concept it could easily be solved some multi-throw switches or relays, but I am thinkng of this scaled to 200 arbitrary connections or better .

Again I am sorry if this isn't getting across or is confusing but describing this is like writing stereo instructions, much more complex than the actual action.

Take a wire, 2 connections, one on each end, now make it 100 wires thats 200 connections, now is there a circuit that you can think of that would let any one of those 200 points connect to any other of the 199 points, the say flip a switch and it changes  and connects to any other connection.

Trying again to explain, hope this is sort of makes some sense  
47  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Is this possible? on: August 02, 2011, 06:10:08 pm
Yes the passing by reference is confusing because it is a software concept. I apologize for that.

In hardware I was referring to the fact that it would be an original physical connection rather than say being on the load side of an opto-isolator or relay switching driven by the original connection , I know Im having a hard time explaining my point, again I apologize, its been stuck in my head and Im trying to get it out (GRIN)
48  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Is this possible? on: August 02, 2011, 05:37:39 pm
Say green is ground and blue is 5 volt, if I was passing by reference (a programming reference not hardware sorry) I could have an original 5v or ground connection trigger a relay switching from a different 5v and ground which would sort of be a reference rather than the original 5v and ground connection.

Say I had a wire harness connected to those points and I wanted to change the connections to the harness with out disconnecting the harness, I am looking for a circuit that might be able to make the changes without physically pulling each connection and putting it to a new point.
49  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Is this possible? on: August 02, 2011, 05:18:48 pm
So I have been putting myself through a thought challenge, I understand general electronics well, but not everything in the least.

The concept is I guess best described as a a mappable connection.

Say you have a grid of points 5 x 5 as in grid01 below.
each point on the grid is independent of all others.

Is there a circuit that could connect say all of the contacts in each row as in grid02 below each of the colors is one multipoint connection

And then also connect the points in an arbitrary format as in grid03 below each of the colors is one multipoint connection

The circuit must pass the connection as if it were a pipe not by reference and not changing the content.

I hope this makes sense and I don't know if it is even possible, my solutions were all overly complex switch variations or relays, but it wasnt scalable or friendly.

So any ideas?
50  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Shield to Breadboard Adapter on: July 22, 2011, 10:23:45 am
Just FYI, my shield is not selling like hot cakes (a couple dozen sold but I made 100) so for those that want to sell your similar designs, test the water with a smaller batch. That's what I'm gonna do for any future project.

Yeah niche product sales are a funny thing sometimes its just right moment right place, sometimes its the right tweak to make something look, feel or work better and more intuitive, and sometimes its just a damn unknown whim why something clicks.

Like I said my first small batch of 25 CideKicks sold in a week and a half in the real world to friends and friends of friends, didn't even have enough time to get them online, does that mean a larger run will sell just as fast nope, but I do know I have a number of people interested in getting more and a distributor has given me an intent to purchase quantity so like I said each piece sales depends on way too many variables to make generalizations, either good or bad about what something might do based on what something tangentially related did before, you roll the dice, you do your best and you see what comes of it.

Good luck on your sales, maybe more exposure in threads like this will help.
51  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Shield to Breadboard Adapter on: July 21, 2011, 12:50:28 pm

Good idea to connect the GND rail to the GND pin of the shield, however, for the 5V I would prefer to keep them separated (or better, switchable) so I can have a separate power supply for the BB 5V line. The GND's connected is needed for signalling from shield to BB and back. Maybe the Cidekick 2.0 could have a power connector so it can supply the BB?

Furthermore I would prefer a one piece shield above the two pieces connected with flatcable because of stability.  Maybe add connectors (holes) on the back for RS32 & I2C & SPI pins?

Actually switchable power on the rail was in several of the alphas but in testing and designing for the broader mass usage it was realized that a large group of people  just want use the standard  5v from the board to power experiments, so we went with that as the standard. Keep in mind that it is only the top rail that is powered, you can still place an external supply on the second or bottom rail.

In addition you can also have the CideKick supply 3.3v, 5v or even VIN to the second rail or anywhere else on the breadboard for that matter.

Also as I said the CideKick is just one part of the Arduino BreadBoard Tools, the CINR (sounds like sinner) has switchable power on the rails and you can chose from internal or external, 3.3, 5v or VIN to be put either or both of the rail sets or different on each rail.

As to the the flat cable versus solid board, again in an early beta the CideKick (sounds like sidekick) was a solid board, but was switched to the cable to allow direct access to the ICSP  header so that a programmer could be attached without having to the take the stack apart (see cidekick02 picture above for the header in stack access view) if it was a solid board you likely would have to seprate the stack as the ICSP is also not commonly passed through all shields. Access to the rs32 header location was also maintained.

In addition with the 16 pin header inserted the outer end is just as stable as if it were a solid board, there is no play in the stack and on one last note on that by making it a cable instead of a solid the Arduino's screw mounts, 3 in the dumilanove and 4 in the uno, were left accessible so stack stability can be maintained with less mounting hardware than if it was a solid board.

Great piece liudr, looks like we were on many of the same goals in our designs in similar time frames, in fact in my case the Arduino Breadboard Tools came from a project that started with a harddrive cable setup also.

You can see it here from January 2010

It is a good solution for many, but I wanted to overcome the typical problem with cable insertion solutions like yours and insertables like the boarduino and the ardweeny, which is the loss of Breadboard pin space and a large chunk of breadboard real estate even when not using all the pins. The CideKick brings all the pins close to the center of the work with out wasting pinspace on insertion.

The CideKick also shares alot of the features of your project, while your focus was connectability , my focus was compactness, maintaining access to programming headers and stack mounting hardware, visual cues for power and and pin 13 and easy access to the reset button outside the shield stack.

As the old saying goes "there are many ways to skin a cat" and both projects show strengths and take different paths in doing a similar thing, bridging the gap between breadboard and shield experimentation, so cheers.

Oh and robtillaart here is a teaser shot of one of the other Arduino Breadboard Tools, The CINR, with part of the switchable power supply visible and the ftdi out.

52  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Shield to Breadboard Adapter on: July 21, 2011, 04:15:59 am
I like the idea as it solves a problem, however it introduces a new problem too IMHO. Shields are relative "BIG", sometimes as width as some breadboards, so this design could cover all the holes of the breadboard, or at least a substantial part. A better design needs to be able to connect to a breadboard, without covering it. So here my thoughts:

* Imagine a PCB in which you can plug a shield (you made that working allready). However the PCB does not plug into the breadboard but has header pins so I can connect it with standard female/male cables to a breadboard or to an Arduino or to some other thingy. That gives the freedom searched for I think. The cable can be some flatcable or so.
[in fact I used a screwshield - - this way.

* The PCB should have 4 mounting holes so it can be used in permanent setting

* The PCB should have a LED to show that the +5V is applied to it.

Its funny that this discussion should come up, and in fact that these very details would be in your suggestions, as, as soon as this weekend I was preparing to release just such a board.

It is called the CideKick Breadboard Shield Stack Extender or just CideKick for short.  The first small batch sold out locally before I could even post about them online.

The red jumper removes the pin 13 led circuit( the red led )

Power is noted on board by the green led

The breadboard rail is powered by two sets of 5v pins attaching the whole assembly securely to the stack.

Positive rail is 5v Negative rail is ground

The reset button is brought out to the CideKick for easy access for shields that don't supply one

The 20 pin inline female header is 13-0 digital pins and 0-5 analog pins from left to right

In the final picture the red wire is in the pin 13 digital, green is in pin 0 digital and yellow is in pin 5 analog.

The 6 pin center header(between the pin 13 led and power led)
are aref, 3.3v, gnd, reset, 5v, VIN

The odd shape ( the hook looking part in the upper right) is to accommodate the shield stack screw hole

Since I began with the Arduino there has sort of been a separation between my breadboard projects and projects that use shields, mainly because alot of shields don't supply the stackable headers or I dint want to always solder up a protoshield for each little change in a breadboard circuit, it completely defeated the purpose of the solderless breadboard Arduino combination many times.

You see this especially in some gps shields, some lcd shields and even things like the danger shield making it difficult to stack and run wires.

That is what drove my designs for the new Arduino Breadboard Tools, of which the CideKick is one, along with the WingThing, which addresses the very problem the OP posted about,  shield incompatibility with  insertables such as the boarduino and the ardweeeny, and the CINR which is a brand new format Arduino clone specifically for breadboard experimentation.

Sorry for the thread jack, but I figured this info was on point and relevant, as I said I will be releasing the full information on the Arduino Breadboard Tools this weekend, feel free to PM me for further info or any direct questions, in the mean time here is a  quick peek at the CideKick.





53  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: What is wrong with eagle autorouter? on: June 09, 2011, 12:25:57 pm
Yes, there probably is alot to say for the placement of parts resulting in a decent autotrace in this case, so that now makes more sense, because if I hadnt worked through much of the traces by hand the parts would have been in a completely non efficient original placement, so that starts to make sense, the autorouter did similar routing to mine because my placement was already optimized.

On the subject of the crystal, I always place it right up near the pins, I noticed that the dumilanove places it approximately 8 mm from the pins, so the question I now have would the crystal still function if it was placed at the end of the chip closest to the 9 and 10 pins, IE parallel to the 14 and 15 pins, this results in a 14 -15 mm trace as opposed to the 8 mm trace of the dumilanove, would it still function?
54  Development / Other Hardware Development / What is wrong with eagle autorouter? on: June 09, 2011, 02:59:05 am
So after way too long (9 months of scratching and clawing) I feel I have a pretty good grasp of eagle and am finally prepping boardhouse runs. I have gotten pretty good at self optimizing my trace patterns and overlays and am comfortable with my boards. So once I completed them, just out of curiosity I did full trace ripups and let the autorouter have a crack using the component layouts I used.

Over all the traces look "ok", my own seemed a bit more intuitive, and with the exception that the autorouter chose smaller traces as an average, and I made extra heavy power traces in mine. There didn;t seem to be any huge disparities in the auto traces over mine.

So my question is this, am I missing something, all over the net I always see don't use the eagle autorouter for production boards, its not good enough, or the eagle autorouter isn't "very smart".

So what gives, has it "gotten smarter", have personal tastes changed or am I missing some great glaring mistake the autorouter spits out?

Just looking for some answers and opinions of why it gets such a bad rap and if it is deserved or just perceived.
55  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Ftdi with switchable power on: May 25, 2011, 03:19:32 pm
Yep, looking at the Diecimila its the same circuit with a switch instead of the jumper.

Thanks again.
56  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Ftdi with switchable power on: May 25, 2011, 03:16:00 pm
Thank you John, I was concerned they were hard to read but I couldn't make it larger without distortion.

The vcc to the FTDI CHIP comes from usb, the usb 5v is split and goes to one leg of the switch the Vreg 5 v goes to another leg and depending on the switch flip the center pin sends the choice to the vcc pin on the FTDI connector.

Sounds like the circuit you suggested will be what I am looking at doing here and I will look thanks again for the eyes, sorry it was too small.

57  Development / Other Hardware Development / Ftdi with switchable power on: May 24, 2011, 09:46:12 pm
Anything wrong with this circuit, ftdi out with a switch that chooses between usb or power jack for ftdi vcc.

58  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Eagle Wire vesus Net tool. on: May 22, 2011, 01:52:20 pm
And thats exactly why its a bear learning this thing from various internet sources rather than a tutor or a class. The internet tutorials are usually a snapshot in time and don't evolve much or get updated as the program does.

Thanks again.
59  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Eagle Wire vesus Net tool. on: May 22, 2011, 01:36:00 pm
Thanks Rugged, but this is an Eagle gotcha and half for both of us, it turns out, at least in Eagle 5.11 and maybe others, that the wire tool converts connections between parts automagically to nets.

When I typed the command disp none wire I got an Unknown Layer wire error, even though I did draw the whole schematic with the wire tool, and when I type disp none nets it shows all of the wires as nets, go figure.

So I guess the answer is to be correct use the Nets tool for parts connections, but if you mistakenly use the wire tool it will convert connections to nets, but this should not be relied on behavior.

60  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Eagle Wire vesus Net tool. on: May 22, 2011, 01:12:11 pm
Thanks again rugged but now I am confused a bit more I do see airwires on the PCB, little yellow connections between each component. But I will fix them anyways.

Did I mention I hate counter-intuitive interfaces.

I really wish I could just take a class, but I have been stumbling along for almost a year now, trying to figure it out by myself, I could have made the board the old fashioned way I used to as kid faster, using tape outs, than this damn "timesaving" cad can.

But of course then I would only be able to etch my own and not get it commercially produced.

Once again your help is greatly appreciated.

Oh and even more confusing the autorouter works on those connections.
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