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61  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Eagle Wire vesus Net tool. on: May 22, 2011, 12:57:32 pm
I have finished several schematics in eagle 5.11 which I used the Wire tool to make connections, I recently found a tutorial that said not to use Wire but to use the Net tool to make connections, is there a difference and if so what is the difference and why does it matter?

Should I go back and redo my schematic part connections with the Net tool? Will it make a difference in anything?
62  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Update sketch without IDE? on: May 17, 2011, 04:56:13 pm
Right ballpark. I had thought of the sd card but ruled it out because I wanted to keep it simple, dint want hem switching cards or anything, EEPROM is likely the route I will go as essentially that is the position the PC was in the previous project, the arduino sensor sent numbers through serial to the pc the pc did the curve math and fed it back over serial to a generic script that just plugged in them in and changed the output pwm.

So essentially what I need then is a way to write an eeprom from the computer and then the arduino just looks there for the info there if I understand you right. 

That sounds right, but is it easy to write to an eeprom in a circuit, from within a standalone program? Im new to that vein, got the controller, sensor  interface stuff down, feeling my way for more.
63  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Update sketch without IDE? on: May 17, 2011, 01:32:13 pm
Im preparing to build a project that needs to operate with a pc but is autonomous in its operations so if the PC crashes it can handle it self gracefully.

It involves PWM curves based on external sensors for light control. Originally I had the pc handling the math, taking in the sensor readings, making decisions based on those readings  and then sending out text strings to interactively control PWM changes, using the Arduino as an extension of the pc, but if the pc crashed or froze so did the unit.

In my new design I want to only use the pc to update the program/light cues and then the Arduino goes on its merry way, although it will continue to send serial updates back to the computer for status. all sensor and control is autonomous in the Arduino, as it should be.

The problem I am facing is this is to be used by end users, so the program front end I am writing for the choreography of the light cues is artist friendly but I dont want to make them also be Arduino tech savy and do raw sketch IDE interaction.

In other words I want to write a program that creates a sketch with the end user just choosing things like red light, set it to fade %60 over X seconds  if you see sensor x get input and so on.

Then once the sketch is generated, (no coding by the end user) I want them to be able to push a software button that says Commit Cues to Controller and it uploads the new sketch resets and runs, with out the extra step of having them use the regular Arduino IDE and sketch loading process.

Any program/hardware stubs, code snippets supporting circuits or ideas along these lines ?

 The whole goal is that the end user doesn't really interact with the Arduino directly as we do, but as a controller extension.

Does any of this make sense?

Thanks in advance for any ideas or help.


64  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Anywhere to get 2-3 day pcb turnaround? on: May 16, 2011, 04:27:20 pm
Looks like thats going to be the ticket thanks again Rugged
65  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Anywhere to get 2-3 day pcb turnaround? on: May 16, 2011, 04:17:00 pm
So makefaire is at the end of the week here in the bay area and I wasn't planning on releasing a project until after the show because the deadline was too tight for production for something I was trying to get done, but I have the board designs done and decided I wanted to be able to show a couple of prototypes off, but now the conundrum, no turn around time.

So the question is, does anyone know of any Printed Circuit Board house that can do fast turnaround as in a 2 or 3 days, prolly not but figured I would give a shot at getting a few done if there were, not a full run, just a prototype run 4 or 5 boards.


66  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: Make Your Own Arduino on: March 28, 2011, 04:04:25 am
Thought I would share and compare my version of a step by step perfboard arduino from last year,

It too used the sparkfun serial, but included a built in pin 13 LED, with jumper disable.
67  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: QUADuino - a Multi Arduino (4 x ATmega640) card on: March 21, 2011, 10:37:53 pm
I think you might want to wander around for some inspirations and direction.

Most notably take a look at the multi extender shields and for a larger view of a similar project to your description but with ARM chips look at the damn near, hard to tell tech from magic, Illuminato+X+Machina as it has the multi processor aware cell structure and protocol concepts I believe you are going to find yourself drawn to in a multi arduino processor environment.

And lastly wouldn't the concept function best using Arduinos in an addressable I2C master slave round robin chain?
68  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: PCB layout in the Bay Area on: March 17, 2011, 01:28:58 pm
Thanks for the input dougp, thats the point I am getting stuck on.

I have already done simple designs in eagle and designspark, the schematic side I have down dead bang, and simple single sided layouts no problem, but my next steps are presenting little gotchas that I know someone else with more knowledge than myself would already know how to get around easily.

Some of the things that have been catching me up are the need to make a few custom parts that aren't in libraries, (that I can find) When moving to double sided I am having trouble with efficient routing. Autorouting would be stupid and wont handle it, I know there is as much an art to layout as tech, and am looking for someone with that eye.

In addition I have some other unique for a newbie but not unique for someone with more experience problems such as, I need smd parts on both sides of the board, I need multiple parts in same positions ( such as the arduino crystal/resonator trace ) where you can use a different part in the same spot depending on configuration, proper ground plane structuring, Im also stuck on screw holes and some proper multi-board inter-connection issues and so on.

And finally I need someone that can look at something that I have done or designed that looks like its right and should work and can say nope, thats just not gonna make it through production or this trace isn't going where it looks like it is, you need that trace larger for this reason, you shouldn't have those near each other because, just because you can do this in cad doesn't mean it will work when the board is created...... and so on.
All of these things, a new person to eagle would waste alot of time and resources on, that a trained eye wouldn't even spend a minute making the same mistake let alone the weeks of turnaround and cost, (design, ship to board house, pay, wait for return, find mistake, repeat) to learn some of those simple lessons.

So I am looking for someone to collaborate with or pay/partner with, with more knowledge than me that can shorten that curve and shift the cost to a different process so that I can get my ideas to production and shared with the community.

Thanks again for the input. Hope that clarifies.

69  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / PCB layout in the Bay Area on: March 16, 2011, 12:42:00 pm
I have been developing an arduino derivative product line (perfboard prototyping and conceptualization) but have more or less been dead in the water at the PCB production step for about 6 months, start and stop start and stop, and further prototyping has to be on the pcb level at this point, including 1.27 pitch connectors or edge connectors and smd parts, so this is my current stopping point in further development.

I have CAD skills in floor-plan layout and even have PCB layout and etching skills from my teens in the late 70s early 80s, back then the traces were the size of a magic marker and some of the resistors were about half the size of the 328 chip, and it was all hand drawn layouts, but even with all that I have yet been able to make the leap.

So I guess the upshot of this message is, Im looking for someone in the same general geographic area, (I live in the south bay/Los Gatos, CA but any bay area location would be fine)  That is interested in doing some piece pcb design collaboration, paid piece design layout or even further getting involved in some commercial interest or partnership if the fit is right.

This specifically involves converting perfboard prototypes to eagle/kicad/designspark cad layouts for final production, as well as some component swapping for SMD and miniaturization efforts of the final boards and kits.

Components are all standard arduino derivative ( ftdi, 328 dip and smd and so on ) and the ideal person knows how to crank out a simple layout like the back of their hand.

Drop a line if you are interested.

70  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Karma on: January 31, 2011, 04:52:34 pm
Another category of miss information I just thought of is the person who gets good advice but doesn't like it. Like the common one of "how can I get my arduino to read / send / process images from a web cam". When they find out they can't they are likely not to believe it or like what they have been told.

And thats the positive reinforcement of a thank button, that measures success without the confusion of negative interpretation or even diseducation, on their part, if it helped them they are going to feel positive and give positive reinforcement through thanking a common measured courtesy .

Community is and should be another measure of demeanor and civility, think of it as decoupling capacitors of karma from post worth.

That way a really helpful person can still be a prick if they are a helpful prick or if they are unhelpfull and a prick then they can go to hell.
71  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Where is the Uno SMD reference available? on: January 31, 2011, 03:13:23 pm
It is not available in the hardware section. Can the UNO SMD version reference be made available?
72  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Karma on: January 31, 2011, 02:42:52 pm
Having operated, designed and drafted electronic message systems for over 30 years (eeek!!!!! and Im only 44) including being involved in the original RFC process for usenet, it is clear that your system must have some new form of user feedback so you cannot do away with it completely.

There was a period of time where post count gave you equivalency, but due to prolific posters and even at least one recent individual who was both prolific and intentionally abusive and or provocative, this is no longer the case.

Looking at the issues that you want to measure, as well as previous working and non-working solutions, I believe the issue requires two simple measures to accomplish the goal of what you are trying to have portrayed, as well as giving the user a balanced voice in that process.

The current double plus karma system ( plus 1 positive click or plus 1 negative click ) is open to both abuses ( as mowcius has alluded to testing hourly ) and is a slippery measure as a successful poster can move in and out of fashion with a certain crowd or clique could result in a useless measure.

So we need a positive reinforcement that is unchangeable and stays permanent, and a measure that gives the user base a sliding scale to pass general community acceptance levels on an individual ( which is the other thing we are measuring, an individuals civility with in the community )

I believe this can be accomplished in 2 pieces of information

A "Thank" button measure:
This is positive reinforcement for someone who helps an individual.

This is a permanent data number that can only go up, that can not be affected by the user themselves, only other people may use the thank for you and there is no detraction or subtraction equivalent.

This will easily reflect the individuals helpfulness and will stand up to the longevity measure unlike the prolific post count we used to rely on.

Process :
Thank button adds 1 to the Thanks number.

Thank button can only be pushed by an individual that is not the one being thanked and can only be pushed once per post per poster.

The Thanks number is reflected under an individuals Name as a positive single color.

Further it would be good if (but not necessary) the post will reflect that NAMED poster or Multi-Named posters thanked the person for this answer in a post signature position.

A Community Karma Number:
 This is community perception reflection which gives the community the ability to allow someone to know whether they are fitting into community norms without direct confrontation and unnecessary "flame wars" or "pile ons" which can often bleed and sidetrack real discussion. It also has the side benefit of giving a mature (longevity) user base a feeling of control and self policing of a more complex message community.

This is a permanent data number that is a true plus or minus karma number that can reflect both positive reinforcement as well as negative community consensus.

A plus or minus karma click will will add 1 or subtract 1 from a permanent data number.

The karma clicks can only be applied by an individual who is not the poster, can only be pushed once per post per poster and cannot be used repeatedly through a timed limit.

The Community Karma Number is reflected under an individuals Name as a +number or -number, in addition to the plus or minus symbol, a color differentiation reflects whether a number is in the positive community karma or negative community karma scale.

This is one number, 0 up is positive karma, 0 down is negative karma.

Further it would be good if (but not necessary) the post will reflect a sentence saying A (unamed) poster or X number of (unamed) posters marked this post as positive or negative karma, this will be reflected in a post signature position. This will allow an individual to realize and measure what behavior is negative or positive to the community.

These are just my opinions and a view from my experiences, I believe this process gives clear indication of an individuals helpfulness to the community, a community measure of demeanor and civility, as well as a self policing of the community by the community to handle and shape that behavior without distracting from the discussion topics at hand.

73  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Nicely done update, Exhibition should be at the bottom of Using Arduino grouping on: January 26, 2011, 08:44:45 am
I apologize for taking your time, I can only imagine,the hand wringing you all have been through.

I by no means wanted to add to that part of the process, just saw something that seemed like a look see situation.

As I said, my opinion only your mileage may vary smiley

Good luck with the remainder of what must be way too much work, see you on the other side when you and the team can relax a bit.

Once again thanks for a great update.
74  Community / Website and Forum / Re: Nicely done update, Exhibition should be at the bottom of Using Arduino grouping on: January 26, 2011, 08:21:02 am
I think you already have the top categories right. from a new user perspective, they are not going to go digging very far, but more mature users will.

Think of the new user process like this, think of it as peeking in a door of a new pub/bar, you might peek in look around see what its like, see if they have what ya want, if you cant find it you might ask for a bit of help bounce back out a bit quick.

Thats the help on installation and all the electronics topics and guidance in the first forum section.

As you get more familiar with the place you start to go deeper inside, look around more, maybe chat with the guy at the dart board, throw something on the jukebox or even karoke.

This is exhibition, showing off and bonding getting to know the regulars a bit more.  Thats how the exhibition section seems to flow naturally to me, just my opinion. not just heres the fix but look whats cool too, you dont have to dig deep to find it.

As an aside to the pub allegory, I also think if you go back and look at the old exhibition you will see that a tremendous amount of technical knowledge discussion happened in the exhibition threads as more people asked how something was done or critiqued and kibitzed the item being displayed, it didnt function as just a broadcast show and tell but more a show and discuss.

And i think that section, the learning and introduction section of USING ARDUINO lends it self to that, where as at the bottom it is more of a broadcast  and regular hang out section.

Back to the allegory.....
Now the  pub is feeling more natural the place is rockin to you, its your regular hang out, they know your name and that cranky bunch at the end of the bar that gave ya the hairy eyeball, when you walked into their bar and asked the name of the drink, which you now have named after you because its YOU RE DRINK, and because you are a regular, they dont intimidate you so much, in fact you can hold your own with them now.

Thats the community section, a little isolating and you need to grow into it, explore the site deeper to find it at the bottom, you have to explore some to get there, but it isnot quite the front door baptism by fire,  dont you know how to use a search engine to find a drink nme, we knew all these drinks years ago mentality that sometimes arises in some pubs (and IRL in the the previous forum flow).

So in my pub/bar story you can see a natural process come out of your menu choices and it flows fairly well (with the exception of the topics section which is a bit redundant and I think confusing to the flow)

We ll call the topics section the side graffitti room in the pub story, not quite lit right, a bit off the beaten path,gets all kinds of stuff written all over it because its a  bit out of the normal flow pattern, just seems a bit out of place.)

But I still believe the new user process  would flow best if you moved the exhibition ( karoke ) up so more than the regulars can find it and enjoy it.

As to your best of, Im not sure if I understand how you mean it to work, but if it is anything like the news section of the old forum where it has to rely on say an editorial oversite, it may fall to similar fates, and it may be better to keep it less controlled (open sourced even smiley ) to keep the flow fully organic rather than having to be tended to a lot.
I hope at least some of this makes sense and isnt too esoteric an explanation of my opinion of why you should move the exhibition to the bottom of the Using Arduino and now in review possibly reconsider the TOPICS section.

The fact that I can find a  real world interaction with a natural flow in the process to liken the menu and user flow to means you got  good usability design involved in the final outcome, and as I said in my first post it all in all is pretty good all the way around for such a big leap.

Just thought the tweaks might help.

Hope they do, just my 2 cents
75  Community / Website and Forum / Nicely done update, Exhibition should be at the bottom of Using Arduino grouping on: January 26, 2011, 12:35:55 am
The design is good, the usability is good, integration with smf seems to be stable, but one logical change in the topic groupings.

Exhibition should be part of Using Arduino, bar sport and exhibition have been somewhat synonymous before so it will be good for community discussions to separate the two, but with all of the support/usability moving to the top, it would be better for newer users if exhibition was moved to a more prominent and logical section with greater exposure.

What better way to encourage Arduino use than show what can be done with it?

Using Arduino is the natural place for exhibition of Using Arduinos

Congrats on the update.
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