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1  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bugs & Suggestions / Re: PORTC on: October 12, 2007, 09:08:59 pm
My $00.02: I like A0, A1... just because thats the notation Ive been using on my own pcbs. Plus its less to type! I would just be concerned about future compatibility as Im still holding out on the day we can have some form of the arduino mojo on an ATTiny...

-B
2  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bugs & Suggestions / Re: Arduino documentation licensing on: September 05, 2007, 01:19:55 pm
Yeah I have to go blab to a room of students in a few hours too. I think there is a reason why I am an artist and not a copyright attorney. It makes my head hurt. When it gets right down to it I dont understand why we dont just put everything into pd (public domain) and forget about it!? I, like Stephen, started with the reference section for my notebook and added and subtracted from it to make a cohesive whole.... purely for the love of my students. (Must be it I dont know why else I would be so compelled...) Shortly into it I knew I should have written entirely original content but I just didnt have time. I blindly, maybe romantically, believed that gee wiz this is an open source project and surely my altruistic motives to make this stuff easier to learn would just be welcomed into open arms. And absolutely the community and foundation has been supportive of my endeavor, its only been through recent discussions that things have been revealed for their true murky nature.

My concerns unfounded or un-thoughtout as they may be stem from a life emerged in acadamea. I would like my document to remain a placeholder for a more comprehensive, more original work that I hope to one day complete. I dont care that someone might take what Ive done and take off with it. Likewise I have tried to credit anyone whose work or ideas I have used. I stuck the NC tag on precisely to keep things academic... for the time being. I didnt want it to seem like official documentation. (The name comes from F. Mimms and his Mini-Notebook series... and he doesnt write the official docs for all the 555s in the world.) If I am in error I will change it by all means. Its just all these discussions have peeled away a layer of my brain.

Im curious about all the new texts coming to market on Processing. Reas & Fry's book for example is absolutely amazing. But you have a commercial product (the book) on an open source software environment (processing) that contains much of the information that you would see on on an open website. How does that gel? (I recognize it helps that the both of them kinda started the whole thing.) The complexities of the situation are enough to forget the whole endeavor. When I was growing up my dad actually told me once it was often easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission! (Maybe not the wisest thing to do with a teenager.) So I guess by all means Im playing the education card a little and if I need to change something someone will let me know, right?

Ill go ramble at students now...
Brian
3  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Syntax & Programs / Re: simple servo... on: April 17, 2008, 03:45:19 am
The millis thing has always been a problem for me. Until I can work out a better solution this was an example I worked up for my students. Basically the problem youre having is that the servo needs to be updated every 20mS or else it will freak out. So this example uses for loops to continue to update the servo position by calling the servoPulse function 50 times to create a delay of 1 second. (50 loops x 20ms = 1000ms = 1 second) So to delay for 1 minute at each position you would need to change the 50 in each of the lines: for(int i=0; i<50; i++) to 300. Also notice I have this example set to 10, 90, and 170 degrees... some servos have varying tolerances at the 0 and 180 sides of things so you have to work into the full range to see how well your servo does. In other words you may not quite get 180 out of it and then again you might get more, it all depends. The last thing you need to change in this example is the servo pin your sero is attached to.

Cheers,
Brian

Code:
/*  10º, 90º, 170º
    Moves servo to 3 different angles
    with a pause of 1 second each.
*/
 
int servoPin = 2;   // servo connected to digital pin 2
int myAngle;        // angle of the servo roughly 0-180
int pulseWidth;     // servoPulse function variable
 
void setup()
{
  pinMode(servoPin, OUTPUT);   // sets pin 2 as output
}
 
void servoPulse(int servoPin, int myAngle)    
{      
  pulseWidth = (myAngle * 10) + 600;  // determines delay  
  digitalWrite(servoPin, HIGH);       // set servo high
  delayMicroseconds(pulseWidth);      // micro pause
  digitalWrite(servoPin, LOW);        // set servo low
  delay(20);                          // refresh cycle
}
 
void loop()
{

  myAngle = 10;                       // starts at 10º

  for(int i=0; i<50; i++)             // loops 50 times
  {
    servoPulse(servoPin, myAngle);
  }

  myAngle = 90;                       // moves to 90º

  for(int i=0; i<50; i++)             // loops 50 times
  {
    servoPulse(servoPin, myAngle);
  }

  myAngle = 170;                      // then moves to 170º

  for(int i=0; i<50; i++)             // loops 50 times
  {
    servoPulse(servoPin, myAngle);
  }
}
4  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Syntax & Programs / Re: How do i make a hallogenspot respond to arduin on: April 17, 2008, 03:57:39 am
AFAIK, even the low voltage halogen's that run on a transformer rated at 12 or 24v are still AC and as such can not be switched by a mosfet (these do DC only). You would need something like the all-mighty radioshack reed relay or even better a solid state relay and then you could choose to switch either the low(er) voltage power coming out of the halogen's xformer or to switch the 120v xformer itself.

Cheers,
Brian
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Syntax & Programs / Re: Perlin noise in Arduino on: April 04, 2008, 04:13:36 pm
One workaround I used was to generate a large string of numbers in processing using noise() and pasted those values into an array in the arduino sketch and pulled values as needed. Yes it would loop after some time but it created the illusion of the 'smooth random' of perlin noise and who was going to know otherwise. IIRC someone was working on a variant of noise for the arduino so you might look around some more...

Brian
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Syntax & Programs / Re: C or Embedded C on: March 16, 2008, 08:42:14 pm
For my crash course in Arduino programming I plunged into the Oreilly book C in a Nutshell followed by K&R second edition. And believe it or not C for Dummies was a little helpful. Essentially though, that is a hard track to follow because of the implementation of the Arduino structure being a mash up of C and a little C++ with some other stuff to take the hard edges off. The printf() example is a case in how hard it can be to separate an essential part of C for a computer as opposed to Arduino C which does not have this command. Really the reference here on the website (and my reediting and reorg of the basic info in my notebook) is about the best reference for the Arduino language. You could also look at Igoe's Making Things Talk which is Arduino-centric but may not be all that introductory or terrible helpful unless you plan on using xPorts or xBees. I am going to try to rewrite my notebook from the ground up over the next 6 months but until then that doesnt help you much.

Best,
brian
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Toasty Diecimila on: November 11, 2007, 08:33:06 pm
So obviously since no one had anything to offer on this one it must really be dead. On Daniels advice, I suggested to the student that she email the editor of make and within a day or two she had an email back from a very helpful assistant to see about arranging for a return. Hopefully this one will be taken care of.

Not to start something akin to the open source debate, but I would like to know what the policy is regarding defective units? No where that I know if is this in any way spelled out. I know that in the past the boards have had a really low defect rate and Mellis has offered to exchange a defective board before but this seems to be hit or miss. (As in this case.) I also ask because a couple other students seem to have external power issues but I havent had the time to test this out yet.

It just seems to me that if a product is released to the market there should be some warranty against faulty manufacturing defects and that the creator should support a product rather than leave it up to the distributor to sort things out.

I understand there is the underlying problem of whether it is truly a defect as opposed to a problem created by the user. But all the same I think the product should be supported better.

Thoughts?

Brian
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Toasty Diecimila on: October 28, 2007, 01:49:42 pm
Here's a weird one.... A student of mine bought a couple Diecimilas for my class from the Make store. One worked fine but the other did nothing and was hot to the touch so I borrowed the bad one from her to see what I could do with it.

On powering it up via USB I first noticed that pin13 blinked fast 3 times so I knew the bootloader was ok. Then I noticed both RX & TX lights stayed fully illuminated. The power led was also illuminated but I noticed that the pin 13 LED was not blinking like a new board should. I went ahead and tried to get a program into the board but the COM port is not recognized. So feeling around the board I noticed the FTDI chip was sufficiently warm to the touch. Then I bumped the ICSP header and suddenly pin13 would blink on and off for awhile before going out again. If I flexed the pcb the same thing would happen: pin13 would blink on and off for a seemingly random period before going dark again. Meanwhile the RX/TX lights stay on and the longer I leave it plugged in the hotter the FTDI chip gets.

I think this one is bad. Any thoughts? The student tried contacting the Make store and was told tough luck, all sales are final.

-Brian
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Part# for: 16 MHz crystal oscillator on: November 19, 2007, 05:54:37 pm
Making my own pcbs the other day I had a hard time finding a 16hz xtal with parallel 22pF caps through mouser but I did find a 16mhz xtal and it specified in the paert description parallel 18pF caps so on a whim I went that way and just picked up some 18pF ceramic caps. It worked flawlessly. So my marginally educated opinion is that a xtal with 22pF caps isnt entirely mission critical. As long as the parts that are used match up (the xtal is used with the caps specified by the xtal) it should be ok.

B
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Modified Pico Protoshield on: January 15, 2010, 07:34:28 pm
I've been very happy with the yellow. I tried to get our board house to do orange but that was asking too much I guess. As it is though the yellow is pretty dark unlike some of the other yellow PCBs I've seen.

Stackable and can use the pins. I think theres also a lot of potential for hacking it in weird ways (ala the Liquidware guys) by using stacking pin headers and putting shields on the bottom rather than the top. Ill see what my students do with it this semester.

Brian

11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Modified Pico Protoshield on: January 15, 2010, 10:36:03 am
Yeah that is the point... but now you can have both!  smiley-wink Call it an all-one.

Brian
12  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Modified Pico Protoshield on: January 14, 2010, 08:38:45 pm
Hey guys! I wanted to share a new design I just finished up and have in the store for sale.





Say hello to the Modified Pico Protoshield. This new kit makes the Pico (my little yellow USB equipped Freeduino), I believe, the first breadboard Arduino variant that is also shield compatible. I think this will make the Pico a pretty versatile prototyping platform both for wiring up circuits easily on a breadboard and using the plethora of shields that are now available.

They can be had at the Modified store at:
http://www.modifiedelectronics.com/mp-psk.php

We have also put together a new Starter Kit that will be available soon along with a new batch of Picos shortly.

Cheers-
Brian

13  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Romeo-All in one Arduino on: April 22, 2009, 07:01:09 pm
Thats pretty impressive for $35. Although I do think if youre going for an everything in one design you might as well throw the kitchen sink at it.

Oh and the 328 doesnt look to be widely available in SMT until some time this summer....

B
14  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Carduino on: May 26, 2008, 10:16:03 pm
Well what the hell, why not another freeduino variant? smiley-grin I haven't spent much time on this one but I thought I would throw it out there anyway.



Overall size is 1.5"x2.5". (I was initiall going for business card size but I just couldnt justify making it that big!) Its loosely based on the Lilypad with the basic concept of being a simple minimal prototype-friendly design with room for optional resonator and serial and isp programming headers.

Files:
Carduino.sch
Carduino.brd

Enjoy!
Brian
15  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Standard pinout/socket for proto Freediuno's on: October 14, 2008, 07:00:48 pm
I think the whole OSH model really denies standards to a certain extent. In designing the Pico one of my interests were to break a standard the Arduino Mini had adhered to that was first established by the BS2. A standard can really get in the way sometimes... look at the .1" pin spacing issue. With that said I still tried to stick to the Tx, Rx, +5v, Gnd, Rst pin order that Paul has somewhere on his BBB. I also bumped the Pico down to 24pins so that it could be used in a standard ic socket although Im not sure myself how practical that is. In the end Baskin Robins style every flavor has a purpose...

B
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