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856  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: rush job compromises... on: September 12, 2012, 11:15:39 am
Quote
At least you're not sitting next to the phone waiting for a customer to ring


AAghhh ,   I wish the customers ( thank you, thank you ) could turn up one at a time when I am ready ?

I do have an order for a scoreboard upgrade kit ( where I supply a set of LED "tiles" for the school/club to screw onto an old manual scoreboard ) the tiles are connected by ribbon cable, so they can either drill a small hole behind each tile on an existing board , or even screw the tiles to a wall, and paint over the ribom cable.

Apart from the financial anxiety, it would be nice to have a couple of days break, to catch up on the SIM20 wireless modules modes ( the application docs are pathetic, but I like the 1500m range )
857  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 12, 2012, 10:24:07 am
Thanks Pico,  it is all so clear now  :-)
858  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 12, 2012, 05:02:23 am
  .... and the more I find out,  the less I know .... :-)

but I am enjoying the learning !
859  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 12, 2012, 03:09:21 am
Quote
But I like:


Code:
void loop ()
{
  if ( cost > x )
  {
    serialPrint ( cost ); 
   
    if ( cost > 2x )
      digitalWrite ( ledPin, HIGH );
  }


Shouldnt there be another pair of curly braces after the 2x ?
860  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 12, 2012, 01:11:01 am
Yes , it would need to be deselected when not needed, as it would look like a Xmas tree, which is what I think would show which goes with which.

Or another way of showing the pairs, is to be able to select a way to have each pair a greater  indent from the left margin ( and the text within them )
I sometimes do this anyway, so that I can see each section,  you would have to be able to return to normal .....


void loop ()
{
if ( cost > x )
    { serialPrint ( cost );  if ( cost > 2x )
        {  digitalWrite ( ledPin, HIGH );
        }
     }
}
861  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 12, 2012, 12:13:15 am
Yes,  the first left one in a loop  could be say green, and the very last one the same.

Then the second one could be blue, and its matching one blue,   etc etc  even if they are nested within other pairs.

At the moment we can only highlight one pair at a time, this way they could all show up at once, with their partner.

There could only be so many colours, but they can start repeating the sequence, I think it would be clear which is which partner.
862  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Interest in overhauling the IDE user interface? on: September 11, 2012, 08:26:01 pm
I would like to click an  option to let each pair of curly braces be a different colour ?



863  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / rush job compromises... on: September 11, 2012, 11:21:47 am
For my sins, I have to supply 6 telemetry units with 15 digit displays tomorrow.
   The whole rush job has been compromised all the way by suppliers suddenly not being able to supply,  wrong size holes for 15000 LED legs that had to be redrilled, etc etc

For my simple telemetry in the scoreboards that I make,  I have always used the simplex Radiometrix 433 MHz wireless modules, which are brilliant, I get over 250m solid range with them ( OK, that said ,  I have perfect line of sight , and the receiver has an antenna several metres off the ground, in the middle of a field with no interference - which is one of the reasons I don't multiplex the LEDs - but that's another story )
I normally use VirtualWire which works 100%, but :-

The agent for Radiometrix here is useless, and let me down again, and again, I even tried switching to the TI  2.4GHz modules from them, which they did supply a sample of, but then couldn't supply in the time they promised. ( after I had done all the experimenting and pcb layout for )

I wasted a few weeks of timeline due to them, so last week, I switched to the promising looking SIM20 transceivers from another supplier, only about US$ 16, which look brilliant, but the technical literature is hopeless !

So as a compromise, I tried using a pair in default mode, as a simple TX / RX  with NewSoftSerial,  and sending the first bit as an identifying address ( which I call a PIN so the user can understand ) and if that matches, the next 15 bytes are decoded as data for a display ( of 15 LED 7 segs )

I am feeding the Rx ( from the SIM20 - running at 3v3 Vcc - straight into the RX pin of the NSS ( another compromise )

The prototype with 4 digits worked perfectly, I walked up the road with the remote, and ran out of road before I ran out of range !

The display was solid, so I thought I would hook these transceivers in with short hookup wire in this batch, and after a weekend of assembling, all works fine except that with all 15 digits , the last digit ( the first one sent ) flickers between whatever the remote is set to , and zero, randomly a couple of times a second.

I only have a one byte " PIN " number, so I thought it could be that number randomly turning up in the receivers " no signal" hash ?  But the other displayed numbers stay solidly locked...  ( and I have set the baudrate to 9600 which is much slower anyway )

I could McGyver a couple more address bytes, or send a phoney first byte and ignore it on the Rx end  -  the second digit sent is solid .

 I would like to get it  more kosher , even if I only have 18 hours  :-)

For another ( rush )  project , that thankfully went out this morning,  I was recommended by one of the forum members to use "size of buffer" , which is also used in the VirtualWire buffer decoding, but I am not sure how to implement it.

I need to send 16 bytes ( one PIN and 15 numbers )   via NSSerial,  and dig out those bytes without resorting to my bodges.

For the next batch I want to get to know the serious modes that the SIM20 can do,    if I get a chance..

864  Community / Bar Sport / Re: What is the most expensive board you ever smoked? on: September 11, 2012, 12:11:04 am
"a solder sucker and wick would not be of any use."

Just my attempt at humour :-)
865  Community / Bar Sport / Re: So why are there no good electronics shops? on: September 10, 2012, 05:54:40 pm
"I agree on that. But Mythbusters is an entry level program. It never really explains the theory."

This is what the value of such TV shows is ( hang on , you don't have a TV ?   :-) )

All the theory any kid could want, can be Googled.

What is the attraction of that, over say them playing with Facebook or BBM ?

All new ideas ( even if they turn out to be old hat ) need to be experimented with - which to me is the best part.

Shows like Mythbusters show how to set up an experiment, they don't go into elaborate detail, ( they have to entertain too )  but show for example how you need a control sample, and how to monitor external influences.

If they can get the kids to think and experiment, thats wonderful !
866  Community / Bar Sport / Re: A stupid mistake on: September 10, 2012, 05:36:17 pm
I finally got his batch of displays out , after weeks of 18 hour days .

Note to self, and anyone considering farming out pcb assembly ( I know its fairly obvious ) :-

1. Get samples of components   -  the latest batch of ultrabright LEDs that I have coming from China next week, have the Anode with the short leg, and the flat on the rim !      When I queried the sample , the supplier said " thats right, we call it reversed polarity "  ????

1.  Chat to the pcb manufacturing guy, take samples of each component, agree hole size, solder mask clearances , and silk screen.

2.  Take sample board to assembling guys, run through their routine.
 I supplied a perspex jig this time to drop over the LEDs when the boards go over the solder bath to keep the aligned, and they say its much easier to put on than the aluminium one I gave them before, they can see which LED is crooked.
Thier feedback is priceless.

3.  Don't just give up and get it made in China ( even if most components are ) 

 I put " Proudly made in South Africa " on my products ( even if I sit all weekend drilling out holes :-)
867  Community / Bar Sport / Re: What is the most expensive board you ever smoked? on: September 10, 2012, 05:13:54 pm
@ Grumpy Mike  " Only blew two parts but one was a BGA device. "

then you find out how good you are with a solder sucker and wick ?
868  Community / Bar Sport / Re: What is the most expensive board you ever smoked? on: September 10, 2012, 05:07:29 pm
The team that installed some of my displays in a major supermarket decided they would tap into the mains supply ( while live ! )  to the  checkouts, on a Friday afternoon.
Each till had a long line of trolleys queued up.

Big bang and flash,  it takes half an hour to reboot the system, so all the customers left their trolleys in the queue, and went to another supermarket ....

Luckily it was nothing to do with me, and  I have never found out what the costs were to the supermarket ( loss of sales, frozen food thawing in the trolleys etc, etc. )

The most expensive mistake by the team I was part of ( not me though ) was at a NASA tracking station in '67, when one of the guys sent the wrong command to the just launched , first ever , all UK satellite ( Ariel3 ) and instead of making it send back high speed data, it switched from the main transmitter , which was supposed to last years, to the back up transmitter  - there was no command to revert to the primary one.   
   This  could have been a multi million booboo, but the satellite continued for its life on the backup, thank heavens.
869  Community / Bar Sport / Re: As people seem to occasionally mention things like this.. on: September 10, 2012, 04:43:10 pm
See what you have started dxw00d ?,  well done at becoming a Faraday member, now get back in your cage ..... :-)

870  Community / Bar Sport / Re: So why are there no good electronics shops? on: September 10, 2012, 04:35:30 pm
But it is shows like Mythbusters, which bring some fun into science, that might be the key to getting the kids off the Iphone and trying some experimenting ?
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