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961  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Fun and challenging product design project: Who will step up? on: August 25, 2012, 01:53:03 pm
I would like to help, I am in Cape Town, and while not a " programmer" , I can usally come up with simple lateral thinking solutions.

I already have a vague idea for simplifying the display.     PM me if I can help ( time is sometimes tight, I am also trying to help rhinos , and make a living :-)
962  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Need Basic Help w/ Project (Will Pay) on: August 25, 2012, 01:44:39 pm
In the old parts of the Empire, a switch ( sort of )  implies double throw, and a button momentary......
963  Community / Gigs and Collaborations / Re: Advice on very simple project for newbie please. on: August 25, 2012, 01:41:06 pm
Hi Scotty jnr

Try contacting Crossroads, his signature says he is available for design / manufacturer, and hes not a grumpy guy at all :-)
964  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: newbie guidance with a simple project on: August 25, 2012, 01:37:09 pm
I think we are all curious about which day the LED must come on..   perhaps an " its my birthday badge for your kid/kids - various dates ?  "
965  Topics / Interactive Art / Re: Check out my new COOL project on: August 25, 2012, 01:27:59 pm
Hi ,
your candles look very cool, and I like the tapered cone at the top.

With respect, I think you might be losing out on one of Arduinos options,  the pwm outputs on say pins 9,10,and 11.

With just a little code, you can have the option of the colours gradually changing through ( nearly ) the whole spectrum of colours. *

You could have a remote button to start it changing, and another to  "freeze" the ramp, to match the restaurants colours for example...

You could also make the flicker a more gentle candle flicker by ramping it on and off.

*  I used to make an LED mood light with just 2 quad op amp chips that controlled up to 16  lamps, and it gradually changed colour with no "steps" that you get with the normal micro mood lights.  By connecting the various lamps differently you could get an infinate number of different colours gradually changing in different parts of the garden / restaurant
966  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino MEGA current draw predicament on: August 25, 2012, 01:07:42 pm


I would use 6 TPIC6B595 latch/drivers...
I was looking at those, but there were two problems I thought I may have with them.
First of all, I can't seem to find any decent tutorials for these 595s. They are fairly new to me and I would have to figure out how to convert a numerical value to a specific pattern of I/O to drive each of the relays. I also already have the code figured out for my original idea that didn't require these 595s.
Another issue I just thought of was that I'm using a ChronoDot for the time keeping, and it uses those same clock and latch pins that these 595s would otherwise seem to use and I'm not sure if they would like to share with the ChronoDot.

The TPIC6B595 is the same as a 595 serial register, but has a built in LED/relay driver ( like a ULN2003 )

You can use any 3 pins to drive them, using Shiftout,  and to set up the segment pattern I define a lookup table ( before the setup ) which looks like this for the pin connections I use from the TPIC to the segment :-

#define latchPin 11  // rck  the pin you choose to go to the latch input of the TPIC
#define clockPin 10  // sck   the pin you choose to go to the clock input of the TPIC
#define dataPin 13  // ser in   the pin you choose to go to the serial  input of the TPIC

const byte digitTable [10] = { // the patterns of segments for numbers 0 to 9 
 B11101110, B00101000, B10110110, B10111100, B01111000, 
 B11011100, B11011110, B10101000, B11111110, B11111100};

// and then at the end of the sketch when you want to display the data you just send something like :-

 digitalWrite(latchPin, LOW); 
 delay ( 50 );

  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, digitTable [ mintens ] );  // you can also have seconds if you like,
  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, digitTable [ minunits ] );
  shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, digitTable [ hourtens ] );
 shiftOut(dataPin, clockPin, MSBFIRST, digitTable [ hourunits ] );

 digitalWrite(latchPin, HIGH);
  delay ( 50 );

The TPIC has a latch, so you dont have to refresh the display ( and you can take a video of the display without the scrolling bands moving down )
967  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Countdown Clock on: August 23, 2012, 02:35:44 am
Welcome to Arduino.

Do a search ( within arduinos search engine top right )  on "countdown days" or " days left " and so on, I am sure I have seen similar projects.
And have a look at the " time" library, I think there is a function to give the days. ( or seconds ) from y2k ( remember that abreviation ?, and all the fears it bought :-)

Try putting a sketch together, and post it (   select your actual code part of the sketch and click on the hash ( insrt code ) symbol above the text panel , this will keep the posting  shorter )  and there are thousands of guys who can help, and dont worry about silly mistakes, nobody will laugh, we all did it !
968  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Arduino MEGA current draw predicament on: August 23, 2012, 02:22:21 am
I would use 6   TPIC6B595  latch/drivers, you only need 3 pins of the Arduino , and it will give you 48 high power 500mA sink outputs to switch your relays ( it has the 50 volt voltage clamp diodes built in )
The relays will give you the isolation you  need.

I use this arangement for LED displays with up to 20    7 seg numbers.
969  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Pyro Firing system... Looking for a starting point on: August 22, 2012, 01:46:30 pm
I think you have strict controls for pyro systems over there, but have a look at the SIM20 wireless transceivers, you can build up a whole mesh of them with a mile range.
I have just started playing with them, and have just  got the basic  transmit/receive link working.
The datasheets are terrible, but the RFD21733 is similar, with less range but better technical backup.
970  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Virtual wire help on: August 22, 2012, 10:42:41 am
Geez Terry

What an experience, I want to do that, but where do you find such a wife ?

No,   back to the topic that Bob raised,  I was tempted to look at upgrading to v1.whatever,  I put it off because of the initial hassles with libraries , that I felt were out of my depth.

I have been busy 24/7 for the last few months, but nearly caught up , so I was going to check through the forum to see if the migration ( from 23 to 0.1 ) had been sweetened, but now I am even more wary if you experienced guys are getting hassles .

Why can't they leave well alone, if it ain't broke dont fix it !   ...................

Or perhaps its a case of teaching an old dog new tricks  :-(
971  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: SPI pins set in stone? on: August 22, 2012, 10:30:32 am
Thanks RuggedCircuits

I thought so, but when I hooked it up with the other pins, it works but very unstable and flickers the LED display, unless I put my finger across the output pins ,  then its fine !

I was going to waste a bit of time on it, but as soon as I connected the scope ground to the -ve supply, the display went off anyway, so 5 minutes connecting three jumpers looks the logical way to go !

972  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / SPI pins set in stone? on: August 22, 2012, 10:15:22 am
Do the MOSI MISO and SCK pins have to be 11, 12 and 13 ?

I have always used them as such, but I connect a chip better in a project if I use 12, 3 and 4.

We define the latch , clock and data pins and set them as outputs, so is there a choice?

I think I went into it once but I am confused and sleep deprived :-)
973  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Ardunio C++ conversation!!!! on: August 16, 2012, 02:06:37 am
The bottom line is that with no knowledge of any of the things that Gooby is talking about, ( lithp etc ) a 64 year old absolute newbie like me can quickly write extremely satisfying software for all sorts of projects.

Arduino ( using ,as it happens C++ ) worked for me !   and presumably the other newbies amongst the 142512 members of this forum ?
974  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: serial to PC instead of SD card logging - Sorted on: August 12, 2012, 03:33:01 am
Ok its working well,  setup Newsoftserial for tx and rx, and it runs fine on port1 ( or my serial/USB adaptor I forgot I boght a while ago )

The data logging software on MegunoLink is very good, you can even draw graphs realtime on your PC from data from the Arduino. I am going to make a donation for the software.

Mine is a stand alone project that I am making for someone upcountry, so I must work out if I can send them a copy of the MegunoLink software, plus  AVRdude ( which it needs ) rather than the whole Arduino program ...
975  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: serial to PC instead of SD card logging on: August 11, 2012, 06:30:32 am
The ftdi cables are expensive here, and I am sending the complete prototype unit to a friend upcountry, so if they have a simple terminal program ( like MegunoLink ) and set it for 9600 and no handshaking .will they be ok with just my sending a string via the TXD to the PCs RXD in ( at the right level ? )

It will generally only be a couple of times a minute I guess.

Presumably they can either check for serial in every loop ?

PS   John Boxall in his excellent Tronixstuff course suggests using MegunoLink as a data logger instead of the SD Card ( obviously if there is a PC handy )
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