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1  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: How to connect Dagu magician chassis to arduino ?? on: November 15, 2012, 06:42:26 pm
The Dagu Magician is an Arduino compatible mcu. This means is operates as an Arduino but from looking at the picture of the device and the available manual (http://www.robotshop.com/content/PDF/manual-rs015.pdf) it appears that you will have to connect the pins manually. The motor shield will not fit on top of the Dagu Magician.

You might be able to place the motor shield on two individual solderless breadboards if they were able to accommodate the shield with the spacing. You could then find the appropriate pins for each corresponding one between the two devices.

If that does not work, try taking a protoboard and soldering in header receptacles at the proper spacing. You could then solder in a second set of header receptacles on the outside of the ones to fit the shield and solder the contacts together underneath. You could then place the shield on the protoboard and connect the pins by running jumpers to the correct receptacle. Make sure you have enough room on the protoboard before soldering.
2  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Newbie questions on: November 15, 2012, 05:24:27 pm
It really is a pain when you type in this long reply and then the forum blanks out when you go to review it.

So I will try to shorten this version:

There are a few things that will make learning the Arduino easier for you:

1) Borrow a book on Arduino from a library to use before you buy one. The book will provide projects for you to do and allow you to become familiar with Arduino and electronics and can often be the shortest route to success compared to learning everything from the Web. Once you finish one book, there are more complicated books available.
2) There are lots of Arduino kits available and many of them have instruction manuals with them. You can build one large project and often, when done you can take it apart and use the components for future projects.
3) Hopefully you have a digital multimeter (dmm). It is the most important tool anybody working with electronics can have. You should not need anything costing more than $60 at this time.

Check out these two pdf's for information on stepper motors:
http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/books/sw/Web-SW-v2.1.pdf
http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/prod/motors/Stepper_Motor_27964.pdf

The first document has information on how to determine which is your power supply connection on pages 154 and 155. The second document has information on how to wire up your unipolar stepper motor using a ULN2003 (a ULN2803 works as well) and example programs. The Javelin Stamp program might be of particular interest to you as it is in Java which is based Java. Java is based on C. Arduino is based on Processing which is based on Java.

As you gain experience with electronics you will become better at reading the specification sheets which provide the important information on the parts you have. Not reading the sheets makes things harder for you. They often have example schematics and programs to show you how to use the part.

The important information about your stepper motor is whether it is unipolar or bipolar, the range of operating voltage, the operating current per coil, and the wiring for each phase. You will need to compare this information to the information provided on the spec sheet for the driver part you buy. The L293D shown in the first pdf works well but, in my opinion, the ULN2x03 looks like it is easier to use.
3  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Arduino as ISP Programmer Problems on: June 29, 2012, 08:46:36 pm
While looking online I found a link for the MintDuino to the Make site. I decided to try building one myself but got to the point of programming it and, doh!, realized that the chip had to have a bootloader on it. There had been a couple of times before where I had used another Arduino to reprogram a bootloader onto a malfunctioning Freeduino board and the page showing it (http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP) worked well.

This time it did not and here was the error message:
avrdude: stk500_paged_write(): (a) protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x11
avrdude: stk500_cmd(): programmer is out of sync

I thought I would be careful and upload the sketch to the programmer board and then connect the target board and then reconnect the USB (that had been removed before connecting the wires as shown on the link) cable and then run the programmer as an ISP.

I searched on the forum and found a thread for which a few fixes were suggested such as placing a 120 ohm resistor between the programming board's reset and gnd and an alternative of placing a 10 uF cap between 5 V and gnd. Neither worked for me. I kept reading and came across this post:
***********
Re: Arduino ISP Bootload Not Working
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2011, 06:49:07 PM »
   Bigger Bigger Smaller Smaller Reset Reset Reply with quoteQuote
The original version of the second ISP sketch worked! You can find it here: http://mega-isp.googlecode.com/files/ArduinoISP.04.zip

Thank you so much Coding Badly and everyone who helped out! This is why I love arduino!

Informational Solidarity,

Will
************

This time when I tried the sketch I had the target board connected as I uploaded the new bootloader from the post above to the programmer and then ran the Arduino as ISP. It finally worked! And the MintDuino works with the new ATmega168 with bootloader!
4  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Solarbotics Ardweeny Problem on: December 11, 2010, 06:20:20 pm
Specifics:

Solarbotics Ardweeny
Windows Vista OS
Sparkfun FTDI Basic Breakout, 5 V version

Error Message in console:

Binary sketch size: 1010 bytes (of a 30720 byte maximum)
avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51

Background info:
I assembled four Ardweenies and tested them all. The fourth one does not work whereas the other three worked as expected with the Blink.pde sketch available with the Arduino 0021 download.

The LED on Pin 13 blinks about once every three seconds. When  I press the reset button, the LED blinks once upon release and then once every three seconds.

When I upload the sketch to the board, the LED on Pin 13 blinks three times and the TX LED on the Sparkfun FTDI Basic Breakout board blinks three times but the RX LED stays off. While this is going on, the IDE continues to say uploading to the board and then I get the error message given above.

I tested the continuity between the ISP headers as connected to the Sparkfun board, GND to both GND pins, 5 V to + and A+, TX Sparkfun pin to Adrweeny D0, and RX Sparkfun pin to Ardweeny D1. I do not know what the CTS and OTR Sparkfun pins do. The Sparkfun header ISP pins GND, 5 V, TX, and RX have continuity to their respective pins. These are also the pins as on the working Ardweenies.

When I tested the board for voltages with the Sparkfun board in place
+ to GND was 5 V,
A+ to GND was 5 V,
but AR to GND was 0.6 V.

On the working boards, AR to GND was 0 V or very close to it.

Any suggestions?
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Solarbotics Ardweeny on: December 10, 2010, 09:00:28 pm
I am using the Solarbotics Ardweeny and am having similar problems to the ones described here.

Specifics:

Solarbotics Ardweeny
Windows Vista OS
Sparkfun FTDI Basic Breakout, 5 V version

Error Message in console:

Binary sketch size: 1010 bytes (of a 30720 byte maximum)
avrdude: stk500_getsync(): not in sync: resp=0x00
avrdude: stk500_disable(): protocol error, expect=0x14, resp=0x51

Background info:
I assembled four Ardweenies and tested them all. The fourth one does not work whereas the other three worked as expected with the Blink.pde sketch available with the Arduino 0021 download.

The LED on Pin 13 blinks about once every three seconds. When  I press the reset button, the LED blinks once upon release and then once every three seconds.

When I upload the sketch to the board, the LED on Pin 13 blinks three times and the TX LED on the Sparkfun FTDI Basic Breakout board blinks three times but the RX LED stays off. While this is going on, the IDE continues to say uploading to the board and then I get the error message given above.

I tested the continuity between the ISP headers as connected to the Sparkfun board, GND to both GND pins, 5 V to + and A+, TX Sparkfun pin to Adrweeny D0, and RX Sparkfun pin to Ardweeny D1. I do not know what the CTS and OTR Sparkfun pins do. The Sparkfun header ISP pins GND, 5 V, TX, and RX have continuity to their respective pins. These are also the pins as on the working Ardweenies.

When I tested the board for voltages with the Sparkfun board in place
+ to GND was 5 V,
A+ to GND was 5 V,
but AR to GND was 0.6 V.

On the working boards, AR to GND was 0 V or very close to it.

Any suggestions?
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Arduino Down with AVRdude errors on: November 28, 2010, 07:26:48 pm
I experienced a problem where my Freeduino would no longer accept programs. Here is what I wrote for myself to document the problem in case it happens again:

Error Message Displayed When Freeduino Went Down:

avrdude: verification error, first mismatch at byte 0x0000
  0x0c != 0x00
avrdude: verification error; content mismatch

In the end, I followed the instructions on this page:
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoISP.

I had to search for the ArduinoISP firmware as it was not found on the Examples page as I thought it would be. When I searched I found a topic in the Arduino Forum (search topic: "ArduinoISP

firmware", find :http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1269695790) clicked on the link to the file on the link in the forum post and downloaded the ArduinoISP file.

I followed the instructions but when I went to burn the bootloader to my Freeduino, I received another error message of which I did not copy and cannot find.

I went to Arduino IDE and looked under the File>Examples>ArduinoISP option, clicked on it to open the file. I uploaded the sketch to my Duemilanove, connected the jumpers as shown in the first diagram of the page provided above. I followed the next instruction and clicked Tools>Burn Bootloader>w/ Arduino as ISP. It worked! Awesome, back to work! What a pain but I guess
happens. As a note, the Freeduino locked up (would not be programmed) after I tried to use the "Master Reader/Slave Sender" tutorial found here: http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/MasterReader.

When I looked at the ArduinoISP firmware that came with the Arduino 0021 version, the IDE's version looks like it is older than the one on the page found above. Now that I go back and read, the ArduinoISP file that I downloaded looks like it is for a module using an ATmega8. Trial and error and read.

Notes about the situation:
      1) Both Arduino modules were connected to USB ports that are stacked one above the other.
      2) One board is not fully isolated from the varnished table. This means that there is one corner that touches the surface of the table, albeit dry. This is not the module that did not work.
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re:Clr EEPROM for Safe Crct Chngs - Clr Pgm for Safety on: November 28, 2010, 01:26:21 pm
Thanks for the comments and letting me know more about what really happens with the Arduino. While I expected my original program to work, I suspected there would a lot of I do not know about the process of accomplishing placing the Arduino into a safe state for adding new circuits. Eventually, I would like to learn a lot more about the internal workings of the ATMEL products.

Here is my latest program for the purpose of connecting new circuits safely:

/*
  Program: Clear_IO_Pins.pde
  
  Purpose: To clear the I/O pins of their states from the previous program so that new circuits can be connected safely.
  
  This program was found as a reply to my posting the Clear_EEPROM.pde program on the Arduino Forum.
  
  Check out the Pictou County Electronics Club: http://www.pcecconnect.com

*/

void setup() {
}

void loop() {
}

**********************************

Does anybody else think that this should be the second program taught to Arduino users? The first one would be the Hello World program or Blinky program.
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Program Arduino for Safe Circuit Changes on: November 27, 2010, 09:53:44 pm
Previous Topic Subject: Clear EEPROM for Safe Circuit Changes
Hi. I have been getting started with the Arduino and have had previous experience with the Basic Stamp 2(BS2). One of the suggestions I had while working with the BS2 was the clear the EEPROM of the device so that when you changed the circuit and powered the board back up again, you would not end up frying something or even hurting somebody (if your project had the potential; think motors).

I looked for something in the forum using some of the words in the Subject heading above. I started to search the tutorials page and came across the EEPROM Clear link on:

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/HomePage.

This program is for anybody who would like to use it but if you have any ideas about it, please comment.

******************************************
/*
  Program: EEPROM Clear.pde
  Purpose: to set all of the bytes of the EEPROM to 0. The LED attached to pin 13 is made to blink to indicate that the program has done its job. The original
  version of the program that simply sets the EEPROM to 0 can be found at http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/EEPROMClear. The while instruction at the end of the
  program puts the board in an endless loop of doing nothing. It also stops the LED from blinking. That idea was found on the Arduino Forum. Try commenting
  out the instruction and see how the LED blinks in an infinite loop.
  
  Check out the Pictou County Electronics Club website for fun: http://www.pcecconnect.com
*/

#include <EEPROM.h>

void setup() {
  // write a 0 to all 512 bytes of the EEPROM
  for (int i = 0; i < 512; i++)
    EEPROM.write(i, 0);
  
  // turn on the LED when we're done - the instruction below has been commented after it was tested so that all pins can be connected safely with no
  // possibility of connecting a damaging circuit.
//  digitalWrite(13, HIGH);

  }

void loop() {
  /* After some thought, having the LED as an indicator that the program has accomplished the task of clearing all the EEPROM, the LED should be cycled and
      then turned off. */
  for (int j = 0; j < 20; j++){
    digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
    delay(100);
    digitalWrite(13, LOW);
    delay(100);
  }
    
  while(1) {}
}
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Flamingo EDA - experience with these modules? on: November 16, 2010, 07:42:05 pm
Hi. I have recently purchased some Arduino modules with the Flamingo EDA website printed on them. Does anybody know how to use these modules. There is no documentation on them on the website called Taobao (sorry, I cannot post the website as this is my first post, if you look up "Flamingo EDA", it should give you a link to the site) and the SEEED DEPOT has a set called "Electronic brick - Starter kit."

I also have joystick, and RF transmitter and receiver modules but I would like to get started with the simple stuff first.
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Solar panels on: November 16, 2010, 08:59:45 pm
To get an idea of the possibility of the scale of your project, look up the subject on YouTube. "off grid" also works for good results on solar systems.
11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bugs & Suggestions / Suggestion - on/off switch on: November 28, 2010, 07:19:52 pm
I think an on/off switch would be handy. But then it might be the Freeduino, they have already done that. Anyway, a useful feature.
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