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46  Using Arduino / Storage / Re: New fast data logging sketches on: March 26, 2013, 04:24:06 am
@Robert Getzner:
This is great. Thanks for the detailed analysis!
And I wish there was some wiki where information like this were made permanent (Perhaps the Arduino playground?).
Until then, could you please create a separate new thread/topic on the "Storage" section of the forum, and either link to, or copy and paste, the information from your webpage.
You could perhaps title the thread something generic enough (e.g., "SD card writing at high speed / sample rate") so that future searchers can find it easily.
47  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Any ideas for motorized/linear-motion objects that I can repurpose? on: March 18, 2013, 08:42:40 pm
Will do what I can on my social networks to help spread it!
It's a much-needed project, and was inspiring to read the background on what first motivated you to do this.

Also, have you considered submitting a summary to some tech blogs/blog authors? Early PR can help generate a lot pledges for crowd-sourcing projects, and for a project like this which practically everyone can relate to, people becoming aware of it on popular blogs might make all the difference.
48  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Suggestion how to monitor the level of propane/butane gas cylinder on: March 18, 2013, 09:48:10 am
Load cells can be pretty cheap -- what kind of precision are you looking for? e.g., what is the smallest difference in weight that you want to measure?
49  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Detect approaching car on: March 18, 2013, 09:46:00 am
Alternatively, you can trigger the light to turn on only when the cat is on the road; for example, you can put a color sensor on the collar, facing down, and check what colors the sensor primarily sees. This would be a little crude, but if you take a series of measurements over a few seconds, then you can tell with certainty that the cat is on a road-like surface.
50  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Any ideas for motorized/linear-motion objects that I can repurpose? on: March 18, 2013, 08:48:32 am
The other is to mention to the original poster that since his build is rather small- larger than a disk drive size but not big ole CNC router either- he could very likely harvest the carriage assembly from a printer or scanner.  They tend to be really quite good.. attach a drive screw and you are good to go. 

Which brings me to the last idea:  many printers and scanners have both a very solid rail system and a drive method which is often a stepper motor.  It may be worth it to just hack the whole assembly, and use the existing stepper motor.  Printers tend to belt-driven, so the delivered torque might not be as high as a leadscrew-- but he may not any real torque for what he is doing..

Oh man -- this is a useful idea; I do have an inkjet lying around, and this should cut down the time to final build. I was going to go shopping at Home Depot this weekend for the earlier idea of getting the individual rails but postponed it; glad I didn't go (although would probably have been educational to build the thing from scratch).
@focalist: Really appreciate all your input; thanks again.
51  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Cheapest and easiest way to add USB to TTL to project? on: March 16, 2013, 01:11:11 am
Hi all, I would like to be able to add serial comms on-board to a couple of my projects instead of using USB converter boards.

Juts been looking at FTDI FT232 IC's but they are not really that cheap of available to me, also have quite a number of pins that I wouldn't need and small pitch for home made PCB's.

What other options are there?

FT230X and FT231X, the latest releases from FTDI, are half the price (bulk quantity) of the FT232, and they offer essentially the same features as far as USB-to-Serial communication is concerned.
52  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Any ideas for motorized/linear-motion objects that I can repurpose? on: March 15, 2013, 06:20:14 am
@focalist: Motivating to read up on your project. I think I'll try that from-scratch approach -- I'm very new to the whole linear-rails-stepper-motors world, but if you were able to do it with a few tens of dollars, I suppose I have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.

For a crude first-draft, would you say this covers the shopping list?:
--slides (e.g., kitchen-drawer-type)
--threaded rods
--one stepper motor for each threaded-rod/direction
--nails/screws to set everything stable

53  General Category / General Discussion / Re: What are the applications suitable for 32-bit Arduino Due? on: March 14, 2013, 12:01:23 am
However, there is still one area which Atmega2560 wins Due despite its higher price. It is lower power consumption.

Is the difference significant? I had read someone remarking the SAM3X8E had pretty low current draw (although this might have been in regard to the sleep current).
54  General Category / General Discussion / Re: A new Arduino Q&A site on: March 13, 2013, 11:58:52 pm
Dilution of content is indeed an issue for Arduino community (although less so than many other tech fields).

That said, I think this Stackexchange proposal for an Arduino site will definitely be useful in certain aspects -- Stackexchange emphasizes content creation and curation in a way that is future-reader-friendly. So this will result in more signal-to-noise ratio, community-voted answers, and less redundancy, but also quicker access for any information an Arduino user might be interested in.
55  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Any ideas for motorized/linear-motion objects that I can repurpose? on: March 13, 2013, 11:53:26 pm
Not exactly "household", but if you can get hold of a microscope stage mechanism, and drive it with a stepper, you could probably get sub-millimeter movement.

@cr0sh: Seems very fitting but they are extremely expensive; haven't found one even remotely close to $300 smiley-sad

Any alternate ideas for a cheaper solution?
56  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Any ideas for motorized/linear-motion objects that I can repurpose? on: March 13, 2013, 10:04:54 pm
I'm looking for suggestions of something cheap/household-common that already has a motorized moving head (with about 1 mm resolution), or alternately a motorized moving surface, which I could re-use -- just so that I don't have to set up the entire mechanical portion (rails, stepper motors, etc.) for my project from scratch!

The goal is this: I am tinkering with a project that involves several hundred points where I need to drill holes into an object. The holes will be located exactly 1 mm apart.

I want to automate this process using my Arduino to control the timing, iteration, etc.

This could be accomplished by either of the following
--Option A: Move object by 1 mm, Drill hole, Retract drill, Move object by 1 mm, and repeat.
--Option B: Keep object stationary, Move drill by 1 mm, Drill hole, Retract drill, Move drill by 1 mm, and repeat.

Do you have any ideas for some household or purchaseable item that already exists which I could hack or re-purpose into what I want above? Anything below US $300 would work.

PS: My first thought was Disk drives, but those would be too small.
57  Community / Bar Sport / Re: 3D-printing equivalent for Electronic Devices on: February 18, 2013, 07:12:35 am
no we order most everything, and in a pinch I take some blank pcb, hit it with a coat of spray paint and send it though the laser engraver

@Osgeld: OK, so then what do you use the mentioned CNC for exactly?
58  Community / Bar Sport / Re: 3D-printing equivalent for Electronic Devices on: February 16, 2013, 02:05:12 am
@Osgeld, Do you guys (i.e., at work) presently use the mentioned $1000-desktop CNC for the PCBs? I'd appreciate a reference to the product if you have it please.

Apart from the tape dispensing, which could perhaps be solved, I like @cr0sh's idea of attaching a standard vacuum picker/pen to the CNC spindle. I just don't know if a $1000-desktop CNC would have accuracy of 02.-0.3 mm that is necessary for placing parts.
59  Community / Bar Sport / Re: 3D-printing equivalent for Electronic Devices on: February 15, 2013, 04:49:55 pm
Assembly of modules is indeed probably the only way.
While the already-existent consumer electronics manufacturers may try to fight this trend, this will still be welcomed by the electronics-parts industry in general because it wouldn't cut down on their sales, it would just distribute or displace part usage into another style of production -- if anything, an even greater number of parts would be purchased.

It would be pretty neat if society headed that way -- Imagine if anyone could create their own custom device for whatever they wish -- for keeping track of temperature in a certain part of their home, or a custom-alarm device, or a device for tracking their infant when it goes out of a certain range, or a fully personalized home-automation system, or an LED-based decoration that's controlled via smartphone, or devices for single-experiment-scientific-research, or devices that teachers can use to demonstrate projectile concepts during a physics class about gravity, etc., etc., etc..
60  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: [SOLVED] Pcb layout for Nokia 5110 bare graphic LCD on: February 15, 2013, 04:37:57 pm
@Zapro: Aha, I've seen your blog before! This article made me remember:

I use Eagle; you seem to have far more and versatile experience than I do; I'm somewhat of a beginner with PCB design -- BTW, your latest project looks pretty fun. I've played with the TLC5940s, but they consumed too much standby current (no sleep pin) for my current project, so I stuck with shift registers.

If you wish, please shoot me a PM with your email, and I'll mail you a couple of boards soon as they're ready!
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