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811  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Best way of creating your own pcbs on: November 23, 2009, 04:13:32 pm
What about the Seeedstudio pcb service?  2"x2" boards are $30 for 10 pieces, $25 with no e-test, (and as low as $13 for 5 boards if you don't mind sharing your design).  I think batch PCB would be $20 for a single board that size.  

I've used the toner transfer method, which works, but seeedstudio works out a lot cheaper and easier.
812  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Real time clock a waste of time ? on: September 13, 2009, 10:19:57 am
The purpose of the  RTC chip is not to be more accurate than the crystal clocked Arduino.  

When you turn off or reset your Arduino, the millis counter starts from 0 when you power up again.  The RTC takes a battery back up and continues to keep time even with the Arduino off.  Your way, how do you go from your millis counter to real time and date without having to set the clock every time you power up?
813  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Two random and totally unrelated questions on: September 10, 2009, 11:34:38 am
Is there any reason someone couldn't pay the $99 fee for an account and then allow "friends" or "people they know from a forum on the internet" to post programs with their account?
814  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Two random and totally unrelated questions on: September 06, 2009, 10:48:10 pm
the only thing that is stopping me is the lack of a mac

That is quite a sticking point, and not just any mac but an Intel mac.  I'm typing this right now on my powerbook G4.  I'd love to do some iTouch coding but there is just no mac on the market that I'd remotely consider buying.  For a notebook I care about portability and for coding vertical space is what counts, so the widescreen notebooks are too big for the vertical space, I'd rather keep my 4:3 notebook.  The mini is underpowered and for the price I'd buy a macbook.  The iMacs look best, but on my desktop I always have multiple computers with a KVM switch, I don't have the desk space to devote to a screen with only one computer connected.  And the powermacs are just way out of my price range.  

Also, if I were to spend $2k on apple hardware just so I can write iTouch programs, the $100 developer fee is just salt in the wound.
815  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Suggestion for 3.3 volts on: September 10, 2009, 06:44:57 pm
Putting 15V at 1A through a linear regulator to get 3.3V makes mother nature cry.

And you can probably use the regulator in place of a power LED smiley-wink
816  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Webcam based security system on: September 06, 2009, 01:56:42 pm
I hope this isn't too off-topic even for Bar Sport but I hope I can get some advice.

A friend of mine wants to set up a video surveillance system at their business.  They're looking into the normal commercial options -- a digital recording box, 4-8 cameras that plug into the box, and a monitor.  But they're looking at $4-6000 for such a set up.  

I want to suggest a more DIY and cost-effective solution.  A nice quality 1600x1200 web-cam goes for $150 now, so even 8 of those are only $1200.  But my problem is finding suitable software to run the system.  There is a ton of freeware to $50 shareware out there, but all they seem to do is give motion detection and then snap images to store locally or via ftp.

Does anyone know of software the gives the same functionality as a commercial system...basically record the 8 video streams whenever something is happening, give good playback and search controls (the main thing that's missing on what I've seen), and allow remote monitoring via the internet.

Also I imagine with 1 TB hard drives under $100, I should have no trouble storing 8 cameras worth of data for a month, but if anything does happen, I want it to be very easy to package up the relevant video and burn a record to DVD.

817  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Why is there an old arduino on the main hompage? on: August 25, 2009, 07:39:24 am
I'm not sure why having to look at a serial port in 2009 would bother someone; even if it is outdated, to be actively bothered by it seems surprising to me.  

It is like tracing one roots. If that were bad, why would we have museums?

818  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: dirt cheap PCB manufacture on: August 17, 2009, 01:12:00 pm
Hi Seeedstudio.  I meant I didn't know how you made a profit at 1 (or 3) boards for $10 which I assume is why you discontinued it.  But your current options are still fantastic.

I don't understand how the open source option can work though.  Even if I want to take that option, when I submit my board order, I don't have pretty documentation explaining how it works, how to assemble it, or what the firmware should look like.  So it seems like there would be a very limited market for a "mystery board" even with the schematic posted.

And there's always little mistakes on a "first draft", so my board might require cutting a few traces here, soldering a few jumpers there, etc.  If it's my design, it's my hardship which is fine, but that must make it a lot harder to sell it to someone else.
819  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: dirt cheap PCB manufacture on: August 10, 2009, 09:57:36 am
Aha, just looked at Seeedstudio - it's not that simple - seems to be a $250 initial outlay for new designs doh

I've used Seeedstudio a few times.  It is $50 for 10 other initial outlay.  And you can get away with $30 for 5 boards if you give them permission to try and resell the other 5.  Considering those options I really can't understand why one would be $30 for a single board from batchPCB.  It's always good to have a spare anyway in case you screw up the assembly too bad and even if you have a few traces wrong you can patch it.

Originally they had a 1 board for $10 deal (and they actually sent me 3 which I thought was very nice of them) but I just dont' see how it's possible for them to make a profit on a deal like that, so I'm happy enough with the 10 for $50 offering.

fwiw, the boards fromt them are very high quality, comparable to the Arduino Diecimillas I've got except green instead of blue.

820  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: dirt cheap PCB manufacture on: August 07, 2009, 11:21:23 am
Seeedstudio's propaganda service.  10 boards for $50 up to 4x4 inches, double sided with double sided silk screen and solder mask.  
821  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: 30% discount in Seeedstudio Depot! on: July 21, 2009, 05:18:30 pm
I placed my order and there was a lot of things out of stock.  I'm not going to remember everything, but...
the RGB light strips, the ATmege328, and the Wii nunchuck adapter come to mind right away.   There were other things I wanted too.
822  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Low cost Arduino Mega? on: July 23, 2009, 04:09:48 pm
You are welcome to take the complete Arduino plans and make and sell it.  What you can't do is use the name Arduino on it which this person has done.

It is not an authorized copy, it's someone ripping it off.
823  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Low cost Arduino Mega? on: July 22, 2009, 07:18:11 am
Just in case it wasn't clear.  It's a copycat made from the publicly available Arduino Mega referrence files, not a genuine board that they bought wholesale.

Of course there's nothing wrong with doing it that way since it is open source, except that they shouldn't be using the Arduino name.
824  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Have to get this out... on: July 16, 2009, 08:44:23 am
You'd have the actual program in one file, and you'd have a separate little short file that contained the commands needed to compiler the program (sort of like a .BAT file.)

Oh yes, the joys of makefiles.  I made it through 4 years with a makefile I copied from someone in first year, just making minimal changes for each assignment.

It does remind me of the time after a 36 hour coding session, 2 hours before an assignment was due, I was cleaning up the directory to get it ready for submission.  When I typed "rm *.bak" to erase my backup files, I managed to hit enter before the period so I executed "rm *" and had ".bak" on the next line.  

To relate to the OP, I usually use 1-pin pieces of male header connectors to make test points on my prototyping board and I have a bad habbit of not labelling them.  On one board I hadn't touched for 6 months, I went to power it and applied power to the +5V pin after my regulator rather than the Vin pin before my regulator.  I put 9 volts on everything that was supposed to get 5 volts.  Luckily the only casualty was the ATmega which was socketed.  So what could have been a 15 hour mistake was just a $4 mistake smiley
825  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Seeedstudio's 8bit oscilloscope? on: July 01, 2009, 02:23:18 pm
I ordered it in kit form thinking it might make a nice intro-to-smt kit.  I really bit off more than I can chew.  I spent about 5 minutes staring at it and decided not even to attempt it.  I put it all back in the shipping bag where it's been sitting for a couple of months.  It did come with everything the assembled one does like the front and back panels.

It's still in perfect condition exactly as it was shipped.  Think I'd have any luck trying to resell it?

Edit:  Also, about the picture, did you use a light tent?  I've had pretty decent results without (using an off-camera speedlight bouncing off the background), but I do sometimes have trouble with the shadow.
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