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1  Community / Products and Services / Re: a DIY automation marketplace on: Today at 04:42:42 am
You web site design is impressively absurd in its functionality. Myself, I would have never considered confronting a visitor with the requirement to scroll the page before the navigation is revealed, but I'll have to try that the next time I'm having a bad day and want to punish the world.

And your initial pseudo-splash page is ... what's the proper synonym for "garish" as pertains to a monochromatic scheme? I'm not sure such a word exists, but your site begs for the creation of such an adjective. At any rate I think you owe me an apology for the migraine you've given me. I'll also accept a video of a ball punching of your web designer in lieu of an apology.

You did ask for strong opinions, right?
2  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Mystery 30A ESC programming. on: Today at 04:21:18 am
You can find videos on Youtube showing how to program ESCs. While they typically show it being performed with an RC transmitter you can easily emulate one with the Servo library, a 10K pot, and a simple sketch that sends servo signals based on the position of the potentiometer.
3  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Wind generator for 12v battery - no controller? on: Today at 03:39:17 am
When a windmill is producing charge power its alternator/generator/etc. causes the windmill to slow down. If the attached batteries become full and the charge controller stops taking power from the windmill then that braking force will no longer be present and the windmill will spin much more quickly and potentially destroy itself. Thus a charge controller designed for windmills will employ a dummy load to keep that braking force present and prevent those overspeed conditions.

For the wind turbine you have linked (which I would not recommend) you would just need a diode to prevent the battery from discharging into the turbine. The windmill would spin freely below the battery + diode Vf and then slow down when it reaches the RPM that creates the voltage high enough to charge the battery.

The picture of the battery you have linked shows that its "standby" voltage is 13.5 to 13.8V. When trickle charging you would aim for 13.5V in hotter climates and 13.8V in colder climates.

You asked if the Ah rating of a battery affects how it should be charged -- yes it does. The general rule for all batteries is that, for the best lifetime, they should be charged at a 10 hour rate; e.g. a 10Ah battery would be charged at 1A for 10 hours.

Jose demonstrates a basic charge controller in the summary in this thread:

Your best bet is going to be to use solar panels; windmills, at a small scale, are not practical. If you can provide more details on how much power your project is drawing then you'll get better answers as to what to do.
4  Topics / Robotics / Re: Different Approach to Omniwheel Robo on: July 21, 2014, 08:47:38 pm
The esplora is designed to be powered by a computer and used to control a program on that computer via a USB cable. You probably can connect wireless modules directly to the esplora but its physical layout is not very conducive to that.

You don't need a shield to use RC servos; some shields might offer physical connections that might make hooking them up a little simpler but that's about it.
5  Topics / Robotics / Re: Different Approach to Omniwheel Robo on: July 21, 2014, 06:45:18 pm
1) Depends. You have to consider the pins used by each shield and whether or not they will conflict.
2) The esplora doesn't appear to have any wireless options; it doesn't seem to be designed for that.
3) See 2)

The best option for motors is to get an RC servo and convert it to continuous rotation. That way you won't need any motor shield -- the motor driver is inside the servo. Servos are great for wheel motors because they're about the perfect speed and have plenty of torque to move around. And you only have three wires to worry about -- 5V positive, GND, and signal.
6  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: IR break beam sensor on: July 20, 2014, 10:05:49 am
TSSP58038 and TSSP4038 are essentially identical -- just differently shaped packages.

You say you can't "see" it pausing; do you have a circuit with the TSOP38238 lighting an LED (etc.) to see when the beam is open/closed? Because it might actually be forcing pauses but blinking so quickly that you can't see it.

I just didn't expect it would work so I'm saying you should double check things. Don't read into it any more than that smiley
7  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: IR break beam sensor on: July 20, 2014, 04:55:31 am
I would have expected you to see problems; the datasheet for the TSOP38238 states distinctly that it needs a 10 pulse pause after 70 consecutive pulses.
8  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Custom Enclosure Manufacturing on: July 19, 2014, 02:07:00 am
For thin steel or aluminum plasma cutting would be a good option. Any city of even modest population will have shops or hobbyists that will do this work. Generally they will prefer to cut the entire faceplate from sheet rather than perform cuts on an existing piece.

For a nice matte finish (even if you're painting it) ask to have the piece sandblasted. That step only takes a minute and any shop will have a sandblasting cabinet.

There are of course companies like If you get a quote let us know how that goes.
9  Products / Arduino Yún / Re: HTTP Routing on Arduino Yun on: July 18, 2014, 12:20:49 pm
When I try to cat, less or vi the *.lua files on my Yun they all come up as binary. Same happens if I 'scp' to my local machine and open them in vim or sublime text. Anybody seen this/have any idea why it's happening?

What file type does 'file' indicate for it?

With Lua you can pre-compile your programs into bytecode to enable faster startup (see the man page for "luac"). You would need to find the uncompiled version of those programs.
10  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Encoder Counter IC on: July 18, 2014, 08:19:35 am sells encoders (absolute/incremental) that use SPI communication. digikey sells them around $40/each.
11  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: proportional hydraulic valves control with arduino on: July 17, 2014, 12:40:43 am
The proper etiquette would be to properly describe your problem before criticizing the answers you receive. A link to the valve you're using would be appropriate.
12  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Powering a stepper - questions on: July 17, 2014, 12:20:52 am
The "12V" rating of the stepper appears to be an advisory value -- not sure where you saw that. You can feed it up to the 35V that the A4988 driver can handle (more voltage = more speed) but you have to make sure you stay below 1.8A or it will overheat. "Overheat" means "I can't hold it in my hand for more than 2 seconds". Fortunately your A4988 driver also features current limiting so it's easy to adjust the amount of current.

Connect your battery to VMOT and GND on the A4988 driver and also connect it (in parallel) to your Arduino on Vin and GND. Then connect your Arduino 5V and GND to the A4988 VDD and GND. Just need one battery.

If your stepper isn't moving quickly enough then use a higher voltage battery or use a step up like the one you linked. If it IS moving quickly enough, then experiment using a lower voltage battery and/or reduce the current to the stepper motor (the miniature pot on the A4988 driver) to save power / make it possible to use a smaller battery. More or less you want to test things out first and then decide on a new battery or step up later.
13  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: higher frequency of PWM/PPM for ESC on: July 16, 2014, 11:54:23 pm
In your first graph the pulses are about 6500 microseconds apart and in your second graph they are 5100 microseconds apart. 1s / .0065 = 153Hz and 1s / .0051 = 196Hz, or you could say that the servo library is updating all of your servos 153 or 196 times per second. In your reply to Peter you're suggesting that the rate is only 41.6 times per second but that's not what you're showing

You said you changed the REFRESH_INTERVAL; what was it set at when you made the above graphs?
14  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Solar Charging Circuit for Onboard NiMH Charging on: July 16, 2014, 10:39:49 pm
Good to see you got everything working smiley
15  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Chick Incubator on: July 16, 2014, 10:18:51 pm
Have you considered using a conventional programmable domestic central heating controller?

They run off 24VAC power and that's what they're designed to switch as well. Or at least that's how they work in the US. Not a complete show stopper but getting things to work with one properly ... I dunno.

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