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31  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Sending IR Commands via Analog on: August 29, 2014, 09:40:36 pm
If you're using the IR library you'd need to do some hacking of that library to get it to work how you want. The IR library is written to send pulses to an IR led which an IR receiver then translates into pulses of a different pattern depending on the IR code in use (Sony, Panasonic, RC5, etc.).

I know it seems silly but it'd be a lot easier to just stick an IR led on your board instead of wiring everything directly.
32  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Can a single gps reciever get a RTK accuracy? on: August 29, 2014, 09:31:43 pm
But the question remains. An independent GPS unit capable of cm accuracy and costing less than (for example)  $500 would command an enormous market, so why isn't it here already?

I don't think the market is that enormous. For people around here, sure, I'm sure you could sell quite a few. But for the guy that wants it for something like car navigation no; like RH314 said you need that data stream from a second, fixed receiver so that would require (most practically) a cellular connection, and that service would get expensive for everyday use. And you don't need cm-level accuracy to find the nearest gas station.

But there is a market, and I think if you built a turnkey system using Navsparks for under $500 you'd get a lot of buyers. For all those companies in construction, farming, etc. using the expensive RTK systems that we've seen thus far you won't be likely to grab that market -- those existing, high prices imply guarantees from the respective manufacturers (Caterpillar, Deere, etc.) that it'll work right and that the integration is seamless. It's similar to how a company like HP can sell a 1 TB disk drive for $300 for a Proliant server; the buyer is expecting guarantees and is thus willing to pay 3x the street price for the product. That's not to say the buyer is making a wise choice, mind you, but that's how the market works.
33  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Autogravure Project on: August 29, 2014, 09:04:59 pm
Sounds like you should look at GRBL (or a similar firmware). It would require that you communicate with your machine using GCODE, but GRBL does support commands for bidirectional communication. It would at least provide a basis for you to start from and you could extend it to meet your needs. You're looking for control of five motors so you might need to look at those alternate firmwares -- or I suppose you could always add a second controller.

Under normal circumstances I don't think Windows supports real time control with a USB port -- you can't send step/dir/etc. command pulses in a timely manner like you can with a parallel port. With GRBL all of the real time activity is handled by the microprocessor itself.

34  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: light barrier for airplanes on: August 28, 2014, 08:59:13 am
I'd suggest using an upward-facing USB camera and Roborealm ($50) to identify the passing of the plane. Any other option would require you to attach a beacon (lamp, battery, and circuit) to the plane which would not be acceptable to your plane-flying friends.
35  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: setup with two stepper motors 28BYJ48 12 V on: August 28, 2014, 08:30:57 am
Those 28BYJ-blah steppers are geared steppers with a ratio near 64:1 (it's actually a non-integer steps per RPM). Because of that you'll only get them moving around 10 RPM. If you're using a belt and pulley (not a leadscrew/threaded rod) system -- like a printer uses -- you might be able to get decent speed. But beware that the cheap steppers you're using aren't incredibly precise and can lose steps.

For best speed with a stepper you want more voltage driving them. The Adafruit motor board, with its L293 chips, is a fairly antiquated architecture and won't give you good performance. You should be looking for ungeared steppers, probably NEMA 17, and a "RAMPS" board with A4988 drivers. These days you can get a full package pretty cheaply.
36  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Led Driver from Adafruit where to buy in Germany? on: August 28, 2014, 08:10:59 am
Also look up tutorials on using the TLC5940. It's only 16 channels (5 RGB leds) but you can get it in a DIP format which is of course easy to work with. You will find lots of sellers of that chip.
37  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Standalone Atmega328 locking up on: August 28, 2014, 08:06:39 am
There's a separate cap between AVCC and GND and VCC and GND to help keep the noise from the digital side of the chip and circuit from interfering with the analog readings that are being handled on the analog side of the chip. It's not a necessity but it's important where you require premium accuracy from your analog readings. It's rare to see it but sometimes you'll also see designers building boards where the analog GND and digital GND are kept completely separate and only connect right near the power source.

38  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Add own atmel controllers on: August 28, 2014, 06:58:25 am

Newark/Farnell have had some really low pricing on the 328's lately.!?q=atmega328P
39  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Grrrrr crappy components on: August 26, 2014, 11:33:11 am
So how long did it take you to figure out that the caps were marked incorrectly? That would have been the last thing I would have checked.
40  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 9V Energizer Recharge Battery on: August 23, 2014, 09:14:04 pm
See for example datasheets. FYI, for the Duracell 9V / NiMH datasheet specifically the X-axis on the second chart ("High rate discharge") is labeled improperly; it should be minutes instead of hours. "1C" means 175ma for your 175mAh battery. "3C" is three times that current (525ma) and the chart shows a ~18 minute lifetime.

If you really need a lot of current you should be looking at lithium polymer batteries; with those you can get cells rated at 20C and much more.
41  Using Arduino / Sensors / Re: Detecting a seed dropping through a plastic tube on: August 23, 2014, 04:53:45 pm
Commercial units use a phototransistor or photodiode and IR LED. Larry's suggestion of using a comparator would be the way to go; then you'd just need to twiddle a potentiometer to get it tuned right. It's well under a dollar in parts.

Really depends on what kind of a planter you have as to what would be the best way to arrange the LED and phototransistor but it appears that commercial units typically have the emitter on the opposite site of the tube facing the receiver. You're going to need to experiment and see what works best.

42  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: 9V Energizer Recharge Battery on: August 23, 2014, 04:17:37 pm
9V batteries contain 6, 1.5V cells. I've never seen one that didn't. Your DS2710 is a single-cell charger.

(Remember that a "battery" is composed of "cells")

The best way to charge a battery like this is with a constant current circuit and charging it at a 10 hour rate (175mah / 10h = 17.5ma). Use an analog pin on your Arduino to measure the voltage and cut it off at about 8.4V.
43  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Arduino Mega hanging on Solar Power on: August 22, 2014, 05:04:48 pm
Charge controllers usually have separate lugs for the battery connection only for purposes of "low voltage disconnect"; disconnecting the battery from the load to ensure the battery doesn't become excessively discharged. If you think that's a concern then I'd suggest connecting your circuit directly to the battery. You can always use a spare analog port on the Mega to monitor the battery voltage and stop your power-hungry activities when voltage is getting low.
44  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: HX711 - Power & Logic lines question on: August 22, 2014, 04:49:49 pm
Your DOUT line from the HX711 to the MCU would assumedly be at 5V levels and more than likely in violation of the limits on whatever MCU you have it connected to.  An AVR is VCC + 0.5V on any IO pin.

I don't see anywhere on the datasheet where resistors are on the data lines (DOUT, PD_SCK).
45  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: How Many amps does this transformer output? on: August 21, 2014, 05:52:52 pm
The label states it has "7.5VA" total output. That "VA" refers to volts * amps, so using the 12V output alone it's roughly (7.5VA / 12) .625 amps

Your transistor selection doesn't really depend on the output of the transformer, however, but rather the current consumption of the light or motor that the individual transistor will be switching power to.
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