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1951  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 24, 2013, 10:21:39 am
How thick is the wire and contact that goes to a 12V 20A car fuse? How thick is the fuse?

1952  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Critical thinking and programming. on: July 24, 2013, 01:44:49 am
Sometimes my English just isn't up to a short explanation of logic so if I'm feeling up to it I throw out code or pseudocode, but I am sparing with the comments. Hey, early on I did learn a lot, including tracing code, while fixing/modifying OPC (Other People's Code) in line-number interpreter BASIC that had NO comments. For me, the code IS the comments.

1953  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 24, 2013, 01:37:39 am
With the heat you get, maybe a Stirling engine and generator.

Put these into the youtube search box:
GIANT DEATH RAY Daniel's DIY $25 giant parabolic
Parabolic Mirror from a Trash Can Lid
Solar Power Parabolic Trough Mirror Kit Evacuated Solar Tube
Fresnel Lens and a Stirling Engine for FREE ENERGY Solar
less than $1 a watt DIY MAKE YOUR OWN SOLAR PANEL

When I see the ones with Denise, I don't seem to be able to remember what was said.
1954  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Fake Arduino. on: July 24, 2013, 12:06:35 am
Heck, you can make/distribute my '1284 boards. Be awesome for robots.
Provides more IO, dual hardware serial, more memory. Not marked Arduino anything.

Do you sell assembled boards or is that cost-prohibitive here?

1955  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How to start a loop with a manual switch on: July 24, 2013, 12:02:51 am
It would matter if you intend to use the button once in loop().

It's also nice to know a bit about debouncing switches.

Explosives.... this old amateur pyrotechnician would want interlocks no matter how often (pretty much always) he's used green fuse (sometimes with cigarette or other slow-burn on the fuse) for ignition. Anything big, I'd want more than one switch and a cutoff.

Please note that if ===anything=== goes astray and ===anyone=== even gets close to hurt, the lawyers will eat your home-built ignition control and you alive unless you've gotten the thing certified which won't be cheap.

1956  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Hello world... on: July 23, 2013, 11:12:22 pm
Do you want to say anything about your Arduino-related (electronics & code ferinstance) strengths and weaknesses?

Bookmark these below. Each has useful info/links.

1957  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Fake Arduino. on: July 23, 2013, 11:05:34 pm

Look into compatibles as well as clones. As long as it doesn't have the Arduino name (you can use the schematic, not the name, go figure) and you don't call it Arduino then I think you're outside of violation ( ANYBODY? ).

A lot of compatibles have extra features. I for one wouldn't mind seeing an UNO with a ZIF socket. Rugged design makes UNO compatibles that can take 12V (or is it 24V) on the I/O pins. PJRC makes the Teensy's that have native USB AVR's able to be HID's without modifying the hardware. 

Maybe spread your net a bit and look into AVR boards as compatibles?

1958  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How to start a loop with a manual switch on: July 22, 2013, 09:38:19 pm
Where can I find info on what can be used in setup?  GoForSmoke, are you saying I can put a complete button routine in setup?

You can put a 1 time test in setup, and I would suggest 2 tests, one right after the other

while ( button not pressed ); // this test will happen until the button is pressed
// the next test will start before you can possibly let the button go
// next test waits for the button to be released for 1/10th of a second
// if the button 'bounces', the 1/10th second starts back up
// 1/10th second is a very long time to Arduino but a short time in button press & release
startTime = millis();
while (( button pressed ) || ( millis() - startTime < 100 ))
  if ( button pressed )
     startTime = millis();
// see what it takes to be reasonably sure? and still something may get around it!

1959  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Problem with Serial Communication Loop on: July 22, 2013, 07:34:35 pm
Thank you all for answering my question.

There's still one thing that is not clear to me... it's zoomkat's while loop

while (Serial.available()) {
    char c =;
    readString += c;

why is there a delay()?

To keep the controller from doing anything while waiting longer for the next serial character to arrive than it should, and save on actually coding an end-of-line check.
1960  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How to start a loop with a manual switch on: July 22, 2013, 04:25:50 pm
If you put the test in setup then you don't have to keep it on and can even use it for something else.

However these simple check the switch methods are all vulnerable to switch bouncing.
1961  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Strange behaviour if Serial Monitor on on: July 22, 2013, 04:18:55 pm
Did you have the diode across the relay? If not that would have caused back EMF spikes that could have disrupted either the arduino's code or the serial monitor.

I got a bunch of cheap ULN2803's just because they have backsurge protection built-in, and at 5 for US$0.75 I couldn't resist.
1962  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 22, 2013, 04:25:58 am
I wonder if something could be done using polarized filters?
1963  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 21, 2013, 04:22:11 pm
Up until about a year ago I used to fit the LED in routed grooves in a plastic front panel, to shade each row of LEDs.
It was fiddly and expensive to do, and if the board was pointed towards the North East the sun still got to the LEDs in late afternoon ( we are in the Southern hemisphere )

  ( I love it when they ask for a southern facing board so it is always shaded )

Now the LEDs are so bright that shading is not needed, but it still needs a double row :-

And you have problems with powering and heat.

These are leant back looking straight into the sun so not shaded by the grooves, and are perfectly clear.

The latest ones are even better, and for evening sport the auto dimming I have had to fit turns them right down to less than 10% duty cycle.

One of the problems is that schools and clubs want the scoreboard across the field from the clubhouse, often where there is no power.
Sinking cable around the field is very expensive, and could kill the sale, so if I can get affordable solar panels ( and deep cycle battery ) it might swing some sales.

The shop I worked at made the "Odds Windows" for the Delaware Race Track (horse races, long field, big stands, etc) IIRC in 1980 or 81. Every set of lights to make 1 digit/character set at the bottom of an open front box perhaps 20 cm deep. The box grid was made of 1/2 mm aluminum strips with slits that horizontal and vertical interlocked. Using aluminum strips to go in a steel frame was probably not a great idea (dissimilar metals, eventual corrosion) but it worked well.

You could try just for your own look-at, find a cardboard box big enough and set digits inside with the front open and see what that does to your power requirements. Less would help, wouldn't it?

I don't know about Africa but here the sun is not so bright when it's low in the sky.
1964  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 21, 2013, 10:46:02 am
Have you tried shading the board?
1965  Community / Bar Sport / Re: battery density on: July 21, 2013, 08:13:34 am
That has all the sounds of a need to be met. How much solution can they afford?

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