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31  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Arduino as a Driver of Change???? on: February 06, 2012, 05:07:02 am
The ease of use and power of the Arduino empower ordinary people to create extraordinary things.  The Arduino makes a perfect introduction to both computer science and electronics.  Simple enough to be thoroughly understood and powerful enough to do almost anything you can think of.

I think Arduino in schools would be wildly successful.
32  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Are motor controllers really neccessary? on: February 06, 2012, 04:12:41 am
For servo motors in particular, drivers aren't at all necessary if you don't require PWM speed control.  Just wire up the power and ground lead to a battery pack and the control lead to an Arduino pin.
33  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Which resistor with Piezo speaker on: February 05, 2012, 12:52:43 pm
You don't need to use a resistor with a piezo, according to what I've found by searching the net.  I've been using my piezo without a resistor with no problems.  If you have a potentiometer, you could use it to vary the volume though.

Here's a link to an old thread:
34  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: 3V motors with the Arduino Uno on: February 03, 2012, 06:53:19 pm
Didn't we cover how the battery pack would connect to the motor driver already?  It will connect to VMOT, and will supply all power for the motors.  The 5V VCC connection on the motor driver is just for logic level stuff.

I don't have the Ping, I have the Chinese HC-SR04, but I googled it for you:

First link shows you how to use the Ping sensor.  Pretty in-depth.

2nd link is to a library so you can just do a #include on your programs and issue a simple command.

I haven't tried either one, since I don't have a Ping.  You may need to find a newer Ping library if that one doesn't work with Arduino 1.0.  If you have more questions, I think I'd start another thread in the Sensors forum.

Good luck!
35  Using Arduino / Displays / Re: One LCD and two Arduinos - how? on: February 02, 2012, 06:40:58 pm
There's no particular project, it was just something I was trying to do to teach myself about i2c.

I guess the best way to accomplish something like that would be to setup a serial connection between the two Arduinos, then just pass the message to be printed to the LCD over that connection.
36  Using Arduino / Displays / One LCD and two Arduinos - how? on: February 02, 2012, 04:51:38 am
I have a DFRobot serial LCD.  I've got it working fine with one Arduino.

I'm assuming I can add another Arduino to the i2c bus, and can then write to the LCD from either Arduino.  Does anyone know how I need to configure the second Arduino to make this happen?  I scanned through the LiquidCrystal_i2c files, and didn't see this referenced.  In the one-Arduino setup, I am using lcd.print() to write to the LCD.  In a multiple Arduino setup, would you have to use the wire.write() function instead? 

I thought using more than one Arduino with the LCD would be easy, but now I'm getting pretty confused.  Anyone done this before?  The more I think about it, I'm starting to doubt it can be done.
37  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: Barbie jeep powerwheels motors on: February 01, 2012, 11:23:58 am
Thanks - you talked me out of building that driver, which would have been a bad idea.  I have 0 experience building H bridges - so starting with a smaller one would definitely make more sense.  If I have to spend a lot on the motor driver, I may not even want to do it.  I've read the Powerwheels motors are pretty inefficient.
38  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: 3V motors with the Arduino Uno on: January 31, 2012, 09:54:46 pm
I think you'll be happy with the driver.  I know the L293 and L298 are also very popular drivers.  The TB6112 THY just happens to be the first and only one I've used so far.  If I get another one, Ill probably just buy the bare IF and put it on a breadboard myself instead of paying extra for a Breakout board. 

Just a heads-up- if you buy from the link I posted, you will have to solder the included header pins yourself.  That's probably the case with most of them though.  I am a novice solderer at best and it only took a few minutes.

Good luck and have fun!
39  Using Arduino / Displays / Re: Help! Noobie not able to get lcd working on: January 31, 2012, 07:04:09 pm
I was using the wrong library.  I downloaded the library per the ebay ad and it didn't work.  I tried several others.  Finally, I went to DFRobot and downloaded the library on their product page here -

My board doesn't say DFRobot on the back, it says YwRobot - but this is the only library that works.
40  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Barbie jeep powerwheels motors on: January 31, 2012, 03:56:55 pm
My wife picked up a used Barbie Powerwheels jeep.  The motors run on 12v, but I'm not sure how much current they draw.  I did find one guy on the net that is using a Pololu driver that provides 14A continuous and 30A Max current.

Anybody have any experience with these motors?  I'd like to build my own driver - would like reccomendations for links to plans.  I haven't even taken the motors off of the jeep yet, but Ive had trouble finding what exactly the current draw for these things is.
41  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: 3V motors with the Arduino Uno on: January 31, 2012, 03:50:07 pm
The motor driver I referenced is not a shield, but just a small carrier board for the driver chip.  It plugs in neatly into the mini breadboard on my protoshield.

Yes, there are a ton of connections to make.  If you reference the link I gave above, you would connect the positive from the external battery pack to VMOT, and then the ground from the battery pack connects right below it. 

There will be two leads to connect on each motor.  AO1 and AO2 connect to one motor, and BO1 and BO2 connect to the other. 

On the Arduino side, you will have 3 digital pins per motor.  PWMa, AIN1, and AIN2 for one motor and like wise for the other motor.  To go forward, you set AIN1 high, AIN2 low, BIN1 high, BIN2 low.  Obviously, you need to set a PWM value to control the speed.  Backwards would be low,high,low,high.  To turn the motors off, set all pins low.  To brake, all pins high.  Turn - set o.e motor forward and one backward, depending on which direction.  Or you can turn while going forward by making one motor go faster than the other.

The standby pin must be set high for the driver to function at all.  You can do this either by tying it to VCC, or by connecting it to a digital pin and controlling it in code.  I used a pin, and have plans of hooking a big button up to control a kill switch.

If you do get that driver, make sure to look at those posts I made, and feel free to use the code if you like too.  If you ha e trouble, email me:
42  Using Arduino / Displays / Re: Help! Noobie not able to get lcd working on: January 31, 2012, 02:50:58 pm
Having a similar problem with the i2c display:

I have it connected to analog 4 and 5, 5v and gnd just like the OP.  I am using an Arduino Uno.  Anything special I should know before I contact the seller?   I tried switching the data lines, adjusted the pot, even tried some different library files.  The blue backlight comes on but no text is displayed.

43  Using Arduino / Motors, Mechanics, and Power / Re: 3V motors with the Arduino Uno on: January 30, 2012, 10:21:30 pm
I used this one, about nine dollars.

There are others though.  That driver will power two 1A motors.  I use it to drive 2 3volt Tamiya 'toy' motors.

I use a 9 volt to power the Arduino, then a two AA battery pack to supply current for the motors.  The battery pack was about 1.50 and i found it in one of the bins in radio shack.

I'm sureyou could google how to make your own driver using transistors if you'd rather.  If you buy the components at radio shack it might be cheaper to buy a driver board mail order.

My blog link below has some info about putting together a bot, probably similar to what you are doing.

Good luck!
44  Topics / Robotics / Re: n00b0t on: January 28, 2012, 02:36:27 pm
Very fast and very smooth line following.  Robot looks awesome too - the first thing I thought when I saw it was that you put a kit together.  Well done!
45  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: ClusterBot - my first robot on: January 25, 2012, 01:21:02 pm
Thanks Jantje!  Not proud yet, having seen all of the amazing things so many people are doing with the Arduino here, in youtube videos, etc. but I do feel like I have a decent base to start from now.  Thanks for looking!
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