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541  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Zener vs. Voltage divider on: December 28, 2012, 12:55:32 pm
Don't try this at home, but I had good luck using 3.2 volt (and higher) blue LEDs in a V-USB rig instead of the Zeners.

-br
542  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: button control on: December 28, 2012, 08:09:15 am
It needs a number, for sure.  Single-digit, probably.

Thinking in terms of root-cause analysis, the real answer is to delete the Blink example, and rename BlinkWithoutDelay to Blink.

-br
543  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Sending negative numbers to shiftOut() on: December 28, 2012, 06:58:40 am
Quote
(the number in binary after NOTing is 11111011)

Thanks for the well-presented question.  In return, may I ask one?  Isn't that the bit pattern you expected?  If not, what was?

The 16-bit numbers -5 and 251 have the same bit pattern in the lower 8 bits.  Which is all that goes to the shift register right now, right?

-br
544  Community / Bar Sport / Re: It's a black fly in your Chardonnay on: December 28, 2012, 06:18:00 am
Just to point out a little social engineering: Wouldn't this be a great way to hack into a bunch of developer PC's?

"Please don't use your phone, we want your PC."

-br
545  Development / Other Software Development / Re: Documentation confusion: on: December 28, 2012, 06:15:46 am
One rarely connects two pins directly together; in fact, it can cause over-current problems if you short a HIGH pin to a LOW pin without any resistance in the circuit.

The sentence is just trying to say that a pin set to HIGH can source current and a pin set to LOW can sink it.  Keep it under 20 ma per pin either way and you're good.

-br
546  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Please consider using a Installer and Web Updater on: December 26, 2012, 07:42:40 pm
The most polite term for what I see going on is "Eternal September": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

I honestly think the moderators should open a new "Whining" forum as a resting place for certain threads...

Cheers,

-br
547  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Please consider using a Installer and Web Updater on: December 26, 2012, 05:00:17 pm
Eried, I have great respect for your work.  I believe the problem you are pointing out is a real one, but I have a different view of the solution.

You know those signs at amusement park rides that say "you must be at least this tall…"?  Someone who can't get through the IDE install is just going to hit the next brick wall at a higher rate of speed if you grease the first speedbump for them.  If you've been reading around the forum lately, you'll know just what I mean.

My point being, you can't save the clueless from their cluelessness, and it's a social deadweight loss to inconvenience the competent in the attempt.

Just my two cents.

Holiday Best,

-br

 
548  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Please consider using a Installer and Web Updater on: December 26, 2012, 03:42:20 pm
I prefer to maintain control over what is installed in my environment.  I _really dislike_ automatic updaters.  I don't even like the IDE phoning home to check for updates.

There have been enough backwards incompatibilities introduced in the release series that this would have been disastrous for my projects, at least.

I would strongly prefer that automatic updates and an installer _not_ happen. 

One man's opinion.

-br
549  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: How to write servo direction correctly on: December 26, 2012, 08:19:51 am
Move the code in loop() to setup() and it will only be executed once.

-br
550  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Problem when reading multiple buttons on: December 26, 2012, 07:32:49 am
Can't say exactly, but consider this: the calling function expects to find a return value on the stack after the called function returns, and it is going to use whatever is there.  You didn't put anything there, so the calling function was seeing random stack garbage.  Perhaps that garbage was different in the '9' case somehow.

When things get non-deterministic in C like this, they can go off the rails in weird ways very fast.  You are fortunate to have had a recognizable and consistent symptom, if this was in fact the bug.  Sometimes it just goes out to lunch and hangs and you are left scratching your head.

It's surprising you didn't get a warning from the compiler about the missing return statement.  It might be worth putting things back for a moment and scrutinizing the compiler output to see if it tried to help warn you.

-br
551  Using Arduino / Audio / Re: Buzzer Sound For Game Show Buttons? on: December 25, 2012, 06:53:53 pm
You need to keep the current drawn from the arduino IO pin under 20ma.  A couple of the items on that page require higher current and therefore would not be good candidates for a direct connection.  There is a piezo buzzer there that should work, but you can't really tell how loud that 75dB is going to sound until you try it. 

-br
552  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Problem when reading multiple buttons on: December 25, 2012, 01:46:24 pm
This may not be the bug you're looking for, but ButtonChange should probably return something falsey when it finds no button has changed.

-br
553  Using Arduino / Audio / Re: Buzzer Sound For Game Show Buttons? on: December 25, 2012, 09:04:16 am
A piezo beeper or buzzer driven near its resonant frequency is (1) quite loud, (2) inexpensive,  (3) suitable for being driven from an arduino output pin with a small resistor, and (4) works well with tone() and notone().

Available everywhere, for example: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/7950?

-br
554  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: correct way to get firmata running? on: December 25, 2012, 08:57:53 am
Firmata speaks a binary protocol, hence the gibberish.

If you want a command interpreter on your Arduino that talks a language humans can read, give Bitlash a try: http://bitlash.net

You can control Bitlash from the PC over the serial port, just like firmata.  For an example of how to do this, there's Bitlash Commander: https://github.com/billroy/bitlash-commander

You can also control Bitlash from Processing by sending commands over the serial port.

Good luck with your project.

-br
555  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Controlling a computer (internet browser) with Arduino on: December 25, 2012, 08:20:39 am
Bitlash Commander could do what you want, with Bitlash on the Arduino:



    https://github.com/billroy/bitlash-commander
    https://github.com/billroy/bitlash

Commander is a little web server app that runs on your pc and talks to Arduino over the USB serial port.  You make web pages with control panels that talk to the Arduino using Bitlash to control it.  There's a little graphical editor or, if you know html and javascript, it's easy to use the control library to design your own pages.

The Arduino can send update messages targetted to a specific control.  You could make the control open another web page when a certain value arrives, with a little javascript.

-br
http://bitlash.net

Edit: fixed image url.
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