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31  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Multiple IR recevers using IRLibrary on: September 04, 2014, 05:27:40 pm
Great construction example, Shows an active mind aware of the capabilities of the IR detector..
My take would have to cut the "funnel" off of those crinkly water bottles and paint them with an opaque... Water based paint
for however many light shields were required.. If you retain the caps it's a simple matter to make a hole in the cap big enough to clear the lense or the IR detector, glue the detector to the top of the cap... and using masking tape to cover the last 10 mm of the sensor wires and paint the whole assembly again with a black and IR opaque paint..
Mounting them with hot glue and wiring the devices to  a sensor shield with the common 3 pin servo extension  cables would be trivial.
I'd also test the paints for both IR transmissivity and reflection.. For a few dollars more plain old ABS tubing and some reducers and end caps might look more professional and might be easier to gain the non reflective properties that the Play Dough has...
The drawback is the playdough is a flour and salt + water mixture that will dry out and possible crack..
The cardboard or 'printed light shield is still a necessity to help prevent crosstalk.. With some black cheese cloth and an outer housing it could look very professional for very little cost as leftover latex paint can usually be had for the asking and the black pigment might well be finely ground charcoal... I would estimate the total cost might be a quid or so... Though oi'm not a brit...
 I should think an Euro would  be the most for recycled materials...

32  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Does Arduino Uno hibernate by itself or why does my scetch seem to halt? on: September 04, 2014, 01:00:59 am
There are also a few of that are capable of speaking several languages.. I can read and speak some spanish, some italian, some German and a little french and I find your comment somewhat condescending as it is your issues that I want to try to solve.
This Forum is a big part of my education.. along with books on  both my Kindle Fire and my Nook book readers that are never more than two to four meters away from me.
Even with Google Translate, which I use frequently as it is a serious part of my education... As well,
Google is a source of possible solutions to or direction to the answers required.
I am a 68 year old retired engineer trying to learn a new and versatile, valuable programming language... 
I realize that Google is my friend and I frequently use it to find solutions for those that can't or won't make the effort to do so..
I use it to find answers to what I don't understand... Yet.

33  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Migrating from an ATmega328p to a larger uC on: September 03, 2014, 09:20:13 pm
Paul Stoffregen has a nice arduino 'mostly' compatible product... Even uses the same IDE with his software addition to the Ver 1.05 IDE it's an add on that doesn't incapacitate the basic Arduino IDE use.
It runs Arduino code too and is a lot more capable. A 32 Bit ARM processor board similar to the Pro Mini in size called the Teensy3.1
Although the Arduino paradigm is still my favorite by a long shot because, although I have 20+ years in hardware design my code skills are poor at best compared to PaulS or Awol or any of the other heavy hitters... So I get the best of both worlds.
Although the Teensy lacks really strong pin drive capacity, it's other features make it ideal when casting about for a bigger controller...
Perhaps it's real lack is the plethora of pins that a Mega or a Due has (34 for the Teensy 3.1) 256K of flash and 64 KB of Ram make it very attractive for fast (overclocking @ 96 MHz) projects.. I use smaller processors (Mega1284 Bobuino) for high pinout devices like large GLCD's or large keyboards... I have a project involving a scrolling display and a 5" GLCD with a 40 key tactile keyboard and for that I use a Mega for display(s) and keyboard control...

34  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Illogical Type Changing on: September 03, 2014, 07:55:55 pm
@ Nick
Thank you for a succinct answer for a lot of questions re types and casting

35  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: IC PROGRAMMING on: September 03, 2014, 07:34:06 pm
LarryD had the first part right I for Input (power and ground) IO for Input/output and C for control..
However the OTP issue is just that it cannot be reprogrammed.. Unless there is a glass (Quartz really) to  enable to erase the contents  before reprogramming as OTP means One Time Programming..
Very common with many controllers from the 90's and early 2000's
In those days I used PIC controllers which were OPT devices, although in those days there was a PICXXXX _ JW part that had the window for erasing the EEprom. They were Expensive but invaluable for code development as one could use the same part hundreds of times because it was Ultraviolet erasable...
Your part doesn't seem to be any Atmel device however?

36  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: Unknown Status 0x00 error when burning bootloader on: September 03, 2014, 02:10:11 pm
Did I misread your comment that the  dc voltage was .00 4 V on either side of the Crystal?.
If so I would first check that the wiring to the Crystal and the loading caps (22 pF?)  Don't have a short to ground.
One of the Crystal leads goes to the output of an inverter and should be as volt or more as it is the drive to the Crystal....
I would power up both a working board and one of you non working boards. Comparing the dc voltage against each other followed by dispowering both boards and making resistance measurements to ground might point you to the right place...
I suspect that is your real issue. I'd suspect a wrong value or component or short / low resistance error is your real issue.

37  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Serial read more than 64 bytes? on: August 29, 2014, 01:17:51 am
@ Nick G... +1

38  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Bread Boards & wishful thinking? on: August 25, 2014, 08:36:08 pm
One last item would be replaceable contact strips for the few that will eventually go bad..
If I just had $10.00 for every hour in the past 40 years that I've spent in locating and rewiring or replacing whole breadboards..
My retirement might well be on an island in the Pacific instead of hot and humid Southern California...
Nice dream.. Though.

39  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Arduino GPS/GPRS real time tracker on: August 25, 2014, 01:03:16 pm
Or another pin for a CD4052 and simply switch between the two serial data streams..
I'd be more worried that the relatively wimpy Uno power supply was adequate to the task of supporting the GPRS module..
I'd also ditch the Adafruit code because that interrupt will occur during any GPRS communications.
the whole GPS data stream repeats every second... So I probably would choose the TinyGPS++ library by Mikal Hart instead.
I've used it many times and it just works. In comparison the Adafruit example is rather clunky.. At best, Great for n00bs? but a big time hog as it decodes all the GPS sentences where two (GGA and GRMC? not sure of the last but it has all the right letters... Perhaps one more for velocity?, I've never needed to use that information so  I never looked into it and this then leaves you about 700 - 800 mS for your own stuff.
just a thought.. My only reservation about the CD4052 is the available drive current considering the possibility of using Long wires on either of the two switches (transmission gates, bilateral) as they are 400 to 500 ohm resistors when on and open when off.
There are several data selectors that are or can easily be made to be that are digital and capable of more drive...
The reason for presenting this was to point to some alternate design methods rather than say it can't be done.
Even gating the GPS off is not an issue for the time in sending a GPRS message unless you are trying to do real time tracking rather than periodic measurements is easily available W/O disturbing the location data stream for very long at all, If any..

40  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: MATHS help reqired for HSI project. on: August 25, 2014, 09:19:34 am
@Paul + 1

41  Using Arduino / Microcontrollers / Re: voltage across LCD(16x2) is fluctuating when connection HC-06 with arduino UNO on: August 24, 2014, 12:42:45 am
The Uno USB protection is a Poly-Fuse.. IT IS a small value resistor effectively... But thermally sensitive. When the ~500mA current is drawn from the USB power source it comes through the Poly Fuse. The current rating is 500 mA to protect your computers USB port... and the max available current from an USB port is.... "500"mA!.....
Your current measurements indicate that it is in it's 'trip' range and what you are seeing is the resistance of the Poly-Fuse as it approaches it's fault current trip point.
It is never a great idea to draw more than ~ 400 mA from a computer USB port as this will cause unspecified results.
Most if not all of your issues are caused by drawing more current than your power (USB Port+ Poly-Fuse limits) supply is capable of.
Adding a large capacitor across the Vcc source is always a Good Idea... but in this case.. May (or should according to the supplied data be of small use) for alleviating your low voltage - over current power supply issues.
As a side note a 7.5V 1A Wall-Wart or power supply is nearly the perfect input voltage for the series polarity protection diode and will cause the least possible heating of the AMS1117_5.0 linear regulator while supplying enough voltage for the series protection diode loss and the dropout voltage of the linear regulator.. I have used them this way for many years with different regulation methods and LDO Linear Regulators..
With consistent satisfactory results..

42  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Project HELP NEEDED!!! on: August 23, 2014, 08:28:18 pm
without code and external parts spec's.. an accurate diagnosis of your efforts clearly is impossible.
So post your best code  attempt after using the Auto-formatting too (Ctrl +T), a pencil drawing of your schematics and a clear idea of what you need to do..
Or go find the Time Library in the Arduino playground.. There are several code samples that might be applicable..
The Time library can handle repeated alarms... but it might not be a truly great OOBE.. You might have to add some code to "Stitch" it together.
Alternately you could use an irrigation clock.. There are several inexpensive residential devices that can fill the bill, nicely as Mon to Fri and set times usually can be set to eight or more per 24 Hr period per 'zone'.  Many of the available devices are quite versatile as to scheduling
Three zones or area's can handle Weekday, Saturday and Sunday can be silent or used as the situation requires.
Your design looks to require a lot of hardware that apparently you have little experience with..
As a teaching tool your project is an ideal learning experience from several aspects..
How many bells and over what distance and zones.. one minute tardy reminders, are very do-able assuming that Emergency notifications (Fire...  general emergencies) for safety are best handled by devices approved for that purpose. in order to avoid questions of suitability to purpose
Ideal for home schooling and smaller school use.. With the caveats mentioned and Be assured that I've not aware of them all.
Beyond that there are many commercial devices intended to purpose and you may very have to deal with "Approved Equipment sources" to clear the local and state approval/acceptance requirements..
This as a most slippery slope you are on..
How many bells, spread over what area and what other possible uses might this device be responsible for as well??
Some few small thoughts on design parameters and project spec's..

43  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: Problems with firecracker x10 library on: August 23, 2014, 07:42:44 pm
Post your code using the # button above and a copy of the error messages (click on the messages and hit Ctrl C.. First.
Mind reading and crystal balls are notoriously inaccurate.. So WE need to see both or go fishing as none of us are really willing to get into a guessing contest..
Clearly the error I see is on line 37 of the???.h file that you forgot to include.. ..
But I don't ever bet for another persons time and money... So?

44  Using Arduino / General Electronics / Re: Lifespan of old NOS electrolytic capacitors. on: August 23, 2014, 07:32:39 pm
My Standard method for old electrolytics was to reform them as advised above.. But measure the drop across the resistor at the end of the 24 hour cycle and if not zero leave it in place for another 24 hours.. If at the second reform cycle the drop hand't improved it. It was leaky, I'd just toss them..
Devices that passed the DC check were measured for the actual capacitance and If that was within the typical +80/-20% then measure the ESR.. That's a big really important part and failing any of the test's effectively disqualified the part for anything but a door stop..

45  Using Arduino / Programming Questions / Re: how to make a attiny85 go to sleep? on: August 23, 2014, 04:55:53 pm
Yes, a simple search of the forum with the search term "Sleep + Tiny85" returned several answers.. This appears to be good and it is well tested and documented. I know the author.. slightly..

Note: Jacks reference is a GREAT starting point... [Doc]
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