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1  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Re: Arduino clock project - 7-segment display & RTC on: March 31, 2012, 10:03:13 pm
Thanks for the feedback unhappyeld & liudr.  

Good feedback on the buttons.  When I built it, I hadn't considered its use as an alarm clock.  But, since it already has a speaker on-board, alarm clock features could very easily be added.   So, I’ll add a button or two on top to be used for alarm and snooze features in the next rev.

This version was designed for my living room, so I was trying to hide the buttons & make it as small as possible.  Since they’re rarely used with the current code, location hasn’t been an issue.  But, I can absolutely see how it would if you try using it in another setting.
2  Community / Exhibition / Gallery / Arduino clock project - 7-segment display & RTC on: March 23, 2012, 12:12:11 am
I just finished a simple Arduino project that reads the time from a DS1307 module and displays it on a 7-Segment Display.  

It started as a very simple clock using an RTC module, then I added a speaker audio feedback, a couple of buttons to set the time.  Then I ended up adding in a menu system to allow the user to set the time, brightness, and sound setting and stored those variables in non-volatile memory of the DS1307.  

What started as a simple project grew to eventually encompass a lot of other functions.  This made it rather interesting, as it is a collection of many 'typical' embedded tasks.  These include: accessing a module via I2C, parsing a serial stream to get user data, using square wave pulses to trigger interrupts for screen updating, using interrupts with a button to trigger a menu, button de-bounce (for the 2nd button), and storing data in non-volatile memory via I2C.  

I spent a decent amount of time commenting, and breaking it up into different functions so it could be easily used by others.  However, this caused the code grew to over 600 lines.  

Its on github here:

EDIT - I've added a pic of the inside of the project box, and how everything is squeezed into the project box.

Here's quick view of the assembly of the project.  
  • On the front is a 4-Digit 7-Segment Display from Sparkfun.  This is one of their current revisions, but I also have one of the earlier modules.  I cut the hole as close as I could, then "cemented" the display in place with Sugru.  (For those of you wondering, in the first picture, that's the programming cable hanging out of the battery hatch.  This was done so I could power the device for the picture.)
  • The small hole on the top left is for the speaker; I have a very small cell-phone speaker sugru'd in place up there.  I had to carefully measure to align the hole just right with the hole in the speaker itself.
  • On the back is the jack for providing power (7-15VDC), and two buttons for accessing the menu, and changing values.
3  Using Arduino / LEDs and Multiplexing / Re: Sparkfun 7 Segment Display Serial on: March 22, 2012, 08:45:01 pm
I'm not sure if you're still looking for example code. If you are, I recently finished a simple clock using the Sparkfun Serial 7-Segment display unit. 

My code can be found here:
4  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Centralized Library Repository / Updates? on: January 04, 2012, 08:27:07 pm
It would be amazingly useful to end users if they could go to one place to check for updates to their libraries.  Or even better, click an "update library" option in the IDE and have it automatically check for updates (A la Firefox Add-Ons).

I've seen this idea posted before, but perhaps it's value is more obvious right now in light of the 1.0 Release / library incompatibility issue.

I found an old thread on this, but it hasn't been updated since March 09 (and the "repository" is gone):,327.30.html
5  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Forum / Re: New Subforum: Buying / Selling on: February 13, 2010, 11:54:07 am
I also think this is a great idea.

I'd also like to see a user-to-user "swap meet" type of forum - where you could buy/sell/trade sell modules and components with other users.  

Like many folks on this forum, I've built up quite a large inventory of components/modules.  Over the years I have accumulated duplicates and extras of many items, some are still brand new.

It would be great to have a place to share them with other hobbyists.  
6  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Baud rate greater than 115200? on: March 23, 2010, 12:47:19 pm
Are you running on the real UART ports or a NewSoftSerial port?

I noticed that the NewSoftSerial cpp file states that RX is not supported at 115200 baud.
7  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Arduino Home automation software on: February 13, 2010, 12:07:43 pm
I use the Homeseer home automation product and have most of my house "automated".  (

I've just finished a project that integrates Arduino (via Xbee) to the Homeseer home automation software.  Now, I can use an Aduino to control / trigger any home automation event, or control the Arduino (and associated circuits) from Homeseer.

I'm just starting to document and writeup my project on integrating Arduino/Xbee into it, so it will be a few weeks before it gets published.  I will post links in "exhibition" when it's up.
8  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Looking for a simple terminal on: February 11, 2009, 09:21:55 am
Nice find, lefty.  

That is an even newer version AND help-about now points to the correct web page for the developed.
9  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Development / Re: Looking for a simple terminal on: February 10, 2009, 07:57:15 pm
I'll 2nd the Bray Terminal program.  

I seem to have a slightly newer version, as mine shows COM1-10, and has a drop-down to select the COM port.  Oddly enough the version number is still 1.9b, but the number after it is different, mine says "20060920B".

The fact that its free and a standalone executable, with a ton of functionality makes it my #1 choice.
10  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: avrdude: not in sync again on: July 05, 2009, 06:44:44 pm
I'm sorry if this is creating some confusion... this fix is only for people who have pre-official release 328 chips.  The Mega problem is definitely something different, as all Mega's have had the same bootloader which uses the 57600 baud specified in the boards.txt file.

You definitely want to keep it set to 57600 for the Mega.
11  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: avrdude: not in sync again on: July 05, 2009, 02:57:46 pm
I just got this error today for the first time ever, and I think I found the fix for people who are having this problem with 328s.

Most 328's that came out before official support used an upload speed of 19200.  When version 13 of the IDE came out, the upload speed for 328s was officially switched to 57600, and all new 328's came with a bootloader that supported this speed.

However, anyone with old 328 chips that still have the preliminary bootloader, will need to reburn the "released" bootloader or edit the boards.txt file's upload speed line to:  "atmega328.upload.speed=19200"

This is stated in the release notes for IDE v13, but since it's been a long time since the release its easy to forget about this.  Particularly if you had edited the boards.txt file and it was working then later installed a new version of the IDE (which creates a new boards.txt without this change).  Here's the relevant info from the release notes:

"Adding support for the ATmega328.  The upload speed is 57600 baud, so you may need to edit boards.txt or reburn your bootloader if you bought an ATmega328 w/ bootloader from adafruit or other supplier."
12  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: XBEE module compatibility - Chip/antenna version on: February 15, 2010, 07:31:39 pm
Yes, the Sparkfun XBee USB Explorer can be used to update the firmware.   (I just did it today, in fact.)
13  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Version18 dosen't seem to work with Windows7 on: February 14, 2010, 07:59:37 pm
PDE files are just text files, so have you tried opening the PDE files in a text editor on the Windows 7 machine?  

If they're also messed up in a text editor, then something must have corrupted them. (Maybe the upgrade, or data migration program, etc...)   If they appear fine in a text editor, then the problem is specific to the Arduino IDE.
14  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Version18 dosen't seem to work with Windows7 on: February 13, 2010, 06:00:40 pm
I'm also running on Win 7 Ultimate x64 without any issues.
15  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Troubleshooting / Re: Ethernet Shield: Immediate Hang. I need help! on: February 03, 2009, 03:43:04 pm
If the ethernet board uses an alternate functions of the IO pin (specifically SCK in this case), then that could explain the problem with it running on the Illuminato.

The theory is this:  since the Illuminato uses a different processor, its alternate pin functions do not map 1 to 1 as the original Arduino processors.  For example the SCK pin is on PB5 on the Mega 168, and SCK is on pin PB1 on the 645 (used on the illuminato).

If this theory holds true, then any shield that uses the pins as digital or analog I/O should work - but shields using their alternate functions (like SCK in this case) wont work as the pin mappings are different.  

Just a theory, and welcome feedback and actually hope I'm proven wrong.
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