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301  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: How to Begin 3D Landscape Measure/Mapping Project on: June 05, 2013, 12:46:57 pm
Could you modify one of those rotary laser levels? I have seen those used in landscaping before, and they are accurate to fractions of an inch. If building your own laser detector is too complicated, you could modify one of the handheld units that are designed to work with the level.
302  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: GUI student attendance system on: June 05, 2013, 01:25:40 am
This seems like a rather rapid progression of concepts for a single course. We didn't get into GUI development until my third programming course, and anything involving physical hardware was a 300 level course.

People are getting snippy because, although you have written plenty of words, the only useful information you have given us can be summed up in two words: "GUI, and Arduino". You can either setup the GUI on the Arduino, or on a PC that the Arduino is plugged into. Either way, you will need to write the GUI yourself, there are no programs that will set one up for you. GUI design is a fairly high-level programming concept. Do you know any programming languages? C++, C#, Java, PHP, Python, anything? Do you even need any kind of advanced GUI, or is your instructor just expecting you to display some text on a 16x2 character LCD?
303  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Shower timer?? Trying to figure out if its possible on: June 03, 2013, 01:18:27 am
How old is your house? Most modern homes use nice 1/4 turn shutoff valves for the hot water, right before every outlet.

There are plenty of electronic shut off valves that could be activated by the Arduino, but you run into the problem of the kid just unplugging it or unscrewing the device.
304  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: External housing enclosures for a PSU? on: May 31, 2013, 07:32:13 am
Bud has some cheap project boxes that should be about that size. I don't see any measurements in that link, but if its the same as the PSU I have, this box should be close:
305  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: powering on a laptop on: May 30, 2013, 07:53:38 pm
I think I will have to go the brute force way since the computer needs to be completely off when it powers on. I am still open to suggestions though

If you're not opposed to opening up the laptop, a small SSR, relay, or optoisolator would let you simulate a button press. Also, some motherboards have a setting in the BIOS to power up when power becomes available (usually see this on servers so they come back online automatically after a power outage). If your netbook has that setting, you could control the power supply to it with the Arduino. Then you know it is consuming no power while off.
306  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Things you always wanted to know but never dared to ask on: May 30, 2013, 01:41:36 pm
Bootloader monitors the serial lines, if no re-load activity is seen, then a previously sketch is directed to start.
But why the sketch cannot be performed directly after reset (there's a few seconds lag, due to the bootloader loading the sketch) ? I read somewhere that this is possible by burning the sketch into the chip using the ICSP. What is the difference, fundamentally, in the chip itslef ?

It is my understanding that the delay in loading the sketch gives the bootloader time to check for the previously mentioned "re-load activity". If you burn the sketch directly to the chip, with no bootloader, it doesn't wait to see if a new sketch is going to be uploaded.
307  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Google Code is about to die. ( for a lot of us anyway ) on: May 29, 2013, 06:51:15 pm
Doesn't Google Drive/Docs have a much smaller file size limit?

No limit.  First 5 GB is free.

I just started a 4.37 GB upload.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Finished.  No problems.  5 GB free storage.  Support for very large files.

In theory, you could post infinite amounts of data on google code, as long as you called it all "open source projects."  (that's how I remember it.  I can't see the old terms of service any more.)

200 MB chunks (upload limit).  4 GB per project limit.

Edit: upload finished.

IIRC, the google drive upload limit is 10gb, so double the size of the current free account. Drive is going to be merged with Gmail (the update is currently rolling out to users) to give you a combined storage of 15gb for free.
308  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Google Code is about to die. ( for a lot of us anyway ) on: May 27, 2013, 01:48:55 am
I have a host and a unused electronics domain ... add some light advertising and I smell an op ... least for our type of projects

and jeez cr0sh, I pay half that

I have been thinking about setting something like this up for a while. I have the location and the hardware, but I have a bit of a cashflow problem right now. I have quotes for business class 50/5 connections and 100/100 symmetrical fiber. I have a rack containing 6 servers, 3 of which have 16gb of ram and dual quad-core CPUs that would be excellent for running VMs. Maybe someday....

I do currently have one co-located server with no bandwidth limitations. The connection is pretty slow though 1mbit down, 2mbit up.
309  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: arduino eclipse and serial communication on: May 13, 2013, 01:25:21 am
i use eclipse to programm to arduino.I had to reinstall the whole package these days.

I installed the tm plugin for terminal and rxtx also.

when i try to connect to the serial port i get error that another unknown program uses the serial communication.Do you know how to solve this?

This sounds like a question that should be asked on the Eclipse forums.
310  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: monitor 12 vdc automotive battery used to start backup generator on: May 07, 2013, 02:05:17 am
You would also need to disable the trickle charge at the time of the voltage measurement, otherwise you're just going to get 14v 100% of the time.
311  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: Heat Protection on: May 06, 2013, 02:06:13 am
This just seems like a really bad idea, unless the idea is to turn your arduino into slag.

Perhaps something like this would work better:

Or an infared sensor?
312  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: I want to build: configurable fan controller + 3 thermal sensors on: May 05, 2013, 05:14:55 pm
Go it! smiley
Cool idea! Thx!
I think that could be the way to go...
Now just need to get my LianLi case and figure out, how to make arduino to helm me to reach the goal

An arduino can easily take temperature readings, control fans, and turn a compressor on/off.
313  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: I want to build: configurable fan controller + 3 thermal sensors on: May 05, 2013, 04:13:35 pm
air "jets" ?
Hmmm...doesnt know what is it... will search bout this

If you take an air compressor and force a high volume of air through a small opening, you get a "jet" of air. A really small tube (something like an IV drip line, or those straws you see on the canned air products), would work quite well at increasing air pressure I think.
314  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: monitor 12 vdc automotive battery used to start backup generator on: May 05, 2013, 04:10:57 pm
I know thats an issue with LiPo batteries (one cell discharges so rapidly into another that the heat can cause the pack to burst into flame), but I didn't think it would be a problem with lead-acid batteries. I have seen many vehicles (primarily diesels) that use two batteries in parallel for starting.

Whereas the Generac generator requires a minimum of 525 CCA's which can be provided by one battery.   

My thinking is that if you have two 525 CCA rated batteries in parallel, and one fails, you still have 525 CCA worth of starting power. If you buy two batteries at different times, the chances of them failing at the same time would be fairly low (unless the failure was caused by a problem with the electrical system). I guess the one working battery would discharge into the failed one, trying to charge it, but that wouldn't really be a problem since you have a constant trickle coming from the wall when the power is on, and a constant trickle coming from the generator when its on. The second battery would not be able to discharge entirely in the short amount of time it takes for the generator to start after a power failure.

This is just my theory though, I'm not really familiar with charging systems. I'm not sure how fast the second battery would discharge into the first, or what hazard that would present.
315  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: I want to build: configurable fan controller + 3 thermal sensors on: May 05, 2013, 03:27:18 pm
What if you use air "jets" instead of fans? Run thin tubing to all the places that dust collects (grills, heatsinks, hard drives). You could run all the tubing into one fitting, that plugs into a small DC air compressor. It would be like automating those "air duster" cans. Turn off the intake fans, and leave the exhaust fans on, and they will suck all the agitated dust out of the system.

My gaming PC has 3x 200mm fans, and it still collects a lot of dust. I believe this is because the dust becomes statically bound to stuff it is sitting on, making it take a significant amount of air pressure to blow it off.
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