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76  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: which pins for each type of shield?? on: May 10, 2010, 10:13:55 am

Mark Bramwell's version is much easier to use to figure out which shields would interfere with each other and which shields might happily coexist.
77  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: What is Arduino? on: May 04, 2010, 03:31:28 pm
Grumpy . . . that is one bad ass HMI (Human Machine Interface) on that thing.

I'm sure at the time that project was bleeding edge technology for a home brew project.
78  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Arduino on pneumatics on: March 24, 2010, 12:12:46 pm

Don't get me wrong, with the incredible developments that have happened in RC aircraft over the past five years and their successful commercialization there might be hope for you and your project yet. However, until you solve the problem with storing and deploying (in a controlled manner) the energy for the main thruster . . . maneuvering thrusters are a moot point.

If you want to continue to receive helpful answers on this topic from the forum members, I think that you should follow CrOsh's recommendation that you better define the intended use of the lander and its requirements. To date you have just tossed a relatively simplistic description of what you want to do.
79  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Arduino on pneumatics on: March 23, 2010, 04:55:46 pm
Digimike is correct in his statement that many paintball markers use CO2 as a propellant; after 5 years I have yet to see any freeze ups even on humid days.

DROBNJAK's needs to clarify his weight specification of “less than 2 oz (1 Kg)”.

If less than 2 oz (56.7 grams) then he is likely snookered since it would be impossible with the current technology to fit even the smallest Arduino MCU IC, battery, sensors, CO2 valve and CO2 storage into that little weight.

At 35 oz (1 Kg) the project is a lot more interesting, however one of the big challenges now becomes the amount of energy  in the form of compressed CO2 (in a tank) that is required to loft/hover or fly the lunar lander.

DROBNJAK what are the flight characteristics of the device that need to be met? Does it need to hover or does it need to navigate either from point-to-point or on some particular path?

Remember that at 1kg, you will need to be able to store and deliver in a controlled manner enough CO2 to produce more than 1kg of thrust for 60 seconds. Assuming that it will be moving at slow speed and the aerodynamic drag will be negligible; then the amount of thrust required in excess of 1kg will be dependent upon the height you need to obtain plus any energy required for horizontal movement.
80  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re:  Start programming w,th Ardunio or Sanduino on: March 24, 2010, 11:59:08 am

The Arduino programming environment for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux can be downloaded from:

A GPS tutorial can be found at:

Information about driving servos with the Arduino can be found at:

There have been many posts here on the Arduino forum related to integrating either GPS or servos to the Arduino; although I do not remember if any of them combined both GPS and servos.
81  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Arduino Locker on: March 23, 2010, 03:37:26 pm

The Instructables web site has recently featured two different Arduino based door locks:

Secret Knock Detecting Door Lock

Arduino RFID Door Lock

Perhaps these will guide you in the right direction.
82  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Magnetic field on: March 16, 2010, 11:48:20 am
I would guess there is at least one Arduino fan on these forums who has submitted code to an IBM 360 or other mainframe via a deck of cards - ouch!

Been there and not only typed out the Hollerith cards on the keypunch machine, but spent hours colouring those little bastard "bubbles" in with a lead pencil.

Anyone remember FORTRAN . . . ?
83  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: How to make this heater work with transistor on: March 12, 2010, 04:59:10 pm
I'm a little surprised that no one has pointed out yet that 6D batteries will only yield 9 volts not 12 volts.
84  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Buying parts in small batches (I'm a noob) on: March 12, 2010, 05:10:48 pm

I am not sure where you located, but have you tried finding a local store. I do not live in a big metropolis or anything, but have built up a solid reputation with two local stores that are capable of supplying almost everything but esoteric sensors or CPU's. I couldn't imagine the hassle I would have if I had to E-order all the minor bits I need for every project. It's much nicer to drive a 1/2 mile out of my way on my drive home from work to be greeted by my friend Parm who manages one of those stores. It's a big place; he knows where everything is, can make intelligent recommendations and takes a great interest in my random projects.

The prices are good . . . there are no shipping charges . . . and I can pick up 90% of what I need from IC's (other than CPU's), transistors, capacitors, resistors, switches, enclosures, wire . . . and some of the best PCB protoboards I have every used.

My advice . . . get to know a local supplier then buy local if at all possible.
85  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Does anyone know what needs to be UL listed on: March 01, 2010, 08:39:20 pm
tubular . . . I have been through the UL, ULC and CE process several times and both retrolefty and Grumpy_Mike are correct in their recommendations.
86  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Where to get components? on: January 26, 2010, 02:47:36 pm
Is there a good source or book any one would recommend to get started?
I would highly recommend the book, "Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics, 4th Edition" by Stan Gibilisco (ISBN 0071459332 or 9780071459334). The cover of the book is a little hokey, but the content is excellent, starting with basic electron theory and will take you all the way through analog and digital concepts to computers.

87  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Robot chassis on: January 14, 2010, 11:03:50 am

I have had good success using the Tamiya Twin Motor Gearbox and Track and Wheel Set to build simple robots (see links below):

Even if you have only limited access to a shop full of tools, you could use a simple (inexpensive and easy to cut) piece of thin hobby plywood or basswood that should be available at your local craft (e.g. Michael's) or hobby store.

Here is a video of a robot that is similar to the one that I built:

Additionally, there was a very nice (simple) Arduino based robot that included ultrasonic sensing published in  Make magazine #17

Dig in . . . make some saw dust then type some code and have some fun!
88  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Re: Best/easiest material for bases, hardware, etc? on: May 06, 2009, 09:47:08 am
As in any engineering dilemma, the answer to what is “best” is directly related to the specific situation at hand . . . aka, there is no universal best material, only some choices that are better than others for a specific application.

For project boxes, premanufactured enclosures are available in an almost unlimited array of materials, sizes and designs; and usually offer the most professional looking results. Most projects seem to fit in enclosures costing $5-20 and in my experience, despite a well-equipped shop and good access to free or almost free acrylic, polycarbonate and ABS sheet stock I still often buy an enclosure because the materials, hardware and some kind of new milling cutter I always seem to need often outweigh the cost of the enclosure . . . plus my time, plus the improved cosmetics.

Although more expensive, polycarbonate is almost always preferable to acrylic, especially if there are any physical stresses involved such as in a robot base. Acrylic is notch sensitive and needs the right tools (drill bits, cutters and blades) to properly machine it without inducing stress cracking. It can be rough sized very easily by scoring a straight line from side to side, then snapping it over the edge of a table.

Polycarbonate is a dream to work with in comparison, although you would be wise to get a book from the library or research on the net for good machining recommendations:

In some cases, MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) works as a good project base for a robot . . . it is relatively inexpensive and easy to work with . . . it does not however come in thin sheets.

Baltic birch, marine grade and aviation grade plywood can be easily acquired in small sizes (often 12 x 18”) from many hobby and craft stores. It is available in thicknesses 1/16 – 1” and is completely free of the voids and imperfections normally found in construction grade plywood. It is also made up of thinner plys than construction plywood. It cuts and machines very well and looks good without secondary finishing.

Aluminum sheet (1/16 - 1/4” thick) can be purchased cut to size from many steel suppliers (some operate just like lumberyards). Although more expensive by weight than plastic sheet it has great rigidity and machines well. Perhaps you might want to reserve this for when your robot moves from prototype to permanent device.

Finally do not discount thin sheet metal (approx 1/16”) which can be used to make some very light weight reasonably stiff enclosures that I have also seen used as a robot base. Although more difficult to work with, if you are a university student with access to a shop or are on good terms with your old high-school shop teacher than you can probably get access to some punch and brake equipment. NOTE: that Hammond and some other enclosure manufactures offer inexpensive, simple aluminum chassis with covers that will give you a place to mount your sensitive electronics.

Okay, so if you have read this long post this far, I'll give you a freebee! If you are a university student, or work for a company that is involved in any kind of engineering, you might even be able to get a free enclosure that suits your needs. Many manufacturers of plastic enclosures offer a sampling program. Check out their customer service page or dig deep into their site map to find a possible link to their sampling program.

89  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Where to buy part in Toronto on: October 22, 2010, 10:59:46 am

have you tried Creaton at 255 College Street in Toronto?

They have just about everything you could want in the way of Arduino . . . and usually in stock.

The store owner is very knowledgeable as well.
90  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: reconmend me a multi-meter please on: October 28, 2010, 01:22:36 pm

I use the temperature probe once or twice a week on my Uni-T.

However I like build scientific instruments so that might explain everything.
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