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Topic: Absolute beginner..How do I get started? (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic

JonRon

Hi,

Thanks.

I'm OK on general electronics...for me this is all about taking that quantum leap into microcontrollers. If as you say this size of project is straight forward then no doubt I would add in some form of display output and a few user input controls...presumably that is also dooable? (after I get the hang of it all, of course!).

Cheers

JonRon


wildbill

#11
Nov 18, 2012, 08:38 pm Last Edit: Nov 18, 2012, 11:14 pm by wildbill Reason: 1
The project sounds eminently suitable for an arduino. The only thing to be careful about is the number of pins you need. If you choose your sensors with care, an Uno would be sufficient, but you'd need to make sure you're using at least some sensors that can share. Measuring temperatures with some DS18B20s is an example - if they cover the range you need. Similarly, common LCD panels require a lot of pins, but there are serial versions that only need two. Then there's external multiplexing hardware, or you can just throw cash at the project and use a Mega.

winner10920

Or some gpio ics, for more output inputs, same with shift registers, and even an extra atmega328p, there's a dozen ways to do things, all a little different in price,speed and fuction, that's where experience comes in handy and proves daunting to beginners,
If you really wanna learn alot just keep reading and being active on this forum zlot of good situations and questionsalways come up, and you can learn from others common mistakes and know more on how to approach a future project

JonRon

Hi,

Thanks for all the tips and encouragement.

Looks like the journey starts here.

Cheers

JonRon

Boffin1

#14
Nov 19, 2012, 08:43 am Last Edit: Nov 19, 2012, 08:46 am by Boffin1 Reason: 1
Heres an example ( I never learn ) of starting with a simple sketch and adding to it.

I have made a temperature / time LED display for a friend.

I combined the displays  from my scoreboards, the GPS from my syncd clocks, the temp circuit and code from an earlier temp display, and some auto dimming for the new superbright LEDs.

All these things were working sketches, but when I put all the sketches together over the weekend, and connected up the diplays - everything was a mess, the displays were jumbled, the temp display was flickering, and the GPS wasnt locking on.

I wasted the whole day yesterday trying to correct the mess of a sketch, but this morning I got up and started with just a sketch for the displays, and soon sorted that out, then added the freerunning clock and fine tuned that, then added the temp part, and found that I was trying to read and display the temperature every loop, so of course it was flickering with the noise on the analog line !  So I took that down to only measuring just before it toggled over to the temperature display ( alternates with the clock ).

So in an hour , by doing it the right way, I have it ( almost ) working, I just have to sort out the autodimming values.

Some of the experienced guys here can look at a sketch and see trouble ( I can do that with a circuit diagram, but this programming is all new to me )   I had no hope of picking out the bugs in my ductaped concoction of previous sketches !  :-)

Baby steps works best for beginners   !
With my mobile phone I can call people and talk to them -  how smart can you get ?

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