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Author Topic: Noob questions about memory, LCDs, XBees, and other stuff  (Read 815 times)
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Hi everyone.

If it wasn't already apparent, I'm an Arduino noob. Hopefully I don't look too stupid.  smiley-sweat

So, my questions...first, I want to know how feasible using a color LCD is due to memory constraints. I just looked at the ladyada tutorials for character and 128x64 monochrome screens, and it said that a 128x64 screen would use a lot of memory (about half I think). That made me think...how can we use a 128x128 color screen while having enough memory left to do anything? Does it have built in memory or something? My project involves several other parts including some way to output audio (haven't figured that out yet either) and an XBee radio. In short, I'm worried about running out of memory.

If somehow it is feasible, can anyone point me to how to use them? The code examples I got off sparkfun...well I didn't know how to use them and I don't think they were meant for Arduinos anyway (judging by the comments).

Thanks in advance.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 09:33:16 pm by Fej42 » Logged

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What about this one?

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2011/02/15/new-product-2-8-16-bit-color-tft-lcd-with-touchscreen-breakout-board/

That has 240×320 pixels. The example sketch (a simple paint program) used:

Code:
Binary sketch size: 9584 bytes (of a 32256 byte maximum)

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My project involves several other parts including some way to output audio (haven't figured that out yet either) and an XBee radio.
One XBee radio, huh? Have you a clue what XBee radios are?

What will you be doing with audio? Converting digital data to analog for output as audio? This is not a trivial task. Converting analog (audio) data to digital form is even more difficult, given the speed (or lack thereof) of the Arduino's analog to digital converter.
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As with many projects, your real question should be budget.  There are MANY options for displays that can be VERY impressive and use next to no memory, only a serial library (I have a great display that users SPI), and there are shields for audio all over the place.

What's the budget?
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What about this one?

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2011/02/15/new-product-2-8-16-bit-color-tft-lcd-with-touchscreen-breakout-board/

That has 240×320 pixels. The example sketch (a simple paint program) used:

Code:
Binary sketch size: 9584 bytes (of a 32256 byte maximum)


That is actually pretty good! Thanks! I just hope I have enough memory to fit everything else.

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My project involves several other parts including some way to output audio (haven't figured that out yet either) and an XBee radio.
One XBee radio, huh? Have you a clue what XBee radios are?

What will you be doing with audio? Converting digital data to analog for output as audio? This is not a trivial task. Converting analog (audio) data to digital form is even more difficult, given the speed (or lack thereof) of the Arduino's analog to digital converter.

I worded it wrong.

My project is a laser tag system. This is one part of the project - the gun/tagger/whatever you want to call it, to be exact. It's the most complex piece parts-wise. The XBee radios will be for communication between the guns and a base station. The audio part is for sound effects, nothing major.

By the way - do the XBee radios actually go 300 feet? With or without obstructions?

As with many projects, your real question should be budget.  There are MANY options for displays that can be VERY impressive and use next to no memory, only a serial library (I have a great display that users SPI), and there are shields for audio all over the place.

What's the budget?

I'm not looking for a super-impressive display here. As I said above, this is going to be a laser tag system - the screen is there to provide a wealth of information to the player.

The budget is flexible (deleted - see my next post)

Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 11:10:37 pm by Fej42 » Logged

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By the way - do the XBee radios actually go 300 feet? With or without obstructions?
Depends on which XBee radio you are referring to. Some of them have much larger ranges than that.

The Series 1 XBees that I have, with the wire antenna, have no problem with 100 foot range, through walls. I've never tested them beyond that, because I'm to lazy to walk that far back and forth to check.
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Depends on which XBee radio you are referring to. Some of them have much larger ranges than that.

The Series 1 XBees that I have, with the wire antenna, have no problem with 100 foot range, through walls. I've never tested them beyond that, because I'm to lazy to walk that far back and forth to check.

I thought Arduinos could only use Series 1 XBees because of power constraints. I take it I'm wrong?

Also, I'm gonna be a bit indecisive and say that I'm gonna change the budget to 'as cheap as possible and work from there'.
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Power consumption IS an issue, but Series 1 and Series 2/2.5 radios consume equal power for equal range. Point to point (series 1) does not use less power than mesh network (series 2/2.5).

Now, the Pro versions (longer range/higher power) cause some issues with some Arduinos/shields.
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I would like to ask everyone...I need the XBees to transmit about 240-250 feet (at most). This is outside, but there is a good number of obstructions.

Will the regular, series 1 wire radios work? Or do I need the high-power ones? If so, how can I power them?

Also, the only thing that I've found that can hook an XBee up to an Arduino is the sparkfun shield. At least, it's the only one I've found that's still in production and easily obtainable. It's rather expensive, seeing as it doesn't include the radio. Does anyone know of anything cheaper? I imagine there has to be.

Thanks a bunch!
« Last Edit: May 14, 2011, 11:05:11 pm by Fej42 » Logged

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Would this work?
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