I'm back! - What have you done?

So - after over a year of not being active on the forums (ok, I popped back a couple of times) am I allowed back into the club?

I promise I'll be nice :grin:

Lots of things have changed in my life (for the better) in the last 18 months but now things are a bit more settled, programming up a few lots of MCUs is on my to-do list.

Happy to see my post ranking hasn't dropped off the first page yet while I've been gone - a few names up there I don't recognise now though and many forum addicts who I do!

Now to make this thread a bit more interesting - those who remember me - what's changed while I've been gone? What's that cool project you've started/finished? What percentage of your house is now controlled by Arduinos?

mowcius:
So - after over a year of not being active on the forums (ok, I popped back a couple of times) am I allowed back into the club?

I promise I’ll be nice :grin:

Lots of things have changed in my life (for the better) in the last 18 months but now things are a bit more settled, programming up a few lots of MCUs is on my to-do list.

Happy to see my post ranking hasn’t dropped off the first page yet while I’ve been gone - a few names up there I don’t recognise now though and many forum addicts who I do!

Now to make this thread a bit more interesting - those who remember me - what’s changed while I’ve been gone? What’s that cool project you’ve started/finished? What percentage of your house is now controlled by Arduinos?

Welcome back. Biggest change if you haven’t kept up with the arduino product line is that the platform and IDE has become a lot more complex with boards like the Leonardo, 32 bit arm based Due board, brand new Esplora board. So the breath of new users and questions and problems they bring forth seem to have jumped up significantly. IDE has lots of new features but breaks a lot of things from the pre IDE 1.0 version. On the other hand the amount of external shields and modules and devices that can be used with the arduino boards is booming it seems and more affordable then ever.

Hell even retail Radio Shack stores are now selling arduino boards and some shields, didn’t see that one coming. :smiley:

Anyway glad to have you back and getting it going again.

Lefty

retrolefty:
Welcome back. Biggest change if you haven't kept up with the arduino product line is that the platform and IDE has become a lot more complex with boards like the Leonardo, 32 bit arm based Due board, brand new Esplora board. So the breath of new users and questions and problems they bring forth seem to have jumped up significantly. IDE has lots of new features but breaks a lot of things from the pre IDE 1.0 version. On the other hand the amount of external shields and modules and devices that can be used with the arduino boards is booming it seems and more affordable then ever.

Hell even retail Radio Shack stores are now selling arduino boards and some shields, didn't see that one coming. :smiley:

Anyway glad to have you back and getting it going again.

Lefty

Cheers!

I've kept a bit of an eye on the IDE changes and new boards (more on that later...) but I haven't used anything since the initial 1.0 release and Uno.

Not sure how much the Due is going to do with the popularity of boards such as the Raspberry Pi personally, but I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.
For me, Arduino is good because it's generally simple code for a simple microcontroller, doing simple things. Moving away from DIP chips and towards more powerful, impossible to DIY components isn't ideal in my mind.

The Esplora looks like an interesting step but as usual, it seems they've kept it all secret before release and as such, missed out on a trick or two - where's the on-board wireless? Hell not even a standard wireless footprint is included.

Welcome back mowcius. I've put up a couple of different designs,
http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/

Not using for home automation tho 8)

CrossRoads:
Welcome back mowcius. I've put up a couple of different designs,
Cross Roads Electronics

Not using for home automation tho

Wow, do you use all of those boards for something?
If not home automation, robot overlords? :smiley:

welcome back

Oh - wow - there's a name I haven't seen in a while - a BIG WELCOME BACK!

Most of the changes in my life have been non-Arduino related - a couple of new jobs along the way, plus some free online classes in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

I'm still working on my robot oh-so-ever-slowly. Purchased a couple new Arduino's (one was a Mega) - but haven't done anything with them besides testing. Bunch of other new electronic junk has been bought, too (just yesterday, went to a HAMFest and got a couple of Linksys NSLU2s devices - maybe something fun will come of those!).

Anyhow - enough about me - what about YOU!? What happened - where/why'd you go? Anything you can say openly on the forum? If not, I'm sure we'll all understand...

Again - welcome back - I'm sure that some of the n00bs around here can use your advice and help...

Wow, do you use all of those boards for something?

Not really - too busy designing them and building into projects for other people to make stuff up for me 8)

One of my cards is driving these digital pace clocks
http://www.kiefer.com/pace-clocks-for-swimming-pages-160.php

Got the card (2 actually) driving this Nike FuelBand display too.

cr0sh:
Oh - wow - there’s a name I haven’t seen in a while - a BIG WELCOME BACK!

Thanks.

Most of the changes in my life have been non-Arduino related - a couple of new jobs along the way, plus some free online classes in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Hmm, I fancy some free online classes like that!

I’m still working on my robot oh-so-ever-slowly. Purchased a couple new Arduino’s (one was a Mega) - but haven’t done anything with them besides testing. Bunch of other new electronic junk has been bought, too (just yesterday, went to a HAMFest and got a couple of Linksys NSLU2s devices - maybe something fun will come of those!).

Had to look those up - they look pretty funky - what are you considering doing with “a couple”? Surely one is all you need?

Anyhow - enough about me - what about YOU!? What happened - where/why’d you go? Anything you can say openly on the forum? If not, I’m sure we’ll all understand…

I just had to do that work thing…

I used to watch every post that was posted on the forum (RSS will do that for you) and it had just got to the point where there were far too many to watch. This coincided with getting a new job (doing home automation and home cinema installs for people with more money than sense) which took up almost every hour I was awake because of travelling time.
So, for 12 months, almost everything stopped but work. Anyone who knows me a bit more will know I do mountain unicycling - and this took up the free weekends (those ones where I wasn’t working anyway).

In July, a year after starting my new job, I decided the company was not somewhere I wanted to be so I moved on (don’t get me wrong though, the work was, in theory, exactly what I wanted to do).
I took 6 weeks off while I moved house, then started my current job doing IT support for the local council.
Travelling time’s down to 5 mins (by unicycle) and I don’t work every conceivable hour in the day.

5 months on from that, I’ve got everything out of storage boxes and my desk is again covered in microcontrollers and my mind is brimming with projects.

Again - welcome back - I’m sure that some of the n00bs around here can use your advice and help…

Well, once I’ve taught myself how to use an Arduino again. :wink:

CrossRoads:
Got the card (2 actually) driving this Nike FuelBand display too.
http://www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17/Prototype_in_action.MOV

That looks… large. Aren’t they meant to fit on your wrist?

That looks... large

It is. 5 feet across. Its a display that gets mounted somewhere, maybe at shows or something. I made/programmed cards for 5 of the displays, my wife flew out to Vancouver, WA to teach them how to install the 1st one, they did the next 4 themselves. Apparently the end customer was quite happy with them. The only change was holding each word in place a bit longer, so if you should see one live it will be taking longer to go thru all the words.

CrossRoads:
It is. 5 feet across. Its a display that gets mounted somewhere, maybe at shows or something. I made/programmed cards for 5 of the displays, my wife flew out to Vancouver, WA to teach them how to install the 1st one, they did the next 4 themselves. Apparently the end customer was quite happy with them. The only change was holding each word in place a bit longer, so if you should see one live it will be taking longer to go thru all the words.

Did you make the displays themselves or just the electronics?

The company in Vancouver, ACS Composites,
http://www.acscomposites.com/
did all the fiberglass work, that's their business.
I supplied 2 boards, one with uC + shift registers, the 2nd board the same less the uC, and did the programming for the non-multiplexed display. The lights are 12V automotive LEDs with current limit resistors, this kind of part

mounted on a panel behind the display face.

mowcius:

Most of the changes in my life have been non-Arduino related - a couple of new jobs along the way, plus some free online classes in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Hmm, I fancy some free online classes like that!

Check out the offerings from Udacity and Coursera, specifically:

http://www.udacity.com/overview/Course/cs271/ (CS271 - Introduction to Artificial Intelligence)
https://www.coursera.org/course/ml (Machine Learning)

These first two were originally offered by Stanford in the winter of 2011; I initially took both of them at the same time, but due to time constraints and other issues, I ended up having to drop the AI course (I ended up quitting my job over these courses - my boss at the time basically told me to choose my education or continue to work 60+ hour weeks on a forgettable project - I chose my education). I ended up completing the Machine Learning course.

The following spring, I took this course from Udacity:

http://www.udacity.com/overview/Course/cs373/ (CS373 - Artificial Intelligence for Robotics - Programming a Robotic Car)

I completed it as well; all of these courses (and Udacity and Coursera) grew out of that initial Stanford experiment. I am glad I was a part of it. One thing they did teach me, is that I need to do a follow-up course on statistics and probabilities (I think one or both offer courses on that subject as well). At some point, I am going to re-take the “Intro to AI” course from Udacity, and complete it this time. Had I had the time availability back then, I know I could have completed it - it was pretty tough (I managed to somehow get through the stats/probability section of the course - which is the most difficult portion of all of these courses, IMHO).

Anyhow - if you have a good grounding in that, as well as linear algebra, you should be able to make it through them. At the time, the Udacity 373 course used Python for it’s programming, while the Machine Learning course from Coursera used Octave (a MATLAB work-alike); the Intro to AI course didn’t have any programming that I recall, but that might have changed since then.

One thing I do know about the CS373 course is that it really explained the concepts of Kalman filters, A* (and other pathfinding), PID, and SLAM extremely well. If you ever wanted to understand any of these, that course is a really good one to take. The Machine Learning course was great in that it really showed more than few wonderful algorithms for ML, and really made understanding how artificial neural networks and back-propagation worked in an fairly intuitive manner. The biggest issue with that course was wrapping your head around the concept of vectorizing an algorithm (of course, when you -do- understand that concept, and you can see when and how to use it for other things, you begin to wish you had a large beowulf cluster or NVidia Tesla computer to play with)…
I took part of CS271 when it first came out from Stanford, while at the same time taking the Machine Learning

Check out the offerings from Udacity and Coursera

I hadn't realised there was so much available for free - I'll have to take a look.

mowcius:
The Esplora looks like an interesting step but as usual, it seems they've kept it all secret before release and as such, missed out on a trick or two - where's the on-board wireless? Hell not even a standard wireless footprint is included.

Yes but the inventive have figured out what pins work for the wireless and put woreless functionality in - see The 21st Century Digital Home: Arduino Esplora interfaced to an Xbee Radio for some details. I'm moving to using the TinkerKit pins as I've done some work with an Adafruit 1.8" TFT display in the "display header" so I need other pins for wireless. Not too many pins available for special purpose use.

Yes but the inventive have figured out what pins work for the wireless and put wireless functionality in - see The 21st Century Digital Home: Arduino Esplora interfaced to an Xbee Radio for some details.

It's easy enough to add but also, it would have been easy enough for them to put it on-board or put on surface mount pads between the display pins where you could solder one on (something like a nRF24L01 in SMD package would have been ideal - http://www1.dealextreme.com/productimages/sku_149253_1.jpg)

Hey good to see you back. :slight_smile:
How did that laser cutter project go then?
There is a Maker Fair at Newcastle at the end of April, will you be going?

Grumpy_Mike:
Hey good to see you back. :slight_smile:
How did that laser cutter project go then?
There is a Maker Fair at Newcastle at the end of April, will you be going?

Hmm, laser cutter - yeah it's still in bits. Moving house didn't help.
I have just received my makerslide though so stealing its parts to make a bigger one is becoming a reality.

Maker Faire wise - I do fancy going and the date is free at the moment but as I haven't managed to make it to one yet, perhaps my luck isn't good enough for that.