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Hagar

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  20/02/2002
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You've Been Circy'd!Teddy Bear
2nd February, 2012 at 21:45:47 -

I am currently planning the series of articles (and videos hopefully) on interfacing MMF2 with electronics, which I mentioned on my first news post .

Currently I am aiming to try and keep the materials cost as low as possible for two reasons : it's a hobby for fun and secondly if people do not enjoy electronics I do not wish cost to be a significant burden. Hence I am trying to maximise the number of things people can build with a fixed set of parts.

Each article will build upon the previous one in terms of complexity, leading up to some hopefully pretty cool projects

Proposed series:
1) What you need, Microcontrollers, The Arduino and a blinky "hello world"
2) Basic communication to the PC, reading sensors and displaying data
3) Basic analogue components and their uses: diodes, resistors, capacitors and NPN transistors.
4) A simple temperature monitoring device.
5) A programmable persistence of vision "wand", with patterns programmable in MMF2
6) Pulse width modulation and motor control
7) A low cost light based Theremin using MMF2 with pitch and volume control.

If anyone has any projects they would really like to see, please chip in .


 
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Sketchy

Cornwall UK

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  06/11/2004
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  1850

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3rd February, 2012 at 00:13:08 -

What I would like:

* USB control - without installing any extra interface cards in the computer (or any extra software beyond a .dll file),
* Perhaps eventually Bluetooth control (I believe the interface cards are still too pricey to use in my project),
* Control of multiple servo motors - including winch servos with continuous rotation,
* Control of RE-380 / RS-550 class electric motors, via an electronic speed controller.

If I'm honest, the other stuff doesn't really interest me, as I have no practical application for it.

It would be nice if you'd use a Pololu servo controller, as they're smaller and I already have one, but that's probably asking a little too much
http://www.pololu.com/catalog/product/1350

 
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Hagar

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Old klik fart

Registered
  20/02/2002
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You've Been Circy'd!Teddy Bear
5th February, 2012 at 13:45:45 -

The little projects are really aimed at teaching people a bit of electronics, whilst building something moderately fun and cheap. I want to keep the course simple, but not too simple that it merely becomes a parrot fashion experience i.e. repeat what I do and all will be fine, this seems to be the way things are going elsewhere and I dislike it!

I have looked at the Pololu servo controller. I would much rather people used an Arduino to be honest. There is lots of support, daughter boards (shields in arduino speak) and projects already out there for people to try after the course. Also the arduino uses C, with simplified initialisation and IO functions. The Pololu thing looks a mix of BASIC & Forth (both of which IMO should no longer exist!). Being able to program in C is a good transferable skill to have, where as the scripting language for the Pololu is a dead end in terms of transferable skills.

Anyway in answer to the original questions:
* All you will need is a USB A to B lead, the type used on printers and scanners. You will need the FT232 driver, although windows 7 and Ubuntu have these inbuilt (well they set it up automatically for me with no problems). Control will be done using an MMF2 extension and nothing else .
* Bluetooth modules can be brought for respectable money now (I brought one years ago for about 50!)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Wireless-Bluetooth-RF-Transceiver-Module-RS232-TTL-3-3VDC-30ft-High-Quality-/320794974743?pt=UK_Computing_Networking_SM&hash=item4ab0deda17

Tempted to have a go at doing some basic rf control

* I have some servos somewhere, some I have already modified for continuous rotation (wondering if I have any standard ones spare). The PWM motor control aims to cover controlling servos and plain vanilla DC motors.
* I have no ESC controllers (I used to race petrol remote control cars, not much use for them!). Such devices should accept a standard 50 Hz servo PWM signal. If we can control a servo, we can control a bigger motor via an ESC.


 
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eliris



Registered
  14/05/2010
Points
  1706

360 OwnerVIP Member
21st February, 2012 at 21/02/2012 10:40:11 -

a chiptune software that uses a midi input will be great, or a gameboy ported and can be read by a mmf2 program
or a security cam will be nice too

 
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Hagar

Administrator
Old klik fart

Registered
  20/02/2002
Points
  1712

You've Been Circy'd!Teddy Bear
22nd February, 2012 at 22/02/2012 13:44:48 -

Making an interpreter for MMF games for a GBA/DS etc (if I have understood you correctly) and the associated hardware would be a vast project even for a competent software and hardware engineer.

I want to keep the projects simple and cheap for newcomers to electronics. The other 2 projects are feasible though. Hopefully the first article should be up next week .


 
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Va1entine



Registered
  14/12/2003
Points
  367

Has Donated, Thank You!360 Owner
22nd February, 2012 at 22/02/2012 16:11:02 -

Some of the stuff this community can create is unreal. Sounds exciting Hagar!

 
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Hagar

Administrator
Old klik fart

Registered
  20/02/2002
Points
  1712

You've Been Circy'd!Teddy Bear
23rd February, 2012 at 23/02/2012 17:24:19 -

Cheers, I would really like to see more people doing hobby electronics and actually making things.

Less and less people seem to make things themselves as time progresses and I think its bit of a shame. I shall post later on my latest build, my valve amplifier


 
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Jenswa

Possibly Insane

Registered
  26/08/2002
Points
  2722
23rd February, 2012 at 23/02/2012 20:13:18 -

Cool, can I finally hook up things from my ever growing spare box of electronic parts.

I probably love interfacing from html5 too, but that might leave some security holes open just waiting to be abused.

 
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