Posts Tagged “arduino”

Went to the London Festival Of Railway Modeling today, mainly to look at various DCC products, and possibly buy a booster to speed up development of my controller.

On the DCC front, lets just say I wasn’t impressed. The items on sale were under featured, many had user interfaces much like an early 80s pocket calculator, not good at all. There was a couple that had nice interfaces but they were up around the £400 mark, ouch.

On to the booster, the cheapest was around £150 for a 4A unit, way too much, there was an 8A for £250 too. Considering the modern N gauge locos draw somewhere around 50mA-100mA theres no way i was pay that much, just to help development.

In the end I spotted a Hornby Select for £60 which has a built in booster capable or just under 1A, with a bit of modding (15v -> 12v and bring out the logic level DCC rails) it’s woking a treat! yay.

I’ll also be adding a video of some of the layouts to this post at some point.

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Just a quick video demonstrating the skeleton program for controlling lights on an RC truck (Axial Honcho) from the transmitter with only a 2 position switch (Ch3) to control normal/mode selection, and the steering to choose the mode.

The box can currently handle 8 LED channels, such as brake/tail, headlight, left indicators etc.
It gets it’s channel information from the 3 servo connectors on the receiver.

I’m also considering ways to monitor the motor speed, with that and the throttle position it will be possible to work out when your driving in reverse, so turning on a reversing light.

And yes, thats an Arduino, a Pro mini at 8MHz on 3.3v.

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Well, in the case of the breadboard, RGY??…
Just have to use your imagination

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make an audio visualiser for a while, looked at many ways of going about driving lots of LEDs with brightness control almost all using various chips to generate a separate PWM for each LED, to me this sounds all to easy… So I set about doing it with just an Arduino with an ATMEGA168.

The layout is basically the same as a normal common anode LED matrix, except the anodes are PWN driven.

The software is all done through the main loop, no interrupts. This makes things a little more interesting, having to keep the loop nice and short, basically as long as it’s under around 800us it wont interfere with running the LEDs.

Plan is to connect up a pair of these giving 10 leds per audio channel using serial to keep things in sync, such as the mode, buffer size etc.

Once I can find some nice small 4 pin polarised connectors for the LEDs I can hook them up, which should show off the effect nicely.

Oh and the matrix scans at 100Hz, which beats a little with my 50Hz camera, to the human eye the effect is smooth.

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Something I’ve had in mind for a while is a nice simple iPhone app that’ll send data to an arduino over a network. I seem to remember some people using an app designed fir controlling some audio software i think, but setting it up seemed like a tricky process.

This afternoon I put a little app together that sends a single byte on a button press, and 3 bytes when the slider moves $, slider, value, the idea being you set the IP and port of your Arduino (with ethernet board of course), the iphone connects and off you go.

No idea if such a thing would be accepted on the app store, but I think it may be useful enough to polish add some connection monitoring and give it a shot.

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This time the interval was set to 2 seconds resulting in much smoother playback, I had to set the camera to small jpeg to fit enough images on my 1GB card so the images are just under 1080P.

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I’ve finally got around to making another intervalometer, this time better, faster, stronger… Detailed info will be available once I’m happy with the software.

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It seems that using an LED matrix is one of the standard beginner projects I managed to completely skip, so, not wanting to miss out, I’ve made one from scratch.

The idea When complete is to have scrolling text, manual bitmap drawing, storage for several frames and a couple of buttons all accessible through the serial port.

For instance, with the program in it’s present state I can sent a 0xFE followed by 10 bytes to draw any bitmap to the matrix, a 0x7F will clear it and 0xAA followed by an ascii character will display it.

Over 250 solder joints took me a while to put together, but it worked first time, so who’s counting!

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A home server with a twist.

I’m am integrating an Arduino compatible board to allow remote boot up and shutdown including switching off mains power.

The server is running a stripped copy of XUbuntu 9.10 and is serving up the following:

Apache web server with 3 virtual servers
Samba file shareing
Bit Torrent
iTunes server
Team Speak

And much more that hasn’t been fully configured.

The little Atom processor manages all of the above perfectly fine with 2 users accessing as much as possible it barely reaches 20% load peak idling between 0% and 1%.

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Having bought a nice little graphic LCD I decided to make a little game.

The idea is simple, rocks come from the right of the screen at random heights and speeds and the player has to guide the ship between them.

It took around 2 days working on and off to write and get running.

The positions and speed of all the objects are stored in an array, each object gets drawn to the screen individually so frames per seconds is fairly meaningless, however, it runs perfectly smoothly, and no doubt could be far more complex before the little ATMEGA runs out of puff.



Thanks goes to Chris Eagle of eagleworks.co.uk for drawing the rock bitmaps.

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A little simpler that the full iPod controller, but having fitted a car amplifier I needed a way of controlling the volume and short of fitting a head unit I had to make one.

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