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Arduino anyone?

Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 258
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Arduino anyone?

I have an Arduino UNO starter kit on order, being delivered tomorrow by the email.
I was going to get another pi for playing with but this was cheaper and came with loads of bits  Grin
So anyone use one of these baby’s?
24 REPLIES
DaveyH
Seasoned Pro
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Registered: ‎15-11-2012

Re: Arduino anyone?

Quote from: Hairy

So anyone use one of these baby’s?

Nope. Couldn't really see a use for it.
kmilburn
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Arduino anyone?

I've got the older duemilanove model (not that it makes much difference) and have two projects with the pro mini installed.
While not as functional as the PI or some other boards, they're great for smaller projects where a full OS is overkill and you wanting to play with IC's directly.
I'm currently playing with a 3-axis accelerometer,  and have ordered a bluetooth model and some 2.4ghz tranceivers to play with.
kmilburn
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Arduino anyone?

Just to show off a little,   this is the main project I've done with the Arduino,  a Darts scoreboard.
Before it comes up, I know I could have bought one, but they were missing some functionality I wanted,  and because I could!  Grin
The main controller is the Arduino Pro Mini
It interfaces with 3 Maxim MAX7219 7-Segment 8 Digit LED driver chips, using SPI  (daisy chained together)
These have a 10uF electrolytic capacitor and a 100nF ceramic capacitor for power smoothing, and 10K resistor for brightness setting,  all surface mount.
Two of these connect to their two adjacent 4 digit displays,  the other one connects to the other digits and as I'm not using one on each of the 3 digit displays, they also connect to a couple of tri-colour red/green  LEDs
There's a 16pin header (only 12 pins used) to connect to a 16x2 LCD display  (using the standard LiquidCrystal library)
There's a  surface mount transistor to control the LCD backlight, and a potentiometer (recovered from some defunct kit) for contrast control.
I've used an Atmel ATtiny2313 to provide the keypad support, which interfaces over serial. (was running out of pins to do this with the Pro Mini)
And for good measure, I've added a Infra-red receiver,  to allow remote control of the board!
The PCB design ( plus schematic and some parts) where done with the free version of DipTrace (All features and libraries, 300 pins and 2 signal layers, non-profit use only)
The PCB is etched, and the mask was created using PCB "Fab-in-a-box",  using this I was able to use 0.35mm track thickness and separation.
Due to the number of via's that would otherwise be required, I ended up buying the Bungard Favorit through hole plating device (which uses eyelets).
Tips:
While listed as a 7-segment display driver, the MAX7219 will also drive an 8x8 matix with no problems, and only requires 3 pins from the Arduino.
To reprogram the Pro Mini, you'll need a USB/Serial converter  (or a suitable USB - FTDI cable)
It's quicker and easier to etch two single sided boards and stick them together, than trying to etch a double sided board with necessary degree of alignment,  it also works better with 2 x 0.8mm boards and 1.6mm eyelets!
edit to fix broken link
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,424
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Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Arduino anyone?

I just build my own stuff using PIC Microcontrollers. I normally use the 18F series but I've got a couple hundred dsPics to play with so I suppose I should really have a play with those too.
I've got a PK2 / PK3 / PicStart and ProMate II programmer which cover most scenarios.
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: Arduino anyone?

Cool AVR Dudes, I've been experimenting with the Pro-Mini ( 5Volt 328P ) - because it's dinky.
Used it for temperature monitoring using the Dallas-3 Wire chip and displayed the result on an LCD - yah, technology! Plus, it sends cached EEPROM data over Serial - could have saved the data to an SD card, on second thoughts. Not the greatest of projects, but it's a nice use of a microcontroller.
kmilburn - Impressive! Looks like the project is really designed for time travel. Thanks for the PCB fabrication info too.
I feel the difference between Arduino and Pi is the Rasberry is a tiny embedded Linux PC, whereas Arduino is a lot more of, figure it out yourself. Okay, Arduino can be a lot more expensive when you start adding in the shields - Ethernet is a must have - but there's a greater degree of flexibility; that's whether you want to stay with Arduino boards and tutorials or, fork your project back towards true AVR programming and go Bootloader free.
btw, if you ever come across Microsoft's NETdunio project, avoid.
kmilburn
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Arduino anyone?

One advantage of the (simpler) Arduino, is that once you've developed everything you could strip it down to it's bare components  (i.e.  the Atmega chip, a crystal and a couple of capacitors) for a 'production' board.
With the Raspberry PI, Beaglebone and some of the more complex Arduino's (e.g. the Yun),  you'd have to stick with the main board as part of the product.
Another alternative to the small form factor Arduino boards (like the Pro Mini) is the Teensy
As ever,  the main trick is to determine which solution is appropriate for the task at hand.
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: Arduino anyone?

Thanks for the link to the Teensy - with all of those IO pins, that's one helavalot of multiplexed LEDs or a large 'LED cube'
I've also been driving heavier LED loads [ LED strings ] using the ULN2803 Darlington driver chip. That was recycled from an old inkjet printer. Old injets and scanners are a great resource for bipolar stepper motors and their driver ICs. I say bipolar as I've never found a unipolar motor to date. I've played briefly with the ATTiny85 - real bare bones stuff if you use the inboard 1MHz oscillator. For now, all it does is BLINK and TONE.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Arduino anyone?

This was one of my more challenging projects. The brief was to make a circuit which would flash an LED with various sequences for a minimum of 12 hours and it had to fit in a tube with a diameter of 18mm. I used a small 10F200, three SR41 cells for power and a tantalum to buffer the cells and CPU as the cells themselves didn't have a high enough current output to directly drive the LED.
Thunderclap
Grafter
Posts: 673
Registered: ‎08-09-2008

Re: Arduino anyone?

Cool DomS - You have steady hands!
Cool Kmilburn - if you've not seen this before... http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2012/07/02/great-scott-delorean-inspired-time-circuit-clock-with-adafru...
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,424
Thanks: 17
Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Arduino anyone?

Quote from: Thunderclap
Cool DomS - You have steady hands!

I got quite good at SMT stuff after a while - I used to make these units on a regular basis :
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 258
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Arduino anyone?

I have issues SEEING them never mind soldering them  Undecided
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,424
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Registered: ‎18-01-2013

Re: Arduino anyone?

I must say that when you drop £5 worth of teeny tiny precision voltage reference chip on the floor never to be seen again it smarts a little ......
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,773
Thanks: 258
Fixes: 21
Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Arduino anyone?

I have enough problems loosing screws and microsd cards  Wink
I found the last one in the hoover  Cry
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 27,329
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Arduino anyone?

Some time ago I was asked to 'chip' a games console.
I failed as using a large magnifying glass to see the solder pads, the soldering iron tip and cored solder wire looked like tree trunks.
The electronics on the board were microscopic.

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