ABOUT ME

I live in a camper van with a couple of West Highland Terriers for company.
My passion is photography but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN
ALL IMAGES WILL ENLARGE WITH A LEFT CLICK

Monday, 20 August 2012

HARDUINO. (20/08/12)

This is a self indulgent post. Please translate the page into Hotentot…..It will make as much sense.
MARK…. Has much to answer for…..ages ago he posted on the Raspberry….not as in jam.  You dumb clucks! It’s a wee thingamajig that one can programme for simple tasks. What did he start?
I love anything new……this is old new. Twenty odd years or more ago I wrote a bit of software that would convert Fahrenheit to Centigrade. It took a week but it worked. I used a language called  ‘C’.  WHY? Don’t ask me it seemed a good idea at the time.
When I was at sea and still using a sextant for position fixing. It took me ten minutes a shot to calculate a fix. In those days calculation tables were available but I always got my wee pinkies on the wrong line. I tried using a ruler to keep my place but the plonker on the helm would hit a big wave, hopeless it was. I ended  up in the middle of France. Having a leaning, or being a bit of a mathematical bent.……What did you think I meant?….I used Spherical Trigonometry to reduce the sights then drew them empirically onto plotting sheets. So as to avoid Trig tables I used a Sharp calculator…a small fortune it cost and was the size of a little brick. Then along came the Psion. I got one. The Sharp was capable of remembering keystrokes….I wasn’t. The Psion was programmable…..Not in my hands it wasn’t. All that money for a posh calculator. I bought new batteries for the Sharp.
I had forgotten the sense of failure until Mark posted.  
Now this is an uphill curve. I’ll be bent at the end. I can, by spending thirty pounds or so become the proud possessor of an intervalometer , a lightening conductor….sorry detector, a motion sensor and an infrared sensor all of which will trigger a camera whilst I sit in the pub having deep philosophical discussions.
Philosophical conversation is important to men like me. We like to discuss many and varied topics. The incompetence and incontinence of elected leaders is topping the list at the moment. Closely followed by the nubile qualities of the bar staff with sports people and their failings running a close third.
I need a challenge. Enter the Aduino. The Aduino Uno. Aduino is Italian for Aduino and Uno is Italian for one. It’s similar in function to the Raspberry but unless you buy the expensive ones the microcontroller in the Adiuno is replaceable. I have had experience of electronics…Replaceable is an important consideration!
A pause whilst I weep.
I once built a radio controlled glider. I had a transmitter…… It had a reciever…..and  three circuits to control three servo motors. By the time I had finished building this lot and persuaded it to communicate. It would have required a small car to transport the transmitter and a Jumbo Jet to carry the rest of the gubbins. The glider looked wonderful. I had no trouble with that part.
All the bits for the electronics I can fondly remember purchasing from Ballards in Sheffield. I got a mixed bag of transistors, resistors, capacitors. bits of circuit board ( the sort where one used a craft knife to cut the copper strips which were glued to a resin impregnated board…(Can’t remember what it was called. AH YES Tuffnol, that’s the stuff. Spitfire pilots used as bullet proofing in their seats.) Sometimes I got things I didn’t know what they were.
A case of Deja Vu. A few years previously I used to collect stamps and I always prized the colourful triangular ones from Fiji. I suspect a Fiji didn’t even have a postal service….. I didn’t know what a Fiji was, no matter, I liked them.
So onto the Arduino. it’s a posh bit of kit. It has 32KB of memory…2KB of Ram and it runs at 16MHz. The Micro controller is the ATmega328. The mega bit must refer to it’s EEPROM of 1KB………..I don’t know what an eeeeeprom is. I’ll look it up. perchance it doesn’t matter much but I suspect it does. It must to someone, else they wouldn’t bother mentioning it. Not for twenty two pounds. That’s all it costs. There are a few other bits but a starter kit costs around forty pounds. About the same as the weekly veg bill.
When all this kit arrives I’ll start another blog…..HARDADRIANIUNO…..Possibly, maybe just ADRIANIUNO…or….HARDIUNO? Any other polite suggestions will be considered.
This is the project for the year ahead. I’m completely mad. We don’t even get many thunder storms. Still, no worries. I can stand at the other end of a field in the dark and fire a flash gun on myself and see if the camera fires.
Have fun

26 comments:

  1. EEPROM or E2PROM is the bit of memory it has that tells it who it it is. Important when you plug it into a laptop or power it down. Be useless if it didn't know who or what it was......Don't I just know that feeling!!!

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  2. Heck Adrian, you could have just gotten a remote flash trigger that will do the same thing. I do realize that you like to make your own things, and that can be fun as well. An Eprom is also programmable.

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    1. I have yet to sus. TTL flash. I have it but use mine on manual at about half power then cog it up or down a touch for the next shot. EEPROM programmable? Well I'll be blowed, another complication.

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  3. wow! I read it all, but understood... little or nothing. Oh, well, you are entertaining!

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    1. Grace, you and I both and I wrote it.

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  4. Was just thinking of the remote trigger. Not sure if they will work on a small hot shoe flash.

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    1. It's the camera shutter I want to trigger and do it through a remote cable.

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  5. Here is a site for you to look at for Camera triggers. http://www.phototrigger.com/

    this one is sold in your neibourhood.

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    1. Many thanks for this.....I know they are available commercially but I'll need something to occupy the long winter nights.

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  6. This sounds like a fun little device to have....a trigger. Oh imagine the fun to be had:) Just make sure when you hit the button that there's a camera there to snap the pic:) Pubs have beer and beer makes philisophical debate deep...and sometimes the camera is forgotten by not by others who come to visit. I learned that lesson the hard way the day after:)

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    1. I'll find out how much fun it is. I suspect it may be fulfilling at best.

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  7. Hey Adrian. I actually understood about 95% of the words you used. I am so pleased with myself. Had some difficulty with the order they were in though. Could you re-arrange into a better known set of phrases or sayings please.

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  8. PS I actually did some Cobol and Fortran at Uni but it was all a bit pointless for someone who couldn't understand double entry bookkeeping (which is why I left accountancy - future didn't look bright for me) and had difficulty programming in Basic.

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    1. Graham, about the same as I did then. I copied and pasted most of it. it seems to be how IT folk work.
      I suspect I'll have to put line numbers down my blog which means composing in Word......Just when I've got Live Writer working. That's life.

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    2. If you want to blog code with line numbers then I'd avoid adding the line numbers by hand and have them auto-generated. If you want to go down this route give me a shout (you already have my e-mail address) and I'll give you a hand getting an appropriate blog template set up with the right scripts etc. for you.

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    3. Cheers Mark. I'm going to set up a blog....on the Seeing to Pictures stamp. It Looks as if a stormy weekend is in the runes so I'll start then.
      I still haven't thought of a title and I don't want the blog to be anything other than a tyros guide. Even Arduino presume that folk have so much basic knowledge.
      I have none so through my bumbling about I may be of help.
      Tutorials take up too much time but an odd post with pictures and chat may help demystify things it also helps me understand.

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  9. For simple Arduino stuff you can safely ignore the EEPROM -- I've not needed it yet, although I do have some ideas where I might. Essentially it allows you to store values that are remembered when you unplug the power. This can be useful but as reprogramming the Arduino is easy I've usually just hardcoded the values into the program. If I want to change them I just change the code and upload the new version. The other thing about EEPROM is that it has a limited life -- on the Arduino it's rated for 100,000 write cycles.

    One example where you could use it would be with my scale speed trap. You could put the speed limit in EEPROM but then you would need a more complex sketch to allow you to change it in some way (physical buttons or by communicating with a PC etc.).

    Not sure I've got any clever ideas for a blog title, but I'll definitely be reading it.

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    1. Cheers Mark....I need a little more mental exercise than the Crossword provides. Half the trouble is programme language. The other half are an acronyms for everything. I know that is just a cross to bear with anything new.
      The forum is really good // they explain everything.
      Amazing how they earn a living giving all this knowledge away.
      The hardware is reasonable too.
      I can see that i'll have to get a small printer. Flicking all over the place i am....another monitor wouldn't go amiss.
      Cost is adding up fast.
      I'll clean up my old laptop...it has a few keys missing but nothing of any great importance....The dog jumped on it to look out of the window and landed on the Windows key.
      Thanks for your blog....I am getting more confident and having started reading simple code am getting my head round it. It isn't all gobbledegook. Mine will be but it seems to be a matter of cut and paste from here and there. I'll see.

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  10. Wow! Adrian, I bet it feels good to get all of that out of your system!!

    I can't pretend for one minute that I really understand what you're on about but I know that once you get it all sorted you'll have some great images to share with us...I can't wait to see them!...[;o)

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    1. That makes two of us!
      I have about eight pages of unintelligible important information saved in Word...I can't even find out how to number the pages. I want and need Arduino for Dummies.

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  11. Hi Adrian, I've done a bit of basic programming way back when. Computers like today were just not available. Definitely will read your new blog, hopefully will learn something from it. Would love to have a lightning trigger myself.

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    1. I think there was a very narrow window when computers were available in large enough numbers so that lots of people could get access to them, but not so complex that you were afraid to touch them for fear of messing them up so badly they won't work.

      I grew up in the 80's when the BBC Micro was king. You turned it on and got a prompt. Yes you could play games or do your homework but that prompt was so inviting that many people tried to program it as well. The beauty of course was that if you messed it up you simply turned it off knowing that when you turned it back on again it would work just as it did before. All that changed of course when graphical environments became the norm. I remember my school switching to Archimedes machines where I couldn't find a prompt or a compiler, and now of course most people use Windows where you have to actively hunt out a prompt and a compiler. I'm a Ubuntu user which at least means a prompt and compiler are available by default, but it's still not as obvious as it used to be.

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    2. Horst....Have a look here.
      http://3scape.com/blog/2012/03/camera-lightning-trigger/

      The really smart thing would be able to capture lightening in daylight. I suspect this one would need additional circuitry to adjust the voltage out puts for ambient light. the strike it'self will be always the same brightness. It may not be necessary. Then the code for the Arduino.....I've not really looked into it but it looks inexpensive. If one were to take a bit more time then the sensor could be swapped for infra red, or tilt. There are all sorts of sensors out there. Sound also but it would probably be too slow. Unless one programmed a delay for the distance the sound source is from the sensor. Easily done as the microprocessor accepts delays in milli second increments. bullets and balloon shots must be captured this way. Maybe it doesn't matter are bullets super sonic?
      There is only one way to find out!!!!

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    3. Mark...unfortunately I missed that particular boat. It's a pity really. Still it's never too late..I hope!

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    4. Ubunto looks great...are there any downsides.

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