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#58175 Optimal interface (with snubber) for a 4 ohm telegraph sounder?

Posted by remotewizard on 16 May 2014 - 02:20 PM in General Discussion

I'm finally taking Morse Code classes, trying to learn my dits and dahs.  So I naturally poked around the various Morse projects in the forums.  But now I have a more nuts-and-bolts kind of question.

 

I purchased a nifty antique telegraph sounder (basically a relay, when the clicking and clunking represents Morse dits and dahs).  There are several projects online to interface such a sounder with a *duino or a Raspberry Pi (such as http://sigalonhowtod...since=318825083).  What I'm looking for is the best design that will protect both my Netduino and my antique sounder.

 

The sounder has a 4-ohm coil, and (according to http://www.morsetele....org/wirechief/) was designed to run off an approximately one volt 'Gravity Cell.'  The same article suggests running the sounder off a D-cell battery (current draw estimated at 200 mA).

 

As I said, there's a lot of suggestions online for how to connect the sounder.  Most use a simple transistor to switch a 5 volt power supply to energize the sounder's coil.  This seems a bit high to me, but since the sounder is built like a concrete bulldozer, I could risk it.

 

More to the point, what kind of snubbing configuration would you recommend to protect the Netduino from induced EMF.  Most folks seem to use a simple diode in parallel with the coil (which would shunt the induced current safely to ground).  Some add an LC circuit; a few suggest replacing the simple snubber diode with two Zeners (diodes wired in series, cathode-to-cathode, then attached in parallel with the coil).

 

Since I don't want to damage my sounder unnecessarily, and it's pretty much equivalent to a big low-voltage relay, I figured I'd ask the experts for the optimal solution.

 

Sorry to be so long-winded!




#57209 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 29 March 2014 - 02:39 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

One last test: I enclosed my Netduino in a grounded metal box, ran twisted pair wiring out to the GPS (sans battery), and it still wouldn't lock.  I'm afraid you're right.




#57194 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 28 March 2014 - 10:15 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

One last thing: I did take it out for a drive, and it tracked quite nicely!




#57177 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 27 March 2014 - 11:34 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

Less than three minutes on the LiPo (still on the desk next to the unplugged Netduino) and I have a fix.  Reattached to the Netduino and get this:

 

3D-Fix: False, Sattellites: 3, Time: 03/28/2014 23:32:48, Latitude: 4XXX.4XXX,N, Longitude: 09XXX.1XXX,W, Altitude: 190.2,M, Knots: 0.649999976 (1.26880002 km/h)




#57176 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 27 March 2014 - 11:27 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

Twenty more minutes with the battery in, and nothing,

 

Disconnecting from the Netduino and attaching the LiPo  (but not moving to the windowsill) next...




#57175 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 27 March 2014 - 11:07 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

It's been cooking for over a half-hour with no battery, and I still haven't got a lock.

 

Trying next with battery inserted, but still powered from the Netduino.




#57168 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 27 March 2014 - 12:40 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

I'll try that too.




#57166 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 27 March 2014 - 12:00 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

I hadn't tried moving it around the house.  If I get a chance over the weekend, I'll take my Netduino for a drive (I'm logging GPS changes to my SD card) and see what happens.




#57156 Adafruit Ultimate GPS with N+2. Any experiences?

Posted by remotewizard on 26 March 2014 - 10:14 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

I just received my Adafruit Ultimate GPS today.Based on your experience, I attached a 3.7v LiPo to Vin and Ground, stuck it on a windowsill, and went to have lunch.  By the time I got back, it had a lock. I then moved it to my N2+ and it locked within 30 seconds (location masked because I'm just paranoid):

 

3D-Fix: True, Sattellites: 6, Time: 03/27/2014 22:04:33, Latitude: 4XXX.4XXX,N, Longitude: 09XXX.1XXX,W, Altitude: 290.9,M, Knots: 0.579999983 (1.13215995 km/h)

 

This is with the backup battery installed and the internal antenna only.  I'm using the NmeaGps class from the NetMFToolkit.

 

So far, so good.  Any chance you might have a defective unit?




#57018 Dedicated clock CPU vs thread on an N2+?

Posted by remotewizard on 23 March 2014 - 12:18 PM in General Discussion

I was hoping that would be the case, but it's nice to know for sure.  Thanks for taking the time to reply!




#56915 Dedicated clock CPU vs thread on an N2+?

Posted by remotewizard on 19 March 2014 - 02:54 PM in General Discussion

Work continues (slowly!) on my Nixie clock project.  Currently, it includes the following parts:

 

  • a conventional Windows service (running on an existing always-on PC) that periodically obtains the local weather forecast from Forecast.io, parses the results, and posts the one-word forecast for the next day to Xively
  • one (so far) Electric Imp with an Adafruit AM-2315 I2C temperature/humidity sensor, which will eventually reside outdoors; this periodically posts the current temperature and humidity to Xively
  • My Netduino (attached to an Edimax BR-6258n for WiFi access) running an MQTT client, subscribing to the forecast, temperature and humidity info on Xively.  When new data is received, the appropriate global variables are updated and action taken 
  • a lookup table on the Netduino that converts the one-word forecast ("snow") to a color ("white"); think the Gulf Building weather beacon in Pittsburgh, where lighting on the the top of the building changes color with the weather forecast.
  • currently, a tricolor LED to display the forecast color.  In the future, when I install my four DFRobot Nixie modules, I'll control the background colors of those instead
  • a RTC synced to NTP (currently by the Netduino), with an automatic adjustment for Daylight Savings time
  • finally, the four Nixie tubes which will display the clock time on request (I'll normally keep the neon part powered off, to increase the tube's lifespan.

 

It seems like a waste of the Netduino to run as a simple realtime clock, constantly updating the Nixies via SPI; I'd like to eventually add additional functionality to the Netduino (e.g. local room temperature sensor, smoke detectors, etc.) and don't want to burden the Netduino with gruntwork.  Would I be better off to move the strictly clock-related functions off to something like an ATTiny (or dedicated time clock chip), reserving the Netduino for more complex tasks?  Or am I worrying needlessly (as I often do)?

 

Did any of this make any sense at all?




#54633 "Intelligent Systems Competency:" Embedded only, or MF too?

Posted by remotewizard on 12 December 2013 - 02:11 PM in General Discussion

I'll email them as well. Thanks for the great suggestion!




#54615 "Intelligent Systems Competency:" Embedded only, or MF too?

Posted by remotewizard on 11 December 2013 - 09:59 PM in General Discussion

Sorry if this has been covered before!

 

Microsoft is rolling out a new 'Intelligent Systems Competency' for partners sometime in Q12014.  From the announcement:

 

"As an extension of our cloud commitment, the Intelligent Systems Competency will also launch to enable partners to capitalize on the fast growing opportunity related to the "Internet of Things," and other competencies will have requirement updates to account for new exams to ensure you are confident selling and implementing the newest versions of Microsoft products and services. "

 

Right now, everything points to the Windows Embedded folks. Might there be a role for .NET MicroFramework (and our beloved Netduino) as well?




#53665 Easiest way to use QS30-1 Nixie Tube Module?

Posted by remotewizard on 26 October 2013 - 07:36 PM in General Discussion

Back again!  Please note that my connection information is from handwritten notes; you'll want to double-check the DFRobot documentation before actually trying this out.

 

I daisy-chained all four Nixie modules together, then connected an external 12V supply to pins 7 and 9.  I then connected:

 

Pin 1 (DIN) => Netduino pin D11

Pin 2 (ST)   => D8

Pin 3 (SH)   => D13

Pin 4 (OE)   => D5

Pin 5 (GND) => ground

Pin 6 (+5)   => +5

 

I haven't got as far as writing a proper class just yet; this is more of a proof-of-concept.

namespace NixieTest2{    public class Program    {        public enum Color        {            White,            Yellow,            Cyan,            Green,            Magenta,            Red,            Blue,            Black        };        public enum Colon        {            None,            Upper,            Lower,            Both        };        public static void Main()        {             OutputPort ChipSelect = new OutputPort(Pins.GPIO_PIN_D8, false);             PWM BrightnessControl = new PWM(PWMChannels.PWM_PIN_D5, 1000, .5, true);             BrightnessControl.DutyCycle = .5;             BrightnessControl.Frequency = 1000;             BrightnessControl.Start();            var spiConfig = new SPI.Configuration(                SPI_mod:  SPI.SPI_module.SPI1,                             ChipSelect_Port: Cpu.Pin.GPIO_NONE,                ChipSelect_ActiveState: false,                ChipSelect_SetupTime: 0,                ChipSelect_HoldTime: 0,                                Clock_IdleState: true,                Clock_Edge: true,                Clock_RateKHz: 1000                );           SPI Spi = new SPI(spiConfig);           ushort[] bufOne = new ushort[1];           ushort[] bufTwo = new ushort[1];           ushort[] bufThree = new ushort[1];           ushort[] bufFour = new ushort[1];           bufOne[0] = 0;           bufTwo[0] = 0;           bufThree[0] = 0;           bufFour[0] = 0;            ChipSelect.Write(false);            Thread.Sleep(20);                         Spi.Write(bufOne);            Spi.Write(bufTwo);            Spi.Write(bufThree);            Spi.Write(bufFour);            ChipSelect.Write(true);                        Thread.Sleep(20);            ChipSelect.Write(false);            Thread.Sleep(20);            //common color and colon stuff            int ColorAndColon1 = ((int)Color.Red << 4) + ((int)Colon.Upper << 2);            int ColorAndColon2 = ((int)Color.Cyan << 4) + ((int)Colon.Lower << 2);            int ColorAndColon3 = ((int)Color.Yellow << 4) + ((int)Colon.Both << 2);            int ColorAndColon4 = ((int)Color.Magenta << 4) + ((int)Colon.None << 2);            //write '7654'            bufOne[0] = (ushort)ColorAndColon1;            bufOne[0] <<= 8;            bufOne[0] |= 64;            bufTwo[0] = (ushort)ColorAndColon2;            bufTwo[0] <<= 8;            bufTwo[0] |= 32;            bufThree[0] = (ushort)ColorAndColon3;            bufThree[0] <<= 8;            bufThree[0] |= 16;            bufFour[0] = (ushort)ColorAndColon4;            bufFour[0] <<= 8;            bufFour[0] |= 8;            Spi.Write(bufOne);            Spi.Write(bufTwo);            Spi.Write(bufThree);            Spi.Write(bufFour);            ChipSelect.Write(true);            Thread.Sleep(Timeout.Infinite);        }     }   }



#53536 Easiest way to use QS30-1 Nixie Tube Module?

Posted by remotewizard on 24 October 2013 - 08:26 PM in General Discussion

Sorry - I only just saw this now.  I'll try to dig out the info over the weekend and post it ASAP.




#53218 Netduino Plus 2 + Adafruit Motor Shield V2 for Arduino

Posted by remotewizard on 15 October 2013 - 08:34 PM in General Discussion

Or not; it might be easier (and a whole lot cheaper) for me to just connect the Switec to a MCP23008.




#53197 Netduino Plus 2 + Adafruit Motor Shield V2 for Arduino

Posted by remotewizard on 14 October 2013 - 07:50 PM in General Discussion

I'd also like this information; I have a Switec stepper running directly from four digital ports on my N+2, but I'd really like to use the I2C control of the Adafruit MotorShield v2.




#52650 Easiest way to use QS30-1 Nixie Tube Module?

Posted by remotewizard on 08 September 2013 - 07:20 PM in General Discussion

I put this aside until I got caught up on other projects, and finally took another look.  Turns out that using SPI to send data to the Nixie tubes was trivial, and using PWM to control the brightness was even more so!

 

7654-small.JPG

 

Thanks again!




#52544 Output options for multiple, seperate, chaser LED strips.

Posted by remotewizard on 04 September 2013 - 12:17 PM in Netduino Plus 2 (and Netduino Plus 1)

I'm obviously no expert, but I believe you can control multiple SPI devices by maintaining multiple SPI configurations (each with a different SS pin); you switch control by loading the appropriate configuration into the single usable SPI device. 

 

Would that work for you?  Or did I misread your question.




#52531 Embarassing SPI question (re: Netduino Helper Max72197221.cs )

Posted by remotewizard on 03 September 2013 - 06:13 PM in General Discussion

Manual control; I ser SPI CS to PIN_NONE, and manually toggled an output port at the start and beginning of my multi-digit write.

 

My biggest problem was all the fonts I could find online were rotated 90 degrees on my cheap set of LED matrices.  I found a freeware app that let me create my own fonts, which came with a sample that worked quite nicely as-is!

 

Right now, I have the font arrays stored in a hashtable, with the equivalent character of the alphabet as the key.  Clunky, but it works. still, I'm going to just set up a simple array and use the ASCII value as the index, and see if that affects performance or memory usage.

 

Thanks again everyone for your help!




#52505 Embarassing SPI question (re: Netduino Helper Max72197221.cs )

Posted by remotewizard on 02 September 2013 - 07:37 PM in General Discussion

Getting there...

 

http://youtu.be/xYyo6ZzX_J0




#52475 Embarassing SPI question (re: Netduino Helper Max72197221.cs )

Posted by remotewizard on 30 August 2013 - 03:32 PM in General Discussion

Not yet; I'm using a Plus 2, and I believe there's a problem with SPI and variable word length.  But I won't swear to it.




#52473 Embarassing SPI question (re: Netduino Helper Max72197221.cs )

Posted by remotewizard on 30 August 2013 - 01:54 PM in General Discussion

If I'd have read that more closely, it would have saved me hours of screwing around.  I should know to pay more attention to what you suggest!

 

Thanks again!




#52471 Embarassing SPI question (re: Netduino Helper Max72197221.cs )

Posted by remotewizard on 30 August 2013 - 12:32 PM in General Discussion

I'm an idiot.  But you all knew that already. :wub:

 

First, I couldn't get JoopC's code to work any better than mine.  So I immediately decided I had a hardware issue (despite my success with the Bus Pirate) and decided to do some research.

 

I found a post online that said thant when sending multiple bytes to the chained matrices, all bytes have to be sent within a single ChipSelect(false)/ChipSelect(true) pair.  So I went back to my original code, set the cs pin to GPIO_PIN_NONE in the SPI constructor, set up an OutputPort for the chip select (per http://forums.netdui...l=gpio_pin_none - thanks CW2!), and send my bunch of bytes. 

 

And it worked! 

 

Sort of - the intensity isn't right, and I'm getting display on every other matrix (rather than adjacent ones).  But it's a start.

 

If and when I ever get this fully working, I'll post my code.




#52443 Long live the Netduino

Posted by remotewizard on 29 August 2013 - 12:13 PM in General Discussion

Actually, I like my Raspberry Pi in its role as an Internet radio streamer (running nothing more exotic than mpd) controlled by a Netduino (as part of my multimode radio project).  Different tools for different jobs, and all that.

 

But I really like coding in Visual Studio on a Windows machine.  I guess I'm not all that hip. :)





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