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Arduinos and Microcontrollers ref: Rotary Table Mew 249

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Bandersnatch06/12/2016 01:30:52
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Posted by David Taylor on 05/12/2016 23:28:14:
Posted by Bandersnatch on 04/12/2016 18:41:47:

Posted by martin perman on 04/12/2016 17:03:02:

I have uno's that are genuine boards and copies but they all work the same,

You're lucky in that case. Most of the Chinese copies won't work with the standard Arduino USB driver for programming. (There is a driver, that works, available but you have to know and dig it up).

I have never bought a genuine Arduino and have never had a problem with USB drivers.


Then presumably you didn't run them with the standard (FTDI) USB driver that comes with the Arduino IDE. There's no problem if you use the correct driver for the CH340 chip on the clone board. My comment above was simply a response to "they all work the same".

Rod Ashton06/12/2016 07:36:42
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MEW practical Arduino series - ???

Neil Wyatt06/12/2016 08:04:57
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Posted by IanT on 06/12/2016 00:02:33:

With respect to Basic taking too much memory - on smaller/older chips that might well be true. References to "PIC" here takes in a huge range of chips from 8 & 16 bit upwards. The PIC32s are very different beasts. I'll take a quick snapshot of my E64 memory......

As you will see memory is not a problem - that's free 'Flash' and 'SRAM' being shown there - all on a "microchip" - although I'm only using a small programme (to look at an IR receiver) so I'm not pushing anything... I do have a 16Gb SD card that I can 'chain' program files from too of course

mm memory screen.jpg

Strictly that's the space after deducting basic, it seems the interpreter uses about 3/4 of the memory:

"A fast 32 bit CPU with 256K of flash and 64K RAM running a powerful BASIC interpreter. 60KB of non volatile flash memory is reserved for the program. 52KB of RAM is available for BASIC variables, arrays, buffers, etc. This is sufficient for quite large BASIC programs up to 2500 lines or more and typically it will execute a program at 30,000 lines per second."

But I will happily admit 60K of program space plus 52K of variable is over three times what a BBC B with 32K had!

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 06/12/2016 08:05:56

Zebethyal06/12/2016 08:54:55
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@John Swift 1 - the non standard spacing is not with the pin headers themselves, these are a standard 0.1" pitch, the issue is with the spacing between the headers on each side.

If the pins on one side are inserted into holes on some strip/vero board, then the pins on the other side fall half way between two rows holes, thereby preventing the use of cheap veroboard.

Yes, it is possible to cobble something together to generate the correct offset, and I believe you can even buy stepped adapters, however I found it sufficiently annoying that I simply gave up on the boards and went to using the chips directly on breadboards and veroboard, programming via the ICSP interface.

The only occasions I use the arduino boards is if I want say a capacitive touch screen LCD shield, or the protoneer style stepper shield, where it is simply quicker and cheaper to just buy the shield than fabricate it myself.

All of my prototyping for additions to my 3D printer are done using an ATmega1284p on a breadboard, this includes my own panelolu alternative using I2C for the LCD (using 4 less pins than panelolu) and bluetooth connectivity (here).

Edited By Zebethyal on 06/12/2016 08:57:30

Zebethyal06/12/2016 09:57:40
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With regards the original topic of Rotary table controllers, I went with the PIC based Division Controller as designed by Steve Ward, but built it on a piece of double sided perfboard (here), which including PSU (old laptop supply), and LCD screen, had a total project cost of around £5.00, the stepper controller was an additional £4.25 (here).

Edited By Zebethyal on 06/12/2016 10:03:31

IanT06/12/2016 10:05:09
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"A fast 32 bit CPU with 256K of flash and 64K RAM running a powerful BASIC interpreter. 60KB of non volatile flash memory is reserved for the program. 52KB of RAM is available for BASIC variables, arrays, buffers, etc. This is sufficient for quite large BASIC programs up to 2500 lines or more and typically it will execute a program at 30,000 lines per second."

But I will happily admit 60K of program space plus 52K of variable is over three times what a BBC B with 32K had!

Neil, your description above is of the 28/44pin PIC32 versions used in the 'simple' Micromite - so would apply to my 28pin DIL MM (< £5) versions for instance.

My Explorer 64 board (which is 3" x 1" and fits onto a 1mm prototyping board very nicely) uses a larger 64pin PIC32 chip and runs 2-3 x faster but also has an extended MM Basic version that provides much more LCD graphics functionality, USB 2 and SD Card file support (and is therefore called Micromite Plus) - which is why the memory shown on my screen shot appears somewhat different to your description.

Certainly, anyone familiar with 1980's "Micros" will be quite at home with a Micromite and will not only find a lot more memory and I/O capability but that even the simple 28pin DIL version will run at least an order of magnitude faster than their old 8-bit Apple II, Atari 800 or Nascom II (and presumably Beeb) could do. More than enough for most purposes.

So, Micromite (in it's various form-factors & implementations) is certainly worth considering if you want a simple route into embedded control and deserves wider recognition over here than it currently has in my view.

Regards,

IanT

KWIL06/12/2016 11:14:22
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Neil,

Is it possible to split this thread?

That related directly to the MEW249 article wrt the Rotary Table Drive ONLY and another GENERAL Arduino discussion, which can carry on as long as the writers wish (rather like the general aircraft thread)

Edited By KWIL on 06/12/2016 11:14:54

Michael Gilligan06/12/2016 12:25:55
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Posted by KWIL on 06/12/2016 11:14:22:

Neil,

Is it possible to split this thread?

That related directly to the MEW249 article wrt the Rotary Table Drive ONLY and another GENERAL Arduino discussion, which can carry on as long as the writers wish (rather like the general aircraft thread)

.

+1 for that

John Rudd06/12/2016 13:01:33
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And one more.....+

Neil Wyatt06/12/2016 14:02:26
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Hmm, the whole point of the article was to start discussion around arduinos and microcontrollers...

But the correction in the first posting shouldn't be lost, I will just move that.

Neil

Neil Wyatt06/12/2016 14:05:39
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Ok, done, a bit rough and ready but that will have to do. This is now a general discussion of the project & microcontrollers.

Neil

Frances IoM06/12/2016 14:45:45
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one problem with the clone boards was not the arduino but the serial to usb chip that was often used - these were designed by FDTI (based in Scotland) but many knockoff clones appeared at much lower price - these worked per spec except in one relatively unimportant way but FDTI exploited this to install a driver under Windows that would brick any unauthorised clone - caused a great rumpus (+ threat of legal proceedings) in late 2014 so much so that Microsoft forced FDTI to withdraw the driver noting that FTDI removed two driver versions from Windows Update. Our engineering team is engaging with FTDI to prevent these problems with their future driver updates via Windows Update.
Carl Wilson 406/12/2016 17:07:50
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My work here is done.
Carl Wilson 406/12/2016 17:10:19
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Seriously, it is really good to see and hear about the ways in which others are incorporating microcontrollers and electronics into hobby engineering projects.
Bazyle06/12/2016 17:24:40
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Interested to hear about this Micromite and got distracted for an hour or so trying to find decent info about it The documentation and websites almost go out of their way not to give pinouts etc in an accessible manner.. Looks like the interpreter uses so much memory because it is probably written in C.
I've used a number of microcontrollers and it is nice to see one that doesn't need an IDE on another computer.

Michael Gilligan06/12/2016 17:40:59
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Posted by Bazyle on 06/12/2016 17:24:40:

Interested to hear about this Micromite ... The documentation and websites almost go out of their way not to give pinouts etc in an accessible manner.

.

I stumbled across pages 8 and 9 of this document: **LINK**

http://geoffg.net/Downloads/Micromite/Micromite%20Manual.pdf

... Appears to be what you are seeking

MichaelG.

Muzzer06/12/2016 17:51:02
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Posted by Bazyle on 06/12/2016 17:24:40:

I've used a number of microcontrollers and it is nice to see one that doesn't need an IDE on another computer.

But isn't that one of the (few?!) advantages of an interpreted language? There were compiled versions of Basic (eg Turbobasic) but they were the exception rather than the rule IIRC. One big issue with interpreted languages being that if you supply an illegal input or the interpreter encounters a syntax error, they have to bomb out. Bit of a problem with real time systems.

Murray

Bazyle06/12/2016 18:16:19
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Well exactly. That's why I said it was nice to find a self contained unit. I can't run these IDEs on my locked down work laptop so have to wind up the old Windows 2000 machine. Actually most of the controllers with a 'user friendly' IDE, including the Arduino, are not full compliers but producing an intermediate code that is run by an interpreter in the chip - that's why the chips have to be preprogrammed.

Michael, Thanks but I had found that eventually and some details of the Micromite 64 which I think I will try out but the various boards don't have clear details on the website selling them It is a bit disorganised. But with the cheapest built and programmed board at under 15 quid it is not too painful to try out.

Journeyman08/12/2016 11:50:56
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Posted by Bandersnatch on 04/12/2016 18:41:47:

Posted by martin perman on 04/12/2016 17:03:02:

I have uno's that are genuine boards and copies but they all work the same,

 

You're lucky in that case. Most of the Chinese copies won't work with the standard Arduino USB driver for programming. (There is a driver, that works, available but you have to know and dig it up).

Thanks for the heads up regarding drivers. Bought my first Arduino Uno (clone) from Amazon. Wouldn't work on Windows 10 reporting that no driver loaded. Tried Manual driver install from the Arduino download but no joy. Remembered this thread and discovered that my clone has a CH340G usb chip and not the FTDI chip. Downloaded the driver **HERE** and all working fine even managed to install the sketch for the rotary table which appears to function. All I have to do now is fit all the bits together in a box!

John

Edited By Journeyman on 08/12/2016 11:51:59

John Stevenson08/12/2016 12:30:16
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One thing that puts me off the Arduino rotary controller is the shields has 5 ? buttons on it that you access a very deep nested menu.

However there are tactile keypads from China for £1.50 that work with Arduino's and even pre-written sketches.

Is it asking a lot to finish the job and fit one of these keypads so it makes it easier to use ?

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