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Poll

Is anybody here currently doing things with Arduino or similar controller oriented devices

Use them all the time.
Never went beyond ditzing around with a starter kit
Not my thing.
What’s an Arduino?

Author Topic: Arduino anyone?  (Read 1333 times)

40hz

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Arduino anyone?
« on: April 29, 2022, 02:14 PM »
I’ve been into SBCs for awhile now. But I only just recently got into some Arduino programming and projects. And I’m pretty amazed at how easy these tiny and very inexpensive boards are to configure and use for various automation and similar projects compared to something like a Raspberry Pi - although a Pi pairs very well with an Arduino for more complex applications.

Anybody here an Arduino maven?

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2022, 10:30 PM »
Well this is interesting timing.. I've been working for the last couple of weeks on a new Arduino project, a deluxe espresso scale.
I'm having a blast.  I'll put up a youtube video soon.. Here's a quick photo:
scalebot.jpgArduino anyone?

First version was on Arduino Uni; here's a slightly newer version running on Mega:
20220429_232958.jpgArduino anyone?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 11:31 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2022, 11:33 PM »
I have to agree with you, the ease of just writing a little code and uploading it and communicating back and forth make it a really enjoyable platform; the ease of sending info back to display on the pc console window is another thing that makes it relatively painless to tinker with.

The highlight of my recent project has been getting a nice little options menu system working with a 20x4 lcd screen and a rotary knob, based on a library called LCDMenuLib2.

The ease of use of 3rd party libraries has also been a bright spot in working with the Arduino family.

So far I've only messed with the Arduino UNO and Mega.  The UNO seems quite limited in ram for program code and global variables, but nearly everything just compiles and works fine on the big brother Mega, so it's easy to upgrade when you need to.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2022, 11:40 PM by mouser »

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2022, 11:43 PM »
It's such a crazy feeling to be sitting tinkering with a $25 device on a little cutting board and realize you are playing with something that the equivalent of which 60 years ago probably would have cost half a million dollars and been the size of a hotel lobby, and taken a team of people a year to assemble and debug.

Ath

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2022, 02:51 AM »
I've been actively involved in Arduino based programming since about 2 years now (and a user of the project I'll mention below for about 4 years), but I skipped the Arduino hardware and went straight to the IMHO more capable Espressif ESP hardware based boards, using ESP8266 and ESP32 controller, as these come with WiFi built in (and ESP32 even with bluetooth, but I don't use that). These boards can be bought from Aliexpress starting at only a few $$, where the Arduino hardware is usually less powerful and more expensive.

I've been involved with ESPEasy (github link and support forum), that is intended to make it easy to use sensors in an IoT/domotica setting.
Lots of functionally already available 'out of the box', with a web UI served from the controller (no cloud involved, other than github for development and the support-forum, obviously). You can find my involvement by looking for my avatar :D
NB: Though I do some occasional hardware tinkering, I'm mostly in this 'game' for the software-side (C++) of it.

40hz

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2022, 12:30 PM »
My interest in Arduino came as a result of me getting back into modular synthesis and sound design after a hiatus of over thirty years.

Normally, a reentry into the modular would have been an expensive proposition. But a few years ago, music industry giant Behringer began recreating modules from classic synths such as Moog, Arp, and Roland, and releasing them in Eurorack format at a far more affordable price point (about $100 per module) than anything else that was out there at the time. And while $100 isn't exactly pocket change since you'd need on the average of five modules to do anything musically useful, it was still a far cry from other module builder's prices which were well north of that.

So I began researching, designing, and building out my own synth mainly based on classic Moog System 55 and Roland System 100 inspired modules. (That's a whole separate story I won't go into here.) This is where it was at several months ago. Those empty spaces have since been filled in and my modules have now spilled over into an additional rack.

syn02.jpgArduino anyone?

After awhile, I began wondering if there would be a (hopefully) less expensive and more interesting way to create some of my own modules without getting too involved in the esoterica of analog audio circuits. Besides, DIY is a lot more fun than just buying everything off the shelf. That led me to the Arduino and me wondering how well it'd suit music applications. A little research showed me there are projects for entire synths and multi-effects units being built around an Arduino core. And most of the code being used by such projects is open source.

My programming and computer tech skills are far more advanced than my electronics knowledge when it comes to analog circuitry. And fortunately, the Arduino seems to fit the bill quite well when it comes to interfacing with and controlling real world hardware. So despite being a neophyte to the Arduino, I'm getting up to speed pretty fast.

The language is about as dead simple as you could ask for. Simple C-like syntax. Small but very useful command vocabulary. Even easier to get your head around than Python IMO. And if you can't get a handle on Python, then coding probably isn't going to be for you.

The board I'm mainly using is called a Ruggeduino from Rugged Circuits. Basically it's an Arduino with additional circuitry to provide better protection against overvoltages, excessive current draw, and reversed electric polarity that would fry the standard Arduino board. They also offer versions ruggedized (is that a word?)against environmental conditions so it's more suitable for industrial control applications.

It's been an interesting journey so far despite me not being all that far from where I started out yet. Looking forward to where it leads me. New places and new things are always worth seeking out.  8)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2022, 06:53 PM by 40hz »

Ath

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2022, 04:08 PM »
 :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2022, 07:41 AM »
It's such a crazy feeling to be sitting tinkering with a $25 device on a little cutting board and realize you are playing with something that the equivalent of which 60 years ago probably would have cost half a million dollars and been the size of a hotel lobby, and taken a team of people a year to assemble and debug.

It is quite amazing. Especially if you go back to the days of things like the PiC1650 controller chip and it’s ridiculously fussy and hard to program CP1600 companion microprocessor. They had flash EPROMs on that thing. You got one shot to get your code right. If it didn’t make the grade, you tossed it and bought another chip and tried again. Later models used EEPROM so at least you could reprogram them. But you needed an EPROM burner to work with a PiC. Not something you could just run out to your local CompUSA and buy.

A PiC development kit cost a substantial amount of money back in the day. But it was geared towards industrial control applications. And that market was already used to paying big bucks for technology.

PiC has come a long way since then. 
And it’s still used extensively in industry. But it’s a whole different product for a different market than the Arduino serves. And interestingly enough, the Arduino can do an awful lot of what it used to take far more expensive and complicated and proprietary electronics accomplish.

Life is good!  8) :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2022, 10:20 AM »
Video of my espresso scale in progress can be seen here at the 11:12 mark:
https://youtu.be/h-m7h_l1SJg?t=673

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2022, 09:24 PM »
Some recent photos:
scalebot1.jpgArduino anyone?
scalebot2.jpgArduino anyone?

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2022, 09:37 PM »
If you look at the first picture you'll see the wall mounted big box where the brains of the thing live.. Then there are 3 modules that connect to that via custom usbc cables: A small scale built into the base of espresso machine, a larger black scale in front of the grinder with the cup on it, and the control panel module with keys and screen.

Ath

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2022, 02:02 AM »
You've added quite some features :o :Thmbsup:

The keyboard keys look a bit 'clunky', but are probably very useful just because of that, a touch screen display isn't that practical in the kitchen, during preparing & cooking ;D

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2022, 03:19 AM »
Yeah I am not a fan of touchscreens.. however.. logically speaking this whole project might have been a LOT simpler if I had just used a touchscreen ui interface and something like a phone app or Raspberry pi, rather than arduino..
But I had more fun this way :)

mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2022, 06:17 AM »
And here you have a video of the final product in action:


mouser

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Re: Arduino anyone?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2022, 12:16 PM »
New video: