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bboyho

Member Since: August 22, 2011

Country: United States

Profile

Bio

Engineer by day, bboy by night.

Organizations

Delta Chi Fraternity Inc. Worm Tank Crew

Universities

Electrical & Computer Engineering, Dec. 2011 College of Engineering and Applied Science University of Colorado at Boulder

Websites

https://sites.google.com/site/bcelement/home https://www.facebook.com/bboyho

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    In the demo video [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Stni6W7Vc ] used a motor driver [ like the recommended motor driver TB6612FNG – https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9457 ] and Arduino microcontroller to move the motorized slide potentiometer. Unfortunately, they did not provide the demo code from the video. There should at least be an example code on using a motor driver with the TB6612FNG’s product page.

    Try looking at this comment though => https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10976#comment-53d36766ce395ff8478b4568 . A customer was able to get it working similar to the demo. The code does not seem to be exactly like the demo code but it is a start.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    In the demo video [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Stni6W7Vc ] used a motor driver [ like the recommended motor driver TB6612FNG – https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9457 ] and Arduino microcontroller to move the motorized slide potentiometer. Unfortunately, they did not provide the demo code from the video. There should at least be an example code on using a motor driver with the TB6612FNG’s product page.

    Try looking at this comment though => https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10976#comment-53d36766ce395ff8478b4568 . A customer was able to get it working similar to the demo. The code does not seem to be exactly like the demo code but it is a start.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    You can use a MCP73831T IC to charge the LiPo battery. Make sure that you are using a charge rate that is lower than the capacity. There were some comments below that recommends charging at a rate between 37mA to about 55mA. The closest charger that you could use is the LiPoly Charger Single Cell https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12711 since it is easier to change the charge rate from the default 500mA. Most of the other chargers on our storefront use a charge rate of 500mA but it is harder to charge the programming resistor.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Using 12V to Power Both the EL Inverter & Microcontroller

    If you are using a 12V wall adapter to power the 12V Inverter, you would still need to provide power to the microcontroller side. One solution with your 12V wall adapter to provide power to the 12V inverter and Atmega328P is to get a barrel jack adapter to 2 pin JST adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8734 ], thus connecting the 12V wall adapter to the “BATT IN.” This is assuming that your wall adapter is using a center positive barrel jack.

    From there you can connect the 2 pin JST labeled “DC Out” to the 12V inverter’s input voltage. To connect, I recommend using the male DC barrel jack adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10287 ] and a 2pin JSt jumper wire [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8670 or https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8671 ]. You will need to wire strip the cable to be able to connect it to the screw terminals.

    Lastly, you would need to add a solder jumper to SJ1 so that you bypass the voltage regulator between your external power (“BATT IN”) to provide power to the inverter’s “DC OUT”. This will provide power to your 12V inverter’s input.

    Soldering the 2x XBee Female Header Pins

    Be careful how much solder you add when soldering the 2mm 10pin XBee Socket [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8272 ]. If you add too much solder, the XBee will have problems when inserting the XBee into the sockets.

    Nordic Transceivers vs XBee Series 1 vs XBee Series 2?

    I personally have not tested the Nordic Transceivers with the EL Sequencers but it looks like there can only be a maximum of 6x in the network. I recommend using the XBee transceivers. The XBees are easier to use and you are able to use more in the network. I also recommend XBee Series 1 as opposed to using the XBee Series 2. The Series 1 transceivers are easier to use, faster, and reliable. There was more of a latency with the Series 2. It might be due to the mesh network. Both have different applications so in the end it is up to you to decide what would fit best. For a comparison between series 1 and series 2 try looking at this article [ http://knowledge.digi.com/articles/Knowledge_Base_Article/The-Major-Differences-in-the-XBee-Series-1-vs-the-XBee-Series-2 ].

    Logic Levels for the EL Sequencer?

    Considering that the EL Sequencer runs off off 3.3V, you do not need the XBee Explorer Regulated boards or the XBee shield when using an XBee. The exception would be for your “master” controller which would be 5V. This is assuming that you are using a 5V Arduino Uno.

    Latency with XBees?

    Keep in mind that the more patterns that the EL Sequencer has to run when being controlled via XBee, the longer it can take for it to respond if you have the “master” controller tell your “slave” EL Sequencers to run a different pattern. This is probably because the EL Sequencer has to run through the sequence to turn on/off each of the channels. If there are delay functions being used, it can run slower depending on how you wrote your code. Your “master” controller should have all the patterns to control each of your “slave” EL Sequencers based on the serial data sent. Try using different ASCII characters to turn each channel on and off.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Lowest Voltage Level?

    This logic level won’t work for anything lower than 1.8V. It won’t fully turn the MOSFET ON or OFF below that voltage level. I tried using it with 1V but the 5V logic side wouldn’t fully turn off.

    If anyone requires a logic level conversion of around 1.0V, try looking at a dedicated converter. The PCA9306 [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11955 ] that was designed to convert voltage levels with I2C is able to reach about “1.0 V to 3.6 V and on the high side from 1.8 V to 5.5V.”

    Highest Logic Level?

    We’ve tested this more for 5V logic on the high side. Looking at the datasheet, the absolute maximum rating for the drain-source voltage is 50V with 0.22A continuous drain current. It might work for higher voltages based on this fact but I am not sure how well it would work at 12V and 24V. I doubt it will work efficiently so the best might be to get a beefier n-channel mosfet or a dedicated logic level converter that can handle the higher voltages above 5V. Try looking at this forum posted on the Arduino forums for alternatives http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=16389.0 .

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Using the ACS712

    There wasn’t really a written tutorial on how to use this sensor. All that was available for using the current sensor was in the “SparkFun According to Pete #32 - Current Sensing” episode but it has been taken down. The reason for this was because a multimeter was used in the video that was breaking the Fluke patent law.

    Can be used for a low side or high side current monitor because it is an isolated current path. There might be tolerances, drift, noise, and deflection from the power supply or the Arduino’s ADC so you need to calibrate this sensor. Pete used a multimeter, Arduino, and a power supply to calibrate the sensor in the video. Vref was adjusted to a raw value of about 512 on the Arduino’s serial output to read positive and negative current. It was a little noisy. He then adjusted the gain to amplify the signal to read.

    Sensitivity

    The sensitivity of the IC is about 185mV/A and you have a 4.27 gain. So you would get 0.78995 mV per A

    Maximum Gain

    Setting the gain sets the maximum current deflection.

    Example

    Tutorial Example => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etsIFUUhO6I

    FAQ

    ACS712 => http://www.allegromicro.com/en/Products/Current-Sensor-ICs/Zero-To-Fifty-Amp-Integrated-Conductor-Sensor-ICs/ACS712/ACS712-ACS713-Frequently-Asked-Questions.aspx.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    Maximum Number of LEDs on the LilyTwinkle?

    I am not sure what the maximum number of LEDs that you can use with the LilyTwinkle [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11364 ]. It depends on the battery that you are using, how you are wiring the LEDs to the I/O pin, the specs of the LED’s color, the current limiting resistor, and how many LEDs are on at one time. As long as your are not exceeding the absolute maximum rating of the ATtiny85 http://www.atmel.com/images/atmel-2586-avr-8-bit-microcontroller-attiny25-attiny45-attiny85_datasheet.pdf ] , you should be good. On page 161 of the datasheet, this states that about 40mA per I/O Pin and 200mA current for the Vcc and GND pins. The best would be to test it out with a multimeter.

    Probably 5-10 per I/O pin using a coin cell would be safe. One thing to note is that the more that you use, the less bright the LEDs will be when connected to your system. It might be better to use closer to 5 LEDs per pad. I tested one pin on the LilyTwinkle with 20x white LilyPad LEDs in parallel. Measuring with a multimeter’s current meter, it looked like it was pulling less than about 5-6mA with a brand new coin cell battery. This might be due to the current limiting resistor and the coin cell batteries limitations.

  • Looks like you might have resolved the issue. I do remember some instances where reinserting the ESP8266 on the Arduino helps to resolve this problem.

    Please contact techsupport@sparkfun.com with your order number and a description of your issue so we can troubleshoot this further if you continue to have problems. Tech support does not usually troubleshoot the comments section.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    CAN-Bus Shield w/ an Arduino Mega 2560

    Software Defined SPI pins

    Using the example code , you will probably see this output on the Arduino serial monitor

    If you see this output on the Arduino serial monitor when using the CAN-Bus shield on an Arduino Mega 2560 [uploaded with the SparkFun_CAN_Demo.ino - https://github.com/sparkfun/CAN-Bus_Shield/blob/master/Libraries/Arduino/examples/SparkFun_CAN_Demo/SparkFun_CAN_Demo.ino ]:

    CAN-Bus Demo
    Can’t init CAN
    Please choose a menu option.
    1.Speed
    2.RPM
    3.Throttle
    4.Coolant Temperature
    5.O2 Voltage
    6.MAF Sensor
    

    You need to modify the defined SPI pins in the default file located in the “CAN-Bus_Shield” library [ https://github.com/sparkfun/CAN-Bus_Shield/blob/master/Libraries/Arduino/src/defaults.h ] as explained by Memphomaniac the SparkFun forum [ https://forum.sparkfun.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=25535&start=30c ]. Just change lines 4-12 from:

    #define P_MOSI  B,3
    #define P_MISO  B,4
    #define P_SCK   B,5
    
    //#define   MCP2515_CS          D,3 // Rev A
    #define MCP2515_CS          B,2 // Rev B
    #define MCP2515_INT         D,2
    #define LED2_HIGH           B,0
    #define LED2_LOW            B,0
    

    to

    // Arduino Uno (Atmega 168/328 pin mapping)
    //#define    P_MOSI            B,3 // pin 11
    //#define    P_MISO            B,4 // pin 12
    //#define    P_SCK             B,5 // pin 13
    //#define    MCP2515_CS        B,2 // pin 10
    //#define    MCP2515_INT       D,2 // pin 2
    //#define    LED2_HIGH         B,0 // pin 8
    //#define    LED2_LOW          B,0 // pin 8
    
    // Pins remapped to Arduino Mega 2560
    #define    P_MOSI              B,2 // pin 51
    #define    P_MISO              B,3 // pin 50
    #define    P_SCK               B,1 // pin 52
    #define    MCP2515_CS          B,0 // pin 53
    #define    MCP2515_INT         E,4 // pin 2
    #define    LED2_HIGH           H,5 // pin 8
    #define    LED2_LOW            H,5 // pin 8
    

    Hardware Connections

    After redefining pins, make sure that you bend the header pins of the shield so that it is not in the Arduino Mega2560’s sockets (pins 10-13). Then, make sure to reroute the pins to the correct SPI pins:

    SPI Pins <=> Arduino Uno  <=> Arduino Mega 2560
    SCK      <=>       13     <=>         52
    MISO     <=>       12     <=>         50
    MOSI     <=>       11     <=>         51
    SS       <=>       10     <=>         53
    

    Try looking at this tutorial [ http://mcukits.com/2009/04/06/arduino-ethernet-shield-mega-hack/ ] as an example. With the correct pins defined and rerouted, I was able to receive this correct output:

    CAN-Bus Demo
    CAN Init ok
    Please choose a menu option.
    1.Speed
    2.RPM
    3.Throttle
    4.Coolant Temperature
    5.O2 Voltage
    6.MAF Sensor
    

    If you are seeing this serial output on the monitor:

    CAN-Bus Demo
    

    it’s possible that the software pins are not defined correctly, there is a loose connection, or you are not connecting the wires properly. Make sure the pins are defined properly and check your connections.

  • ——————– Tech Support Tips/Troubleshooting/Common Issues ——————–

    When loading Ubilinux on the Edison and the process skips rootfs, try looking at this forum post in the Intel Edison Forums with Joakim’s answer => https://communities.intel.com/message/276396#276396