avatar

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 ——————–

    9V Power Supply w/ 5x 3W LEDs?

    The power supply depends on how you wire the high power LEDs [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13105 ] to the FemtoBuck [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13716 ] . The tutorial will have more information on wiring the LEDs with the FemtoBuck [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/femtobuck-constant-current-led-driver-hookup-guide-v12 ] . Assuming that you are using a 9V power supply from our catalog, it might be better to not have more than 2x high power LEDs wired in series with each FemtoBuck. The tutorial states that you would need to add the forward voltages of the LEDs together with an additional 2V of head room. Testing with a benchtop power supply, it looks like two high power LEDs wired in series using the default setting (no solder jumper on the “Current Level Set Jumper”) would pull about 0.222A w/ 9V.

    The total will be about 9.6V so this 9V power supply would work [ 9V/650mA – https://www.sparkfun.com/products/298 ] with the female barrel jack adapter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10288 ] . You could wire two setups (2x high power LEDs in series with one FemtoBuck) in parallel to the power supply. The 5th high power LED and FemtoBuck can probably be powered in parallel with the same power supply. The total pull from the power supply will probably be around 0.563A. If it is too much strain on the power supply, maybe you can add an additional 9V power supply for one of the Femtobuck setups.

    Testing two Femtobucks (with no solder jumper) each with two 3W LEDs in series, there was no issue powering the setup with a 9V/650mA power supply. I was also able to power the Arduino. The system was pulling about 0.48A. The wall adapter gets warm but it’s well within the recommended rating and does not shut off. As soon as a solder jumper is added, the power supply shuts off after a few minutes because it is not able to handle the load.

    12V Power Supply w/ 3x 3W LEDs

    w/ Solder Jumper Set

    The Red 3W LEDs look like 3x LEDs (2.8V forward voltage * 3 + 2V head room => 10.4V) can be added in a series with a 12V power supply. The other 3W LEDs should require a total of 13.4V due to the 3.8V forward voltage and head room requirements. At most, I would wire 2x 3W LEDs in series with the Femtobuck. With the solder jumper, the maximum the Femtobuck would theoretically allow is around 660mA at 12V as stated in the hookup guide.

    I was actually able to get 3x 3W Cool White LEDs [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13105 ] to light up with both a 9V/650mA and 12V wall adapter. Solder was added to the solder jumper. The Femtobuck and 3x 3W LEDs was pulling about 0.26mA @ 9.1V and 0.58A @ 12.32V. While it is not ideal, it appears that it is possible to power 3x LEDs in series with a 12V power supply. You just might not be turning on the LEDs to the maximum using the Femtobuck. Try testing it out with a multimeter set to its current setting to see what current your system actually pulls from your power supply.

    w/out Solder Jumper

    With one Femtobuck and 3x 3W Cool White LEDs, it was pulling about 0.21mA @12V.

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

    Fabric Piano Project Tips & Troubleshooting

    I skimmed through the Fabric Piano Project in the Sew Electric book. There should be basic example code on page 122 to test. Page 145 will include the code to use more than one key. Make sure to include the Arduino Capacitive Touch library [ http://playground.arduino.cc/Code/CapacitiveSensor ] :

    #include <CapacitiveSensor.h>
    

    On page 115 and 116, it goes over how to include the readCapacitivePin() function definition by adding a new tab and pasting the code from this website => http://sewelectric.org/misc/capacitivesensingcode/ .

    Loose Connection & Differences in Capacitance

    After extensive testing, I noticed the buzzer would go off depending on different conditions:

    Case 1: “Shorts”

    I did notice that when the pins for the keys were touching, it would cause the LilyPad SimpleSnap to play notes even when I was not touching the pin. This would happen when the project was running on its battery or when connected to a computer. Try checking for loose connections and removing any shorts.

    Case 2: Long Wire and Difference in Capacitance

    The buzzer would also go off if there was a long piece of the alligator cable or wire attached while the FTDI was attached to the board. This is probably due to the change LilyPad SimpleSnap’s total capacitance when your computer is attached. I would avoid having long conductive thread from the LilyPad SimpleSnap’s pin.

    Case 3: Differences in Capacitance

    A third case where the buzzer would go off is when I had a very long piece of alligator cable or wire attached to a pin. The LilyPad SimpleSnap was just powered by its battery and not connected to a computer. The pin would detect a difference in capacitance when the wire was hovering over itself.

    The Sew Electric book does talk about loose connections and shorts on page 151 and 512. Try looking at those pages for more information. Using a multimeter set to the continuity setting, you can also check for shorts [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-multimeter#continuity ].

    What can help is adding a M/F premium jumper wire to GND. There might be a weird capacitance issue depending on how the fabric piano was made and this would stabilize the sensor values.

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

    Sleep Pin

    Make sure that you hold the sleep pin labelled “OnOff” high to keep the module awake. Just connect the pin to 5V.

    Default Baud Rate

    Default baud rate is 19200 baud as stated on page 11 of the Developer’s Guide [ https://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Wireless/General/RockBLOCKDeveloperGuideMk2.pdf ].

    Logic Levels

    Looking at the Developer Guide on page 4 and 11 [ https://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Wireless/General/RockBLOCKDeveloperGuideMk2.pdf ], it is recommended to use 3.3V digital signal levels for the UART connection. For a quick connection to your computer, I recommend using a 5V Vcc and 3.3V I/O FTDI cable [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9717 ].

    Otherwise, try using a logic level converter [ https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12009 ] if you are connecting to a 5V Arduino’s UART.

  • Ooooo. Cool. =)

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

    Arduino v1.6.6+ Software Issues

    Arduino IDE v1.6.6-v1.6.9 was just released by Arduino.cc recently so there are a lot of bugs. A last resort is to use the Arduino v1.6.5 IDE [ https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/OldSoftwareReleases#previous ]. It might not be ideal but this was the last known stable/working IDE that I know of before all the changes.

    Mac and Latest version of the Arduino IDE

    I have seen two cases where customers have had problems uploading code to the RedBoard using Arduino v1.6.8 and v.1.6.9 . By switching to Arduino v.1.6.5, they were able to upload to the board without any issues.

    You might need to re-install the latest FTDI drivers on a Mac https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-install-ftdi-drivers/mac every time you re-install the Arduino IDE. In one case [where a customer had a Mac with Yosemite v10.10.5 ], you need to install the latest FTDI drivers before you are able to get the “SIK_Guide_Code_32" example code to work with the Arduino IDE.

  • Sorry for the delay in reply but we do not monitor the comments section that much. I just happened to nice your comment just now. A 330Ohm resistor is just a quick way to connect a current limiting resistor without a doing any calculations. Try looking at this section of this tutorial https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/light-emitting-diodes-leds#leds-without-math . The LED will be brighter if you use a 220Ohm resistor. Depending on the specs of the LED (standard 5mm LED, super bright LED, high power LED), your circuit (series/parallel connection), and power supply, you would need to calculate the current limiting resistor. There are several online calculators that you can use. I personally use this calculator http://www.hebeiltd.com.cn/?p=zz.led.resistor.calculator .

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

    Configuring your Bluetooth Device (i.e. RN-42)

    Here’s a tip from a customer that clarifies how to connect the BlueSMiRF Silvers (RN-42) together. It was not clear when trying to follow the user manual ( Section 4.1.2 Software Pairing Using Commands - http://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Wireless/Bluetooth/bluetooth_cr_UG-v1.0r.pdf ) :

    “To configure the master and slave devices, connect your terminal emulator on the host to the devices via the COM port using the settings 115200 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, and no flow control. This works well using Hyperterminal on the PC. Note: Both BT modules are slaves by default.

    A.) Setting Up Your Slave Device

    On the device you want to be the slave device (the LCD), issue the following commands:

    1. Put the device in command mode by sending the "$$$" command. The device returns CMD to indicate it is in command mode.
    
    2. Send "SM,0<cr>" to put the device into slave mode.
    
    3. Verify that the device is in slave mode by issuing the "D" action command. Look for the MODE =Slav message.
    
    4. Reboot the device using the "R,1<cr>" command. The changes do not take effect until the device is rebooted.
    

    B.) Setting Up Your Master Device

    On the master device (the Particle Photon), issue the following commands:

    1. Put the device in command mode by sending the "$$$" command. The device returns CMD to indicate it is in command mode.
    
    2. Send "SM,3<cr>" to put the device into auto mode.
    
    3. Verify that the device is in auto mode by issuing the "D" action command. Look for the MODE =Auto message.
    
    4. Ensure that the slave device is turned on, and send the I<cr> inquire command.
    
    5. Locate the slave's (remote side) Bluetooth address (BTA) in the results of the inquiry command. The BTA is a 6-byte (12 hex-characters) value.
    
     6. Store the remote BTA using the "SR,<address><cr>" command. For example, if the remote BTA is "000666037083," enter the command "SR,000666037083<cr>" to store the remote address.  The "D" command should show the slave's address under "Rem=".
    
    7. Reboot the device using the "R,1<cr>" command. The changes do not take effect until the device is rebooted.
    

    After rebooting, the master device restarts and connects with the remote slave device. A solid green LED indicates that the devices are connected."

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

    Contrast

    If the display is not showing pixels even with the with the correct logic levels and example code [ https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/graphic-lcd-hookup-guide#example-code-1-lcd-demo ], they may just have slight variances in the way that they were manufactured. You can see the pixels faintly on the defective screen at an angle or pushing down on the LCD. You will need to try and set the contrast on line 86 to a value of 60. I think there are some variances in the LCD’s contrast which might explain why certain LCDs have issues displaying defined pixels on the screen.

  • ——————– 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.