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March 28, 2013
Entrepreneur by trade inventor by necessity. Not affiliated with SparkFun in any way; I am fanatical about things being of quality, and IMHO, SF is one of those things.
Asking “why” is IMHO, among the more enlightened questions. I kind of shook my head when I saw this product on cypress.com and came here. $49 is a big wad of money. I just replied above and remarked about the amazing options for embedded development for small $. I’d think a likely next step from Arduino is ChipKIT’s Uno32 and uC32. Microchip’s mpeide is familiar to Arduino ide users and their boards have TONS of RAM, extra uarts, and run at 80MHz.
Next step up are when we open our minds to alternatives to Arduino IDE. After mpeide, I believe Cypress’s windows tools are the next friendly, then NXP’s toolchain, and I haven’t been able to make Ti’s Launchpad toolchain work yet (gave up after a couple hours).
Cypress' PSoC data blocks are a game changer. I’m an EE with embedded experience and this new dimension is mind blowing to me. And starting at $4? I bought 4 just because.
If you get the CY8CKIT-059, you get almost the same thing for $10 but in a nicely small footprint. Knock off CANbus and a few MHz, the CY8CKIT-049-42xx is $4. Buy two boards is the price savings of a Win 7 license. Lately, I’ve been starting a design on an Arduino-like board and then for implementation, switching to the smallest form factor I can find.
Powerful alternatives to Arduino are stupidly cheap.
Whoops totally smoked a Big Easy Driver today. :P I tried out 4 different stepper drivers to see which could hold a NEMA34 strongly in one place. I started out with the EasyDriver using 12V but I could still turn the stepper with my hands. This NEMA34 is to rotate the object being machined 60 degrees at the push of a button… so each gizmo gets clamped once for every 6 holes.
So I stepped up to 24V. I’ve got a lab supply and a supply cannibalized from a samsung printer. My goal was to dedicate the printer’s supply to this project, so once I saw I was drawing only an AMP or so from the bench unit, I went back to the printer supply, rated for 1.6A.
Anyhow, I bought a big fancy CNC driver board from Sain and even though it would get quite warm, none of its settings could hold the shaft in place firmly enough. A Rugged Circuits “Rugged Motor Driver” shield held the stepper in place the best of everything I tried, but I’m manually running the PWM and using arduino’s Stepper() class, so it is noisy. I put the rotate() code in a function, so the operation of the program is similar between the EasyDriver code I have from the past and the Rugged sample code.
I hooked up the Big Easy Driver same as every other driver board I tested. Annnnnnnnnnnd sizzle then smoke came out. There’s a tiny blister in the top right corner of the driver chip.
Anyhow, I’m pretty sure given how awesome the EasyStepper is to use, this one is too. Probably should do like the instructions say and use a proper power supply not like I did with the printer’s supply. FWIW, the Rugged Motor Driver can sit all day with the stepper singing along powered by the printer’s 24V and nothing gets beyond warm to the touch.
about a year ago
The LPCXpresso Board for LPC11C24 » OM13012 is about $20…
about 3 years ago
Or if you need enough RAM to process something tiny (but bigger than a Mega) get a ChipKIT uC32…
about 3 years ago
Just hooked mine up. WOW so easy! I removed the battery to solder it, so the time was 1-1-12 0:0 (or whatever) when I tested it (as I expected). I read through all the comments on here but I liked this guy’s example the best. Simple, easy, and got `er done. BTW, that link was http://arduinotronics.blogspot.com/2010/10/ds1307-real-time-clock-working.html
The libraries are nice, but my project has more crap connected to it than anything I’ve seen anyone else do with an Arduino, so I didn’t want yet another include file. The above was nicely KISS.
about 3 years ago
I made a CAD drawing of this printer; you can get it on GrabCAD.
I made it print somewhat quickly once I realize the stickers on the unit are relative to the controller (DCE) and not the device (DTE). :P
Still haven’t figured out how to do bitmaps from within an Arduino (plot an array of INTs) … I’ll Github it once I do. The examples on the Net I’ve found all are not working for me. :P
That’s awesome, thanks! Their product says 1.5" diameter. I just put a piece of pipe 1.526" in diameter into my printer, fits perfectly. Paper is ordered.
(8/7/2013) Edited to add: Yup, got it in today and this paper fits in the printer and prints great, too! :D
about 3 years ago
I buy and resell stuff from China because it’s better quality than stuff available to resell that’s made in USA. Even wires, which disappointed the patriot in me.
Mine works and I love it, so I bought another. It’s hooked up like as shown on this forum post. Oh no, maybe it works because I’m feeding it to Arduino stuff with voltage regulators? I think I’m lucky because I didn’t confuse the 4 pin molex with “oh use this instead of the PSU in a computer”, rather as “oh goody, I can chop wires of computer crap and use this to power my Arduino project!”
Thanks to all the hate on here, I’ll see what I can do to kill the 2nd one I just bought (because I’m so happy with the 1st one).
PS - I just created a CAD drawing of this; it’s on GrabCAD
No public wish lists :(
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