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  1. Like
    username got a reaction from JonnyBoats in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  2. Like
    username got a reaction from bi0tech in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  3. Like
    username got a reaction from dubnet in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  4. Like
    username got a reaction from BlackAngel in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  5. Like
    username got a reaction from tripwire in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  6. Like
    username got a reaction from bluehash in DAC GUI V2   
    Hey all,
     
    Round 2: This extends the peripherals of the MSP430 to a UART based ascii AT command set. For example, send "AT+GET_ADC" over the USB->Serial bridge to get all the ADC values returned. Since I released my first GUI there have been a couple others like it. You will find that this version's strength is that the underlying C driver set is my personal driver set which is quite powerful XD . I then wrote a C# GUI as a wrapper around this command set.
     
    Features Implemented: Digital IO, Analog I, PWM, SPI

     
    PWM Example:

     
    Steps to use:
    1. Download code & .exe file here: https://github.com/NateZimmer/ICBM
    2. Import C code into CCSV5.1 (haven't tested with other versions) and flash to launchpad.
    3. Ensure UART jumpers on the MSP430 Launchpad are set to Hardware based UART on a msp430g2553 launchpad Rev 1.5
    4. Run GUI and connect to launchpad.
    5. Enjoy!
     
    Skip to 10:35 for setup instructions:
     
     


     
    Todo:
    Implement DCO Calibration for better CLK accuracy
    Implement I2C
    Implement Graphing/Logging
    Implement more flexible spi chip select features
     
    Please let me know if this does not work for you
  7. Like
    username got a reaction from agaelema in NRF24L / Launchpad Example CCS   
    Couldn't find a simple msp430 CCS example of the NRF24L 2.4ghz so I wrote one. Requires 2 msp430g2553 launchpads and 2 NRF24L modules. Press button on 1 launchpad to toggle LED on other launchpad. Note example code assumes you know C language.
     
    *Note:  Driver referenced from Brad S, supreme overlord of all C
     
    Preview of main (download for full driver set):
    //Author: Nathan Zimmerman //Date: 3/2/14 // Driver referenced from Brad S, supreme overlord of all C //Launchpad CCS example of NRF24L Driver. Use P1.3 Button to toggle LED on other launchpad. Hence requires 2 NRF modules & 2 launchpads //Note example uses a fixed packet length of 5. //GPIO Pinouts //P2.0 = IRQ //P2.1 = CSN //P2.2 = CE //P1.5 SCLK //P1.6 MISO //P1.7 MOSI //P1.3 Button Launchpad Rev 1.5 //P1.0 Red LED Launchpad Rev 1.5 #include "msp430g2553.h" #include "stdint.h" #include "Drivers/rtc.h" #include "Drivers/clock.h" #include "Drivers/usi.h" #include "Drivers/External/NRF24L.h" #include "Drivers/External/LAUNCHPAD_IO.h" const uint8_t txMessage[PAYLOAD_WIDTH]= "Hello"; void main(void) {     uint8_t rxbuffer[PAYLOAD_WIDTH] = {0,0,0,0,0};     volatile uint8_t statusData = 0;     disableWDT();     setupCoreClock(CLK_16_MHZ);     setupRLED();     RLED_OFF;     setupButton();     SERIAL_CLASSES spiHandle = { SPI, SMCLK_16MHZ_SPI_CLK_4MHZ, MODULE_B}; // NRF cannot run at max baud 16mhz     initUSI(&spiHandle);     initNRF24L();     statusData = getNrfStatus();     if(statusData != 0x0E)     {         while(1); // NRF failed to init, check pinout or device     }     while(1)     {         if(recievedRfData())         {             getRfBuffer(rxbuffer);             if(rxbuffer[0]=='H') // newb check for "Hello" Message             {                 RLED_TOGGLE;             }         }         if(buttonPressed)         {             transmitTxData((uint8_t *)txMessage);             _delay_cycles(16000000); // newb button debounce         }         handleRxData();         handleTxData();     } }   NRF_Example_NateZ.zip
     
     
     
  8. Like
    username reacted to bluehash in Post a pic of your home work bench, get a ..   
    MsPRobot kit.
    Longhorn Engineer gave me this kit at the SF Maker Faire(2012).
     
    Looks like I have all the parts - One bare PCB and the laser printed wood supports. His page linked above has related BOM and schematic files.
    Thanks to LHE!
     
    The first to post a bench picture, wins. It has to be yours.
     


     
    I just cleaned up my bench.. again.

  9. Like
    username got a reaction from bluehash in DIY Walking Desk (WIP)   
    Use information from this tutorial at your own risk to yourself and your device
     
    Its no secret that most of us nerds don't get enough exercise. A handy way to get that is exercising while nerding out on the PC which treadmill desk. Or a dog.... http://xkcd.com/1329/ .  The issue is that with most treadmill desk tutorials out there is that there all about building a desk platform on the existing bars/display of the treadmill. This is annoying cause I already got a desk that I like and I don't want to make another one on top of a treadmill. I kinda suck at mechanical stuff anyways so I figured it be easier to hack the controls of the internal controller. Turns out, it wasn't so bad. 
     
    I'm using the Gold Gym 420 treadmil from walmart. This thing costs about 380 something USD (ouch!). I couldn't find a good cheapie on cregs list and the beauty of the 420 treadmill is that it doesn't rely on the vertical bars to support the platform thus making it insanely simply to convert to a treadmill desk. One simply skips the assembly and designs a simple control board and presto you are done!
     
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym-Trainer-420-Treadmill/27407264

     
    Thankfully this treadmill is well designed and consequently is easy to control. It uses a standard 100mil spaced header and only uses 8 wires. See picture:

     
    Starting from right to left, here is the pinout:
    1. Black --> GND
    2. Pink --> 12V
    3. Green --> 3.3V (you must source this, ideally get it from the 12V)
    4. Blue --> Speed Control, 1.5V Signal, PWM (3.3V IO through 1kohm resistor seems to work)
    5. Orange --> Incline Control Drive+
    6. Yellow --> Incline Control Drive-
    7. Purple --> Incline Control Encoder Feedback
    8. Black --> Ground
     
    Speed Control
     
    The speed control on this device is elegant and simple. It is controlled through a
    simple PWM controller where the +%duty cycle correlates to the speed. The frequency
    is 20hz and 10ms on correlates to 1mph. The speed then increases by 0.4ms per 0.1mph
    increase. Consequently, 3mph = 10ms + (3-1mph)*10*0.4ms = 18ms positive pulse width.
    See screenshot below for reference. This screenshot is going at 1.3mph
     

     
    Todo
     
    Incline control walkthrough
    Add distance & Calorie burn support
    Add 802.11 support to send exercise information to the cloud / Xlivley
     
    Interface Control board
     
    Commands will be sent through a NRF24L 2.4 GHz to a dumb controller that will simply pulse width modulate accordingly  to the speed sent. The main controller will be the same controller I designed for my smart Scale. It has 2.2" touch support, 2.4Ghz NRFL24 support, as well as 802.11 support.
     
    Controller back

     
    Controller front

    ^^^ I'm happy with this control board I designed. It can control my reflow oven, works as a lazer power meter, works for my smart scale, and it works for my smart treadmill among many other applications.
     
    Driver Board:
    This was a small wireless IO board I made in senior design to control my coffee maker. Turns out it works perfectly for the treadmill as well. This device is what communicates through the NRF24L module to my display board. This basically goes inside the treadmill to eliminate wire mess.
     

     
     
    Desk View (sorry for the mess... haven't quite situated everything yet)
     

     
    More to come as I have time to post it...
  10. Like
    username got a reaction from gwdeveloper in DIY Walking Desk (WIP)   
    Use information from this tutorial at your own risk to yourself and your device
     
    Its no secret that most of us nerds don't get enough exercise. A handy way to get that is exercising while nerding out on the PC which treadmill desk. Or a dog.... http://xkcd.com/1329/ .  The issue is that with most treadmill desk tutorials out there is that there all about building a desk platform on the existing bars/display of the treadmill. This is annoying cause I already got a desk that I like and I don't want to make another one on top of a treadmill. I kinda suck at mechanical stuff anyways so I figured it be easier to hack the controls of the internal controller. Turns out, it wasn't so bad. 
     
    I'm using the Gold Gym 420 treadmil from walmart. This thing costs about 380 something USD (ouch!). I couldn't find a good cheapie on cregs list and the beauty of the 420 treadmill is that it doesn't rely on the vertical bars to support the platform thus making it insanely simply to convert to a treadmill desk. One simply skips the assembly and designs a simple control board and presto you are done!
     
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym-Trainer-420-Treadmill/27407264

     
    Thankfully this treadmill is well designed and consequently is easy to control. It uses a standard 100mil spaced header and only uses 8 wires. See picture:

     
    Starting from right to left, here is the pinout:
    1. Black --> GND
    2. Pink --> 12V
    3. Green --> 3.3V (you must source this, ideally get it from the 12V)
    4. Blue --> Speed Control, 1.5V Signal, PWM (3.3V IO through 1kohm resistor seems to work)
    5. Orange --> Incline Control Drive+
    6. Yellow --> Incline Control Drive-
    7. Purple --> Incline Control Encoder Feedback
    8. Black --> Ground
     
    Speed Control
     
    The speed control on this device is elegant and simple. It is controlled through a
    simple PWM controller where the +%duty cycle correlates to the speed. The frequency
    is 20hz and 10ms on correlates to 1mph. The speed then increases by 0.4ms per 0.1mph
    increase. Consequently, 3mph = 10ms + (3-1mph)*10*0.4ms = 18ms positive pulse width.
    See screenshot below for reference. This screenshot is going at 1.3mph
     

     
    Todo
     
    Incline control walkthrough
    Add distance & Calorie burn support
    Add 802.11 support to send exercise information to the cloud / Xlivley
     
    Interface Control board
     
    Commands will be sent through a NRF24L 2.4 GHz to a dumb controller that will simply pulse width modulate accordingly  to the speed sent. The main controller will be the same controller I designed for my smart Scale. It has 2.2" touch support, 2.4Ghz NRFL24 support, as well as 802.11 support.
     
    Controller back

     
    Controller front

    ^^^ I'm happy with this control board I designed. It can control my reflow oven, works as a lazer power meter, works for my smart scale, and it works for my smart treadmill among many other applications.
     
    Driver Board:
    This was a small wireless IO board I made in senior design to control my coffee maker. Turns out it works perfectly for the treadmill as well. This device is what communicates through the NRF24L module to my display board. This basically goes inside the treadmill to eliminate wire mess.
     

     
     
    Desk View (sorry for the mess... haven't quite situated everything yet)
     

     
    More to come as I have time to post it...
  11. Like
    username reacted to zlalanne in Serial Data GUI   
    I created a quick project to start learning nodejs. To those that are unfamiliar nodejs allows you to write javascript for the server side. So I decided to write a small gui that plots serial data. The GUI itself is written in javscript/html and uses node-webkit to package it into a .exe file (or the correct package for your os).
     
    This could easily be extended to visualize a lot more I/O from the launchpad, and given that the GUI is written in html/javascript it is really easy to create new elements.
     

     
    Here is the source:
    https://github.com/zlalanne/node-serial-gui
     
    The repository includes the nodejs code as well as a simple Energia sketch to send a random value over serial.
  12. Like
    username got a reaction from xpg in MSP430 WiFi Smart Scale   
    Hey all,
     
    *Quick Reflow Oven Update
     
    Sorry you haven't heard much from me in awhile, work has been keeping me very busy. First off, I apologize for not being able to keep up with the reflow oven kit demand. My new job has been abit demanding and the displays I was using appeared to have gone off the market so it would require a redesign. In addition, I ran out of code size on the msp430 while many features still needed to be implemented. I'm working on a new one but it won't involve a msp430.
     
    *Onto the project
     
    So with my new job and all i've spent abit too much time sitting around. Consequently I needed a little motivator to get out to the gym. Basically I wanted to log my weight data and view it in a graphical form. Apparently these already exist in the form of a "smart scale". Anyhow, didn't really know that going into the project nor would I feel like paying 100USD+ for one.
     
    Step 1:
    First I bought the worlds crappiest weight scale at walmart for less than 20usd

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Healthometer-LED-Split-Mat-Bath-Scale/10264542
     
    Step 2:
    Then I opened it up and attempted to hack the internal control board. Acourse it was one of those black blobs which meant it was a system on chip. Sadly the analog lines were feeding directly into the micro which presumably had its own differential amplifier. Sadly there were no outgoing lines from this micro that had a voltage or pulse width proportional to the weight. Long story short, there was no easy way to get the weight from the prebuilt electronics so I scraped it.

     
    Step 3:
    So next step was to determine how to build the electronics required for the weight scale. Weight scales use a sensor called a load cell which are generally just strain gauges. Strain gauges are sensors that have a very very very small change in resistance with respect to weight. Consequently, a wheat stone bridge configuration is generally used to read them. In addition, one uses multiple strain gauges in order to avoid temperature fluctuation and drift. This weight scale used load cells similar to ones on sparkfun:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245
     
    So in the scale, there are 4 load cells. Each load cell is a half wheat stone bridge. With clever wiring, you can make 1 wheat stone bridge consisting of 4 half wheat stone bridges, see picture below:

     
    Step 4:
    ...Time to go to work so i'll post more on this later. Basically I used a instrumentation op amp to read the Wheatstone bridge. Then I built a board with dorkbot pcb and populated it. As for the 802.11 support, ages ago I bought a wizfi210 from bluehash so I used that. Also used one of my few remaining 2.2" lcd displays.

     

     
    Step 5:
    write the code stuff and make it upload to xivley:
    https://xively.com/feeds/1844651192
     
    Step 6: (ongoing)
    WIP is getting this to not drift and give consistant repeatable measurements.... i'm getting there.
     
     
    and yea.. i'm off to work. I'll get more of a writeup on this latter.
  13. Like
    username got a reaction from PTB in MSP430 WiFi Smart Scale   
    Hey all,
     
    *Quick Reflow Oven Update
     
    Sorry you haven't heard much from me in awhile, work has been keeping me very busy. First off, I apologize for not being able to keep up with the reflow oven kit demand. My new job has been abit demanding and the displays I was using appeared to have gone off the market so it would require a redesign. In addition, I ran out of code size on the msp430 while many features still needed to be implemented. I'm working on a new one but it won't involve a msp430.
     
    *Onto the project
     
    So with my new job and all i've spent abit too much time sitting around. Consequently I needed a little motivator to get out to the gym. Basically I wanted to log my weight data and view it in a graphical form. Apparently these already exist in the form of a "smart scale". Anyhow, didn't really know that going into the project nor would I feel like paying 100USD+ for one.
     
    Step 1:
    First I bought the worlds crappiest weight scale at walmart for less than 20usd

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Healthometer-LED-Split-Mat-Bath-Scale/10264542
     
    Step 2:
    Then I opened it up and attempted to hack the internal control board. Acourse it was one of those black blobs which meant it was a system on chip. Sadly the analog lines were feeding directly into the micro which presumably had its own differential amplifier. Sadly there were no outgoing lines from this micro that had a voltage or pulse width proportional to the weight. Long story short, there was no easy way to get the weight from the prebuilt electronics so I scraped it.

     
    Step 3:
    So next step was to determine how to build the electronics required for the weight scale. Weight scales use a sensor called a load cell which are generally just strain gauges. Strain gauges are sensors that have a very very very small change in resistance with respect to weight. Consequently, a wheat stone bridge configuration is generally used to read them. In addition, one uses multiple strain gauges in order to avoid temperature fluctuation and drift. This weight scale used load cells similar to ones on sparkfun:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245
     
    So in the scale, there are 4 load cells. Each load cell is a half wheat stone bridge. With clever wiring, you can make 1 wheat stone bridge consisting of 4 half wheat stone bridges, see picture below:

     
    Step 4:
    ...Time to go to work so i'll post more on this later. Basically I used a instrumentation op amp to read the Wheatstone bridge. Then I built a board with dorkbot pcb and populated it. As for the 802.11 support, ages ago I bought a wizfi210 from bluehash so I used that. Also used one of my few remaining 2.2" lcd displays.

     

     
    Step 5:
    write the code stuff and make it upload to xivley:
    https://xively.com/feeds/1844651192
     
    Step 6: (ongoing)
    WIP is getting this to not drift and give consistant repeatable measurements.... i'm getting there.
     
     
    and yea.. i'm off to work. I'll get more of a writeup on this latter.
  14. Like
    username reacted to jpnorair in Ideal RF PCB stackup   
    There are many ways to get a good result, but components cannot be inside the board, and vias add reactances, so we need to find ways to put the traces on the outer layers.  Fortunately, there are ways!  ST has a nice app note, I think it covers pretty much everything.  
    http://www.st.com/st-web-ui/static/active/en/resource/technical/document/application_note/DM00065838.pdf
     
    The main thing you need to think about is the fact that the traces on the board can act as antennas if you do not design properly.  They can also cause impedance mismatch, causing less power to go to your antenna if you don't do them the right way.  This becomes a bigger and bigger problem as MHz gets higher.  For example, at 434 MHz, you don't run into too many issues.  900 MHz, still not too bad, but getting to the point transmission line behavior is important.  1575, 1850, 2450... things get serious.
     
    To design the traces "the right way" you should design them as coplanar waveguides or microstrip transmission lines, tuned to 50 Ohms.  The problem with a 2-layer board is that the transmission line traces need to be really wide to allow 50 Ohm impedance.
     
    I searched on google and I found this website with transmission line calculators for coplanar waveguide, microstrip, and slot (you probably don't need the slot part).  I can also tell you a "magic number" -- at 434 MHz on normal FR4, with 0.16mm spacing, with 4-layers, with a ground plane directly below, and with a ground plane around the trace -- the magic trace width is 0.47mm.
    Microstrip Line Calculator
    Coplanar Waveguide Calculator
    Slot Line Calculator
  15. Like
    username got a reaction from dubnet in MSP430 WiFi Smart Scale   
    Hey all,
     
    *Quick Reflow Oven Update
     
    Sorry you haven't heard much from me in awhile, work has been keeping me very busy. First off, I apologize for not being able to keep up with the reflow oven kit demand. My new job has been abit demanding and the displays I was using appeared to have gone off the market so it would require a redesign. In addition, I ran out of code size on the msp430 while many features still needed to be implemented. I'm working on a new one but it won't involve a msp430.
     
    *Onto the project
     
    So with my new job and all i've spent abit too much time sitting around. Consequently I needed a little motivator to get out to the gym. Basically I wanted to log my weight data and view it in a graphical form. Apparently these already exist in the form of a "smart scale". Anyhow, didn't really know that going into the project nor would I feel like paying 100USD+ for one.
     
    Step 1:
    First I bought the worlds crappiest weight scale at walmart for less than 20usd

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Healthometer-LED-Split-Mat-Bath-Scale/10264542
     
    Step 2:
    Then I opened it up and attempted to hack the internal control board. Acourse it was one of those black blobs which meant it was a system on chip. Sadly the analog lines were feeding directly into the micro which presumably had its own differential amplifier. Sadly there were no outgoing lines from this micro that had a voltage or pulse width proportional to the weight. Long story short, there was no easy way to get the weight from the prebuilt electronics so I scraped it.

     
    Step 3:
    So next step was to determine how to build the electronics required for the weight scale. Weight scales use a sensor called a load cell which are generally just strain gauges. Strain gauges are sensors that have a very very very small change in resistance with respect to weight. Consequently, a wheat stone bridge configuration is generally used to read them. In addition, one uses multiple strain gauges in order to avoid temperature fluctuation and drift. This weight scale used load cells similar to ones on sparkfun:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245
     
    So in the scale, there are 4 load cells. Each load cell is a half wheat stone bridge. With clever wiring, you can make 1 wheat stone bridge consisting of 4 half wheat stone bridges, see picture below:

     
    Step 4:
    ...Time to go to work so i'll post more on this later. Basically I used a instrumentation op amp to read the Wheatstone bridge. Then I built a board with dorkbot pcb and populated it. As for the 802.11 support, ages ago I bought a wizfi210 from bluehash so I used that. Also used one of my few remaining 2.2" lcd displays.

     

     
    Step 5:
    write the code stuff and make it upload to xivley:
    https://xively.com/feeds/1844651192
     
    Step 6: (ongoing)
    WIP is getting this to not drift and give consistant repeatable measurements.... i'm getting there.
     
     
    and yea.. i'm off to work. I'll get more of a writeup on this latter.
  16. Like
    username got a reaction from pine in MSP430 WiFi Smart Scale   
    Hey all,
     
    *Quick Reflow Oven Update
     
    Sorry you haven't heard much from me in awhile, work has been keeping me very busy. First off, I apologize for not being able to keep up with the reflow oven kit demand. My new job has been abit demanding and the displays I was using appeared to have gone off the market so it would require a redesign. In addition, I ran out of code size on the msp430 while many features still needed to be implemented. I'm working on a new one but it won't involve a msp430.
     
    *Onto the project
     
    So with my new job and all i've spent abit too much time sitting around. Consequently I needed a little motivator to get out to the gym. Basically I wanted to log my weight data and view it in a graphical form. Apparently these already exist in the form of a "smart scale". Anyhow, didn't really know that going into the project nor would I feel like paying 100USD+ for one.
     
    Step 1:
    First I bought the worlds crappiest weight scale at walmart for less than 20usd

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Healthometer-LED-Split-Mat-Bath-Scale/10264542
     
    Step 2:
    Then I opened it up and attempted to hack the internal control board. Acourse it was one of those black blobs which meant it was a system on chip. Sadly the analog lines were feeding directly into the micro which presumably had its own differential amplifier. Sadly there were no outgoing lines from this micro that had a voltage or pulse width proportional to the weight. Long story short, there was no easy way to get the weight from the prebuilt electronics so I scraped it.

     
    Step 3:
    So next step was to determine how to build the electronics required for the weight scale. Weight scales use a sensor called a load cell which are generally just strain gauges. Strain gauges are sensors that have a very very very small change in resistance with respect to weight. Consequently, a wheat stone bridge configuration is generally used to read them. In addition, one uses multiple strain gauges in order to avoid temperature fluctuation and drift. This weight scale used load cells similar to ones on sparkfun:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245
     
    So in the scale, there are 4 load cells. Each load cell is a half wheat stone bridge. With clever wiring, you can make 1 wheat stone bridge consisting of 4 half wheat stone bridges, see picture below:

     
    Step 4:
    ...Time to go to work so i'll post more on this later. Basically I used a instrumentation op amp to read the Wheatstone bridge. Then I built a board with dorkbot pcb and populated it. As for the 802.11 support, ages ago I bought a wizfi210 from bluehash so I used that. Also used one of my few remaining 2.2" lcd displays.

     

     
    Step 5:
    write the code stuff and make it upload to xivley:
    https://xively.com/feeds/1844651192
     
    Step 6: (ongoing)
    WIP is getting this to not drift and give consistant repeatable measurements.... i'm getting there.
     
     
    and yea.. i'm off to work. I'll get more of a writeup on this latter.
  17. Like
    username got a reaction from spirilis in MSP430 WiFi Smart Scale   
    Hey all,
     
    *Quick Reflow Oven Update
     
    Sorry you haven't heard much from me in awhile, work has been keeping me very busy. First off, I apologize for not being able to keep up with the reflow oven kit demand. My new job has been abit demanding and the displays I was using appeared to have gone off the market so it would require a redesign. In addition, I ran out of code size on the msp430 while many features still needed to be implemented. I'm working on a new one but it won't involve a msp430.
     
    *Onto the project
     
    So with my new job and all i've spent abit too much time sitting around. Consequently I needed a little motivator to get out to the gym. Basically I wanted to log my weight data and view it in a graphical form. Apparently these already exist in the form of a "smart scale". Anyhow, didn't really know that going into the project nor would I feel like paying 100USD+ for one.
     
    Step 1:
    First I bought the worlds crappiest weight scale at walmart for less than 20usd

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Healthometer-LED-Split-Mat-Bath-Scale/10264542
     
    Step 2:
    Then I opened it up and attempted to hack the internal control board. Acourse it was one of those black blobs which meant it was a system on chip. Sadly the analog lines were feeding directly into the micro which presumably had its own differential amplifier. Sadly there were no outgoing lines from this micro that had a voltage or pulse width proportional to the weight. Long story short, there was no easy way to get the weight from the prebuilt electronics so I scraped it.

     
    Step 3:
    So next step was to determine how to build the electronics required for the weight scale. Weight scales use a sensor called a load cell which are generally just strain gauges. Strain gauges are sensors that have a very very very small change in resistance with respect to weight. Consequently, a wheat stone bridge configuration is generally used to read them. In addition, one uses multiple strain gauges in order to avoid temperature fluctuation and drift. This weight scale used load cells similar to ones on sparkfun:

    https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10245
     
    So in the scale, there are 4 load cells. Each load cell is a half wheat stone bridge. With clever wiring, you can make 1 wheat stone bridge consisting of 4 half wheat stone bridges, see picture below:

     
    Step 4:
    ...Time to go to work so i'll post more on this later. Basically I used a instrumentation op amp to read the Wheatstone bridge. Then I built a board with dorkbot pcb and populated it. As for the 802.11 support, ages ago I bought a wizfi210 from bluehash so I used that. Also used one of my few remaining 2.2" lcd displays.

     

     
    Step 5:
    write the code stuff and make it upload to xivley:
    https://xively.com/feeds/1844651192
     
    Step 6: (ongoing)
    WIP is getting this to not drift and give consistant repeatable measurements.... i'm getting there.
     
     
    and yea.. i'm off to work. I'll get more of a writeup on this latter.
  18. Like
    username got a reaction from lavaanalog in HC - SR04 Ultrasound Module Driver Code   
    Hey Kent,

    Here is what I did with the trig pin and the echo pin. The Vin pin was set to 5V on the module.
  19. Like
    username got a reaction from MatteoGalet in Reflow Oven Booster Pack   
    Howdy all,
     
    Got out of college recently so I got a tad bit more time. Figured I finish off my reflow project properly since i've been getting alot of requests for kits. I'm in the process of developing a through-hole based reflow oven kit that would be easy for any hobbyist to assemble.
     
    Source Code: https://github.com/NateZimmer/Reflow_Oven_Kit
    Schematic: Printing Print Schematic.pdf
     
     



     


     


     
    Deluxe Kit includes and features:
    - 1x 2.2" Touch LCD Display
    - Discrete Cold Compensation Circuit 
    - A high temp low thermal mass thermocouple
    - A high Current Solid State Relay
    - A RGB LED
    - Optional Female Header interface for launchpad
    - Optional External Power interface for wall supply.
    Price: 50 USD + Shipping
     
    Standard kit includes and features:
    - 1x Nokia 5110 Display
    - Discrete Cold Compensation Circuit 
    - A high temp low thermal mass thermocouple
    - A high Current Solid State Relay
    - Optional Female Header interface for launchpad
    - Optional External Power interface for wall supply.
    Price: 40 USD + Shipping
     
    I'll try to get a video up soon. Anyhow, standard kit is on hold for now. A couple deluxe kits would be available in a few days hopefully.
    Pushed back 4 weeks so I can do some more testing, development, and get parts from china =P
  20. Like
    username reacted to RobG in Ethernet Booster Pack v3   
    Simple test.
    200ms delays were inserted between functions to show status changes.
     

  21. Like
    username got a reaction from carpin in Reflow Oven Booster Pack   
    Hey all,
     
    Will try to start pumping these out again. Been working 50-70hr weeks as of late and haven't had much time for hobby projects. Just finished a major project at work so should have some more time to pump these out.
  22. Like
    username got a reaction from carpin in Reflow Oven Booster Pack   
    Howdy all,
     
    Got out of college recently so I got a tad bit more time. Figured I finish off my reflow project properly since i've been getting alot of requests for kits. I'm in the process of developing a through-hole based reflow oven kit that would be easy for any hobbyist to assemble.
     
    Source Code: https://github.com/NateZimmer/Reflow_Oven_Kit
    Schematic: Printing Print Schematic.pdf
     
     



     


     


     
    Deluxe Kit includes and features:
    - 1x 2.2" Touch LCD Display
    - Discrete Cold Compensation Circuit 
    - A high temp low thermal mass thermocouple
    - A high Current Solid State Relay
    - A RGB LED
    - Optional Female Header interface for launchpad
    - Optional External Power interface for wall supply.
    Price: 50 USD + Shipping
     
    Standard kit includes and features:
    - 1x Nokia 5110 Display
    - Discrete Cold Compensation Circuit 
    - A high temp low thermal mass thermocouple
    - A high Current Solid State Relay
    - Optional Female Header interface for launchpad
    - Optional External Power interface for wall supply.
    Price: 40 USD + Shipping
     
    I'll try to get a video up soon. Anyhow, standard kit is on hold for now. A couple deluxe kits would be available in a few days hopefully.
    Pushed back 4 weeks so I can do some more testing, development, and get parts from china =P
  23. Like
    username got a reaction from GeekDoc in Budget Workbench Necessites   
    With pretty much all products in general, the massive all in one kits are usually somewhat gimmicks. I'm not a fan of the tip replacement methods on that solder station and i'd recommend buying dedicated solutions.
     
    I'm a huge fan of the Aoyue 2900 because it has fully replicable tips. Integrated into the tips is the heating element and temperature sensor. Keeps iron maintenance extremely easy and allows for fast tip swapping. This is more or less a replica of how the 1000+ USD solder stations work.  
    http://sra-solder.com/product.php/6363/0?gclid=CISrxpy9mbkCFctAMgoddl8AJQ
     
    Then for hot air i'd recommend something like this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-858D-110V-Hot-Air-Gun-Rework-Station-SMD-Solder-Soldering-Digital-Free-/161027015370?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item257df542ca
  24. Like
    username reacted to roadrunner84 in We've got babies   
    As of last Friday I'm the proud father of three children! My oldest daughter is three years of age and my son and youngest daughter are only 5 days young.
     
    As a result (you can imagine) I won't be able to bug you guys a lot ;-)
  25. Like
    username reacted to zeke in Budget Workbench Necessites   
    I can see this topic getting fuzzy because there is a lot of work activities between concept to shipping.
     
    Also, the definition of a hobby workbench is somewhat subjective  ;-)
     
    Here are the benches in my workspace:
    Computer Workstation Engineering Bench Assembly/Technician Bench Testing Bench Shipping Bench I have specific tools on each one so my lists would be extreme.
     
    In no particular order, here are some links to tools that I use:
    Tweezers 1: WeiTus Stainless Steel Precision Right-Angled Tweezers Tweezers 2: WeiTus Stainless Steel Precision Angled Tweezers Logic Analyzer: Saleae Logic Soldering Iron: Metcal MX-500 (I got mine for $60) Solder Roll Holder: Weller SM1 Solder-Mate Desoldering Station: Metcal SP-440 Handheld DVM: Fluke 87-V (This guy only sells Fluke meters) Benchtop DVM: Fluke 45 (His stock flows like a river - check often) Toolbox: Mastercraft 4-Drawer Chest Used Computer Hardware: CalgaryComputerWholesale eBayer (You can get stuff freaking cheap from these guys but you have to be a shrewed buyer. Don't buy busted stuff.) Storage Bins: Ikea Samla Boxes (I have at least 100 of these stackable boxes up on wall shelves. Nice and tidy!) Industrial Label Printer: Zebra SL105 Benchtop Label Printer: Zebra TLP-2844 (They appear on ebay regularly!) A microscope would be an excellent addition to the list. Ebay has tons of usb microscopes.
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