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Electronics / Re: Reusing a Microchip
« Last post by waltr on September 11, 2014, 09:03:29 AM »
First, Microchip is a BRAND name like FORD or NISSIAN.

Second, most of this chips found in consumer device like DVD players are custom made and there will be NO INFO available and they are not re-purposable.
Electronics / Finishing up servo controller and I need a small favor...
« Last post by nidalxbot on September 11, 2014, 09:02:24 AM »
I'm here for not so long and one of the first things to post on this forum is: I would like to ask you for a small favor.

I'm close to finishing design of a controller box for RC servos which should be done in a few weeks and I was wondering if you guys and gals could answer a few questions and help me make it even better.

I've been working on this controller during August and am wraping up the design in a week or two so I can have prototypes shipped to me before Halloween.

It will be able to control 16 servos, will have power supply for servos, USB connection to PC with Java and C/C++ programming interface, UART connection for the same interface. There will be a simple software for Win/Mac/Linux that can be used to control servos and write and run control scripts in Lua.

Now, I need your help here. Before I wrap up everything and send it off for prototype manufacturing I want to make sure that I've covered as much as there can be. Basically I would like to maximize return for money paid for prototypes (it's never cheap :)

That's where you come in. Please take a few minutes and just let me know, out of top of your head:

A) What would you put in/on this servo controller based on your experience/desires:

B) As far as electronics go, what would be the number one thing (or two...) you would put on this servo controller board? (uSD card? 32 servo connectors? LCD? pot to control servo position? anything...)

C) As far as PC software goes, what would be that most important function (or functions :) to implement? (scripting? mouse control? saving settings? graphs? whatever...)

Of course, if there's anything else you would like to write about servo controller(s), please do :o)

Mechanics and Construction / Re: Where do i begin?
« Last post by jkerns on September 10, 2014, 04:38:19 PM »
To move arms people typically use RC servos or geared DC motors. The servo has the advantage in that it has a built in sensor and feedback control. With a DC motor you would have to add a sensor of some type if you want accurate position control.

For controlling arms via programming (as opposed to just radio control) most of the controller options I mentioned can be made to work. Arduino's are designed to be easy for non-programmers to use. The Atmel AVR chips (which are used in the Arduio) can be programmed in C as can PIC micro controllers but it's more work to get things like RC servos to work properly.
Mechanics and Construction / Re: Where do i begin?
« Last post by kampi on September 10, 2014, 11:26:14 AM »
Thank you for your answer.

What interests me the most? I'd say programming, and construction. Electronics is not really my thing. I have basic knowledge, but don't really liked it. I know it is part of robots :)

Robot kits is a great idee. Thank you for that. But unfortunately, i didn't find what i am looking for. Or i searched at the wrong place.
I know what i want to build. I mean how it should look like. So i can build the body. My problem is, i don't know what kind of controller do i need? Or what i need to move an arm. Which parts(if i buy them as a kit or) will fit together and which not. The programmatic part wouldn't be a problem (I hope at least :) ) So basicaly the electronic part is missing.
http://www.robotshop.com/en/dagu-mini-robots-kit.html looks the closest to what i want. It can give out a sound, has a programmable LED, but doesn't have any arms, and i don't need legs, it should roll :)
Misc / Re: Crimper advice
« Last post by bdeuell on September 10, 2014, 10:11:53 AM »
A paladin crimper has been on my wish list. I was looking at the 8000 series CrimpAll which i believe is their low cost version (~$70). They have interchangeable dies so the same tool can be used for many connector types (~$30 for a die set).

I think crimpers (or dies) are typically designed for a specific connector but I have used crimpers for multiple connectors in the past with success. My experience is the crimper may not fit exactly but many connectors use similar die shapes and you can get away with using the "wrong" dies for similar style connectors. I wouldn't recommend this if you are building a space shuttle but for hobby projects a crimper is usually better than pliers.  :)

I know molex has their own brand of crimpers so if you plan on crimping mostly their connectors you may want to look at that. Of course they have different ones for different connectors and they are probably not cheap. If you know what connector you will use 90% of the time i would find something that is designed to crimp that.

Whatever you decide to get i'd be interested in a review.
Mechanics and Construction / Any similar motor?
« Last post by extreme.aly on September 10, 2014, 02:16:48 AM »
Hello everyone,

Can anyone suggest a motor similar to Faulhaber2342L012?

Torque and RPM is what matters, not the size... It doesn't have to be exact, but close by torque and RPM..

Thank you.
Misc / Crimper advice
« Last post by garriwilson on September 09, 2014, 08:59:49 PM »
Hey, I'm thinking about getting a crimper and have seen some in the 20-50$ range that were recommended in other threads. I want to know how to decide on a crimper in the first place. Are crimpers universal? If I get one, is it only going to be able to crimp one type of connector?

Probably the most useful for me would be molex connectors. I just need advice on whether to get a better more expensive crimper so that I can use it for later projects if needed.

Misc / Re: Can I make something else with the "Make: it robotics starter kit"?
« Last post by bdeuell on September 09, 2014, 04:42:59 PM »
It looks like there are a few expansion kits for that robot, have you looked at those?

Alternatively you could expand and add on to the robot or build a new robot perhaps using some of those components.

The question is what do you want to do? What are your interests, mechanics, electronics, software, etc.? What would you like to make the robot do?

I recommend you start small and work in steps; for example, if you are interested in electronics you can add new sensors or if you are interested in mechanics you could ad a gripper, etc.
Mechanics and Construction / Re: Where do i begin?
« Last post by jkerns on September 09, 2014, 01:35:20 PM »
I hate to answer by not answering, but where do you want to start?

What interests you the most - construction, electronics, programming? 
All of the above?

You can buy ready to run robots, you can buy kits, you can use Legos, you can build a robot from wood, plastic or cardboard...  You can even hack RC vehicles.

For controllers - some kits come with one, you can use something like an Arduino, Raspberry pi, you can build your own using any number of micro controller chips.

Start by reading through the $50 robot tutorial on this site for a good example of a bottom line DIY approach. You could expand on that with better hardware and a more capable micro (I like the ATmega1284p for the most pins in a through hole package) or swap in an Arduino.

A search for robot kits will get you lots of choices from places like sparkfun, pololu, robot shop, etc.

Once you have some idea about what exists on the ends of the spectrum, then you can better decide where to jump in.
Mechanics and Construction / Where do i begin?
« Last post by kampi on September 09, 2014, 11:51:18 AM »

i'm interested in robotics, and i have an idea what i want to build. I should say, that i never ever built a robot before, and never programmed one. However i am programming a lot in C/C++, i just don't know how to build/program my robot. Where do i begin?
I want to build 5 or 6 small robots. They should be able:
- to roll on wheels( 2,3 or more),
- change direction,
- lift something(nothing heavy) which means they do have to have arms,
- have a LED which lights up if i program it to,
- and they should (2 of them) be able to play a sound(or beep like morce code).

So my question is, what parts do i require, and how do i put them together? And how do i program them? Ohh, and one more. Is it possible to start them simultanously somehow? Don't worry if it is too hard, because i like challenges :)

Thanks in advance!
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