Author Topic: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232  (Read 5442 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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$50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« on: May 22, 2007, 01:02:15 PM »
I am retiring the chassis of the $50 robot due to its ultra-ghetto-ness.

I will continue to use the same electronics and software, but the chassis is an insult to my professional degree in mechanical engineering :P

I will use a new chassis that I made with CNC, but I will post plans for people to loosely copy it. Im sure most of you after building the original chassis has enough skills to build what you want now, anyway.

If anyone sees a problem with this, speak now or forever hold your robots ;D

Also, Im going to make the bold decision to call rs232 officially outdated and I will no longer support it. I will also not ever write a tutorial about it.

All robots I make in the future will be USB enabled. As such, I will write a USB for robots tutorial. Considering many laptops no longer have serial anyway, I dont think most people will have a problem with this. Once again, if you do have a problem, speak now or forever hold your robots ;D

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2007, 01:17:10 PM »
Hmmmm I just found this rs232 board for just $7:
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=133

If you want serial, buy that. No need to make your own circuit at that price! :P

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2007, 01:51:10 PM »
Yes, RS232 is becoming obsolete. TTL serial (hardware UART) is not. So make sure your boards will have a 3 or 5 pin female connector so you can plug in one of these:

- Bluetooth adapter - for a wireless serial link to your PC, PDA or mobile phone
- radio transceiver
- IR serial adapter
- AVR CAM or CMU CAM
- CAT's whiskers
- another MCU

There may be others, sorry if I have missed them.

Some of the above devices may also become obsolete. But just in case you need one of them, is better to have the connector ready.

And yeah, what about that chassis anyway? Jar lids may be used for wheels with slices of bicycle inner tube as tires and a bigger prototyping board can hold the electronics, servos and batteries. As for the third wheel just use a round cabinet button. If you really want it to look nicer just cut a rectangular piece from any flat plastic thing you find around the house. Use double side adhesive foam to fix everything on it.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 02:06:08 PM by Ro-Bot-X »
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Offline dunk

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 05:37:18 PM »
hmm, i think you are being overly dismissive of RS232.
it is the simplest (and cheepest) way of adding communication between a PC and any microcontroller equipped with a UART.
whenever i plan to use the TTL UART on any microcontroller i always debug using a MAX232 level shifter and connect it to a RS232 port on a PC.

i do agree though that people are less likely to use the RS232 port for a final project but it is still a robust debugging tool.

dunk.
(who has had to set up too many RS232 devices in the past to let go that easily....)

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 07:18:58 PM »
Quote
it is the simplest (and cheepest) way of adding communication between a PC and any microcontroller equipped with a UART.
It is for now, but thats changing. I think serial will go the way of the floppy drive within the next 5 or so years . . .

And its not cheaper if you have to buy a USB to serial converter because your Dell laptop doesnt have a serial port . . . <grumble grumble> :P

Offline reSpawn

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2007, 05:21:49 AM »
so you'll post a tutorial how to make a programmer for ATmega8 using USB ?:D

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2007, 08:57:56 AM »
yup. probably within the next few weeks, too.

Offline reSpawn

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2007, 10:52:51 AM »
Also, ONLYif you have time, it would be interesting if you would do it PIC and Atmel way.

Offline sdk32285

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2007, 08:01:51 PM »
Hi
I have to agree with dunk. RS-232 is still a major protocol. Many motor controllers, sensors, etc.. that you can buy off the shelf require RS-232. This is especially true when using a computer in the robot (laptop, PC104, etc..).
Also if you are switching everything to USB a useful chip to mention in tutorial is the FTDI. It is a serial to USB converter IC.

Some of us will forever love (except soldering DB-9 connections for) RS-232.
Robots for Roboticists Blog - http://robotsforroboticists.com/

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2007, 08:46:37 PM »
Quote
I have to agree with dunk. RS-232 is still a major protocol. Many motor controllers, sensors, etc.. that you can buy off the shelf require RS-232.
I have been thinking about this for awhile and I think maybe I should still support both . . . Ill do both then :P

Quote
Some of us will forever love (except soldering DB-9 connections for) RS-232.
This is one major reason why I want to swap to USB :P

Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2007, 11:17:27 PM »
Quote
Some of us will forever love (except soldering DB-9 connections for) RS-232.
This is one major reason why I want to swap to USB :P

This is the reason that we need to use a small RS232 adapter for all microcontrollers instead of having the interface built in. Just install on the microcontroller board a 5 pin female connector so you will be able to plug the serial adapter OR any other serial device, for instance a bluetooth serial link, or a daughter board with a second microcontroller serial controlled, or a CMU Cam or an AVR Cam.

For those who don't have serial ports on the laptop anymore, instructions for building a USB to TTL serial adapter (or links to buy one) will be perfect.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 11:22:01 PM by Ro-Bot-X »
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Offline JonHylands

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2007, 05:07:22 AM »
I've done the TTL-level interface on all my robots for quite some time. A 4-pin connector, that provides power from the robot, ground, Tx and Rx. I have a nice little board that I had printed a few years back with a DS-275 on it, with a DB-9 soldered to the board.



I use a phone cable to go from the board to a Molex connector. Because I used to use PIC 16F876's so often, I ordered the pins the same way the pins on the chip are, which is +5, ground, Rx, and Tx (from the PIC's perspective).

Now, since I no longer have a DB-9 serial on my laptop, I use a USB <-> RS-232 converter with this board for my logging. Since the DS-275 is limited to 19,200, if I want to go faster I use a direct USB <-> TTL interface board (Sparkfun sells a couple).

- Jon

Offline NOOBinDistress

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2007, 06:30:59 PM »
I have no clue what this whole conversation was about but I am almost done my 50 dollar robot and do not want to have to start over :'(

Offline rgcustodio

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Re: $50 Robot will be retired, and rs232
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2007, 10:08:33 AM »
I'm actually planning to make the "$50 Robot" but with common off the shelf parts (pre-made modules from several vendors) as the learning experience would be invaluable. Think of it as an "alternative implementation" :)

- Rommel
The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. - H. W. Longfellow

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