Author Topic: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)  (Read 1706 times)

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Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« on: November 05, 2011, 10:59:15 AM »
In th Voice Controlled Robot instructible (Instructibles.com), the engineer says to program the VR module using an FTDI TTL serial to USB module...well I bought it, and i see it has a serial port....but what the heck do I connect it to? What do I do with it?

There is plenty of literature on all this stuff, but it might as well be in chinese lol. Please help.

I just ordered the hardware programmer to program the Axon (because the bootloader dont work on my 64 bit OS). So all I need is this and I should be able to finish the project without any more frantic posts lol.

Mike
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 07:39:52 PM by michealcollins »

Offline peterb

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2011, 12:09:53 PM »
Hello,

FTDI:
If I am not mistaken, it is an USB-Serial interface, so you can plug it in into a PC USB usb port with an appropriate USB cable.

http://www.ftdichip.com/

First you should have to install the driver for the FTDI chip, but if I remember well, it was automatically installed by Win XP or I could use the driver from the link above.

After installing the driver and connecting an USB cable into PC and your module, you will see a new COM port on your PC.

By the way, I search after "Voice Controlled Robot" on Instructibles.com, but there were plenty of them. If you have put a link into the question, I probably could have given you more information.

Peter

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2011, 06:43:16 PM »
Oh sorry. I thought it was the first one that comes up on the search. But here is the link:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Voice-Control-Robot-in-7-Minutes/

I actually did plug the FTDI board into my CPU and it seemed to automatically install drivers on my computer (Windows 7).

So from what you say, I open up the Easy VR software and a new COM port will activate?

Mike

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2011, 06:52:23 PM »
ok so i plugged it into my computer again, and opened up the Easy VR Commander. I click "connect" and it says nothing is connected to COM Port 4 (the only port that seems to be available). So i'm not sure what to do....and I mean, even if I was able to upload the VR stuff to the FTDI...then what? How does it get onto the easyVR board?

Mike

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 07:05:38 PM »
Ok, so i tried again after I affirmed that I was using the proper COM port (COM 4 is the USB port the FTDI is attached to). When I click "connect" in the easy VR software, a prompt says "could not detect device connect to COM 4". The FTDI status LED blinks though...so it's being addressed...

mike

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2011, 07:25:28 PM »
So I reread the instructions posted:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Voice-Control-Robot-in-7-Minutes/step3/Configure-VRbot/

and it seems to say that he programmed the easyVR using a "FTDI adaptor" yet gives a link to an FTDI board...I looked up the:

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9718

It says that it has the "same functionality as the basic FTDI breakout board"....so was I just supposed to get the FTDI cable (not the board) and connect it to the VR module???

Mike
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 12:19:42 PM by michealcollins »

Offline Admin

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2011, 10:10:16 PM »
Let's start with the basics . . . is your VR module powered up with the correct voltage when you have it connected to the FTDI and USB?

Do you have Rx and Tx in the right places?

Is the VR module connected to COM4 . . . or perhaps a different COM port? (see device manager to verify)

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2011, 12:06:20 PM »
I dont have anything connected to the FTDI board. The only USB I'm using is the Axon II output. I dont know what to do with the FTDI board yet.

AS per the instructible, the blue/white UART cable is connected from the EasyVR to the Axon II correctly (T/R on U2). I have the black/red cable connected from J1 on the EasyVR to the 5V regulated line on the Axon II. But the instructible says to use a 5V USB output, which is confusing because I dont see any USB output except for the one that connects to my computer from the Axon II.

As far as the VR module being connected to COM4...I connected the Axon II to my computer and it is being seen in my device manager as COM3. The Easy VR software is seeing only COM3 as well, yet it says it is not recognizing the device when I go to connect. Now, of coarse this could be due to that I have not programmed my Axon yet (still waiting for hardware programmer).

My question though was pertaining to the FTDI board, and how I am supposed ot use it to program the EasyVR module...I was hoping to get that figured out by the time my hardware programmer arrived (as the project must be finished by next weekend).

Mike

Offline peterb

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2011, 02:13:55 PM »
Hello,

I think, that the FTDI is working well (you have seen the new COM port).

About the USB: I think, that every USB is 5V (approximately of course, it could be a bit lower in real life, but it is not important).

Peter

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2011, 04:53:42 PM »
well the problem is that I have not hooked up the FTDI breakout board. So it's not working yet. All I did was plug the VR mod into the Axon II, and then the Axon II into the USB Com port (3) of my computer. My original question was regarding using the Sparkfun FTDI board to program my VR mod.

I ordered a hardware programmer so I could program the Axon II. The programmer should be in the mail soon. But right now, I was trying to figure out what needed to be done with the FTDI breakout board so that when the Axon programming is complete, I can quickly move on to programming the VR mod. As of right now, this FTDI board is just this quarter sized circuit that I have no idea what to do with.

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2011, 04:57:46 PM »
this is the board I bought. I dont know what to do with it...supposedly it is used in conjunction with the VR mod to program it...

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/718

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2011, 03:57:52 PM »
Ok, I uploaded the Axon II demo hex file...so now i'm ready to program the VR Mod....still dont know how to do this though. I have the easy VR module hooked up to the Axon II, power on...so what do I do with this FTDI breakout board?

Offline joe61

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2011, 04:08:33 PM »
Did you look at the product's web site? They have a user manual with schematics, instructions for wiring it, sample Arduino libraries, etc.

http://www.veear.eu/Products/VRbot.aspx

This links to documentation and code.

Joe

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 04:54:03 PM »
yes. I didnt see anything regarding use of an FTDI breakout board to program the EasyVR module.

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 05:15:16 PM »
when I plug the FTDI board into my computer, the device manager recognizes it as COM4.

Offline joe61

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2011, 05:46:10 PM »
yes. I didnt see anything regarding use of an FTDI breakout board to program the EasyVR module.
Well when I look at page 14 it shows the attached diagram. This tells me that you hook up the host TX to the VR RX, and the host RX to the VR TX. It also explains the protocol to use.

I think you're getting too hung up on the FTDI board. That's just a way to speak serial to TTL device - you could use any number of other boards to do the same thing. Try hooking the two up the way the manual says, and using the communications protocol described there.

Joe

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2011, 06:16:19 PM »
yeah I read that. That describes how to hook the VR mod up to the MCU...so I kinda guessed I could try and hook it up to the FTDI the same way. Didnt work though. I'm just not sure if I'm doing it right. When I go to the EasyVR Commander software to try and "connect", it says it doesnt recognize the device in COM4.




Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2011, 07:41:08 PM »
I have been checking past posts from other SOR members regarding the VRbot and FTDI, and it seems I am not alone when it comes to the confusion on how to program this thing.

Offline michealcollinsTopic starter

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Re: Sparkfun FTDI Board for Voice Controlled Robot (question)
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2011, 09:28:37 PM »
Ok...looks like those connections worked. Even though I was kinda already there, a big thanks Joe!! I took my multimeter just to be sure I was getting good connections between the FTDI and VR module...looks like I needed to make my jury rigging a lil tighter. Anyway....until my next catastophe....

 


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