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Author Topic: A community project for the summer perhaps?  (Read 60502 times)

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Offline SmAsH

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #150 on: January 16, 2008, 04:39:55 PM »
hmm..its a posibility
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Offline Asellith

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #151 on: January 16, 2008, 04:42:14 PM »
Ro-bot-x mentioned using the I2C bus for powering the electronics. that might not be the best if you get 6 or 8 modules we might over load the bus power. Just depends on where it is supplied from. If we separate it and power it desperately on the main master board then it would be ok. Just something to watch for.
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Offline dunk

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #152 on: January 16, 2008, 05:01:23 PM »
Quote
Ro-bot-x mentioned using the I2C bus for powering the electronics. that might not be the best if you get 6 or 8 modules we might over load the bus power. Just depends on where it is supplied from. If we separate it and power it desperately on the main master board then it would be ok. Just something to watch for.
yes. while it is an advantage to have the option of taking power from the main bus there are times when you might want an alternative power source for a module.
or you may just have too many modules for your main voltage regulator and need an alternative power source.

what about a simple jumper before the +ive output on the bus header and +ive and -ive pins else where?
that way people can leave it open, solder it closed or put header pins on it so they can jumper it as they see fit.


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Offline SmAsH

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #153 on: January 16, 2008, 05:31:36 PM »
thats a great idea dunk.. we should ask admin to consider it..


~smash
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Offline dunk

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #154 on: January 16, 2008, 05:54:54 PM »
Smash,
please refrain from replying to every post on the forum unless you have something to add to the conversation.


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Offline garriwilson

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #155 on: January 16, 2008, 06:05:05 PM »
I think it's a little too early to apply for a member's account on the tutorial section. Once we're done, each group can look over their work, and organize it into instructions that are easily understood. That's when the member tutorial account comes in.

Offline Asellith

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #156 on: January 16, 2008, 11:12:08 PM »
Ok just to add a little organization to the coming projects I created a list of potential modules. This will be added to and modified over time to include who is working on what module so that people don't do more then one without combining their work. I wrote this in 15 mins and will put more thought and ideas into it later to flesh it out more. Thats just what came to me in about 5 mins of typing. So look for an update tomorrow when I have some time to work on it.

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddgqp9wc_0gpbcwmgm&hl=en

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Offline SmAsH

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #157 on: January 16, 2008, 11:16:36 PM »
when i try to get in it tells me that i need you to grant me access?
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #158 on: January 17, 2008, 06:43:12 AM »
I think we should get started on one of the modules , so we have an example of how we want it .

I believe it should be an accessory to the main processing unit , instead of the main processing unit itself ( since that will take considerably longer)
Also, the modules should  have universal interfaces ( I believe you guys mentioned I2C ? ) so they can be interfaced to almost any  microcontroller board

This part should not take longer than two weeks to design , if it is a simple one like an H-Bridge. But someone will have to etch it , someone will have to make the plastic case for it , etc.

We should decide on our first module and then estimate the cost and time . The circuit should not be so difficult since it is only one module. Thats the beauty of it. Separately, each module is just a tiny simple circuit. Together , its one gigantic complex circuit. 

The first module should be available next month IF we begin planning right away, this module will be heavily documented and pics will be posted online so that whoever else wants to make a module to add to the online collection , will look at our first module as the "model child", and see what they can learn and copy ( design-wise ) from it.
 
I volunteer myself for this project , it has a lot of potential.   ;)
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Offline hazzer123

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #159 on: January 17, 2008, 06:55:12 AM »
Hmmm im not sure if we are going to make modules that are as elementary as a H-Bridge.
 I think the idea was to create more specific modules that do particular tasks which are commonly required in robotics projects. Each with its own MCU.
So maybe not a H-Bridge, but a DC motor Controller, which can handle more complex tasks like PWM and encoders.
And this has already been started, see Ro-Bot-X's post.
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #160 on: January 17, 2008, 07:05:56 AM »
I se


first I think we should compress the board width, make everything much closer together . Run the schematic by a few people , look for errors , improvements , extra LEDs , etc.

Then finally etch it.
Someone make the unbreakable plastic casing for it and put everything together.

All done , module number 1  ( lol its rhymes)

We also need people to document it
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Offline Asellith

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #161 on: January 17, 2008, 07:22:18 AM »
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddgqp9wc_0gpbcwmgm

fixed document so that other can view it. Not familiar with google docs yet :)
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Offline Rebelgium

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #162 on: January 17, 2008, 07:47:01 AM »
I don't think there neds to be a plastic casing around each module.
Too much work, unnecessairy, place consuming , ... are just a few argument that come to mind.

I think all the modules should be stacked on top of eachother and/or next to eachother (stack and puzzle them in any configuration you want and what fits bets into your robot)
using regular spacers.

And then, if you want, you can add one plastic case around it.
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #163 on: January 17, 2008, 08:02:06 AM »
the reason i like plastic cases is because I had this really nice PIC programmer I just bought and then it fell down  :'(

i bought a new pic programmer with plastic casing and I have dropped it multiple times ( on concrete , lol ) and its still working like new!

Im not talking about a huge plastic casing , just enough casing to cover the PCB to protect it from damage.
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Offline garriwilson

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #164 on: January 17, 2008, 09:03:33 AM »
No offense but I strongly suggest you guys stay away from this posting of ideas. Maybe every participant could log on to skype or some other program from 6 to 7, 7 to 8 o'clock and talk about it. With the posts, what you do in 5 days can take less than 1 hour because when you post it takes time for it to get answered.

Just a suggestion. You guys could decide what time you want to log in, maybe from 6-9 PM will be the operating time, and people could log in at any time they can from 6-9. Then a couple of people could do a report on what was achieved every day (summary), so people who couldn't make it are in the flow of things.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 09:05:49 AM by garriwilson »

Offline Trumpkin

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #165 on: January 17, 2008, 09:09:17 AM »
yeah we should definently have plastic casings around each module. we could just use the ones from radioshack. So are we using AVR or PIC.  I think for now the Atmega 168 would be all we need.
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #166 on: January 17, 2008, 10:57:51 AM »
No offense but I strongly suggest you guys stay away from this posting of ideas. Maybe every participant could log on to skype or some other program from 6 to 7, 7 to 8 o'clock and talk about it. With the posts, what you do in 5 days can take less than 1 hour because when you post it takes time for it to get answered.

Just a suggestion. You guys could decide what time you want to log in, maybe from 6-9 PM will be the operating time, and people could log in at any time they can from 6-9. Then a couple of people could do a report on what was achieved every day (summary), so people who couldn't make it are in the flow of things.

the calling would never work out. People go on this forum whenever they feel like it and 6-9 pm in california can be 3 PM in new york, etc.  I would say post as much ideas as possible and have one person ( the organizer) set up a website or blog with each module having its own separate info  , taken from the best ideas. Then groups of people would just work on their own separate modules that they choose.

C'mon whats the first module that we will be building???
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Offline Trumpkin

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #167 on: January 17, 2008, 11:45:10 AM »
well first we need to decide what microcontroller we are using.
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #168 on: January 17, 2008, 11:48:56 AM »
AVR
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Offline hazzer123

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #169 on: January 17, 2008, 11:52:25 AM »
I'm not sure if it matters which one. We could make a PIC and an AVR version of a main board. Indeed we could make a PIC and an AVR version of everyboard, but it doesn't matter if we mix and match. You could have a PIC main board attached to an AVR stepper controller etc.

Also, if we allow people to create boards with either, then it will be more accessible to people who only have experience/equipment with one type.
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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #170 on: January 17, 2008, 11:54:17 AM »
I'm not sure if it matters which one. We could make a PIC and an AVR version of a main board. Indeed we could make a PIC and an AVR version of everyboard, but it doesn't matter if we mix and match. You could have a PIC main board attached to an AVR stepper controller etc.

Also, if we allow people to create boards with either, then it will be more accessible to people who only have experience/equipment with one type.

yeah thats true , as long as they have the same interfaces
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Offline Rebelgium

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #171 on: January 17, 2008, 12:55:21 PM »
as mentioned above, skype isn't a good idea.
Not everyone lives in the same timezone...

Wether or not to use plastic casing is up to the final user.
the reason i like plastic cases is because I had this really nice PIC programmer I just bought and then it fell down  :'(

i bought a new pic programmer with plastic casing and I have dropped it multiple times ( on concrete , lol ) and its still working like new!

Im not talking about a huge plastic casing , just enough casing to cover the PCB to protect it from damage.
The modules are fixed inside or on top of a robot... plastic casing around each module seperatly is useless in most cases.

I agree that there needs to be a blog/site/google docs to post all decision that are already made, progress etc.

And PIC and AVR is the way to go.


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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #172 on: January 17, 2008, 12:59:33 PM »

The modules are fixed inside or on top of a robot... plastic casing around each module seperatly is useless in most cases.

Not really useless just it becomes a pain to fasten down each individual module, though the wires coming from black boxes connecting using the headers would look really cool and very organized.

I think we should make each module with mounting holes for a case if someone needs it.

Also, do you think it is feasible / better for every module to have standard dimensions, that would make life easy.
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Offline Asellith

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #173 on: January 17, 2008, 01:26:15 PM »
Plastic Case:
   My impression was these modules would be placed into a working robot with some time unmounted for testing but these are suppose to be drop in modules that are controlled by a central MCU and or computer. So they will all be mounted together and connected to each other then once the design is finished the set of modules would be placed in a chassis of a robot. Each module doesn't need to be separately mounted in a case. Case cost money. If someone found a good case that would work for the finalized physical module then sure post it but a custom designed case would not be a good idea. We already have standard dimensions defined so find a case could be easy see the physical module desc. doc posted earlier for more info.



AVR or PIC:

   Both. no reason not to. The code can be handled by experts in each MCU and the physical design will be almost identical. What I see is a standard module PCB/schematic that will accommodate each module and is build using a set BOM to match the module design and the builder puts the code on the MCU and installs it.
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Offline Ro-Bot-X

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #174 on: January 17, 2008, 01:55:28 PM »
I have halved the board and it could get even smaller. Again, the traces are not optimised, just autoroute.
2 of these boards (a motor controller and a sensor board for example) can be connected in series, then a full size board can be stacked on top of them (or under). Once the layout is set, I can design a medium power motor controller, a servo controller and low and medium power stepper controller. I don't know how to do it properly for high power motors.

We need to specify the placement of the I2C connectors!

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Offline dunk

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #175 on: January 17, 2008, 05:21:37 PM »
Quote
We need to specify the placement of the I2C connectors!

yes indeed.
i think the i2c and power connector should be mounted closer to one corner of the board so 38 x 38mm boards can be plugged in while still staying on the same mounting hole grid.

Ro-Bot-X: have you actually used the right angle header pin sockets in your schematic?
do you think they will do what we want? i certainly like the look of them?
got a part number for them?
also, which Eagle library are they under?

Quote
I think we should make each module with mounting holes for a case if someone needs it.

Also, do you think it is feasible / better for every module to have standard dimensions, that would make life easy.

already discussed and documented:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddp2r5j8_24hhf75vck&hl=en

Quote
well first we need to decide what microcontroller we are using.

no we don't. as long as all the modules communicate on the bus according to the standard it does not matter what hardware is used to make them.
that being said, my example firmware runs on the atmega8 so that will be the easiest starting point.
i hope to get my test boards built and the firmware tested and documented over the weekend.


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Offline airman00

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #176 on: January 17, 2008, 05:23:54 PM »
@ dunk

I think you and Aselith should combine Google Pages, you both have them. Copy Aselith's page onto yours , or take whatever parts he has that you don't. Otherwise we won't know which one to check.
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Offline SmAsH

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #177 on: January 17, 2008, 06:11:04 PM »
so, do you mean to have like 2 copies of it on 2 websites?
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Offline Asellith

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #178 on: January 17, 2008, 06:23:39 PM »
Currently there are 3 documents produced on Google pages right now.

Dunk started 2 namely the Design requirements for the I2C bus posted earlier and the physical dimensions document.

I started another one that will be for discussing the future modules.

The links are all posted here and viewable to anyone as we edit them to include data from the forum posts. So no need to combine them because they are all separate topics for the total project. I am assuming this is only the start and there will be plenty of documents by the end of this. So bookmark those babies and hang on for the ride :)

Also check the documents every once in a while to keep up with them. They are fluid documents right now and stuff is changing daily.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 06:24:53 PM by Asellith »
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Offline dunk

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Re: A community project for the summer perhaps?
« Reply #179 on: January 17, 2008, 06:26:40 PM »
hey airman00,
the pages are for completely different purposes.
one is a module list, one is a list of requirments for PCBs and one is a design doc for the communication protocol.

you have a point though: we need a directory page for documentation. in the short term i'll put links to all pages at the top of all 3.

Communication Protocol#; http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddp2r5j8_21dgt72qgz&hl=en
Module List: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddgqp9wc_0gpbcwmgm&hl=en
PCB Design: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=ddp2r5j8_24hhf75vck&hl=en

dunk.

 


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