Author Topic: making and programming a 6 led display  (Read 1860 times)

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Offline vialickTopic starter

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making and programming a 6 led display
« on: April 05, 2009, 12:37:15 AM »
While waiting for a programmer to be delivered that may actually work with slightly modern hardware (modern hardware being a computer with no parallel or serial ports) I thought it may be a good idea to try and use up some of the leftover components from making the $50 robot to make a little 6-bit display (6 LEDs, each one representing 1 bit). As I'm fairly unexperienced in electronics (studied it in high-school, made some guitar FX pedals that didn't work and some audio cables) and programming (I think I have a half-finished C++ battleships program lying around somewhere) I thought I'd make sure what I'm wanting to do may be capable of doing something.

I've started to make a connector that would go from the 6 servo outputs (and ground) to a spare piece of perfboard, each out hooking up to a 330 ohm resistor and LED. Assuming this will work I'd like it to be able to display various things, such as the photoresistor readings, and comparisons of them. In the future I think it would be a good way to test some ideas.

Software wise my programming skills have gone rusty, but I've managed to do a basic prototype of the functions in python3k (probably backward compatable though). I guess I'll need to port it over to C, any help to do this would be super-appreciated, especially the outputting parts, and conversion to binary (last time I encountered binary conversion in C it was using bitwise logic operators, which I'm not exactly the best at using...or understanding even).

The way I've set it to work is so that the display functions return a 6 bit code, that code would then be interpreted in binary as: 1 = light on, 0 = light off

So here's the python code:

def strengthdisplay (data):
    """turn 8 bit data into a number between 0 and 6"""
    data = int(data / 37)
    led = 0
    if   data == 0: led = 0b000000
    elif data == 1: led = 0b000001
    elif data == 2: led = 0b000011
    elif data == 3: led = 0b000111
    elif data == 4: led = 0b001111
    elif data == 5: led = 0b011111
    else:           led = 0b111111
    return led

def doublestrengthdisplay (data1, data2):
    """turn two lots of 8 bit data into 2 numbers between 0 and 3"""
    data1 = int(data1/64)
    data2 = int(data2/64)
    led = 0
    #process the first signal
    if data1 == 0:   led = 0b000000
    elif data1 == 1: led = 0b000001
    elif data1 == 2: led = 0b000011
    else:            led = 0b000111

    #now append the second signal
    if data2 == 0:  led += 0b000000
    elif data2 ==1: led += 0b100000
    elif data2 ==2: led += 0b110000
    else:           led += 0b111000
    return led

def sigdifference (data1, data2):
    """compares data1 to data2 and plots the difference"""
    #subtracting an 8 bit number from another 8 bit number can have a
    #difference of 511, we need to create a number between -3 and 3
    number = (int(data1 / 64) - int(data2 / 64))
    led = 0
    if   number ==-3: led = 0b000001
    elif number ==-2: led = 0b000010
    elif number ==-1: led = 0b000100
    elif number == 0: led = 0b000000
    elif number == 1: led = 0b001000
    elif number == 2: led = 0b010000
    elif number == 3: led = 0b100000   
    return led

def display (ledout):
    """switch on the lights"""
    #create a binary listing of ledout
    ledout = bin(ledout)
    # something to remove the "0b" prefix should go here, this may just be python
    #also it should make sure that all the '0's are there
    #ledno = 0 #used to chose which led should be switched on
    for x in (bin(5)):
        if x > "0": print ("x") #portoff(ledno)
        elif x < "1": print ("O")#proton(ledno)
        #ledno += 1

#a bit of code here to give an example of the functions
import random
print ("strengthdisplay:")
for x in range(20): print (bin((strengthdisplay(random.randint(0, 255)))))
print ("doublestrengthdisplay:")
for x in range(20): print (bin(doublestrengthdisplay(random.randint(0,255),random.randint(0,255))))
print ("sigdifference:")
for x in range(20): print (bin(sigdifference(random.randint(0,255),random.randint(0,255))))

Does anyone think this may work?
Is there a better design I could use for the code?

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: making and programming a 6 led display
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2009, 11:17:08 AM »
In the C code, say you are using the D ports on the microcontroller. In the set-up phase, you would do the following to set all the D ports to output. This is located in the configure_ports method in SoR_Utils.h
Code: [Select]
DDRD = 0xFF;

In the main code, to turn LEDs on or off, you would do
Code: [Select]
PORTD = 0b00001111;
To turn half the ports high and half the ports low. I am unsure how you wired the LEDs up, so 0 might be on or 1 might be on. In the code, the 1 turns the signal port high.

Offline vialickTopic starter

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Re: making and programming a 6 led display
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2009, 06:51:33 PM »
so I can just send the binary form to PORTD and it will light up as I want? (If so that's bloody brilliant)

say I have 6 LEDs and want them to light up as follows:
XooXXX (x is on, o is off)
I would just write
PORTD = 0b100111

Offline Admin

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Re: making and programming a 6 led display
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2009, 09:25:59 PM »
Make sure you declare port D as output.

Offline paulstreats

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Re: making and programming a 6 led display
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 12:03:18 PM »
yes it will work just as easy as that.

If you had 8 LED's to represent full 8-bit binary it would be better than 6. say you made a reading with the analog module you could just say PORTD = ADRESL         and the led's would light up with the binary representation of the reading    (where ADRESL is the register where the analog reading is). you can assign hex directly to it or a char variable directly to it.

so the decimal number 45 can be represeted by binary (00101101) or by hex (2D)

so you could : PORTD = 45
or PORTD = 0b00101101
or PORTD = 0x2D

all of these will light the leds in the binary representation.

also if you have a 8 bit variable you can directly get the value from this.

char myvar = 45;
PORTD = myvar


Offline vialickTopic starter

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Re: making and programming a 6 led display
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 09:18:51 PM »
Yeah I'd thought about the binary representation, started trying to code for it (when I thought I'd have to run it through a loop using bitwise logic and that just sent shivers down my spine)...I only just realised that there were 8 D ports (and that on the $50 robot board there are only 5 servo outputs, not 6)

anyway I think I might keep it to 6 as I've already made the board and a cable for the display, also I could then have it running while the robot drives around, and it would be easy to hook up 2 more LEDs later (though there's no more space on the board)

which leads to annother question, if I want to have servos on d ports 0 and 1, and the led display on 2 - 7, when I display a value would it cause any problems for the servo (I imagine if I were to call the display function before anything involving movement it wouldn't matter, but I would like to know).

Would the best way be to have the functions return the display value shifted up two bits, ie. instead of 0b111111 have 0b00111111

Well, my programmer has arrived, I'll report back on how it goes.


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