Plane | 3 Functional Parts and Other Ideas [Documentation]

I’ve still got no idea what i’m going to name it.  If you’ve got an idea in for the name, feel free to leave it in the comments. Actually on that note, If you’re reading this PLEASE leave a comment. I’ve had A LOT of bot traffic lately so i’m starting to really crack down on who’s a real reader or a bot.

So as you can see in the video above, I’ve gotten all 3 components working. I can use either joystick axis to control either the left or right servo independently. The potentiometer controls the value that is sent to the esc. As you can see by the code the esc signal is just a servo.write command. The controller code is identical to the last “Plane” post with the exception that the code mapped from the pot goes to 170 instead of 225. This is because I switched from a analogWrite() to a servo.write() signal.

Vehicle Code:

I’ve also been starting to think about how i’m going to take this thing to the next stage. The parts list still exists here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqD_oicSxsvmdFlPU1VPSkt6aHpoa0hqSEgwdDE2RGc  if you want to check out what i’ve done so far. I’m starting to consider materials to make the body out of. Right now the main contendor is making a frame out of aluminum dowels welded together. I’ve got a friend who can weld aluminum so assembling the frame won’t be an issue. If I go with this option, i’ll be able to cleanly mount things to the vehicle itself, and not have to worry about things splitting or cracking. It will also be heavier than if I were to go with an all foam body.

I’ve also been considering what i’m going to get for a camera for this thing. As one of the goals for this was to be able to take really nice areal videos. I’ve tentatively landed on a camera called the HackHD. The thing that’s most attractive about it is that it can do 1080p video capture AND composite video output at the same time. This is great because my original plan was to have 2 cameras – one for HD video capture, and one to transmit back to my computer. The only problem is it’s price. I could easily just hack one of those HD keychain cameras to make it operable via micro controller – but I would need to use two cameras which could be cheaper after all but powering two separate cameras would be pretty difficult.

I need to wirelessly communicate with the vehicle as well. If you look through some of the videos on my old youtube channel you can see a little RC tank that communicated via bluetooth, so I’ve got a shred of experience with homebrew wireless. Again, I’ve tentatively landed on a solution. I’ve concluded that using an Xbee system would be the most flexible while maintaining stability. It can be used as a long-range serial TxRx pipe which is what i’m prototyping with now, so the whole code’s built around that. I’d be using the XBee 1mW Wire Antenna – Series 1 (802.15.4) for the transmitter, as it’s easy to power and has an omnidirectional antenna with a range of 1 mile. While I may not be flying a mile away, I’d like to have the flexibility. I could fly in the woods, in the snow, or in the fog. To connect the xbee to the Arduino I’d probably use the SainSmart XBee USB Adapter because it’s got the UART broken out. I could use the same board to connect it to the pc as well. I could make the whole system work for around 72 dollars, which is a little high but I really want it to work well.

I’ll cover powering it in another post, but I think the next thing I get is going to be the wireless stuff. I’ve been thinking a lot about how i’m going to proto a moving vehicle, I’m thinking of some kind of fan-boat thing. Or a 3 wheeled fan propelled car.

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

Spitting incoming serial data arduino and visual basic

UPDATED CODE HERE


Hello! as you can probably tell, my last post was written in a fury of incoherency, but I needed to get the code out there so it is what it is.

The main focus of this post is to showcase the arduino program. The visual basic in the video is very simple, and there will be much more on that later.

This below program will take a string of characters fed to the arduino and split them into usable parts. This is a very valuable tool for working with serial and arduino. It’s pretty well commented, but if you have any questions, PLEASE leave a comment. I’d love to see some conversation here.

So for example if you inputted

[code]
123,456.
[/code]

it would output

[code]
123|separator|456
[/code]

to the lcd, or the serial monitor if you tweaked the code.

Now for the code in the video. The only different part about this is that it writes the two values to the servos.

const char EOPmarker = ‘.’; //This is the end of packet marker
char serialbuf[32]; //This gives the incoming serial some room. Change it if you want a longer incoming.

#include // we’ll need this for subString
#define MAX_STRING_LEN 20 // like 3 lines above, change as needed.

#include //we’ll need this for the lcd
LiquidCrystal lcd(7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12); //pins for the lcd, I set it up using the ladyada tutorial.

#include
Servo left_servo;
Servo right_servo;

int left_servo_pos;
int right_servo_pos;
void setup(){
lcd.begin(16, 2);
left_servo.attach(2);
right_servo.attach(3);
Serial.begin(9600); //changing this to other speeds has not been tested using this meathod
}

void loop() {
if (Serial.available() > 0) { //makes sure something is ready to be read
lcd.clear(); //clears for incoming stuff, won’t clear if there isin’t data to be read
static int bufpos = 0; //starts the buffer back at the first position in the incoming serial.read
char inchar = Serial.read(); //assigns one byte (as serial.read()’s only input one byte at a time
if (inchar != EOPmarker) { //if the incoming character is not the byte that is the incoming package ender
serialbuf[bufpos] = inchar; //the buffer position in the array get assigned to the current read
bufpos++; //once that has happend the buffer advances, doing this over and over again until the end of package marker is read.
}
else { //once the end of package marker has been read
serialbuf[bufpos] = 0; //restart the buff
bufpos = 0; //restart the position of the buff

left_servo_pos = atoi(subStr(serialbuf, “,”, 1));
lcd.write(“Left Servo:”);
lcd.write(subStr(serialbuf, “,”, 1)); //witres the first bit of content before the first comma (or other seperator) to the lcd
left_servo.write(left_servo_pos);

lcd.setCursor(0, 1);

right_servo_pos = atoi(subStr(serialbuf, “,”, 2));
lcd.write(“Right Servo:”); //this signifies that the first seperation has occured
lcd.write(subStr(serialbuf, “,”, 2)); //same thing as 2 lines above, but with the second parts. this can be repeated
right_servo.write(right_servo_pos);
}
}
}

// below is just function logic, which I do not fully understand. but it works.
char* subStr (char* input_string, char *separator, int segment_number) {
char *act, *sub, *ptr;
static char copy[MAX_STRING_LEN];
int i;

strcpy(copy, input_string);

for (i = 1, act = copy; i <= segment_number; i++, act = NULL) { sub = strtok_r(act, separator, &ptr); if (sub == NULL) break; } return sub; } //www.esologic.com //Thanks to http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=119429

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

A comprehensive guide to controlling a lamp via the internet on any web enabled device.

Hello! sorry about my absence, I’ve been very busy with school/baseball over the past few weeks, but summer is soon, and I’ll be updating with a higher frequency once that happens.

So. you’ll need a few things in order to make sure this whole process works.

1. Multiple ethernet connections.

2. An Arduino and a compatible wiznet device (ethernet shield)

Yay Chinese knockoffs!

Here I’m using an arduino knockoff I got 2 years ago when I first got into hobby electronics, and an “ETHERNET 4 NANO” by gravitech. I didn’t want to permanently implement my arduino nano, but I still wanted to be able to do the project. It’s powered by 5v from my computer (well from a powered hub) and the brown striped wire goes to the + on the powerswitch tail II. The blue cable is ethernet.

3. A webserver with php installed on it. (Mine’s just LAMP’d)

This is the important part. The arduino is accessing a .php document on the server to tell weather or not the lamp should be on. The UI is also hosted out of the servo. That laptop is my old HP laptop that I’ve had for almost 6 years, it’s now got ubuntu 10.04 LTS on it and it’s been LAMP’d among other things.

4. Something that can SAFELY switch line voltage. (I’m using a powerswitch tail II, because I really don’t want to get killed, and it’s also very simple – if you’re using naked relays, please for the love of god, be careful with line voltages.)

This thing is a beast. I can drive it via 5v easily, and it switches line like a champ. It’s been in constant use since my last post about home automation.

START OF GUIDE

1. So first, we need to hook up the shield, the arduino and the PSTII. It’s really easy.

2. Get linux on the computer you want to run the server out of. I made a video a long time ago back when I was first getting into linux. The installation process is still the same, you can find that video here.

3. Install various programs your server. First things first, you have to install openssh by running the command:

sudo apt-get install openssh

This will make the server headless, and it will enable you to access the server via command line. Specifically through PuTTY for windows. You can then ssh to your server which is key. You then need to install LAMP by running the command:

sudo apt-get install LAMP

This will install PHP on your server as wells apache and mysql. The two ladder objects are not essential for this project, but if you are going to use the server for other things, I strongly recommend you get them as well. The install process is very easy, just make sure you WRITE EVERY USERNAME AND PASSWORD YOU USE DOWN. I’ve had to reinstall several times before I learned my lesson on this.

After you are done with that, install vim by running the command:

sudo apt-get install vim

Vim is a text editing program for linux. You also need to get pure ftp to upload and download files from your server. Get it by running the command:

sudo apt-get install pure-ftpd

Congrats! you are now an owner of a very powerful linux server. Wasn’t that easy?

4. Upload the call.php, res.php documents to your server.

This is the call.php text, you just need to make it into a .php document and upload it to the server. This document creates a form that the user accesses to turn the lamp on and off.

This is the res.php. It is what the user is taken to once they have entered the information in the call.php.

If you walk though the code. You will see that once the correct password gets entered, the res.php document creates a functioning document stat.php. This is the same document that the arduino reads, and compares to.

5. You need to upload the arduino code.

Here it is, upload it to your board with the shield attached, and everything should work. Access the call.php via your server, and go through the process.

At this point everything should work, please let me know if it doesn’t in the comments.

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

Sensing the Brightest Point

Youtube demo here:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbwSl5Hp3r8

This is a round about way of using a servo to move an analog sensor to 3 points to triangulate the servo degree where the photocell experiences the most light.

 

The servo sweeps back and forth and then another servo points to where the brightest point was.

 

It is very simple wiring, but the code is a little fancy. It’s all commented up here, but as always deduction is your friend.

 

Raspberry pi soon?

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

3 Pins Controlling 14 (Shift Registers)

Sorry I haven’t been posting in the last few weeks, I’ve been pretty busy with school / swimming.

The Youtube video demonstrating the final product.

Anyways! I’ve set aside my home automation project and picked up a few of these shift registers: the 74hc595 by TI, seen here:

As seen in the video above, I’m controlling 14 led’s using two of the 74hc595s and and 3 pins on an Arduino Uno.

The Breadboard

The program uses a for loop and cycles through the 14 pins on the registers. That code can be found here. Thanks for reading, check back soon for updates on the home automation project.

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

Progress on Web Controlled Arduino (A line-voltage Powered Lamp now!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m6KFgQ3HJQ

Watch the video above for context. In summation though, what we have is basically an arduino that fetches a string from a php file on my server, interprets  it, and compares it to a predetermined char array.

In the future, this WILL have a GUI that can be controlled from a website and do the lamp that way from any source inducing mobile (maybe even twitter!).

Source-wise the code isin’t very well commented but the Arduino is here, and the php is here. A word of warning: unless you want me to be able to control a leigon of lamps across the world, I would suggest changing ip addresses / filepaths on the Arduino side.

On another side note all of my sources for stuff I write about on this blog here

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.

Beginnings of a web controlled Arduino

So I’ve made a bit of progress with the project that I’ve been undertaking lately. I’m trying to control a powerswitch tail from an arduino via the internet using the Ethernet shield and a PHP server. Right now I can edit a the name of a string (well, echo) in putty on a document on my PHP server (the very same LAMP that’s allowing me to type this post!) and have the Arduino decode that string (echo) and print it back to the serial console at 9600 baud.   You can grab the source for the Arduino here and the PHP script here See comments in the arduino code for notes about setup. Also deduction is your friend 🙂 Happy programming!

Hey! This post was written a long time ago, but I'm leaving it up on the off-chance it may help someone, but proceed with caution. It may not be a good idea to blindly integrate this code or work into your project, but instead use it as a starting point.