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Arduino LCD

June 10, 2009 Comments off

So today I finally got a dot matrix LCD module from Dick Smiths (Z4172) and proceeded to wire it to the Arduino. Ended up working out pretty good although the USB was struggling to run the Arduino + Ethernet Shield + LCD (the LCD contrast was dull even with the 10k pot wound right up). No biggie, I just pulled the Ethernet Shield off and went directly to the Arduino. It will probably be used almost exclusively on one computer so I think I will just control it via the USB serial port.

One thing I could not work out was why the screen would not work if I was using digital pin 1 for one of the connections. I ended up using from 2 to 8 which still allows me to use it with the Ethernet Shield should I want a networked little display! My initialisation line was LiquidCrystal lcd(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8);

Check out some pictures of it below (extra points if you can work out where the quote on the screen is from without using Google!):

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Categories: Arduino Tags: ,

Arduino Ethernet Shield

June 8, 2009 Comments off

I’m excited. My Arduino Ethernet Shield arrived from Little Bird Electronics last week. It is cool having the Arduino pingable on my network!

I have quickly hacked the SimpleMessageSystem to respond to commands over TCP/IP rather than the serial port and it seems to work ok. I have to code some more error checking and handing of the write commands but it shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll have to see how I go about sending in my changes to Arduino’s site. Maybe I will just post a link to the networked version on my site. It will make interfacing with the Arduino from web pages (such as PHP like I am going to do!) far easier than through the serial port.

Check out the pictures below of the board and the software. It is in a very alpha stage but hopefully I should have something worth downloading in the future (probaby distant future).

Categories: Arduino Tags: , ,

Arduino Temperature Sensor/Logger

April 26, 2009 Comments off

I’ve always wanted a temperature logger for my computer. After some reading I found a pretty easy solution for added temperature sensing to an Arduino project. After building the circuit I programmed a quick and dirty serial data logger application in VB2008.

I added a 10k pot to try calibrating the sensor but always had a discrepancy between it and my desk thermometer. I’m going to look into geting another thermometer to see which one is lying. You can see the circuit, software and a sample plot of the temperatures overnight in my computer room below.

Heat testing the temperature sensor with the mini.

Heat testing the temperature sensor with the mini. Damn little thing wouldn't blow enough heat, even with F@H running!

 

A quick and dirty serial port data logging program.

A quick and dirty serial port data logging program.

 

The temperature in the computer room from bedtime to wake-up.

The temperature in the computer room from bedtime to wake-up. The next version of code will add some averaging of the samples to improve accuracy.

Categories: Arduino

Arduino Action

December 20, 2008 Comments off

Hi there. Today I finally got some time to sit down with my Arduino Duemilanove (and motor control shield) and have a good play. Firstly I hooked up the Duemilanove board and played with a few examples (mostly just flashing LED 13 a few different ways. I did want it to flash the beat to “Everybody Dance Now” but didn’t want to spend that much time!) then got onto the task of building the motor shield.

Thankfully the motor shield works perfectly. I was able to control the steering of my robo-car with a servo connected and able to drive the car forwards and backwards using a standard DC motor connected to one of the motor controller inputs.

After that, I dove into writing¬† a small test program or “sketch” in Arduino language to read the ultrasonic rangefinder I am placing on the front of the car. After an hour of tweaking I seemed to have succeeded.¬† The sketch I wrote reads the analog pin, averages the last three readings to keep the distance a little more stable, then converts the voltage reading into a cm value. The Arduino then pipes the results out the USB serial port. The setup and output can be seen below. If anyone is interested in the code, drop me a line.

Next step, interfacing the motor shield with RoboRealm! Should be easy.

Categories: Arduino, Robot