Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Ramblin' Dan's Workshop Blog

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Ramblin' Dan's Workshop Blog

Short stories and reader feedback

I Have to Scratch...

ArduinoParallax PropellerRaspberry Pi

Getting “antsy” to play with a microcomputer, again. Not the PC type but the embedded definite purpose type. The genera includes Raspberry Pi, Parallax, and Arduino type microprocessors.

I had (have) a very interesting project using Parallax hardware to remotely control a model boat. It was far more sophisticated than simple Radio Control. The boat system is a two-way network of microcomputers on the shore and in the boat.

The system is a form of robotic control with on board autonomy to automatically perform some functions. Instead of moving over land on wheels or tracks, the system operates the boat’s propulsion motors (variable speed) and rudders. On-board GPS was available for position control.

I have a breadboard system operational. Then I moved on to other activities. My bad. I should have continued with the project after I had the prototype functioning.

My concept is very like the system that is currently used in the High-Tec drone control. My system is in a model boat with only two-dimensional control with no concern of height. If I were constructing a submersible, it would be very similar.

My brain is itching to take on the computer coding again for these kinds of tasks. I have worked with Arduino code while setting up one of my 3D printers. I am amazed at the capability of the system to fully manage all the real-time activities of controlling the 3D printer. Including four axis stepper control in real time, X,Y,Z axis plus filament feed. Throw in bed and extruder temperature control, end switch detection, and an LED user interface with multi-position user input control knob.

Far more complex than my boat control but the hardware is certainly up to the task.

I am seeing a lot of add on expansion modules for the Arduino system. It has become one of the major developer base systems for microcomputer applications. The same reason I began using the Parallax hardware. It’s all about what hardware features can be added at reasonable cost and availability.

Any of the three I have named will provide everything I need as far as hardware and resources. The dilemma is to pick one. It’s very difficult to be an expert in more than one platform.

I currently possess both Raspberry Pi and Parallax hardware. I have an Arduino in one of my 3D printers and the assemblers for all three. So what is a micro-code hacker supposed to do?

I think there is an opportunity to take the 3D printer Arduino system into a stand-alone CNC, 3 to 4 axis mill or router control system. The stepper motor drivers will have to more powerful than what is used for printers, but everything up to motor drivers is the same.

That is far more than I want as a personal challenge. I think the door is open for this application at a commercial level.

My thinking is to stay within the hobbyist projects and perhaps into applications that tie into my amateur radio interests. Back in the day, these devices would have been perfect for packet radio hardware and applications with which I was playing.

My current fascination with amateur radio microwave systems could provide some additional applications. So many uses to imagine and so little time to play with them all…

Human cloning would help me if memory information could be retained and transferred. Naw! I’d rather pick a holding point on body aging and just let the mind keep developing. While I dreaming, free and unlimited resources would be nice too…

Scritch, scritch...
Using LinuxCNC


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Monday, 19 February 2018
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