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Thread: Fun with Arduino!

  1. #1
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    Default Fun with Arduino!

    I was going to do another layout update, but stumbled upon a theme for a whole new series of videos. I hope they turn out to be useful and entertaining.

    Here's Part 1:



    I'll be uploading Part 2 tonight. It will introduce the software side of things...

    I plan/hope to do a whole bunch of these.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    How do you go about starting with Arduino TD? Is there a site or book that gets you off to a good start?
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

    My Flickr Pages

    http://www.janbouli.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    How do you go about starting with Arduino TD? Is there a site or book that gets you off to a good start?
    Well, there's this dude who's starting a series of videos about it ...

    It's really pretty simple. The best thing is probably just to buy one, maybe even one of the many "starter kits" that include jumper wires and breadboards and bits & pieces, then download the Arduino IDE ("Integrated Development Environment" --> code editor and compiler), and start playing around with it.

    For your first one, I'd suggest an "official" Arduino UNO or MEGA. They have the standardized form factor (so the shields fit), plenty of memory and processing power, and the "official" ones have perhaps a somewhat more reliable build quality than some of the ultra-cheap Chinese knock-offs that are out there.

    The IDE and a bunch of tutorials and reference stuff are available at https://www.arduino.cc

    Oh, I should probably mention that the Arduino "management" has had a bit of a schism... I don't recall what it was about. There are two Arduino organizations now. Arduino.cc (which I believe is the original group) and Arduino.org (the splinter group). AFAIK all the "stuff" is compatible, the split was over politics or business or something like that. I really don't remember. But I don't think for a regular user it matters much, unless you care which organization gets your money.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    I'm looking forward to it!
    Daniel Dawson

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    Just a quick critique; your music is WAY louder than your voice, forcing the viewer to fiddle with the volume while watching. Otherwise, great job!
    Daniel Dawson

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    Also, I have a quick question about DCC+, @TwinDad , do you have to replace all your DCC decoders to use DCC+?
    Daniel Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    Just a quick critique; your music is WAY louder than your voice, forcing the viewer to fiddle with the volume while watching. Otherwise, great job!
    Fair critique.. I'm still working on audio skillz. I'll see if I can improve on that... might even rework Part 2 real quick before posting it.

    Would you suggest softer music, louder voice, or meet somewhere in the middle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    Also, I have a quick question about DCC+, @TwinDad , do you have to replace all your DCC decoders to use DCC+?
    NO. DCC++ sends 100% NMRA-compliant packets to the rails, and will (should) work "out of the box" with any NMRA-compliant decoder.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    Would you suggest softer music, louder voice, or meet somewhere in the middle?
    I'm not a pro with video editing, but based on my normal sound settings I'd say the music was about right and the voice was too quiet. If you can boost your voice without hurting the sound/noise ratio I'd say boost that, but if you get a lot of noise with the boost then it may be better to lower the music volume.
    Daniel Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    Oh, I should probably mention that the Arduino "management" has had a bit of a schism... I don't recall what it was about. There are two Arduino organizations now. Arduino.cc (which I believe is the original group) and Arduino.org (the splinter group). AFAIK all the "stuff" is compatible, the split was over politics or business or something like that. I really don't remember. But I don't think for a regular user it matters much, unless you care which organization gets your money.
    I believe the schism is over: https://blog.arduino.cc/2016/10/01/t...-2/#more-15167 (though I never used an Arduino, I'm grateful for the guys providing that platform, enabling so many people to easily slide into their own microcontroller projects. Incidentally, my interest in microcontrollers started with the first ever AVR, AT90S1200, the great-great-grandfather of the chip currently on the Arduinos - but here I'm rambling again about those old times, when things were so much harder...)

    Good luck to everyone starting out, these things can be great fun
    Heiko

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    Great timing TD! I just got an Arduino Uno, a Mega and one of those cheap Chinese knock off Uno's. Looking forward to your "series" . Never played with them before but my research shows a lot of promise using these boards for a number of functions on the layout.
    Grant.

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    Part 2 is up!



    Hopefully the audio is a little better...
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    I'm getting sidetracked by other stuff, and am WAY behind plan on these videos.

    Meanwhile here's a quickie little project I'm playing with... a 433MHz transmit/receive pair...


    433MHz TX/RX Pair tested by Mark, on Flickr

    These are the super cheap super simple version. I paid $3.50 shipped for the pair. They are one-direction communication, and the range isn't that great (as I've read, haven't tested yet). They transmit only about 2-4Kbits/sec, so it's pretty low bandwidth comms.

    My immediate test use for them is to create a wireless link for my guitar amplifier's foot switch. Yeah, a bit of overkill but I don't want to run another 30 foot cable while on stage. Plus it's an excuse to test out the technology.

    There's a slightly more expensive HC-12 module I plan to try out that is bidirectional, more reliable, and much longer range capability, but these are fun for now.

    I'm trying to think of some MRR uses for these. Maybe broadcasting train order messages from a dispatcher to a set of OS station displays? Or possibly wireless remote triggering of accessories or even turnouts? The bandwidth is too low (I think) to carry LocoNet or LCC or anything like that, but a simpler special-purpose protocol would probably work.

    Anyway... fun...
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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    I finally got around to (sort of) creating a Part 3... in conjunction with my layout progress video series. This one demos the LocoNet infrared detector board I built for my staging yard. The board is based on an Arduino ProMini...

    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

    CH&FR Site and Blog: http://www.chfrrailroad.net and http://blog.chfrrailroad.net
    Appalachian Railroad Technology: http://www.apprailtech.com


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