The Arduino Thread! Perhaps more power than you need

Discussions and images as necessary related to microcontroller or computer instrumentation and fusor control software and hardware.
Post Reply
User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 13299
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

The Arduino Thread! Perhaps more power than you need

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:34 pm

This is an update to the post I place in Finn's first post in this forum. Let this post serve as a general Arduino thread in future.....This posting will be edited and expanded as needed in this introduction posting.
Feel free reply and expand on this first post with links and personal projects, etc.. Try and make sure that any Arduino projects are related to any of the forums topics here at fusor.net or be useful to the fusion or the amateur effort here. (no garden sprinkler controllers, dog/cat food dispenser projects, key board operated door lock, etc.)

My Arduino journey

Back in 2014, I retired after 45 years on the job. (electronics design) I had a long history in programming and early microprocessors and their use and interfacing to hardware. That work was tedious as one tended to work in assembly language specific to the processor involved. If remains the fastest possible way to get things done, if speed is the issue. However with many microprocessors working at light speed many critical temporal tasks can be handled adequately with a compiled language like C. Enough of the old days...... This is my path to a post retirement plan to learn and become proficient to a useful degree on a single, popular microcontroller platform. By 2014 there was a flood of them to choose from. I demanded versatility in I/O ports, analog to digital conversion, lots of digital pins. In addition, it needed to converse with a standard computer or projects via USB , serial, and I2C ports. Based on what I had read in "Nuts and Volts" magazine 2010 to 2014, the Arduino seemed to be a good choice. There were as many as 7 different Arduino boards available. Four of these different Arduino boards could run off of the same program developed on the others with no hassle or major changes...And they were all amazingly inexpensive.

One of the earliest all in one controllers was the "Basic Stamp". It was cheap and powerful for its time and just itchin' to supply all manner of useful outputs to the real world. A flurry of new and improved "stamps" created many other stunning such product work-alikes, many with far more advanced capabilities. By 2014 one's head would spin at making a choice for a suitable microcontroller to tackle. As noted above, I chose the incredibly versatile Arduino.

Tiny overview of the Arduino

I remain stunned at what the Arduino can do for so little money and yet have such an intuitive, easy to learn, IDE. Just a quick look at the capabilities and onboard, ready to use 14 or more digital and dedicated PWM pins, 2 interrupt pins and 6 - 10 bit ADCs all for about $10 in the UNO and Nano boards. The $6.00 equivalent dedicated, tiny pro-mini will amaze the user. TWI (I2C), RS232, the other much hated SPI com is standard. Computer linkage via USB, etc. The list goes on. The three boards above are all totally the same functionally. The pro mini, however, has no USB port but 8 ADC pins instead of 6. (programmed via removable RS232 adapter board $12.00) One small plug-in USB to RS-232 adapter can program thousands of pro minis to become permanent function, inexpensive controllers. If you want the working controller to talk to a PC, you will have to use the UNO or the NANO.

The pro mini is my choice for specific function work and commercial distribution as a fixed purpose controller, once I program it. (the average customer can't easily screw with it). At the prices above all three can be used like popcorn in a master-slave string of up to several slave processors on the I2C (TWI) interface.

With hundreds of pre-done libraries for free, all the though work related to displays, special function ICs, etc. is just a library install away to make their use via simple commands created by the library writer. with 7 years of Arduino under my belt, I have yet to exceed the capabilities of the $10 UNO or NANO. There is the monster Arduino MEGA with 54 pins, many com ports, (~$30). It works on the same IDE and will download UNO, Nano and Pro-mini program files and run them in a vastly expanded capability system.

My Rhodium and Silver decay graphs were timed data count dumps into Arduino's EEPROM with the X,Y coordinates later dumped following data gathering as coma delimited data point file sent to my PC via the USB port and later dumped into Xcel to make the graph.

The Arduinos I report on all run at 16mhz (clock rate) so they are not single or sub-micro second command-to-action wonders. However if what you are doing can work over ten or more microsecond issues they are a great choice. Pinouts and multi-pin capabilities for the UNO can be found at

https://content.arduino.cc/assets/Pinou ... latest.pdf

I have images of the UNO's standard pinouts below....

Fabulous prices on the processors mentioned here plus all manner of displays, sensors, etc. can be seen and purchased from Marlin P. Jones and Associates. Over the years I have spent thousands of dollars with them.

https://www.mpja.com/

An image of the four best Arduinos is shown in an image below....

Some useful books on the Arduino are in the image below. Books are a must have if you get serious.

Remember to left click on the images to enlarge and read them better

Richard Hull
Attachments
Arduino books.jpg
4 Arduinos.JPG
UNO Analog pinout.jpg
The UNO rev3 analog pinouts
UNO Digital pinout.jpg
The UNO rev3 digital pinouts
Mini and Nano.JPG
MEGA.JPG
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

User avatar
Joe Gayo
Posts: 320
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:34 am
Real name: Joe Gayo
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: The Arduino Thread! Perhaps more power than you need

Post by Joe Gayo » Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:46 pm

Arduino + MegunoLink (https://www.megunolink.com/) is awesome! I use this to control my devices and record all data.

User avatar
Richard Hull
Moderator
Posts: 13299
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: The Arduino Thread! Perhaps more power than you need

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:18 pm

Any electronics person worth a toot will know that when working with a micro controller, bread boarding the real world electronics while programming and testing is a must do mission!
Interfacing with push buttons, keypad, special displays, sensors, and a computer that is programming the project is a must!
This means a bread board of some key value with a fixed microprocessor on board!
I attach an image of my fifth totally updated iteration bread boarding system. Finished in 2019. ( 4 other boards preceded this one) I have it generally labeled in the image, but detailed the blocks in the text below. Refer to the images and text, alternately.

I love pine board projects! This Arduino development board is a typical example. Easy to use and store. Easily upgraded or inexpensively replaced with an upgrade by moving old and newer components to a larger pine board. I love this shade of blue! 1X6 stock pine shelving board is used, sanded, rounded edges and painted. Two 3/4 tall 3 inch long wood strips are added as feet at each end of the board to elevate it and facilitate running all power and com wires under the board to avoid above board clutter.

Text related to image. (moving right to left)

Power Block

This is the energy for all of the project development area. The large black block is a 120volts AC, 12 volt 3amp regulated switcher supply. All power originates here. The TO-3 on the black heatsink is a 5 volt 1 amp regulator fed by the 12 volt supply. The small board with the vertical heatsink is a 9 volt TO-220 1 amp regulator also hooked to the 12 volt supply. Thus, this block provides for and distributes, under the board, +5 volts and +12 volts to the large proto board area to the left for electronic component interfacing and testing with the UNO. These also feed the LCD display and PB and lamp Block. The 9 volts is fed only to the Arduino UNO. By using a lower voltage to the UNO, the dissipation by its tiny on-board regulator is reduced.

The metering block

As I now own 151 of the Harbor freight digital meters (all obtained free 2012- 2020) I custom fit 2 of them to the board. Their individual batteries are brought out to the board for easy change out. I soldered long leads inside the probe inputs and brought them out back through the board to the tiny little proto block pointed to by the red line. In this manner I can measure with simple proto jumpers to any point in the proto-board circuitry currents or voltages without having a bulky off-board meter with tangled leads getting in the way during project development.

Stepper motor block

Many Arduino projects involve stepper motor testing and integration into the finished project. I have a custom stepper controller that is loaded with features that requires only about 3 digital inputs from the Arduino to make the stepper do fantastic things. ($15.00 Marlin P. Jones item - hereafter designated MPJA). The two vertical upright pins allow for a wide range of motor DC driving power voltage inputs 5v-35v based on the motor's specific power specs. The Arduino command pins are brought out to a 4 pin, 0.1-inch stock proto board plug to instantly link to the Arduino.

LCD display block

A huge number of my projects demand some sort of display. The easiest and cheapest is the "MPJA" 2X16 or 4X20 ($4.95 - $9.00) displays. I don't care about color or TFT displays though I plan to add a tiny 4X32 OLED display as I use these a lot in really tiny boxed projects. Shown is a 2X16 I2C LCD soon to be a 4X20 I2C display. If you look carefully you can see the two underboard pins brought out to the Arduino UNO pins A4 and A5 which are the designated I2C interface pins. It is hard to underestimate the power of a test proto display on your development system board.

Protoboard block

I use 2 standard proto boards linked by three sets of buss rails. All the rails are at +5v and ground to jumper power to components in the test circuitry. I also bring the +12 volts onto one column of pin sockets to the extreme right of the upper board near where the little metering proto block is located. Thus, both +5 and +12 volts, regulated, are available for electronic hook up and testing on the protoboard block.

Arduino UNO R3 block

This is the brains of the outfit. This is a stock Arduino UNO with no modifications or additions. It is mounted on 1/4" standoffs. Power comes into its normal wall wart plug from under-board wiring to the regulated 9 volt supply regulator mentioned above. The USB plug is the stock plug on board and will run to the programmers computer with IDE installed for programming, debugging, testing and development.

Pushbutton and lamp block

This addition has proved tremendously valuable in working out complicated project programs. In your projects, you might have a few switches that start or stop your project or to run special sub programs. Likewise, you might want to turn on a 5 hp motor or a 2.6kw supply. To debug a program and to make sure it obtains external input commands and correctly turns on and off key electro-mechanical items, you can let a lamp be the 5 hp motor or the 2KW supply. In this manner you can see things turn on and off in a sequence that will work in the real world according to your program.

The wiring in the box in this block is fully buffed to the lamps for TTL signals designed to light on a logic one, (+5v) and the pushbuttons are all outputting logic ones (+5v), until pressed then go to logic zeros (0 volts) when pressed. This is good thing to have on your board.

You will now notice in the second image, a close up of this block. There are 5 pushbuttons and 5 lamps. Below there are two rows of 5 wires with proto-pins. These relate to the top row of lamps and the bottom row of pushbuttons. and the pins can be plugged directly into the Arduino UNO. In between is a slot with a paper insert with two rows of five boxes. Here, you can label the corresponding button and lamp function to keep things straight in your system development work. You just make up a new label for each project related to the button and lamp function representations and slide it into the holder. All of this saves a good deal of clutter with push buttons and lamps on your proto-boarding! Cool beans.

Richard Hull
Attachments
Proto development board.jpg
PB lamp box.JPG
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

User avatar
Finn Hammer
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:21 pm
Real name: Finn Hammer
Contact:

Re: The Arduino Thread! Perhaps more power than you need

Post by Finn Hammer » Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:39 pm

Richard,

Your breadboard is exactly like the one I wish I had made for myself. I appreciate the inspiration you bring to this thread.

Cheers, Finn Hammer

Post Reply

Return to “Control and Instrumentation Hardware and Software”