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E Shore Technologies - Your Online Electronics & Robotics Center


Knob Servo using Arduino UNO

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Knob Servo using Arduino UNO0Introduction:

Servo motor is widely used in robotics field and various RC hobbyist application such as robotics arm, radio controlled cars or plane etc. From the keyword, “Servo” means a device used to provide control to a desired operation through the uses of feedback. In other words, a servo motor is a motor which is closed loop controlled and what we need to do is to “tell” the servo motor to move to a position we want. Here, we will briefly explain how a RC servo motor works and illustrate a simple project to control a RC servo motor by using Arduino UNO.

How to control a RC servo motor?

A RC servo motor has three wires, which are Power, Ground and signal line. To move a servo motor, the thing come first of cause is the power supply (For most of the mini servo motor, the power supply is 4.8V - 6V). After supplying the power, the servo motor is ready to move. Before moving a servo motor, lets answer a couple of common asked questions:

  • How many rotation/ degrees can a servo motor rotate?
  • How to move the motor?

A RC servo motor cannot rotate more than ONE rotation. In fact, it can only rotate in a range of 0 to 180 degrees (About half of a rotation only). It is caused by the limit inside the servo motor. Please take note RC servo motor is designed to trigger some mechanism in RC helicopter or remote controlled car. In other words, it is not designed to rotate continuously without limits. Hence, if you are looking for small motors to trigger some small simple mechanism like door lock or switches, RC servo motor is definitely your choice. For the second question, in order to move a servo motor to a desired position, we used Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) pulses to the signal line. PWM pulse is a voltage pulse generated within a fixed period, says 20 milliseconds in our case. Inside the fixed period, we can set how long we want the signal to be “ON” and the remaining time within the period the signal shall be “OFF”. Most of the servo motor is operating in 20 milliseconds. Well, sometimes the operating period can be varies depending on the manufacturer. Anyway, we use the most common value, 20 milliseconds to move our servo motor, and it did works just fine. J

As mentioned earlier, the servo motor can only move in a range of 0 to 180 degrees. So, we need to understand what PWM pulses we need to send to the servo motor to control it to move to the position we want. The Table 1 summarizes the position of the servo motor and the pulses we need to send to the signal line.

Knob Servo using Arduino UNO1 

Table 1 : Example of PWM pulses versus servo motor position

How RC servo motor works?

 

SD Card Interface using Arduino UNO

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SD Card Interface using Arduino UNO

Ever think of how to store data over a long period (Let's say few hours)? Well, you don't have to sit down in front of a monitor and record down the data all the time by your own. Let Arduino do it for you. Here, we provide simple solution on how to interface the SD memory card with Arduino UNO (UNO).

A SD memory card is a non-volatile memory card which in other words, the data stored inside SD memory card will be retained if the power to the memory card is lost. In order to communicate with the SD memory card, the protocol been used is SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface). Anyway, we are not required to have any knowledge about SPI in order to interface the SD card with Arduino. Arduino's library has already done all the jobs for us.

Attachments:
FileFile size
Download this file (SD Card interface using Arduino UNO.zip)SD Card Interface Using Arduino UNO Source Code330 Kb
 

FEZ Panda II Simple Input Output

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Under this project, I will demonstrate a very simple input and output control for FEZ Panda II. Required components for this project:

Prepare your FEZ Panda II and your PC, make sure all the required software is install in your PC including the drivers, dotNET Micro Framework, Visual Studio and etc. Follow this link (http://www.e-shore.com.my/homepage/dotnet-micro-framework/87-fez-panda/204-getting-started-with-fez-panda-ii.html) for the Getting Started for FEZ Panda II. Connect the 5V and GND pin from FEZ Panda II to breadboard for easier 5V and GND pin access on the breadboard.

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Connect 2 x LEDs to the FEZ Panda II (D10 and D11), series with 220 Ohm resistor, active high.

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DIY D-pad Module

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D-pad is short form for directional pad which is usually a thumb-operated directional control with one button on each direction.  For me, it is a very good input for a microcontroller system that allows the user to navigate through various menu and setting for a microcontroller system. Under this article, I will discuss on a very cheap DIY D-pad Module for microcontroller system.

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Getting Started with FEZ Panda II

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http://www.e-shore.com.my/homepage/eshop/fez-panda-ii

Click on the link above to visit the product page for FEZ Panda II.

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Rear view of the board (not as interesting as the front).

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Getting Started with Rainbow LED Ring V2

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http://www.e-shore.com.my/homepage/eshop/rainbow-led-ring

Click on the link above to jump to product page of Rainbow LED Ring V2. Rainbow LED Ring or RGB LED Ring is an Arduino controller that uses ATmega168 and it comes with bootloader for Lilypad Arduino w/ ATmega168. This means that this Rainbow LED Ring can be use as an Arduino controller and we can write its coding using Arduino IDE.

Required Supporting Item(s)

The only item required for the Rainbow LED Ring to function is FTDI USB to Serial Converter & Breakout (http://www.e-shore.com.my/homepage/eshop/ftdi-usb-to-serial-converter). Unlike normal Arduino controller, Rainbow LED Ring doesn't come with onboard USB to UART converter for the communication from PC to ATmega. Therefore we'll need an external USB to UART to upload code from Arduino IDE to Rainbow LED Ring.

Attachments:
FileFile size
Download this file (Rainbow_LED_Ring_V2_Template.zip)Rainbow LED Ring V2 Template1 Kb
 

IR Remote Control Mobile Robot

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In this project I am going to add in IR Remote Control (Infrared Kit) to the previous 2 Wheels Robot Platform (link).

Hardware

The first step is to mount the IR Receiver Module to the platform. You can use your creativity to do this. For me, I mount it at the front side of the platform.

Attachments:
FileFile size
Download this file (IR_Remote_Control_Mobile_Robot.zip)IR Remote Control Mobile Robot1 Kb
 

Arduino Project Shield (APS01) Is Available On Our Online Store!

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This is an Arduino Shield but its size is much bigger than any of the Arduino main board. The Arduino Project Shield (APS01) is our latest product which provide you an “everything ready” shield/platform to start any Arduino related project conveniently in no time.

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Why we say that the shield is everything ready to start a project? This is because the shield:

  • Support most of the Arduino Main Board – Arduino Uno, Arduino Duemilanove, Arduino Mega and Arduino Nano
  • Support most FEZ .net Micro Framework Development Board – FEZ Domino, FEZ Panda and FEZ Panda II
  • Consists of many onboard I/O expansion ports for direct sensors connection
  • Consists of 4 external push buttons for input usage
  • Consists of a parallel LCD port for LCD module as user interface
  • Consists of a 2x8 LCD port for 2x8 LCD module as another option of user interface
  • Consists of servo power input port, I2C port, external input power port and UART port
  • Consists of a prototyping area for extra circuit development or just place a breadboard for non-soldering circuit development
  • library to read the push button and control the LCD module is provided
  • Capable of staking another Arduino shield
  • provide a nice looking and tidy platform for your Arduino project

A picture tells a million words. Lets see more pictures on what APS01 can do for you.

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I/O expansion ports with clear label

 

Repair or Service Your Breadboard/Protoboard

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Breadboard/Protoboard is a great way to easily setup an electronic project. But, sometimes, some damaged Breadboard will makes electronic project no fun, that the Breadboard can’t perform or connect our circuit in the way it should be. Under this article I will show on the steps to repair or service your Breadboard.

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Control LEDs Using Shift Register IC 74HC595

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Under this article, we will be controlling 8 LEDs using Shift Register IC 74HC595 (Quick Reference for 74HC595 here).

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74HC595 is a Shift Register IC, that we can use it to expand limited Microcontroller output pin. We can use minimum of 3 output pin from Microcontroller to control the Shift Register IC (DS, SHCP and STCP) and we can have total of 8 output pin from from the Shift Register IC. In the other words, it is a serial (3 pin) to parallel (8 pin) converter that allows us to expand output pins from 3 pin to unlimited output pin. Connecting these Shift Register IC in series we can have more that 8 pin output, for example, using 5 x Shift Register IC, we can expand the output pin from 3 pin to 40 pin (5 x 8 pin). We will never be out of output pin anymore!

Attachments:
FileFile size
Download this file (Control_LEDs_using_Shift_Register_IC_74HC595.zip)Control LEDs using Shift Register IC 74HC5950.9 Kb
 
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