Rallylog

Introduction

Rallylog is an open hardware project that is used in Rally time trial competitions.

Project Home : http://code.google.com/p/rallylog/

Specifications

  • RTC with battery backup
  • SD Card Data Logging
  • RFID
  • LCD
  • Battery Powered
  • Low Powered Handheld device
  • Atmega328P
  • USB
  • Arduino compatible

Downloads

Well there aren’t really any downloads for this projects just yet.

However for the prototype based on the PIC16F88:

  • Drawings are available here
  • BoostC source code and Eagle files are here .

If you have any questions please contact me via the contact form.

StrobIt Triggr

Introduction

20/03/09 *UPDATE * This project now has a new home and is actively being developed on Google code project hosting http://code.google.com/p/strobit/

IMPORTANT    This page is no longer being being maintained please go to the new project page.

Welcome to the Strobit Triggr Project, an open source hackable wireless trigger used in photography lighting by using low cost strobe units triggered remotely via RF. This was started while trying to find a cost effective and reliable solution to the commercial alternatives out there. At one end of the market is the Ebay or Cactus Trigger, which is low cost but rather unreliable. At the other end of the market there is the industry standard, Pocket Wizards, very reliable, but very expensive (i.e. way out of my price range).

What I wanted to do was to create an open platform that anyone can easily build for a low cost and then be expand upon by the community. The pair of prototypes I’ve built were a proof of concept that I can get a camera to trigger a strobe unit reliably at a low cost. From early tests it appears that I’ve succeeded in my goal, but further testing is required.

triggr0103

Project Status :

– Prototype successfully working in single master/slave configuration !

– (20/03/2009) Project now has a home at Google Code – http://code.google.com/p/strobit/

Still Todo:

  • Specifications
  • Hardware Design
    • Schematics
    • PCB
  • Software Design
    • Wireless
    • User Interface
    • Protocol
  • Hardware Prototype

License

The strobit hardware design is covered by The TAPR Open Hardware License. Please see http://www.tapr.org/ohl.html for further details.

Schematics:

Strobit Triggr Block Diagram Strobit Triggr Topology StrobIt Triggr Schematic

Prototype Details

Firmware Description

Protocol Description

Downloads – Files associated with the project

Tests – Tests done so Far

In the Wild – Version of this trigger made by others

I’m toying with the idea of putting together a low cost kit for the enthusiast. i.e. PCB, pre-programmed PIC, etc. So we could all benefit with a bulk order of the components. If your interested please email me using the contact form the top menu or use the mailing list signup on the right to give me an indication of numbers interested. Once I finaliaze the design and get some idea of numbers I’ll get a better idea of price. At the moment it will only be available in kit form due to FCC and other Licensing regulations.

Future Improvements:

  • Higher Sync Speed.
  • Frequency Hopping.
  • Forward Error Correction.
  • Power management.
  • UI to change settings, Channel etc.
  • Save settings in Flash memory.

Network Shutdown Agent

The last few weeks at work have been shocking with power outages, I think mainly to do with the summer heat ramping up, 38DegC yesterday,  at one site I we have a fairly overloaded UPS that does not stay up for very long, while a new 8500VA is on order, I have decided to write a small agent application to shutdown all our servers at that site in a graceful manner based on a UPS battery life remaining,  i.e. initially all non critical services are shutdown, than as battery life decreases then core servers get shutdown.  The servers are a mix are a mix of Windows 2000, 2003 and of course Linux 🙂  

Now being the glutton for punishment I am, I know there is probably something already out there that will send out a broadcast to shut things down, but always wanting to implement agent based solutions I think this would be a nice project.   

Life….

Well it’s certianly been a long since my last post, sorry!  Between getting married and christmas (all on the same day lol), and the kids going back to school, my geeking (as my wife likes to call it) has been taking a back seat lately i.e. not a whole lot happening.  However I have managed to squeeze in bit of learning.  The first getting myself familiarilised with PIC micros, the picaxe although brilliant for small jobs, I have found to be limited, i.e. no timers etc.  so I have been playing around with their big brothers.  The fist learning project was a serial LCD using the 16F84,  I’m using the brilliant Sourceboost BoostC Compiler ( http://www.sourceboost.com/ ) 

Also came across a brilliant DSP guide in an easy to understand language and not heaps  if heavy maths , and its FREE for the online book http://www.dspguide.com/, this really made the light go on, ding! with the Ahh I get it in the smoke and mirrors world of DSP.    I’m definately looking at purchasing a hard cover version.

Interrupts – Steep Learning Curve

Well have the controller setup and have uploaded the demo code, all working 🙂  Now down too some serious work in getting buzzbot connected to the board. 

The Board is based on the AT91SAM7X MPU, of which I have absolutely no experience, so the learning curve begins (right at the bottom).  First thing I want to do is get the interrupts for the two wheel encoders working.  From my initial research I gather that any of the inputs on the GPIO can generate an interrupt on a state change, exactly what I want.  So now more research on how to make it happen using the ARM7 GCC tools I’ve installed, all demo code is compiling and working ok.

Looks like my starting point is some examples found here http://gandalf.arubi.uni-kl.de/avr_projects/arm_projects/index_at91.html 

CNC – MK1 Modelling Begins

After lots of research I’ve started to put some ideas to paper for the MK1 CNC Machine.  

Yes I know I could probably jump right in and start putting together bit and pieces, but I really want to learn to use some 3-D Modelling CAD Packages for future Robotics projects and since I will eventually need to model components so they can be exported to the CNC machine for milling, I thought it might be a good exercise by modelling the MK1 itself.

So here is the start of the X-Axis Linear Bearings

CNC - MK1 X-Axis Bearings

Welcome

First post to christen the new site……

Personal Projects underway. 

1)  Learn the PICAXE, a fantastic little uController, http://www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/  I have just got my hands on the PICAXE 18X, so in attempt to learn to use this little beast I am looking at interfacing it with a few sensors and turn my sons discarded “Buzz Buggy” into a little 6 wheeled autonomous “buzzbot”. 
BuzzBot

2)  Also getting pissed off mowing the lawn at home every week, especially now it’s summer in Australia, so have now decided to look at some sort of mowbot.  After some research found someone who has actually implement one over the last few years with some great drawings and details, so will be using this as a starting point http://www.mowbot.org.

About

This blog is a collection of my projects and things I’m doing at the time.

Unfortunately due to a busy life (like most out there) the blog may see some in-action for periods of time, however don’t despair, as I get around to updating things eventually and the blog posts go through a burst of activity.

My Interests (in no order what so ever): Embedded Development, Photography, Wireless Sensor Networking, Home Control, CNC, Forex, Automated Trading, Quant Trading.

Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/seaton

My Photography: www.flickr.com/strobotics/

Tweet Me: www.twitter.com/madeinoz