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Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 02:35 AM
Quizcat Thanks very much for the link. I have actually taken a several courses on programming, not with respect to the Arduino, but other computer oriented projects. One thing I learned is that actually writing the code is very different than just entering the code. I never really mastered what I learned with respect to writing or programming code because I didn't practice it on a daily basis. But, I have had some exposure to it. I just don't have proficiency at it. But, I do know enough about it that I realize that there are many things I don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
Hey Quizcat, don't be to scared about the programming, if you've done anything with code like a simple website or whatever you'll catch on. Here's a link to the language reference, this page has helped me so many times. Lots of good examples if you need to know how to use something.

http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/HomePage
03-28-2015 10:47 PM
robsworld78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
If you buy an Arduino, no need for burning the bootloader. You can start programming out of the box. It comes with a bootloader.

When you build something that you'd like to mass produce, you can buy those Atmega chips for $3 and build your applications. So as you can see, it's much cheaper than an Arduino.
I'm going to attempt that when I'm completely finished.
03-28-2015 10:37 PM
mistergreen If you buy an Arduino, no need for burning the bootloader. You can start programming out of the box. It comes with a bootloader.

When you build something that you'd like to mass produce, you can buy those Atmega chips for $3 and build your applications. So as you can see, it's much cheaper than an Arduino.
03-28-2015 10:09 PM
robsworld78 Hey Quizcat, don't be to scared about the programming, if you've done anything with code like a simple website or whatever you'll catch on. Here's a link to the language reference, this page has helped me so many times. Lots of good examples if you need to know how to use something.

http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/HomePage
03-28-2015 09:56 PM
Quizcat O2 gave me much easier option...send it to him

But, I am very interested in learning, so I'll be sure to review the link you sent. I brieflly reviewed it, and it looks relatively simple and concise. This is where my also messing with the Arduino to gain additional expertise will go hand in hand with burning the bootloader/sketch to the chip.

Thanks for the handholding...I am learning a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Once you have the IC board, you'll need to burn the bootloader and then the arduino sketch onto the Atmega328 chip. I usually go through the Arduino ISP process here
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard

Maybe O2Surplus can recommend something easier.

You can upload the Arduino sketch straight to the CEP IC board once your have the bootloader. You need a USB to UART cable. Make sure the black wire is the ground or you'll kill the Atmega chip.
03-28-2015 09:28 PM
Quizcat Yeah, still, that is cheap! But, really cheap with all the stuff mounted! Too bad!

But, yes, I appreciate your offer to help me out very, very much. So, I'll get them on order, and PM you when I get them in. That's very nice of you, and I can't thank you enough for the help. I would like to send one of them to you, so I know that it's done right, then maybe try my hand at it myself once I determine the parts that'll be needed, and have more hands on experience with it.

I am quite sure I can source the parts if I have a detailed list. The soldering isn't a problem for me at all. But, I would probably need some kind of hobbiest "schematic for dummies," something to go by so that the proper positioning of the components is observed, etc...Don't want to put anything in bass-ackwards.

Did you say that the layout is etched or printed on the boards when I get them back from "Seeedsstudio," or not? If so, then all I would probably need are the tolerances of the components in order to source the proper ones.

I was hoping it was going to be as easy as ordering the PCBs with the stuff already mounted and soldered. But, even then, were I to be so fortunate, I wondered exactly where and how I was supposed to connect the PAR sensor once it is built, whether there was polarity to be observed, etc...again another case of bass-ackwards potential.

As far as calibration, I remember Mistergreen mentioning the calibration values somewhere within this thread, and if I remember correctly, it may have been that the calibration value changed once or twice over time. So, I need to make sure I find the most recent calibration values for the potentiometer. And, I'm not even sure how to actually go about adjusting for calibration. So, I may need to read over the thread once again so that more will sink in before going that far. Is there a calibration procedure posted somewhere within the thread...is it something you read on a VOM meter, connected where, etc...?

I still have an interest in the Arduino as well, and I may build one of the PAR meters using the breadboard, LCD Display, and the Arduino, just to gain some more knowledge about the Arduinos.

Fascinating stuff...Looking forward to it very much!



Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
You're getting 10 BARE PcB's for $18.90. The Chinese work cheap, but not that cheap. LOL You'll still need to source and solder on all the parts yourself. OR after you receive the PcB's just send me one and I'll put it together for you . ( I have everything needed, except the bare PcB's) I'll even program it, but calibrating it will be up to you.
03-28-2015 09:24 PM
rottison 02 didn't know you had a par meter? how well does it work?
03-28-2015 07:32 PM
O2surplus
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quizcat View Post
O2Surplus,

Thanks very much for that information...

Attachment 452545

So, once you access Seed Studios website, they have an app that you can download the Gerber File to them, and you will immediately receive an illustration of what the finished board will look like, along with a price.

O2Surplus, reference my PM to you inquiring about a finished board, it appears to me after visiting their site that the finished board is what they do, correct, and not just the PCB with tracings? Except, it appears that they will also do that as an option, if that's what you want. I noticed that they had an option that you could order just the PCB only, no components apparently. But, then you would have to obtain the parts, solder them in place, etc...

I recall that the cost of just the board alone, with just the tracings and the parts illustrations, was around $9.00+ for (10) boards(?), not sure if they mean each, or for ten boards.

Well, if I am reading their site correctly, the option for a completed board with all components mounted is also available. If so, then the cost of the completed board should be $18.90 for (10) pcs., plus shipping, or they have a price option of (5) pcs for $15.90, plus shipping.

Just to confirm, that is (5) complete boards with components mounted for $15.90, plus shipping? Is that right, or do they mean to say (5) complete boards with components mounted x $15.90 each, (10) complete boards with components mounted for $18.90 each? Since they're in China, I wondered if I'm misinterpreting the price for (5) or (10) complete boards with components mounted.

Their ship date was pretty good. If I order them today, they will ship by April 1st. Of course, the actual delivery time might be a few weeks depending on the option you choose for shipping.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Maybe O2Surplus can recommend something easier.
You're getting 10 BARE PcB's for $18.90. The Chinese work cheap, but not that cheap. LOL You'll still need to source and solder on all the parts yourself. OR after you receive the PcB's just send me one and I'll put it together for you . ( I have everything needed, except the bare PcB's) I'll even program it, but calibrating it will be up to you.
03-28-2015 07:17 PM
mistergreen Once you have the IC board, you'll need to burn the bootloader and then the arduino sketch onto the Atmega328 chip. I usually go through the Arduino ISP process here
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ArduinoToBreadboard

Maybe O2Surplus can recommend something easier.

You can upload the Arduino sketch straight to the CEP IC board once your have the bootloader. You need a USB to UART cable. Make sure the black wire is the ground or you'll kill the Atmega chip.
03-28-2015 06:08 PM
Quizcat O2Surplus,

Thanks very much for that information...

Attachment 452545

So, once you access Seed Studios website, they have an app that you can download the Gerber File to them, and you will immediately receive an illustration of what the finished board will look like, along with a price.

O2Surplus, reference my PM to you inquiring about a finished board, it appears to me after visiting their site that the finished board is what they do, correct, and not just the PCB with tracings? Except, it appears that they will also do that as an option, if that's what you want. I noticed that they had an option that you could order just the PCB only, no components apparently. But, then you would have to obtain the parts, solder them in place, etc...

I recall that the cost of just the board alone, with just the tracings and the parts illustrations, was around $9.00+ for (10) boards(?), not sure if they mean each, or for ten boards.

Well, if I am reading their site correctly, the option for a completed board with all components mounted is also available. If so, then the cost of the completed board should be $18.90 for (10) pcs., plus shipping, or they have a price option of (5) pcs for $15.90, plus shipping.

Just to confirm, that is (5) complete boards with components mounted for $15.90, plus shipping? Is that right, or do they mean to say (5) complete boards with components mounted x $15.90 each, (10) complete boards with components mounted for $18.90 each? Since they're in China, I wondered if I'm misinterpreting the price for (5) or (10) complete boards with components mounted.

Their ship date was pretty good. If I order them today, they will ship by April 1st. Of course, the actual delivery time might be a few weeks depending on the option you choose for shipping.


Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
A few people have been asking for the build files needed to make their own CEP Meters. I've attached the GERBER files below. I recommend using SeeedStudios in China for production. I use them all the time. They're fast, cheap, and crank out quality work.
Here's a link to SeeedStudios- http://www.seeedstudio.com/service/index.php?r=pcb

Upload the GERBER files

Select the 5cm X 10cm size option to order the boards. All of the other options can be left at their default state for no additional costs.

Choose a shipping option and you're done.
03-28-2015 04:41 PM
O2surplus
GERBER Files for the DIP version of the CEP meter

A few people have been asking for the build files needed to make their own CEP Meters. I've attached the GERBER files below. I recommend using SeeedStudios in China for production. I use them all the time. They're fast, cheap, and crank out quality work.

Here's a link to SeeedStudios- http://www.seeedstudio.com/service/index.php?r=pcb

Upload the GERBER files

Select the 5cm X 10cm size option to order the boards. All of the other options can be left at their default state for no additional costs.

Choose a shipping option and you're done.
03-28-2015 04:25 PM
mattinmd Yep, a few things to add to really have more-or-less the same setup I use:

1) liquid flux. This is really important for good soldering IMO. Yes, the solder has some, but joints just flow a lot better (better wetting, more even heat transfer) if you put a drop on first...

I use this stuff, mostly because it is cheap. Kester would be better, but hard to get in small quantities.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DNR01Q/ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DNR01Q/
And a dispenser bottle:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CIB9UHS/ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CIB9UHS/


2) something to hold your work. I use a panavise, but those alligator-clip ones work fine for most light stuff. (I use the panavise for small woodworking projects too). In the past I used a locking curved forceps and just set it on a bench, but that only holds it a half inch up or so. You can't hold wires in one hand and solder one-handed

3) Reading glasses, magnifying visor or bench magnifier... Even if your eyes are very good, this stuff is small and inspecting joints is best done under magnification.


Unless you can see good enough to tell differences like the ones shown here:
https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-...ommon-problems
03-28-2015 02:51 PM
mistergreen I'd go for the big breadboard, 2"x6.5".

You're half way there with a soldering station.

Get some LEDs while you're at it. Nothing more fun than see something light up.
03-28-2015 02:29 PM
Quizcat Would it be best to do a price comparison between what's offered in the Chinese Kits, versus my purchasing the important things alacarte?

For example, I figured that I might want more connecting wires, a bigger breadboard, etc...than what is offered in the kits, perhaps a little more diversity of selection with respect to certain components than what's offered in the kits. But, I'll see how the prices shake out between the kits versus alacarte.

When considering a breadboard size, what size do you recommend I start out with? Any optimum size for all-around projects? I figured that there may be a size breadboard that is not too small, but also not too big to be cumbersome with respect to most projects.

I actually already have a good professional level soldering station, Hakko brand, various sizes of solder, extra solder tips of varying sizes, etc...so, I am good to go there.

I actually have some experience with electronics, but old school, primarily before the advent of the "computer age," before IC. So, this should be a fun departure from my previous experience. I've kept up with some technological advances with respect to being quite comforable with computers, basic electronics, etc...but some of what was discussed as you developed the PAR meter was definitely over my head, more akin to electrical engineering, computer code, etc...whereas my knowledge is primarily hands-on basic electronics, and I consider myself just slightly above average in my competancy level with respect to windows based computer usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
Yeah, get the ATMEGA328P Uno. It comes with the 16u2 or the newer boards should.

The hardest part is the hardware. You should get a beginner items like breadboard, connecting wires, and variety of resistors, a few 10K potentiometer, a soldering iron & some solder and tinning ; an 2x16 LCD too. You can get it online or go to your nearest radioshack before they close for business.

A breadboard is used for prototyping where you don't solder things and can move components around easily. Heck some people don't bother soldering and just use the breadboard
03-28-2015 02:18 PM
Quizcat The description from the ad says:

"UNO R3 ATMEGA328P ATMEGA16U2 2012 New Version Board + USB Cable For Arduino" via E.B.A.Y.

I originally thought I would have to choose between the two, but it looks like the new board must have both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattinmd View Post
The board should have *both* processors on it.
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