algorithm Arduino hardware software

Basic SmartCar Bot – Control

When designing a SmartCar application, the details of the application (ie, what the robot does) will be purpose-specific. The underlying support infrastructure, however, should be more generic and aimed at simplifying management of the core hardware from the application.

In the previous parts of this series we covered the hardware and sensors. The next thing is to work out the core controls needed for an application using the hardware.

algorithm Arduino hardware software

Basic SmartCar Bot – Sensors

The first part of this series was an introduction to the core hardware for the SmartCar platform. This article covers the power supply, controller and sensors.

algorithm Arduino hardware software

Basic SmartCar Bot – Hardware

Many years ago I purchased a Rug Warrior kit to go with the book Mobile Robots: Inspiration to Implementation. It was an expensive kit – in the hundreds of dollars in Australia – for what was an advanced entry level robot of the early 1990’s.

The technology to make such a bot vehicle has become considerably more accessible, so I thought it was time to build a roving bot from the ground up. The challenge for this version is to make it as cheaply as possible for functionality similar to Rug Warrior.

Arduino hardware

Four Common Hobby DC Motor Controllers

I was recently looking for a brushed DC motor controller for some small motors and came across four controllers that seem to account for the majority of those available from online stores. I had to compare them before making my decision, so here is my summary of their specifications and how they would be controlled from your software.

electronics hardware

FlySky T6 RC Data Cable & Flight Simulator

Having acquired a FlySky 6 channel Radio Control transmitter (FS-T6) for a planned model airplane, I decided to take on the common advice that it is worth practicing on a simulator before being let loose on the ‘real thing’. Here’s what’s required.

Arduino electronics hardware MIDI

DIY MIDI Percussion Kit – Part 1

Some small projects are interesting because they can enable more than their initial proposition, and the simplicity of producing synthesized sounds using a MIDI interface allows us to experiment with different types of instrument ‘user interfaces’.

In this project I build a flexible software kernel for a DIY MIDI percussion kit that can initially be used switches and piezo sensors but is easily extensible.

Arduino electronics hardware PCB

Arduino Pro Mini Sensor Board

I often use Pro Mini format Arduino Boards in my projects, especially when the processor is embedded as a ‘set and forget’ controller. They have a small form factor and are very inexpensive.

However, as I prototype systems using standardized breakout modules (see this past article) it has been annoying not having a sensor-type board for this processor footprint. So I decided to make my own.

algorithm Arduino electronics hardware PCB

Making music with a Yamaha YM2413 Synthesizer – Part 1

When researching material for the SN76489 sound generator (documented in these previous articles) I discovered that many early microcomputer systems incorporated both the SN76489 and a YM2413 FM synthesizer. The Yamaha synthesizer looked like an interesting piece of hardware to explore. Here’s the result.

Arduino hardware software

A Glockenspiel Music Box

My project ‘to-do’ list has for a long time included automating a percussion instrument. I recently decided that a xylophone or glockenspiel type instrument would be a good idea … until I saw the cost of one of those things!

So to fulfill my ambition in an economical way, I downsized to automating a toy glockenspiel. Here’s how it went.

algorithm Arduino electronics hardware software

Making noise with a SN76489 Digital Sound Generator – Part 3

In the first part and second part we examined the basics of the SN76489 hardware and the development of a library to manage sound production from this IC.

So, after all this effort, what kind of sound does this hardware produce? In this final post I run a few tests and dig into the resulting waveforms.