Wednesday, July 9, 2008

OpenEmbedded is my friend

After switching from buildroot to openembedded, I got almost everything to work, a2d, wireless, and more. Plus, after a bit of time I got the pwc driver and my Logitech 4000 QuickCam working with pwc. OpenEmbedded makes it nice to change the base image and installed packages. I hope to get a basic image that has everything that the quadrotor needs out of the box.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Alright, so I don't have time to work a lot on the arduino right now. I am quite excited about the nano arduino, the lack of usb was what was keeping me from binging on the arduino stamp. But I regress, I am writing this post to tell of my work with the gumstix.

For my senior project I worked on a quadrotor, you can find the page here. Ours used a picoITX board, but everyone else used a gumstix for image processing. Well, the senior project is over, and unfortunately I've made myself indispensible. I agreed to help Prof Beard and Taylor to compile the various groups' work on the quadrotor in order to get the project ready for the next group that decides to punish themselves.

The first couple things that I am trying to do is to figure out how to use the A2D ports on the console-vx board that goes with our verdex motherboard. I have the console-vx R1851. Trying to get the A2D to work was quite an ordeal. No one else, that I can find has even tried. I tried, and after much searching and tribulation, I discovered some interesting things.

The A2D ports are connected to part U22 on the console-vx. Through the eagle schematics, I found that the part is a tsc2003, which is a touch screen controller. Well, I just found a document

The consoleLCD-vx product line uses the same printed circuit boards as the console-vx.
The console-vx is a product which does not populate many of the components on the consoleLCD-vx board.

That explains a lot. After a lot of work I finally figured out that I couldn't even connect up the A2D ports because we have the console-vx and not the consoleLCD18-vx, which has the needed tsc2003 chip. Even with the tsc2003, I don't know if I would have been able to get it to work. The SDA and SCL didn't even appear to be connected to anything on the console-vx schematic.

Okay then, my next item of business is to get wifi to work on gumstix, after seriously wasting a decent amount of time. I hope that the my netwifiusd-vx isn't missing some necessary chip either. Who knows.

Gumstix have an amazing cool factor, unfortunately they have some major drawbacks. The documentation is sparse. Why? I don't know! If I spent time engineering something like this, I would want people to know how to use it. Anyway, I suppose I will just have to continue pounding my head against the wall until the wall gives way.

Oh, and if you want schematics and useful diagrams of the gumstix hardware, check here.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pure sweetness

It took a book of tweaking, but I got it to work. I hooked up my original xbox s-controller to my laptop, wrote a little sketch and a C program, and got the x-axis on the left analog stick to control the position of a servo. I'll post the code here soon and a video to youtube. It uses SDL for the joystick and I found a little serial program that I used to help send data to the arduino decima. Freaking exciting. The next step is to buy some xbee stuff and get it to work wirelessly. After that, I should be able to build a platform for a robot that I can have some fun with.

Friday, February 8, 2008

A new day, time to start up again

Alright, my ideas about using the joystick have been replaced by using an xbox controller that I spliced with a usb cord. I'm got a hold of a servo that I'm going to try to connect to the arduino. Now, if I could control the servo with the xbox controller I'd be just one step short of taking over the world.

Now, to put this into perspective, I found an open source circuit simulator available in the ubuntu repositories that I'm going to try to build a motor control with. I have a bunch of high power bjts that hopefully will be able to drive some power window motors. Now, if I could hook up the arduino and use my christmas money to buy a xbee starter kit, I'd have a mobile platform that I could build off of.

Well, I have my work cut out for me. Hopefully I don't get too side tracked. I am currently working on a quadrotor and want to write a 3d simulator for it that goes beyond the simulink file my teacher uses. Anyway, off to try to get the servo working. Then to try to get the controller to interface with the servo...