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LinuxGuy
04-29-2008, 01:39 PM
EDIT by Alex: Moved from http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1686&page=7


They're using OSC (Open Sound Control) protocol to toss variables around over UDP to other less aware apps. Pretty darned spiffy for broad-ranging support - especially of proprietary systems.
The Make Controller can speak OSC also, and OSC has been gaining in popularity as a light weight communication protocol.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
04-29-2008, 01:57 PM
Wow - that looks like a screamin' deal!

http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL

Dang it - it won't let me add to your rep for that post. Says I need to "spread it around"... ;)

Matt
04-29-2008, 02:20 PM
You should be able to pick one up at the faire this weekend. We would carry them, but they won't sell them to us yet :( It's a sweet device!

Droid Works
04-29-2008, 02:29 PM
Wow - that looks like a screamin' deal!

http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL



Wow! that is nice.

Adrenalynn
04-29-2008, 02:41 PM
I'm sorry that I've so taken this thread off-course. Maybe Alex could split it out?

I need to walk away from the keyboard. That much possibility for a hundred dollars has caused my brain to go into an infinite loop. I look at the code samples and I just see ten thousand things I want to create with that board, all at once. I wish it had an LCD interface. Hmmm...

Must walk away.

When will they let you carry it, Matt?

I'm definitely picking up a couple this weekend. But now I must go walk around the block or something...

LinuxGuy
04-29-2008, 03:33 PM
<Crossposted from TRS>

I figured I would use this post to start this thread about the Make Controller (http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL) here. Anyone who has not checked out this very cool Atmel SAM7X ARM7 based controller, needs to go check it out. This is one of the coolest ways of creating a controller I think I have ever seen, and the price has come down on it to.


I'm sorry that I've so taken this thread off-course. Maybe Alex could split it out?
The Make Controller (http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL) deserves an entire thread of its own in "I/O Boards and Controllers" because it is so cool. This is the first place I have mentioned it where somebody hasn't immediately started dissing it. That sort of thing really ticks me off, because some people can't see the potential I see in it. Yes, I want one!


I need to walk away from the keyboard. That much possibility for a hundred dollars has caused my brain to go into an infinite loop. I look at the code samples and I just see ten thousand things I want to create with that board, all at once. I wish it had an LCD interface. Hmmm...
I know what you mean! Whenever I see a device like the Make Controller (http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL), my brain just starts coming up with all the cool ideas I could make with it. It could even be running an RSR! I would like to have one just to tinker with and create with. The Make Controller (http://www.makingthings.com/products/KIT-MAKE-CTRL) is one of those rare things that comes along and truly does encourage creativity, much like the Arduino (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/arduino-diecimila-usb-io-board.aspx) is doing. I want an Arduino (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/arduino-diecimila-usb-io-board.aspx) USB too!


I'm definitely picking up a couple this weekend. But now I must go walk around the block or something...
I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo envious!

8-Dale

Droid Works
04-29-2008, 03:36 PM
I didn't even know this existed until today. I want one...lol

Alex
04-29-2008, 04:20 PM
I just moved these posts (and the thread that Dale just created) into a new thread.

I've been wanting us to carry these boards for close to two years now:mad: I can't remember off hand why we don't, but I remember that it wasn't really an issue of them letting us carry it.

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 12:43 PM
Just an update:

I have a Make Controller kit in my hot little hands (two of 'em actually).

Processor daughter-card is labled "V1.1 by MakingThings". It's an AT91SAM7X256 ARM, as expected.

I plan to dig into it as time allows, and will update as I go through the process - I want to rebuild the flash from source, and have downloaded and installed the tools. Next Step: Plug it in and see if it comes up!

[edit: Thanks for splitting this out, Alex!]

LinuxGuy
05-06-2008, 01:21 PM
I plan to dig into it as time allows, and will update as I go through the process - I want to rebuild the flash from source, and have downloaded and installed the tools.
I am envious!

This is the first thing I would do. Make sure I can recreate the stock setup from sources.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 01:37 PM
I cheated and took a little early "lunch"... ;)

The device booted-up and auto-installed under Windows XP SP2. It absolutely required a reboot to see the device. [sigh].

The "getting started" seems to be Mac-oriented, and the menus differ a bit in mchelper, but I was quickly able to send it a command or two over OSC to pull the board info and to toggle a couple onboard LEDs.

It came with the HEAVY 1.2.0 binary installed according to info. I installed the toolchain and rebuilt the latest 1.3.1 source from scratch, but couldn't upload to the board (option greyed out in mchelper). A little RTFM and I discovered it needed to have the image erased first. I jumpered the erase with power on, then unplugged/replugged the USB to reset it, and Windows found a new device, this one an "ARM test board" (clearly the reference design...). I selected to auto-install drivers and didn't have to reboot for mchelper to see the new device a few seconds later. I used mchelper to send over my newly-built 1.3.1 image, and about 70seconds later mchelper "rediscovered" the programmed controller. I was then able to duplicate the results of toggling the onboard LEDs, as well as OSC the list of subsystems on the board (see below) and read the status of the LEDs correctly.

Next I was able to move around a servo with just OSD messages sent over USB from the mchelper command-line.

The whole thing was pretty intuitive. From installing, testing, putting together the toolchain, rebuilding from scratch, erasing the image, installing a new image, and retesting (and confirming the versioning), it took just a smidge under 30mins.

That's pretty promising, imho, for a hobby embedded controller board!

More when I get some inputs hooked-up...

[subsystems reporting:]
http://www.jlrdesigns.com/robovids/make-controller-responding.png

Droid Works
05-06-2008, 01:58 PM
I really like the CAN interface, very useful feature. Thanks for sharing the info, I look forward to hearing more. So far it looks like a good buy.

LinuxGuy
05-06-2008, 04:27 PM
That's pretty promising, imho, for a hobby embedded controller board!
Very good work and explanation! I am getting ideas - wondering if a Make Controller would work connected to Hammer (http://www.tincantools.com/product.php?productid=16133&cat=0&page=1&featured) via USB. It could potentially make a nice slave to Hammer (http://www.tincantools.com/product.php?productid=16133&cat=0&page=1&featured).

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 04:36 PM
Thanks!

There might even be a better way, if you're comfortable soldering to small pads and/or taking a razorblade to the board.

There are pads on the board for TTL serial. A single 0.1" center-to-center pad row of 6 (3.3vdc, 0vdc, TX, RX, RTS, CTS). Soldering a header exposing TTL would be trivial. With a shifter ($13 from sparkfun), you could get true RS232 as well. The firmware with the board supports it, and OSC sends/receives.

A more advanced mod would be slicing a trace, scraping an SMD part, and soldering in a pin and jumper for I2C.

Both of these are mods I'm planning to perform as soon as time allows...

NOTE: I take no responsibility for ones ability to perform these operations without exploding their board, fingers, toes, face, or favorite pet guppy. That said - when I make the mods I'll post details...

[edit to add:] I'll try to put a 'scope on it tonight and send some serial data and maybe exercise the I2C I think lives there to confirm support...

LinuxGuy
05-06-2008, 04:47 PM
There might even be a better way, if you're comfortable soldering to small pads and/or taking a razorblade to the board.
I'm comfortable soldering, but not comfortable using razor blades anywhere.


There are pads on the board for TTL serial. A single 0.1" center-to-center pad row of 6 (3.3vdc, 0vdc, TX, RX, RTS, CTS). Soldering a header exposing TTL would be trivial.
This indeed would be easy, and I just got some samples from TI, including some of their level shifter chips. However, Hammer (http://http://www.tincantools.com/images/T/Hammer_01.jpg) only has two serial ports exposed (out of 3).

One is the console, which I have a serial Bluetooth module connected to, and the other I will probably connect a SSC-32 to. However, if the Make Controller has adequate resolution on the servos, I would try using it for servo control. W.A.L.T.E.R. only has 6 servos at present (4DOF arm plus 2DOF gripper), with the possibility of adding 2 - 4 more for a couple pan/tilt sensor platforms.


A more advanced mod would be slicing a trace, scraping an SMD part, and soldering in a pin and jumper for I2C.
I would be interested in this mod, since I am already planning to use I2C heavily for W.A.L.T.E.R.

A Make Controller, perhaps with some custom software, might be the perfect I/O expander for Hammer (http://www.tincantools.com/images/T/Hammer_01.jpg).

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 05:05 PM
How much trouble is exposing that third serial port on the Hammer? (I haven't used one)

The I2C mod would enforce some razorblade, exacto, my wit, some other reasonably thin and exceptionall sharp object action, I'm afraid... So if you're not comfortable cutting-up the board - don't even think about it.

I bought two 'cause I fully expect to blow the first one up... ;)

[edit to add: My "new" 500Mhz HP digital storage O'Scope just arrived! Woohoo! (My 1Ghz is in use at the office right now...) Seems like poking around the Make Controller tonight might just be a worthwhile test project for it... :D ]

LinuxGuy
05-06-2008, 05:19 PM
How much trouble is exposing that third serial port on the Hammer? (I haven't used one)
It can't be done. The Hammer is a 40 pin DIP module with a 200 MHz Samsung S3C2410A ARM9 processor and 32 MB RAM/16 MB Flash. TinCanTools (http://www.tincantools.com) had to make some design decisions to create the module. There is another similar module coming out called SledgeHammer, that will probably have the same processor, as well as many more I/O functions exposed, on a total of 80 pins.


The I2C mod would enforce some razorblade, exacto, my wit, some other reasonably thin and exceptionall sharp object action, I'm afraid... So if you're not comfortable cutting-up the board - don't even think about it.
They should have made I2C more accessible. It's too bad they didn't.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 05:43 PM
"Can't" be done? :P :P :P

LinuxGuy
05-06-2008, 06:28 PM
"Can't" be done? :P :P :P
There is a conflict with some of the serial port 3 functions and other things that are brought out to pins on the module. I can't remember what the conflict is, but if I remember correct, it was such that it conflicted with other desirable functions. I'll have to review the datasheet for the S3C2410A to find out again.

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
05-06-2008, 07:51 PM
Might be a lack of IRQs. In which case - just a firmware change. Get rid of something you don't need. ;)

So I can confirm that the Make board will send data over the serial. Just can't confirm how sensible it is yet since I haven't soldered a header on...

http://www.jlrdesigns.com/robovids/make-controller/probe-on-tx.jpg

http://www.jlrdesigns.com/robovids/make-controller/serial-tx-screen.jpg

http://www.jlrdesigns.com/robovids/make-controller/serial-data-on-scope.avi

[After clicking the video link, I had to right-click on the video popup window and hit "play" - it didn't autostart with the integrated DivX player...]

Droid Works
08-03-2008, 12:42 AM
How are things going with the make controller, I am getting ready to order one but would like your opinion first.

Adrenalynn
08-03-2008, 01:08 AM
I'm exceptionally under-impressed. If you don't need the motor controllers or you don't need a stepper motor controller - buy the Axon instead.

Droid Works
08-03-2008, 01:15 AM
I am so glad I asked you, I had my mouse hovering over add to cart as I was waiting for your reply...lol
Thanks for the heads up ordering my Axon right now.

Adrenalynn
08-03-2008, 01:29 AM
The coolest thing is the handful of 1A motor controllers. If you need 'em, it's cool. Being able to run it over the network is kinda cool too. But I probably wouldn't buy it again.

I'm lovin' the little Axon though. I guess it depends a lot on what you're looking for. I'll trade a handful of motor controllers for 50+ useful IO.

Droid Works
08-03-2008, 01:34 AM
YouTube - Axon Wiring Demo
It is a awesome little controller, just ordered mine.

Adrenalynn
08-03-2008, 01:44 AM
Mine:

http://www.jlrdesigns.com/4alex/axon-sharp-ir.jpg

Ignore the highlights, they're there for a reason you'll probably someday recognize, if that new guy would actually do some productive work. ;)

[edit] Btw: You could use it to daisy chain 3x SSC32 + the twenty-something servos the Axon can handle. More than a hundred servos...

Droid Works
08-03-2008, 01:52 AM
I only need 44 so I think I have it covered now.

Droid Works
08-06-2008, 12:46 PM
I got my axon and have been messing around with it. It is awesome! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Adrenalynn
08-06-2008, 01:55 PM
NP! Glad it's working for you.

Have you gone to the site and grabbed the latest-greatest firmware? He updates it not too infrequently.

Droid Works
08-06-2008, 04:47 PM
NP! Glad it's working for you.

Have you gone to the site and grabbed the latest-greatest firmware? He updates it not too infrequently.

Yes, And the software also. Its a very versatile little controller I like it allot.