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Thread: First project

  1. Re: First project

    Darkback, as extremely generous and tempting as that is, so far as I can tell it won't save me much money. Purchasing two servos ($10 x2), SES brackets ($20), a power supply ($15), and aluminum for a custom base ($10) individually will cost me about the same as the kit. I don't consider the construction of a custom base to be a hurdle. I would probably actually enjoy that, and it would be good for me too. So if this estimation is incorrect, I'd love help finding a cheaper option. This would allow me to select my servos, which may make avoiding the kit worthwhile. My plan is to mount one of the airsoft tank guns on this setup so it seems like the HS-322HD's would be fine, but I really have no point of reference to use to determine how good a servo is good enough.

  2. #12
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    Re: First project

    Quote Originally Posted by zoomkat View Post
    Well, that might be the more difficult part of the project. There doesn't seem to be a lot of macs compared to windows machines being used in robotic tinkering. On windows machines most servo controllers can be controlled with fairly simple programming, but not sure what is available for macs.
    I am not sure where this idea that it is more difficult to use a mac vs pc with projects comes from.

    All mac computers ship with the XCode development tools either installed or found on the installation cds. XCode out of the box has a powerfully interface builder and supports C, C++, Java, AppleScript, ect.

    Or you can go the python route as its supported on all platforms.

  3. #13
    zoomkat Guest

    Re: First project

    I am not sure where this idea that it is more difficult to use a mac vs pc with projects comes from.
    Well, I've never seen much mac programming posted up. The below, copied and pasted in notepad and saved as a batch file on my xp machine, moves a servo around that is attached to my ssc-32. Just about as simple as it gets.

    Code:
    @echo off
    mode com8:9600,N,8,1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P1500 t3000 >com8
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P1500 t3000 >com8
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P1500 t3000 >com8
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P1500 t3000 >com8
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P1500 t3000 >com8
    ping -n 5 127.0.0.1 >nul
    echo #0P2200 >com8
    ping -n 2 127.0.0.1 >nul
    cls

  4. Re: First project

    Hm, thanks upgrayd that's encouraging for sure. I just checked my system disks and sure enough Xcode was on them. I'm finishing the download so I'll be able to tinker during spring quarter... Is programming something I'll be able to just figure out on my own, or will I need to buy a book or some other type of help?

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    Re: First project

    If you have no experience programming and are using both windows and osx I would recommend looking into python over xcode.

    Python has a lot of great online resources as well as many great libraries for anything you may want to do (serial coms, GUI creation, math functions, graphing, game controller input, ect.)

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    Re: First project

    I'll second python. there are several of us that use it so questions should be easily answered.

    For some reason seeing a Windows batch file controlling servos makes me want to cry. It seems wrong on so many levels.
    "If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
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    Einstein

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    Re: First project

    Quote Originally Posted by jes1510 View Post
    I'll second python. there are several of us that use it so questions should be easily answered.

    For some reason seeing a Windows batch file controlling servos makes me want to cry. It seems wrong on so many levels.
    I third python. Working in a University setting, I've had the opportunity to TA for an introductory CS course, which was mostly full of non-CS, non-techy people. Once we got past explaining the difference between saving a file in Microsoft Word format versus a plain text file (for python), it was very easy going.

    I personally feel that Python gives you the most bang for your buck: you can do quite a bit, with very little knowledge (not to mention: it reads nicely, is fairly well documented, entirely open source, platform-independent, etc...)

    And I second the batch file... ewww.

    -Fergs

  8. #18
    zoomkat Guest

    Re: First project

    Quote Originally Posted by jes1510 View Post
    For some reason seeing a Windows batch file controlling servos makes me want to cry. It seems wrong on so many levels.
    "Whenever I hear the sparrow chirping, watch the woodpecker chirp, catch a chirping trout, or listen to the sad howl of the chirp rat, I think: Oh boy! I'm going insane again."

  9. Re: First project

    Ok so I'm almost convinced that I know enough to actually start spending money. But before I do, a few more questions.

    1) Does the trossen pan & tilt kit come with all the little screws and bits I would need for assembly?
    2) What else would I need to get to also control one of the tank guns some of you have been using for mech warfare? (remember, this part doesn't need to be high quality, I'm looking for cheap things that are easy to learn with. If you tell me I need and expensive motor controller you will make me cry )
    3) Exactly which tank gun are you guys using? I went to toyeast and they have quite a few different guns.
    Last edited by draikani; 04-17-2010 at 04:09 AM.

  10. Re: First project

    Figured out questions 1 and 3 myself (whoopie), and have spent the last month reading about micro-controllers, servos, motor controllers, programming, power supplies, and so on. My circumstances have also changed for the better since my last batch of questions, so here is the update. My family is moving this summer, and it just so happens that the house has a 30' x 30' air conditioned shop that comes with tools, (drill press, band saw, massive vice, etc). My robotics budget also looks bigger than expected, probably around $300. So my plan is still to start with this little turret, but depending on how that goes I'll likely move on to some harder stuff soon after. I had finally decided to buy the pan and tilt kit, but it had sold out (duh, I left it in the garage sale section for like two months, don't know what I expected). So currently it looks like I'll need to (this is the part I would love feedback on):

    -Buy 2 HS322's, , and one 6v 2A power supply from trossen.
    -Get some aluminum sheet from the hardware store and make some brackets.
    -Get someone to explain how I use a relay to control the gun's motor from one of the servo connections (I'm most stuck here, It's probably not hard but I like to know how before I buy).
    -BEG Darkback to reconsider his offer to sell me one of the "dust collecting" 4-servo controllers.

    Thanks again guys, I just can't say enough how helpful you all have been on getting me started with this.
    Last edited by draikani; 05-11-2010 at 02:13 AM.

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