Posts with «control» label

Reflowduino: Put That Toaster Oven To Good Use

There are few scenes in life more moving than the moment the solder paste melts as the component slides smoothly into place. We’re willing to bet the only reason you don’t have a reflow oven is the cost. Why wouldn’t you want one? Fortunately, the vastly cheaper DIY route has become a whole lot easier since the birth of the Reflowduino – an open source controller for reflow ovens.

This Hackaday Prize entry by [Timothy Woo] provides a super quick way to create your own reflow setup, using any cheap means of heating you have lying around. [Tim] uses a toaster oven he paid $21 for, but anything with a suitable thermal mass will do. The hardware of the Reflowduino is all open source and has been very well documented – both on the main hackaday.io page and over on the project’s GitHub.

The board itself is built around the ATMega32u4 and sports an integrated MAX31855 thermocouple interface (for the all-important PID control), LiPo battery charging, a buzzer for alerting you when input is needed, and Bluetooth. Why Bluetooth? An Android app has been developed for easy control of the Reflowduino, and will even graph the temperature profile.

When it comes to controlling the toaster oven/miscellaneous heat source, a “sidekick” board is available, with a solid state relay hooked up to a mains plug. This makes it a breeze to setup any mains appliance for Arduino control.

We actually covered the Reflowduino last year, but since then [Tim] has also created the Reflowduino32 – a backpack for the DOIT ESP32 dev board. There’s also an Indiegogo campaign now, and some new software as well.

If a toaster oven still doesn’t feel hacky enough for you, we’ve got reflowing with hair straighteners, and even car headlights.

Reflow Rig Makes SMD Soldering a Wok in The Park

For a DIY reflow setup, most people seem to rely on the trusty thrift store toaster oven as a platform to hack. But there’s something to be said for heating the PCB directly rather than heating the surrounding air, and for that one can cruise the yard sales looking for a hot plate to convert. But an electric wok as a reflow hotplate? Sure, why not?

At the end of the day [ThomasVDD]’s reflow wok is the same as any other reflow build. It has a heat source that can be controlled easily, temperature sensors, and a microcontroller that can run the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) control algorithm needed for precise temperature control. That the heating element he used came from an electric wok was just a happy accident. A laser-cut MDF case complete with kerf-bent joints holds the heating element, the solid-state relay, and the Arduino Nano that runs the show. A MAX6675 thermocouple amp senses the temperature and allows the Nano to cycle the temperature through different profiles for different solders. It’s compact, simple, and [ThomasVDD] now has a spare wok to use on the stove top. What’s not to like?

Reflow doesn’t just mean oven or hotplate, of course. Why not give reflow headlights, a reflow blowtorch, or even a reflow work light a try?

Retractable Console Allows Wheelchair User to Get up Close and Personal

[Rhonda] has multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that limits her ability to walk and use her arms. She and the other residents of The Boston Home, an extended care facility for people with MS and other neuromuscular diseases, rely on their wheelchairs for mobility. [Rhonda]’s chair comes with a control console that swings out of the way to allow her to come up close to tables and counters, but she has problems applying enough force to manually position it.

Sadly, [Rhonda]’s insurance doesn’t cover a commercial solution to her problem. But The Boston Home has a fully equipped shop to extend and enhance residents’ wheelchairs, and they got together with students from MIT’s Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (PPAT) course to hack a solution that’s not only useful for [Rhonda] but should be generally applicable to other chairs. The students analyzed the problem, measured the forces needed and the clearances required, and built a prototype pantograph mount for the control console. They’ve made the device simple to replicate and kept the BOM as inexpensive as possible since patients are often out-of-pocket for enhancements like these. The video below shows a little about the problem and the solution.

Wheelchair hacks are pretty common, like the 2015 Hackaday Prize-winning Eyedrivomatic. We’ve also covered totally open-source wheelchairs, both manual and electric.


Filed under: Medical Hacks

raspberry + arduino / webiopi + firmata (python)

Im buildin internet controlled rc car with arduino, arduino motor shield and raspberry.
So how to use firmata and webiopi at the same time.

read more

Motor control or servo control

 

I came across this circuit on google. It controls motor speed by simple flip-flop that gives a PWM signal.

The question is can this be used as a servo control ?

first use 5 volts supply instead of 12 volts ...then by replacing the 3RD NPN transistor with a servo. the + goes up, the - goes down and the signal feeds from the flip flop...can we do that ??

Motor control or servo control

 

I came across this circuit on google. It controls motor speed by simple flip-flop that gives a PWM signal.

The question is can this be used as a servo control ?

first use 5 volts supply instead of 12 volts ...then by replacing the 3RD NPN transistor with a servo. the + goes up, the - goes down and the signal feeds from the flip flop...can we do that ??

Hack Your Cat’s Brain to Hunt For Food

This cat feeder project by [Ben Millam] is fascinating. It all started when he read about a possible explanation for why house cats seem to needlessly explore the same areas around the home. One possibility is that the cat is practicing its mobile hunting skills. The cat is sniffing around, hoping to startle its prey and catch something for dinner. Unfortunately, house cats don’t often get to fulfill this primal desire. [Ben] thought about this problem and came up with a very interesting solution. One that involves hacking an electronic cat feeder, and also hacking his cat’s brain.

First thing’s first. Click past the break to take a look at the demo video and watch [Ben’s] cat hunt for prey. Then watch in amazement as the cat carries its bounty back to the cat feeder to exchange it for some real food.

[Ben] first thought about hiding bowls of food around the house for his cat to find, but he quickly dismissed this idea after imagining the future trails of ants he would have to deal with. He instead thought it would be better to hide some other object. An object that wouldn’t attract pests and also wouldn’t turn rancid over time. The problem is his cat would have to know to first retrieve the object, then return it to a specific place in order to receive food as a reward. That’s where the cat hacking comes in.

[Ben] started out by training his cat using the clicker method. After all, if the cat couldn’t be trained there was no use in building an elaborate feeding mechanism. He trained the cat to perform two separate behaviors, one tiny bit at a time. The first behavior was to teach the cat to pick up the ball. This behavior was broken down into six micro behaviors that would slowly be chained together.

  • Look at the ball
  • Approach the ball
  • Sniff the ball
  • Bite the ball
  • Pick up the ball
  • Pick up the ball and hold it for a few seconds

[Ben] would press on the clicker and reward his cat immediately upon seeing the desired step of each behavior. Once the cat would perform that step regularly, the reward was removed and only given to the cat if the next step in the chain was performed. Eventually, the cat learned the entire chain of steps, leading to the desired behavior.

Next, [Ben] had to teach his cat about the target area. This was a separately trained behavior that was broken down into the following three steps.

  • Look at the target area
  • Approach the target area
  • Sniff the target area

Once the cat learned both of these behaviors, [Ben] had to somehow link them together. This part took a little bit of luck and a lot of persistence. [Ben] would place the ball near the target area, but not too close. Then, he would reward his cat only when the cat picked up the ball and started moving closer to the target area. There is some risk here that if the cat doesn’t move toward the target area at all, you risk extinguishing the old behaviors and they will have to be learned all over again. Luckily, [Ben’s] cat was smart enough to figure it out.

With the cat properly trained, it was time to build the cat feeder. [Ben] used an off-the-shelf electronic feeder called Super Feeder as the base for his project. The feeder is controlled by a relay that is hooked up to an Arduino. The Arduino is also connected to an RFID reader. Each plastic ball has an RFID tag inside it. When the cat places the ball into the target area, the reader detects the presence of the ball and triggers the relay for a few seconds. The system also includes a 315MHz wireless receiver and remote control. This allows [Ben] to manually dispense some cat food should the need arise.

Now whenever the cat is hungry, it can use those primal instincts to hunt for food instead of just having it freely handed over.

[Thanks Dan]


Filed under: home hacks
Hack a Day 08 Aug 18:00
315mhz  arduino  ball  behavior  brain  cat  clicker  control  feeder  food  home  home hacks  hunt  kitten  learn  psychology  remote  rfid  tag  teach  training  

MT8870 DTMF - Dual Tone Multi Frequency Decoder

Project Description

We will be using an MT8870 DTMF module with an Arduino UNO to control a small servo motor in this project. The DTMF module gives the Arduino super-powers and allows you to control the Servo motor in so many ways. For example, this tutorial will show you how to control the servo motor using:
  • a YouTube Video
  • a voice recorder
  • A web application (Online tone generator)
  • A smart phone app (DTMF Pad)
  • A touch-tone phone to cell-phone call
All of these control methods will take advantage of the same exact Arduino code/sketch. But how???
The MT8870 DTMF decoder is quite a neat little module that allows you incorporate DTMF technology into your arduino projects. DTMF stands for Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency. DTMF tones are commonly associated with touch-tone phones and other telecommunication systems. When you press the number "1" on a touch-tone phone, two sine waves with frequencies: 697Hz and 1209Hz are combined to produce a unique DTMF signal which can be transmitted through the phone line. The MT8870 DTMF module can take this signal as an input, and decode it to produce a binary output.
 
 

 
The DTMF module does not care how you produce the DTMF tone. However, if it receives this tone, it will decode it. We can take advantage of this feature to supply the module with tones from different sources. The module has a 3.5mm port for line input. Providing you can connect your DTMF source to this line input in some way, it should work. I must warn you, however that this is a line input and NOT a microphone input. If you wanted to use a microphone, you will need to boost or amplify the signal before sending it to the DTMF module.
 
You will need the following parts for this project
 

Parts Required:

Software/Apps Required

Arduino Sketch


Upload the following sketch to the Arduino.
 

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/* ================================================================================================================================================== Project: MT8870 DTMF Servo sketch Author: Scott C Created: 4th August 2015 Arduino IDE: 1.6.4 Website: http://arduinobasics.blogspot.com/p/arduino-basics-projects-page.html Description: This project will allow you to control a Servo motor using an Arduino UNO and a MT8870 DTMF Module. The DTMF signal is received through the 3.5mm port of the DTMF module and is decoded. We will use the decoded output to control the position of the Servo. A SG-5010 Servo motor was used in this project. ===================================================================================================================================================== *///This sketch uses the Servo library that comes with the Arduino IDE #include <Servo.h> //Global variables----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Servo SG5010; // The SG5010 variable provides Servo functionality int servoPosition = 0; // The servoPosition variable will be used to set the position of the servo byte DTMFread; // The DTMFread variable will be used to interpret the output of the DTMF module. const int STQ = 3; // Attach DTMF Module STQ Pin to Arduino Digital Pin 3 const int Q4 = 4; // Attach DTMF Module Q4 Pin to Arduino Digital Pin 4 const int Q3 = 5; // Attach DTMF Module Q3 Pin to Arduino Digital Pin 5 const int Q2 = 6; // Attach DTMF Module Q2 Pin to Arduino Digital Pin 6 const int Q1 = 7; // Attach DTMF Module Q1 Pin to Arduino Digital Pin 7 /*========================================================================================================= setup() : will setup the Servo, and prepare the Arduino to receive the MT8700 DTMF module's output. ========================================================================================================== */void setup() { SG5010.attach(9); // The Servo signal cable will be attached to Arduino Digital Pin 9 SG5010.write(servoPosition); // Set the servo position to zero. //Setup the INPUT pins on the Arduino pinMode(STQ, INPUT); pinMode(Q4, INPUT); pinMode(Q3, INPUT); pinMode(Q2, INPUT); pinMode(Q1, INPUT);} /*========================================================================================================= loop() : Arduino will interpret the DTMF module output and position the Servo accordingly ========================================================================================================== */void loop() { if(digitalRead(STQ)==HIGH){ //When a DTMF tone is detected, STQ will read HIGH for the duration of the tone. DTMFread=0; if(digitalRead(Q1)==HIGH){ //If Q1 reads HIGH, then add 1 to the DTMFread variable DTMFread=DTMFread+1; } if(digitalRead(Q2)==HIGH){ //If Q2 reads HIGH, then add 2 to the DTMFread variable DTMFread=DTMFread+2; } if(digitalRead(Q3)==HIGH){ //If Q3 reads HIGH, then add 4 to the DTMFread variable DTMFread=DTMFread+4; } if(digitalRead(Q4)==HIGH){ //If Q4 reads HIGH, then add 8 to the DTMFread variable DTMFread=DTMFread+8; } servoPosition = DTMFread * 8.5; //Set the servoPosition varaible to the combined total of all the Q1 to Q4 readings. Multiply by 8.5 to amplify the servo rotation. } SG5010.write(servoPosition); //Set the servo's position according to the "servoPosition" variable. }


 
 
 

Fritzing Sketch


Connect the Arduino to the MT8870 DTMF module, and to a Servo.
Use the following Fritzing sketch as a guide.
 
(Click the image above to enlarge it)



Discussion


You will need to connect a cable from the DTMF module's 3.5mm port to that of your smart phone, computer, voice recorder or any other DTMF source of your choice.
 

 

When you power up your Arduino, the Servo motor should turn all the way to the left to it's zero position. Once the DTMF module receives a DTMF signal, it will identify the relevant frequecies as described in the table at the beginning of this tutorial, and produce a binary like output. You will notice the DTMF module's onboard LEDs light up when a tone is detected. Onboard LED (D5) will turn on for the length of the DTMF tone it just received, and turn off when the tone has stopped. On the other hand, the onboard LEDs (D1 to D4) will light up depending on the tone received, and will remain lit until the module receives another tone. The onboard LEDs are a visual representation of the voltages applied to the DTMF module's pins (Q1 to Q4, and STQ). Q1 matches D1, Q2 matches D2 etc etc. and STQ matches D5.
 
You will notice that there are two STQ pins on the DTMF module. The STQ pin that is closest to Q4 will only go high when a DTMF tone is detected, and will remain high for the duration of the tone. The other STQ pin is the exact opposite. It will switch LOW when a tone is received and remain LOW for the duration of the tone. When there is no tone, this STQ pin will remain HIGH. The table below provides a summary of the DTMF module outputs, with a blue box representing a voltage applied to that pin (HIGH), whereas a black box indicates no voltage applied (LOW).


 
In order to follow this project, you need a source of DTMF tones. You can produce DTMF tones using a touch-tone phone, or through the use of a DTMF Pad app. If you are feeling creative, you can create a DTMF song/tune like the one I posted on YouTube. You can see the video below:
 

 
As you can see from the video, I also recorded the DTMF tune onto a voice recorder, and was able to control the servo that way. If you are not feeling creative, you can visit this website to create DTMF tones from your browser.

Concluding comments


This project was very fun, and shows some novel ways to control your Arduino. After completing the project, I realised that I could use this module to alert me when new emails or messages arrive on my phone or computer. If you have the ability to change the email or message notification sound to a DTMF tone, you should be able to get the module and Arduino to respond accordingly. Oh well, maybe I'll save that project for another day.
 
If this project helped you in anyway or if you use my code within your project, please let me know in the comments below. I would be interested to see what you did.


If you like this page, please do me a favour and show your appreciation :

 
Visit my ArduinoBasics Google + page.
Follow me on Twitter by looking for ScottC @ArduinoBasics.
I can also be found on Pinterest and Instagram.
Have a look at my videos on my YouTube channel.


 
 
             

 



However, if you do not have a google profile...
Feel free to share this page with your friends in any way you see fit.

A Remote for CHDK Cameras Made Possible with Arduino

[AlxDroidDev] built himself a nice remote control box for CHDK-enabled cameras. If you haven’t heard of CHDK, it’s a pretty cool software modification for some Canon cameras. CHDK adds many new features to inexpensive cameras. In this case, [AlxDroidDev] is using a feature that allows the camera shutter to be activated via USB. CHDK can be run from the SD card, so no permanent modifications need to be made to the camera.

[AlxDroidDev’s] device runs off of an ATMega328p with Arduino. It operates from a 9V battery. The circuit contains an infrared receiver and also a Bluetooth module. This allows [AlxDroidDev] to control his camera using either method. The device interfaces to the camera using a standard USB connector and cable. It contains three LEDs, red, green, and blue. Each one indicates the status of a different function.

The Arduino uses Ken Shirrif’s IR Remote library to handle the infrared remote control functions. SoftwareSerial is used to connect to the Bluetooth module. The Arduino code has built-in functionality for both Canon and Nikon infrared remote controls. To control the camera via Bluetooth, [AlxDroidDev] built a custom Android application. The app can not only control the camera’s shutter, but it can also control the level of zoom.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Tutorial – Arduino and SIM900 GSM Modules

Use the SIM900 GSM modules with Arduino in Chapter 55 of our Arduino Tutorials. The first chapter is here, the complete series is detailed here. Updated 14/02/2014

Introduction

The goal of this tutorial is to illustrate various methods of interaction between an Arduino Uno (or compatible) and the GSM cellular network using a SIM900 GSM shield, with which you can then use your existing knowledge to build upon those methods. Updated 08/01/2014.

Apart from setting up the shield we’ll examine:

  • Making a telephone call from your Arduino
  • Sending an SMS text message
  • Receiving text messages with the shield and displaying them on the serial monitor
  • Simple controlling of the host Arduino by calling it from another telephone
  • Controlling the Arduino via SMS text message

We’ll be using a SIMCOM SIM900 GSM module shield. (If you’re looking for tutorials on the Spreadtrum SM5100 modules, start here). There must be scores of Arduino shields or modules using the SIM900, so as you can imagine each one may be a little bit different with regards to the hardware side of things – so we’re assuming you have an understanding of how hardware and software serial works as well as supply voltages and the hardware side of the Arduino world.

As for the specific shield to use, we just chose the cheapest one available at the time – which turned out to be the “SIM900 GPRS/GSM Arduino shield” from tronixlabs.com:

However with a little research and work on your part, the sketches provided should also work with any SIM900 module/shield and Arduino – as long as you have the appropriate serial and power settings.

Getting Started

A little preparation goes a long way, so make sure you’ve covered the following points:

  • Regarding your cellular provider. Do you have coverage on a GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, DCS 1800 MHz or PCS 1900 MHz network?  When we say GSM that means 2G – not 3G, 4G or LTE. Will they allow the use of non-supported devices on the network? Some carriers will block IMEI numbers that were not provided by their sales channel. Or you may have to call the provider and supply the IMEI of your GSM module to allow it on the network. Finally, it would be wise to use either a prepaid or an account that offers unlimited SMS text messaging – you don’t want any large bills if things go wrong.
  • Power. Do you have adequate power for your SIM900 module? Some shields will use more current than the Arduino can supply (up to 2A), so you may need an external high-current supply. The Linksprite shield we use needs 5V up to 2A into the onboard DC socket. Otherwise, check with your supplier.
  • Antenna. If your module/shield etc. doesn’t have an antenna – get one. You do need it.
  • Turn off the PIN lock on the SIM card. The easiest way to do this is to put the SIM in a handset and use the menu function.
  • And as always, please don’t make an auto-dialler…

Furthermore, download the SIM900 hardware manual (.pdf) and the AT command manual (.pdf), as we’ll refer to those throughout the tutorial.

Power

There is a DC socket on the shield, which is for a 5V power supply:

Although the data from Linksprite claims the shield will use no more than 450 mA, the SIMCOM hardware manual (page 22) for the module notes that it can draw up to 2A for short bursts. So get yourself a 5V 2A power supply and connect it via the DC socket, and also ensure the switch next to the socket is set to “EXT”.

Furthermore, you can turn the GSM module on and off with the power button on the side of the shield, and it defaults to off during an initial power-up. Therefore you’ll need to set D9 to HIGH for one second in your sketch to turn the module on (or off if required for power-saving). Don’t panic, we’ll show how this is done in the sketches below.

Software Serial

We will use the Arduino software serial library in this tutorial, and the Linksprite shield has hard-wired the serial from the SIM900 to a set of jumpers, and uses a default speed of 19200. Make sure you your jumpers are set to the “SWserial” side, as shown below:

And thus whenever an instance of SoftwareSerial is created, we use 7,8 as shown below:

SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8); // RX, TX

If you shield is different, you’ll need to change the TX and RX pin numbers. This also means you can’t use an Arduino Leonardo or Mega (easily). Finally – note this for later – if your shield is having problems sending data back to your Arduino you may need to edit the SoftwareSerial library – read this for more information.

Wow – all those rules and warnings?

The sections above may sound a little authoritarian, however we want your project to be a success. Now, let’s get started…

A quick test…

At this point we’ll check to make sure your shield and locate and connect to the cellular network. So make sure your SIM card is active with your cellular provider, the PIN lock is off, and then insert it and lock the SIM card  to the carrier on the bottom of the shield:

Then plug the shield into your Uno, attach 5V power to the DC socked on the GSM shield, and USB from the Uno to the PC. Press the “PWRKEY” button on the side of the shield for a second, then watch the following two LEDs:

The bright “STATUS” LED will come on, and then the “NETLIGHT” LED will blink once every 800 milliseconds- until the GSM module has found the network, at which point it will blink once every three seconds. This is shown in the following video:

Nothing can happen until that magic three-second blink – so if that doesn’t appear after a minute, something is wrong. Check your shield has the appropriate power supply, the antenna is connected correctly, the SIM card is seated properly and locked in- and that your cellular account is in order. Finally, you may not have reception in that particular area, so check using a phone on the same network or move to a different location.

Making a telephone call from your Arduino

You can have your Arduino call a telephone number, wait a moment – then hang up. This is an inexpensive way of alerting you of and consider the following sketch:

// Example 55.1

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8); // configure software serial port

void setup()
{
  SIM900.begin(19200);               
  SIM900power();  
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network. 
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(5000);
}

void callSomeone()
{
  SIM900.println("ATD + +12128675309;"); // dial US (212) 8675309
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println();
  delay(30000);            // wait for 30 seconds...
  SIM900.println("ATH");   // hang up
}

void loop()
{
  callSomeone(); // call someone
  SIM900power();   // power off GSM shield
  do {} while (1); // do nothing
}

The sketch first creates a software serial port, then in void setup() starts the software serial port, and also turns on the GSM shield with the function SIM900power (which simply sets D9 high for a second which is the equivalent of pressing the power button). Notice the delay function in void setup – this gives the GSM module a period of time to locate and log on to the cellular network. You may need to increase (or be able to decrease) the delay value depending on your particular situation. If in doubt, leave it as a long period.

The process of actually making the call is in the function callSomeone(). It sends a string of text to the GSM module which consists of an AT command. These are considered the “language” for modems and thus used for various tasks. We use the ATD command to dial (AT… D for dial) a number. The number as you can see in the sketch needs to be in world-format. So that’s a “+” then the country code, then the phone number with area code (without the preceding zero).

So if your number to call is Australia (02) 92679111 you would enter +61292679111. Etcetera. A carriage return is then sent to finalise the command and off it goes dialling the number. Here’s a quick video demonstration for the non-believers:

After thirty seconds we instruct the module to hand up with another AT command – “ATH” (AT… H for “hang up”), followed by turning off the power to the module. By separating the call feature into a function – you can now insert this into a sketch (plus the preceding setup code) to call a number when required.

Sending an SMS text message

This is a great way of getting data from your Arduino to almost any mobile phone in the world, at a very low cost. For reference, the maximum length of an SMS text message is 160 characters – however you can still say a lot with that size limit. First we’ll demonstrate sending an arbitrary SMS. Consider the following sketch:

// Example 55.2

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);

void setup()
{
  SIM900.begin(19200);
  SIM900power();  
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network. 
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(5000);
}

void sendSMS()
{
  SIM900.print("AT+CMGF=1\r");                                                        // AT command to send SMS message
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println("AT + CMGS = \"+12128675309\"");                                     // recipient's mobile number, in international format
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println("Hello, world. This is a text message from an Arduino Uno.");        // message to send
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println((char)26);                       // End AT command with a ^Z, ASCII code 26
  delay(100); 
  SIM900.println();
  delay(5000);                                     // give module time to send SMS
  SIM900power();                                   // turn off module
}

void loop()
{
  sendSMS();
  do {} while (1);
}

The basic structure and setup functions of the sketch are the same as the previous example, however the difference here is the function sendSMS(). It used the AT command “AT+CMGF” to tell the GSM module we want to send an SMS in text form, and then “AT+CMGS” followed by the recipient’s number. Once again note the number is in international format. After sending the send SMS commands, the module needs  five seconds to do this before we can switch it off. And now for our ubiquitous demonstration video:

 

You can also send text messages that are comprised of numerical data and so on – by compiling the required text and data into a string, and then sending that. Doing so gives you a method to send such information as sensor data or other parameters by text message.

For example, you might want to send daily temperature reports or hourly water tank levels. For our example, we’ll demonstrate how to send a couple of random numbers and some text as an SMS. You can then use this as a framework for your own requirements. Consider the following sketch:

// Example 55.3

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);
int x,y;
String textForSMS;

void setup()
{
  SIM900.begin(19200);
  SIM900power();  
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network. 
  randomSeed(analogRead(0));
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(7000);
}

void sendSMS(String message)
{
  SIM900.print("AT+CMGF=1\r");                     // AT command to send SMS message
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println("AT + CMGS = \"+12128675309\"");  // recipient's mobile number, in international format
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println(message);                         // message to send
  delay(100);
  SIM900.println((char)26);                        // End AT command with a ^Z, ASCII code 26
  delay(100); 
  SIM900.println();
  delay(5000);                                     // give module time to send SMS
  SIM900power();                                   // turn off module
}

void loop()
{
  x = random(0,255);
  y = random(0,255);
  textForSMS = "Your random numbers are ";
  textForSMS.concat(x);
  textForSMS = textForSMS + " and ";
  textForSMS.concat(y);
  textForSMS = textForSMS + ". Enjoy!";  
  sendSMS(textForSMS);
  do {} while (1);
}

Take note of the changes to the function sendSMS(). It now has a parameter – message, which is a String which contains the text to send as an SMS. In void loop() the string variable textForSMS is constructed. First it contains some text, then the values for x and y are added with some more text. Finally the string is passed to be sent as an SMS. And here it is in action:

Receiving text messages and displaying them on the serial monitor 

Now let’s examine receiving text messages. All we need is to send two AT commands inside void setup() and then repeat every character sent from the shield to the serial monitor. The first command to use is AT+CMGF=1  which sets the SMS mode to text (as used in the previous example) and the second is AT+CNMI=2,2,0,0 – which tells the GSM module to send the contents of any new SMS out to the serial line. To demonstrate this, set up your hardware as before, upload the following sketch:

// Example 55.4

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);

char incoming_char=0;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(19200); // for serial monitor
  SIM900.begin(19200); // for GSM shield
  SIM900power();  // turn on shield
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network.

  SIM900.print("AT+CMGF=1\r");  // set SMS mode to text
  delay(100);
  SIM900.print("AT+CNMI=2,2,0,0,0\r"); 
  // blurt out contents of new SMS upon receipt to the GSM shield's serial out
  delay(100);
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(7000);
}

void loop()
{
  // Now we simply display any text that the GSM shield sends out on the serial monitor
  if(SIM900.available() >0)
  {
    incoming_char=SIM900.read(); //Get the character from the cellular serial port.
    Serial.print(incoming_char); //Print the incoming character to the terminal.
  }
}

… then open the serial monitor, check it’s set to 19200 bps and wait around thirty seconds. You will see some odd characters, then the “OK” responses from the GSM module. Now send a text message to the shield – the time/date stamp, sender and message will appear, for example:

To preserve my sanity the number used in the demonstrations will be blanked out.

Simple controlling of the host Arduino by calling it from another telephone

When we call our shield from another telephone, it sends the text “RING” out to serial, then “NO CARRIER” when you hang up – which can be harnessed to create a simple dial-in remote control. Use the sketch from the previous example to test this – for example:

You can also display the number calling in by using the AT command AT+CLIP=1. To do this, just add the following lines to void setup() in the previous sketch:

SIM900.print("AT+CLIP=1\r"); // turn on caller ID notification
delay(100);

Now when a call is received, the caller’s number appears as well – for example:

Note that the caller ID data for incoming calls isn’t in the international format as it was with SMSs. This will vary depending on your country, so check it out for yourself.

So how can we control the Arduino by calling in? By counting the number of times the shield sends “RING” to the Arduino (just as we did with the other GSM shield). To do this we simply count the number of times the word “RING” comes in from the shield, and then after the third ring – the Arduino will do something.

For our example we have two LEDs connected (via 560Ω resistors) to D12 and D13. When we call the shield and let it ring three times, they will alternate between on and off. Enter and upload the following sketch:

// Example 55.5

#include <SoftwareSerial.h> 
char inchar; // Will hold the incoming character from the GSM shield
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);

int numring=0;
int comring=3; 
int onoff=0; // 0 = off, 1 = on

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(19200);
  // set up the digital pins to control
  pinMode(12, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT); // LEDs - off = red, on = green
  digitalWrite(12, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);

  // wake up the GSM shield
  SIM900power(); 
  SIM900.begin(19200);
  SIM900.print("AT+CLIP=1\r"); // turn on caller ID notification
  delay(100);  
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(7000);
}

void doSomething()
{
  if (onoff==0)
  {
    onoff=1;
    digitalWrite(12, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(13, LOW);
    Serial.println("D12 high D13 low");
  } 
  else
    if (onoff==1)
    {
      onoff=0;
      digitalWrite(12, LOW);
      digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
      Serial.println("D12 low D13 high");
    }
}

void loop() 
{
  if(SIM900.available() >0)
  {
    inchar=SIM900.read(); 
    if (inchar=='R')
    {
      delay(10);
      inchar=SIM900.read(); 
      if (inchar=='I')
      {
        delay(10);
        inchar=SIM900.read();
        if (inchar=='N')
        {
          delay(10);
          inchar=SIM900.read(); 
          if (inchar=='G')
          {
            delay(10);
            // So the phone (our GSM shield) has 'rung' once, i.e. if it were a real phone
            // it would have sounded 'ring-ring' or 'blurrrrr' or whatever one cycle of your ring tone is
            numring++;
            Serial.println("ring!");
            if (numring==comring)
            {
              numring=0; // reset ring counter
              doSomething();
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

You can change the number of rings before action with the variable comring, and the action to take is in the function void doSomething(). Finally you can watch a short video of this in action.


We can also modify this system so it only allows control by callers from one number  –  as long as caller ID works on your system (well it should… it’s 2014 not 1996). So in the next example the system will only call the function doSomething if the call is from a certain number. The sketch works in the same manner as last time – but instead of counting the word “RING”, it will compare the incoming caller’s ID number against one in the sketch.

It may look a little clunky, but it works. In the following example sketch, the number is 2128675309 – so just change the digits to check in void loop():

// Example 55.6

#include <SoftwareSerial.h> 
char inchar; // Will hold the incoming character from the GSM shield
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);

int onoff=0; // 0 = off, 1 = on

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(19200);
  // set up the digital pins to control
  pinMode(12, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT); // LEDs - off = red, on = green
  digitalWrite(12, HIGH);
  digitalWrite(13, LOW);

  // wake up the GSM shield
  SIM900power(); 
  SIM900.begin(19200);
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network.
  SIM900.print("AT+CLIP=1\r"); // turn on caller ID notification
  delay(100);  
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(7000);
}

void doSomething()
{
  if (onoff==0)
  {
    onoff=1;
    digitalWrite(12, HIGH);
    digitalWrite(13, LOW);
    Serial.println("D12 high D13 low");
  } 
  else
    if (onoff==1)
    {
      onoff=0;
      digitalWrite(12, LOW);
      digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
      Serial.println("D12 low D13 high");
    }
}

void loop() 
{
  if(SIM900.available() >0)
  {   
    inchar=SIM900.read(); 
    if (inchar=='2')
    {
      delay(10);
      inchar=SIM900.read(); 
      if (inchar=='1')
      {
        delay(10);
        inchar=SIM900.read(); 
        if (inchar=='2')
        {
          delay(10);
          inchar=SIM900.read(); 
          if (inchar=='8')
          {
            delay(10);
            inchar=SIM900.read(); 
            if (inchar=='6')
            {
              delay(10);
              inchar=SIM900.read(); 
              if (inchar=='7')
              {
                delay(10);
                inchar=SIM900.read(); 
                if (inchar=='5')
                {
                  delay(10);
                  inchar=SIM900.read(); 
                  if (inchar=='3')
                  {
                    delay(10);
                    inchar=SIM900.read();
                    if (inchar=='0')
                    {
                      delay(10);
                      inchar=SIM900.read(); 
                      if (inchar=='9')
                      {
                        Serial.println("do sometehing");
                        delay(10);
                        // now the number is matched, do something
                        doSomething();
                        // arbitrary delay so the function isn't called again on the same phone call
                        delay(60000);
                      }
                    }
                  }
                }
              }
            }
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

The large delay after calling doSomething() exists to stop the same action being called twice (or more) on the same inbound call. Anyhow, you should now have a grasp on interrogating the data from the shield. Which leads us to the final section…

Controlling the Arduino via SMS text message

As you did with the caller ID data, you can also control the Arduino via SMS fairly easily, and have more options. In our example we’ll explain how to control four digital output pins via SMS. The example works in two stages. First it will wait for an SMS to be received, and then have the contents sent to the Arduino via serial just as we did earlier with the example 55.4. The next stage is to filter out the commands in the text message as we did with example 55.6.

The commands (that is, the contents of your text message to the Arduino) will be in the form

#axbxcxdx

where ‘x’ will be 0 (for off) and 1 (for on) – and a, b, c and d will relate to digital pins 10, 11, 12 and 13. For example, to turn on D10, 11 and turn off D12, D13 you would compose your SMS as #a1b1c0d0. After processing the SMS we use the AT command AT+CMGD=1,4 to delete all the SMSs from the SIM card, otherwise it will fill up and reject further commands. Moving on, here’s the example sketch:

// Example 55.7

#include <SoftwareSerial.h> 
char inchar; // Will hold the incoming character from the GSM shield
SoftwareSerial SIM900(7, 8);

int led1 = 10;
int led2 = 11;
int led3 = 12;
int led4 = 13;

void setup()
{
  Serial.begin(19200);
  // set up the digital pins to control
  pinMode(led1, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(led2, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(led3, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(led4, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(led1, LOW);
  digitalWrite(led2, LOW);
  digitalWrite(led3, LOW);
  digitalWrite(led4, LOW);

  // wake up the GSM shield
  SIM900power(); 
  SIM900.begin(19200);
  delay(20000);  // give time to log on to network.
  SIM900.print("AT+CMGF=1\r");  // set SMS mode to text
  delay(100);
  SIM900.print("AT+CNMI=2,2,0,0,0\r"); 
  // blurt out contents of new SMS upon receipt to the GSM shield's serial out
  delay(100);
  Serial.println("Ready...");
}

void SIM900power()
// software equivalent of pressing the GSM shield "power" button
{
  digitalWrite(9, HIGH);
  delay(1000);
  digitalWrite(9, LOW);
  delay(7000);
}

void loop() 
{
  //If a character comes in from the cellular module...
  if(SIM900.available() >0)
  {
    inchar=SIM900.read(); 
    if (inchar=='#')
    {
      delay(10);

      inchar=SIM900.read(); 
      if (inchar=='a')
      {
        delay(10);
        inchar=SIM900.read();
        if (inchar=='0')
        {
          digitalWrite(led1, LOW);
        } 
        else if (inchar=='1')
        {
          digitalWrite(led1, HIGH);
        }
        delay(10);
        inchar=SIM900.read(); 
        if (inchar=='b')
        {
          inchar=SIM900.read();
          if (inchar=='0')
          {
            digitalWrite(led2, LOW);
          } 
          else if (inchar=='1')
          {
            digitalWrite(led2, HIGH);
          }
          delay(10);
          inchar=SIM900.read(); 
          if (inchar=='c')
          {
            inchar=SIM900.read();
            if (inchar=='0')
            {
              digitalWrite(led3, LOW);
            } 
            else if (inchar=='1')
            {
              digitalWrite(led3, HIGH);
            }
            delay(10);
            inchar=SIM900.read(); 
            if (inchar=='d')
            {
              delay(10);
              inchar=SIM900.read();
              if (inchar=='0')
              {
                digitalWrite(led4, LOW);
              } 
              else if (inchar=='1')
              {
                digitalWrite(led4, HIGH);
              }
              delay(10);
            }
          }
          SIM900.println("AT+CMGD=1,4"); // delete all SMS
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

The example hardware has four LEDs via 560Ω resistors on the digital outputs being controlled. Finally, you can watch a short demonstration in this video.

Conclusion

After working through this tutorial you should have an understanding of how to use the SIM900 GSM shields to communicate and control with an Arduino. And if you enjoyed the tutorial, or want to introduce someone else to the interesting world of Arduino – check out my book (now in a third printing!) “Arduino Workshop”.

Have fun and keep checking into tronixstuff.com. Why not follow things on twitterGoogle+, subscribe  for email updates or RSS using the links on the right-hand column, or join our forum – dedicated to the projects and related items on this website. Sign up – it’s free, helpful to each other –  and we can all learn something.

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