Posts with «transmitter» label

Prextron CHAIN BLOCKS - Arduino Nano controlled Ultrasonic sensor that switches a motor wirelessly using 433MHz RF modules and a relay board.


 

Description

In this tutorial, I will be evaluating Prextron CHAIN blocks – a new system that allows you to connect your sensors and actuators to an Arduino NANO using clever 3D-printed prototyping boards that can be stacked sideways. This very modular system makes it easy to connect, disconnect and replace project components, and eliminate the “rats nest of wires” common to many advanced Arduino projects. CHAIN BLOCKS are open, which means that you can incorporate any of your sensors or actuators to these prototyping boards, and you can decide which specific pin on Arduino you plan to use. The CHAIN BLOCK connections prevent or reduce common connection mistakes, which make them ideal for class-room projects and learning activities.

I am going to set up a project to put these CHAIN BLOCKs to the test:
When I place my hand in-front of an Ultrasonic sensor, the Arduino will transmit a signal wirelessly to another Arduino, and consequently turn on a motor.


 

Parts Required:

You need the following Prextron Chain Blocks


Please note: You may need to solder the module wires to the CHAIN BLOCK protoboard.


 
 

Arduino Libraries and IDE

This project does not use any libraries. However, you will need to upload Arduino code to the Arduino. For this you will need the Arduino IDE which can be obtained from the official Arduino website:
https://www.arduino.cc/en/main/software


 
 

ARDUINO CODE: RF Transmitter


 
 

ARDUINO CODE: RF Receiver


 
 

Fritzing diagrams for Transmitter


 


 


 


 

 

Fritzing diagrams for Receiver


 


 


 


 

Concluding comments

The purpose of this project was to evaluate Prextron CHAIN BLOCKs and put them to the test. Here is what I thought of CHAIN BLOCKS at the time of evaluation. Some of my points mentioned below may no longer apply to the current product. It may have evolved / improved since then. So please take that into consideration


 

What I liked about Chain Blocks

  • The design is simple, the product is simple.
  • Once the Chain Blocks were all assembled, they were very easy to connect to each other.
  • I can really see the benefit of Chain Blocks in a teaching environment, because it simplifies the connection process, and reduces connection mixups.
  • It was good to see that the blocks come in different colours, which means that you can set up different colour schemes for different types of modules.
  • You can incorporate pretty much any sensor or Actuator into the Chain block which is very appealing.
  • You also have the flexibility of choosing which pins you plan to use on the Arduino.
  • Projects look a lot neater, because you no longer have the rats nest of wires.
  • The Blocks lock into each other which means that they are much easier to transport/carry.


 

What I did not like about Chain Blocks

  • In most cases, the Chain Block protoboard lanes were not numbered, which increased the chances of making mistakes when soldering
  • The need to solder modules to the protoboard, may be a discouragement for some people.
  • I would have liked a choice of different size Chain blocks. Some of the sensors did not fit nicely into the Square blocks.
  • Prextron really need to work on their website if they plan to get serious with this product: Webpage has incomplete functionality or irrelevant links etc etc.


 
 
 

Thank you very much to Prextron for providing the CHAIN BLOCKS used in this tutorial, and allowing me to try out their product. If you are interested in trying them yourself, then make sure to visit them at:


 
 
 
 
 
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.

             

Using RC Transmitters With Flight Simulators

It’s winter, and that means terrible weather and very few days where flying RC planes and helicopters is tolerable. [sjtrny] has been spending the season with RC flight simulators for some practice time. He had been using an old Xbox 360 controller, but that was really unsuitable for proper RC simulation – a much better solution would be to use his normal RC transmitter as a computer peripheral.

The usual way of using an RC transmitter with a computer is to buy a USB simulator adapter that emulates a USB game pad through a port on the transmitter. Buying one of these adapters would mean a week of waiting for shipping, so [sjtrny] did the logical thing and made his own.

Normally, a USB simulator adapter plugs in to a 3.5mm jack on the transmitter used for a ‘buddy box’, but [sjtrny] had an extra receiver sitting around. Since a receiver simply outputs signals to servos, this provides a vastly simpler interface for an Arduino to listen in on. After connecting the rudder, elevator, aileron, and throttle signals on the receiver to an Arduino, a simple bit of code and the UnoJoy library allows any Arduino and RC receiver to become a USB joystick.

[sjtrny] went through a second iteration of hardware for this project with a Teensy 3.1. This version has higher resolution on the joystick axes, and the layout of the code isn’t slightly terrible. It’s a great project for all the RC pilots out there that can’t get a break in the weather, and is also a great use for a spare receiver you might have sitting around.


Filed under: peripherals hacks, radio hacks

433 MHz RF module with Arduino Tutorial 3



 

Project 3: RF Remote Control Emulation

In the first tutorial, I introduced the 433 MHz Transmitter and Receiver with a simple sketch to test their functionality. In the second tutorial, the 433MHz receiver was used to receive a signal from an RF remote. The RF remote signal was coded based on the pattern and length of its HIGH and LOW signals. The signals received by the remote can be described by the code below:

 
Code comparison table



The RF remote that I am using transmits the same signal 6 times in a row. The signal to turn the light on is different from that used to turn the light off. In tutorial 2, we were able to "listen to" or receive the signal from the RF remote using the RF receiver. I thought it would be possible to just play back the signal received on the Arduino's analogPin, but the time it takes to perform a digital write is different to the time it takes to do an AnalogRead. Therefore it won't work. You need to slow down the digitalWrite speed.
I would like to find out if it is possible to apply this delay to all 433 MHz signal projects, however, I only have one 433 MHz remote.

If the delay in your project is the same as mine (or different) I would be keen to know - please leave a comment at the end of the tutorial.

We are going to use trial and error to find the optimal digitalWrite delay time. We will do this by slowly incrementing the delay until the transmission is successful. The transmission is considered successful if the fan-light turns on/off. All we have to do is count the number of transmissions until it is successful, then we should be able to calculate the delay.

 

Parts Required




 

The Transmitter Fritzing Sketch



 
 

RF Calibration - Arduino Sketch

 1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
/* 
  Transmit sketch - RF Calibration
     Written by ScottC 17 July 2014
     Arduino IDE version 1.0.5
     Website: http://arduinobasics.blogspot.com
     Transmitter: FS1000A/XY-FST
     Description: A simple sketch used to calibrate RF transmission.          
 ------------------------------------------------------------- */

 #define rfTransmitPin 4  //RF Transmitter pin = digital pin 4
 #define ledPin 13        //Onboard LED = digital pin 13
 
 const int codeSize = 25; //The size of the code to transmit
 int codeToTransmit[codeSize]; //The array used to hold the RF code
 int lightON[]={2,2,2,2,1,4,4,4,4,5,1,4,4,4,4,4,4,5,2,2,1,4,4,4,6}; //The RF code that will turn the light ON
 int lightOFF[]={2,2,2,2,1,4,4,4,4,5,1,4,4,4,4,4,4,5,2,2,2,2,2,2,3}; //The RF code that will turn the light OFF
 int codeToggler = 0; //Used to switch between turning the light ON and OFF
 int timeDelay=5; // The variable used to calibrate the RF signal lengths.

 
 
 void setup(){
   Serial.begin(9600); // Turn the Serial Protocol ON
   pinMode(rfTransmitPin, OUTPUT); //Transmit pin is an output
   pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
  
 //LED initialisation sequence - gives us some time to get ready
  digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
  delay(3000);
  digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
  delay(1000);
 }
 
 
 
  void loop(){
    toggleCode();    // switch between light ON and light OFF
    transmitCode();  // transmit the code to RF receiver on the Fan/Light
    
    timeDelay+=10;    //Increment the timeDelay by 10 microseconds with every transmission
    delay(2000); //Each transmission will be about 2 seconds apart.
  }
  
  
  
  
  /*----------------------------------------------------------------
     toggleCode(): This is used to toggle the code for turning 
                   the light ON and OFF 
  -----------------------------------------------------------------*/
  void toggleCode(){
    if(codeToggler){
       for(int i = 0; i<codeSize; i++){
         codeToTransmit[i]=lightON[i];
       } 
      
    } else{
      for(int i = 0; i<codeSize; i++){
         codeToTransmit[i]=lightOFF[i];
       } 
    }
    codeToggler=!codeToggler;
  }
   
   
   
   
  /*-----------------------------------------------------------------
    transmitCode(): Used to transmit the signal to the RF receiver on
                    the fan/light. There are 6 different HIGH-LOW signal combinations. 
                    
                    SH = short high   or  LH = long high   
                                     PLUS
         SL = short low    or    LL = long low    or    VLL = very long low
                    
  -------------------------------------------------------------------*/
   void transmitCode(){
    // The LED will be turned on to create a visual signal transmission indicator.
    digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
   
   //initialise the variables
    int highLength = 0;
    int lowLength = 0;
    
    //The signal is transmitted 6 times in succession - this may vary with your remote.
    for(int j = 0; j<6; j++){
      for(int i = 0; i<codeSize; i++){
        switch(codeToTransmit[i]){
          case 1: // SH + SL
            highLength=3;
            lowLength=3;
          break;
          case 2: // SH + LL
            highLength=3;
            lowLength=7;
          break;
          case 3: // SH + VLL
            highLength=3;
            lowLength=92;
          break;
          case 4: // LH + SL
            highLength=7;
            lowLength=3;
          break;
          case 5: // LH + LL
            highLength=7;
            lowLength=7;
          break;
          case 6: // LH + VLL
            highLength=7;
            lowLength=92;
          break;
        }
           
         /* Transmit a HIGH signal - the duration of transmission will be determined
            by the highLength and timeDelay variables */
         digitalWrite(rfTransmitPin, HIGH);
         delayMicroseconds(highLength*timeDelay);
         
         /* Transmit a LOW signal - the duration of transmission will be determined
            by the lowLength and timeDelay variables */
         digitalWrite(rfTransmitPin,LOW);
         delayMicroseconds(lowLength*timeDelay);
      }
    }
    //Turn the LED off after the code has been transmitted.
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
 }
I used an array to hold the RF code for light ON and light OFF. Each number within the code represents a specific sequence of HIGH and LOW lengths. For example, 2 represents a SHORT HIGH and a LONG LOW combination. A short length = 3, a long length = 7, and a very long length = 92. You need to multiply this by the timeDelay variable to identify how much time to transmit the HIGH and LOW signals for.
The short and long lengths were identified from the experiments performed in tutorial 2 (using the RF receiver). Each code is transmitted 6 times. The LED is turned on at the beginning of each transmission, and then turned off at the end of the transmission. The timeDelay variable starts at 5 microseconds, and is incremented by 10 microseconds with every transmission.
In the video, you will notice that there is some flexibility in the timeDelay value. The Mercator Fan/Light will turn on and off when the timeDelay variable is anywhere between 75 and 135 microseconds in length. It also seems to transmit successfully when the timeDelay variable is 175 microseconds.
So in theory, if we want to transmit a signal to the fan/light, we should be able to use any value between 75 and 135, however in future projects, I think I will use a value of 105, which is right about the middle of the range.


Video




  Now that I have the timeDelay variable, I should be able to simplify the steps required to replicate a remote control RF signal. Maybe there is room for one more tutorial on this topic :)

Update: Here it is - tutorial 4
Where you can record and playback an RF signal (without using your computer).
 


Rocket Brand Studios Transmitter

Primary image

What does it do?

A transmitter kit for just about any robot project

 

Cost to build

Embedded video

Finished project

Complete

Number

Time to build

Type

URL to more information

Weight

read more