Posts with «vacuum» label

DIY Vacuum Chamber Proves Thermodynamics Professor Isn’t Making It All Up

[Mr_GreenCoat] is studying engineering. His thermodynamics teacher agreed with the stance that engineering is best learned through experimentation, and tasked [Mr_GreenCoat]’s group with the construction of a vacuum chamber to prove that the boiling point of a liquid goes down with the pressure it is exposed to.

His group used black PVC pipe to construct their chamber. They used an air compressor to generate the vacuum. The lid is a sheet of lexan with a silicone disk. We’ve covered these sorts of designs before. Since a vacuum chamber is at max going to suffer 14.9 ish psi distributed load on the outside there’s no real worry of their design going too horribly wrong.

The interesting part of the build is the hardware and software built to boil the water and log the temperatures and pressures. Science isn’t done until something is written down after all. They have a power resistor and a temperature probe inside of the chamber. The temperature over time is logged using an Arduino and a bit of processing code.

In the end their experiment matched what they had been learning in class. The current laws of thermodynamics are still in effect — all is right in the universe — and these poor students can probably save some money and get along with an old edition of the textbook. Video after the break.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, tool hacks

Vacuum Gauge Display; Arduino Replaces Industrial

Arduinos! They’re a great tool that make the world of microcontrollers pretty easy, and in [cptlolalot]’s case, they also give us an alternative to buying expensive, proprietary parts. [cptlolalot] needed a gauge for an expensive vacuum pump, and rather than buying an expensive part, built a circuit around an Arduino to monitor the vacuum.

This project goes a little beyond simple Arduino programming though. A 12V to 5V power supply drives the device, which is laid out on a blank PCB. The display fits snugly over the circuit which reduces the footprint of the project, and the entire thing is housed in a custom-printed case with a custom-printed pushbutton. The device gets power and data over the RJ45 connection so no external power is needed. If you want to take a look at the code, it’s linked on [cptlolalot]’s reddit thread.

This project shows how much easier it can be to grab an Arduino off the shelf to solve a problem that would otherwise be very expensive. We’ve been seeing Arduinos in industrial applications at an increasing rate as well, which is promising not just because it’s cheap but because it’s a familiar platform that will make repairs and hacks in the future much easier for everyone.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks

Using older Noritake Itron VFD modules

Introduction

Now and again you come across interesting parts on ebay, from friends or just rooting around in second-hand stores. One example of this was a huge Noritake Itron 40 x 2 character vacuum-fluorescent display from 1994 (or earlier) which was passed on from a client. Originally it looked quite complex, however after spending some time the data sheets were found and it was discovered to have a simple serial interface – and with a little work we’ve got it working, so read on if you’re interested in classic VFDs or have a similar unit.

Getting Started

The model number for our display is CU40026SCPB-T20A. Here’s a quick walk-around, the front:

… the back:

… the interfaces:

… and configuration jumpers:

The serial interface baud rate is determined by the jumpers (above), for example:

So comparing the table above against the jumpers on our module gives us a data speed of 19200 bps with no parity. Great – we can easily create such a connection with a microcontroller with a serial output and 5V logic levels; for our examples we’ll use an Arduino-compatible board.

Wiring up the VFD is simple – see the white jumpers labelled CN2 as shown previously. Pin 1 is 5V (you need an external supply that can offer up to 700 mA), pin 2 to Arduino digital pin 7, and pin 3 to Arduino and power supply GND. We use Arduino D7 with software serial instead of TX so that the display doesn’t display garbage when a sketch is being uploaded. Then it’s a matter of simply sending text to the display, for example here’s a quick demonstration sketch:

// Working with Noritake Itron VFD modules - model CU40026SCPB-T20A
// John Boxall 2013

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial VFD(6,7); // RX, TX

void setup()
{
  VFD.begin(19200);
}

void loop()
{
  VFD.print("Hello, world. This is a Noritake VFD "); // You can blast out text 
  do {} while (1);
}

… and the results:

If you’re not keen on the colour or intensity of the display, try some Perspex over the top – for example:

Controlling the display

At this point you’ll need the data sheet, there’s a couple you can download: data sheet onedata sheet two. As you saw previously, writing text is very simple – just use .print functions. However you may want to send individual characters, as well as special commands to control aspects of the display. These are outlined in the data sheet – see the “Software Commands” and “Character Fonts” tables.

If you need to send single commands – for example “clear display” which is 0x0E, use a .write command, such as:

VFD.write(0x0E); // clear display

Some commands are in the format of escape codes (remember those?) so you need to send ESC then the following byte, for example to change the brightness to 50%:

VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x4C); // brightness
    VFD.write(0x40); // 50% brightness

Armed with that knowledge and the data sheets you can now execute all the commands. According to the data sheet it is possible to change fonts however no matter what the hardware jumper or command we tried it wouldn’t budge from the Japanese katakana font. Your screen may vary. If you use the “screen priority write” function heed the data sheet with respect to the extended “busy” time by delaying subsequent writes to the display by a millisecond.

 Putting it all together

Instead of explaining each and every possible command, I’ve put the common ones inside documented functions in the demonstration sketch below, which is followed by a quick video of the sketch in operation.

// Working with Noritake Itron VFD modules - model CU40026SCPB-T20A
// John Boxall 2013

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial VFD(6,7); // rx, tx

void setup()
{
  VFD.begin(19200); // set speed for software serial port 
  resetVFD();  
  VFDclearsceen();
//  VFD.write(0x12); // vertical scroll mode (on)
}

void resetVFD()
// performs a software reset on the VFD controller
{
  VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
  VFD.write(0x49); // software reset
}

void VFDnewline()
// moves cursor to start of next line
{
  VFD.write(0x0D); // carriage return
  VFD.write(0x0A); // line feed
}

void VFDclearsceen()
// moves cursor to top-left and clears display
{
  VFD.write(0x0E); // clear display 
  VFD.write(0x0C); // form feed - cursor to top-left
}

void VFDbrightness(int amount)
// sets VFD brightness - 25/50/75/100%
// uses ESC sequences
{
  switch(amount)
  {
  case 25:
    VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x4C); // brightness
    VFD.print(0); // 25% brightness
    break;
  case 50:
    VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x4C); // brightness
    VFD.write(0x40); // 50% brightness
    break;
  case 75:
    VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x4C); // brightness
    VFD.write(0x80); // 75% brightness
    break;
  case 100:
    VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x4C); // brightness
    VFD.write(0xC0); // 100% brightness
  }
}

void VFDchars()
// run through characters for selected font
{
  for (int i = 21 ; i < 256; i++)
  {
    VFD.write(0x16); // underline cursor off
    VFD.write(i);
    delay(100);
  }
}

void moveCursor(byte position)
// moves the cursor - top row is 0~39, bottom row is 40~79
// vertical scroll mode must be turned off if used
{
    VFD.write(0x1B); // ESC
    VFD.write(0x48); // move cursor 
    VFD.write(position); // location
}

void loop()
{
  VFD.write(0x16); // underline cursor off
  VFD.print("Hello, world - line one."); // You can blast out text 
  delay(1000);      
  VFDnewline();
  VFD.print("Hello, world - line two."); 
  delay(1000);    
  VFDclearsceen();
  VFDbrightness(25);
  VFD.print("*** 25% brightness ***");   
  delay(1000);
  VFDclearsceen();  
  VFDbrightness(50);
  VFD.print("*** 50% brightness ***");     
  delay(1000);
  VFDclearsceen();   
  VFDbrightness(75);
  VFD.print("*** 75% brightness ***");       
  delay(1000);
  VFDclearsceen();   
  VFDbrightness(100);
  VFD.print("*** 100% brightness ***");         
  delay(1000);
  VFDclearsceen();

  VFDchars();
  VFDclearsceen();

  for (int i = 0; i < 80; i++)
  {
    VFD.write(0x16); // underline cursor off
    moveCursor(i);
    VFD.print("X");
    delay(100);
    moveCursor(i);    
    VFD.print(" ");    
  }
  VFDclearsceen();
}

 

Conclusion

We hope you found this interesting and helpful. And if you have an inexpensive source for these old displays, let us know in the comments. Full-sized images are on flickr. And if you made it this far – check out my new book “Arduino Workshop” from No Starch Press.

In the meanwhile 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? And join our friendly Google Group – 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.

The post Using older Noritake Itron VFD modules appeared first on tronixstuff.

Vacuuminator

Primary image

What does it do?

Vacuums the floors, navigates through the room with an optimized algorithm. Pays attention to edges and corners to clean well.

Hey guys, its me again.
This is the third project I submit here.
Vacuuminator is a (obviously) vacuum cleaning robot. It is quite similar to a roomba. I have this problem about not buying robots if I can build one. As you would expect from a guy like me (and you) I don't clean much. I needed something to do that for me.

Therefore, I built vacuuminator (and made him clean the mess I've made while building it.)

Cost to build

$55,00

Embedded video

Finished project

Complete

Number

Time to build

35 hours

Type

URL to more information

Weight

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