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MiniE - take1
#1
       

MiniE - take1
Or, "Frankenstain's ugly kid" as I call it :-)

As soon as I saw that my (toner) heat transfer method works, I've created the first mutand PCB. And, as mutant as it was, it's first task was to ... trigger the PCB factory, my mutilated Office Laminating Machine.

What's in the box?
A... KISS project: the "intelect" of miniE, the juice of LiPo, the help of an Servo Tester and the relentlessness of a Robbe ESC. Plus buttons, relays & stuff.
This is MiniE - take1.

Of course I'm not happy with it.
I'm never happy.

I'm not happy that I allready designed my rig using DC motors so EasyDriver is useless for me. Atleast now...

I'm not happy that my Robbe ESC is to smart (or the servo tester to dumb) and after an hour or so it starts to change the motor speed by it's own will.


But I'm happy that it works.
It's my first serios project and...as ugly as it is, it works.

Thanks a lot Airic for sharing.
I will learn a lot by reading your hyper-descriptive listings.
(I found the Chronos project really cool but the software listing....mmm...that one will be difficult to follow. Compared to that, your's is...summer breeze)


all the best
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#2
Great to hear that you were able to make use of the system! Did you work on the code in any way? At least it sounds as you are shooting for servo motors and this would require some changes in the code...

I am curious to know more about Frankenstein's ugly kid!

Airic.
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#3
Frankenstein’s ugly kid…will have a lot of clones 

Nope, I didn’t tampered with the code. Not yet anyway…
I’m still in the process of understanding the Arduino programming language and the concepts behind your miniE.


For the DC motors, I used a workaround: I used the “SLEEP” pin/ signal to trigger a relay that keeps the DC motor circuit closed. Hence, the motor spins.
Currently I have two problems:


***
Problem1: how to convert the “steps” into “milliseconds”.

Workaround: I will eventually approximate it by 2-3 test runs


***
Problem2: unstable “LiPo + servo trigger + ESC” combination. My whole plan was counting that I can set a certain fixed/ stable speed using the “servo tester” that triggered the “ESC” so that I can obtain reproductible dolly shield speeds.

Workaround A: keep the potentiometer not lower than 75%. That is, high speeds of the motor (big PWM fill ration). This is problematic for time-lapse durations longer than 2-3 hours.

Workaround B: I’ll try to replace the ESC with another one

Best workaround would be to replace the stepper driver with a DC motor driver and do some changes/ additions to the code. But, currently, this is quite complex for me.


***
Issue3: I was wondering how complicated is to add more “shoot” steps between the moves.
Something like SMSMSM…. transformed into SSMSSMSSMSSM or even SSSMSSSMSSSMSSS….

At a 24 frame speed, if the periods between the shoots are the same, it should look file up to 5 shots or more between moves… I think.
I’m currently snooping in how to do this. Either by actually “skipping” certain motor movement cycles or by adding within a motor move cycle more shoot cycles. But I think the skipping would be the coolest to implement….if I figure out the language 


All the best
Alex
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#4
...let me help you with some tips:

(04-15-2013, 03:49 PM)alexella Wrote: ***
Problem1: how to convert the “steps” into “milliseconds”.
Workaround: I will eventually approximate it by 2-3 test runs

Its actually milliseconds that are used to time the speed of the stepper. The bigger the delay between the steps, the slower the motor moves. It should be pretty easy to change it for your needs as you should be able to do it with minimal changes to the code. There's even a setting in the user-interface that lets you change the delay for the min-speed as well as for the max-speed.


(04-15-2013, 03:49 PM)alexella Wrote: ***
Problem2: unstable “LiPo + servo trigger + ESC” combination. My whole plan was counting that I can set a certain fixed/ stable speed using the “servo tester” that triggered the “ESC” so that I can obtain reproductible dolly shield speeds.

Workaround A: keep the potentiometer not lower than 75%. That is, high speeds of the motor (big PWM fill ration). This is problematic for time-lapse durations longer than 2-3 hours.

Workaround B: I’ll try to replace the ESC with another one

Best workaround would be to replace the stepper driver with a DC motor driver and do some changes/ additions to the code. But, currently, this is quite complex for me.

I don't really get what you are planning here. so let me ask you some questions:
What do you mean with "ESC"?
How do you plan to integrate the potentiometer into the system?
What is the "servo trigger" - is it just a pulse just like the stepper pulses?


(04-15-2013, 03:49 PM)alexella Wrote: ***
Issue3: I was wondering how complicated is to add more “shoot” steps between the moves.
Something like SMSMSM…. transformed into SSMSSMSSMSSM or even SSSMSSSMSSSMSSS….

At a 24 frame speed, if the periods between the shoots are the same, it should look file up to 5 shots or more between moves… I think.
I’m currently snooping in how to do this. Either by actually “skipping” certain motor movement cycles or by adding within a motor move cycle more shoot cycles. But I think the skipping would be the coolest to implement….if I figure out the language 

This is actually already implemented in the miniEngine CineMoco system. It's the HDR feature that does this. If I remember correctly, you can chose any shoot count from 1 up to 7 between the motor moves. You can also define the exposure times for the first and the last shot...if you want to time the single shots with the miniE. I prefer the camera itself for this job and am just triggering the different shots with the miniE.

You could download the code and check how it's done.

Cheers,
Airic
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#5
Re-Problem1: okeeee... so it's not a big deal. Ok, I will dig into it as soon as coffee available

Re-Problem2: I told you it's Frankenstein ugly's kid. ESC = Electronic Speed Controller. Servo Tester is a stand alone device that emulates the controls given to the receiver by a remote control. These are parts that use for my Remote Controlled planes/ boats...whatever. But, it's a dead end and I knew it from the start. I just hoped that the ESC was dumber but...it has a lot of safety features stuck in it. I will still try to figure out a solution, at least for the sake of the box and the time already spend on it.

But, the solution for this Problem2 is using Arduino as central (smart) command center.
Therefore, I put my hands on a sparkfun DC motor controller (TB6612fng break or somethin' ) and...this is the way.
The yellow road lies ahead and at the end there is a shield with...two drivers: one for steppers and one for DC motors..
As soon as I figure out the code.
I haven't programmed anything in the last 15 years but I should be able to remember...
My graduation project at the university was.... a piece of software...


Problem-3.
Aha! I knew it couldn't be only me to have this ideea of multiple shots....
Ok, I've downloaded the cinemoco, it's on the list.
As soon as I solve Problem 1.

Aaaand, TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHOUUUUUGH!!
I forgot to mention that I had to transform your board into a single side because...I had troubles with via. Now, I just found a brilliant solution and I'M IN HEAVEN.

http://www.youritronics.com/double-layer-pcb-home-made-vias/


I'll get in touch with you as soon as I understand more from Arduino coding.
Now...it's all white and foggy.


PS
CineMoco...hm...
I guess I didn't said anything about Frankenstein's little doughter :-)
Now it's just a puppet on a string but she barely can wait to "get a life"


   
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#6
Brick 
(04-15-2013, 08:57 PM)alexella Wrote: Re-Problem1: okeeee... so it's not a big deal. Ok, I will dig into it as soon as coffee available

Let me know if you have any questions...


(04-15-2013, 08:57 PM)alexella Wrote: ...I will still try to figure out a solution, at least for the sake of the box and the time already spend on it...

I am looking forward to the code changes! If you want we can integrate it into the next version - your name in the developer list would be the price Wink

(04-15-2013, 08:57 PM)alexella Wrote: Aaaand, TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHOUUUUUGH!!
I forgot to mention that I had to transform your board into a single side because...I had troubles with via. Now, I just found a brilliant solution and I'M IN HEAVEN.

http://www.youritronics.com/double-layer-pcb-home-made-vias/

Just in case you did not know - there are ready-to-use-shields you can buy in the shop Wink

(04-15-2013, 08:57 PM)alexella Wrote: I'll get in touch with you as soon as I understand more from Arduino coding.

I am looking forward to it!
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#7
Crap!
After writing for 20min's or so, Firefox crashed and..... damn'
It's a sign, I should write shorter.

Ok: short version.

1. yupeee...you're not from USA. I hade buying from states, it doubles the price (or more). I'll order two PCB's, I've made calculations and including transport should be around 130RON. Fair enough. You've earned it, atleast for the fact that you keep my mind busy (and my lab a mess :-) )

2. Meanwhile, I'm at the current (below) mod of your board. It includes CHDK port and a PCB Laminator trigger port. Also, it's optimised for home made DIY double sided PCB's.

   

3. My current plan is to stick with the stepper. I need first a working solution before I go deeper into modding the existing ones.
( I'm sick, I love them all... check http://alexella.ro/foto-2/timelapse-gear/ ).
But I'm still dreaming of a Swiss Army Knife control box.

4. It'll take some time but I'll understand the Arduino sketches and coding. I'm sure I will. Then the fun...will begin... haha.

5. Frankenstein is still alive, helping me in building new PCB's.

keep in touch.
theese days I'll make the acount and clarify about the payment, shipping and stuff.

all the best
Alex
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#8
(04-17-2013, 09:18 PM)alexella Wrote: ...You've earned it, atleast for the fact that you keep my mind busy (and my lab a mess :-) )

Great! Big Grin

(04-17-2013, 09:18 PM)alexella Wrote: 2. Meanwhile, I'm at the current (below) mod of your board. It includes CHDK port and a PCB Laminator trigger port. Also, it's optimised for home made DIY double sided PCB's.

What is CHDK?

(04-17-2013, 09:18 PM)alexella Wrote: ...But I'm still dreaming of a Swiss Army Knife control box.

That's what I am shooting for with the next version. I really want to have a system that is as powerful as possible while still easy to handle. I hate fiddling around with the technic out there on spot when it is most probably windy, wet, cold, and the perfect light is almost gone.

I am always looking for new features that might be of interest for the new system! There are a lot of things that are very nice to have (like a computer app for move planning -> storage to an SD card -> action!) but which will take some more time and development effort. Anyway - what can be done in the first itteration of version 2? I'll create a thread where I will discuss my requirements and targets for the new system. This will allow you to contribute with the things that are important for you guys. I am having quite a good portion of phantasie and "McGuyverism" but group intelligence is much more powerful Idea

(04-17-2013, 09:18 PM)alexella Wrote: keep in touch.

Yes!

Airic
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#9
CHDK is....the Holy Grail for the Point and Shoot cameras.
It's the little brother of Magic Lantern.

It's: Canon Hacked Development Kit.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
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#10
(04-18-2013, 03:02 PM)alexella Wrote: CHDK is....the Holy Grail for the Point and Shoot cameras.
It's the little brother of Magic Lantern.

It's: Canon Hacked Development Kit.

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

I'll check that!
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