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  • ideas and stuff

    Hey
    i was thinking about entering, i want to get a early start. I need some help.
    what are some referances you found most helpful? i know i can do a google and im doing that now , i just want a few pointers to known good books and/or sites.
    thanks
    mage2
    mage2atbleedingwounddotcom
    KeyID 3B535825D9402365
    FingerPrint C2AA E142 8826 BAE3 9C2B AA0C 3B53 5825 D940 2365

  • #2
    Originally posted by mage2
    Hey
    i was thinking about entering, i want to get a early start. I need some help.
    what are some referances you found most helpful? i know i can do a google and im doing that now , i just want a few pointers to known good books and/or sites.
    thanks
    mage2
    I don't understand your question- it is not specific enough.

    To design a device you will need hardware skills, coding skills, etc...

    Do you want to know how to code for a microcontroller? Do you want to know how to solder an IC, or do the design work for the circuit to drive the thing? A servo tutorial? TCP/IP interface design?

    What general direction is your idea heading, then maybe I can help you find a good place to start.

    LosT

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    • #3
      correct

      Ya know you are right. Im usually not this bad.
      Im looking for good referance books on designing around microcontrolers and interfacing them into network.
      Also any books on the basics of Single Board Computers.
      I have some hardware background, and another of the team is a coder.
      I can google, and i have. But i know many have been down the path and know what books helped and what didnt.

      thanks for the help LosT
      mage2atbleedingwounddotcom
      KeyID 3B535825D9402365
      FingerPrint C2AA E142 8826 BAE3 9C2B AA0C 3B53 5825 D940 2365

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mage2
        Ya know you are right. Im usually not this bad.
        Im looking for good referance books on designing around microcontrolers and interfacing them into network.
        Also any books on the basics of Single Board Computers.
        I have some hardware background, and another of the team is a coder.
        I can google, and i have. But i know many have been down the path and know what books helped and what didnt.

        thanks for the help LosT
        If you want an *easy* microcontroller to use, check Parallax, the BS2 is their best price point for basic stuff, and they have great support (you can even download their manuals as PDFs for free before you purchase).

        If you have more experience, try the BasicX chips from Netmedia, they are more complex, but cheaper *and* more powerful.

        If you are elite, use PICs and program them yourself- or something like an SX chip, Motorolla 68XX series (cheap!) - but you need to know assembly pretty well to deal with those.

        As for TCP/IP interface, Netmedia and Parallx have 'boxed' solutions, but those aren't as cool as designing yourself- Jameco, Digikey, etc... are great places to order parts from (Radio Shack tends to be more expensive, and they don't carry much anymore.)

        Getting power to digital logic (if that is your drug of choice) is a no brainer with a voltage regulator (see Digikey, Jameco, etc...)

        Team eh? Come on, be a one man show! Kidding, just glad to see more people interested.

        I'd be happy to help anyone with ideas get at least the basics going. I won't teach you how to read a schematic or do basic coding though. I *might* help you with some assembly if you are new to microcontrollers, but if you can't figure out things like Parallax's PBasic, you don't belong at DefCON, unless you are really hot..

        LosT

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        • #5
          LosT: Great hints

          Think I'm gonna pick up one of those basic stamp kits at radio shack and see if I can't get going on a project.

          The integration between tcp/ip and such a simple device as these seems to baffle me for some reason. Even with a premade interface how much do you need to do in code and how much is done by the interface. Am I gonna have to write/find/tweek an ip stack or just put in some variables and then get some digital i/o?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by A
            LosT: Great hints

            Think I'm gonna pick up one of those basic stamp kits at radio shack and see if I can't get going on a project.

            The integration between tcp/ip and such a simple device as these seems to baffle me for some reason. Even with a premade interface how much do you need to do in code and how much is done by the interface. Am I gonna have to write/find/tweek an ip stack or just put in some variables and then get some digital i/o?
            It doesn't work that way (not the kits from Parallax at least)- The 'webserver' contains registers that contain values. Those values can be seen by the microcontroller. The microcontroller will talk to the 'webserver' by what ever hardware interface *YOU* create. As far as coding, you will at the very least need to learn PBasic from Parallax. It is so pathetically easy that it feels like a logo program. You have a somewhat limited instruction set, but you can do pretty much what you want with it. Keep in mind that Parallax's solution is not a complied language, PBasic is what they call "tokenized"- that is you write the code, then run it through their 'tokenizer' (think of it as a compile, although not really the same thing)- remember you are using a microcontroller, not a very complex chip (it's only an 8-bit chip)- The reason Parallax came up with the PBasic was for those not yet up to assembly. (Which I recommend you learn eventually, if you ever want *good* implimentation of code for microcontrollers). Another good resource is the website run by a guy named Al Williams (google it)- he writes a "stamp project of the month" article for Nuts and Volts magazine every month, and he's more than willing to help people out.

            Parallax is probably the easiest way to start, but ultimately you'll graduate into better (read: more powerful) chips. Don't be fooled by the simplicity of a BS2 or even the BS1, they are great building blocks for projects of this nature, the key is how you put them together. Think of legos, I've seen some kick ass lego projects, and some really crappy looking projects...with microcontrollers you are building parts into sub-systems, then making the systems talk to each other. Most of the time this intercommunication involves sending a hex byte saying "hey listen, I'm talking to you", the message, then another hex byte that says "Ok, done with the message"-

            LosT

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            • #7
              So you know what you are up against...

              Here is an example of some code written for the Motorolla 68HC11 microcontroller. It was a BCD (binary coded decimal) routine I wrote, this is just a part of the code:

              SECT ROM, BASE = $2000
              ROMCHK EQU 0
              ADDTIME PSHX
              CONC XR_Sav
              PSHB
              CONC BR_Sav
              PSHA
              CONC AR_Sav
              PSHY
              CONC YR_Sav

              TSX
              LDD PARMSZ,X
              STD PARMLOC
              ADDD =PARMSZ
              STD PARMSZ,X
              TPA
              PSHA
              CONC CC_Sav
              LDX PARMLOC
              LDY TIME2,X
              LDX TIME1,X
              LDAA Fract,X
              ADDA Fract,Y
              DAA
              PSHA
              CONC TH_sav
              LDAA Sec,X
              ADCA Sec,Y
              DAA
              BCS 1F
              CMPA =MAXSEC
              BHI 1F
              CLC
              BRA 3F
              1H ADDA =MINADJ
              DAA

              Now compare that to some PBasic code:

              MAIN: 'The main program loop
              PAUSE 300 'pause for serial reads/writes (Red-i)
              BUTTON 15,0,255,250,scratchbtn,1,PBUTTON 'Poll for button press (physical)
              BUTTON 14,0,255,250,scratchbtn,1,jawbite
              SEROUT 8,240,["!RI0ST"] 'Poll for webpage update by sending a request
              SERIN 7,240,100,MAIN,[RiSTATUS] 'for the state of the status register (Red-i)
              IF NewPost = 1 THEN WEBUPDATE 'Check for update from web interface
              GOTO MAIN 'Check everything again!

              '-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              'Subroutines
              '-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              PBUTTON: 'If the button was pressed we get here
              SEROUT 8,240,["!RI0R07"] 'reading the currently stored state of the eyes
              SERIN 7,240,100,MAIN,[DEC EYESTATE]
              IF EYESTATE < 3 THEN PBUTTON1 'If the state = 3, then we need to roll over to 0
              EYESTATE = 0 'again. If it isn't, we just ++
              GOTO PBUTTON2 'skip over the ++ because state has rolled over to 0

              PBUTTON1: ' EYESTATE++
              EYESTATE = EYESTATE + 1

              PBUTTON2: 'turn on/off the correct LEDs
              IF EYESTATE = 0 OR EYESTATE = 1 THEN LOFF 'pushing the button scrolls through
              OUT1 = 1 'the four LED states for the eyes.
              GOTO CONTINUE1

              LOFF:
              OUT1 = 0

              CONTINUE1:
              IF EYESTATE = 0 OR EYESTATE = 2 THEN ROFF
              OUT0 = 1
              GOTO CONTINUE2

              ROFF:
              OUT0 = 0

              CONTINUE2:
              BRANCH EYESTATE,[Case0,Case1,Case2,Case3]
              GOTO MAIN

              Granted I left the comments in for the PBasic, but the code is much easier to follow and understand (at first). Really you should work towards clean, efficient assembly though.

              losT

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              • #8
                chips

                Hello
                Thanks for the reply.
                I have looked at the BASIC chips and the OOpic also.
                I can read schematics and handle building electronics.

                thanks for the help
                im going to do some more research and i might be bothering you later
                mage2atbleedingwounddotcom
                KeyID 3B535825D9402365
                FingerPrint C2AA E142 8826 BAE3 9C2B AA0C 3B53 5825 D940 2365

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mage2
                  Hello
                  Thanks for the reply.
                  I have looked at the BASIC chips and the OOpic also.
                  I can read schematics and handle building electronics.

                  thanks for the help
                  im going to do some more research and i might be bothering you later

                  No problem. The Rabbit products aren't bad either (I think Jameco carries them, if not, I know that Digikey does)-

                  LosT

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