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Stubby79 10-20-2020 08:08 AM

Arduino and the like -- Tell me what I need to know to get started!
I'm interested in getting started with software controlled electronics - or whatever you would call these things - but haven't a clue where and what to get started with. (And rather than do my own research, I thought I'd ask for once in my life)

I have just enough knowledge of electronics to be dangerous...I know what the various components are and what they do, can replace parts, build from schematics or modify existing circuits, but not enough to design my own.

And I have some basic - and very dated - programming experience. Again, enough to figure out/understand what does what and make modifications, but again not likely to be able to program from scratch, at least not until I've seen and understood plenty of examples.

As I said, just enough knowledge to be dangerous. :p

Things I would be interested in doing with whatever microprocessor controlled doohickies are out there:
  • Feedback control (ex: field control on a generator)
  • More advanced control of a basic Ebike controller (Speed limiting, throttle ramping, regen ramping)
  • More advanced battery management and display (Temp, voltage, cell, current, charging, etc)
  • Intelligent battery charging, cycling, whatever.
  • Start up checks and monitoring on an ebike or other home built EV.
  • Battery capacity testing and logging.
  • Speedometer - and other pertinent information, based on inputs - including LED or LCD display control.
  • Automated controls of other circuits, based on voltage monitoring and such.
  • Soft starting/swapping, particularly when changing input voltage on something with a large capacitors in it.

...basically anything that would be a pain in the butt to build an analog circuit for, considering the effort it would take to modify such a circuit to tune it just right or else modify it to work with completely different input or output.

I'm pretty sure these are pretty easy for an Arduino to control. If there are simpler, cheaper things out there that will do the simpler, individual tasks, I'd appreciate knowing what they are...I'd think a full Arduino would be over kill for such. And if one can handle doing most of the above in a single unit, all at once, that would be good to know.

Since I'm starting from scratch, I'm not brand specific. Something easy to work with. Something cheap to get in to. Something cheap to get add-on modules for. Something I can find plenty of example programming instructions online to modify to my needs rather than starting with a completely blank slate.

Teach me, Sensei! (Even if all you have to say is "They can't do that")

Daox 10-20-2020 09:28 PM

I'd start with getting something like the Uno. Its kind of the classic board design. From there, pick a project you want to do and start posting here and we can help you through it. I also went through a bunch of stuff on The tutorials and especially the reference page (under documents) are extremely helpful.

seifrob 10-21-2020 05:43 PM

I just second that.
Buy an Arduino Uno, or better, Arduino Starter kit (either original or one of the clones. It will guide you both with hardware and software from blinking a diode to PWM regulation to communication protocols, and all the components are at hand. (original set even includes printed manual, afaik),

Arduino IDE contains set of example programs to show the basics. Easy to read, quite easy to understand. I learned this way.

Stubby79 10-22-2020 12:49 AM

Thanks, guys! :thumbup:

freebeard 10-31-2020 04:31 PM

Pleez don't let the thread die. I've learned that my new[er] car has OBD1 (or something).

I have some knowledge of analog electrics and digital electronics, but I can't get a crimp-on spade connector to work. ....but I've gotten a butane torch so I can solder things.

edit: to start with: compare and contrast MPGuino and Scangauge. TIA

2nd edit: Okay now I've found

It's like discovering a room in your house you diid't know was there.

Stubby79 10-31-2020 04:42 PM

Where’d ya hear that? :p

Not what I intended on trying to build, but I suppose one could.

As to the Arduino...I ordered a kit. Pretty cheap. The main unit itself can be had for dirt cheap.

Piotrsko 11-02-2020 11:15 AM

Obd1 does have a tx & rx data provision but you probably need to use a terminal emulator or related to see what the data is and format.

Stubby79 11-02-2020 11:34 AM

Yup. And every auto maker was different. OBD2 standardized it.

Stubby79 11-09-2020 05:41 PM

1 Attachment(s)
It arrived.

They showed it in a nice plastic case. Damn them for saving on shipping! :mad:

Daox 11-09-2020 06:02 PM


Got a first project set yet?

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