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SVOboy 06-19-2008 07:41 PM

Freeduino V1 v V2?
Clicked the link for the freeduino from the MPGuino thread today and noticed that there was a new version coming out soon:

Should I buy this one?

dcb 06-19-2008 10:06 PM

Man I wish I had a simple answer for you. I like the iduino these days. $18, usb, breadboardable, could fit behind an LCD, But it is a different layout than the standard duino. You were one of the first USB proponents but I liked the serial cuz it was a bit cheaper, and worked better with that whole palm fiasco (and my elm adapter).

Unfortunately the iduino folks don't sell LCDs. And we are experiencing some failures with the ones from NKC currently, but cannot determine the cause so I don't know what to tell you there.

I also think I underestimated the footprint the non-legacy machines had, and am starting to think a USB solution is better, especially at $18.

But if you get the iduino, consider adding another pre-loaded atmega168 and 16mhz crystal to your order too (ok, and a couple of their 18pf caps if you are feeling nice). Then you can do cool things with your breadboard like the signal generator or have already collected the key parts for a custom guino or kit or prototype and still have your iduino to play with on the desktop.

So sorry it isn't a simple yes or no.

SVOboy 06-19-2008 10:18 PM

Haha, no worries, I honestly don't know much about electronics and will be learning as I go, but I'll prolly pick up an iduino for the USB since it will work my my lappy.

What then do you suggest I do about the lcd? Thanks!

drivenByNothing 06-20-2008 12:37 PM

I like to think of myself as thrifty (some may say cheap). I ordered the iduino to build the mpguino project. I must say that putting the board together was a breeze. I like the fact that it's usb because my laptop doesn't have a serial port and it'll make for easy updates to the code without pulling everything out of the car.

It's set up to be friendly with a breadboard, but I'm gonna go ahead and use it for my in-car mpguino. I haven't wired it up to the car yet, but I have the mpguino circuit for the buttons and inputs as well as an LCD hooked up to it. I guess the true test will come when I wire it up this weekend.

The only thing that I think might give me trouble is that the board doesn't have input for power outside of the USB. What I'm thinking of doing is finding the 5v and ground pins of the USB and adding power input after some diodes. The diodes would be there to prevent power from flowing back into the USB port when it's hooked up to the computer. The diodes probably aren't necessary if I only upload with the car off (ie no power going to the board other than from the computer through the USB.

Does this sound like a viable solution? I've built a lot of simple circuits before, but haven't really done much more than just following a schematic.

I've been wanting to toy around with both the arduino and some c++ for a while and I'm all about fuel economy/efficiency. I love this project!

I haven't had a lot of time to go through the code, but is the mpguino supposed to cycle through all of the screens automatically? I've uploaded a youtube video here

Please let me know if this appears to be working properly so far.


SVOboy 06-20-2008 01:10 PM

Glad to see that it's working. You got that LCD from NKC, right? I'm gonna go buy an iduino...

awillard69 06-20-2008 01:24 PM

Was it my imagination, or was your device restarting? There were changes made to v.62 and beyond to address some of those. Try with the latest version and see if that improves the stability.

Nice video.

drivenByNothing 06-20-2008 02:42 PM

Yes, it is restarting. I'm not sure what's causing that. I thought maybe the code was setup to have it cycle through screens in a loop, but I guess not. I uncommented the #define debuguino statement and it's not resetting at the moment. I'll have to look at the code to figure out why.

I got the LCD from ebay
(shipping was really quick)

dcb 06-20-2008 09:42 PM

Is it still cycling? You might want to measure the resistance to ground on analog 3 (and 4 and 5) with the unit unplugged. If you are getting fancy with the button placement you have to ensure that they are not grounding out also.

drivenByNothing 06-20-2008 10:09 PM

Somehow I managed to leave my multimeter at my parents' place, so I may be out of luck for the next week or so. It was doing the cycling nonsense before I added the buttons.

It doesn't cycle when I define debuguino for some reason. I can't seem to figure out why, but if it works it works, right? (I just found out it does cycle, but it takes much longer before it restarts)

I'll be putting it in the car tomorrow.

dcb 06-21-2008 01:31 PM

I put the iDuino together and need to report some strangeness with the drivers. It was looking for ftdiun2k.ini and I did not see that in arduino 0011, only in arduino 0010, so unless the iDuino folks start shipping something that is compatable with the latest version of arduino I do not know that I can reccomend them. I will inform them of the issue.

SVOboy 06-21-2008 02:11 PM

Damn, I bought an iduino the other day, :p

dcb 06-21-2008 02:15 PM

You can download arduino10 to get it working (on XP anyway).

SVOboy 06-21-2008 02:17 PM

Good enough. I'll figure out how to work it out on os x.

drivenByNothing 06-21-2008 06:20 PM

Ok, it's in the car now and seems to be working properly. I have the iduino working with the arduino 0011 Alpha version.

The iduino is no longer cycling weird now that it's on a reliable power source (ie not USB provided).

I'm powering the duino with a 5v cell charger that I wired into the board. A couple of weird things are happing, though. 1) The iduino will not allow a program to be uploaded when the cell charger is connect (this is with it unplugged from the cig lighter). Also, the screen is somewhat hard to read. I think the contrast of the characters is lower for some reason (I'm thinking I might be under the needed voltage with the charger, but I won't know until I get my DVM next weekend.

Other than that, it seems to work. I drove around and watched the current mpg and it seemed to go up and down when it was supposed to. Now it needs a home.

If you guys want, I'll upload a pic of the board and where I added the external power leads. It'll be one of those "at your own risk" things.


dcb 06-21-2008 07:14 PM

It is all at your own risk here buddy :) Glad you got it working, did you try messing with the contrast setting in the code before uploading? It seems to like 100 if not 15 but it is a mystery to me why at this point.

dcb 06-21-2008 08:14 PM

P.S. drivenByNothing, re: no arduino 11 problems,
what operating system do you have, and did you have 0010 installed beforehand?


drivenByNothing 06-21-2008 09:53 PM

Oh sorry. I have XP and 11 is the only thing I've ever had on here.

I'll try changing the contrast value in the code.

dcb 06-21-2008 10:13 PM

Ok, thanx, I let the iduino folks know that you did not have a problem with 11 and xp and asked them to get back to me if they look into it.

The main thing that jumps out at me is that I loaded arduino 0010 first and plugged in a usb freeduino and loaded the drivers, and you did not. I passed that along as well.

Ok, but it sounds like a new iduino on new arduino 0011 install stands a reasonable chance of working (on xp anyway). It looks a lot simpler to prototype with and usb on board and $18, I'll stick my neck out and keep suggesting the iduino I think :)

drivenByNothing 06-23-2008 02:02 AM

arduino 0011 works with ubuntu as well (tested on 8.04) too. In fact, it works better when uploading to the duino whereas XP would frequently tell me the com port was in use.

Whether or not you want to suggest the iduino is up to you. I'll be sure to update you if I run into anything weird.

I tried using different contrast values and nothing is looking anywhere near as good as when it's getting power from USB rather than the old cell charger.

dcb 06-23-2008 10:11 AM

re: iDuino power, in that case I suggest using at least a 7805 and some caps and a diode such as in the PCB design thread , I've been running that circuit for about a week while in a car with no issues so far.

drivenByNothing 06-25-2008 08:23 PM

Yeah, the 7805 is exactly what I was thinking to try next. I just figured it'd be nice if I didn't have to put anything together. I should be able to get everything on the same PCB. This thing really needs a good home. I'm gonna get into an accident if I have to keep fiddling with it while I'm driving. Lol.

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