The Vintage 555 button debouncer

Buttons and tactile switches are frequently used in many projects involving micro controllers; one of the most frequent issue we met is related to unwanted multiple transitions when the button is pressed once.

Tactile switches, as well as push buttons are mechanical components subject to the problem of bouncing. When a button is connected to a digital GPIO input pin (i.e. an Arduino pin configured as INPUT) we ideally expect that when the button is pressed we get only one high digital signal; unfortunately this rarely happens. During the mechanical movement the physical material vibrates affecting the voltage and the transitions between the On/Off status are not so clear as we usually need. Micro controllers and FPGA are fast enough reading the microseconds oscillations when the button is pressed, resulting multiple readings while apparently we are pressing the button only once.

Read more on Element14 full post: Vintage 555

On Tindie blog today

Thanks to Jeremy Cook for featuring the 3D printer filament monitor on Tindie blog!



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Filament monitor for Arduino

Prototype is alive

The first prototype is running by about three days and after some revisions on the Arduino software (mostly on the calculation algorithms) it works fine, ready for the public.

The electronics

  • Arduino uno R3
  • 5kg max load sensor
  • Mx711 chip analog to digital sensor amplifier
  • A very small circuit with two buttons and a dip-switch
  • 16×2 alphanumeric LCD monochrome display
  • Orange LED (shows the load sensor readings when flashing)

That’s all

Arduino firmware

Easy to use

The Arduino script has been done to make the use of the tool while 3D printing; it works in a semi-automatic mode and does not need calibration or settings. One of the most interesting aspects is the ability to manage automatically the filament roll also if it is not on start. Then you can change it (e.g. changing the filament colour or material) and the system continue working.

What you should know

Before starting using the filament monitor you need to know the empty roll weight. This is the only fixed variables that can’t be calculated or deducted internally. Knowing this value is easy and you do not need to have an empty roll, obvious! If you weight on a digital scale (possibly one for kitchen more precise than a bigger one) you see that the 1Kg filament roll weight some more, e.g. 120 Gr. This is the weight of your roll that should be setup as the filament tare.

You should also know: Material (PLA or ABS are supported), filament diameter and full roll weight. These values should be preset through the three dip-switches as shown in the following table:

Meaning    Off     On
Material   PLA    ABS 
Diameter  1.75mm  3mm
Weight     1kg    2kg

How-to usage

  1. Power-on the support without the filament roll and wait for the display showing Started, The system is self-calibrated to the internal zero point.
  2. Put the filament roll on the rotating support and press the control button. Arduino calculates the effective weight,  deduct the filament tare and enter in the Ready state: remaining meters and percentage of filament as shown too
  3. Press the control button again; it enters in the Load state and you can start printing!

Pressing the second button you switch between grams and centimeters the constantly updated value of the consumed filament on the second line. The first line instead shows the remaining meters and the used percentage.

Note: as the length in centimeters reach the value 100 (1 meter) the displayed value is shown in meters instead.

 

 


Instructables: how-to Assembling the Alphanumeric LCD Arduino Kit

If you own one of these kits or the bare PCB, or you have done one for yourself, this is the Instructable you need!

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 10.07.34

Coming soon: TiltPan Micro Camera Arduino Shield

The next project will be published, soon available on Tindie.com is the TiltPan Micro Camera Arduino Shield. In the following video you can see the prototype on-the-move.

TiltPan Assembled 3Main features

  • Dual-axis tilt and pan 180 Deg movement with micro servos
  • Board shield arduino compatible with Duemilanove, Diecimila, Arduino UNO R1/R2
  • include a full HD micro camera
  • Shooting and video saved on the camera micro SD (up to 32Gb)
  • Arduino library provided with the shield (under development)
  • Can be easily adapted to other cameras
  • Full camera control (power, shooting mode, etc.)
  • Can capture time-lapse variable sequences
  • Independent power supply for the camera and servos
  • Can capture semi-spherical panoramas (need separate stictch software to assemble the image)
  • Independent axis movement in the sequences (tilt-only, pan-only) or synchronized movement (tilt-pan together)
  • More options and features are under testing

Test example

The video below shows a sequence only created with the device.

Test settings

  • One shoot every 4 seconds
  • First move from left-bottom to up-right, 1 Deg step on the longer axis (pan rotation)
  • Second move from the previous position to the middle position, pan rotation only, 1 Deg step
  • 512 frames shoot in the same position