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Green LED .. Communications
This area is dedicated to Tech Discussions, Questions & Answers, finding Help and general Communications.


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-Mini SSC Questions & Answers  Cricket Board Questions & Answers   
-SV203 Questions & Answers   MELD Questions & Answers   PDF Download Files

 General Questions and Answers
 Question :  "I noticed that you do not have any information on PC's"
 Answer :

There are many wonderful web sites now that have dedicated themselves to technical information just about the "PC World". Creating this information here would be a repeat of good data that exists already on the web today. ....... [ PC web site links ]

Many times I have seen the Macintosh pushed aside and overlooked as being useful to do something, simple because information, and user knowledge about supporting the Mac's ability and capabilities was not known. Choosing the Macintosh to concentrate on over PC's was just a matter of what information needed to be shared that did not exist. Both platforms have there abilities and advantages, and each needs to be considered for doing the best task required. If there is a large request for PC data, I will include it.

 Question :  I was wondering if you had information on the pin outs for the Macintosh Serial Port.
.Answer :  You can find information about the Macintosh Serial Port at:... [ Macintosh Serial Port Data ]
 Question :

Like everyone, I need to build some robot parts. Getting scrap acrylic from the hardware store is pretty easy, but I need a good way of cutting it. Right now I'm using a hacksaw, but c'mon, any self-respecting guy really needs to be using power tools.

I currently have a table saw and Dremel tool. The table saw seems like overkill, and I'm not sure if the acrylic would gunk things up. The Dremel with a cutting blade works okay for very small things, but it's not great. So, that leads me to two thoughts:

* Tabletop band saw. Seems like it would be good for cutting straight lines. Has a miter guide and adjustable table angle for bevels. Seems like it's possible to cut curves, but not as readily as a

* Scroll saw. Seems like it would be great at curves, but harder to cut a straight line since you don't have a miter guide. Also has adjustable table for bevels.

What would you recommend? I'm leaning toward the band saw at the moment. There may be other options I'm missing, however.


 Answer : For over the past year I have been cutting plexiglass and various other materials in my projects with great accuracy and precision. The tool I use is called a"RotoZip". This tool can be purchased from most large hardware stores. (Home Depot has a great selection) I have found that the "RotoZip" will cut complex curves, and make perfect straight edges. (using a guide) The "RotoZip" has a blade that moves up and down and forward, while it rotates like a drill. This action cuts plexiglass with an almost smooth finish, no rough edges or melted plastic. There are various cutting blades for a variety of materials. Cutting aluminum in complex shapes is also very easy with the "RotoZip"

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 SV203 Interface Questions and Answers
  Question : "I am working with art students who would like to do some automation of their artwork. Can you suggest an interface for my students to use. The interface needs to be easy to hookup and control."

  Answer :




















I would like to suggest the "SV203 Board" Interface from "Pontech" for a Macintosh or Palm OS Device for your students.

This interface is fairly low cost, (students can purchase if wanted) works with any Macintosh, Palm III, or CPU and is easy to program. An additional advantage is that individuals can also use their own Mac's or Palm OS Devices to program and operate their interface at home or shows, with out needing expensive software or complex hardware setup. A Palm and the SV203 Interface fit neatly into many art projects also.

The SV203 interface has several abilities that make it an easy to use interface for students. The SV203 is a Microchip PIC16C73 microcontroller based servo motor controller board. It accepts RS232 serial data signal from a host computer (Mac, PC, Palm IIIxe) and outputs PWM (pulse width modulated) signal to control up to eight RC servo motors (servos used in radio-controlled model airplanes, cars). Unused servo pins can also be reconfigured for digital output to drive on / off devices. The interface outputs can be setup to operate DC, AC devices (motors, lights, solenoids, relays, other equipment, etc.) through a relay converter add-on module.
A 5 channel, 8-bit A/D input is available on board the SV203 interface also to read analog voltages between 0 to 5 Volts. Devices such as an analog joystick, sensors can be connected to these ports and can be read by the interface and host CPU. (Example: students can attach light sensors, that sense when a person is in front of an art piece and turn the art work on, motion, lights, etc.) If additional ports for more connected devices are needed; the SV203 can be chained to another SV203 and another and another, allowing multiple board to share same serial line, under single programming commands.

The interface is small and easily fits into many student projects directly. Dimensions: 1.4 in X 1.7 in. The Power supply is 4.8V to 6.0V and 3 pin Futaba J-type connectors are used for hookup. The interface hooks to the Mac's Modem or Printer port using a (mini DIN-8 to DB-9 cable) or to a USB Port using a "KeySpan" USB to Serial adapter. (mini DIN-8F to USB)

I recommend BASIC and HyperCard to control the SV203 interface. The nice thing about HyperCard is the graphical, visual nature of HyperCard, it seems makes it very easy for artisans and non technical individuals with just a little training and a basic control template an opportunity to develop some nice control software creations with complex output / input abilities. (Screen buttons for On and Off control, sliders for servo positions, etc.) Those individuals who choose to program the interface in BASIC also have good results since the interface works well with BASIC commands directly through a HyperCard terminal or the use of a Mac BASIC application software program. yBasic for the Palm OS Devices.

Pontech also has two products of the SV line that will enhance future student projects. The SV203B and SV203C controllers have the base functionality of the SV203 controller with the added ability to run a BASIC program stored in an 8k byte EEPROM. The SV203C also has the ability to transmit and receive infrared serial data. With the SV 203B/C ability to store program sequences and run by itself, these interface boards can be used for such applications as autonomous robots, or self-contained artwork in motion.

 Question :   I was wondering if you had information on the SV203, how to hook it up, sensors, pin outs.
 Answer :  You can find information about the SV203 at:... [ SV203 Data ]

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 Mini SSC Interface Questions and Answers
 Question :  I was wondering if you had information on the Mini SSC II Interface, pin outs, etc.
 Answer : You can find information about the Mini SSC II Interface at:... [ Mini SSC II Data ]
 Question :  I am having trouble getting my Mini SSC II to work work with your drawings.
 Answer :

Check to make sure that you have a HotSync cable that matches pin for pin and color of wire per pin. Some third party cables may have a different wire color scheme. Everything should work, as long as you match pin to pin and observe the wire color changes. [ HotSync™ Cable Reference ]

There is also also a HotSync cable configuration work sheet to help you figure out your cable if it appears to be a different set of colored wires. Use a multimeter to see what pin connects to what colored wire, and record the results for future reference. [ HotSync Cable Work Sheet ]

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 MELD Module Questions and Answers
 Question :  I was wondering if you had information on the MELD module setup, pin outs, applications.
 Answer : You can find information about the MELD Module at:... [ MELD Module Data ]

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Coming Soon

 CRICKET BOARD Questions and Answers
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 Visitor's Name:   Robert Van Deest
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 Date and Time:   January 10, 2009.. at 21:14:30

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