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1  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Arduino Mega support? on: February 15, 2010, 07:27:56 PM
It's funny, after I posted this it sort of got the juices flowing... so my goal was to design a "clock" platform off the Atmega1280 chip so I could sync against an NTP server via Ethernet to set the time.  Well after being disappointed with the Atmega1280 and ethernet support... I designed my own clock platform based on a 18F97J60 PIC.  It has built in ethernet (with a web server), so did some tinkering and I have a RTC platform with NTP client support, a RTC with a highly accurate crystal, and even a digital FM tuner.  I started out with wanting to make a Nixie tube clock thanks to the Arduinix, and now developed my own "OpenClock" platform so I can go 7 segment, LEDs, or Nixie tubes that plug in as modules into my clock main board.  I want to be able to do a Nixie tube clock, wall mounted 7 segment display, or an FM radio alarm clock that never needs to be reset again, etc.  Hope to get my boards fab'ed soon as my code is 80% done.  I blame it all on the Arduinix and this thread Smiley

2  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: ArduiNIX Board and schematic files for Eagle now available for download. on: August 29, 2009, 10:04:37 AM
This is great!!!! Thanks guys for this.  I had actually just reproduced it by hand this week against the Arduino Mega board to make a standalone version I was going to post when done.  It would have support for the ATmega1280, Arduinix, WizNet ethernet and hopefully when done a RTC and potentially battery backup.   I want to finish prototyping with the Arduino Mega board to make sure the rerouting of pins works.  I also went SMD for most parts as I can keep it smaller and prefer them often over doing TH.

Any chance we can also get the layouts for the daughterboards for the tubes?  I really want to do one for the IN-18 nixies Smiley  

3  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Usable Pins on the Duemilanove when using the ArduiNIX on: August 21, 2009, 11:36:13 AM
The Arduino Mega is an option... I attached a photo so you can see the clearance; if you mount the pins to the top there should be plenty of room.

4  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Usable Pins on the Duemilanove when using the ArduiNIX on: August 21, 2009, 07:48:44 AM
I think when I looked at the schematics, the digital 2 - 13 pins were all taken, but pins 0 and 1 that are for comm are open.  I was thinking of connecting a GPS to those pins as one possibility, but in theory you could probably connect to a computer with them.

5  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Coming Soon for the ArduiNIX! - IN-17 PLUG IN tube boards from RobotPirate. on: August 21, 2009, 07:46:49 AM
I vote for IN-18 tubes Smiley 

If not, I'll have to do it myself.  Are you using Eagle for the layout and are the files available? 

6  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Attention! Need help tracking down a low power issue. on: August 21, 2009, 07:23:57 AM
Here is the spec sheet for the regulator used by some of the Diecilima and new Duemilanove -
(my old Diecilima, new Duemilanove and new Mega all have this same regulator, but I did read there could be some variance)

If I read this correctly, the max output is 800ma.

I suspect adding a heatsink on the regulator could lower some concerns of it melting Wink  But I'm not an expert.

7  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Attention! Need help tracking down a low power issue. on: August 19, 2009, 06:26:26 PM
Wall Wart, 12v 1amp...

Arduinix kit on a Arduino Diecmila

114v - 264v.

8  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Nixie Atomic Clock? on: August 10, 2009, 08:54:57 PM
Funny you posted this... I've been thinking/planning about doing the same thing Smiley (and I'm sure there are quite a few more out there.)   My dilemma however has been the loss of all the data pins on the board due to all the digital pins needed by the Arduinix board.  I ended up getting a Arduino Mega as I needed more pins, but haven't decided if I'm going to use it yet or not (more as you read on...)  I found a VERY basic example on how to decode time (works most of the time) using this from Digikey - that looks like from your Edit you already found.  Essentially it reads the pulse output on a single digital pin, and then decodes the time (search for Arduino and CMMR-6P-60 and you'll find a ton of code.)  I will say the 60mm antenna didn't work at all for me in Massachusetts (though most atomic clocks don't work well here...)  But I ended up ordering an antenna on eBay from a ham in CT, and it works very well, though it's a bit big at 2' so not overly practical...  I also have a fairly pricey board I had ordered out of the UK for decoding WWVB, but the cheap one from Digikey by far can't be beaten for the price. 

My plan B is actually the same as yours thinking of going GPS.  On the Arduino Diecimila there are two serial data pins (0 and 1) and in theory you could get away with just the pin 0 for RX from a GPS.  I believe I read somewhere it will talk direct TTL so you can get one of the OEM modules from Sparkfun or other vendors.  I haven't figured out which one I want to try out yet, it's on my list of projects.   I'd probably get one of the modules that will take an external antenna to give it a bit of a boost as I want to make a clock for my office.  I will say most of the newer chipsets, even inside a building WILL lock a GPS signal without a problem. 

Ideally I'd love to use NTP as plug and play.  But again it goes back to my original problem of not enough data pins to get this done...  I was toying with the idea of making a custom board based on the WizNet platform, but not sure if I can feasibly move all the pins in the code and have it still work.  I am a bit biased for NTP as I am currently building an NTP server based on the Soekris NET4501 with it's crystal replaced, that also uses a special GPS for doing time sync, .  Too many project, so little time and money Tongue

Another (non-related idea) was using a pin and a timer (whether in software, or via a timing relay) connected to a motion sensor.  This way I can have the tubes shut off if I am not there to save their life, but the clock itself can keep the time.

I'll probably post as well what I ended up doing.  Right now my first challenge is designing how I want to mount my IN-18 tubes.  Not sure if I can find a premade board to buy, to make my own board.

9  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Arduino Mega support? on: August 02, 2009, 06:49:39 PM
FYI I just tried it with one tube and it seemed to work.  Mind you I was just testing against one cathod pin and not cycling thru as I don't have it wired up, but the quick test worked fine.  Now I need to start getting something together so I can actually cycle thru all the numbers without using allagator clips Wink  I suspect if you are careful how you solder the catode pins, you should be fine with clearence.

10  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Trouble Shooting on: July 26, 2009, 06:19:41 PM
Not a big deal, figured it may be something like that Smiley

Any idea when the schematics for wiring a 6 tube set up may be coming out? 


11  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: tubes? on: July 26, 2009, 06:11:47 PM
I got some tubes off eBay... every once in awhile you'll get lucky and can find some state-side for a good price (assuming your in the states) so you don't have to wait for them to come in from Europe.   I got one of the PIC based kits for my Birthday this year...  definitely hooked on Nixies now Smiley  The kit was IN-14s which are a pretty good size and were bigger than I expected.  Since I wasn't expecting the kit, I had already ordered some IN-18s and they are definitely bigger.  However if you are looking for a nice size at a reasonable price, the IN-14s aren't bad.  Only part I don't like is they need to be soldered opposed to the IN-18s which are socketed.

12  Projects / ArduiNIX / Arduino Mega support? on: July 26, 2009, 01:39:04 PM
Good Afternoon,

Just tested my first tube and it's working... Smiley  However I was curious if the Arduino Mega is supported?  Looks like the majority of the digital pins are being used, but if I wanted to attach an additional device to sync to for a clock for example, I'm going to need more pins.  Anyone try it yet?  I ordered one to play with regardless, but won't be in for a bit.


13  Projects / ArduiNIX / Re: Trouble Shooting on: July 26, 2009, 01:34:57 PM
I think I just saw the same thing, glad I read this post Smiley  So in the sample source code for 1 tube, you have it listed at Anode 0 if I am reading it right.  In the example schematic you show it as Anode 1 (ie 0.)  However just like the previous poster, I needed to connect to Anode 4 for it to work.  Is this correct?


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