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C3: First steps

Posted by Wavesonics, 24 August 2011 · 501 views

Arduino
As I stated in my last post, I began some actual work on this project over the weekend.

What's some times not appreciable, is the amount of time it takes just to get started on something like this. Finding all my Arduino parts and pieces, installing the software, figuring out all the little quirks again (It's been more than 6 months since I finished the robot project).

Finally being setup again for Arduino development, I set to soldering together a little voltage regulator for my bread board. It would allow me to put in anywhere between 3V and 36V and get a nice clean 5V signal out. This way I could independently power my breadboard without extra wires from the Arduino.

Next I needed to test my pressure sensor, to figure out how it works and how best to use it. I started by building a little RC (resistor capacitor) circuit as described in the sensor's user manual. But quickly realized this wasn't necessary with the Arduino, Just using one resistor and an Analog pin I could read it directly. Problem was, I was getting these highly variable values. In fact, when graphed over time, they looked quite a bit like the charge and release cycle of a capacitor.
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This puzzled me of course because all I had in the circuit was a resistor and the sensor. After more fiddling and frustration, I removed my nifty bread board power supply and hooked it up directly to my Arduino's 5V pin, and instantly I got stable values. Good for my level of frustration. Sad because I really liked my little bread board power supply. Not sure what I screwed up when soldering it together...

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Anyway, I happily played around with my sensor, creating functions to produce readings in lbs rather than voltage and such. It was fun and cleared the way for what was, in my mind, one of the biggest question marks for the whole project.




Only just seen this project. It is a fantastic idea and I applaud your ingenuity but I can't help thinking of Indiana Jones counter-weighting that pedestal with a bag of sand. How are you going to stop yourself from counter-weighting your bed and going back to sleep on the floor?
Haha thanks, well if that turns out to be a problem, I do actually have a small IR Motion sensor I could hook up that would force me to evacuate the room entirely :P

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