Let's Make Robots!

SoftwareSerial Unicorn

Is .available really a class in softwareSerial.h or is someone just screwing with me? I see it in tonnes of examples but can't get it to compile. Since that library has been built in since before 19 at least I can't even look at the header code.

What do you think: do search engines do only good or do they limit, too?


I'm putting this before you because if you're reading this, chances are you're brilliant and well-qualified to add insight to my thinking about this matter.  For reasons that will become apparent shortly, I was going to request that only older LMR members contribute to this thread-but as CtC recently pointed out we have some very intelligent and able younger contributors, so it be behooves me to ask for everyone to mull this one over and put it out there.


Happy Birthday, LED!

Today (October 9) in 1963, Nick Holonyak, Jr. demonstrated the first visible-spectrum light-emitting diode to the bean-counters at General Electric.  He mixed Galium and Arsenide in a way that chemists told him was impossible to create that first familiar red glow.  Today, we're on the verge of replacing all innefficient filament-based lights with his invention (if the conspiracy theorists don't get their way, that is.)

Tastes really good
I got bored and a little hungry, okay?  Gareth convinced me in this hack that a pencil torch (He calls his "old faithful") was an indispensable tool.  Since I got … Read more

Raspberry Pi-Soliciting quick opinion from experienced users

I got my Model B Rev. 1 in the mail yesterday and SD cards are cheap enough that I'm just going to buy a new one.  What's the optimum size card for the new Adafruit Occidentalis distro (http://adafruit-raspberry-pi.s3.amazonaws.com/Occidentalisv02.zip) if it unzips at 2.6G?  4, 8, 16?  I probably won't go 32 right away...


I snatched up a RaspPi version B last week when Adafruit had them in stock for a few minutes. It got here today and I barely had time to find a power supply adapter for it before bed. I started reading up though, and only then did I learn that there is only one PWM capable GPIO. There are workarounds of course-like an ATTiny or the PCA9685 on I2C, but that's hardly satisfying when you were raised on a steady diet of Arduino. Also, you can't use the PWM pin and the built in audio at the same time. Still, for $35 US, it's a single board Linux machine.

Nanosecond timing-too fine for the hobbyist?

I recently got involved with an idea that requires timing down to nanoseconds registered across serial Rx. That's a little smaller resolution than an Arduino pumping at 16Mhz can provide. The thing is, I'm having trouble turning up any resources on line that would let me design and build a peripheral device short of a caesium fountain-maybe a little beyond what I could rig on the bench, but maybe I'm just not searching right.