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Gadget Freak Case #242: A Gadget's Call for Assistance

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armorris
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Platinum
Re: Not patient specific
armorris   6/20/2013 3:22:42 PM
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mrdon,

I wrote the PIC software in assembly, because that is what I'm comfortable with. There is no reason why you can't use any other microcontroller, or program it in whatever language you like.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not patient specific
mrdon   6/20/2013 4:20:30 PM
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armorris Ok, I thought that was the reason but wanted to confirm. I like the gadgets you've posted and admire  your passion for electronics eventhough you are retired. You are truly an inspiration. 

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Not patient specific
armorris   6/20/2013 4:27:34 PM
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mrdon,

Thanks so much for the kind words. Electronics has always been my passion since before high school.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
William K.   6/20/2013 9:30:29 PM
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Armorris, I guess it comes with "point of view", since I can visualize the circuit fo gap detection as not that complex. And the main focus of this project is a useful device, not as an electronics learning tool. And I was not even thinking about the radio link part of the project when I made those comments. 

Now I need to spend some time and figure just exactly how it would be done as an analog-digital mix, but without any processer. Talk is cheap, about 4 cents a pound. Now I need to see if I can provide a similar function in analog.

But your version is still quite an accomplishment, no doubt.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
armorris   6/20/2013 11:37:53 PM
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William K,

I'm certain that I could have designed the circuit without a microcontroller if I had wanted to, but I felt that this approach would arrive at a working design more quickly and cheaply. Besides, a cheap microcontroller and a little bit of software can replace a lot of discreet electronics. For that reason, almost everything uses a microcontroller nowadays. Even my toaster and my toothbrush have microcontrollers in them. The PIC microcontroller I used in the transmitter unit costs about the same as a 555 timer you might use in a hardware gap detector, but requires no resistors and capacitors. It also performs the 1.5 second timer function and the encoding for the radio link.

If you want to spend the time designing a non-microcontroller version of my gadget, go for it. Once you come up with a circuit, please send me a copy of it. My email address is in the article.

78RPM
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
78RPM   6/21/2013 5:10:57 PM
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@William K.  I like your enthusiasm for lower tech solutions than microcontrollers, philosophically, at least. We could even build a calculator with TTL chips or discreet transistors.  Realistically, though, parts count and board space start to lose out on zero parts and space for software. And let's face it, I don't know how to build a transistor so it's all technical beyond primitivism.  Now we have devices like PSoC (Programmable System on a Chip) that can combine anything we need -- PWM controllers, video processing, capacitance sensing, multiplexing.  And programming is just a matter of using a screen menu with the PSoCCreator.

I understand your DIY drive. From my handle you can guess that I play 78RPM records going back to 1895 but it takes a 5' x 15' closet to house 16,000 songs. It's sad that people don't get the joy I get from that but the iPod won.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The groan detector
Cabe Atwell   6/27/2013 11:03:24 PM
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Truly ingenious Andrew! You may have just saved countless lives that might not have been attended to in a timely fashion otherwise. 

C

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
armorris   6/28/2013 9:35:29 AM
NO RATINGS
Cabe,

Thanks for the kind words, but I didn't invent the device. I just designed and built what someone else asked for. But still, if this person needs it, others will as well.

notarboca
User Rank
Gold
Re: The groan detector
notarboca   6/30/2013 2:45:50 AM
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I think this is a very good demonstration of using engineering smarts to solve a problem.  Kudos, Andrew!

 

taimoortariq
User Rank
Gold
Re: The groan detector
taimoortariq   7/3/2013 4:22:18 PM
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What a great innovation by andrew, this might become the basis of saving limitless human lives in the future. I do hope it soon comes out into a product form so that it can actually do some good to us.

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