HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>
78RPM
User Rank
Gold
Re: The groan detector
78RPM   6/21/2013 5:10:57 PM
NO RATINGS
@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.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
armorris   6/20/2013 11:37:53 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
William K.   6/20/2013 9:30:29 PM
NO RATINGS
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: Not patient specific
armorris   6/20/2013 4:27:34 PM
NO RATINGS
mrdon,

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

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not patient specific
mrdon   6/20/2013 4:20:30 PM
NO RATINGS
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 3:22:42 PM
NO RATINGS
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.

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The groan detector
armorris   6/20/2013 3:11:19 PM
NO RATINGS
William K,

Yes, you're right. It probably would not be much more complex to do the gap detection and timing with analog or discreet digital circuits, but this was easier. Also, unless you buy a remote system with a built-in encoder/decoder, you would still need a microcontroller to generate the digital code for it. The simple analog encoding systems I grew up with are not adequate these days. The Chinese company I bought the radio link from has 4-channel remote systems with built-in encoder/decoders. It seems like such a waste for this application, however.

I certainly have the electronic design skill to do it, had I chosen to do so. Changing the software in the PIC is FAR easier than rewiring the hardware if design changes are needed. If the PIC is programmed in a production programmer, it is guaranteed by Microchip to hold its program for 40 years. 

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not patient specific
mrdon   6/20/2013 1:36:28 PM
NO RATINGS
armorris

Very nice gadget. The documentation looks great as well. Just curious interms of the software code being written in Assembly instead of C?

William K.
User Rank
Platinum
The groan detector
William K.   6/20/2013 9:29:52 AM
NO RATINGS
This is an interesting device, and a unique application. Possibly the use of the PIC processor made the design easier, but it could also have been done in the analog realm, with a small amount of digital glue logic. That would remove the requirement for programming from the construction, and make the design available for many years, and to a much broader range of people. Yes, a bit more electronic design skill would possibly be needed, but the design would also have been simpler to adjust to changing needs. 

armorris
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Not patient specific
armorris   6/19/2013 5:29:45 PM
NO RATINGS
78RPM,

That is an excellent question. I know nothing about the requirements for medical electronics. I'm certain though, that the gadget could be modified to meet those requirements.

The mute button only prevents the receiver from being activated for 10 minutes, or until it's unmuted. It doesn't have any effect on privacy. The device has been designed so that people talking in the patient's room will not trigger it unless they are close to the microphone and make a continuous sound for 1.5 seconds.

<<  <  Page 2/3  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
The first photos made with a 3D-printed telescope are here and they're not as fuzzy as you might expect. A team from the University of Sheffield beat NASA to the goal. The photos of the Moon were made with a reflecting telescope that cost the research team 100 to make (about $161 US).
At Medical Design & Manufacturing Midwest, Joe Wascow told Design News how Optimal Design prototyped a machine that captures the wing-beat of a duck.
The increased adoption of wireless technology for mission-critical applications has revved up the global market for dynamic electronic general purpose (GP) test equipment. As the link between cloud networks and devices -- smartphones, tablets, and notebooks -- results in more complex devices under test, the demand for radio frequency test equipment is starting to intensify.
Much of the research on lithium-ion batteries is focused on how to make the batteries charge more quickly and last longer than they currently do, work that would significantly improve the experience of mobile device users, as well EV and hybrid car drivers. Researchers in Singapore have come up with what seems like the best solution so far -- a battery that can recharge itself in mere minutes and has a potential lifespan of 20 years.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 20 - 24, How to Design & Build an Embedded Web Server: An Embedded TCP/IP Tutorial
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 11:00 AM
Sponsored by Stratasys
Next Class: 10/28-10/30 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Gates Corporation
Next Class: 11/11-11/13 2:00 PM
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service