Older blog entries for BrianJennings (starting at number 10)

13 Jul 2005 (updated 13 Jul 2005 at 21:53 UTC) »
IF (project == "Finished") {

cout << "Celebrate\n" <<endl;


The software project that I have recently been working on is now finished. This program (as described below, but for all you late comers) take certain predefined voice commands and sends them to my Basic Stamp 2 Controller then my BS2 translates those commands into operations for it to complete, then (if you couldn't guess) it completes the operations! And the cool part is, it ALL works. (Didn't see that coming now did you?)
While I wait...

Over the weekend and into Monday I worked on a Speech Recognition program with Microsoft Speech SDK 5.1. On Monday I finally got it to work, right now I have it listening for certain commands and then telling me if it heard me speak them.

I also have been making a program that reads and writes stuff to the serial port. That has proved to be more difficult than the Voice Recognition (surprisingly enough).

Once I get the Serial Communication working I will integrate that into my voice program and then use voice commands to send commands to my Basic Stamp 2. Pretty cool huh? Once that is all fine and dandy I am thinking of getting a RF transmitter and a RF receiver and setting all the communication stuff for the Serial cable through thoseā€¦

Cost Over Creativity...

Well folks... Friday I broke and stopped the H-Bridge construction. I realized that the things I had to drive the motors were inadequate, and thought it thought and realized the cost of new parts for the H-Bridge (to build it myself) would be more expensive than just buying an H-bridge driver...

So I am getting some low power H-bridge driver IC's from Digi-Key, they are the DRIVER-SN754410 from Texas Instruments... Nice driver with dual motor capacity, 1AMP current peak (works for me, I only need 320 milliamps for the motors I am driving), 4.5v to 36v... So this IC should cover my motor driving needs for this project and many-a-more to come....

I finally got one thing working... for a while, I had the motors running on battery power and the pic running on the power from the protoboard, so the signal that I was sending wasn't going anywhere, but since I had the multimeter plugged into the potoboard's ground and the signal, it was telling me that it was going somewhere, so I switched the pic over to battery power, cause I was getting some strange reading for the battery power and it worked.

But then I went to build the rest of the H-Bridge, but with a different twist.

I have the 121's on the same circuit and the 126's on another, (the 121's are controlling one way and the 126's are controlling the other, so that I only need to use 1 signal pin for the forwards/backwards controlling). After I finished the H-Bridge and checked it I went on and applied power to the entire circuit. The motors were going one way and didn't go the other for some reason, so while it was running I went to adjust something and touched the transistor and then burned my finger. All the transistors were scorching hot, so I quickly unplugged the power. Something went wrong, but I have no idea what it could be...

I did a couple of tests and found out that the Pic didn't seem to be running when everything was being powered, but when it was alone in a circuit it ran fine (I have an LED on another Output telling me when the other output is High or low, so when I had the PIC in the circuit with all the other devices, it didn't light up at all)...

5 Jul 2005 (updated 5 Jul 2005 at 04:33 UTC) »

I tried the H-Bridge again today, I got it to run power through it to an LED and that worked, I could turn the LED on and off using an output on my BS2 to the transistor's gate. But when I hooked the motor up to is, the motor didn't turn on. So I tried connecting the motor up to the power directly, it ran fine, so I put the LED into the circuit with the motor and the transistor and the LED didn't light up, so I unplugged the motor from the circuit and the LED lit, so I am assuming that the motor is not able to be run through that transistor, maybe the transistor is limiting the flow, or restricting something somewhere. If you have any comments or questions, see my blog...

4 Jul 2005 (updated 4 Jul 2005 at 13:55 UTC) »

Well, I just tried to make a simple one-way H-Bridge for motor control. It wasn't working so I felt the main transistor, it burned my finger (hurts to type right now).

So I decided that that wasn't a good thing and pulled the plug for the night, to search for a different solution for my situation in the morning...

3 Jul 2005 (updated 3 Jul 2005 at 04:24 UTC) »

Hey! Today I have made my first Blog! Check it out!

I will use this blog to post more ideas for robotics that I have, posting pic's of some of my robots, posting theories for robotics, and maybe some tutorials of things I have learned, and applications for them! So if you are interested, keep your eye on my Blog! Thanks!

Yesterday I figured out how to use my ultrasonic range finder. I put in some code and now have an LED change it's brightness corresponding with how far away an object is from the range finder. It's pretty cool, and works(Which isn't always easy)!!

Hooray! Today (More like yesterday, seeing as it is 1:25am) I received my StampStack Module and my Ping))) Ultrasonic range finder from HVWTech.com. So far I have been able to send information back to my computer, make an LED pulse on and off, and I have been able to generate PWM signals. Since I'll be busy tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going up to Maine on Monday, I won't be able to get to playing around with the range finder 'till Monday night or Tuesday...

More good news for me... I enrolled in a robotics course for NASA Ames and applied for a scholarship for the Vex Robotics kit that was used for the course... Last Thursday NASA Ames emailed me and told me that I had received a scholarship... So I will be having fun with that course this summer, while earning 3 high school credits in robotics!

I just ordered a Basic Stamp Stack II from HVWTECH.com, and also a Ping))) Ultrasonic range finder. They should arrive by the end of next week, or the beginning of 2 weeks form now.

I plan on using these for my first lone robotic project. Essentially I have an old R/C car that I took apart, and I will use a simple Full on Full off, Backwards/forwards H-Bridge setup with the car's 4 wheel drive system to drive around. While avoiding objects that are a certain distance away from it using the ultrasonic range finder.

So hopefully I will have a good summer project that will be successful.

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