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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spoke Too Soon

Well all is not as it seems.
Though the Arduino software installed easier than I thought, it turns out a few more extra steps are needed to get to work.

At first I couldn't select any of the serial ports. After giving up for a while, I came across this webpage on the arch wiki. I'm pretty sure I looked before and couldn't find it, oh well.
Turns out it was a permission issue, but giving the user the correct permissions didn't seem to help either.

So what I did was create a launcher that runs the command sudo arduino from the terminal. I have it set to keep the terminal open while the program runs so I can see what TX and RX versions are uploaded. It sometimes comes in handy.

Now there's just one issue I can't seem to get across.
When I upload the program to the board, it blinks as usual, but it doesn't loop for some weird reason.

Well even though I couldn't correctly upload the program, I did finish the program needed for the solar tracker. It's surprisingly easier than I had anticipated.

And here it is.
Note it is copyrighted.

Solar Tracker
This program controls a servo to allow solar cells to always face the source of light
Created 1/18/11
Ian Bohannon
Copyright 2011

#include <*servo.h>

int ServoOut = 9;
int photoPinLeft = 0;
int photoPinRight = 1;
int LeftReading;
int RightReading;
int pos;

Servo myservo;

void setup()

void loop()
LeftReading = analogRead(photoPinLeft);
RightReading = analogRead(photoPinRight);

Serial.print("Left Reading = ");
Serial.print("Right Reading = ");

if(LeftReading > RightReading)
pos = 65;
else if(LeftReading < RightReading)
pos = 45;
pos = 55;


What it does is compare the light shining on each sensor, then through the If statement, adjusts the servo speed and direction accordingly. Through experimenting I know the servo sits still at position 55, spins one direction when higher than 55, and the other when lower than 55.

Because I can't upload it from this computer yet, I haven't gotten around to testing it and debugging it. The values may need to change a tad bit.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Arduino on Arch? I think so!

Thank you Yaourt, for giving me the ability to download anything in a heartbeat. Well... when you work.

This time it did. I downloaded the Arduino-0022 front end in a flash. Started it up, copied over my files with a flash drive, worked like a charm.
Before I upload any files to the board, I'm going to get some fresh air. Maybe go to the store and pick up some sharpies and food.

Monday, January 10, 2011

News Update

Well guys, I'm sitting here on my couch taking a break from work and watching some football.
I got the second Arch setup running. Essentially what I did was call the second HDD in the grub boot file, which after the fact seemed really simple. I guess that happens a lot when working in linux.

The Arduino is also coming along nicely. I got 5 photoresistors, 1 force resistor, and a continuous servo in the mail last week. I ordered from and I must say, I'm not impressed.
I ordered with regular ground shipping, which costs a surprising $8.98. On top of that, it took another 9 days before it finally showed up. I wouldn't be surprised if it came from say; Japan or Australia. But no, it came from Denver, Colorado. I'll be sure not to order from them again.
I haven't forgotten about the solar tracker. I'll work on that when I have some more time.

For anyone interested, I'll be sure to go to this years Indiana LinuxFest. It looks like it's going to be March 25-27 at Wyndam Indianapolis West Hotel. It looks like it's free, but rumor has it there is also a supporters package for around $60 that includes a t-shirt. I'm a little cheap, so I don't think I need a t-shirt for $60. Sorry guys.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Arch Update

After spending a few hours trying to fix this linux issue, I've finally figured out what the issue is.
Appropriately, GRUB doesn't work the way I thought it did, when I installed the second Arch on the new drive, I also installed GRUB again on that same drive with the idea that I would go into the computer BIOS and change the HDD every time I wanted to switch OS's.
Well when I boot into the second Arch install, it's using the same boot options from the first install.
Confusing right?!?

Well even after all this time figuring out what the problem is, I still haven't figured out how to fix the problem, and it's quickly approaching my bed time.

Instead of trying to get this to work, I'm considering partitioning this new 1TB drive into two 500MB pieces with the new Windows 7 I got from school on one, and an Arch install on the other. I can then use the 160GB drive as extra space on either.
I even have an external drive case around here somewhere.

What do you guys think? What should I do?