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DanL
01-22-2002, 11:17 AM
Hey guys, I'm a rookie - this is the first year my school got involved with first. Anyways, among other things, I'm helping out programming the robot. Can anyone give me any helpful links to sites that basically explain how the chips work and how they interact with different compontents. All I know right now is basically that pbasic is the language. Now I need to learn how the chip makes things like motors go or pnumatic cylinders push out. Anyone have any general overview-esque links?

AdamT
01-22-2002, 11:48 AM
I don't know if you have, but the manual itself has all the info on what input and output pins control what. If nobody else has anything else, I have a pdf file that has some good info as well. You can check out the manual on-line at the innovation first website:

http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/

It's under control system.

bigqueue
01-22-2002, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by SuperDanman
Hey guys, I'm a rookie - this is the first year my school got involved with first. Anyways, among other things, I'm helping out programming the robot. Can anyone give me any helpful links to sites that basically explain how the chips work and how they interact with different compontents. All I know right now is basically that pbasic is the language. Now I need to learn how the chip makes things like motors go or pnumatic cylinders push out. Anyone have any general overview-esque links?

I am on a rookie team also, though I myself did work on a team 2 years ago too.

I would suggest a few places to start.

First, the Innovation First website as these are the people who designed and supply the control system.

Their main webpage for controls is:
http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/

You can print and read all the specifications there.

Then, they have a number of whitepapers at:
http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/white_papers.htm

These describe a few things about the control system, with application notes on some "features" you can program into it.

Specific datasheets on the controls pieces can be found there too at:
http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/documentation.htm

You will probably find good stuff among the whitepages of the Chief Delphi site.
http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/papers.php

I know there are plenty of team webpages with ideas, information and experiences written about...but I don't have those bookmarked.

i'm sure this thread will expose a number of good sources of information.

Good luck,
-Quentin
:)

DanL
01-22-2002, 12:10 PM
Thanks, I've seen these. I'm looking for more basic things. Like what exactly does a speed controller do, how do you interact with it, how does a solonoid work, how would you go about changing the direction of a solonoid using the program - things like that. Once you understand things like that, writing the code is the easy part. :D Any links for general concepts like that?

AdamT
01-22-2002, 01:39 PM
Well, most of the things you mentioned are very simple things. I don't know how to code for speed controllers, but things like pnuematics are simple. The thing you have to do is understand how they work physically and how they are hooked up.

Example:

You have the solenoids connected correctly. This is a double action (not spring loaded) soleniod. So the way you would move the piston out is by activating the relay controling the flow valve. Air flows into the side wanted, and the piston moves out.

So really, the majority *note majority* or controlled parts are controlled through either the relays or the speed controllers. So once you learn to program the relays and the speed controllers, you're left with the way it is physically designed and build.

Lloyd Burns
01-22-2002, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by SuperDanman
Thanks, I've seen these. I'm looking for more basic things. Like what exactly does a speed controller do, how do you interact with it, how does a solonoid work, how would you go about changing the direction of a solonoid using the program - things like that. Once you understand things like that, writing the code is the easy part. :D Any links for general concepts like that?

Check out the technical forum at the Canadian Regional Site. I'll give you a step by step - this board just swallowed a longish reply. Soon as I type it!

go to the Canadian Regional Board at:
http://www.firstcanadianregional.com

DanL
01-22-2002, 05:36 PM
Origionally posted by 401Mentor
So really, the majority *note majority* or controlled parts are controlled through either the relays or the speed controllers. So once you learn to program the relays and the speed controllers, you're left with the way it is physically designed and build.

Yeah, I was hoping someone could give me some links to sites that basically explain how relays, speed controllers, etc. work and how to 'hook them up' to our programming. I'm looking for the real basics here.

jonathan lall
01-22-2002, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Lloyd Burns


Check out the technical forum at the Canadian Regional Site. I'll give you a step by step - this board just swallowed a longish reply. Soon as I type it!

go to the Canadian Regional Board at:
http://www.firstcanadianregional.com

What he means is http://www.firstcanadianregional.org/

I see that you're in New York. Are you participating in the CR? If so, give http://www.team188.com/ a look.

Ray2k4
01-22-2002, 08:11 PM
One of the Engineers on my team suggested this site as a good one to go to for any needs within the FIRST competition this year. I hope this is useful to your programming needs

punarhero
01-22-2002, 11:28 PM
Even though we are a second year team, no one knows how to to program on our team. I started learning a week ago and am feeling comfortable with it. I dunno if this'll help, but I hooked up a few relays and PWMs and started playing with the default code. I am getting a feeling of how this thing works.
Hope it works for u too;)

Lloyd Burns
01-23-2002, 06:25 AM
The adventurous thing (try it and see what happens) is a very good approach. Get your feet wet, and you'll find what works and just as important, what doesn't. Just don't wait to program everything in the morning before inspection at a regional.

Edison, asked about repeated failures to find a filament material for his lamp, replied that they weren't failures; he now knew 900 things that don't make good filaments.

Experiment - you'll ask more meaningful questions!

GhettoTech
02-16-2002, 10:49 PM
Best explaination of what PWM outputs are, and how they work is in the Basic Stamp Manual (on pages 249 to 252 in the pdf version and 247 to 250 in the tangible version)
http://parallaxinc.com/downloads/Documentation/Basic%20Stamps/BASIC%20Stamp%20Manual%20v2.0.pdf

Feel free to e-mail or AOL IM me if you'd like me to explain how the speed controllers take the 5V PWM signals and power 12V motors. (I can explain it, I just don't have the energy at the moment to put it all in this post :o )

Leo M
02-18-2002, 08:38 AM
Try this site - it has loads of helpful info for rookie and veteran alike :

http://208.5.77.10/Codex/index.html

Lloyd Burns
02-18-2002, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by GhettoTech
Best explaination of what PWM outputs are, and how they work is in the Basic Stamp Manual (on pages 249 to 252 in the pdf version and 247 to 250 in the tangible version)


Parallax generates a series of pulses of random width over some time period that gives an average voltage which is governed by the number you feed in.

The PWM output feeding Victors is one variable width pulse, approximateley 0.5 ms + (#/254) * 1 ms in width, with a repetition rate around 16 ms (the times are not far off, they'll do for illustration).

junkyarddawg
02-22-2002, 11:23 AM
Dan:

Did you get all of your questions answered? It sounded like you wanted more than just code, you wanted to know how the control system itself works as well as all of the devices. And, you want to know how the code/controller electrically interacts with the devices. If you have more questions on the devices, post a reply to my reply and I will do my best to answer them. I am a controls engineer with 33 years of experience and this is my 7th year participating, 3 years with team 85 and 4 with team 288.

DanL
02-23-2002, 07:39 PM
Yeah, I pretty much discovered everything I wanted to learn, but thanks anyways.