AgOpenGPS - Page 4 - The Combine Forum
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post #31 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 01:44 AM
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If i could make a suggestion, it would be get to know the Arduino. You will learn structured programming and you can make so many neat projects with your son. The development environment is absolutely free and there are a million billion projects on line, with amazing tutorials, all the source code and so very much help in huge forums. Once you learn one language, and Arduino is specifically designed to give you success in learning, move on to other languages.

Do a search on "arduino" and let the adventure begin.
Thank you.

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post #32 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 11:23 AM
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Arduino is neat because you are programming things that interact with the real world. Buttons, lights, sensors, motors. It's extremely rewarding. And it gives a good sense of the underlying technology behind our modern farm machines. After you spend some time with an Arduinoo board doing a project, you'll understand what your tractor computer means when it says a sensor is having a problem and is shorted to the high (or low) source. Arduino does require you to learn some basic electronic principles like ohms law, but the amount of circuitry required to do some pretty advanced things is minimal. It's a forgiving system but if you do make a mistake, well it's a good thing you can buy arduinos for under $20 a pop! I have a drawer full of burned out boards from when I was learning and was trying to interface with some 12V controls (linear actuator). Forgot which side of my breadboard was the 5v side and which was the 12V side. Poof, magic smoke[1] released.

[1] It's a well-known fact that computers and electronic devices run on magic smoke. We know this because if you ever let the smoke out of something, it will not work any longer.

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post #33 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 02:31 PM
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Without offending anybody I guess this is cool but what is the ultimate goal?
I dunno what Brian's goal(s) are and besides he's already answered but what I do know is that crowds are in and open source can be as good or better than proprietary. The real plus for open source is that it is developed and updated by people who actually use it. That means you don't see useless updates that hide features which you use regularly. You also don't tend to see a bunch of "fluff" - stuff that makes the software look pretty but doesn't add any functionality.
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post #34 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 04:13 PM
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This looks really good Brian. Thanks for sharing. It's a good reminder that I should shake the rust off my hardware/software skills and get back up to speed on this stuff. I will definitely be looking at your source code in the near future. If I have any questions or insight I will let you know.

As for the question why, here's my thoughts. There are tons of posts on this forum from people who have made mods to their combines or other equipment. This is really no different. Just people using what they know to make things work better.
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post #35 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 04:17 PM
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[1] It's a well-known fact that computers and electronic devices run on magic smoke. We know this because if you ever let the smoke out of something, it will not work any longer.
I tried explaining this to my wife and daughter recently, and all I got was blank stares. It seems they are hopeless.
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post #36 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 11:26 PM
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Brian, a quick thought on something you might want to implement eventually:

As well as a master on switch, switches for each section to either turn them off, force them on, or auto. (make sense?) Software switches are fine, though having hardware switches via arduino made possible would good eventually. Turning off a section would be reflected in the coverage map of course. I find while spraying I sometimes need to do that.

I had another thought but forgot it for now... hope I can remember it later.
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post #37 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 05:58 AM
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WOW...for a "farmer" to do something like this is amazing. I'm in the process of getting an android tablet (probably Samsung) and I'm definitely going to give it a go. If I go back through my university text books I'm sure I could add something somehow but actually writing code could be a bit of a stretch.

The more I think about it, a control loop for a Boomspray rate control would not be that difficult, it's just when you start switching sections on and off that you start throwing a bit of a spanner in the works.

Keep up the good work. If you want any feedback or suggestions dont be afraid to ask but I'm not a whole lot of use at coding.
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post #38 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 08:28 AM
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Somethi g like this awesome just for slug pelleting with four wheeler or broadcasting seed etc.

Excuse my ignorance but to hook in an external gps...i take it that it goes in usb port...then this app does the set up and controlling of that external device...

If i wanted a on off switch external can that be done or must use tablet screen?

Ant...
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post #39 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Somethi g like this awesome just for slug pelleting with switchesfour wheeler or broadcasting seed etc.

Excuse my ignorance but to hook in an external gps...i take it that it goes in usb port...then this app does the set up and controlling of that external device...

If i wanted a on off switch external can that be done or must use tablet screen?

Ant...
The software needs to see an nmea0183 stream coming from a GPS antenna/receiver via a serial port to the tablet. Almost every unit has that output. A USB to RS232 cable adaptor is all that is required. About 20$. Set both to speak the same speed with at minimum an RMC sentence.

https://www.amazon.ca/Plugable-Adapt.../dp/B00425S1H8

For this software to control anything it needs another port to control something like an arduino to either read manual switches or control booms to turn them on off. Yet to happen, but is the easy part of this project.

Perhaps I should write up an NMEA and serial port tutorial.

This software is in alpha development. Should make a lot of progress this winter. Also, making sure it runs in both Linux and windows. Android, not sure yet on Crossover and Wine/Mono development there, but even that looks promising.
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post #40 of 4075 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 11:16 AM
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The more I think about it, a control loop for a Boomspray rate control would not be that difficult, it's just when you start switching sections on and off that you start throwing a bit of a spanner in the works.
Yes a basic rate controller would be a fun thing to develop. When you think about it, there's not much to a sprayer. It's mainly just plumbing, electronic valves, and rate controller. The principle by which the rate controller works is a technique called "proportional/integral/differential control", also called PID. PID is something that most of us do in our brains without thinking. For example, your brain does it when you're driving a car, steering, or accelerating to a certain speed and maintaining that speed with your foot.

It's easy to implement in code, but very hard to tune! I spent many weeks trying to make rate controller work with a servo on a small 1/2" butterfly valve work. I almost got it working.

There are ways of dealing with sections coming on and off. When a section turns off, the computer could right away shut the valve a certain amount, then let the PID loop seek to the new equilibrium position. Or just let the PID loop find it by itself. On my old flexicoil, when I stop a section, my rate does jump up quite a bit for a couple of seconds while the controller adjusts.

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