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Thread: PropController Serial Configuration

  1. #11
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by chilloutdocdoc View Post
    This way would have the Propeller managing most of it's communication and interfacing, I don't know what we have in terms of resources on it for doing something as nice as this, basically it would walk you through setting it up, and maybe even have an option for first time setting it up?

    I don't know if it'd need more EEPROM to be able to accomplish all of this data storage, I haven't worked with Propellers too much yet.
    Conceptually we are on the same page. However functionally we are a little off, in that I don't want the prop to handle all the logic to do configuration. I just want it to set or get strings of data and the app would make it look pretty.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by chilloutdocdoc View Post
    I'd be up for the challenge as soon as i get my board in. I'm excited to get some code working.
    The protocol my robotics team has used before has been a somewhat simple one
    Start Byte, Command Byte, Data Byte(s), CheckByte (Sum or XOR), End byte.
    $A192.168.001.001(check)! might be an example, if the controller knew that A meant ip address, there's a real name for a protocol like this, I'll have to find my notes or ask one of the guys in the club, I think it's used with GPS satellites or something.
    Something like that would work. I will try to get a protocol down on paper.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by erm213 View Post
    Would there be any dependencies between the settings? I see the idea of having the PropController report back its status and capabilities, but tracking dependencies will be trickier.
    Hmmm good point. My initial response is no dependency checking between values, but I can see how this might not be realistic. The other thing we have to watch out for are boundary values, in that how do we enforce boundaries, or do we not care.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Alright, we could "wrap" that idea into a GUI, I don't know if the data checking should go to the propeller, or the GUI. I think it's a good idea, we all accidentally type 525 instead of 255, or 912 instead of 192, and that would not make things easy for trying to access the controller again.
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by chilloutdocdoc View Post
    Alright, we could "wrap" that idea into a GUI, I don't know if the data checking should go to the propeller, or the GUI. I think it's a good idea, we all accidentally type 525 instead of 255, or 912 instead of 192, and that would not make things easy for trying to access the controller again.
    Since the PropController is actually going to be applying the settings, it could reject, and not apply any "bad" configuration values. This makes the most sense from a design point of view. The obvious drawback to that is the code is more complex on the PropController side, there could be resource limitation that would prevent this from the PropController.

    Erik

  6. #16
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    I like the idea of limiting onboard functionality to get/set operations. It lends itself to both GUI based config and command line configuration. Multiple platforms are hard to support, even with Java. Having a limited, yet functional, command line would allow virtually any platform to connect without having to support them all with a GUI app. You could even expand that interface to be available via telnet, which is really just a serial console transported over IP. I do alot of work with network equipment, which tends to have pretty limited interface resources. The get/set model combined with an independent GUI works really well in that environment, which is pretty similar to this from the perspective of configuration needs.

    In regards to configuration checking, I'd also apply a lesson from the network world. Any variable that, containing a bad value, could cause the unit to become inaccessible (invalid IP or serial port speed, or get/set on port 34 when only 32 ports exist), or has the potential to cause a malfunction in external devices (invalid values sent to DMX or RBG devices) should be checked. Any variable that simply results in an undesired operation (disable channel 1) would be optional to check, based on available ROM space and programming time.

    Finally, a method to reset to defaults that is independent of any software interface should be provided. Something like, hold down the reset button for 5 seconds during power on, possibly then acknowledged by blinking LED(s) in some pattern.

    I don't have any strong feelings on the syntax, other than it should be human readable and include some limited debug commands (e.g. get dump config, get dump registers).

    In regards to ROM size, would it be possible to substitute something like a 24C1024 for 24LC512 EEPROM without modification? Both are serial EEPROMs and appear pin compatible to me. I was considering trying to use a 1M chip of some kind to provide for future growth, if it will work of course.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    I think pmscientist has the right idea, while a gui is hard to have cross compatible, having atleast a command line interface (for those of us that choose to use linux or something else) would be useful if we didn't feel like using a windows gui. Frankly I think windows should be the most supported, and it would be easy to write something in C# or java or whatever.
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  8. #18
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by erm213 View Post
    Since the PropController is actually going to be applying the settings, it could reject, and not apply any "bad" configuration values. This makes the most sense from a design point of view. The obvious drawback to that is the code is more complex on the PropController side, there could be resource limitation that would prevent this from the PropController.

    Erik
    Checking value boundaries on the Prop side is reasonable and not difficult to do. In fact most of the code I write already does that internally.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by pmscientist View Post
    In regards to ROM size, would it be possible to substitute something like a 24C1024 for 24LC512 EEPROM without modification? Both are serial EEPROMs and appear pin compatible to me. I was considering trying to use a 1M chip of some kind to provide for future growth, if it will work of course.
    The 24LC512 is already twice the size that is required to use a Prop. I spec'd out the bigger EEProm to allow folks to have settings and what not. The first 32K is used by the Propeller the rest is scratch pad. As far as going to a 1024, should be plug and play.
    DMX, RDM, ArtNet, sACN, and RDMnet...the future of DIY Christmas.
    Designer of the PropController an open source single-board hardware platform designed for lighting and prop control.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: PropController Serial Configuration

    Ben,

    Do you want to start laying out some of the various commands, I could start working on a GUI, would be safe if it used a .net implementation since everybody here probably already has it so that they can use vixen.

    Anybody else want to help with the GUI, preference between C# or Java?

    Edit:
    Change the ending char to a new line... makes life easier.
    Last edited by chilloutdocdoc; 04-23-2011 at 03:03 PM. Reason: new line
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