Welcome

Jim EwaldJim Ewald Posts: 681
edited 2009-03-11 - 01:50:04 in Accessories
The first post in a new forum.

Comments

  • Tom CTom C Posts: 461
    edited 2009-02-11 - 18:06:58
    Jim,

    With as many and varied sensors as Parallax has for sale, it is nice to have established a forum just for sensors!

    Regards,
    TCIII

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    If you are going to send·a Robot·to save the world, you·better make sure it likes it the way it is!
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,384
    edited 2009-02-11 - 18:25:49
    Dear friends,

    We have several other sensors in various stages of design and production: gas (CO, CO2, CH4); water level measurement H20 Ping))); a mini joystick; a laser rangefinder; a piezo sensor and a mini color sensor. These were developed based on customer request, and you've also told us "make them low-cost, please" which we are also factoring into our designs and decisions. Because of the growth in this product category we felt it was appropriate to have a forum specifically for sensors.

    We realize there will be some increase in cross-posting (is it a sensor question or a Propeller question?) and we'll be a bit looser on thread relocation unless we see the need to develop a policy. Additionally *we're open for business at Parallax* and that means customers are welcome to use our sensors with any processors of their choice. Some of our customers use AVRs, PICs, or Stamp-variant style processors. They can also post their sensor interfacing questions here. We may not be able to support their code inquiries, but we won't consider a post to be in violation of rules or etiquitte. Don't freak out over what's right and wrong in this regard; just make yourself at home!

    There's another change happening in the background. Chris Savage's administrative responsibilities are being shifted to our Tech Support guys Josh Donnelson and Dave Andreae. That training and baton passing is underway already. Josh and Dave got the right vibe and have their fingers on the pulse of our forums, so this will be a seamless transition.

    Thanks Jim E. for setting up the new forum.

    Ken Gracey
    Parallax, Inc.
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,089
    edited 2009-02-11 - 18:27:23
    Are we really getting a Sensors section now?? Neat!

    Could we get a little direction as to how questions regarding a particular sensor and platform (BS/Propeller) should be asked?

    Is is permissible to discuss homemade/other sensor ideas here?

    Edit:
    Wow.. Ken beat me to the next post!
    OBC

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    New to the Propeller?

    Check out: Protoboard Introduction , Propeller Cookbook 1.4 & Software Index
    Updates to the Cookbook are now posted to: Propeller.warrantyvoid.us
    Got an SD card connected? - PropDOS
    <br>
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,384
    edited 2009-02-11 - 18:31:37
    OBC, sure! You can feature your homemade or other sensor ideas here. I'll clarify the description to make that known. This isn't just about "Parallax sensors", but any sensor you want to talk about.

    As for the platform question, posters will have to decide if their question pertains to one issue more than another. For example, I've been using the Ping))) with Propeller and I learned yesterday that it doesn't work well at really sharp angles because the sound doesn't return at 180 degrees. This would be a sensor question, not a Propeller question.

    But if you're developing code for a specific processor, and you have a functional sensor but you're having trouble with software filtering or coding, then post the question in the appropriate forum (SX, BS, Prop, Javelin, etc.).

    Hope this helps. Just do your best, OBC!

    Ken Gracey
  • sylvie369sylvie369 Posts: 1,618
    edited 2009-02-11 - 18:57:10
    Good to see this again, after the brief aborted rollout a couple of months ago.
    Ken Gracey said...
    "We have several other sensors in various stages of design and production: gas (CO, CO2, CH4);"

    Oh, baby! Need a beta tester? You know, one who can help edit the documentation? smilewinkgrin.gif

    Post Edited (sylvie369) : 2/11/2009 9:06:59 PM GMT
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 22,194
    edited 2009-02-11 - 22:05:33
    I, too, am glad to see the Sensors forum come back to life. Thanks, guys!

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • SRLMSRLM Posts: 5,045
    edited 2009-02-11 - 22:55:14
    Ah, just waiting for a post to come along...

    Hum de dum...

    tick, tock, tick, tock,...

    [noparse]:)[/noparse]
  • MovieMakerMovieMaker Posts: 502
    edited 2009-02-12 - 00:19:04
    I am happy to see this section.



    jumpin.gif
  • Ken GraceyKen Gracey Posts: 6,384
    edited 2009-02-12 - 00:28:14
    Do I need to chum the waters with a bit of free hardware?

    Ken
  • UghaUgha Posts: 543
    edited 2009-02-12 - 00:37:45
    Free is good.


    There... first real post :P

    Post Edited (Ugha) : 2/12/2009 12:42:37 AM GMT
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,089
    edited 2009-02-12 - 00:53:33
    I've been very quiet about most of what I witnessed in the Parallax product planning meeting,
    but since Ken has let another one out of the bag.... [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    Beau was kind enough to share his sample of the "minijoystick" with me.
    (I hope he was able to secure another one, as there weren't many.)

    I'm just starting to play with it myself and I can tell you that it is a very cool product.
    If Parallax can get these to the Radio Shack bins around $9+ it will be a hot product.

    Picture two 10K resistors mounted top/side of about 1 inch joystick. Neat stuff.

    OBC

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    New to the Propeller?

    Check out: Protoboard Introduction , Propeller Cookbook 1.4 & Software Index
    Updates to the Cookbook are now posted to: Propeller.warrantyvoid.us
    Got an SD card connected? - PropDOS
    <br>
  • Timothy D. SwieterTimothy D. Swieter Posts: 1,613
    edited 2009-02-12 - 01:52:03
    Cool - a new thread.

    I found a mini stock sensor of sorts in Shenzhen last time I was there. I need to dig through my office to find it, I was thinking it would be a good gadget to sell.

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    Timothy D. Swieter, E.I.
    www.brilldea.com - Prop Blade, LED Painter, RGB LEDs, uOLED-IOC, eProto for SunSPOT, BitScope
    www.tdswieter.com
    Timothy D. Swieter, P.E.
    Get your Ooznest WorkBee desktop CNC machine from https://www.cnckit.co/
  • SRLMSRLM Posts: 5,045
    edited 2009-02-12 - 02:12:23
    Sparkfun has a miniature joystick (Play station style) I suppose the one parallax has will be more breadboard friendly?

    A suggestion about the forum homepage: perhaps this forum should be paired with the Robotics and Sandbox forums? That way, the 5 microcontroller systems (including Hydra) are together, and the three general purpose forums are together. Just some tidiness.
  • UghaUgha Posts: 543
    edited 2009-02-12 - 02:16:23
    I'm just curious... is the creation of this forum a sign that Parallax is reshifting its focus more towards its sensors and other accessories and less on the microcontroller market?

    Also...Ken... you got the sharks circling here!
  • Max WoodenMax Wooden Posts: 112
    edited 2009-02-12 - 08:34:57
    Sweet! This is going to be a great forum! On the topic of sensors, I've actually been thinking of building a geiger counter. I was thinking the GM tube could be read and the output displayed on a TV with a prop. Anyone have a GM tube laying around?

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    Max Wooden
    Reedley, California
  • sylvie369sylvie369 Posts: 1,618
    edited 2009-02-12 - 13:17:35
    Ugha said...
    I'm just curious... is the creation of this forum a sign that Parallax is reshifting its focus more towards its sensors and other accessories and less on the microcontroller market?

    Also...Ken... you got the sharks circling here!

    Shark circling here as well.

    I didn't read it as a shift away from microcontrollers, based on Parallax's history with the sensors they already provide. A significant part of the reason to buy sensors here is the free documentation on how to interface those sensors with Stamp and Propeller (and sometimes SX) modules. I'd read the release of more sensors as a move towards making the existing microcontrollers even more useful. Now if they release new sensors with only instructions on how to use them with PICs or ATMega 168s I'd start worrying.
  • Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,089
    edited 2009-02-12 - 14:23:56
    I wouldn't worry too much about Parallax going "Sensors" on us.
    After meeting Ken, it's pretty clear his personal favorites are sensors and robotics,
    but there is a lot of work you guys are not seeing going on with new Propeller stuff.
    (IIUC, That Chip's department, and it's better that he's quietly working to finish rather
    than spending his time gabbing with us.) [noparse]:)[/noparse] [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    Personally, (at the risk of opening a microprocessor debate) I think the Propeller is
    years ahead of most the other micros and if someone comes over with an Arduino
    sensor question, and meets Propeller while they are here, it's a good thing.
    Today a PING))) customer, tomorrow a Propellerhead. [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    OBC

    ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔
    New to the Propeller?

    Check out: Protoboard Introduction , Propeller Cookbook 1.4 & Software Index
    Updates to the Cookbook are now posted to: Propeller.warrantyvoid.us
    Got an SD card connected? - PropDOS

    Post Edited (Oldbitcollector) : 2/12/2009 3:26:22 PM GMT
    <br>
  • EricEric Posts: 11
    edited 2009-02-12 - 17:40:42
    I Think the new sensor forum will be nice... I see you are working on many sensors which is great. I have always wanted something a little different though.

    One example would be how did you do it. Like the ping. I would have loved to see how it was designed and see the uM code to make it all fit together. Using the ping is simple.. but how did you make it so simple for the user. I mean don't get me wrong.. having something like the Ping or Accelerometer modules is great but I have always wanted to see under the hood so to speak.. for learning purposes. To help me on my quest to understand why and how the pieces fit together. Is there any chance that there can be a group sensor development??


    Best Regards,
    Eric Sailer

    Post Edited (Eric) : 2/13/2009 12:17:42 PM GMT
  • UghaUgha Posts: 543
    edited 2009-02-12 - 22:45:52
    I'd love to see some more behind the scenes info... maybe a new post every couple weeks about current research on a product or maybe abandoned products and why they were abandoned...
    or maybe even WHY they made some of the choices they did (Why use 4 normal pins for an SX-key instead of a polarized connector? Why did they choose to create product X.. why does it have
    this or that instead of something else? Ect).

    They most likely won't give all the details on their products though for fear of copycats and IP violations.
  • Cole LoganCole Logan Posts: 196
    edited 2009-02-13 - 03:26:26
    Another shark circling

    And I would definitly like to see what products they abandoned. Expesially if the reason was that they were abandoned was that they didn't think there would be enough demand.
  • ProfessorwizProfessorwiz Posts: 153
    edited 2009-02-14 - 03:22:37
    "Do I need to chum the waters with a bit of free hardware?

    Ken"

    That is always very cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • bambinobambino Posts: 789
    edited 2009-02-16 - 16:36:25
    Hmmmm,
    This could get buried quick, You might want to place the rules in a sticky for this thread.


    Did I hear gas sensors. Yes>>>>>

    Time for that smoke detector that doesn't go off when I'm burning dinner!
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,035
    edited 2009-02-16 - 17:55:32
    Sorry I didn't see this till now. Great to have the sensor forum up!

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    Whit+


    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
    Whit+

    "We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." - Walt Disney
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2009-03-11 - 01:50:04
    Max Wooden said...
    ... On the topic of sensors, I've actually been thinking of building a geiger counter. I was thinking the GM tube could be read and the output displayed on a TV with a prop. Anyone have a GM tube laying around?

    You could glue a chunk of scintillating plastic, such as BGO, to a photomultiplier tube (PMT). Or use a ZnS(Ag) screen to count alpha particles. Output of the PMT tube goes to an amp, which feeds through a comparator circuit, whose pulses the Propeller can count on several channels all at once, thanks to its parallel processors. You can measure gamma rays, cosmic rays, or just about whatever else makes your scintillator scintillate.


    smile.gif
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