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Android android - Linking a mobile phone and Propeller.

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  • RinksCustomsRinksCustoms Posts: 531
    edited 2010-07-18 15:20
    just a thought.. is the IRDA port on the front of my DROID just for show? i have eclipse installed, but dont know much really about java programing or whats available on the phone as far as I/O goes. I know theres BT serial comm port (but i never could get a working link between my PC/Phone), wifi might be of some use ( if there is a low cost solution to interface the prop to LAN/WIFI).

    Theres the built in camera too, but that seems more like a can-o-worms or a jar of headaches as far as reliability (ECC - parity) and speed (read high speed sync) goes.

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-18 15:39
    Great, I'll will check the hackaday tutorial. I've just been trying to refresh my basic Java knowledge this afternoon. Not that I had much to start with.

    Some have suggested making use if IRDA links from Android to Prop. Sadly the Samsung Galaxy S that is on it's way to me does not have such a thing[noparse]:([/noparse]. Otherwise it sounds like a great idea. I start to hope that phone is not totally useless for the project.

    There is a guy here sven.killig.de/android/N1/2.2/usb_host/ who at least shows it is possible to get USB host on some phones. However I'm not sure most would be interested in re-flashing their phones Linux kernels.

    One brilliant idea I came across was to output audio from the phone at a 9600 baud sample rate (or higher maybe) through the headphone jack. BINGO we have a down link. You can even drive PWM servos directly that way. Presumably the same could be done in reverse through the audio input to make a UART.

    Here is some one who has been thinking very hard about all this, outlining many options for phone-microcontroller coms.
    www.flakelabs.com/index.php/blog/ and seems to have the audio serial out working.

    Do check their nway page.

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-18 20:17
    Wore myself out trying to comprehend all this Android Java stuff.

    So here is the Propeller-Android project logo instead.

    Ten points for the first guy to get it up on his phone/emulator as an active icon, button whatever.

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    Post Edited (heater) : 7/18/2010 10:30:40 PM GMT
  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2010-07-18 20:35
    That's it. I will order a cheapie Arm Android tablet next week.

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-18 20:49
    Bill, Oh no, what have I done? This will halt Propeller development for weeks!

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  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2010-07-18 21:33
    heater, don't worry - its usually 14-21 days delivery from asia for stuff like that... so I probably won't get it until mid/late August!

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  • LeonLeon Posts: 7,620
    edited 2010-07-18 22:06
    When I first got my Dell Streak I couldn't stop playing with it for days; it's such a tactile little gadget, and I love it's all black look when it's on standby - it reminds me of the black monolith in 2001. It's worn off now, but I sometimes just pick it up and fondle it without turning it on. It's probably a good thing you didn't get one of those.

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    Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM

    Post Edited (Leon) : 7/18/2010 10:13:53 PM GMT
  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-18 23:43
    What no takers? I'll give myself a few points for getting "Andy Cap" on to an Android with a button to program the Propeller.

    All we need now is some code behind it[noparse]:)[/noparse]

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-19 09:49
    This little project needs a little help from EVERY forum member. Just 5 minutes of time is all that is required.

    Please tell Google you want to be able to easily connect your Android phone/tablet to your micro-controller projects via USB.

    The Problem:

    It would be very useful to be able to use a simple USB/serial link to enable communication between an Android mobile phone or tablet and a Propeller or any other micro-controller. There are a million uses for such a thing as discussed earlier in this thread. Of particular interest on these forums might be robot control and enabling robot connection to the internet.

    Problem is an out of the box Android phone/tablet does not support USB HOST mode. Put simply that means it is not possible to use, for example, a Prop Plug or other USB/serial cable to talk to your Propeller project. You cannot connect any USB device to the Android phone as you would connect them to a PC. Given that a typical Android phone is a more powerful computer than the average PC was a few years back it's crazy that you cannot even connect a USB keyboard, mouse or memory stick to it.

    The solution:

    Google maintains an issue tracking system for the Android OS. Here anyone can report bugs or suggest enhancements.
    It just so happens that there is an open issue where USB HOST mode has been requested as an enhancement.
    Issue number 738.

    Now on this issue tracking system you can also hit a button to vote for an issue and add a "star" to it, thus hopefully pushing it's priority up in the eyes of the Android developers. So far the USB HOST issue has collected 1420 votes making it the 4th most voted for issue !

    How can you help

    Simply vote for the issue.
    1) Go to this page code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=738&sort=-stars&colspec=ID%20Type%20Status%20Owner%20Summary%20Stars
    2) Way down the bottom you will find a button with a "star" and title "Vote for this issue and get email change notifications"
    3) Hit that button. That's it.

    4) Optionally add a comment describing why you would like to link USB/serial devices to your Android.
    5) Optionally go to this page code.google.com/p/android/issues/list?cursor=1865&sort=-stars where you can check how well the issue is doing.

    Now that we have 20000 members of the Parallax forums we only need a few of us to get this to top priority for Goggle [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    Thank you all.

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  • LeonLeon Posts: 7,620
    edited 2010-07-19 10:35
    I just voted for it.

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    Leon Heller
    Amateur radio callsign: G1HSM
  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-19 10:53
    Leon: Great. I've never tried my hand at "Crowdsourcing" before. Already I have a crowd of 2 !

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  • dMajodMajo Posts: 844
    edited 2010-07-19 13:02
    @Heater: voted

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  • Jorge PJorge P Posts: 385
    edited 2010-07-20 06:35
    heater said...
    Launching a new little project: Android android

    The basic idea of "Android android" is that an Android based mobile phone is a wonderful thing for any red blooded hacker to tinker with. Software wise anyway, it's a bit lacking in hardware interfaces. It can provide GPS, a compass, an internet connection an accelerometer, a graphic output, audio in and out etc. Oh yeah and allow the Prop to make phone calls and send SMS.

    The Propeller is a wonderful thing for interfacing compute power to the real world of gadgets, robots or just plain old LEDs and buttons.

    This naturally leads to the idea of how to use them together.

    Looks like at the moment the best bet is getting the Androids USB port to work in host mode and talking to the Prop through USB serial. It's not clear that that is possible with all Android phones, we shall see.
    I am absolutely certain the android uses most or all of java ME platform, all the information you need is at http://java.sun.com/javame/index.jsp·.·

    The phone should have in the options a "Java Apps" selection in the menu someplace·or some·similar name, you will want to look for information regarding the Java System on your phone that inticates what your phone supports. for instance MMAPI is the multimedia api for dealing with images, sound, and video and is most likely supported.· CDC is connected device configuration, I think this is what you will be looking to use, but not all phones support it.·

    I had A Motorola iDen phone and I played with the GPS (Location API) and MMAPI, it didn't take long to learn how to use NetBeans IDE for programming the phone.· I am assuming you still need to use software like the Java Application Loader that intalls java apps to the Java enabled phones.· Look at the bluetooth api for the Java ME Platform too, I am sure you can quickly start using the propeller with your java enabled phone in no time.

    I am supprised to realise this is the first thread I have noticed on this subject here in the forums.· You can basicaly do what you hoping to with any Java Enabled phone.· Just install netbeans and its required java sdk, then use the·netbeans IDE·to download all other API and SDKs, there are a boatload of them.

    If I remember correctly, the enterprise SDK includes a java server to test/host jsp pages over the web, I am sure you can configure a page to speak to your phone that would then speak to the prop using bluetooth.· You would have to get into learning about the security APIs for that.

    As for usb, I dont recal any Java ME·API's to do that, but then again that was 3 to 4 years ago....


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  • ColeyColey Posts: 1,054
    edited 2010-07-20 08:33
    @heater - Voted, fingers crossed smile.gif

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-20 08:48
    Jorge P: Thanks for the pointers.

    As I say. I'm totally ignorant of the Java world. My one attempt to look into it previously war 1997! The language itself I'm kind of happy with what with it looking like C on steroids. But that huge ocean of libraries and beans and JDKs and platforms and editions is something I'm totally out of my depth with.

    As it turns out that may not be a disadvantage when learning Android.

    Android only uses java.nio, java.lang, and java.util from the core Java packages.
    It does not use any JME classes or Swing or AWT. Rather it uses Java Lite (whatever that is).

    So when it comes to Android a seasoned Java programmer has a lot to learn as well.

    Android even has it's own special JVM, Dalvik, instead of any standard JVM.

    A Bluetooth link is something I will look at but it is not all of what I want:

    a) It's expensive the only Bluetooth modules one can connect to a Prop that I have found so far are in the $50 range. That's 100 times more than the few inches of twisted pair and a couple of connectors I'm used to using to connect a micro-controller to a computer with. And a modern smart phone is computer.

    b) It's more complicated.

    c) So far it looks like it will always be bulkier.

    No. I want my USB connection. And that generally implies needing the phone in USB HOST mode so that a USB serial cable can be used easily to connect to the Prop and FullDuplexSerial(say). Hence the need to encourage Google to provide USB HOST on Android out of the box.

    Micah Dowty now has USB host mode working on the Prop so perhaps we can now work the USB serial connection the other way around. Phone as device. Even that will require some effort at the phone end I think.

    However I will also look into how Micah has done this through Bluetooth.

    Don't forget to vote for USB host on Android.

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  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 17,836
    edited 2010-07-20 09:29
    Voted - crowd increasing [noparse]:)[/noparse]

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-20 10:01
    Cheers. Only 2598 votes needed to get to the number one spot.

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  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2010-07-20 14:11
    heater:

    voted, it is now #4 spot

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  • RinksCustomsRinksCustoms Posts: 531
    edited 2010-07-20 15:30
    voted!

    -just another thought here, you have another option (possibly). I have a 3.5mm headphone jack on my <sound>DROID</sound>, couldn't you use that as an -all though relatively slow- serial connection? you have two signal lines and a ground. and if you PWM'd the signal on the L&R headphone lines out of phase with like 25% duty cycle and fed those two signals to a summing op-amp circuit (~$1.50 USD including headphone jack), you could probably get speeds of ~40Kb/s(bandwidth likely limited from high freq inductor/resistor & capacitor networks inline with the headphone lines coming from the output DAC/amp). Its not bidirectional but its an idea.

    Maybe it would be possible to use an ADC on say the L headphone line to sample the voltage and use the R line to trigger an 8-12bit ADC. Shifting out 256 voltage levels and then strobing the R side headphone as your trigger might yield faster transfers, of course you'd need some logic IC's to transfer the data from the ADC to the propeller in a serial fashion (counters, stop/reset circuits, maybe a monostable timer, clock maybe a parallel load nBIT serial shift reg so you can add signalling info into the stream). Of course a propeller can be programmed to act as this interface fairly easily, just getting raw data from the phone via the ADC connected to the headphone jack. I'm guessing here but there's probably some kind of ADC on the mic input (at least Delta Sigma.. somehow the mic signal gets translated into digital) so that could be used as an input to detect different frequencies as your input data words (possibly DTMF decode?) for use within your programming program to get ack's/nack's at least. Just thinking out loud... sorry.

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-20 15:58
    RinksCustoms: The 3.5mm headphone Jack is on the "lets's think about it list"

    We could just use good old modem technology. One audio frequency for "1"s and anther for "0". Get the Droid to generate these tones for the output. Someone here has a Bell modem object that could receive this on the Prop I think.

    In one link earlier in this thread there is someone toying with the idea of just setting the Droids audio output sample rate to 9600Hz and the just sending out sound with sample values of zero and max. Seems they have had some success with that.

    There is always Morse code out through the headphone and back through the mic lines[noparse]:)[/noparse]

    P.S. My Samsung Galaxy S Droid phone arrived to day [noparse]:)[/noparse] No time to take it out of it's box yet.

    P.P.S. On a Galaxy you can send S-Video out of the 3.5mm jack. So we have much higher frequency possibilities in that direction.

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    Post Edited (heater) : 7/20/2010 4:05:00 PM GMT
  • hover1hover1 Posts: 1,929
    edited 2010-07-20 17:14
    Added 1 more vote. Although it will not help me on my iPhone. My hope was to upgrade to iPhone 4, but I like to hold the phone in my hand [noparse]:)[/noparse] Maybe a Droid X is in my future [noparse]:)[/noparse]

    Jim
  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2010-07-20 22:05
    FYI - Info on Android development software...

    I've not had time to fiddle with this stuff, but thought I would pass this along...

    There another option to the Eclipse Java IDE and that is called IntelliJ IDEA.
    http://www.jetbrains.com/idea

    From what I have read, there is a free version of IntelliJ IDEA which does not have a plugin for Android, but their paid version does.

    Note that educational types and open source developers can apply for a free copy of the paid version here...
    http://www.jetbrains.com/idea/buy/index.jsp

    Then the Android Software Development Kit (SDK) comes with an emulator which looks like a cell phone.

    That can be run as an independent application.
    Instructions for doing that are here...
    Note for pre-DOS younger people...

    Where is says to run this line...

    adb install <path_to_your_bin>.apk

    ...this is done with Start/All Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt.
    When you click on that, you get a black screen with something like this...

    Microsoft Windows XP
    (C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>

    That is a "MS/DOS" command prompt. Here is more information on using MS/DOS and the command line.

    Also in in various software instructions where it says to add something to the PATH, that is done in Control Panel/System/Advanced//Environment Variables
    (Read about about this here first before changing anything.)

    ·
  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-20 22:31
    Bill: Amazingly I managed to get Eclipse to install and run on Linux for once plus get the Android plugins installed and working. All on Debian. Never had any luck with Eclipse before.

    Problem now is to get my "Hello world" app installed in my newly arrived Samsung Galaxy S phone.
    So far the Android developer instructions are not helping.

    Jeeze, why is there no equivalent of a Prop Tool for a stupid phone?

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  • heaterheater Posts: 3,370
    edited 2010-07-20 23:17
    Oh my God wow! Just managed to get "Andy Cap" (as seen in the emulator screen shot a while back) onto the Samsung Galaxy for real. Wish I could take a photo ...

    Now I start to believe this stuff actually works. Now I really want to connect buttons on that screen to pins on the Prop and actually make a stupid phone into something useful[noparse]:)[/noparse]

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  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2010-07-21 00:41
    heater said...
    ...So far the Android developer instructions are not helping...
    Right!

    Those instructions seem to assume everybody knows all about certain things.

    Like for the PATH things, they just say to add this or that to your PATH, then don't say anything about how to do that. But I would imagine someone who grew up with just Windows would have no idea what a PATH is or where to find one!

    So when I come across stuff like that, I'm trying to post helpful info for others who read this topic. (The more people who can get this stuff working, then the more Propeller/Stamp apps there will be.)

    Anyway congrats on getting an app running! jumpin.gif
    ·
  • Bill HenningBill Henning Posts: 6,445
    edited 2010-07-21 00:47
    Argh heater... I can see an Android phone in my future... but first I will play with a cheapier tablet.

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    Las - Large model assembler Largos - upcoming nano operating system
  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2010-07-21 03:08
    Ok I got the stand alone emulator running. This is basically an android cell phone which runs on your PC [noparse][[/noparse]for testing apps].

    How to do this...

    I went to the Android SDK tools folder (android-sdk-windows\tools), then double clicked on android.bat

    Then the Android "SDK and AVD manager" comes up.

    Then be sure Virtual Devices is selected on the left...

    Then on the right click on new. This will be a new cell phone virtual device. For name I called it Bill_Google8_Default

    Then for Target I selected Google API's API Level 8

    (That is the same I selected to create my HelloAndroid app with.)

    Then SD card I entered 88

    (Don't know what size this should be?)

    Then skin Default (HVGA)

    Then I clicked on Create AVD.

    Then it displays on the list. Next I click on that new cell phone/virtual device line and then the Start button on the right lights up. I click on Start and a new screen pops up, I don't enter anything - just press Launch, then a cell phone image pops up with ANDROID_ on it...

    Note I am doing this on an old laptop with an Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz and it seems to be quite slow. I'll also try it on my faster PC...

    ...After 3 minutes it changes to a Larger ANDROID...

    ...After another 3 minutes a lake scene appears and things start to pop up on the virtual cell phone screen...

    ...Then after about another minute or two, a black note pops up which says "See all your apps... 1 of 6"

    At this point the virtual cell phone seems to be fully "booted".

    Next I need to install on this (now running) virtual phone my HelloAndroid program which I created with the Eclipse IDE.

    Eclipse saves the projects you create in your·folder...

    C:\Documents and Settings\Bill\My Documents

    ...and in a folder there called workspace and then bin. So the full "path" to my HelloAndroid app is this...

    C:\Documents and Settings\Bill\My Documents\workspace\HelloAndroid\bin\HelloAndroid.apk

    This all needs to be entered in the command prompt, but you can cheat!

    Click on Start, All Programs, Accessories, and then Notepad. This is a text editor.

    Then use Windows explorer to go to the folder where your HelloAndroid app is, then just highlight and copy the Address line from windows explorer, then copy that into Notepad. Then just add \HelloAndroid.apk to the end of that line and you have your full path to that file.

    Also you will need the full path to the adb.exe program in the Android SDK\tools folder. Copy and paste that into Notepad as well and add \adb.exe to the end of that.

    Now rearrange your line in notepad so it is all one line and looks something like this...

    C:\Android\android-sdk-windows\tools\adb.exe·-e install C:\Documents and Settings\Bill\My Documents\workspace\HelloAndroid\bin\HelloAndroid.apk

    Note: In Notepad you can click on Format, then click on Word Wrap to uncheck it, then everything will all be on one line scrolling off the screen to the right.

    Next Start/All Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt

    Now you can copy the above line from notepad, then right click in Command prompt and paste the command line. Then hit Enter on your keyboard and this command will have been entered.

    You should then see something like this appear...

    167 KB/s (0 bytes in 13413.000s)
    ······· pkg: /data/local/tmp/HelloAndroid.apk
    Success

    C:\>

    Now the app is installed on the virtual cell phone!

    Next go back to the cell phone. On the left lower center are dots which look like this...

    ....
    ....
    ....
    ....

    Click in that space. Now your apps appear. Click on HelloAndroid and it should display your app.
  • soshimososhimo Posts: 215
    edited 2010-07-21 03:25
    @Bill
    If you use the Eclipse IDE it's all integrated. No need to drop down to the command line, no need to add PATHs to your windows path. No need to do any of that low level stuff. You can choose Debug, in the IDE, and it will ask you how you want to launch the app. Just choose Launch as Android and you should be good to go. Just make sure you have a VD setup that meets the minimum API level of your project. I usually just make a 2.1 and a 1.5 and that covers just about every option.
  • bill190bill190 Posts: 769
    edited 2010-07-21 04:11
    Yes I have this working from Eclipse as well. On the laptop I'm running XP home edition and I did need to enter PATH stuff to get it working.

    I·am just playing around with the Android SDK and figuring out how it works. I downloaded IntelliJ IDEA version 8 and installed the optional Android plugin (30 day free trial.). I've not played with that yet, but was thinking along the lines I could use something other than Eclipse which would not have a plugin, but could then maybe make an app, then test it with the above method?

    For example the free IntelliJ IDEA? Or do you need a version which also has an Android plugin?

    And I don't know yet if you can run the virtual cell phone from IntelliJ IDEA the same as you can from Eclipse? (I just downloaded it and have not played with it yet...)

    Eclipse is *very* difficult to install and use. IntelliJ IDEA installs like any other Windows program. At first glance it appears that IntelliJ IDEA is more user friendly?

    Note: I have XP Pro on a faster Desktop. I'll try that too.
  • soshimososhimo Posts: 215
    edited 2010-07-21 05:48
    bill190 said...
    Yes I have this working from Eclipse as well. On the laptop I'm running XP home edition and I did need to enter PATH stuff to get it working.

    I am just playing around with the Android SDK and figuring out how it works. I downloaded IntelliJ IDEA version 8 and installed the optional Android plugin (30 day free trial.). I've not played with that yet, but was thinking along the lines I could use something other than Eclipse which would not have a plugin, but could then maybe make an app, then test it with the above method?

    For example the free IntelliJ IDEA? Or do you need a version which also has an Android plugin?

    And I don't know yet if you can run the virtual cell phone from IntelliJ IDEA the same as you can from Eclipse? (I just downloaded it and have not played with it yet...)

    Eclipse is *very* difficult to install and use. IntelliJ IDEA installs like any other Windows program. At first glance it appears that IntelliJ IDEA is more user friendly?

    Note: I have XP Pro on a faster Desktop. I'll try that too.

    I don't understand why you say it's so difficult to use on windows. I downloaded and installed the IDE for Java Developers. It installed just fine, the only information I entered was the install path and I just chose the default for that (I basically pressed Next on the install wizard). Once installed, I double clicked the conveniently placed desktop icon (placed by the installer) and it launches. I do everything from the IDE. The only time I've ever had to drop to command line was to install on a device - and that was just to generate the necessary keys for the apk file. That's kind of an advanced step though and not one you would do for a hello world program. Now, if you are talking NDK, yes, that is quite a bit more difficult to wrangle in windows - not impossible, but more challenging. Better off in cygwin or, better yet, linux.

    Now, on linux, the process is a bit more complex. Not by much if you are familiar with linux commands though. It's basically making sure certain packages are installed and setting some paths using vim in your .bashrc script. Pretty standard stuff really when it comes to linux.
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