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55 Parallax Propeller's, Parallells Processing of Permanent Perturbations. — Parallax Forums

55 Parallax Propeller's, Parallells Processing of Permanent Perturbations.

Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
edited 2018-04-06 17:51 in Robotics
432 core super computing? But who cares!

4884 - Archive [Date 2010.12.16 Time 04.33].zip

Articulating Boiler - Archive [Date 2010.12.16 Time 04.34].zip



I like having 1,620 I/O at my fingertips.

To study the nature of randomness in a digital processor network using the same clock source, 54 prop chips were all connected to a master prop.

The master prop holds the eeprom, and accepts prop plug input for memory/program download.
The master prop controls the reset and clock lines for all 54 props.
The master prop also sends all combinations of a word out broadcast to all 54 props that are connected bus network style.

When a slave prop sees its number broadcast on the bus line, it replys with the same number.
Then the slave prop runs code depending on the number broadcast.

Its possible to broadcast messages to all props, or single props, after the initial enumeration is done.

Repeats are possible in any system that has reduced choices and increased speeds.
If repeats are a worry, then a long sized variable should be used in the random ID generation.

Enumeration of the Randomly generated ID's

Every step up in variable size reduces the speed that the whole system can communicate at due to more data being sent over the same speed pipe.

The communicaiton speeds of the bus network can be increased with lower value resistors, but the power draw will increase, if the props are connected to the bus with lower values, one needs to adjust all other bus resistors in relation.


You take 55 props,
some programming, (attached)
a bag of 470 ohm resistors(500) (not attached)
a 3.3v regulator (2A)
a huge breadboard
57 leds

A prop scope is shown in the picture, which works well on DIAGNOSTICS.
(there are sharks in the water here, no swimming without a propscope on your boat.)

432 cores, 1,620 I/O, 64.8 A max peak draw - 10.8A continuous, @3.3v.
150kbps - communications using the same rx/tx lines for programming all 54 props.
Word location enumeration of 54 randomly generated ID's

****************END TRANSMISSION**************

TERMS OF USE: MIT License & Licensed under the TAPR Open Hardware License (

"Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any pers...........................
..............................OMITTED FOR FORUM............................................. ..

The dsp/fpga king is dead, long live the prop.


  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2010-12-16 20:28
    Clock Loop, congratulations on the construction of this great perturbation machine. I know how much time you've put into it to make it a reality. This is the current known record for the largest working multiple propeller-based machine.
  • electrosyselectrosys Posts: 212
    edited 2010-12-17 01:22
    This is a really great experiment, or as Humanoido said, the largest working multiple propeller-based machine. Anyone who works electronic know that is not an easy task to do, you are indeed put a lot of works to this experiment.
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2010-12-17 02:46
    In the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), in which the electron-photon interaction is treated perturbatively, the calculation of the electron's magnetic moment has been found to agree with experiment to eleven decimal places. In QED and other quantum field theories, special calculation techniques known as Feynman diagrams are used to systematically sum the power series terms.


    -Particle and Planet simulations.

    -Spread spectrum data broadcast.
    Multi-frequency networks, having perturbations on a base set of frequency ranges, your broadcast frequencies becomes your unique ID(or channel)
    Multipin output allows huge DB broadcast levels, make sure you know what your doing if your doing this.

    -PWM outputs of many AMPERE at very high frequencies. (motor control, transformer, broadcast, etc)
  • tdlivingstdlivings Posts: 437
    edited 2010-12-17 08:40
    I have a side question, you posted animated gif's of the propscope and serial terminal what software tool did you use
    to capture and create them. It is a slick way to show propscope captures instead of trying to record it using a video camera.
  • TanstaaflTanstaafl Posts: 2
    edited 2010-12-27 16:39
    All Hail Richard Phillips Feynman ! QED Rules !
  • Duane DegnDuane Degn Posts: 10,568
    edited 2011-01-03 16:49
    This is too cool.

    I don't understand this part:
    64.8 A max peak draw - 10.8A continuous
    Is this a theoretical max?
    10.8A works out to be 196mA per Prop. This seems like a lot of current. I'm I missing something?

    I keep wanting to try something like this. I keep trying to think of a problem a bunch of Props working together could solve. Make that a problem I care about. Most of my ideas so far deal with image processing (both input and output).

    Thanks for sharing.


    Edit: I see now. It's the current this many Props are capable of sourcing (and I suppose sinking).
  • ChambersburgChambersburg Posts: 2
    edited 2011-01-06 20:57
    Nice job on this project.

    Will preface this by saying that I have not yet moved up to the Propeller, so I don't know any spin.

    What method are you using to truly generate the random numbers?

    To me, the only way of getting a set of well-distributed random numbers is to use some external input.

  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2011-01-07 17:00
    Using the Real Random object in the obex created by Chip Gracey

    This object generates real random numbers by stimulating and tracking CTR PLL jitter. It requires one cog and at least 20MHz.
    Background and Detail:                                                                                         &#9474;
    &#9474;                                                                                                                &#9474;
    &#9474; A real random number is impossible to generate within a closed digital system. This is because there are no    &#9474;
    &#9474; reliably-random states within such a system at power-up, and after power-up, it behaves deterministically.     &#9474;
    &#9474; Random values can only be 'earned' by measuring something outside of the digital system.                       &#9474;                                                                                     
    &#9474;                                                                                                                &#9474;
    &#9474; In your programming, you might have used 'var?' to generate a pseudo-random sequence, but found the same       &#9474;
    &#9474; pattern playing every time you ran your program. You might have then used 'cnt' to 'randomly' seed the 'var'.  &#9474;
    &#9474; As long as you kept downloading to RAM, you saw consistently 'random' results. At some point, you probably     &#9474;
    &#9474; downloaded to EEPROM to set your project free. But what happened nearly every time you powered it up? You were &#9474;
    &#9474; probably dismayed to discover the same sequence playing each time! The problem was that 'cnt' was always       &#9474;
    &#9474; powering-up with the same initial value and you were then sampling it at a constant offset. This can make you  &#9474;
    &#9474; wonder, "Where's the end to this madness? And will I ever find true randomness?".                              &#9474;                                                              
    &#9474;                                                                                                                &#9474;
    &#9474; In order to have real random numbers, either some external random signal must be input, or some analog system  &#9474;
    &#9474; must be used to generate random noise which can be measured. We're in luck here, because it turns out that the &#9474;
    &#9474; Propeller does have sufficiently-analog subsystems which can be exploited for this purpose -- each cog's CTR   &#9474;
    &#9474; PLLs. These can be exercised internally to good effect, without any I/O activity.                              &#9474;                                                                   
    &#9474;                                                                                                                &#9474;
    &#9474; This object sets up a cog's CTRA PLL to run at the main clock's frequency. It then uses a pseudo-random        &#9474;
    &#9474; sequencer to modulate the PLL's target phase. The PLL responds by speeding up and slowing down in a an endless &#9474;
    &#9474; effort to lock. This results in very unpredictable frequency jitter which is fed back into the sequencer to    &#9474;
    &#9474; keep the bit salad tossing. The final output is a truly-random 32-bit unbiased value that is fully updated     &#9474;
    &#9474; every ~100us, with new bits rotated in every ~3us. This value can be sampled by your application whenever a    &#9474; 
    &#9474; random number is needed.
  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2011-01-29 01:10
    Generating these highly randomized numbers is a great method for randomizing the unique indexing of all Propeller chips. From the same program, what if you wanted to numerically number the chips sequentially in position from 1 to 55?
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2011-01-29 15:52
    I wrote a lengthy reply and the stoopid browser hotkeys erased it all because it decided to go back a page. I really need to turn that off... (what a dumb idea) GRRR.

    It basically said,

    You need to run my enumeration sequence initially to get each prop unique.
    (i see no way to do this without the initial random ID enumeration, due to the broadcast nature of this design)

    Then you can re-number the ID's of each prop using the initial enumerations unique ID's.

    IF you need any props to retain their ID's after power off, the prop would need pins as ID's or external inputs(eeproms, etc)

    If you need individual props to be specific ID's (due to unique pin function) then it would be wise to install a eeprom or pin ID on that one/many prop, and have all other props acquire the ID from enumeration. (any prop with ID 0 would acquire enumeration ID.)
  • hinvhinv Posts: 1,190
    edited 2011-05-10 04:49
    Or, if you are not adverse to using 2 pins, you could just have 1 pin on the master output a high to some input on the slave, and simultaneously send an identifier byte of "1" on the serial bus, once the slave has it's id, it could hold a pin high connected to the next one (sub slave) in the loop and send an identifier packet saying 2 on the bus and so on.
    It would use 2 pins from each prop to do the enumeration, but it would get you the permanent numbering you are looking for without having to manage 55 eeproms.

    BTW, ClockLoop. This is REAL fantastic, but your video doesn't really show of any synchronizing. How about putting an RGB LED on each prop and playing a little animation across all 55?
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2011-05-10 06:29
    hinv wrote: »

    BTW, ClockLoop. This is REAL fantastic, but your video doesn't really show of any synchronizing. How about putting an RGB LED on each prop and playing a little animation across all 55?

    Ok. It will take me a bit to hook it up.
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2012-07-19 03:39
    After moving one too many times, more than 2/3 of these props died somehow, so I will not be doing anything more with this project unless I find spare cash. (what a great loss of prop chips tho, $300)
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2012-07-19 04:42
    So sad. I felt a disturbance in the Propeller Force!
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 18,063
    edited 2012-07-19 16:01
    Are you sure they are dead???
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 23,486
    edited 2012-07-19 20:00
    Poke them with a stick. If they twitch, there may still be hope!

  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2012-07-26 05:36
    Clock Loop wrote: »
    After moving one too many times, more than 2/3 of these props died somehow, so I will not be doing anything more with this project unless I find spare cash. (what a great loss of prop chips tho, $300)
    Why would moving kill 2/3rds of the Propeller chips? Probably a loose connection happened on the solderless breadboard or a wire(s) popped off somewhere. I've moved the Big Brain internationally between countries and the chips keep on ticking with those breadboards. I hope you can have another look at this because this is a really great project!

    With the big Brain, to keep track of all those wires, I take photos each time before moving. Then when reassembling after the move, the photo is the only reference needed especially if some errant wire was bumped off.

    The photo at the link shows how many wires need to be tracked for a Propeller Brain with 100+ chips.
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2012-07-26 07:01
    During transport the props were pulled from the boards, but ended up in attached to nothing (not even static pads) in a container of electronics that contained a battery, perhaps some kinda leg to leg conduction in a pile of props and other things. Always store chips in their own containers if you don't use foam on the legs, kids.
  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2012-07-28 22:18
    Clock Loop wrote: »
    During transport the props were pulled from the boards, but ended up in attached to nothing (not even static pads) in a container of electronics that contained a battery, perhaps some kinda leg to leg conduction in a pile of props and other things. Always store chips in their own containers if you don't use foam on the legs, kids.

    Oh no! Sorry to hear about the loss...those 9-volt batteries that have close +/- terminals on the end can do damage to components in the same bag. Tape over the ends seems to work for me. How do you test each propeller chip to know its bad? Do they work partially with some pins or are they completely dead and won't run code?

    Perhaps you can still get some use from each chip based on partial functioning. I also wonder why the props were pulled from the boards... I find the boards to be an excellent way to keep the lot protected and for transport, wrapping the boards in a layer of anti-static material and following with a packing of soft cotton towels, then stacked with more boards seems to work.

    Some of these boards have metal backing and weigh more when shipping, however the high density ones have light weight transparent backing made from recycled clipboards. You can see the arrangement here where the boards (one board to the next) are waiting for disconnection (wires between the large boards) and packing and shipping (green backing is visible).

    The Earthquake Protection with the Coddler link describes the Coddler for solderless breadboards. As an experiment some Coddlers were shipped but not with the breadboards. The polymer cracked and was replaced. Here is what it looks like reassembled.
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2018-04-06 17:52

    "then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheel-work of nature." Nikola Tesla

    And now I reveal the point of designing this huge propeller grid.

    A.C.S.E.R. Structure complete, wiring/soldering/programming up next.
    Dec 21st 2012, target completion date, confirmed.

    Initiate phase 2: soldering minimal antenna and firmware design for hydrogen resonance test.

    This initial design will require a minimum of 42 propeller chips, with a desired target of 84 chips.

    After tests with 84 chips, the next step up is to install and wire the maximum # of 504 prop chips.

    Yes, the final design will require 504 propeller chips. = $4,000

    Once the inital 42 chips are soldered and the system is working, and I have a running program, I will start a new thread in projects outlining the details of this device, its capabilities, tests, methods, schematics, pcb design files, spin programs, and more detailed video and images.

    The most important part of documentation will be the success or failure of this device to actually do what I intend it to do. Its (very likely)possible that other uses will be found as I start to test with it.

    Images show proper placement of propeller chips on one of the star like links in the frame.
    These are only installed at centers of all 3 axis.
    1024 x 729 - 539K
    936 x 1024 - 673K
    1024 x 997 - 797K
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2018-04-06 17:52
    A bit more detail on the structure, using 3ds max renderings.

    1024 x 768 - 124K
  • CircuitsoftCircuitsoft Posts: 1,162
    edited 2012-12-27 20:13
    Clock Loop wrote: »
    Yes, the final design will require 504 propeller chips. = $4,000
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2018-04-06 17:53

    A.C.S.E.R. --
    C.reation through
    E.mission of
    Doubly-even self-dual linear binary error-correcting block code physics adinkra.


  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2018-04-06 17:53
    Don't believe the hype, TRY IT. I don't upload and do all this for fame and fortune, its so YOU will make one yourself.
    This is the future, and its up to YOU to get it going, I am NOT going to sell these. I also cannot do all the work by myself. (actually i can, but what fun is that?)
    I am being attacked by covert sources, but don't believe me, believe the search warrants.
    (of course they want to destroy someone that presents the possibility of eliminating all old world hierarchical controlled resource limits.)

    Even financial oppression, cannot stop me. I'll use magnet wire on this thing, by hand, without a microscope, I don't care, BRING IT.
    And just to show off, I'll build the frame using a kids toy, K'NEX.
    (instead of using flexpcbs, optical interconnects, custom designed frame and all that fancy jazz)

    And if you STILL don't think that this amounts to anything, then let me ask you this.
    Can energy have structure?
    So then why is creating structure through synchronized energy(a.k.a. structurized energy) such a foreign concept to you?
    I swear, trying to teach simple concepts to brainwashed(government controlled school curriculum, duh?) masses is harder than crystallized carbon.
  • Mike GreenMike Green Posts: 23,101
    edited 2013-10-25 10:21
    Sorry to nitpick what's otherwise a project of passion and a huge amount of work, but these forums are considered "PG" in terms of language. I've edited out a few words. It would be helpful for you to explain why you've chosen the magnet wire over some other kind of construction and explain what's connected to what. When I've done point to point wiring on this scale, I've used wirewrap wire although you have to have some idea of the distance from connection to connection so you can strip the wire
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2013-10-25 11:36
    It looks cool. Whatever it is.

    What does it do? Or what will it do once it's up and running?
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 2,069
    edited 2013-10-25 15:51
    Mike, could you shoot me a pm about what was said, and removed.
    Thank you mike for getting back to me. I apologies to everyone for the sailor talk.

    The black things in between each propeller chip and what the object this video is constructed out of, are k'nex plastic parts that snap together.
    I made an entire frame out of them to hold the pcb's, as also shown in the videos.
    Feel free to start using them in your own ideas and projects, they are very useful, and easy to attach pcb's and wire up projects with stability and cheap price.

    The use of k'nex in the frame is just because I can't afford a 3d printer, or to have someone mill me parts.
    I suppose I could have made it all out of cardboard, and duct tape.

    The frame measurements were taken and pcb's were custom ordered to fit in the frame.
    Magnet wire was used because of its thin size, availability to me. Wire wrap could also be used.
    The circuit used in this design is exactly the same as the first post in the design(except it has a different number of them)

    In the 3d image above(the one with the colorful box, if you find the "Processor Axis" you will see all 3 axis in all directions.)
    The processors are also along axis surrounding the object, to connect to the outer pcb's.
    The reason the video doesn't show all of these processors is because as mentioned above, thousands of dollars are required, which I currently don't have.


    A.C.S.E.R. --
    C.reation through
    E.mission of

    I'm going to repeat it so you don't quickly skim over it.
    Make sure you read it slowly and, believe the hype.

    A.C.S.E.R. --
    C.reation through
    E.mission of

    A.C.S.E.R. --
    C.reation through
    E.mission of

    A.C.S.E.R. --
    C.reation through
    E.mission of

    Or not, believe what you want.

    Do you think Benjamin Franklin knew exactly what he was doing, when he was doing it?
    Probably not, but he had a pretty good idea, right? (probably not, too)
    By no means am I a Benjamin Franklin, I have consumed too much fluoride and chlorine against my will in my city water that i cannot afford to remove, arsenic in my chicken, and bpa in almost every food/drink packaged in plastic, not to mention bpa on almost every reciept you touch at a store. My brain does not function like his on farm fresh raised food, and nutritious well water, sorry. I am trying my best, with what I have been given in this life.
  • iotaherculisiotaherculis Posts: 11
    edited 2015-02-10 05:13
    What a vexing thread
  • rjo__rjo__ Posts: 2,114
    edited 2015-02-12 20:09
    yes... it is. And very entertaining.

    I wasn't quite sure if the idea was to measure hydrogen resonance or calculate it... I made a 1 gauss digital magnet just to cover the bases.... thinking that if he was going to measure the resonance, it might be good to rotate the entire apparatus... making the measurement 3d.
  • rjo__rjo__ Posts: 2,114
    edited 2015-02-12 20:19
    and...if there is still interest... Soon, Parallax will be making available an FPGA board, which will be sufficient to emulate several Props in a neat and tidy package... since there surely will be a volume discount... for 55 props... I would guess this will set Loopy back about $4500. Not too bad... for a superhumanoido box:)

    now... about that hydrogen resonance. I'm interested.... lets get this thread going again!

    Loopy... exactly what did you have in mind?
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