dropControllerPC ver 1.2.0.2

Forums Forum dropControllerPC ver 1.2.0.2

This topic contains 35 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Martyn 5 months ago.

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  • #2090 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I have downloaded and unzipped v1.2.0.2 and after several pop up warnings having to do with Win system 32 denied access and a warning about Microsoft Net framework, the .exe program ran satisfactorily for ~150 cycles. Since then, when running a loop, I get the following warning (No reply received from the drop controller), and once I clear the warning, the wait timer starts and after a “dead” period of ~10 seconds the next sequence starts. The actual sequence of firing the solenoid and shutter works perfectly other than the problem described above. I am running IDE 1.8.4 on an Arduino Uno R3. Windows 7 Home, quad core i7, MSI GE 70 laptop.

    #2091 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    This is a new one for me but it looks like either the acknowledgement character from the dropController is not being sent or it is not being received by the app. I will try to look in to it at the weekend.

    How many drops are you using?
    How many solenoid values do you have active?

    #2092 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I have only used either one drop when getting started and subsequently 2 drops from one connected solenoid. In attempting to run the program again today (Sunday), an error immediately pops up when attempting to connect to COM3—“ERROR! Cannot connect to the dropController. Then when attempting to reconnect to the com port, I get another popup that states ” Unhandled exception has occurred in your application… PortName cannot be set while the port is open” Restarting the application and/or rebooting computer ultimately gets me to this same end point.

    #2093 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Hi,

    yesterday I tried a basic setup; 1 and 2 values. 1 to 9 drops. Had it running for several hours without any issues so not really sure what the problem is at the moment. I am using Win7 64 bit.

    What Arduino are you using?

    In the Windows app, does the dropController COM appear in the list?
    Has the COM port changed?

    Can you connect the dropController to the Arduino IDE?
    If yes, open the serial monitor (9600) and enter <HELLO> you should get a HELLO back. You can also try <VERSION>

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Martyn.
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  Martyn.
    #2100 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I am using an Arduino UNO R3 and an IDE of 1.8.4. Laptop is Win7 64bit, 8Gb of ram, i7 quad Laptop is MSI GE70 brand. To answer your questions above, the COM port is 3, no, the com port has not changed, and yes I did test the communication using the serial monitor (see description below). After my last post, I ordered a bluetooth module to see if by bypassing the pc version of the dropController, I would have better luck. Before installing the bluetooth module on 11/18, I thought I would attempt to use the pc version, and it ran okay. I managed to get a total of 560 images and only had a few difficulties. Typically, the dropcontroller would run `0-30 cycles before failure (message was “No reply received from dropController”). After resetting the Arduino, and opening the program again it would function satisfactorily for another batch of shots. It did manage to loop for 100 cycles one time and 56 another time. Today I again planned to run another series of shots, but cannot get more than one cycle before getting the message “No reply received from dropController”. When I clear that popup message, the popup “Unhandled error…” appears. Attempting to setup with the bluetooth module, has been a complete failure, as it will not connect to my android app even though the module will pair with the phone. I have reset the sketch back to the device =1, recompiled and uploaded again, and experience the same difficulty as described above. I also reset everything and attempted to get a response to the “hello” and “version” using the serial monitor with no response. I can, however, get a single cycle to run with the pc version before failure. Would a Windows 10 laptop function better ?

    #2101 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Hi Dennis,

    Let me try it with an UNO. May take me a couple of days though.

    I use Win7 64bit and Win8.1. Haven’t tried Win10 and cannot say if it works or not. I haven’t had any issues with Win7.

    What Bluetooth module did you buy?

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Martyn.
    #2103 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I am beginning to think that an instability with the COM3 port may be inherent with the Arduino UNO R3 that I purchased from Amazon (an Elegoo brand kit). A friend of mine also purchased the same kit to work with his grandson, and is experiencing the same problem with the COM3 port on his device–also using Win7 64bit operating system. He has been experimenting with other things such as simulating blinking red and blue leds, and speaker sounds to mimic police chases. Have you been using a Arduino Nano or some other Arduino device ? I am planning to purchase a Nano from Amazon and should be able to test it this coming weekend. I also will attempt to evaluate tomorrow whether a Win10 i7 laptop behaves better than what I have experienced with Win7

    #2105 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    I exclusively use Nanos for the dropController and the ones I build are the same as the one in the photos in the build guide. I also almost exclusively use them in other projects as well.
    Although other types of Arduino can be used, the dropController was designed around the Nano.

    I buy clones very cheaply direct from China and I try to get the ones with the CH340 chip rather than a FTDI chip. These are often sold as “improved” or “latest” versions. I think the last batch (20 pcs) cost me aound $1.20 each (USD) – like this one: https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=554818138175. Unfortunately Taobao is not really available outside of China.

    I have never had any problems with the clones except my own stupidity (I have a habit of shorting them).

    #2106 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    For the last few hours I have had an UNO running the dropConroller. Several loops up to and past 1000 iterations. No issues at all.

    #2120 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I have setup with the Nano, and I am experiencing the same basic problem. After the first cycle in which all functions (drop valve, camera shutter and associated led’s) perform satisfactorily, I get a popup window that “no reply received from drop controller” upon clearing that message, the loop timer will time out and another cycle starts, however, the only thing that functions is the green (active) led. no drops are released and camera shutter does not operate and the same warning again pops up. I have slowed the receive and transmit buffer speeds on the com port several times without any improvement in the running of the application. With the installation of the new Nano, I have updated the IDE to 1.8.5. I have also had the Nano plugged into several usb ports and all function the same.

    #2121 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    After the dropController has finished a sequence it sends an end of sequence message back to the app. “<FTS>” (Finished The Sequence). It appears that the app is not getting this message.

    In all my tests it works fine; Nano, Mini, UNO, Duemilanove, Mega,

    When I get chance I will reintroduce the debugging version of the Windows app. This will allow you to see what is happening inside the app and sketch.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martyn.
    #2122 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I will be waiting for it.

    #2137 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Added an updated debug version to the downloads page.
    Updated the Arduino sketch as well.

    I reread you posts and I now think you are losing the connection not simply not receiving a reply. Although the earlier code works I have rewritten the connection process to make it more robust.

    If you try the debug version please let me know how you get on and if you are still having problems please post the drop data from the dropData.txt text file.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martyn.
    #2140 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I have set up using the 101b.ino, and the debug version of the windows program. I first ran without the debug on, and after the double drops and shutter activation, the green “active” led stayed on, and the pop up warning that “No reply received from dropcontroller” was visible. Once the warning was cleared, the set delay of 5000 started counting down. At that point I pressed the stop button. A second attempt using the debug button on the settings screen resulted in the same sequence. The dropdata text file is shown below:
    dropControllerPC: drop data File
    Saved: 01/12/2017 1:26:28 PM
    numDrops|2
    numValves|1
    Loop|YES
    ButOrTimer|TIMER
    WaitTime|5000
    FT|0000|INC|000
    CT|0500|INC|000
    Drp-sol-start-i/d-val-size-i/d-val
    Drop1| 1|0210|INC|000|0030|INC|000
    Drop2| 1|0300|INC|000|0030|INC|000
    Drop3| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop4| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop5| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop6| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop7| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop8| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    Drop9| 1|0000|INC|000|0000|INC|000
    <END>
    I have included the bebug log and it is shown below:
    Loop Page init performed
    ACKTimerOff
    SUB loopTimerOff()
    SUB – updateDropData(). SEQ = 1
    SUB – updateScreen()
    RESET performed
    wait user click START

    START BTN clicked

    SUB timerStart()
    SUB – sendDropData()
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 1
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 2
    ACKTimerOn

    ….
    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 20
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 21
    No FTS rec’d from the dropController. Auto time out.
    Completed

    SUB – updateDropData(). SEQ = 2
    SUB – updateScreen()
    Screen updates done
    SUB loopTimerOn()
    ACKTimerOff
    SUB loopTimerOff()
    SUB – updateDropData(). SEQ = 1
    SUB – updateScreen()
    RESET performed
    wait user click START

    Advise if there is anything else I may try.

    #2141 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    I’m finding this a little strange. The app is getting the HELLO reply from the dropController but then losing the connection / not getting anything else.

    If I start a sequence and then disconnect the usb cable the app crashes with the error “The port is closed”. I then have to restart everything (I haven’t trapped a disconnect error internally).

    Here is the log I get from the loop page using the same drop settings as you. I get the FTS code reliably.

    Loop Page init performed
    ACKTimerOff
    SUB loopTimerOff()
    SUB – updateDropData(). SEQ = 1
    SUB – updateScreen()
    RESET performed
    wait user click START

    START BTN clicked

    SUB buttonStart()
    SUB – sendDropData()
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 1
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 2
    ACKTimerOn

    Inside Timer_ACK
    ACKTimerOff
    timeOutCount = 3
    receivedData = <FTS>
    FTS rec’d from the dropController
    Completed

    On the main window, above the debug text box are a couple of flags. Does the Connected flag stay as “True”.

    If you have visual studio installed it may be worth while trying the examples at

    http://www.martyncurrey.com/arduino-and-visual-basic-part-1-receiving-data-from-the-arduino/

    http://www.martyncurrey.com/arduino-and-visual-basic-part-2-receiving-data-from-the-arduino-part-2/

    http://www.martyncurrey.com/arduino-and-visual-basic-part-3-controlling-an-arduino/

    This will then confirm the serial connection works.

    Are you still using the Nano?

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martyn.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martyn.
    #2144 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    Here is the listing prior to pushing the start button.
    COM port list updated
    Load drop data
    – dropData file found
    Initialised and ready to start

    COM port list updated
    comPORT = COM4
    COM COM4 ïs open
    HELLO sent

    received data = <HELLO>
    command = HELLO

    HELLO reply received
    START BTN is active
    The flags above the debug text are:
    Connect timer – OFF
    Connected = TRUE

    When the loop page timer window opens, the following appears as an additional line in the debug text section.
    Valve number error = False
    and when the start button on the loop page timer is pressed, the green led lites, the sol1 issues 2 drops, and the camera shutter triggers. The green led remains on until I ultimately clear the error of “no reply received … and exit the loop page and reset the Nano.

    I do not have visual stdio installed, but can download and install the three free apps that appear on the Microsoft visual studio web page. I will attempt this tomorrow, as it is Friday evening now.

    #2145 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    If the app does not get the FTS code it should time out and let you continue. There shouldn’t be any need to reset. Something is happening after the first set of drop data is sent that is causing a communication problem. I need to investigate further.

    Just to be sure, do you have a different usb cable you can try and also a different port on the computer.

    Where are you located?

    #2146 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I have found a usb cable to fit the Nano. I also can attempt to try a different cable on the UNO, and also have an Arduino Mega that I have picked up from my grandson that I can try. I have tried two usb ports with the Nano and previously with the UNO. Both are usb 2.0 ports. Can also try both usb 3.0 ports on the laptop. I will try all of these later this morning when I get back to work on the setup. I have written a sketch (without the nice UI of your app) that I am using to complete the drop photography project I am working on for a photography class I am in at the local community college. Retirement gives me time to play.

    By the way, the bluetooth module behaves in an identical manner on the Nano as the usb wired windows version. The android app NEVER indicates that it is connected even though it is–at least to get the 1st sequence run. Fails with the same “no reply received …”

    I am located in western KY near Paducah, KY. Central Std time zone.

    #2147 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    In re-reading your post # 2145, I only reset the Nano to stop the endless cycling as described to follow. If I do not exit the loop page after clearing the “no reply … message, the countdown timer that I have set as 5000 milliseconds will start and time out and another sequence (no 2) will start. It will complete without the sol 1 valve operating and camera shutter functioning, and again popup the “no reply … message. Again clearing the message, and the 5000 ms timing out sequence 3 will run without the valve and shutter functioning. I have not gone beyond the 3rd sequence. The green led will stay on continuously from the beginning of the active period of the 1st sequence until I reset the Nano.

    #2148 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Hi Dennis,

    I have just tried different Arduinos, and three different computers, no problems. Now starting to fish for ideas…

    Does single drop mode work( turn loop off)?
    Does loop mode work when using a button to trigger the next sequence?

    Do you have a serial to usb adapter?

    Can you try uploading with with IDE 1.6.3

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Martyn.
    #2150 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    First I must report that the Nano failed on me yesterday and I am back to using the UNO again. I have not yet tried the Mega that I have. Using the UNO with these conditions: dropcontroller 010b, windows PC version 1.3.1.1, IDE 1.8.5 used:
    When I turn off the loop and just perform a single sequence, the timer times out and I get the popup “no reply received …” The green LED stays on. When I clear the message, the green led stays on. Pressing the start button again nothing happens but the green led stays on. Pressing reset on the UNO allows me to restart over as described above, but after timing out, the message pops up again.
    In the case of using the loop button rather than the timer, the operation is the same as if I were using the timer— functions on the first sequence, but times out and the message “no reply … clearing the message does start the next sequence, but nothing happens except the green led stays on (the blue led never comes on)

    I have downloaded the 1.6.3 IDE, and I am unable to upload 010b to the UNO getting the following message:
    Arduino: 1.6.3 (Windows 7), Board: “Arduino Uno”

    Sketch uses 7,534 bytes (23%) of program storage space. Maximum is 32,256 bytes.

    Global variables use 686 bytes (33%) of dynamic memory, leaving 1,362 bytes for local variables. Maximum is 2,048 bytes.

    avrdude: ser_open(): can’t open device “\\.\COM1″: The system cannot find the file specified.

    Problem uploading to board. See http://www.arduino.cc/en/Guide/Troubleshooting#upload for suggestions.

    This report would have more information with
    “Show verbose output during compilation”
    enabled in File > Preferences.
    To follow up from this message, I now see that the com port in the device manager shows an error. Attempting to update it, Windows cannot find the port.

    I do not have a serial to usb adapter.

    #2151 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I just realized that I had downloaded the .zip file for the IDE 1.6.3 rather than the windows installer file. I am currently downloading and installing and will evaluate shortly.

    #2152 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I downloaded and installed IDE 1.6.3 and get the same results as I did with IDE 1.8.5 as described at the beginning of my reply #2150. I will try with a
    Windows 10 laptop this evening.

    #2153 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    My attempt to use a Windows 10 laptop has resulted in the same performance that I’ve experienced with my windows 7 laptop. The first sequence functions and the “no reply … message pops up no matter what program flow I try—single drop, double drop 1 sequence, double drop wit timer, double drop with timmer button. There obviously is some hitch beyond my understanding of the program flow. The puzzling fact, is that a few weeks ago, the 009 version did run sporadically.

    #2154 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    The program flow for version 10 of the sketch and version 13 of the app.

    Start up:
    dropController blinks the waiting LED to show not connected.

    In the app, the user selects a COM port and clicks the connect button.
    The app sends a “HELLO” to the dropController.

    The dropController get the “HELLO” and turns on the waiting LED (it stops blinking).
    The dropController sends back “HELLO”

    The app gets the reply and turns on the START button.

    Drops:
    The user enters the drop data and sequence method
    Clicks the START button.
    The Loop Page opens.
    Depending on the mode the user may need to click the Loop Page START button.
    The app calculates the drop data based on any delta values and then sends the drop data as asscii to the dropController.
    The START button becomes inactive
    A timer is started. The timer is used to check for replies from the dropController.

    The dropController gets the drop data, makes the drops, and when finished send “FTS” to the app.

    The app gets the “FTS” and makes the START button active, or returns to the main page depending on the mode.

    If the app does not get the “FTS” it times out and an error message is displayed.

    In the app, clicking “Dis-connect” send a “BYE” message to the dropController and closes the connection.
    When the DropController gets the “BYE” message it resets to non connected.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    I have to admit I am at a bit of a loss now. Last night I contacted a couple of friends I built devices for and they say everything works fine (one of them is still using an older firmware though). All my tests have been good as well.

    The sketch was created in IDE 1.6.3 and has been updated using 1.8.3.
    I have tried on Windows XP, Win 7 and Win 8.1 (I don’t have 10) and all worked as expected.

    Just as a note, I only use the zip file versions of the IDE, I have several ones that are setup up for different things.

    Something is breaking the connection just after or during the drop data transmission. No idea what though at this time. I’ll keep looking.

    There is basic error checking in the sketch and when incomplete drop data is received the waiting LED is used to indicate an error. When things stop, does the waiting LED on the dropController flash?

    #2155 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Another thought.

    Are you using a voltage divider and if so, what value resistors are you using?

    #2156 Reply

    Dennis Dreyer

    I just saw your posting of early on the 4th. To answer your question, no the blue LED does not flash. The Green LED ( active) stays on.
    No, I am not using any voltage divider. Arduino powered from USP connection. Pin 7(solenoid valve) powers an optocoupler-5v relay combination. Pin 10 powers an optocoupler for the camera shutter. Flash pin is not used. Pin 2 used for blue(waiting) LED, and pin 3 for green(active) LED.

    #2163 Reply

    Dan Copeland

    I too have the same problem. I tried to setup on a XP computer but could not get the serial port active I tried quite a few drivers just would not work Installed windows seven on it and the serial port now shows as 3 and 4 . Four works 3 does not. Also when I do a start I get the error No reply received from the drop controller. I tried it on 2 other computers running windows 8.1 and one running 10 same error.

    Does the computer really need to hear back from the arduino after it does a cycle? Can you not just send a signal to the arduino the repeat it again and again? Just wondering.

    When I don’t use the dropper as a drop controller I use the signals to drive a Gear motor on my macro slider to do focus stacking then trigger the camera Just another way to utilize the Drop Controller

    Dan C

    #2164 Reply

    Dan Copeland

    I just checked out the Version 1.0 of the PC controller Everything works no error saying No reply received from the drop controller it just keeps going and going

    Must be something with the new builds

    #2166 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    I will check it out when I get time.

    In the meantime, for anybody else experiencing the same issue, here is the link to version 1 of the PC app. Note that this is 3 valve only.
    http://www.dropcontroller.com/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=1065

    #2167 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    Hi Dan,

    what version of the sketch are you using?

    #2168 Reply

    Dan Copeland

    Looking back in the directory where I saved these files all I can find is this one dropControllerBT_Arduino_Sketch_V06 dated Dec 20 2015 I’ll look around later after work to see if I have the PC one on another drive . Found it dropControllerPC_R01.1

    Dan C

    #2170 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    The only difference (that I can see/remember) is that I changed the acknowledgement code from ACK to FTS. Older sketches send ACK. The newer sketches send FTS.

    Mage some updates and the new beta version can be downloaded from

    http://www.dropcontroller.com/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=2172

    This contains am Arduino sketch and a Windows PC app the 2 must be used together. This sketch does not work with the Android app.

    I have simplified the acknowledgement process, added a continue after time out, a pause button and a reset button on the Loop Page.

    Please give it a try and let me know how you get on.

    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Martyn.
    • This reply was modified 6 months ago by  Martyn.
    #2178 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    I think I found the problem and the latest version should work ok. I have also added a lot more error checking.

    Download version 14.0.0.2 from http://www.dropcontroller.com/?smd_process_download=1&download_id=2176

    The download contains the Windows PC app and a new Arduino sketch. The sketch does not work with the Android app yet.

    #2196 Reply

    Emaad

    hi Martyn,

    i am not finding this mofset F9Z24N

    i have found IRFZ24N MOSFET

    https://alltransistors.com/mosfet/transistor.php?transistor=3377

    #2197 Reply

    Martyn
    Keymaster

    No, you need a P Chanel with similar stats:
    a low as possible RDS(on) value.
    VDSS ~-55v
    ID ~ 10+ amps

    If you look up the (IR)F9Z24N on a website like Dikikey you can see alternatives.

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