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I replied to your email but thought the reply may be of interest to other people so am posting it here.
I think what you highlight is by design. On the Drop Data page the main property is the drop. You start with the drop and then you assign the valve and the times. The large label to the left indicates the drop; D1, D2, D3, etc. In the graph the display is based around the valves. I realize this is the opposite to the drop data but it fitted with how I was working when I created the app. My work flow has changed somewhat since though.
I have played with changing how the apps work but haven’t found a nice solution (one I was happy with) yet. The closet I have got is to add a label to the line in the graph showing the drop number but this only works when the drops are certain sizes and the graph is at certain scales.
Just had an idea, an easy solution may be to add a key showing what colours represent what drops.
glad to hear the information here is useful, sometimes I never know.
The two LEDS are status indicators. The yellow LED shows if the device is connected to an app or not. The green LED shows when the device is active (making drops).
When the device is first powered on, the yellow LED blinks slowly. This indicates the device is on but not connected. After a connection to an app is made the LED stops blinking (turns on).
When the device receives drop data from an app, the yellow LED turns off, the green LED turns on and the drops are made. Once the drop sequence has finished the green LED turns off and the yellow LED turns back on.
I sent you an email.
I have sent to an email.
Hi, just sent you an email.
The output from the buck converter should be the same/very similar when using 12v or 24v but I would suggest always checking.
The vcc out from the buck converter goes only to the vin on the Arduino (via a diode) so if you remove the Arduino the v out from the buck does not go any where. Please remember that the 12v/24v part of the circuit is still live through. This is the power to the valves and mosfets but these are not connected to the output from the buck.
Make sure you remove the power before putting the Arduino back. I have just killed an Arduino by not doing so.
Although there is a performance difference between 12v and 24v valves the reality is it is so small you won’t notice the difference. I decided to go exclusively with 24v for convenience. I live in a small apartment with very limited storage space and all my boxes of
junkelectronics and water drop equipment became too much and I had to start sorting them out.
This would mean you are using mirror lockup to activate the focus on the camera as a wake up trigger. Hadn’t thought of this. What camera do you have and what mode are you using it in? Can you adjust the sleep time, make it longer?
You are correct about mirror lock by the way. It was left in from the days when the dropController was a multi-function trigger. I plan to remove it in the next version but that is a long way-away. Or maybe I can rename it to Wake-up Trigger…
I have sent you an email.
It sounds like you are using version 2 with an old Arduino sketch.
When I merged the apps I updated how the communication and acknowledgments worked. At the same time I updated the sketches.
Please update the Arduino sketch to dropControllerV2 Arduino Sketch 2019_V2_001
- This reply was modified 6 months ago by Martyn.
I have emailed you.
Am I missing anything ?
No, this is how I ran my breadboard version before adding Bluetooth.
It may be worthwhile leaving space for the components just in case you want to add them later.
Good to hear you have it working but I am still puzzled by this. I have just tried a view things on one of the test devices I use and cannot duplicate your problem. I purposely kept the circuit as simple as possible so problems would be (should be) easy to trouble shoot yet I now have no idea…
Sorry for the late reply. I have been on holiday.
The price list can be downloaded from the side menu on the right-hand side of the site. Just email me if you are interested in anything (email address in the price list).
All the triggers are the same so can be mixed or used for other things.
The two triggers on the camera port are for shutter and focus. I have a Canon camera that requires focus to be high for bulb mode to work (shutter on its own doesn’t trigger bulb mode). If I am using a normal timed exposure then the camera only requires the shutter signal. Not sure if other makes are the same or not.
The trigger part of the circuit is the same for the V2 and V3 dropControllers. The only real difference between the two is that the pins moved around.
Off the top of my head the only things I can think of are:
1 – the flash pulse time may be slightly too long
2 – one of the flash guns is developing a problem.
3 – faulty 4N25s.
1. Flash pulse time
I have a very old flash gun where if the trigger signal is kept high it keeps firing. To use this with the dropController I have to reduce the trigger pulse time to around 10ms (this flash is the reason the dropController allows you to change the pulse time).
2. One of the flashes is developing an issue.
I have a set of Yonhnuo YN560-III’s and one of them starting firing slightly late which causes a ghost image as you describe.
Although you don’t say how many flash guns your wife is using I suspect it is more than one and this is the issue. 2-3ms is likely too quick for a flash to repeat fire and it does sound like you have one that is firing late.
This would not explain why V2 works and V3 doesn’t unless different flash guns are used.
Is the ghost image darker than the main image?
3. Have you checked the signal coming out of the optocouplers? This is a long shot but you never know.
Glad you found the issue.
I am now so focused on version 3 I forget to include older versions when trouble shooting.
How responsive are the springs?
I strongly suspect you have mis-connected things. To be sure I would need to see your PCB design files.
The pins can be changed, see the start of the sketch:
const byte CT_SHUTTER_PIN = 12;
const byte CT_FOCUS_PIN = 11;
const byte FT1_PIN = 10;
const byte FT2_PIN = 9;
const byte FT3_PIN = 8;
Just change the above to suit what connections you want. Please note; if you upgrade the sketch you would need to change the pins again.
Glad you found the problem.
I have a list of logic level mosfets somewhere but cannot find it. Google “logic level mosfet” or “arduino mosfet”.
You want a mosfet with a low RDSon at 5V or below.
For a single valve it is about US$10 to ship to Canada.
What valves do you have ?
Have to cleaned/serviced them?
It looks like you do not have the digitalIOPerformance library installed
The circuit is very simple and shouldn’t cause any issues as long as things are connected correctly, especially the 220 ohm resistor which is (technically) not really required.
If you soldered the device it maybe you damaged the resistor when soldering (long shot).
Does the port work when the resistors are replaced?
edit: are the resistors the correct values?
Without seeing the valve or the nozzles I can only speculate that either the valve is slow to close or the nozzle edge is not clean (burs etc).
sent you an email.
I have sent you an email.
I sent you an email.
I sent you an email
It sounds like the Nano has the old bootloader.
For normal drop photos I use one flash trigger connected to a wireless remote. The multiply flash triggers came about from my experiments with multiple flash times used on one collision. Prior to adding the extra triggers I used a separate flash delay circuit.
FT3 may be developed to be a general purpose control, I like the idea of using it to control a light but have not got round to implementing it yet.
you may have an issue with the type of quote character used. Here is a comment from Gordon Gilfether who had the same problem.
Tried uploading the sketch to my Arduino Nano and kept getting the following error message a number of times (warning: invalid conversion from ‘const char’ to ‘char’ [-fpermissive]**).
As I couldn’t get the sketch to upload I ran the compiler tool and got the same errors which also seemed to refer to process NewData. So after trying to research and understand what the errors referred to I went into the processNewData tab on the sketch and noticed that all the references to – receivedChars  = “” – the zero had double quotes. I changed these to single quotes i.e.- receivedChars  ”- ran the complier which came back with no errors and then uploaded to Arduino Nano without errors.
I have been unable to recreated the problem on any of my computers but enough people have reported it to show it is an issue. Here is an unofficial update with all the double quotes changed to single quotes. It compiles and uploads fine but I have not tested it on an actual dropController device yet (I am not at home).
Please let me know if it works.
I have no problem with this. The point of this project and website is to share information and have people to build drop controllers.
There should not be any issues porting the code to the ESP32 and I would be very interested in your results, especially your findings with how accurate the ESP32 is for real time events.
Some time ago I did experiments with accuracy and finer times. I tried faster MCUs and found that the processor did not really matter. The slowest part was and always will be the solenoid.
I sent an email to you but it was rejected. Please leave another message with the correct email address. Thanks.
This is something that was in early versions but was taken out as the apps were developed simply because I never used the function. It should not be too hard to add back but at the moment I am trying to update the videos and finish the long overdue user manual.
I am also finalizing the kits and the controllers which should be available to buy sometime soon.
I have the bits for the kit available now but I am not in a position to actually sell them yet…..
I put together the kit for a local group and based on this the price for a complete kit is around USD 50.00. Includes all the parts required for the actual device (including the Arduino and the Bluetooth module). Does not include a power supply, leads, valves, etc.
The power supply should match the valves you use and have a 5.5mm/2.1mm connector.
You will need to assemble the kit yourself so you will need soldering tools.
I can get Shako valves but I would probably not be the cheapest place to buy from. Depending on where you are there should be a local supplier. (Based on a quick look my price would be around USD 30-35. No idea what the postage would be though.)
I have sent you an email with additional details. If you are interested please let me know by email.
I hope to shortly. The photo is from a a batch of kits I put together for a local group.
The larger the resistor the better but 3K will be OK if using a IRL540N or similar (give it a try and see what happens)
The way the resistors are connected forms a voltage divider. So the smaller the second resistor the less voltage gets to the mosfet.
With a 10k resistor the amount of voltage lost/diverted is negligible
5v in, R1 = 220, R2 = 10,000. V out is around 4.9v.
With a 3K resistor
5v in, R1 = 220, R2 = 3,000. V out will be around 4.6V
The IRL540N is OK for 4.0v so 4.6v will be ok.
RDSon @ 5.0V = 0.053 ohm
RDSon @ 4.0V = 0.063 ohm
You could reduce the 220 ohm resistor to 100 ohm. This is work OK and increase v out slightly.
V in 5, R1 = 100, R2 = 3000, V out will be around 4.8v
Once the Arduino is powered the gate on the mosfet should follow the Arduino pin and the pull down resistor is not required. However, while the Arduino is starting, or it is being reset, Arduino pins default to inputs until the sketch starts and the mosfet gate will be floating.
When starting all the devices I checked used the same technique; drop; delay;drop;delay and I used this method for an an early version of the dropController. I as progressed I found it difficult to get the drops I wanted due to how the Arduino handles delays. Switching to start and size times means you can have multiply drops active at the same time and it gives more control over the drops. For example, should you want, with the dropController you can have 9 drops all active at the same time. This is not possible using delay().
The Arduino delay() command blocks the code meaning the Arduino can not do anything else while it is waiting. If you want to know more about this look in to “Arduino delay”, “Arduino blink without delay” and “Arduino doing more than one thing at the same time”.
Corrected the perf board version and uploaded new photos. The photos should now match the circuit diagram. The circuit diagram has not changed.
If you spot any more issues please let me know.
you are correct. I have corrected the breadboard photos. Will work on the perfboard version next.
As always, you should follow the circuit diagram rather than photos.
just found it in the junk folder. I thought I had whitelisted the website, obviously not.
I don’t understand reluctance to use milk. It is ideal for getting started; I still often use it. IMHO full fat cold works best.
All timings are done on the Arduino. The apps send control codes to the Arduino. The Arduino then takes care of the timings. This is done once every drop sequence so you need the app for the next set of drops. If you are familiar with Arduino sketches take a look at the code. I have tried to comment it as much as possible and have also tried to make the code as readable as possible.
See the beginning of the sketch for a list of the codes used.
I am currently
playingworking on the sensor trigger part. But please be warned, this is a secondary function and I do not have a planned schedule. Ironically, the dropController is an off-shoot from a camera control system I built years ago. This became too complex so I separated the solenoid control part to form the dropController.
If you are interested in a full camera control device have a look at Martin Ross’s high speed trigger: http://mrossphoto.com/high-speed-trigger/ and also early versions of the cameraxe and I am sure a quick Google will get you many more.
2019-05-19 at 11:22 in reply to: dropController V3 not working after Sketch 2019_V3_005_01 #2838
- This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Martyn.
They are (will be) for external sensors so that the dropController can be used for other types of high speed photography. Not sure when they will be implemented in the code though.
Another nice looking board.
Regarding the third flash connector. I’m not sure when I will get time to update the sketch. I was hoping to do it over the Easter break but I am working now.
I did update the sketch at the same time I did the apps but I lost the new source code somewhere and need to do it again.
The board looks good. I really need to learn how to make PCBs.
Until I figure out how to let people embed photos I have copied the links:
I spent sometime yesterday looking at this. Can’t figure out why you have this issue.
The apps send timing data to the dropController only and both apps send the same data. The dropController takes the data and controls the triggers. It does the same actions regardless of where the data comes from.
I thought it may have been a power issue (long shot) due to the BT module requiring more current when working (more power to the BT module less to the optocouplers), but all my measurements say not. The BT module is not receiving or transmitting when the drop sequence is active so its power consumption is minimal when the drops are being created.
As I finished this comment I realized I haven’t checked the actual data
EDIT: Checked the data. Both apps send exactly the same commands.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Martyn.