Saturday, March 19, 2011

Possible return of the OOPic

One of the main themes in this blog is looking at available microcontrollers since the demise of the OOPic chip. My students and I have had some fun learning about the Arduino and the Parallax Stamp. Both devices have lots going for them but I missed the true object oriented nature of the OOPic. The IDE was able to portray these objects graphically and display the object properties in real time. I still use a number of OOPic controlled robots in my classroom. Some of the electronics is starting to fail. Perhaps this new Raptor will be available in time to replace the old boards.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Analog to Digital

Some grade 12s are working with the 2 BASIC Stamp modules I have in my class. The 3rd group is working with an Arduino Duo. Both groups are experimenting with Analog to Digital conversion. The Ardiuno Examples-Analog lab made a good start. Adding my DSO Nano oscilloscope meant they could see exactly what PWM means and why the LED could be dimmed from 0 to 100%. On the Stamp the other groups were using an RC circuit to measure the value of a variable resistor. The Stamp even has a built in in RCTIME function to pull this off. This RC time method works well but I started looking for the analog inputs and discovered the Stamp has none! Christopher Vecchio's web page shows a good work-around for the Stamp.
Arduino Analog Inputs - 6
Stamp Analog Inputs - 0
Score one for Arduino!