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Mad Professor
23-01-2013, 12:37 PM
Good day all.

A quick off topic post.

Just wanted to know if anyone else here plays about with the Arduino microcontroller platform.

Best Regards.

Jonathan
23-01-2013, 01:19 PM
I've only used PICs, in C and ASM. Apparently arduino's are a lot easier to start with, since the commands are more like spoken language. Is there something specific you want to make with one?

m_c
23-01-2013, 01:33 PM
I've currently got 4 arduinos in various shapes/forms, which will be increasing significantly once I've tested my new custom sheild PCBs that are currently in the post somewhere.

They're quite a good bit of kit, and the new ARM based one looks good, but my current project is designed around the Mega, so I can't justify playing with it just yet.

Mad Professor
23-01-2013, 01:59 PM
Jonathan: I have no current on going projects with my Arduino's, I just wanted to find out if others here also used it.

Maybe I should I put the title as "Off Topic - Any arduino user here?", as the current title does sound like I am asking for help.

wilfy
23-01-2013, 03:17 PM
i have a mini controlling a bubble tube, and currently testing my uno which will convert to a mini when i'm happy with the design to temp control a homebrew cupboard.

i'm really basic with mine as i only started playing with one a few months back, it's something i wish they had when i was at school

Saracen
23-01-2013, 05:22 PM
I'm using Arduino Pro Mini's in various RC projects.

Adrian

cropwell
23-01-2013, 06:02 PM
I've got a couple of Arduinos, I have an on-going project to create a MIDI synth controller that plays like a harmonica. I have programmed an arduino to act as a computer input for a friend's wacky idea. Nice Toy !

Rob

cropwell
23-01-2013, 06:06 PM
I program the arduino in C++, I can write it, but not speak it :glee:

Rob

Treemonkey
23-01-2013, 09:42 PM
I've got one to play around with with, not done anything with it yet. I plan to have a go with GRBL https://github.com/grbl/grbl, another thing that I am interested in making is a lightshow which responds to music. I do a fair bit of coding in my day job so shouldn't be a problem getting going :)

kingcreaky
23-01-2013, 10:37 PM
arduino's are quality. :-D.... get an xbee wireless adapter they are even more fun. Mine is what originally got me into cnc.. I made a little plotter... Even "invented" gcode... before I realised I wasnt the first one! :-D

ive got loads. too many. best achievement lap timer for multiple rc cars... but ive also got one on my american style mailbox that emails me. and one that controls my curtains... (but thats a story for another day!)

Its a really exciting time for computer / electronics (wish I was 20 years younger!, my career path may of been different) between these an the Rasberry Pi's it must encourage lots of younguns to be a bit more experimental. if they can prize themselves off their games consoles. WIsh I had one when I was 14 up in my parents loft with my meccano.


Jonathons a bit hardcode by the sounds of it >> we already knew that.

kingcreaky
23-01-2013, 10:40 PM
for those who dont know what they are... (although a bit american - dont you just hate americans talking in youtube video?) anyway, its this video that made me buy one
Arduino High Speed Photography Trigger - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8_dAgaBBdI)

wilfy
23-01-2013, 11:03 PM
Its a really exciting time for computer / electronics (wish I was 20 years younger!, my career path may of been different) between these an the Rasberry Pi's it must encourage lots of younguns to be a bit more experimental. if they can prize themselves off their games consoles. WIsh I had one when I was 14 up in my parents loft with my meccano.

this basicly sounds like me..

i have one little saving grace in that i have 2 twin boys that i hope at least one of them will take an interest in what i am doing and i'll happily provide them with all clever stuff for them to get stuck in to when the time comes

wilfy
23-01-2013, 11:06 PM
this is what started me off..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfQqh7iCcOU
seeing a friend link this, then asking said friend wtf it was, him then telling me he has one, that he has it connected to his raspberry pi and can control pretty much any lighting in his house from any mobile phone with a web browser was what got me hooked

D.C.
23-01-2013, 11:16 PM
Yup.

I'm still doing simple stuff with arduino uno's and haven't yet found an excuse to get some 32bit goodness. Got to echo the sentiment that it is a fantastic tool and a fantastic time to get into electronics or making stuff in general.

m_c
24-01-2013, 12:40 AM
best achievement lap timer for multiple rc cars

Out of curiousity, how are you doing the multiple car bit?

Robin Hewitt
24-01-2013, 01:06 AM
Even "invented" gcode... before I realised I wasnt the first one! :-D

I re-invented G code because it wasn't invented for computers.

Picture this scenario, you are belting along a line, reach the end and the next item is an arc, joining at a tangent so you want to hold your speed. All you get is offsets to the centre and an end point. This is not friendly. The stepper motor is champing at the bit for it's next step and you start to do floating point trig on ASCII text. You manage to carry past that and, before you know it, that swine of an operator decides to press PAUSE halfway through your acceleration :upset:

Obviously you are going to predigest the tool trajectory before you even attempt this. At one end of the wire you have a 10GHz 64 bit monster with Gigabytes of fast access RAM which can hold the whole movement array without breaking a sweat. At the other end you have a 100Mhz tiddler, 32 bits if you are lucky, and an SD card for storage. No prizes for guessing which end is best suited to do the conversion.

My R code is binary XYZW co-ordinates defining the end points of a series of interconnecting straight lines. The co-ordinates are integers in stepper resolution. The only other clues you get for the line are a maximum velocity and a preferred terminal velocity. Velocities are pointers to a list of timer delays. To accelerate you move up the list one slot at a time. To decellerate you move down similarly.

I don't even start producing R code until the tool position is known and all is ready to go. It starts from where you are now with no appreciable delay. It flips the mill into cut mode, PAUSE's it then starts streaming R codes. That way I have to press the GREEN button on the pendant to start it and my thumb is convenoently close to the RED button should I have forgotten something.

Driving steppers on an interrupt with R code input is a doddle once you accept that the terminal velocity for the line is only a suggestion. If you can't make it on this line, try next time. To brake you convert every step to a decelleration until you are safe. To restart you use the same routine that you use at the beginning of every line. Simples.

Musht
24-01-2013, 02:54 AM
I am interested in making is a lightshow which responds to music. I do a fair bit of coding in my day job so shouldn't be a problem getting going :)

Am at the bolting `sketches` together level, but even for a total non programmer like me possible to get it do useful things, did a pan tilt mount with analogue stick and RC servos for a CCTV camera in about 20 minutes from Arduino libraries and sletches. Kinda reminds me of typing listings in from magazines on a ZX81 :-)

For colo(u)r organ duties, the MSGEQ7 makes life super easy, 7 band spectrum analyzer, very cheap on ebay, as are Arduino shields

Uduino.com - Using a MSGEQ7 EQ with Arduino (http://www.uduino.com/Tutorials/7)

Zadig
24-01-2013, 06:42 AM
My Shizuoka has an old relay logic array to control the tool changer. I am in the process of changing this to an arduino - or I was until I came across CuBloc. It uses an Arduino platform and programs in Basic and Ladder. Again the software is free, but for PLC use they look great. I like C# and have no great knowledge of Basic but I do fancy getting an insight into Ladder.

http://www.audon.co.uk/cubloc_cpu/CB210.html

m_c
24-01-2013, 01:26 PM
Zadig, what Shizouka have you got?
I recently bought a ST-N complete with a Summit one arm bandit.

Zadig
24-01-2013, 02:03 PM
Zadig, what Shizouka have you got?
I recently bought a ST-N complete with a Summit one arm bandit.

The same, nice machine. Great to hear of someone else with one. Had a manual Shizuoka until recently and that was a good machine too.

m_c
24-01-2013, 02:23 PM
The same, nice machine. Great to hear of someone else with one. Had a manual Shizuoka until recently and that was a good machine too.

I'm guessing your's is working?
I've just got the bare machine minus controller/drives/motors, and am currently at the stripping all the wiring out and figuring out what I need stage. Just waiting for payday, so I can get a Kflop and Kanalog ordered, along with some steppers/drives to start getting it wired up. The Kflop is capable of Modbus, so I'm thinking of using an arduino for the toolchanger control, but that's a job for in a few months time, once the basic machine is running.

motoxy
24-01-2013, 04:47 PM
If I wanted to control 4 sets of led's to vary the current from 0 - 12v on each of the lines at predetermined intervals would on of the arduinos do the job...easily?

Bruce

Zadig
24-01-2013, 04:48 PM
I'm guessing your's is working?
I've just got the bare machine minus controller/drives/motors, and am currently at the stripping all the wiring out and figuring out what I need stage. Just waiting for payday, so I can get a Kflop and Kanalog ordered, along with some steppers/drives to start getting it wired up. The Kflop is capable of Modbus, so I'm thinking of using an arduino for the toolchanger control, but that's a job for in a few months time, once the basic machine is running.

As it happens we will be building our machines together. I am in much the same state of affairs as you are. I am replacing the steppers with servo's and amps which I have sat here next to me. It sounds like we will be running a parallel course. I have just ripped out all the controls on both the machine and controller, so like you I am starting from scratch. Does your Summit controller have the PLC incorporated or is it like mine and uses a relay matrix?

motoxy
24-01-2013, 05:05 PM
If I wanted to control 4 sets of led's to vary the current from 0 - 12v on each of the lines at predetermined intervals would on of the arduinos do the job...easily?

Bruce
After a quick look around i could not believe what a stupid question that was. Its at these times i realize just how old i am.

Granddad Bruce

m_c
24-01-2013, 07:47 PM
As it happens we will be building our machines together. I am in much the same state of affairs as you are. I am replacing the steppers with servo's and amps which I have sat here next to me. It sounds like we will be running a parallel course. I have just ripped out all the controls on both the machine and controller, so like you I am starting from scratch. Does your Summit controller have the PLC incorporated or is it like mine and uses a relay matrix?

I've currently got as far as fixing the autolube, which involved disconnected the X-axis ballscrew sliding the table past it's stops, so I now need to get the table back in position, but cold weather is currently putting me off!
I'm opting for high voltage steppers and drivers for now, and closing the loop using the KFlop. I'm not planning on using mine for any major production work, so I'm happy to sacrifice some speed to get it working for less money.

My tool changer has three circuit boards within the tool changer housing, which interfaced to the last controller through a bank of relays in a rear mounted cabinet. My mill had already been retrofitted with a Heidenhain controller, so nobody really knows what it originally had. The last owner only bought it to get the controller and servos, and the remains had sat gathering dust for a good few years.

Zadig
24-01-2013, 09:25 PM
There were steppers on my machine when I got it. I have since removed them in order to put the servos on. They were direct drives straight though to the ball screw, no belt gearing, except for the Z axis. I'll be putting the servos through some gearing however. Coincidentally, the lubrication system is my next project and I know what you mean about the weather. I have had my toolchanger working on an arduino and 5V relay bank. It worked well using the tool out, CW, CCW and tool in signals programmed in the controller. Coupling this eventually to Mach 3 is going to be an interesting project. The tool in and tool out phases are simple enough, however it is the tool selection side of it that will take some thinking about. My suspicions are that CuBloc will be more appropriate, but my knowledge is at the end of its travel at this stage.
I take it you have the manual for the toolchanger? If not let me know.

m_c
25-01-2013, 01:34 AM
I've got the benefit mine is already set-up for servos, with some rather overengineered brackets/lumps of metal. It took me a while to figure out how to get into the main bearing support for the x-axis, to get the locknut of the end. to slide the table past it's normal travel. I'll take some pictures when I put it back together, but it consists of an extension shaft that extends the screw out about 8", with an additional support block/bearing, which the motor bracket is then attached to, with drive via belt.

I've got some pictures at Matchmaker - a set on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/mc_mtb/sets/72157632396902054/)

What autolube is on yours?
Mine has a Bijur TM-5 system. If yours has the same system, you need to hope the quill metering unit isn't blocked, as you need to take the head of to get to it, as it's mounted on the rear. I had to take the head of mine to get it in the workshop, so changing the metering unit wasn't an issue, but I still need to get the head back on, and it's not exactly light. Even with the motor and varispeed off, I can only just lift the main casting myself.

I've got a manual for a Summit toolchanger, but I think it's for a newer version, as the manual is for a changer with a single control board, whereas mine has 3 seperate boards. The tool changing logic isn't that hard. Regarding the tool selection, you just need the arduino to track where the carousel currently is, and calculate the quickest direction to the next tool. Once I get that far, I'm tempted to replace the motor and geneva mechanism with a stepper, and some optical sensors to speed things up.

Have you found a source of tool holders yet?

Zadig
25-01-2013, 04:52 PM
Pictures of the servo mountings would be useful. Looking at your pictures on Flickr, I think you have a more advanced model than my own. My own is a Matchmaker and very different to yours in quite a few aspects. Yours seems to be reminiscent of a true Shizuoka CNC unit where as my own is a Matchmaker conversion. I am not too impressed with Matchmaker's workmanship on my machine, although that is no longer an issue as most of it has gone. Luckily my quill lubrication is very visible, so I should have no problems there. Your summit toolchanger is again, radically different to mine, it looks tidier. I have considered losing the ram and replacing it with a stepper and rotary encoder as a substitute for the microswitch and cam system on the top. As you say an Arduino would be good for this type of purpose. I haven't decided whether or not to scrap the geneva mech on the carousel yet, it seems to work quite well on my unit and with a delay programmed into the Arduino code I think it may be OK. Have you had your toolchanger working yet? I had a problem with mine when I first tried to get it to work in maual. I ended up having it in pieces half a dozen time 'till I found the problem. It is quite a neat action that it does and the novelty of it working still amuses me. As for tooling, the Erickson type seems to be reasonably plentyful on Ebay although I have a lot of ISO 40 stuff and may make a new set of claws for it , who knows?

HankMcSpank
25-01-2013, 06:38 PM
When I decided I needed to wield power over a 'puter on a chip, I looked at Arduinos for a few nanoseconds (up until the point when I saw the price at which point I projectiled vomited)....I then renewed my cheapskate pledge & went the way of a PIC instead.

wilfy
25-01-2013, 07:08 PM
When I decided I needed to wield power over a 'puter on a chip, I looked at Arduinos for a few nanoseconds (up until the point when I saw the price at which point I projectiled vomited)....I then renewed my cheapskate pledge & went the way of a PIC instead.

how can 13.50 (arduino pro mini) be too expensive for a small device with 13 i/o's and access to a growing library of pre-written code that is free to use and amend to suit your needs?

HankMcSpank
25-01-2013, 08:43 PM
how can 13.50 (arduino pro mini) be too expensive for a small device with 13 i/o's and access to a growing library of pre-written code that is free to use and amend to suit your needs?

Cos it's six times more expensive than a PIC that has 13 IOs and a growing library of pre-written code :-)

(would you pay 6 for a litre of milk, if you can get the same thing for a 1 ...albeit with more basic packaging)

IMHO an arduino is fine if you just want to dabble with a bit of digital & need some of the lifting done for you ....but if you have an eye on integrating an MCU into an actual circuit - & a circuit that might have legs & be floated out into the general marketplace - then a PIC etc is the way to go....I guess it depends on your end goal, but I'd rather be paying 2.00 for a CPU solution for each of my project-ettes/challenges than 13.50.

Re the 13.50 price, Arduinos must have come down a fair in price since the time I had to mop my wall down, cos I'm sure back then they were nearer 20 a pop (so in my eyes at least, it was a no brainer back then ....20 vs. 2)

wilfy
25-01-2013, 09:16 PM
the uno which is the bigger board with header for easy connections to a bread board is 20.82 + postage i'd say this is board you use over and over again until you are ready to shrink your design in to something smaller which is when you could reduce that down to a pro mini which is just a bit bigger then your average thumb print but does all the same stuff as an uno as far as i/o's go, but i'll be honest i'm not sure other than the dc jack and the usb port what difference there is between the 2.

i dont have a clue what i PIC is but when i get a bit of time later i'll have a gander. the reason for me to use an arduino is due to the fact they seem quite popular and have a lot of code floating around and i'm starting to pick up and understand certain bits of code. add to that i have a close friend who is very good with arduino coding i'm pretty sure i could go to him with something i am not sure about and he'd be able to do it. i bought my uno in a kit wire loads of wires, resistors led's ect to get me going.

D.C.
25-01-2013, 10:39 PM
When I decided I needed to wield power over a 'puter on a chip, I looked at Arduinos for a few nanoseconds (up until the point when I saw the price at which point I projectiled vomited)....I then renewed my cheapskate pledge & went the way of a PIC instead.

I think you are slightly misunderstanding what an arduino is. You get a full prototyping board and 'environment', once you have finished prototyping you use an atmel IC in your production device which even if you are going to buy from farnell start at 38 english pence ex vat...

Iwant1
25-01-2013, 10:55 PM
When I started building small electric projects a few years back, I turned to the Picaxe system. They use standard Pics loaded with their own firmware to make programming easy for hobbyists, and it is really easy with their examples. You can buy a prototype board like the arduino, all setup for your input/output devices, or the way I do, buy the cheap chip where you only have to build a simple program download circuit. Just checking a chip with 16 input/outputs works out at 2.40.

My next project will be using the arduino uno just to see what the fuss is about.

Saracen
25-01-2013, 11:03 PM
> 13.50 (arduino pro mini)

Blimey. I buy mine from China for less than a fiver, shipped.

The PIC vs AVR feud is up there with Pepsi vs Coke and Ford vs Holden and quite fun to watch from the ring side :whistle:

Adrian.

wilfy
26-01-2013, 12:53 AM
i'm not aware of the feud nor do i care, i just use arduino as thats what a friend has so it's easier to go to him if he has the same stuff.. i havnt dabbled with electronic like this before so for me the fact i can spend 30 for a full kit to let me do whatever i like is fine by me. as for pro mini's for a fiver from china.. are we taking ebay? if not could you point me in that direction please :D

m_c
26-01-2013, 01:08 AM
Pictures of the servo mountings would be useful. Looking at your pictures on Flickr, I think you have a more advanced model than my own. My own is a Matchmaker and very different to yours in quite a few aspects. Yours seems to be reminiscent of a true Shizuoka CNC unit where as my own is a Matchmaker conversion. I am not too impressed with Matchmaker's workmanship on my machine, although that is no longer an issue as most of it has gone. Luckily my quill lubrication is very visible, so I should have no problems there. Your summit toolchanger is again, radically different to mine, it looks tidier. I have considered losing the ram and replacing it with a stepper and rotary encoder as a substitute for the microswitch and cam system on the top. As you say an Arduino would be good for this type of purpose. I haven't decided whether or not to scrap the geneva mech on the carousel yet, it seems to work quite well on my unit and with a delay programmed into the Arduino code I think it may be OK. Have you had your toolchanger working yet? I had a problem with mine when I first tried to get it to work in maual. I ended up having it in pieces half a dozen time 'till I found the problem. It is quite a neat action that it does and the novelty of it working still amuses me. As for tooling, the Erickson type seems to be reasonably plentyful on Ebay although I have a lot of ISO 40 stuff and may make a new set of claws for it , who knows?

I'll try and get some pics over the weekend.
Going by what I found stripping the X-axis, I'd say mine did originally have steppers, and the servos were part of the Heindenhain retrofit, which was done by a company I can't currently remember the name of. Underneath the covers, lots of bits havn't been painted, whereas all the original bits are painted all over. Where is the lubrication for your quill?
I've never had the toolchanger working, as I had to cut the wiring to the front control panel to get the head off. The original plan had been to unbolt the head, spin it around on the mounting boss, and bolt it on at 90deg to get under the door. However that plan quickly failed, when we realised the boss wasn't machined the way we thought it was and there was no way we were going to get it spun, so had to remove it completely. Only quick solution was to cut all the wiring to the switches, as it was soldered on with no connectors.

I was hoping you'd maybe bought some new toolholders, as I'd like to get a couple ER holders to start with. From my research, DIN2080 holders should fit, but I was hoping someone could confirm!


And for clarity, if any of the mods read this, could they split all this Shizouka talk into a seperate thread?

m_c
26-01-2013, 01:31 AM
AVR v PIC debates are always good :-)

A PIC system similar to an Uno is a comparable price, and when I looked last year, PIC compilers were not exactly user friendly.
Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but for simplicity Arduino does currently have quite a lead, and the standard layout with lots of 'sheilds' (aka stackable expansion boards) makes prototyping far easier.

I use Mega's, Uno's and Pro Mini's. Uno's I've currently got 3 off as I use them for general development. One of my current projects will be getting shrunk from an Uno and breadboard to a custom PCB running an Atmega328 with the UNO bootloader. Final cost is very similar to using a PIC, but I get the benefit of using the Arduino programming.
The Mega's are used for a similar, but more complex system. This could be done far cheaper with a custom PCB and an Atmega somewhere between the 2550 and 328, but I only need 3, so using the Mega eliminates dealing with a chip not officially supported by Arduino.
And the Pro Mini's are for a display controller, which i only need 2 off, so other options work out more expensive. The Pro-Mini sits neatly inside the housing, with the display and serial connector wires connected straight to it, without needing any protoboards.

D.C.
26-01-2013, 02:57 AM
> 13.50 (arduino pro mini)

Blimey. I buy mine from China for less than a fiver, shipped.

The PIC vs AVR feud is up there with Pepsi vs Coke and Ford vs Holden and quite fun to watch from the ring side :whistle:

Adrian.

It seems quite similar to the ubuntu VS linux flavour 'X' debates, ubuntu/arduino decide to make it their mission in life to get more people interested in linux/embedded and did so by dumbing things down a lot. At the end of the day who gives a crap, just go make some stuff, if you are a bitter old god of electrons stick with what you know and amaze the world, if you are a nublet go with the new trendy shiny thing and shake things up with your leetness. They are just tools, it's how you use them that counts...

HankMcSpank
26-01-2013, 10:19 AM
I think you are slightly misunderstanding what an arduino is. You get a full prototyping board and 'environment', once you have finished prototyping you use an atmel IC in your production device which even if you are going to buy from farnell start at 38 english pence ex vat...

Fair enough....I should perhaps wind my neck in then (my full prototyping enviroment is a breadboard & box of caps/resistors!). Does the arduino proto enviroment allow you to swap around the MCU pins? ....so for example if the HPWM pin is on pin 3, with a PIC you can often switch a module (HPWM, UART etc) to another pin via an internal register setting - of course you then have to swap around all the connections to marry up with the new pin config - are the arduino pins hardwired per function? Such pin swap flexibility is quite important for best pcb layout. Obviously, once you've done your coding, the next step is to get it onto a pcb layout....and it's best to proto with the same pin config you're gonna have on your pcb layout (and being able to swap the pins about aka PIC is very useful towards helping the best pcb layout)

m_c
26-01-2013, 12:52 PM
You can't swap functionality around, however the UNO has 6 Analogue capable inputs, 16 Digital pins, of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs. The UART, I2C, TWI, and SPI pins are spread out, so you're not likely to run into pin clashes. I've not paid that much attention to the Atmega328 datasheet, but I think the UNO uses most of the chips capabilities.
The Mega on the other hand has a couple limitations that have caused me issues.. (why they only implemented 4 out of the possible 8 external interupts, and shared two of them with the TWI pins I really don't know)

D.C.
27-01-2013, 03:58 AM
What m_c said.

You can't reassign any function to any pin but a lot of the pins are multifunction and you can choose how to use them.

D.C.
28-01-2013, 12:33 PM
If you run out of pwm pins for playing with led's try a TLC5940 or two.

1 hour! youtube vid
How to Control a Ton of RGB LEDs with Arduino & TLC5940 - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FehBLNHMlfo)

wilfy
29-01-2013, 12:40 AM
i got to about 30 minutes and got lost tbh.. i'm too early in the arduino game to understand that. i really would love a cube of some sorts just for fun, but even watching his videos i'm still baffled lol

Fivetide
29-01-2013, 01:17 AM
I have managed to use one to make a camera on a gimble move by using the mouse through the PC

D.C.
29-01-2013, 01:38 PM
i got to about 30 minutes and got lost tbh.. i'm too early in the arduino game to understand that. i really would love a cube of some sorts just for fun, but even watching his videos i'm still baffled lol

In that case try using a 74hc595, they are easier to use and cheaper to blow up and there are a few led cube tutorials for them including sample code. :)

RoboCutter
18-03-2013, 04:02 PM
I have managed to use one to make a camera on a gimble move by using the mouse through the PC

i would be interested in seeing this, any videos?

Mad Professor
25-03-2013, 02:57 PM
Ok, Now I am going to ask for some help.

I have just given my self a project, and like I do, I have jumped in the deep end of the pool with lead boots on.

Has anyone done work with I2C?

If so you might be able to help me with my current project: O2Micro OZ890 Based BMS Units (http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=48461).

Best Regards.

m_c
25-03-2013, 06:07 PM
I2C is pretty simple, however you need to know the address and registers.
I use it to access RTC chips, and also for MIFARE (although I've not got past the 'oh, it works' stage, as other projects have taken priority over playing with smart cards)

It's usually possible to change the device address (allows multiple similar devices to share the same bus), so I wouldn't be too concerned about it not being as in the spec sheet.

Just read the examples, then dump the read bytes to serial to see what you're getting.
Then figure out what you need to do with those bytes to extract the information you need.