Author Topic: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32  (Read 843 times)

RideTheGlide

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Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« on: April 17, 2019, 06:56:52 PM »
All that fancy hardware baked in - WiFi, BT, dual processing, etc...

I am using it to take some simple commands to drive the DACs move a couple of galvos only a short distance. The galvos take +5 and -5 and I grounded the -5 inputs and just drive the +5, but only up to 3.3v. The guy I am doing it for develops commercial microscopes and this is to point a laser around for some kind of spectral processing. It doesn't have to move the mirrors far at all. And he actually has money - a part time gig that pays. Anyway, I will probably get 12 bit 5v DACs mounted on a PCB for a little more range and precision if he moves forward with it. Seems likely since the prototype can do what he was hoping. He picked up some cheap imported galvos and driving them with a microcontroller the cost of it compared to the higher end stuff is amazingly cheap. Seems to have pretty good accuracy and stability.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

surfcowboy

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 07:33:04 PM »
Love the geekery. I want my retirement to be goofing off with this kind of stuff. Nothing at your level but I love hardware so much. Computers moving things fascinates me.

I design and product manage applications but thereís something about physical objects that moves me.

PonoBill

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2019, 12:51:48 AM »
Look at the MCP4725. Cheap and precise, sparkfun has a breakout board with one mounted for five bucks. I2C controlled, should be a snap to control with a ESP32. And as always, sparkfun has sample code for free. https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/mcp4725-digital-to-analog-converter-hookup-guide

I built the height sensors and controller for my GMC moho with ESP32's. The electronics are done (sort of), now I just need to take them back to Hood River and mount them. I bailed on the IR sensors, I'm just using pots with a jointed arm that I plan to mount on the arms that transfer the air bag pressure to the bogie wheels.  The two sensor talk to a third ESP32 that shows the height of each side. I can select the desired height with pushbuttons or just choose presets for either side. I don't know how the aftermarket compressor that is currently installed controls the air bags on either side, so I'm not sure what the control system will be like but I have the basics working (relays clicking) with a range of about 50 feet which should be plenty. I got wrapped around the axle trying to manage interference between the three radios and finally realized it didn't matter.

I'm sure I'm going to have to redo all this, but at least I know it will work in principle. Kind of a lot of work to avoid running a few wires, but hey--geek.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

RideTheGlide

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2019, 03:30:07 AM »
Funny you mention the 4725. I was going to do that with the Arduino. Made a wiring mistake and smoked them. Only briefly touched 15v. But I had them working; sending commands to the Arduino and measuring the voltage out and it was fine; I would have more range at much higher resolution if I do that again. It was a pain to wire on a tiny breadboard. It's only a little more in parts to get the full -5 and +5 for full range, but if it isn't needed why bother? That axiom may hold true for the DACs also - if 3.3v is adequate, why bother with 5? The level just pushes other logic. There is a standard for galvos that specifies a hardware interface using +5 and -5, but the controllers/motors actually use +15/-15. It may be useful to have BT and WiFi. OTOH, if this gets done in bulk, a MCP4822 on a PCB will probably be the way to go. A single cheap chip will do both channels.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

PonoBill

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2019, 10:55:31 AM »
That's exactly why I'd rather have them on a breakout board. The pins on dinky ICs, even ones that aren't surface mount, aren't spaced for a breadboard. For prototyping or a limited quantity build the breakout boards are far more practical--they take a standard breadboard header. If you went into production and needed to make PC boards and a compact finished version you can graft the eagle files from the breakout into your PCB design. I hardly bother with discrete components for projects, the typical breakout from Adafruit or Sparkfun cost a couple of bucks more than the naked component. Why bother. Especially when they include hookup directions, eagle files, and sample code for that five bucks vs. three bucks. The 4735 breakout board is on backorder but they are preparing a run of 300. They'll probably go quickly, they've been out of stock for a while.

I used a bare DAC8512 last time I needed one, got five modified surface mount for 20 bucks on ebay. Good thing, I smoked three of them. And then my brilliant idea for a "any input voltage you want" LED driver didn't work anyway, though I could have sold it as a way to trigger epilepsy.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 10:59:24 AM by PonoBill »
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

RideTheGlide

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 06:16:45 PM »
Check out HiLetgo on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DLHKNTG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The only thing missing is the Sparkfun logo. That and they don't solder the ADDR high or low. Also I tried them without cutting the pull up traces on either one (supposed to if you gang the I2C bus) and they worked fine. All the instructions and code at Sparkfun worked fine. The only reason they died is because I plugged a cable into the wrong 3 pin connector on the galvo controller board.

I met with the guy whose project this is today. He has another person who is more hardware oriented that is going to do the real card on a PCB. It will be controlling some other parameters as well. So I will be writing for the Arduino (what the hardware guy is using, building a shield) and a PC side interface to interface with it. Or probably I will - he wants a job price so we have to hammer out details and agree to a number. This is his company:
http://www.tirfmicroscopy.com/index.html

Very bright guy. Take a look at this:
http://i-diagnostics.net/

That's a pretty amazing piece of tech and he isn't trying to make money. He wants to get grants/donations to make it non profit and get it in use everywhere. It says cell phone camera, but due to dropping costs he is looking at a CMOS camera and OLED screen built in to the unit instead. He jumps into the self eradication a little quickly on that page. His fear is that genetic manipulation is becoming more widespread and easier to do every day and that someone will make a biological weapon that will wipe out nearly everyone. Early self detection would be one of the few ways to stop the spread. Anyway, I saw one of these units today; it really exists. He had a cartridge that looks for early markers of heart disease; some kind of protein.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

surfcowboy

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2019, 07:46:43 PM »
This is maybe the most disruptive thing Iíve seen in years.

This is the sort of thing that could change healthcare if it doesnít get killed on the way.

Sort of what Theranos wanted to be minus the ego and plus a soul.

RideTheGlide

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 06:05:19 AM »
The healthcare industry would hate it unless they find a spin on it. I hope he gets high profile backing to keep it from being killed. Can you imagine what would happen if they had a few of these at homeless shelters? When the indigent show up at hospitals with proof of a life threatening condition, even if it is in the very early stages, they cannot be turned away. It's likely the government would have to step in and bail out hospitals to keep them and a big chunk of the middle class from going bankrupt. Charges for people who can pay would skyrocket to cover the costs, which is what would threaten a lot of people with bankruptcy. I don't see a way out of that hole other than single payer. Yeah, I would call that a disruption.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

surfcowboy

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2019, 08:02:52 PM »
I love a good tech disruption. Hoping to make a few of my own before I quit.

Healthcare is ripe.

RideTheGlide

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2019, 07:15:24 AM »
Back on the original topic, I am still using the ESP32 in this project. It's a stand in for the real hardware and just outputs diagnostic info over BT so I can look at it on my phone to see that the front end software is communicating properly and sending expected commands. It's obviously overkill for that, but it's better than having to cobble together parts like I do with base level Arduinos.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

PonoBill

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Re: Hey Pono - finally found a use for the ESP32
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2019, 08:28:03 AM »
ESP32 is becoming the goto board for all kinds of projects. I hadn't thought of using BT for monitoring and debug, but I looked around and lots of people are doing that. it opens a lot of doors.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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