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IT Departments :: Behind the beards

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Brains, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    Understood. I've just had trouble with finding anyone with any decent comprehension of both embedded systems and shooting.
     


  2. ZX9RCAM

    ZX9RCAM Over the Rainbow bridge... TGT Supporter

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    Hey, I know how to turn my computer on.

    And I'm talking about the power swtch....
     
  3. Brains

    Brains TGT Addict

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    Depending on what it is, I might be able to help. If it's more complex, one of my good friends is a firmware engineer, started at NASA and has since moved into commercial power management/monitoring.
     
  4. CyberWolf

    CyberWolf Member

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    Was planning to wade in with some long post on the main thread topic (decades in the game, but down to about 30% "IT" related lately, and even then will typically make an appearance like "The Doctor" and be out), but will save that for another time...



    ^This is flat truth, just about anything you want to do in this area nowadays is the image of simplicity compared to years past.

    The real question is what you're trying to do, including what peripheral devices must be connected/controlled.

    Odds are, a Raspberry Pi and/or Arduino - or combinations/multiples thereof, including the right add-on modules (e.g. cameras, IR/nIR imagers, thermal/environmental sensors, servos, etc., ad infinitum), will get you there at a fraction of the effort involved with "traditional"/proprietary embedded systems. More recently, you can even get Windows 10 IOT Core running on a Pi.

    Lots of good info online about differences, what to use vs why, how to integrate (e.g. use the Pi(s) to manage the Arduinos, etc.), and how to actually work with them...Also, if familiar with *nix, working with a Pi is a piece of cake.

    Here's a pic of some Pi's from an old project a few years ago...Note the big one has things like integrated 802.11, Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, HDMI, high-density touchscreen display, etc...You can see the 900mhz keyboard link and micro-SDR (software defined radio w/ external antenna connection) connected to the USB ports:

    c041d1f98214f381df9aaba5f0f700e0.jpg


    ETA: figured it may be possible that the use case in mind requires actual firmware for a custom chipset/fpga/etc. (some assumptions were made); if so, please disregard the above (may not be relevant)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  5. benenglish

    benenglish Lifetime Supporter Staff Member Lifetime Member Admin

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    I appreciate that.
     
  6. Bozz10mm

    Bozz10mm TGT Addict TGT Supporter

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    c:\\ defrag
     
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  7. DD130

    DD130 Active Member

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    I beg to differ. OSx is based on and has underlying BSD. You can generally install all the Open Source tools that makes automating things delightfully easy. Now days, Unbuntu does offer a drop-on shell for Windoze... almost makes working with that crappiest of crappy OS's survivable.
     
  8. DD130

    DD130 Active Member

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    I blame the fanatically religious following of Agile (virtually zero actual design process) software methodology, and massively bloated "frameworks" that add 100's of megabytes of code so some lazy ass developer can accomplish a task with 1 line of code instead of 2-3. :/
     
  9. Brains

    Brains TGT Addict

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    One of my most enjoyable things to do is buy cheap Chinese stuff and replace the guts, or take old legacy things that break and bring them back to life.

    Bought a K40 laser engraver, replaced the guts with a NextThing.co "Chip" (now defunct, ARM-based SBC like a Pi) which hosts the web UI and comms with an Arduino based (Ramps 1.4) controller driving the steppers and PWM for the laser power supply. I tweaked some existing open source firmware (Repetier) to have nice clean laser support, and it now works great.

    Bought a fancy ethernet-based sprinkler controller, but the firmware was pretty poor. Got so frustrated with it constantly falling off the network that I replaced it with another Chip, and added support for this module to an existing open source (OpenSprinkler) software package. That works awesome now too, and has a ton of added features (like weather correction).

    At work we have a buzzer in the warehouse to direct workers (break times, lunch, start and end of day, etc.). The buzzer is OLD and was driven by a mechanical time clock using little plastic punched hole tape cartridges. Well the last one of those we had got dropped and exploded on the floor, rendering the buzzer silent. I used a Chip (with they were still around - $9, had onboard WiFi and storage) driving an optoisolated relay board (the common ones you find from China) to run the buzzer.

    Another work project I have my eye on but haven't dug into yet, is we have an automated vibratory packaging machine that hasn't run in decades. Dump 10's of thousands of whatever into the hopper, and it'll accurately scale out the product, then fill and close the packaging box. When this thing stopped working, it was already obsolete and there was nobody who knew how to fix it. New machines are prohibitively expensive, so we've basically replaced the machine with near-retirees that want to work. The problem is with the control board, which is all VERY old discrete electronics. Whenever I get some extra time (that I don't spend posting on TGT) I'm going to either fix the old control board, or replace it with updated modern controls.
     
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  10. grasshopperglock

    grasshopperglock Cruise Control

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    Man...Y'all know your stuff.

    I'd enjoying seeing y'all cooped in a big room with a CNC machine and a 3d printer. Oh...and a pallet of 80% receiver blanks. Barrel blanks too.
     


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