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Re: [tracker2] Configuration methods

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  • Keri Morgret
    You guys are all just enabling Scott! Don t give him any more neat ideas until the website is up, I need him to review the content that s there, not be
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 6, 2008
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      You guys are all just enabling Scott! Don't give him any more neat
      ideas until the website is up, I need him to review the content
      that's there, not be creating new stuff for me to document. :)

      [off topic rant on the weather here]
      And I'm behind on the website, thanks to Mother Nature. I'm in the
      San Francisco Bay area, where I am one of the lucky 50,000 households
      still out of power (it maxed out at 1.2 million Friday night). We've
      been out for about 36 hours now, with no estimate as to when it will
      return, it might not be for a couple of days yet. We're up in our RV
      at my inlaw's house, so I now have power and internet and can get to
      the website again.

      It's not too bad for us personally -- it's just our block out of
      power, which means the surrounding businesses all have power, the
      stores haven't run out of anything, and we can eat out if we need to.
      It's not like there's an earthquake where there are no services. Just
      no power, and being just a few houses, we're low on the list for
      restoration. We've had three storms in three days, with Friday being
      the worst. Winds on the Golden Gate Bridge hit 70mph, and the
      Richmond bridge was shut down for the day because a big rig flipped
      due to the wind.

      The storm hit Scott's area (he's about 250 miles south of me)
      yesterday, but as of last night, he had just lost power for a few
      seconds. Being in California, this is a good reminder for us to
      upgrade (or create) our emergency kits. He now has a generator and
      other supplies, so I imagine he's in good shape even if they did lost power.

      Keri
      N6TME


      >What about adding an external memory connector for the Tracker2,
      >something like a flash card? The interface is straight serial, and
      >would allow for a huge amount of room for more firmware and logging.
      >Another firmware image could be made for this option, something
      >light, that expects to load additional code off from the card.
      <snip>

      >Thoughts? Flames?
      >
      >-Dan N7NMD
    • Scott Miller
      Somewhere around here I have a picture of a pre-T2 prototype I built. Still have it, in fact. It s got a MMC slot. I later switched to a thicker SD/MMC
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 6, 2008
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        Somewhere around here I have a picture of a pre-T2 prototype I built.
        Still have it, in fact. It's got a MMC slot. I later switched to a
        thicker SD/MMC socket for the ARM7-based DC1 prototype. For that one, I
        got as far as writing the first portion of the FAT filesystem driver,
        and was able to do directory listings and read files from a standard
        FAT-formatted card.

        That's not going to happen in the T2 due to space constraints. There
        *IS* a space on the T2 board (both T2-135 and OT2m) for an 8-pin SOIC
        memory. It was intended for a serial FRAM (32 kbytes max, last I
        checked) but there may be serial flash ICs that would fit. Finding a
        5-volt version might be tough.

        The main problem is still finding enough code space to do something
        useful with the extra memory. The MCU has no external address or data
        bus, so it can't run code directly from an external memory - it needs to
        load it either into RAM (and there's not much of that to spare) or
        internal flash, which is a relatively time-consuming operation.

        It's probably going to have to wait for my next tracker/TNC. I'm
        starting to think about that again - I'm planning to stay with a
        variation of the ARM7 chip I've already experimented with. It'll have
        two RS-232 ports (with their own connectors), native USB, an SD/MMC
        slot, and I just decided yesterday that it ought to have a screw
        terminal block on it for telemetry connections. All of this is probably
        at least 18 months out, though - I've got plenty to keep me busy right now.

        Scott

        Dan Zubey wrote:
        >
        >
        > I was watching "How it's Made" on the discovery channel last night, and
        > they were describing the assembly of slot machines. Basically it's a
        > robot, but the interesting thing is that the main board memory consisted
        > of ROM and a flashcard, for easy upgrades and logging. Which got me to
        > thinking...
        >
        > What about adding an external memory connector for the Tracker2,
        > something like a flash card? The interface is straight serial, and would
        > allow for a huge amount of room for more firmware and logging. Another
        > firmware image could be made for this option, something light, that
        > expects to load additional code off from the card.
        >
        > Pluses would be:
        >
        > Incredible amounts of storage for weather and position logging, for when
        > the tracker is out of range, which then could be sent out on the air or
        > read by an external PC of the card.
        >
        > Scott would never, ever have to worry about finding space for more code.
        >
        > Large, high-level scripts could be stored on the card
        >
        > Configurations could be edited as text files on a
        > Linux/mac/winXP/treo/etc and just inserted into the tracker and read.
        >
        > Minuses would be:
        >
        > Extra code needed to read the filesystem on the card
        >
        > The price of the Tracker would go up about $5-$10 for the flash card
        > interface.
        >
        > Thoughts? Flames?
        >
        > -Dan N7NMD
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Scott Miller
        Yeah, I ve got all of the batteries charged and the generator fueled, and we ve gotten only 0.34 of rain in the last day, and the wind is totally calm right
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 6, 2008
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          Yeah, I've got all of the batteries charged and the generator fueled,
          and we've gotten only 0.34" of rain in the last day, and the wind is
          totally calm right now.

          Oh well... I'll just have to wait for the next disaster to try out the
          new generator.

          Scott

          Keri Morgret wrote:
          >
          >
          > You guys are all just enabling Scott! Don't give him any more neat
          > ideas until the website is up, I need him to review the content
          > that's there, not be creating new stuff for me to document. :)
          >
          > [off topic rant on the weather here]
          > And I'm behind on the website, thanks to Mother Nature. I'm in the
          > San Francisco Bay area, where I am one of the lucky 50,000 households
          > still out of power (it maxed out at 1.2 million Friday night). We've
          > been out for about 36 hours now, with no estimate as to when it will
          > return, it might not be for a couple of days yet. We're up in our RV
          > at my inlaw's house, so I now have power and internet and can get to
          > the website again.
          >
          > It's not too bad for us personally -- it's just our block out of
          > power, which means the surrounding businesses all have power, the
          > stores haven't run out of anything, and we can eat out if we need to.
          > It's not like there's an earthquake where there are no services. Just
          > no power, and being just a few houses, we're low on the list for
          > restoration. We've had three storms in three days, with Friday being
          > the worst. Winds on the Golden Gate Bridge hit 70mph, and the
          > Richmond bridge was shut down for the day because a big rig flipped
          > due to the wind.
          >
          > The storm hit Scott's area (he's about 250 miles south of me)
          > yesterday, but as of last night, he had just lost power for a few
          > seconds. Being in California, this is a good reminder for us to
          > upgrade (or create) our emergency kits. He now has a generator and
          > other supplies, so I imagine he's in good shape even if they did lost power.
          >
          > Keri
          > N6TME
          >
          > >What about adding an external memory connector for the Tracker2,
          > >something like a flash card? The interface is straight serial, and
          > >would allow for a huge amount of room for more firmware and logging.
          > >Another firmware image could be made for this option, something
          > >light, that expects to load additional code off from the card.
          > <snip>
          >
          > >Thoughts? Flames?
          > >
          > >-Dan N7NMD
          >
          >
        • Ian ZL1VFO
          ... ~Snip~ ... Well, when you eventually get to that, can you add something like the ENC28J60 Stand-Alone Ethernet Controller with SPI Interface to it?
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 7, 2008
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            > 2c. Re: Configuration methods
            > Posted by: "Scott Miller" scott@... n1vg
            > Date: Sun Jan 6, 2008 9:48 am ((PST))

            ~Snip~

            > It's probably going to have to wait for my next tracker/TNC. I'm
            > starting to think about that again - I'm planning to stay with a
            > variation of the ARM7 chip I've already experimented with. It'll have
            > two RS-232 ports (with their own connectors), native USB, an SD/MMC
            > slot, and I just decided yesterday that it ought to have a screw
            > terminal block on it for telemetry connections. All of this is probably
            > at least 18 months out, though - I've got plenty to keep me busy right now.

            > Scott

            Well, when you eventually get to that, can you add something like the
            ENC28J60 Stand-Alone Ethernet Controller with SPI Interface to it?
            <http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=1335&dDocName=en022889>
            <http://www.ljcv.net/nic28/>
            I've been casting around for a reasonably cheap Serial-to-Ethernet
            converter, so I can hook the Tracker2 up to the radio remote from the
            PC. Haven't found one that would be considered inexpensive once
            currency conversion and freight costs to ZL get factored into the mix.
            It'd be nice to hook a ENC28J60 direct to a Tracker2, and maybe
            emulate the AGW port 8000 interface, but I don't know
            what code space requirements would be - maybe a bit much for it.

            I'll be quiet now, lest I give you ideas & distract you from your
            website development :)

            -Ian ZL1VFO
          • Jason KG4WSV
            ... If you go that far, it d probably be easier to use something like the WIZnet module or one of the Lantronix modules (wireless maybe?), since they include
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 8, 2008
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              On Jan 8, 2008 12:07 AM, Ian ZL1VFO <zl1vfo@...> wrote:
              Well, when you eventually get to that, can you add something like the
              ENC28J60 Stand-Alone Ethernet Controller with SPI Interface to it?

              If you go that far, it'd probably be easier to use something like the WIZnet module or one of the Lantronix modules (wireless maybe?), since they include the TCP and UDP stacks. With the microchip product, you have to implement the bottom three layers of the network stack, in addition to your application layer.

              -Jason
              kg4wsv
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