[kwlug-disc] Arduino: hardware hacking project

richard at weait.com richard at weait.com
Sat Jan 31 17:13:16 EST 2009

Daniel said:
> The local Perl Mongers have been expanding our interests a bit lately;
> we've had talks on Python and other interpreted languages, and in
> March, we hope to get into a hardware hacking project.  Just 'cause.
> I was wondering if anyone was interested in going in on an order on an
> Arduino: (assembled, for $30 USD)

[ ... ]

> I'm looking to work my way up to building something like this:
> http://blog.russnelson.com/opensource/reusing-floppy-stepper-motors.html
> ...If you have a better source for Arduinos, or want to recommend in
> favour of a different microcontroller system, we're all ears...
> (though it's hard to argue against arduino; it's got open-source
> linux/mac/windows developer environment, and this model comes with a
> USB port for easy programming...)

Right up my alley!  I predict that the 'mongers will have a great time
with the Arduinos.  I've enjoyed playing with stepper motors and
controllers and can recommend it as a very entertaining time-sink.  I've
not played with the Arduino but have heard good things about it.

The setup you see on Russ' blog is a cool way to get started.  He's an
OpenStreetMap guy, so you know he knows what he is talking about.  :-) 
Once you have a stepping motor spinning the natural next step is to make
two stepping motors spin and cause something to move around your desk. 
This is the natural order of things.  Don't try to fight it.

Then you may find that the floppy disk stepper motors aren't as easy to
attach to things as you would like.  You'll want to try some other motors,
including servo- and gear-motors.  Check out

You'll also want to confirm the current limit on the Arduino outputs.

Best regards,

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