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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #61 
I will be at Gencon this year! See you there

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http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/immersion-bridge-build-in-progress-7335195?pid=1290158413
Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #62 
As promised at Armada . . .



MarkBell

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Reply with quote  #63 
Woot!  This was awesome [biggrin]  Really makes me interested in contacting my local representative!
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El Phantasamo

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Reply with quote  #64 

"Building Yesterdays tomorrow, TODAY!"

I Love it.

Scionica

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Reply with quote  #65 
This video is on my "top 5 things that happened at Armada this year" list.  Love it love it love it.

Sorry if you've answered this already, but do you have a git repository or something of your Arduino code?  I'd like to plagiarize... I mean take inspiration from your implementation of sliders and dials, and staring at code and figuring out how it works is the only way my brain actually absorbs such information.  That is, if you're okay with it.

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notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #66 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scionica
This video is on my "top 5 things that happened at Armada this year" list.  Love it love it love it.

Sorry if you've answered this already, but do you have a git repository or something of your Arduino code?  I'd like to plagiarize... I mean take inspiration from your implementation of sliders and dials, and staring at code and figuring out how it works is the only way my brain actually absorbs such information.  That is, if you're okay with it.


Ditto on both of these things. Loved your video and I would also love to see your code as well.

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-Captain of the TSN Gungnir JN-001
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-My continuing bridge build:
http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/immersion-bridge-build-in-progress-7335195?pid=1290158413
Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scionica
This video is on my "top 5 things that happened at Armada this year" list.  Love it love it love it.

Sorry if you've answered this already, but do you have a git repository or something of your Arduino code?  I'd like to plagiarize... I mean take inspiration from your implementation of sliders and dials, and staring at code and figuring out how it works is the only way my brain actually absorbs such information.  That is, if you're okay with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by notsabbat
Ditto on both of these things. Loved your video and I would also love to see your code as well.


Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

I have attached all of the code I wrote/adapted for the Teensy LC controllers on the control panels. The code works with the Arduino programmer tool and could be used to program Arduino-based microcontrollers with limited modifications. There is one microcontroller per panel. Each one is emulating a USB mouse-keyboard-joystick combination device. The code is meant to work with Artemis without any modifications of any kind on the PC that is running the client. The controllers have all the instructions to either use the keyboard shortcuts or make the appropriate mouse clicks on the screen.

I am not a programmer in real life (although my profession does prize safety and reliability above all else), so I make no promises about the portability or robustness of my code. I do know that from Armada, only one panel had any kind of hiccup and it was easily remedied. The code below is the code the controllers were running at Armada and in the video.

I have also attached Excel files with the pin mapping. These files will be essential to anyone trying to either implement the code verbatim to their own hardware or trying to adapt it to a similar configuration.

 
Attached Files
zip 2285 Control Code 20170407.zip (17.33 KB, 38 views)
zip 2285 Control Maps 20170407.zip (36.84 KB, 28 views)

Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #68 
Update:

I have a little news about an upcoming addition to the project that I wanted to share with those of you who have been following this thread.

First, I wanted to express again my admiration for the various bridge hardware that people brought to Armada this year. There were some excellent ideas on display and I look forward to shamelessly stealing them for this project.

High on the list is extending the theme of my controls to some atmospheric game feedback hardware (i.e., ship status board) and the like. At this point in the project, I feel like I have taken the input devices to a point where the retro sci-fi controls are doing their job. Now, I want to have some matching output hardware that contributes to gameplay and the overall bridge style.

I put together a few schematic cartoons to illustrate the concept and the "story so far". My initial concept for the end goal was to have some game state info output from Artemis feed into a master control program that, in turn, runs some blinky lights and other effects. The idea with the MCP is that it could animate various displays in interesting ways in response to particular contexts, or combinations of events in-game, or even drive context-specific controls.
Slide1.JPG 
All this brainstorming was in response to a vague notion about what people were doing with DMX and no notion at all about how they were getting the information out of Artemis.

Then, at Armada, Mark held his DMX workshop. "This is where I learn how to get the info out", I thought. I signed up, tinkered with my shiny new hardware (Thanks, Mark and Thom!), and then consulted the forums to see how people were getting this stuff to work. So, now, I had a picture of how the DMX thing is done and how Thom specifically has DMX serial instructions coming out of Artemis to make the whole thing work.
Slide2 - Copy.JPG 
This is a good juncture to credit notsabbat for his detailed post and excellent research working out the basics of procuring some cheap DMX hardware and making the most of the native Artemis DMX support:
https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/cheap-usb-interface-and-dmx-led-strip-build-7833577
The hardware from notsabbat's post is what was provided in the workshop. Sadly, my USB-to-serial converter never really behaved correctly. In testing, it would regularly hang. Artemis would just drop the connection altogether, typically after 20-30 seconds.
Slide2.JPG 
Now, I decided is the time to figure out how to make my original concept work in the most straight-forward way possible. I don't want to rely on a software solution that is sensitive to updates - i.e., I want to rely on Artemis as Thom publishes it, to the extent possible. Therefore, I needed to provide an FTDI USB-to-serial interface that Artemis would recognize out of the box (Artemis uses the FTDI library only, so that's the hardware to get!). I also needed a way for my microcontroller of choice to read the serial (DMX signal) output and correctly interpret the info provided. Fortunately, the internet is full of posts by people who have worked out how to do it. After a little bit of reading about the serial Rx registers on the Teensy LC and how to tweak them to correctly identify the start of a DMX packet, I am in business!

Here is the heart of the operation - an FTDI USB-to-serial interface (on the right) wired into one of my Teensy LC microcontrollers (note - the serial connection is wired in the "TTL" configuration rather than RS485 like DMX)
IMAG0966 - Copy.jpg 
Most importantly, the operation is stable and reliable. I can now get the info out of Artemis! From here, the MCP could take the output anywhere - lots of dynamic effects! Should be fun!
Slide3.JPG 

notsabbat

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Reply with quote  #69 
Dang! This is super exciting! Will be following closely.

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-My continuing bridge build:
http://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/immersion-bridge-build-in-progress-7335195?pid=1290158413
Scionica

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Reply with quote  #70 
This is awesome!  Those DMX adapters can be a bit temperamental, I had to go through a few before I found one that works reliably.  It never occurred to me to tie the DMX signal directly into a microcontroller, but then again I have next to zero experience working with Arduinos, so I would be starting at zero again.  Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.
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Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #71 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsabbat
Dang! This is super exciting! Will be following closely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scionica
This is awesome!  Those DMX adapters can be a bit temperamental, I had to go through a few before I found one that works reliably.  It never occurred to me to tie the DMX signal directly into a microcontroller, but then again I have next to zero experience working with Arduinos, so I would be starting at zero again.  Looking forward to seeing what comes of this.


I am also quite excited about what can be done! I am going to take my time putting ideas and designs together, so it may be a while before you see any working hardware photos in this space.

Also, relating to the USB-to-DMX adapter question, I stumbled across this product while searching for some other things:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9822

I noted from Mark's notes on the wiki that many of the USB-to-serial converters are $30+. This one, at $20, may be a good alternative. It says USB-to-RS485, which means the output from Artemis will work directly with people's slave DMX controllers (DMX uses RS485). The A and B go to D+ and D-, respectively. I have not tried it out (I'm going a different direction), but it looks promising.
Scionica

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Reply with quote  #72 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel of Rust
Also, relating to the USB-to-DMX adapter question, I stumbled across this product while searching for some other things:
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9822

I noted from Mark's notes on the wiki that many of the USB-to-serial converters are $30+. This one, at $20, may be a good alternative. It says USB-to-RS485, which means the output from Artemis will work directly with people's slave DMX controllers (DMX uses RS485). The A and B go to D+ and D-, respectively. I have not tried it out (I'm going a different direction), but it looks promising.

There's a whole lot of USB to RS485 adapters if you look long enough. Mine is an $8 eBay special, which explains why I went through 3 of them before I got one that actually works.

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Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #73 
interlude:

We're doing some Spring cleaning and decided it's time to downsize the light box I made for AnguaLupin 6 years ago. LEDs are brighter and cheaper now, so I can build something a bit lighter.

Here's the inside of the light box. The top is 24" x 48" x 1/4" semi-transparent acrylic (not shown). The whole thing is quite heavy.
IMAG0980 - Copy.jpg 

Those 4 T8s put out just under 12,000 Lumens and are set less than 5 inches from the surface. I'll need to find a photo of it in operation (I know I have one somewhere) -- the illumination was relatively even. I am going to try a lighter frame with a 7,500 Lumen array of LEDs with set 2.5 inches from the surface and see what happens.

davekp

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Reply with quote  #74 
That's some pretty darned nifty stuff!  From your video you can see which bridge stations are complex and which are simple.


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Angel of Rust

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Reply with quote  #75 
update:

I've finally worked out how I am going to structure the communications between the main controller and the various effects. First, however, I am going to take a step back and recap some of the development until now.

After I was first introduced to Artemis and learned that people were making custom controls, I really wanted to try building some. The first control I built was a small Science panel. Let's call the prototype "Block I" for discussion purposes.

IMAG0551 - Copy.jpg 
Several of you have already seen the prototype at Armada.

The prototype worked well enough, but the lights were hard to see and the interface and style were not quite right. Using the experience from the one and only Block I panel, I embarked on the design and construction of the "Block II" panels which are shown earlier in this thread.

Slide3 (2) - Copy.JPG 
I was really happy with how the Block II panels look and work. Looking ahead to what I might do with the DMX cues, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the material costs for the Block II panels. Here is a quick estimate I put together.
Block II costs - Copy.png 

It's certainly pricier than a mouse and keyboard, but not crazy. There are a few places to cut costs. Overall, I think it worked out well. I hope other people looking to build something similar will take heart from the relatively common materials used.

Now I want to talk about my plans for Block III. From my perspective, the network topology for Artemis looks something like this:
text4834 - Copy.png 
The server/mainscreen communicates with the client stations over a set of LAN/ethernet connections.

The Block II controls are just USB mouse/keyboard/joystick emulators:
text5149 - Copy.png 
Now that I am able to reliably read the DMX output from the Artemis server/mainscreen, I need a way to process that information and communicate a set of commands that result in interesting effects from the status panel and/or effects devices. Coincidentally, it looks like a linear bus topology is the most straight-forward arrangement. Unlike the DMX cues, however, I have a bit more freedom to process the available information and create different combinations of effects. I also think, since I am going to put a few displays/lights on the bus, why not put the controls on as well? Enter the concept for the Block III controls:

text4834-9-7-8 - Copy.png 

In this arrangement, all Block III controls are equipped with an RS485 transceiver. They are therefore able to both receive and transmit information to the other units on the bus. To maintain order, the main controller will send transmit commands to each controller individually when it is each controller's turn to transmit. After the commanded transmission, the next signal will always come from the main controller, ensuring only one device is transmitting at a time. The main controller will be receiving information about the game from both the DMX cues and the commands generated by the players using the control panels. With these two sets of information, the controller can infer many interesting and useful game states with which to animate the lights and displays. Moreover, I can now implement some context-specific controls on each panel as well as repeat/interconnect controls between stations in interesting ways. My ultimate goal to create a little more spaceship immersion while still emphasizing the need for communication and cooperation between crew members.

The next step is to complete the main controller design and start cutting parts.

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