Author Topic: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???  (Read 219 times)

KrisK

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Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« on: March 20, 2020, 08:09:37 PM »
I have a project that I initially started by using Dip Switches.   One set of DIPs (2 position) is the Network ID's (0,1,2,3)    And another set of DIPs (5 Position) (0-31) is the DEVICE ID.    This was easy and I thought users would be ok with it.     Now with some additional hardware in the main box and a cover case it is difficult to unbolt the lid, then unscrew the electronics package cover find the dip switch and change the ID's.     In other words it isn't USER UN-Friendly.   (It worked fine on my lab bench with a bread board)

So I initially thought easy peezy and it would be fun to use RFID's.   That way all the user needed to do is put the two  RFID cards in/on the device and poof problem solved.    Now as I dig into RFID I read it is hard and unreliable to use multiple cards with one reader.  (interference being the main issue).

I have thought of using one card with a value for both the network ID and the Device ID.   But that would mean a user would need a card dec 4 x 32 = 128.    To add more hassles.   The user wants 3 devices with the same network ID and Device ID..  or basically a card dec of 500 cards

So.. I post this to the forum to help me brain storm a user friendly replacement for DIP switches.

Thanks in advance for any help, questions or insight.
Kris

PS.. the devices are outside being banged around so it needs to stand physical abuse (somewhat)

Felix

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2020, 08:52:16 PM »
How about a special master device which all the slaves can pair to under certain conditions, would allow the user to configure one slave node at a time with their settings, change the node behavior..?
Could be a touch screen based device, sitting on a special frequency, waiting for slaves to come online to pair with. Once paired, with a few screen taps, the node can be set a NET ID, NODE ID, anything else, and unpaired from the master to start transmitting on its regular frequency.

KrisK

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 04:42:19 PM »
Nice...  This is a different angle of thought.   I was only thinking about a physical method not a soft method.   I was hoping to keep less gadgets out of the mix but this might just be an easier way.   

Taking your thought a bit more...  I could have it pair and then send a command to store in memory the device ID.  At startup read that memory location to get the device ID.


Thanks Felix.   

PS.. Please keep the suggestions coming.

KrisK

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2020, 12:23:31 AM »
After more reviews and research I remembered about Rotary Switches with resistors.    The hardware has lots of room to go ahead and use two of these and they are resilient.   My assumption is I power it with a PIN so the voltage regulator onboard the Moteino keeps it stable and then read it on another pin.

However, my next set of versions will take into consideration the Master/Slave setup (thanks Felix)   A blue tooth enabled mobile app (who knows I might find a college intern that wants some code work for cheap)   and lastly maybe RFID will work.

Thanks again Felix

Kris

EternityForest

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2020, 01:46:59 AM »
What about photodiodes and blinking phone screens?

Uncle Buzz

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2020, 04:17:52 AM »
You didn't explain why and how often the user have to change the ID configuration. It could help us to give you some ideas... Using specific hardware could be more user friendly but with higher cost, we don't know if it's worth it !

Felix

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2020, 07:54:42 AM »
What about photodiodes and blinking phone screens?
Will be too prone to interference from other light sources. And you'd need to monitor the photo diode unless its on an interrupt, gets too complicated.
Maybe maybe IR would be a better choice. But you need feedback, or how would you know what you're doing...
So you end up going back to another setup device with radio + LCD so you see what you're doing.

KrisK

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2020, 11:18:08 AM »
It needs to be durable and intuitive for the users.   The total cost of the device is around $800.   So I don't want to double my cost.    The use case is the device will be outside on a construction work site with users on occasion wanting to make a change to the configuration.   For example: they don't have 2 devices reacting simultaneously to a single sensor (motion, sound, pressure pad...)    Or maybe they changed their mind and they want two devices to react at the same time based on a press of a pressure pad or a sound.    They could have work gloves and limited tools to change things. 

I used the Network ID so I could have up to 4 general area's/networks   And Node IDs on each device up to 32 (if using dip switches) 

Felix

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2020, 11:30:28 AM »
Yeah, my TOUCH SCREEN LCD CONFIGURATOR suggestion would work great here. They can take gloves off or use a stylus.
You could change anything on the node (IDs, configuration, parameters).

Just walk to node in question, pair it to the CONFIGURATOR -> make changes -> unpair -> node is now live with new settings.
I have working implementations of this, works great with SAMD21/51 and typical SPI screens with touch interface.

KrisK

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2020, 11:40:52 AM »
I think I have a solution.     

It started out with me using 2 rotary switches with 10k resistors in divider form and a voltage analog pin read.    One switch will be for the network and one for the ID.   A peer told me the rotary's can be wonky at times so I moved to toggle switches.

Toggle switches don't break (much)   Rotary switches are OK, but dust and muck can cause WONKY issues.

NOW..... the thought 

Use toggle switch for the Network ID's.   Initially I can use 2 toggle switches to define 4 networks. (Add one more for 8 networks).   Then use the RFID' reader on a printed FOB (with the numbers).   I can create a simple shielded packet that holds the spare RFID cards inside the box and all the user needs to do is remove the RFID card he wants and mount it with a thumb screw on the electronic package.   So the RFID card read will only be 1/2 inch away from the reader.  Spare cards will be in a shielded packet 6 inches away.       Cost will be around $10.

Now how durable is a RFID reader?   

Keep the suggestions coming and thanks again for the input.
Kris


KrisK

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Re: Help with Brain Storming on DIP Switches VS ....???
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2020, 11:46:02 AM »
Thanks Felix.   I could actually put the touch screen inside the portable device protecting it somewhat from the elements.  User only needs to loosen 3 thumb screws on the lid to remove the lid.    If the users don't like that then it could be on the outside of the box.

I will take a look deeper at your touch screens.   I have wanted to mess with them as well.  Almost as much as RFID's....   

Kris