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Using NoviceGuard's Twelve Way Connector

This page is a sub-menu for pages about using NoviceGuard's Twelve Way Connector. You do not need a NoviceGuard to use what is presented here. It will be of limited use if you do not have an Arduino.

NoviceGuard has a twelve way connector along its bottom edge, which lets you plug things into an Arduino without all the fuss (and opportunity for mistakes) of using breadboards.

Sometimes you will plug in a small PCB, other times, just a pins connector on a cable leading to some "bits and pieces".

Terminology: Please don't think of the "Daughter Board Connectors" and the "Twelve Way Connector" as being pretty similar, one merely having more pins than the other. The Daughter Board Connectors have lots of circuitry between them and the Arduino. Well, "lots" compared to the components on the lines of the Twelve Way Connector... where there are no components on the lines!

NoviceGuard is working, but there are frontiers as yet not fully explored.

This is particularly true of things connected to it via the Twelve Way Connector, as opposed to things plugged in via the "daughter board" sockets.

I have been playing with "what works" via the Twelve Way Connector, and been pleased to find that my untested optimism was well founded. I have made less progress with writing the routines which will be needed for the free, optional, Arduino library, NovGrdCore, which plays a part in achieving the design goals of the NoviceGuard. (I don't doubt they can be written... but "the best way" is still a work in progress!) In the meantime, anyone who knows a bit about Arduinos can use the Twelve Way Connector... there just won't be the ease of use, and protection for the Arduino that NoviceGuard + NovGrdCore usually provide.

If you come up with some fun things to do via the Twelve Way Connector, I would be delighted to hear about them.

First section.. "done deals"

None yet!

Well... apart from EVERYTHING that CAN be connected via a Daughter Board Socket. You could even produce a little adapter board which would let users plug daughter boards, with their 5 pin connectors, into the Twelve Way Connector, and not even have to re-wire them!

Second section- General points about design of things to connect via Twelve Way Connector

There is also information elsewhere about the Twelve Way Connector. That is mostly about what is on the NoviceGuard side of things. Here we will take a look at the external side, in general terms...

The following is just a few highlights of the wiring of the Twelve Way Connector. The full story is near the bottom of the page with the details of the parts of a NoviceGuard.

At the right hand end of the Twelve Way Connector is a socket which carries the "ground" (zero volts) signal.

At the left hand end is a socket which connects to a positive voltage. It will be the same positive voltage as supplied to the daughter board sockets... the Arduino's Vcc in simple circumstances, or a voltage from a separate supply, if you have made use of the power supply options provided by the NoviceGuard.

In between are sockets connecting directly to various pins of the Arduino... D9, D8, D7, D6, A1, A0, D11, D10, to name them, left to right, not counting the two positions which should be plugged in the socket strip, to provide registration and polarization protection. (This is the "short form" description of the services on the Twelve Way Connector. Explained again, with pictures, at the Details Of Parts... page.

Is it an input? Is it an output?

It isn't rocket science, but a tedious detail that NoviceGuard and NovGrdCore are trying to shield novices from is that care must be taken to match the programming of the Arduino to the hardware connected to it. In particular, most peripheral hardware can be classed as either an input device, or an output device. And the Arduino would be programmed accordingly.

Of course, with a NoviceGuard, at least until you start using the Twelve Way Connector, you don't have to worry about these things. The peripheral hardware is connected via the daughter board sockets, and they are set up so that input sockets only accept input devices, and output sockets only accept output devices, and even if you DID plug something into the wrong socket, no harm would arise. (No result would arise, either... that includes no BAD result.)

However, with the Twelve Way Connector, things are less simple. How the novice user will be shielded from the dangers of the pinMode command is a work in progress!

There is also the complicated business of the devices that, used with their libraries, switch lines between input and output.

There is more on this... things no novice needs to read, but perhaps useful to mentors, and other non-novice readers of these pages on the page "InpAndOutp.htm".

Third section- To connect by Twelve Way Connector: in development

This section is for promises that work is being done.......

I've had the following running happily on an Arduino, through a NoviceGuard's Twelve Way Connector.

The "problem" is not making things work. It is with the yet-to-be-done enhancements to NovGrdCore, which will spare novices even seeing pinMode commands in the program.

Made to work...

$5 Liquid Crystal Display, four lines, 16 characters: Get one (or two!) while they are cheap! ModernDevice were selling for $5, excl p&p, (August 2015) some little LCDs which Just Work, without any special adaptations, with the instructions at the Guide to LCDs. Pinout/ hookup is the same. Software needs no tweaks. No backlight. What do you want for $5?! It is a DataVision 16400. Read the page this links to, if you want your hand held, and every detail explicit.

Reading an IR remote control / "Beam broken" intruder, etc, detectors: Use an ordinary remote control as a keyboard for all your Arduino projects. In some digressions at the end of the tutorial, I present some project ideas. Have fun! (If you use the library recommended, you can also send IR remote control signals from an Arduino.) The "beam broken" detector does not need a remote control handset, but if you read the tutorial, you'll see how the topics are related.

Drive a four coil stepper motor. These little motors are easy to obtain... I got one for 5v, with a driver board, for about $5, from an established US distributor. There's a one minute YouTube video showing my four coil stepper motor in action, if you want that. It is running the program discussed here, through the driver board discussed here.

Know the date and time of day Using a DS1302 RTC chip. This "tutorial" is not yet polished, but has useful information. I bought the hardware for $2 (+ the price of a "button cell". Does NOT require you to put something on the I2C channel.

Sense humidity and temperature Using DHT22, SHT11, RHT02, and similar chips. I bought the hardware for about $10 + p&p from a "mainstream", US based supplier. This tutorial is in my NoviceGuard daughter boards series, but you don't need NoviceGuard or the NovGrdCore library to use it. You make just two minor changes to the software to adapt for general use.

It is very much a work in progress, but I am confident that the following will connect nicely to an Arduino through a NoviceGuard in due course. I can already show you how to connect one of these inexpensive LCD displays with switches directly to an Arduino! (There's more information on these devices there. 16x2 character backlit LCD screen, up/ down/ left/ right/ select switch matrix... all about $8 and easy programming!)

LCD and switches module

How to email or write this page's editor, Tom Boyd

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