We posted another update a couple of days ago covering many of these points, but it seems to have evaporated (Maybe I forgot to hit the ‘Post’ button).
We know some of the kits have arrived locally in Ireland. However, one backer reported that the packaging was ‘compromised’ but that the components were OK. He sent us some photos & we will now update packaging on all future kit shipments. If any backer experiences a problem with the packaging, email us and we will sort it out. We plan to post the next batch of kits over the weekend or early next week.
On the Raspberry Pi front we have learned some differences compared to Arduino. For what we are doing with AnalysIR, Arduino appears superior, which was initially surprising considering the 16MHz vs 700Mhz CPU speed. But apparently, it’s because Arduino is dedicated exclusively to IO & RPi is a linux based OS doing lots of other things simultaneously. I believe RPi may perform better with kernel patches or over-clocking, but we don’t want to go there yet.
Yesterday we got the measurement of IR modulation frequency working on RPi using GPIO. This may be a world first for both Arduino & RPi. The only downside is that we cannot decode the signal & measure the modulation frequency simultaneously on the RPi, which we can on the Arduino. So for now, we will just provide a command line facility on RPi for measuring modulation Frequency. We have also written a script to take the raw output from LIRC on the RPi and convert it to AnalysIR format via LAN, which means we can also use LIRC as a real-time recording mechanism on RPi. (In theory, it should be easy to extend this to every other Linux platform with LIRC installed)
One bonus with the RPi is that we can already decode & analyse IR signals over the LAN, a feature which the Yún will also provide via WiFi. We also read the blog post on the upcoming Arduino Yún release and can’t wait to get AnalysIR running on it…… The Yún should work out of the box, via serialUSB as it also has a Leonardo on-board and we will have to write up some small script to enable the WiFi part (Oct+ time-frame for WiFi).
Regarding our planned roll-out (circa 9th Sep), we plan to stick with a 2 phase approach as outlined on the main campaign page. If there are additional slots available for the initial phase we will contact backers directly. The reason is to avoid wasting time for 100+ people with a new release.
I would like to finish off by thanking you all for supporting AnalysIR.
The first set of kits has shipped today and because we were able to get a discount on the components we also included some bonus components as a gift (2 x npn transistors, 4 x 100 ohm resistors & 4 x 4k7 ohm resistors). These extra components may be of use to those who want to build their own IR led Driver circuit with the TSAL6100. We didn’t realise that shipping components was such an ordeal (individual Customs & Air Safety declarations depending on destination). The shipping cost was more than budgeted, but was also offset by the discount achieved.
On the Raspberry Pi front, AnalysIR is now running well without any noticeable glitches. The approach we have adapted is to connect to the RPi over the network. The solution was to pipe the output over the LAN to a virtual serial port on the Windows PC. The virtual serial port utility is freely available for Windows and the network stuff on the RPi is just standard shell commands. I should point out that we haven’t yet tried to measure the modulation frequency on the RPi, just straight decoding though the IR Receiver. When idle we are using only 1.3% CPU on the RPi, when recording a single signal it goes to 1.6% CPU & when full out recording IR it goes up to ~ 4.9% CPU usage. This is pretty good as it doesn’t impact on other processes; considering our first attempt was using 99% CPU when idle 🙂
The potential to decode & analyze over a network may lead to some interesting features in future – ideas welcome. As a minimum, the work with the RPi will make the port to the Arduino Due easier (we are expecting a Due next week) and also when the Arduino Yún is released with WiFi
We have now reached 100 unique backers for AnalysIR and we would like to thank you all for your generous support & welcome our latest backers. In particular, we would like to give a special thanks to those who made donations without perks.
And now for the News:
That’s all for now……… Next week = Documentation update
As we are approaching the last 10 days of the campaign we would like to share the following updates:
● Today we were informed that the kit components were shipped via UPS to us here in Dublin. Hopefully, they will arrive within a few days, which means we should be able to start posting them out over the weekend or early next week.
● We have been busy this week with preparing the Windows installation package and it seems to be going well – so far.
● We also improved the Arduino code and increased the effective RAM available for AnalysIR.
● We have also integrated the IR modulation measurement into the GUI and it works well with the Modulation frequency being updated ‘at least’ once per IR signal. As we mentioned previously, we have not seen an example of IR modulation frequency being measured on an Arduino before, and particularly not simultaneous with IR decoding.
● We have also added support for compression of IR when importing or exporting in Global Cache format.
● Yesterday we had an interesting experience with the Arduino. As we were swapping out one IR receiver and held the signal line in the hand – a signal received by AnalysIR. We inspected the signal and it seemed to be pretty consistent, so it was analysed quickly using excel and it turned out (not surprisingly) to be mains hum which in this part of the world has a frequency of 50Hz (vs 60Hz elsewhere). That then got me thinking about the following hack!
● We then tested sending a series of serial signals from another Arduino into the IR rx pin and voila the serial trace appeared in the display of AnalysIR. We successfully tested up to 38400 BAUD and bit higher. So even though we do not plan to ‘officially’ support serial protocols at this time, it means that you could potentially use AnalysIR as a pseudo Serial analyzer or even a basic digital signal/logic analyzer of sorts. The limit would be somewhere between 40-50kHz, on a 16MHz Arduino. Not bad a hack before release 🙂
● We have recently come across several new IR protocols including:
– To date we have completed all the investigations needed to decode them and add them to AnalysIR. However, we will have to defer this until after the initial release has settled down & we can get reliable source signals to verify against. Once we complete these new signals we will be heading towards an even more comprehensive list of supported protocols.
Today we have added a new perk of IR starter kits and retired some of the other perks.
The kits are provided as a quick starter aid for backers who dont have IR receivers to hand. Please note that a learner IR receiver is required to measure the modulation frequency and at least one IR receiver is required otherwise (=Kit A).
Of course you can still use the powerful import/export feature without any Arduino or IR receiver connected.
Please feel free to purchase your own components directly. Otherwise we have a student ready to do all the leg work for a small bribe (oops I meant Tip).
On the technical side of things – we have greatly improved the performance, design & implementation of the Arduino based code along with some User Interface improvements, over the last few days .
Finally, a big welcome to our latest backers and thanks again to all our 80+ backers.
Wow – A big thanks to all of our 70 backers, we have now reached the minimum target, which means that AnalysIR will be released.
More good news today & another Bonus feature!
The news is that today AnalysIR was accepted into the Microsoft BizSpark programme, which will help us out in our development efforts on the MS platform along with lots of other goodies.
The Bonus feature is the addition of support for Importing of Global Caché commands in GC-100, iTach, GC-IRL & GC-IRE formats into AnalysIR. This was suggested by one of our backers & we hope to close the loop by supporting export as well (Time permitting).
An interesting point is that GC sells a learning device (like an RS-232 dongle) for importing IR signals and it costs circa $100 on Amazon. It looks like when we get the export feature working, AnalysIR with an Arduino will be able to a lot lot more than this $100 device.
So the list of formats now supported for import includes:
– Pronto CCF
– Global Caché GC-100
– Global Caché iTach
– Global Caché GC-IRL
– Global Caché GC-IRE
and we may add a couple more in the initial release. We also hope to support export of these protocols from AnalysIR – time permitting. This means that you will have a generic device than can record & decode via the Arduino – plus convert to/from all these formats. Impressive!
Thanks to our backer who has a Global Caché device and is willing to test the AnalysIR export once it is available.
We are delighted to welcome our 50th backer and to celebrate we are going to spend some time today adding a new feature – going to try importing from one other system to get us started and hopefully add more in future.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to make referrals, it is having a real impact on our ranking on Indiegogo.
Great News – we have passed 50% of the minimum target, but with lots of hard work remaining to get to 100%.
We had a great weekend with the Maker Faire & coverage on the Arduino Blog. I believe we also got coverage on Adafruit yeaterday, all of which really helps to get the message out for AnalysIR.
Thanks again to our backers who shared the link to our project (see earlier post on how to) – it really helps and we can see the impact via the analytics.
We will make another update once we have fully recovered from Maker Faire (Great fun and very very hard work on the day and in preparation).
This morning we were pulling our hair out using the Leonardo platform, but it seems that unlike other Arduinos you need to properly close the serial port in the windows application before exiting, otherwise the Leonardo is visible as a COM port but unusable. It took hours to debug this and we will make a post on the Arduino forum in case others hit the same problem.
……more later and a BIG welcome to all of our new backers.