Author Topic: Hello from Tennessee  (Read 1109 times)


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Hello from Tennessee
« on: April 02, 2013, 08:43:57 AM »
Hey Gabriel,

I found this when I went looking for Arduino Heliostats. I've been a professional software developer for 13 years. I noticed immediately that you are using your forums to track different versions of the Heliostat software. You're probably tired of this.

There is a better way:

The entire open source world uses version control software, usually Git these days. The commercial world does the same. You should too. It makes it easy to accept changes from other people, manage versions, and manage your own changes. It also makes distributing your code to multiple machines easier. You'll wonder how you ever got along without it, trust me.

If you don't want to use github and prefer to keep everything on your own servers, give GitLab a try:
GitLab is basically GitHub for people with their own servers.

If you're a command line guy like me, try gitolite. They're all excellent solutions, but I'd try github first since it's super easy.

On a different note....

I've noticed that your heliostat code can be configured to use different kinds of actuators. I think it's made mostly with stepper motors in mind though. Is there a hardware list somewhere, or a Bill of Materials? I'm currently working on a large format servo design that uses a BaneBots P60 gearbox. I was wondering if a Heliostat might be a possible application.




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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 09:51:10 AM »
Here is an example Bill of Materials that I made for my medium format servo project:

It just gives anyone interested in the idea a good concept of the cost involved and a list of possible vendors. It also makes purchasing a new unit easier. They use these in the RepRap community quite a bit.


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Re: Hello from Tennessee
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:46:59 AM »
Hi Jesse and welcome to the forum!

Anybody who has spent any amount of time using open source software will of course have heard of GitHub. I don't think there is really any particular reason that I haven't tried using it already, aside from the fact that I'm too lazy to research things unless I absolutely have to. I might look into it in the future the next time I make a major update.

I do actually prefer the format of the forum in a lot of ways though. I like to add a lot of description when I post code, and I get the feeling  that people never bother to read that stuff on GitHub. I guess there is no reason I couldn't just use both though.

I don't have a strict bill of materials for the circuit, but you should be able to figure out what you might need from the list at this link.

There is also this link on the forums. The earlier posts are out of date, but still valid I suppose.

I personally have only ever used stepper motors, which is why the code is slightly biased towards them. I did try to structure the code so that it could be edited for other types of motors though.

Someone just asked a question about converting the code to use DC motors. The response I left there should still be valid for servo motors.