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About MajorAlvega

  • Birthday 09/09/1971

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    LEGO, Robots, Automation, Animatronics, Electronics, Linux, Education


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  1. MajorAlvega

    [WIP] Imperial Conveyex Transport

    Hi. Thanks. it is possibile to use EV3 with an external (USB) bluetooth controller that supports BLE (most, if not all, USB BT 4.0 do). But since the EV3 firmware doesn't recognize these controllers, you will have to boot the EV3 from a microSD card with a proper operating system. The only one I know that supports BT BLE is ev3dev (a version of Debian linux made for EV3). it is possible (in theory at least) to use some sort of gateway to work with native EV3 firmware - like, for instance, an Arduino that connects to the EV3 through the UART or the I2C and receives commands written in EV3-G blocks and translate them to GATT commands that control the Powered Up; or a Smartphone that talks with EV3 through (native) Bluetooth messaging and translates to GATT commands.
  2. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    @Toastie I like your backlog :) And I didn't say Microsoft Windows is bad (i can say that on other discussions more related to security, it's my day time job to deal with MS servers... their bad decisions pay my kids' school)... just that the Windows kernel wasn't designed for real time or direct hardware control operations - you are using VB6, i remember it was a problem to use VB6 with parallel (printer) ports, a special driver was needed for that. Not that linux is perfect or easier or whatever... it isn't, it just better feats my own needs like VB6 feats yours. I'm surprised that VB6 has support for BLE nowadays, that's an amazing feature.
  3. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    If you want fast changes (like a fast Technic car with SBrick) you will want to send short messages and don't waste time with answers. Vengit guys implemented a shorter command format just because of that. The Powered Up "Hub no.4" is not designed for fast Technic cars (to be honest... I still think that BT BLE itself wasn't). Probably the new "CONTROL+" announced for August will have a new kind of smart hub and maybe (just maybe) will handle it better. But even "Hub no.4" can handle 5 to 10 commands per second. If you have several hubs at the same time you will need a BLE controller that can handle more simultanous sessions (or several BLE controllers) and an operating system that handles better those kind of operations (Windows is now better but still not really designed for that and sometimes Microsoft likes to release an hotfix that breaks everything without warning).
  4. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    hmm... you are pushing it to the limits :) you should really try pygatt or pygattlib and subscribe for notifications if you need to get the outputs. I'm not a programmer but I know you can make system calls with the subprocess library and get returns but your code will became complex.
  5. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    chipsets are not all equal You might try taking gatttool in Interactive mode out of the equation and using system calls directly, i did that a few years ago while testing SBrick (there was no decent BLE library for python at that time): from subprocess import call ... command="gatttool -b 00:07:80:7F:28:E1 -i hci0 --char-write --handle=0x0025 --value=01"+channel+direction+dt_hexa[2:]; call(command, shell=True);
  6. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    I was suspecting that you were running linux :) you can reset the hci device with "hciconfig -a hciX down" then "hciconfig -a hciX up". Sometimes I have problems with my Intel-based internal BLE adapter (Dell laptop) but never or almost never with my Cambrige-based USB dongle. Can you checj with "hciconfig -a" and perhaps "lsusb" what chipset you have? Also the problem may be from Hub's side: when this happens, after a while the link drops (the hub starts blinking and disconnects) or it stays connected? If it stays connected then the hub is really receiving the commands and doing nothing with them.
  7. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    not sure... what python library are you using?
  8. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    some sort of buffer full on client side? what bluetooth device are you using?
  9. Like Jim said, python, java, C or any other high level languages may allow big structered projects but don't give "per se" other possibilities to EV3. In some cases you may even lack some EV3 possibilities (like daisy chaning, still being addressed by ev3dev project). But when used on a full operating system like ev3dev then lots of other possibilities arise. For a start, you have the full network stack. So you can use standard network protocols with your EV3. And also other linux stacks, like BueZ (Bluetooth) and ALSA (Audio). So you can pair your EV3 with a bluetooth speaker or an USB audio card and get decent sound. Or use your EV3 as a MIDI device. Then you have the device support from the kernel. That means some LEGO devices that Linux still supports (like the old LEGOCam and the original WeDo 1.0) can be used with your EV3. And some NXT devices that no longer work with the current EV3 firmware can still be used as well (like the RFID sensor or the IRLink). And lots of non-LEGO devices - like USB fingerprint readers. Now mixing all this can be difficult. And that's where I think python shines, not because it's a better language but because there is an huge amount of libraries available so you don't need to re-invent the wheel. Like complex mathematics or image and audio processing.
  10. MajorAlvega

    Powered Up Relay

    Thanks. I've space for it on this particular project, the Powered Up Conveyex: so I've removed the hacked cable I was using and now the only non-LEGO parts are the 4DBrix (monorail car extensions, rail ramp extensions and rail diagonals)
  11. Oh I'm a lucky privileged guy, I've seen many amazing things in my live and also have much more LEGO and electronic gadgets than the average. I was thinking in kids in general - small not so rich countries like mine, far from "the center", have smaller geek groups and usually smaller events. Our LUG (PLUG) usually have a Technic/MINDSTORMS table but we are just 3 or 4 guys, we do our best but we are really playing in another league :)
  12. This is truly awesome! I remember sawing a video of your work perhaps 2 years ago and got amazed by then but you kept growing and increasing the complexity... well done! Too bad we never have the chance to see such creations in our country :(
  13. MajorAlvega

    Powered Up Relay

    For my Powered Up Conveyex Monorail I need more power than the Hub can give so I've made a Relay that allows me to turn ON/OFF the monorail motors with the Powered Up Hub (using the Handset or a program) but using the Power Functions LiPo battery for the motors, increasing the autonomy of the Hub's 6xAAA batteries: I've made a LDcad model and generated the instructions, they are available at my blog:
  14. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    One advantage of LEGO released this in github is that we can open issues (people already did since it was announced). So guys please open suggestions and/or point incorrections there.
  15. MajorAlvega

    Documenting the LEGO PoweredUp! System

    almost :) WeDo 2.0 would have been also a public release.