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Author Topic: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer  (Read 21723 times)

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Offline dtrewren

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #15 on: 00:34:28, 18 May, 2013 »
Yo Simon,

I think you will be surprised once you get going !

I can send you the code I am using on my PIC to set up the serial port - it is literally a few lines of library based code.  It won't map directly to the Arduino because my PIC18F2550 platform is custom built and I'm using a MicroChip library but other than changing a few function names it will be basically the same for you.  At the PC end you literally open PuTTY click connect to COM port and click ok.  A window opens on the PC - anything you write to the port at the Arduino end should appear on the PC window.  Once you have some data flowing the next step is to move along the lines of Tom's video and have a crack at creating a little PC application that maybe receives your mag data from the Arduino and writes it to a file on the PC.

Remember you don't have to start writing low level bit bashing code.  That's the cool thing about using libraries at the start, all the nasty low level stuff is done for you - it's like a pipe, you put data in one end and it appears at the other.

Getting messages at your Arduino to appear on a PC screen is a really powerful thing to have.  Most commercial equipment has some type a debug along these lines whether it be a cheap camcorder or a radio cellular base station.  Our kit at work kicks out thousands of lines of diagnostic data as the software runs and it all pops out of a serial port and appears on a PC terminal  - no different to a PIC talking to a terminal just a matter of scale.

Once you get it going, you'll be thinking up all sorts of crazy projects  :D

Cheers,

              Dave
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #16 on: 08:55:40, 18 May, 2013 »
Thanks Dave - somewhat more useful than my answer :)

I might add Simon, if you are using Arduino then you can develop Arduino code in Visual Studio instead of the arduino GUI - which personal I think is dreadful.  You just studio plugin thingy below

http://www.visualmicro.com/

Visual micro includes a com port tool (like putty) with the added bonus that it disconnects itself when you upload to the arduino.  They have a lot of information on the site on how to use it.


If it helps - I'll do what Dave just said in a video?


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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #17 on: 10:15:56, 18 May, 2013 »
Hopefully this will make it clearer. This is how I do all my Arduino programming - including the telescope mount etc. I find this Visual Studio/Visual Micro tool chain is the quickest way to work.



Make sure you switch to 1080p and full screen.
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Offline dtrewren

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #18 on: 11:32:29, 18 May, 2013 »
Absolutely Brilliant Tom - an excellent demonstration how how straight forward it is to get some data flowing.  Video demonstrations are obviously the way to go when it comes to articulating this type of information and your tutorial has replaced countless pages of text and description !

Good job !

         Dave
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #19 on: 11:45:15, 18 May, 2013 »
Thanks Dave - all a case of getting the tool chain right. Here I'm using CamStudio to take the screen capture and record the microphone. The video is then washed through MovieMaker into a 1440x1080 WMV which uploads and looks nice on Youtube.

Apologies for the sniffing -  I must learn to stop that, anybody got a clothes peg?  :)
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Offline dtrewren

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #20 on: 12:02:33, 18 May, 2013 »
I was going to ask what you were using to do the video capture as I think I might have to have a crack at a little video - trouble is I'm from Bristol so sound like a West country bumpkin on audio, makes me cringe :)

Having everything under one Visual IDE is very nice, the Arduino guys have really got it sorted.  As my platforms tend to be bespoke I use Visual studio for the PC stuff and the MicroChip MPLAB IDE for the PIC end of things everything in C or C#.

Maybe you could consider doing a proper set of tutorials ?  I'm sure there is a real market there for that type of stuff.  There is so much misinformation on the net it would be nice for Arduino users to have some decent material to cut their teeth on !
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #21 on: 12:08:28, 18 May, 2013 »
Rule 1 of Video Tutorials Dave, we all HATE the sound of our own voice :)

As I alluded to on the video, Visual Studio gives you the added bonus of a cloud based version control system: Team Foundation Service - this makes moving and controlling code between multiple computers painless.

But simply saving your projects straight into a cloud storage folder e.g. Google Drive is a step forward. Nothing worse that loosing code you've already slaved over.
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #22 on: 18:55:43, 24 May, 2013 »
So, instead of burying it in the ground, is there any mileage in using a box with a fan and a heater to keep it temperature stabilised?
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

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Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #23 on: 20:47:29, 24 May, 2013 »
Huuum.... certainly worth an investigation.... my guess is that the sensor would be saturated by the flux of the fan motor (even if it was places say at the end of a ducting tube)... might make calibration a bit of a challenge as I would suspect the speed of the fan would need to modulate to keep temp constant ?!

S.
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #24 on: 08:20:45, 25 May, 2013 »
Huuum.... certainly worth an investigation.... my guess is that the sensor would be saturated by the flux of the fan motor

S.

Yes, you're probably right Simon. I was wondering if one could do something with a couple of peltiers, but i think they create a magnetic field as well. Big hole in the ground it is then!
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Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #25 on: 13:45:46, 25 May, 2013 »
I think these things have to be buried for shielding against electrical and RF interference.
So a motor is not going to be good, I dont think Peltiers have any magnetic field. Being buried wont the temperature be reasonably constant? Otherwise a calibration table against temp might be simplest.
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #26 on: 16:59:33, 29 May, 2013 »
Right, my magnetometer is in the post :)

Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #27 on: 16:16:05, 02 June, 2013 »
Every observatory starts with a hole in the ground.
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

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Offline dtrewren

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #28 on: 16:20:01, 02 June, 2013 »
Its a very fine hole Tom!
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Building a Fluxgate Magnetometer
« Reply #29 on: 16:26:19, 02 June, 2013 »
I'm exhausted - been running around like the proverbial since about 8am and finally got the earth back in the hole and can sit back and see if I can make any bloody sense of the data!
Tak Sky 90, Atik 490, Homemade Mount, OAG, Lodestar

The Curdridge Observatory

 

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