Thank you for your input. I am starting the feel that maybe there actually is some help I can call on.
For people my age (there are some who think I should just be sitting under a tree somewhere smoking a pipe and reflecting on a life well lived) who do not have a deep understanding of Arduino it is all a bit challenging.
I am not a tradesman and have no background in electronics or clockmaking but have now made 13 clocks using an electromagnetic control system I modified, and dare I say improved, from other people’s input using a 12f683 chip. I use a timing program one of my sons (who does know what he is doing – he is an engineer and builds his own computers but does not live in Australia) wrote for me so I can program the chip.
Many years ago, my daughter gave me a bag of marbles in my Christmas gift with a note to say that maybe I could use these marbles when I start to lose mine. The bag of marbles sat in my workshop for years until eventually, having decided that my collection of clocks in now complete, to change direction and build a unique, one of its kind, marble machine.
It has taken a coons age, but I am nearly there and am putting the finishing touches to the clock (I will not build any more) that will sit in the middle of the marble machine.
Arduino. Ah – you say he is finally getting to the point!
What I now want to do is to add some bells and whistles. I have made some (the word eclectic springs to mind) of them, for example, if you have seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, you will remember the mother ship – I have made one of those that will flash from time to time (use a relay or nano to do that???) and a small flying saucer that spins but does not leave the ground will sit near it. That is all done.
Now I want to use Arduino to control some a couple of LED displays (one is programmed and controlled by a UNO) some RGBs etc etc.
I have been fiddling with Arduino for a while, been through countless You Tube videos and successfully copied and uploaded programs to Uno, and variously flash some LEDs, drive small stepper motors and even create text on a 20x4 LCD, the process is as exciting as it is surprising. “Gosh – it ran”.
But the pitfalls and many and the water out there is thick with sharks.
I have just spent a long time trying to get three Nanos I purchased from Lonely Binary to accept a compiled program. The result has always been the same. I am reminded of the adage about doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
So, having tried all the bootloaders I can see on my system, spoken incantations to the Nanos, re-booted, pressed switches, changed cables, and computers, I decided that these cheap clones are duds. To restore my confidence, having failed to successfully upload these programs to Nanos, I returned to the Uno’s and, hey presto uploading complete – I have come to love those words!
It is a truism that you enjoy a reliable piece of equipment’s performance long after the price you paid for it is forgotten. So, I have sent off for a genuine Arduino Nano and it is due to arrive in a week or so.
When I look through the Core Electronics site, I see that there are other Nanos, some I think made by Core itself which are not as expensive as the genuine article – I know that making copies is permitted and common.
So, my question is: Given that I am not planning to write programmes with hundreds of lines of code but simply want my bells and whistles to ring and toot, what do you advise?