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Re: [vox-tech] mindstorms
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Re: [vox-tech] mindstorms

hi david,

begin David Margolis <margolid@ecs.csus.edu> 
> Was obtaining the serial (which I presume is the "old" IR tower)
> difficult?  Where did you find it.

i'm teaching a class on robotics this summer, and we have them stocked.
so i cheated.

> I suppose you could buy the old set on eBay or off the shelf of a
> store.
i'm wondering - maybe you can purchase it mail order from lego?  i mean,
surely there's got to be a way to replace lost or broken parts.  they
prolly don't expect you to buy a whole new $200 set if you accidentally
step on the tower.   at least, they better not!  :-)

> Here's another question: Do you suppose one could configure the built
> in IR port on a laptop to talk to the RCX?  It would be neat if I
> could type little bits of code and beam them over that way!

no, not without a driver.  i read specifically in dave baum's book
"definitive guide to lego mindstorms" that the protocol used is a
simpler version of irda, but not irda itself.

the word "simpler" might be encouraging that someone, somewhere might
write something.  the "hard part" of reverse engineering the lego IR
protocol may have been done by the lego linux usb people, unless the
tower is simply a device that reads raw data and converts it to the lego
IR protocol using hard firmware.

at this point, i'm starting to walk on shaky ground, so i better back
off from saying anything else.   :-)


> On Sat, 6 Jul 2002, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > ok, i obtained the serial IR tower.
> >
> > i plugged the tower into my server, satan (the 2nd serial port).
> > After putting batteries into the RCX and downloading the Mindstorm
> > 1.5 firmware from katherine's website, i ran:
> >
> > nqc -S/dev/ttyS1 -firmware firm0309.lgo
> >
> > in the console, it printed:
> >
> > .draining .draining .draining .draining .draining .draining
> >
> > a whole bunch of times.  "00000" appeared on the RCX and it began to
> > increase.  presumably, "draining" means the process of writing data
> > from an output buffer to the tower and the numbers on the RCX are
> > almost certainly the number of bytes read by the RCX.
> >
> > finally, the following appeared on the console:
> >
> > Current Version: 00030001/00030009
> >
> > and the RCX sang a pleasant tune.  i take this to be a good sign.
> >
> > pete
> >
> > ps- there is now a linux usb tower kernel driver.  i'll try it out
> > tonight.

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