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System Theremino

Theremino is an Open Source system, to interface the computer with the outside world. There are examples, from the simplest to the most complex scientific applications. You can measure physical quantities of each type, temperature, radiation, magnetic fields, earthquakes, pollution ... and drive actuators, motors, LEDs and lamps, ovens, solenoid valves, relays, robots etc ...

Unlike similar systems (eg Arduino), the system works just turned on, and does not require programming the firmware.

Theremino System Devices

The system Theremino is also a container for the exchange of ideas, between fans. As well as a catalog of sensors and actuators, a teaching aid and a collection of technologies for the input-output, programming and electronics open source.

Purpose and philosophy of the system Theremino are teaching and collaboration. The goal is not to sell, but to do good projects. Employees only deal with research and collectively contribute to the improvement of the system. The results are shared and must remain free, as specified in this page

Page index

To identify the specific matters, you should use the box "Search", located on the top left. Then "Ctrl-F" on the individual pages.


Theremino is similar (or compatible) with Arduino?

No, they are two very different systems.

Arduino is a "Single board micro-controller" that must be programmed, from time to time, with a bespoke firmware. If, for example, you want to read a temperature, then you program the firmware to do this, if the temperatures are two, you change and reprogram the firmware, to read two. Theremino is a "device input-output" as a mouse or a printer. By connecting the modular units, works immediately, without having to program its firmware.

The micro Arduino is an 8-bit, clocked at 16 MHz and 32 Kbytes of RAM (Note 1)
The micro Theremino is a 16-bit, clocked at 64 MHz and 64 Kbytes of RAM (Note 2)
But, beyond that, Theremino also leverages the power of the processor, and the math coprocessor PC. The total power combined, is about 1000 times greater.

Arduino communicates via USB, but transforms it into virtual serial, and is the same processor, which must prepare the bit for the serial. This slows down the speed of communication with the PC. Theremino communicates via native USB and Micro Master has built two independent sections, one dealing with In-Out and the other is dedicated to USB communication. So the connection between PC and hardware is always fluid.

It is therefore advisable to use Arduino, to have a module that does it all.
We recommend Theremino instead, to use the PC as a "head" thinking, and quickly communicate with the hardware.

(Note 1) There is a new version of Arduino, with improved features: 32-bit and 96 Kbytes of RAM. The new Arduino 2 costs about 45 Euro, including VAT. The compatibility with older versions, software and shield, is partial .
(Note 2) We are preparing the firmware for the new 32-bit micro, with 128K + 32K of memory. The user himself can replace it on the hoof, and costs about 4 Euro from Mouser . The firmware will be open source and free, like all the rest of the system Theremino. Compatibility is total, you do not change a line of software, and all physical InOut, remain exactly the same place. The abundant computing power, and the large amount of program memory, allowing you to implement new features in the next few years. The first upgrade will be the boot-loader, that allow you to do without the programmer (will update the firmware via USB).


Similar systems

ArduinoDuemilanove, ArduinoDiecimila, ArduinoUno, ArduinoMega, ArduinoNano, ArduinoMini, ArduPilot, DIY-Duino, DuinoStamp, Duinomite, eauDuino, Freeduino, FreeduinoEpic, Funnel I / O, Hack The Badge, Illuminated Genesis, JeenodeWirelessFreeduino, Labjack, Lightuino, Netduino, Olimexino, PaperDuino, Phidgets, Photoduino, Penguin, ProtoDuino, R-duino, RoboDuino, Sanguino, SeeeDuino, Severino, Space-duino, StickDuino, uDuino, etc ...

They are all similar to each other, a micro-controller mounted on a printed circuit board, with around some connectors for input / output. There are already many, because they propose a much more?

The best explanation was given by Stephen, a maker, who wrote: Clearly it always starts from Arduino, but soon I realized its limitations: it is a small computer with I / O that is programmed, but I want a BIG computer to add I / O!


What makes possible the operation "NO CODE"

Operation type PLC (programmable logic controller)
Since the "head" is the PC the most appropriate technical term is "Soft PLC".
The application HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) refreshes all inputs and outputs at regular intervals (usually 500 times per second) and normalizes the data, simplifying communication with the hardware.

Grouping transducers in macro-categories
Digital Out
Out PWM
Out Servant
In Digital
In ADC - voltage
In Cap - electric capacity
In Res - electrical resistance
In Counters and frequency meters
In Periodimetri
In Ultrasound
In CapSensorsHQ - capacitive sensing distance

Hierarchical organization and modular
Software modules ... .. Applications at high level. The thinking head of the system.
Slots ........................ .. Communications between all components of the system.
HAL application ...... .. Communications between the software and the USB
Master modules ...... .. Hardware modules, connected to USB.
Slave modules ......... .. Hardware modules, connected through the serial line DPM.
Pins ........................... Connectors Input / Output.
Adapters ................... Special adapters between the sensors and the Pin standard, the system Theremino.
Output transducers .. servomotors, sounds, videos, dimmers, controls on / off etc ..
Input transducers ... .. Light sensors, position, temperature, voltage, current, capacity etc ..

Communication between the modules, through the slot
The Slot (interprocess communication) are the basis of the system Theremino and differentiate it from all similar systems. Slot with not only the hardware modules but also the applications can communicate with each other.

Software and sign configurable and expandable in Open Source
Applications, available in open source, covering all common operations, from multimedia, as measured by the laboratory. New applications can be developed from Open Source code of the existing ones, as new bricks, to expand the possibilities of the system.

Modular hardware and software
Although applications can be added as modules, multiple applications can be configured to communicate with each other, and work together, without reprogramming.


Key Features

The modularity of the software is a new concept. No system, until now, has never used the communication and modularity as the system Theremino.

In Theremino system, each application is responsible only for its specific features, and most applications work together to achieve the desired result. This allows to build complex systems, with simple brick.

With Theremino do not need to be experienced programmers, to realize their ideas. Also artists, chemists, musicians, geologists, climatologists and students, can build what they need, combining the existing hardware and software modules.

The "Pin" of the system can be configured individually, with a large number of pre-programmed functions, which cover every need of Input-Output.

You can connect sensors and assign new functions to the pins of In-Out, even during operation. You can add modules, and set them up in a few seconds. The modules are automatically recognized, and communicate with each other through a single-wire serial line. Each line supports up to 200 modules and each module ten Pin. The total number of InOut is virtually unlimited, and they can communicate with each other, or with other applications via HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) and Slots (interprocess communication). The modules can communicate with each other, up from miles away, on a serial line, at great distances on wires and on the web. The usable operating systems are Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac OSX and Android.

The simplicity, small size and low cost of the modules, do not reduce performance, quite the contrary. The simplicity makes the system very robust, and performance are such as to refresh all InOut simultaneously, so fluid (up to 500..1000 times per second).


Portable applications

System applications Theremino are portable. You can copy on an external memory and bring on another PC, and resume work, exactly where it had arrived. You can also copy in several separate folders and make them work simultaneously, with separate parameters, and do not interfere with each other.

This means that all the work data, are contained in folders on the application. And also, that you do not install anything in the system, do not install Drivers, do not write in the "registry" and you do not use data-base in common.

In the system Theremino applications do not have a fixed address. Slots are the only point of contact between applications.

The Theremino HAL was initially conceived as a driver, had a single database, common to all applications, and issued its icon in the status bar, near the clock. But soon checked, this limited the ability of interaction, and made it dark and opaque, its operation. Anyone with a minimum of familiarity with the problems of the driver, can attest. For further confirmation, look on YouTube "Drivers Nightmare": here is an example , and also other examples .


Getting the system modules

The team system Theremino deals only with research and does not sell hardware. The system is completely "Freeware", "Open Source", "No Profit" and "DIY", but there are manufacturers who can deliver the modules assembled and tested at a great price. One could hardly self-build them spending less. A list of manufacturers in this page: www.theremino.com/contacts/producers


Donations  

The source code of our programs do not contain a copyright notice, author names and links to our site, so you can make any use, without restriction of any kind. We do not ask you to specify the original source or our website but if you are happy with our software remember us and make known this site to your friends. Any donation, however small, are very welcome and can help us to keep the software "free" and to produce again and again.

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