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 Larson Scanner Kitt Speed/Brightness Hacking
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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:16 PM PST (Read 10870 times)  
SixShot

I recently got the Larson Scanner Kitt. It is a great kit. I only have one beef with it. I don't like that your speed/brightness settings are not maintained from use to use (power on and off). Is there a way to do this? When you power it on and off it just starts at a random, or maybe the next, setting.

Ideally I would like to have it save my last setting, but if that is not possible, is there a way to "hard" set it to a particular one and bypass the switch?


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:24 PM PST  
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Can I ask where and when you got your kit? We have revised the firmware, and the current version is supposed to actually save your last setting-- it also has a "narrow eye" mode if you hold the button at power on. Since you just got yours, I'm wondering who (our store?) has the old version still. Yours can be upgraded by reprogramming it, which requires a basic AVR programming setup.



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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:28 PM PST  
SixShot

I purchased two kits from this website on 12/30/2009.


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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:29 PM PST  
SixShot

Quote by: Windell

it also has a "narrow eye" mode



What does this "narrow eye" mode do?


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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:32 PM PST  
SixShot

As I play with it more, it appears to maintain the brightness setting but not the speed.


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:33 PM PST  
Windell

>I purchased two kits from this website on 12/30/2009.

From our store, I presume. (This is our blog; we don't sell anything here. Wink )

I think that we must have pushed through this change a week or two after that.

>What does this "narrow eye" mode do?

The effective width of the scanning "eye" is smaller-- it just has a shorter trail as it scans.


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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:38 PM PST  
SixShot

Yes, I purcahsed from evilmadscience.com.

So there is nothing I can do with this old version?


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 02:56 PM PST  
Windell

>As I play with it more, it appears to maintain the brightness setting but not the speed

Then you must actually have the current version. There was no saving at all in the first version. I *think* that can verify this by looking at the instruction sheet, which may say "v. 1.2" in the upper right panel of the front page. You can also try out the "narrow eye" mode to see how that looks.

There *is* a inconsistency in how the speed and brightness settings are saved and recalled. The actual brightness level is saved and recalled directly. However, I believe that when the scanner turns on, it effectively presses the button *once* advancing to the next speed. That new speed is *not* saved, however, unless you also press the button to advance it again.

Effectively, this means that you can have it come up in whatever speed that you want, but how to set that speed is not obvious. So what I think you can do is find the speed that you want, press the button twice to advance to the speed before the one that you want, wait 10 s for it to save the setting, and then turn the power off. It should then come up at the speed that you want, every time (until you press the button again...).

>So there is nothing I can do with this old version?

No, that's not the case. You *can* reprogram it, however you like. To do so, you need a 6-pin header and an AVR programmer. You can build one with a parallel port (along with some bits of string and a few pretzels), but our store sells a lot of $22 USBtiny AVR programmers.


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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 03:15 PM PST  
SixShot

I do have version 1.2. Your right about when the scanner turns on, it effectively presses the button once advancing to the next speed.

If I save it to the previous speed setting (desired speed - 1) I can get the setting I want. I can get it to keep that speed setting from power-on to power-on only if I leave it powered on for less than about two seconds. If it goes longer than that, it seems to save the next setting (desired speed), which then makes it actually go to the next speed setting (desired speed +1) on the next power on.

Obviously running it for less than 2 seconds is not how I intended to use this product, and I would assume no one else would either.

I don't want to be negative, but this is not really acceptable as is. Obvious flaw. Suggesting to just reprogram it does not seem like a resonable solution for a customer either. If I could have easily progammed the minicontroller myself, I would not have bought the kit in the first place. The real value is the minicontroller and it no workie.


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By: Windell (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 03:53 PM PST  
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>Obviously running it for less than 2 seconds is not how I intended to use this product,
>and I would assume no one else would either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

> but this is not really acceptable as is. Obvious flaw.

This is called tech support. I'm trying to figure out if there's something actually wrong with your kit. If you'd rather just label it "no workie," that's your choice. We can stop right here.

May I please remind you that we were discussing a possible flaw in an "easter egg" feature that is not advertised or documented, nor even attempted in most existing versions of the kit.

>Suggesting to just reprogram it does not seem like a resonable solution for a customer either.
>If I could have easily progammed the minicontroller myself, I would not have bought the kit in the first place.

If I offer to reprogram your kit to upgrade or improve this function, or simply try inform you of additional options that you have, I do not see that you should necessarily regard either as a bad thing. When you ask if "there is nothing I can do," it is indeed fair practice for me to inform you of additional, possibly non-obvious options that are available to you. Neither deserves your ire.


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By: SixShot (offline) on Friday, January 29 2010 @ 06:56 PM PST  
SixShot

I recognize I was not very peaceable, and you have given me no reason not to be. I do apologize. I unfortunately took a contentious, complaining approach thinking the squeaky wheel would get some grease. It was lame of me, and you are right in calling me on it. Sorry.

I would of course appreciate your help, and your suggestions have been logical. In fact, I would like to learn how to program minicontrolers some day it is just not something I want to pursue at this time.


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By: Windell (offline) on Sunday, January 31 2010 @ 03:01 PM PST  
Windell

This does sound like it's an actual bug in the code, so (0) thanks for pointing it out, (1) I think I can write a fix and (2) we can reprogram your kits if you would like. That would require either (a) your acquisition of the necessary hardware or (b) sending them to us. If (a), we'd be happy to give you advice and point to download locations. If (b), please contact me off-forum, either by e-mail or through the store.


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By: SixShot (offline) on Monday, February 01 2010 @ 07:40 AM PST  
SixShot

E-mail sent. Thanks!


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