I have a new board and program that I think will serve the needs of a lot of builders. Most prospective builders have the skills and toosl to deal with the mechanical aspects of building a fucking machine but are lost when it comes to electronics and software.
So, the new board and program will address that. Instead of open source source code I will provide preprogrammed boards with microcontrollers ready to hook up to hardware. Here are some of the details:
ESP32 is the microcontroller. This has built in WIFI. The program includes a WIFI control as an option to the three knob controller (which has become a four knob controller) You can control the machine from your phone computer or any device with access to your local WIEI network. Parameters such as SSID and password are set by editing as text file on an SD card so there is no need to edit and compile source code.
The joystick and three knob controlle (now a four knob controller because another knob has been added to control scaling ratio) are automatically detected on boot so you have the choice of using the system as WIFI controlled or wired control.
Wiring has been simplified. A joystick or a three/four knob conteol can be connected to either of the two rj45 connectors. No need to use special cables or figure out what to plug in where. Both connectors work the same. You can even plug in a combined joystick/four knob control to a single socket and have all your control via one cable.
I have tested every aspect of this system and have prototype boards arriving very soon. This system is not going to be cheap but it will be turnkey and very easy to get working as soon as you build the mechanicals. Firmware updating can be accomplished using a very simple method requiring no installation of IDEs programs etc. When there is an update to the firmware, including changes to the web application, it is only necessary to run a simple command line copied from a text file after copying a folder of files to your computer. If this system is very well received I will be able to make the firmware update even easier with a simple windows graphical application.
It will never be easier to build your Shagmatic based fucking machine than with this new system.
Feedback is welcome. I have an idea what I might need to charge for this new system (assembled circuit board with pre-programmed microcontroller, ready to hook up to a step and direction controller, limit switches and joystick and three/four knob controllers) I will also be able to provide assembled joysticks and knob controllers for the electronically handicapped at additional cost. What are you willing to pay for such a system?