VB Magic

2012/06/24

.Net Micro-Framework and VB.net on Fez Spider…A couple of Gotcha’s

Filed under: .NET, C#, Fez Spider, Gadgeteer, VB.NET — Tags: , , , — vbmagic @ 11:50 am

Hi,

I’m at last coding in VB.net with the .net Microframework thanks to the hard work of the people at GHI converting libraries over to use .netmf 4.2

There are a couple of gotcha’s I’ve come across so far converting my Tyrannt game over to VB.

Firstly there is a small problem with the Auto-generated code for resouces which I expect will be fixed by the time the release comes out of Beta.

Inside the code-behind Resources.Designer.vb

Namespace TyranntVB
    Partial Friend Class Resources
        Private Shared manager As System.Resources.ResourceManager
        Friend Shared ReadOnly Property ResourceManager() As System.Resources.ResourceManager
            Get
                If (Resources.manager Is Nothing) Then
                    Resources.manager = New System.Resources.ResourceManager("TyranntVB.Resources", GetType(Resources).Assembly)
                End If
                Return Resources.manager
            End Get
        End Property

You’ll notice there is a Namespace being used. This is what is required in C# but not in Visual Basic. If you remove the Namespace commands

Partial Friend Class Resources
    Private Shared manager As System.Resources.ResourceManager
    Friend Shared ReadOnly Property ResourceManager() As System.Resources.ResourceManager
        Get
            If (Resources.manager Is Nothing) Then
                Resources.manager = New System.Resources.ResourceManager("TyranntVB.Resources", GetType(Resources).Assembly)
            End If
            Return Resources.manager
        End Get
    End Property

Code like this

Resources.GetFont(Resources.FontResources.tyrannt)

Will compile successfully.

Secondly, by default, the project will not know about constants like vbCr and vbLf. I used “\n” quite a bit inside the C# code and when I came to use vbLf the equivalent in VB.net, it caused a compilation error. This is simple to fix. Add the following Imports statement to the top of your code and away you go.

Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic.Constants

I’ll hopefully post again when I have the code ported and running on the Spider.

2012/02/20

Fez Spider Talks

Actually got my soldering iron out at the weekend and soldered pins onto the Gadgeteer Extender module.

While rummaging around in my old electronics last week, I came across an old SP03 Text to Speech module:

SP03 Text to Speech module

SP03 Text to Speech module

Info on this device can be found here: SP03 Documentation

So with a breadboard the new soldered Extender module and some connector wires and pull up resistors; it was all connected together and powered on. No magic blue smoke meant that things may actually be working ;-).

Fez Spider with SP03

Fez Spider with SP03

The device uses either serial or I2C communication to communicate which is supported by the FEZ Spider. It took a lot of looking around and a couple of questions on the Tiny CLR forum but I managed to make a class that allowed the communication between the two and managed to make it speak for the first time. Below is that class:

using System;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
 
namespace FEZ_Speak
{
    class SP03
    {
        // initialse the device object
        private I2CDevice _sp03;
 
        // setup constants
        private const byte SP03ADDRESS = 0x62;
        private const int SP03CLOCKRATE = 100;
 
        // setup default speaking paramaters
        private byte _volume = 0x00;
        private byte _speed = 0x03;
        private byte _pitch = 0x05;
 
        // Initialise the hardware
        public SP03()
        {
            I2CDevice.Configuration config = new I2CDevice.Configuration(SP03ADDRESS, SP03CLOCKRATE);
            _sp03 = new I2CDevice(config);
        }
 
        // Speech properties
        public byte Volume
        {
            get { return _volume; }
            set { _volume = value; }
        }
 
        public byte Speed
        {
            get { return _speed; }
            set { _speed = value; }
        }
 
        public byte Pitch
        {
            get { return _pitch; }
            set { _pitch = value; }
        }
 
        // Methods
        // Say something
        public void Say(string speech)
        {
            WaitForSpeechFinish();
            I2CDevice.I2CTransaction[] xActions = new I2CDevice.I2CTransaction[3];
            xActions[0] = I2CDevice.CreateWriteTransaction(GetSettings());
            xActions[1] = I2CDevice.CreateWriteTransaction(ConvertText(speech));
            xActions[2] = I2CDevice.CreateWriteTransaction(SayIt());
            if (_sp03.Execute(xActions, 1000) == 0)
            {
                Debug.Print("Failed to perform I2C transaction");
            }
        }
 
        private byte[] ConvertText(string text)
        {
            System.Text.UTF8Encoding encoding = new System.Text.UTF8Encoding();
            byte[] buffer = encoding.GetBytes(text);
            byte[] result = new byte[buffer.Length + 2];
            result[0] = 0;
            result[1] = 0;
            buffer.CopyTo(result, 2);
            return result;
        }
 
        private byte[] GetSettings()
        {
            byte[] speechConfig = new byte[] { 0, 0, _volume, _pitch, _speed };
            return speechConfig;
        }
 
        private byte[] SayIt()
        {
            return new byte[] { 0, 0x40 };
        }
 
        private void WaitForSpeechFinish()
        {
            bool speaking = true;
 
            byte[] request = new byte[1] { 0 };
 
            while (speaking)
            {
                byte[] response = new byte[1];
                I2CDevice.I2CTransaction[] xActions = new I2CDevice.I2CTransaction[2];
                xActions[0] = I2CDevice.CreateWriteTransaction(request);
                xActions[1] = I2CDevice.CreateReadTransaction(response);
                if (response[0] == 0)
                    speaking = false;
            }
        }
    }
}

And here is the code that consumed that class:

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Threading;
using Microsoft.SPOT;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation.Controls;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Presentation.Media;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Touch;
using Microsoft.SPOT.Hardware;
 
using Gadgeteer.Networking;
using GT = Gadgeteer;
using GTM = Gadgeteer.Modules;
using Gadgeteer.Modules.GHIElectronics;
 
namespace FEZ_Speak
{
    public partial class Program
    {
        // This method is run when the mainboard is powered up or reset.   
        void ProgramStarted()
        {
            SP03 speechUnit = new SP03();
 
            speechUnit.Say("Hello Tiny C L R.");
        }
    }
}

After running this a growly computer voice spoke the words. In case anyone doesn’t believe me, here is the evidence 😉

Jas

2012/02/16

Eeek, my first C# post! Multi-Dimensional Arrays in Micro Framework failure

Filed under: .NET, .Net Micro Framework, C#, Learning — Tags: , — vbmagic @ 1:42 pm

Hi,

As I’m using the Gadgeteer/.Net Micro Framework, I’ve been forced to learn some more c# ;-).

I came across an issue where Multi-Dimensional arrays are not compatible with the micro framework.

Thanks to the help of Architect from the TinyCLR.com forums (See his blog link “Break Continue” in the blogroll to the right of the post), I’ve now been introduced to jagged arrays in C# which solved the issue.

This failed:

private char[,] maze = new char[20,20];

So I now use the following code to achieve the same thing:

 private char[][] maze = new char[20][];
 
// Stuff
 
        private void InitialiseMaze()
        {
            for (int lp = 0; lp <= 19; lp++)
            {
                maze[lp] = new char[20];
            }
        }

To see it in use, Here is a section of code used to populate the array from the code:

// Stuff
 
        private void LoadMaze()
        {
            // read in the text file and convert to a string.
            string path = _mazePath + @"\store\" + _currentLevel + ".map";
            byte[] rawBytes = _storageDev.ReadFile(path);
            char[] rawCharacters = System.Text.UTF8Encoding.UTF8.GetChars(rawBytes);
            string tmpMap = new string(rawCharacters);
            // Now split the text file into lines using the \r character from the text file
            // note this will leave the \n character at the end of each line
            string[] lines = tmpMap.Split('\r');
            // Get the header, removing the \n
            string header = lines[0].Trim('\n');
            // check maze version and the dimensions of the maze
            string[] bits = header.Split('|');
            string ver = bits[0];
            int width = int.Parse(bits[1]);
            int height = int.Parse(bits[2]);
            if (ver != "1.0")
            {
                throw new Exception("Maze version is incorrect");
            }
            for (int y = 1; y <= height; y++)
            {
                char[] row = lines[y].Trim('\n').ToCharArray();
                for (int x = 0; x < width; x++)
                {
                    maze[x][y-1] = row[x];
                }
            }
        }

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