Packaging the Arduino

The next challenge was physical. I needed to mount an Arduino Pro Mini board in my reclaimed Sea & Sea TTL converter housing. Should be easy. The housing was much larger than the Pro Mini board. The Pro Mini board was smaller than the Sea and Sea board I removed from the housing.

Bundle Copy for Drupal Taxonomy Terms

We had a simple problem: capture a Drupal taxonomy AND its associated terms (definition AND content) in code so that we could automatically deploy a new taxonomy based feature to a website.

Bundle Copy was on our radar as the solution. Or at least part of it.

Deploying Drupal Taxonomy Terms


A Drupal Taxonomy is a very neat concept. They are handy for categorizing content. Combined with the Autocomplete Term widget, Taxonomies allow content creators to easily find an existing term or create a new term to associate with their content. I use a single taxonomy "Tags" to categorize content on this site. This post is tagged with Drupal and Taxonomy (look below at the "Tags" section).

Graphael Business Quadrant Charts

Next step was to produce a (more) polished product. We started to feed real data into our prototype code and quickly spotted some obvious visual issues:

Graphael Prototype Business Quadrant Chart

We needed to produce a Business Quadrant chart and had decided to use the graphael graphing engine to do it.

The first step was to create a skeleton module based upon Drupal Charts design that would allow us to specify and supply the chart data via a View. The initial version only provided the (x,y) data points by selecting a series of nodes.

Open Source Graphing Engines

We came to the conclusion that we needed to roll our own Business Quadrant Charts and started the search for a suitable open source graphing engine that we could easily incorporate into Drupal.

We separated the problem into two distinct architectural areas:

Google Scatter Charts != Business Quadrant Charts

At this point we were a little confused. We did not think our ask was special. All we wanted was to create a simple business graph. Why was it not easy?

Further investigation of the Google Scatter charts revealed they were perfectly suitable for a scientific scatter plot, but highly unsuited for a business quadrant chart. Why was this? A review of requirements revealed that they were fundamentally different animals, they just looked similar on the surface.

A Scientific Scatter Plot has the following attributes:

What are Scatter Charts?

I was recently involved in a situation where we needed a simple graph to depict the likelihood of an event versus the impact of that event. All we needed was a simple 5 x 5 grid showing a bunch of data points. Both the X axis and the Y axis would have labels like Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High. We needed a Scatter Chart. I have seen lots of them. Nothing special. We just needed to add a graph to a Drupal system and generate dynamic graphs based upon data in the system. This should be simple.

Don't Forget the Camera!

My test rig and YS50 mule strobe were all working fine. It was now time to get serious and start to hook it up to real equipment.

At first I thought I should tackle jamming the Arduino into the Sea & Sea TTL converter housing. But I decided that I needed 100% confidence in my setup before I started to solder wires to the Arduino. Soldering was a final commitment.

So the next step was to include a real camera into the setup. This required more brain power than I anticipated.

Practical Arduino Quench Control - Part 3

The next step was to hook my Arduino Quench program to a real power level control switch. Seems easy, but once again I hit some interesting potholes along the way.

The Sea & Sea TTL converter housing came with 3 rotating controls:


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