Saturday, April 05, 2008

I love the Super Cricket

I just got two Super Crickets. They were tricky to get working as far as the drivers and program configs, but they are so fun. To get everything you need for a PC running XP here is the list of stuff to get:
  • Buy the Super Crickets from Gleason Research. It's nice to have the USB-ir interface rather then using the default serial interface.
  • Download the Logo-based software to program them, either Cricket Logo or Logo Blocks. The former is a text interface and the latter is interlocking blocks with code on them that force you into creating proper syntax. Another option, actually the one I prefer, is Jackal, which uses the same version of Logo as Cricket Logo but it color-codes your program syntax, plus it has some nice skins. The only drawback to Jackal is it doesn't allow you to upload data from the cricket like Cricket Logo does. I don't know if Logo Blocks can do that.
  • If you use Cricket Logo, go down to the bottom of the first link at Gleason Research and download the Super Cricket libraries, or special files that allow the software to recognize the Super Cricket. It tells you where to put them. The software was originally designed for the smaller Handy Cricket and the (relatively) new library files haven't been integrated yet.
  • For all three programs, if you get the USB-ir interface you will need a special driver from FTDI that creates a virtual COM port. You save it to a location of your choosing and tell Windows where it is when you plug in the ir transmitter. The software only knows how to interface through serial connections, so this tricks it into thinking it's using a serial connection when it's connecting through USB.
  • If you are using Jackal, you will want to set the default COM port for the program by going to the default settings txt file in the Jackal program folder and changing it to COM4. At least that's the virtual port that appeared on my computer.
  • For programming help with Cricket Logo (and Jackal), go to the Handy Cricket Programming Reference page. It's really clear. I'm sure there are also good websites for help with Logo Blocks programming. I haven't looked hard, though.
That's all there is to it....

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