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An Animation of Distillation Part. I The Flame


Vic Bendall
College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, Kentucky 40475

Note: This article was scanned using OCR from the Spring 1995 CCCE Newsletter. Please contact us if you identify any OCR errors.

The pedagogical value and overall attractiveness of computer aided instructional software is greatly enhanced by the incorporation of animation. Unfortunately good animation is much more time consuming to author than the routine prograni. To get fast animation, particularly when two or more actions appear to take place simultaneously on the screen, requires careful planning and logistical skills. In this series of articles, r will describe how the animation of a distillation was approached.
In the usual distillation most of the apparatus is static and can be easily drawn using conventional graphic commands on the monitor screen. The animated portion consists of a flickering flame to illustrate heating, a rotating stirrer bar in the heated liquid, liquid drops falling from the condenser and liquid accumulating in a collection vessel. Our task is to write a routine which will appear to execute all four actions at once. For illustrative purposes, we wil1 write separate routines to perform each action separately and then combine them into a smoothly working whole.
This first article will describe the flickering flame routine. We need a routine which can be easily correlated with the subsequent routines. A BASIC program which shows a flame is given in the documentation of CHEMUTIL-2 (1). That routine works by defining nine 7x8 bit characters which each show a different view of a flame and having those characters available in the alternative character set. The nine characters are then printed successively directly on top of one another and a flickering flame results. The CHEMUTIL-2 documentation code cannot be used directly for the distillation because it is not general enough to allow the incorporation of other routines without excessive jerkiness in the combined routines. For example, rapid showing of the nine flame images followed by a falling drop and then nine more flames, will result in the flame being stopped while the drop falls. We need the drop to fall smoothly without the flicker being interrupted.
As a general role, code written for a single application will be more efficient than that which can be easily adapted for other purposes. But general purpose code is more useful. Thus, we can write distillation code which is specific for that alone or the code can be written so 'that with just minor modifications, it would be . used to demonstrate heating under reflux with or without a Dean-Stark trap. To allow for those and other future unanticipated uses, the code we shall write will be made as flexible as possible.
The first step is to allow for movement of the flame image to any screen location. In a distillation the flame is in a different relative position with respect to the falling liquid than in a refluxing situation. Being able to move the flame independent of the falling drop and stirrer will made the coded routine more useful. It will certainly help when we attempt to combine flame and stiner together. The code will be a loop of the form:-
Gotoflamelocation: Drawflame image: Go to stirrer location: Draw stirrer image: Loop back
The stand alone flickering flame routine consistent with the previous loop will have to be in the form:-
Go to flame location: Draw a flame image: Loop back
The delay is deliberately introduced so that the routine can be tested independent of the stiner and drop routines to be added later. Those routines will later replace the delay, but it is needed now so that we can be sure that the independent routine will be easily integrated with the others. Now we cannot draw the same image of a flame each time through the loop or it will not flicker. We could blank out the flame image on alternate passes to make it flicker, but the result would be rather dull. The CHEMUTIL-2 method is to overprint nine different flame images rapidly. The loop will not be of the form:-
Go to flame location: Draw flame ( 1): Delay: Go to flame location: Draw flame (2): Delay: etc.
After nine flame images have been drawn, the loop starts over again.ยท
Finally; we do not want the loops to be endless. There must be some way to turn off the flame. It could be done by stopping the execution of the code after a predetermined number of times through the loop. More generally useful is to us a keystroke to terminate it. The advantage of that is that the code now allows easy introduction of alternatives depending upon which key is struck. For example, striking the S-key could stop the animation and tum off the flame, while striking the C-key could leave the flame on but start the stirrer, too. The point is not that we intend to use the C-key in that way, but that we allow for that possibility before starting to write code. In a complex animation it is not easy to add additional features after coding without undesirable effects appearing.
A BASIC program to show a flickering flame can now be written. The following one is for Apple II+, He or lie microcomputers and will show the flame on the text screen.
          10 Home
          20 For I = 97 to 105
          30 VTAB 10 : HTAB 10
          40 PRINT CHR$(1)
          50 X Peek(-16384):POKE(-16368),0: IF X=211
THEN I= 105:GOTO 80
          60 NEXTI
          70 GOT020
          80 VTAB 10: HTAB 10:
          90 VTAB 20 : END
The flame image is made up of successive images from ASCII(33) through ASCII(41). Line 50 stops the illusion when the S-keyis struck and Line 80 extinguishes the flame. lf CHEMUTIL-2 is available, BLOAD it and replace line 10 by CALL 25042:PRINT "&". The routine will show a true flame on the graphics
BASIC is not the best language for this routine. A satisfactory illusion is obtained here only because the routine has no other tasks. The only delays are the usual ones as the computer reads and interprets each line. If even a small. delay loop is added -to simulate an additional task, the illusion is lost. For example, add the line:-
          55 FOR K = 1 to 30 :
Upon execution, the routine shows each character clearly and is unacceptable. Yet this delay is too short to allow the introduction of the stirrer and falling drop loops. We must resort to 6502 machine language code.
The source code shown was generated using the Toolkit Assembler (2) and used CHEMUTIL-2 to print the flame images contained in character set 2. To see this program in action you will need to enter the monitor (CALL-151) and enter the program directly. e.g. 7C10: A9 OB 8D 00 7C A9 09 etc. Exit the monitor and BSAVE FLAME, A$7COO, L$8E then, with CHEMUTIL-2 in place, run the following BASIC program.
10 CALL 25042 : CALL 31760 :END
In the next part of this series, I will discuss and show a listing of a routine which shows a rotating stirrer bar suitable for combining with this flame sequence. Subsequent parts of this series will all require CHEMUTIL-2 for the successful execution of the code.
(1) Bendall, V. "CHEMUTIL-2, A chemistry Programming Utility"; Project SERAPHIM, NSFScience Education; Department of Chemistry, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, 1985.
(2) '"Applesoft Tool Kit"; Apple Computer, Inc., 20525 Mariani Avenue, Cupertino, CA 95014.