Saturday, 27 September 2014

Arduino Hook Up Concept + PS3 Pad Charging via Droid

I powered up the dome and found I'd made a rookie error on the Nano shield, sorted that and finished off the code for the magic panel and DBC.  Powered it up and had a play with the rear PSI colour via the buttons, and setting off DBC combo triggers.  But the magic panel just sat there, powered and working, but no sign of anything special. :(  I had to sort that, so I added quite a subtle a little random flash spell in every 20-40s (after last button press, and timing in the video is different).  It's looking good, assuming the I2C triggering isn't an issue the dome is looking great.

So with the dome now working well off droid, I would need the body working for the next stage of testing.

I had James over last night, he kindly attacked my droid with a scotch bright pad between jobs, it's looking better than ever. :)  Pic at the end. :D  Spoilers. ;)

I decided that we would do the servo positions first.  So new remounted the new 5v body battery, powered the body up, and the battery cut out.  There was a short. :(

After a lot of mucking about and debugging I found the issue; rather embarrassingly it was the shield on the body unit, it had been mounted wrong.  So now working and making noises, I finally had chance to test the volume knob, IT WORKS!!!  So pleased with that little change. :D

So the body was now powering up, but my thoughts turned to how I would upload the code and not have to strip the droid to change cables the next time I need to move the body servo spots  After a lot of head scratching and chatting with James, we had come up with a very cunning plan, bit by bit.  The USB lead is just 4 wires, so if they were broken out somewhere, then they could possibly be connected to the PC instead.  So I made a lead, snipped a USB lead, and added 2 4 way connectors, one male one female and connected an Arduino to the PC and it worked as normal. :D

So with the ability to jack into a lead, what I needed was an easy way to sort all the coding issues, and power all the units from one source, but swap between Arduino serial ports for coding.

The lead from the battery is USB, so that would be one PC connection method, but I wasn't using the Charging ports in the door below the CBI and they were never going to get used.  This seemed like too good a chance to miss.  I converted the top Charge port to a Power and serial USB port, fed that to a manual bridge to allow me to swap between that feed and the 5v battery and so I had choice of supplies.  I had a nice Up/Down USB connector, to do so I flipped the port 180, so officially the USB input is the wrong way up, but it was a nice short wire.

Then I needed to be able to select the Arduino for the serial.  I added a run of double header ports, the first 3 connected as TX and RX rails.  This was fed from the bridge.  Then I added sets of 4 pins for the units.  I then tied the 5v and GND rails to distribute the 5v power.   I only added 5v + GND for the Master, as the xBee has to come off, but i might look into that if this works as well as i hope it will,  So using a jumper piece I can now select between 3 Arduino from 2 locations.   The serial works well on all from all. :D

I then saw the CBI charge output, I hadn't been hooking this up recently, but it would be useful, and thinking about the upgrades, would be great if it charged the PS3 pads as well as any dumb 5v device. So I added 2 more header pins to the bus power rails to power the charge port.  The PCB of the Duracell PS3 charger has little connectors, I removed one and added some pins and ran that to the charge port via USB.  Im pretty sure the PCB will limit the current to .5A per port, so that should help with possible over drain issues connecting hungry devices.

So here it is, from the bottom up is the Selector+Bus/Bridge board, Then USB in port, then PS3 pad charge PCB. Then USB Output port and CBI PCB.

The Bridge is the upper spot for the Port, and the lower for the Battery.  And the Selector is Bottom for Body, Middle for 2-3-2, and Top for MP3.  I will add something to cover the exposed points.

So this is the rewired PS3 pad charging CBI port and USB breakout Input/Output panel. :D

And here is the cleaned up naked body.   Cheers James. :D

So major progress.  No more fishing in the droid to upload code, Hope this makes life a lot easier.  The servo spots are next. :D  But I now know the droid powers up and talks to the PC, and the dome seems fine, so I'm hoping for a smooth run to the finish. We can dream.


  1. Fantastic work Brad!
    Nice work James ;)

  2. I own a PS3, which means I don't have to pay for online gaming. That said, I can't enjoy online gaming if PSN is down. I've had the error code 80710A06 pop up yet again this morning, and it still pops up hours after. It won't let me sign in to PSN. best ps4 games