Saturday, 4 October 2014

10000 Views and more upgrades

Well it seems fitting that the rebuild is still going strong as we pass the 10,000 mark on the blog.

Carrying on from the door servos, next I looked at the dome drive pot setup, to make sure the position control was working on all calls.  I found an issue with the dome drive positioning script calls, not dome random, but just the user based calls.  I had disabled them!  So sorted that in the code and got all the dome pot stuff working well adjusting timings etc.

I've noticed the delay in transmission since moving back from my PS3 test code.   I had a similar thing on the PS3 stuff, so I know it can be addressed. I will have to redo the Master base for that upgrade, so I will fix that then.  This is still fine to control him, but I'm now sure it can be improved for more response, even with the accelerations.

Then I redid the body door relay wiring and sorted the code to stop the boot twitch.  Works beautifully, I also adjusted the timings of the relays, it is only on for a fraction longer than the servo needs and so the droid hardly buzzes even tho the servos are a little too closed to pull the doors up.

It has highlighted the need to add a 'close all doors' call, because when opened by hand when not powered, you currently cant close the doors, because the droid thinks they are closed already. :(

So that was the body done, retested and working well.  Dome time.  Popped it on, Powered it all up, only the Magic Panel worked on I2C.....odd.  DBC had the I2C wires on the wrong way, 1 sorted.  Teeces looked fine. so left that and looked at the Servo Unit, after a bit of research I found I had used the wrong Nano pins for I2C.  After a rewire of the shield to add the right long pins, the servos and the Teeces triggered fine.  So looking back at it all and admiring, I spotted the front HP was dead. :(  After some debugging it was a bad lead, so I added new terminals and that was it. All the physical elements, apart form the feet and legs done.  Sort of.

Dome is now fully tested via I2C, all new and old elements working well, body fully tested with all the servos, vegas kit and dome pot triggering sorted, 2-3-2 tested and serviced. Magic panel and DBC trigger perfectly via I2C.

I then tweaked all the scripts, got the timings sorted and generally played with the current combo calls adding the new elements.  Edited a couple of dome servo spots and decided that was enough of the old.  The new dance scripts were next. This is a WIP vid of some of the early combo timings:

Body Ammeter and Voltage Display:

But again I got side tracked.  The more items I add to these 5v Lipo batteries, the more I am amazed at what they can run.  So I was interested to see how much 5v current the setup is using.  I got online and found some Voltage/Current meters, nice little LED ones, only £4 each. :D  They arrived on Thursday, and i couldn't resist playing.

First I rigged up a little breakout board, this takes a USB in and out, and powers and feeds the meters.  D  Eventually after some fiddling and a few broken leads, I had the device reading voltage and current, and tested it on the R-Series rear logic, using the brightness pot on the back I could go from nearly 0.9A to 0.1A, but it seemed about right on 0.3A to me.  But concept proven. :)

So i then stripped R2 again, removed my rewired panel and started pondering. :D  By rotating the bus/bridge there was enough room, but where was best?  Looking at the holes i already had and the current locations, i decided simple was best and added it to the centre of the panel and added the bus below. 

I wanted to make a diagram for the doc while it was fresh in my mind.  Below is the layout of my USB power and programming setup with the display meters, well this is what I would have done, mine differs slightly:

I tested the body battery draw before installing the meter, the body runs at less than 0.4A most of the time with peaks at approx 0.8A when going bonkers. :D  The dome seems similar, 0.25-0.35A with peaks of about 0.9A.  Voltage runs a little lower than id thought, but all seems to be running well, so who cares. :D  The PS3 pad draws 0.33A with a 0.5A jump on connection, phone draws less than 0.2A, so I think I could possibly get away with feeding the dome supply through the slip ring and removing the dome battery.  But not yet, this works, and halves the draw on the batteries, and lets the dome run stand alone.

Dome Gear:

Dome gear arrived, James made a start on it for me, thanks dude.  It is very thin, only 1/8", but nicely cut, with a little tidy it looks the business.  The way I mount my gear and rockler is different, I mount the gear to the bottom, not to the top, as a result it needs approx 2mm off the radius to fit.  Took a few hours, but trimmed back fitted it and got the rockler spinning well. 

The A&A gear was really smooth and a great profile, it was very tolerant to positioning.  With the new gear, both the A&A head and the Ali head's teeth were hitting the main ring teeth not catching them.  The original motor location was too far out for this cog, so I remounted it about 4mm closer to the gear and tried again, position is great, less than 1mm offset so there is almost no slop, but still the Ali ran really rough, and the A&A was a little sticky.  :(  I want the ali one to work, it looks better, so I persisted.

I ended up shortening and reshaping the A&A gear head piece, it now runs pretty well.  I'm going to run it in and see how I feel, it may smooth down with use,  I haven't powered it up as yet, or refitted the front skins, so fingers crossed.

Body Ammeter and Voltage Display:

So while I'm getting side tracked I may as well have a quick look at the dome meters. :D  Same plan as the body, but just power at this stage, not the serial lines.  I made up a 2nd Display breakout, and had a bit of a ponder.  I wanted to be able to see it if working in the dome, but also wanted to be able to see it when he was running.  I decided to mount it at an angle in the silver door to achieve that.  I cut and bent a strip of 1mm ali, shaped the feet, and stuck it to the dome.  Then I thought about how I hate fishing in the dome to turn it off, so I wanted to add the switch again, it was useful.  If I did that and got a power sensing battery (my last ones are pants and not their stated capacity), I could then turn the dome on and off externally. :D

So with that decided, I had a think about the dome battery location, currently it sits on the base plate, but that is a pain because all the electronics are on the dome itself.  The rejig in the dome had unknowingly revealed the perfect spot.  I will order a new battery that will turn on with draw, for now this works, but is on via the button on the pack.

So just need to reassemble the body, finish the feet, do those new combo scripts and I'm pretty much done on the current refurb.  2-3-2, Master and Pad will be the next big set, but that can wait for now. :D  I will post a vid of the revamped R2 when he is rolling and the new scripts are done.

I would love to remount the slip ring the other way up and swap the pot to the dome and wiper to the body, but that seems like a lot to go wrong with less than 2 weeks to FACTs.

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