Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Collectormania 19 in Milton Keynes

Collectormania 19 in Milton Keynes was a great success.  9 droids there on the Saturday. :)

Here are a few vids from the event. :)

The 2-3-2 system remained solid all weekend. :D  Several miles of driving and tons of mucking about and it still worked on the end of the Sunday.  So with a final fine tune i think it might be finished, for now. :)  Still need to redo the ankle joints for the ultimate stability, but i can work on the 2 leg driving now. :)

Having a chat with a few of the builders, and sharing stories, i was saying i had to replace a couple of servos, and Mark (creator of Amy, Zoe and the other droids) said he had lost a few servos when running from Arduino pins.  So i have decided to redo my servo control.  Will use one arduino to control 2 Adafruit Servo controllers, im getting some help, and hoping to make a new library to be able to control the speed of the servos more easily, with that the solution will be just as good. :)  A dome bump controller would be awesome to run it, but any old arduino will do the job till i can find one.

I also bought 25 RGB pixels, for the scanner in the LDP and the lights in the coin slots.  Will crack on with those this weekend.  I want the cylon/kitt scanner, but ideally the option to have a blue or red scanner would be preferred. :)

So lots of coding to be done, and hook up the body servos, fix the back door and im almost ready for CE2 :) 

Coding will include:
2-3-2 feet drives (finally) 
2-3-2 positions re-tune
2 leg driving mode
Adafruit servo controllers for body and dome
RGB LEDs for body (LDP and Coin Slots)

Time to get on with it. :)  I have till the 29th of June to do major stuff.  Then if i can afford it i have 3 events before CE2 :)

Monday, 13 May 2013

UK Builders meet and more lights

A great R2 weekend.  We had another UK R2 Builders meet, and again we had a nice level of turnout and a really good day.  Giles even managed to get his driving.  The droids below belong to the following builders from Left to Right, Andre, James, Simon B, Me, Filpside (in front), Giles and Oliver's R5.  Looking good guys.

A mixed day for my R2, 2-3-2 got lose over the day, but not thread locked yet so half expected, it was a lot better while tight. :)  I also wired up the divider on the teeces, it works great at displaying the voltage it reads, but the voltage it reads is really random, even sampling 4 times.  I think the load on the battery is effecting the reading, so it might not be the most reliable battery level, but not a bad approximation. :)  More research needed to get a decent level reading, there may be alternatives or tweaks to help. :)

Also had a few issues with the 3.2 PSIs.  I think that the chips i bought for the Teeces kits aren't great. :(  Running the setup for more than about 20 mins the Rear PSI fails.  I think the chips are fine but wont run that many in a chain.  So i need to decide if i do a 3 chain setup, or replace the chips.  Will keep playing, but i think that is the issue.  I replaced the resistors and made it last a lot longer (2 hours), but i want it to run for days if needed.  I love and hate it when stuff doesn't work, always a good chance to learn more, but often frustrating if you haven't got a clue to start with. :)

Andre delivered the bits for the new style slip ring boards, they look great, will have to try and get more of those for the extra domes. :)

Also James gave me his spare set of the HP boards and the bits for them, and so yesterday I had a go at hooking them up.  Looking at the wiring, the dual supply was more complexity than i needed, so i bridged the grounds, and simply ran a servo lead for signal, +ve and GND from each.  I then used a small bus to tie the Arduino ground to the supply ground, and power them all with minimal fuss.  The Arduino can be powered from the same or different supply.  Works like a charm. :)  Will work on some code for them soon, i have a random flicker and a pulse in and out option tested, so they work.   But Jean-Michel has sent me some code to play with, so i have a nice head start. :)  So much faf tho, all for the ability to flicker the LEDs, not 100% sure they will go in my R2 or R3 dome yet. Depends if i find any modes i cant live without, but the flicker does look good. :)  I may just do PWM LEDs without the boards on my R2, they dont need to be that bright, but the code will work for both. :)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Charge level added to Teeces Logics

Still playing with dome lights. :)

I reinstalled my Blue and White kit in R2 with the 3.2 PSIs, I had tried the all blue one and it wasn't as nice in R2. :)  Will keep the blue one for R3.

For the PSIs I used an old 10mm thick chopping board, cut one circle to fit directly behind the lens, then a 2nd layer cut to take the LEDs.  Glued together and into the dome it works great.  Really happy with the results, one of the best upgrades I have made so far, well worth doing. :)

I then reapplied the I2C stuff to the base lights code.  All fitted pretty well, so I decided to push my luck.  By editing a few functions, I managed to include all the code needed for a voltage divider on the pro micro too, so I can display the charge level on the logics, it will even flash if less than 25%.  This is currently based on a 12v battery and in the range 13.8V-12v.  Really pleased.

So my overall plan is to move the HPs to use PWM, maybe from the magic panel.  Leave just the logics and PSIs on the pro micro and hopefully reinstate a few of the changes made to make room for the divider.  But first I intend to add the divider code to the triggered set-up so that it can be used by others too.

The more I look at the Teeces, the more I think that there could be room for a similar kit, but using chips that do PWM, maybe using a 256K mega like controller.  Then all LEDs could be PWM and the effects could be much closer to being screen accurate.

I also shortened the other leg rod, so I hope the 2-3-2 and drive will be working again for the weekend.