Monday, 16 September 2013

Magic Panel Part 1

My Magic Panel arrived.  It is a pretty thing. :)

So i soldered up the pins (or James did), and powered it up.  Nothing, so read the guide.  It defaults to flash every 8-12 mins.  So i added the jumper to test the other options.  It seemed like it had loads of potential, but some of the default scrolls and patterns seemed jumpy.  So i started over.  :D

The grid layout of LEDs is complex.  The rows of 8 LEDs are actually the first 2 rows of the 1st chip and not in the same positions.  e.g. Row 0 B11110000 and Row 1 B00001111 will turn on all the LEDs in the top row.  So this was going to be fun.

I used a 2 dimensional boolean array (8x8) as what i wanted to see and mapped that to the actual LED layout.  So i simply change the boolean array to say what should be on/off and then map and print that to the LEDs via the chips.  It works beautifully.  I can set rows and columns and work with it very easily now.

So once i got that setup i decided to do the pattern i had my heart set on.  Random in and out so it is almost like a fade.  I really like this one, it took a few goes to get it looking right, and being random it doesn't always look perfect, but im happy with it now. 

Then i looked at shapes, i applied the Logo on the back of the PCB as one option, but when difused the image isnt easily seen, but it isnt horrible. :) 

Here are a couple of videos of what it can currently do:

So it is now ready for me to decide on when it should be used and add in the triggering, i have started working on the spreadsheet, and hope to have the I2C stuff added this week.  Then i need to cut the hole in the dome and im good to go. :)

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

BHD Control BOM Mk1

BHD Control BOM

The following is a list of the parts used in my current electronics setup.  This is subject to change and still work in progress, but I have been asked a few times, and this will be a useful base for a future write up.
Details on wiring to follow.
All Sketches, libraries, sound files etc can be found here:


5v Dome battery with Auto Sense (20Ah+)

Slip Ring kit, boards and slip ring – See for details

3A Switch for 5v system

BHD Teeces Logics & PSIs

Controls the Logics and PSIs.  This includes a Arduino Pro Micro or mini etc.  Plus Header pins, resistors for voltage divider, leads crimps and covers etc.  This is setup as a 3 chain setup.

BHD Dome Servos and HPs

Controls 3 HP lights using PWM, 3 HP Servos for random and controlled motion, and 9 door servos (4 pies and 5 lower).

Arduino Uno, Mega or Nano : Recommend Genuine Uno

3 Bright White LEDs 

3 220Ohm Resistors

Servos for dome (4 for pie panels, 5 for lower doors)
I use Ripmax SD200 servos, so something suitable to lift the panes, the specs are as follows:
Dimensions (mm): 25.0 x 29.5 x 13.9     Speed (sec): 0.14     Torque ( 2.50
James recommends these:  £10.00 (cheaper on ebay, but get what you pay for)

HP Servos – I have a custom mech, and use Std size servos x 3.  Any servos strong enough to move the HPs will be fine.  Currently the code only does the Y axis, I hope to add code for the X axis too eventually.

Adafruit 16 Servo PWM Controller (+Capacitor and pins), – If servos are added

Relays for servo power – If servos are added

DC/DC converter for servo Power – If servos are added
Plus Header pins, resistors for voltage divider, leads crimps and covers etc.


Rear PSI will also run on Teeces code if DBC is not added.  This will allow control of 6 funtions from the dome bumps e.g. random sounds on/off, hi/low volume etc.

Dome bump controller – See for details of the part run
Work in Progress
Also need a few header pins etc.

BHD Magic Panel

Magic Panel – See for details of the part run
This may well become the controlling Arduino for the Dome servos and HP, but needs coding and testing.
Work in Progress

Body and Feet

12v main Battery – LifePo4 Tracer? SLA – Up to you.  Power depends on weight of droid and run time needed.  This only runs the ESCs and the 3 motors, the DC/DC converters, the amplifier and the 2-3-2 system.  The rest runs on the dome or body 5v supplies.  All 12v supplies are fused, and relays are added on the feet drives and on the servo power feeds to prevent rogue start up issues, and improve overall safety.

5v Dome battery with Auto Sense (20Ah+) (see above in dome section)  This powers the Master, relays, MP3 Uno and Shield, the Body Uno, 2-3-2 Uno, Adafruit and all the LEDs

Feet Motors – Up to you, recommend NPCs for alu droid

Dome Motor – Up to you, recommend Pitman

Fuse Holder for 12v Supplies – Recommend RigRunner 4008H + Suitable fuses for each 12v circuit.

3A Switch for 5v system

BHD Master

Master runs the speed controllers, dome positioner etc and communicates with the pad.

Uno (see above)


SparkFun XBee Shield

Sabretooth 2x25 – 2 x 25A ESC For Feet Drives if lower powered motors you may get away with less current.

Syren 10 – 10A ESC For Dome Drive

Dome pos Pot (Optional)

Feet Relays
Also need a few header pins etc.


MP3 Shield and controller

Uno  (see above)

SparkFun MP3 Shield

Ground Loop Isolator

Any 12v amp, 2 channel, just needs RCA on inputs from GLI connectors (above) and speaker outs, volume control is useful, but not essential.  Recommend a min of approx. 2 x 20W RMS power.

Speakers, cables etc
Suitable speakers for amp, and wires including headphone to RCA adaptor for the Shield to GLI
Also need a few header pins etc.

BHD Body Controller

This will run all Body Servos, CBI, Data Panel and Vegas Kit.

Uno (see above)

CBI Panel – See for details of the part run

Data Panel (Optional) – See for details of the part run.  I am 
not using this on mine so control is basic, but the random mode looks great.

Vegas Kit – RGB LEDs in LDP and Coin Slots

Servos for Utility Arms and Doors (If so add 2nd Adafruit, 2nd DC/DC, Dual 5v 10A relay and more Servos - see above) 
Plus Header pins, resistors for voltage divider, leads crimps and covers etc.
CPU Arm and Claw to follow.

BHD 2-3-2

Optional – But complete and working, please ask for details if needed.  Also feeds back status to master to say if in 2 leg mode.



V1 – Changes to follow

Arduino Mega (see above)

Xbee (see above)

SparkFun XBee Shield (see above)

Screen 1604 LCD I2C

PS2 Pad
NOTE:  Must be New and Genuine.  Do not attempt to save £10 on this part, you will regret it.



Up/Down USB Cables
Header pins, connectors, leads, resistors etc

General list

Solid core wires, lots of colours. :)  For making up shields
Header pins, lots of them, all sorts
10k resistors for pull-ups where needed
Crimps and PCB connector covers in various sizes (details to eventually follow)
Crimpers for above are useful, but not essential
Wires for power and signals, often servo type leads, but also for feet motors (check your stall current values)
Multi-metre (Essential)