• Electronics

    Joshua Ferrara02/21/2016 at 03:52 0 comments

    Decided to mess around with the electronics today as a iPhone app I'm working on has been giving me a lot of issues.

    Anyway, a few days ago I sketched out how I was going to wire the electronics with 123D Circuits. This allowed me to test out my Arduino code without having to actually wire everything up. I've embedded the circuit below - sorry, it's a bit messy. (Also, the code below is a bit outdated and has some bugs - I added some communication libraries which couldn't be used on the simulator and had to move to the Arduino IDE.)

    (Edit: Looks like Hackaday.io didn't like the embedded HTML despite allowing me to do it in the editor. You can view the design/code here.)

    Anyway, I wired it all up, pushed the code to the Arduino, and was granted with immediate satisfaction as it all worked perfectly. I highly recommend using 123D Circuits to sketch out and test your designs/code before-hand.

    Here's a photo I took while testing it. I've taken it with the lights on so you can see the color of the LEDs. Note: I did not attach the Emergency Stop switch, I was lazy and simply used a jumper to act as the switch. Also, the only breadboard I had was attached to a Parallax Demo Board...

    At this point, I need to either begin writing the client software that'll interact with Mission Planner or get the control panel laser cut. It would be nice to have the panel cut as then I could solder everything together - might try and see if I can get this done soon.

  • Initial Log

    Joshua Ferrara02/07/2016 at 20:01 0 comments

    Decided I'd like to start a Hackaday.io project for this. I feel it'll keep me on track and help to actually finish the project. At this point, I have many of the parts already and have installed the PF1500 panel frame kit for the Pelican Case. This took quite a while as I received the panel frame kit without the set screws or brass inserts. Lucky for me, Pelican has a lifetime warranty and sent me the missing parts for free. I also asked if they could send a replacement latch for the 1500 case as one of the original latches had been damaged. To my surprise, they sent me everything I asked for including a second replacement latch (awesome customer support!).

    Replacing the latches wasn't too hard. It required tapping out the metal pins from the inside towards the outside and using pliers to pull them out. I found a PDF online that aided in this. If you try and tap the metal pins out in the wrong direction, the threads on the pin get stuck in the latch and you'll have to waste time reinserting the pin (Don't read the instructions too quickly like I did).

    I've also installed a custom breather valve for the case as the original valve had been damaged. I found that some of the older mil-spec Pelican-Hardigg cases used a Zero Corp Breather Valve (Now known as AGM). I got this valve off eBay for around $6 shipped. Compared to the original valve, this one is not waterproof. I figured that since I would not be bringing my GCS on a boat, I wouldn't really need this precaution (Plus, I have a few ideas on how to waterproof it in the future anyway). Installing the valve was simple. I used a screw driver to pop off the broken plastic valve, drilled a larger hole and then used a dremel to get the hole to the perfect size for the new valve. Push the valve through the case and attach the nut on the other side and it was installed.

    At this point I also have some of the electronics I ordered from AliExpress (everything is so cheap provided you don't mind long shipping times). From left, to right: illuminated momentary push-button switch, illuminated key switch, emergency stop switch (I'll only use one of these though; they were too cheap to purchase only one). These will be wired up to an Arduino that'll either act as a HID over USB or use serial over USB - not entirely sure how I want to write the client application yet.

    That's it for now. I'm hoping to get the acrylic laser cut soon. I'll also have to figure out a way that I'd like to mount my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet on the top half of the case.