Tuesday, July 27, 2010

J.E.D.I. Controller Problem Solved

As you may have read in a previous post, I was having issues with the J.E.D.I. Controller sending signals to Display Controller. I posted on Astromech.net that I was having an issue. Scott Gray, the creator of the J.E.D.I. Control and Display systems, knew exactly what my problem was.

I previously hooked up the items from the Display Controller and Logic Displays by themselves. When hooked up alone power needs to be run to the Display Controller through the PDCRX pins 2 and 3 (pin 1 is ignored in this case) from the DC/DC Converter. The J.E.D.I. Controller sends signals/power from the PDCTX pins to the Display Controller PDCRX pins (in this case all three pins are use because pin 1 receives the signal). I connected the J.E.D.I. Controller PDCTX pins to the Display Controller PDCTX pins which caused the signals to clash and prevented the Display Controller from functioning properly. I couldn't get past the fact that power did not need to be supplied from the DC/DC Converter when the J.E.D.I. Controller was hooked up.

Everything works great now! The morals of this story: 1) The builders, and Scott Gray, are great and will do almost anything (at all hours of the night) to help a fellow builder and 2) Don't hookup electronics when you are tired.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Slip Ring Connection

I received the slip ring connection boards I ordered from Scott Gray today. These boards are set up to make it easy to feed up to two power sources (which I call power "lanes") through the slip ring to the dome, and 16 signals such as servo signals, motor control signals, or other control signals such as the J.E.D.I. Display Controller serial signal. The signals are set up on 3 pin headers such that servos (and/or extender cables) can be attached directly to the boards, so there is no wiring fuss. Power for the servos are split into two groups of eight and are powered by two individual 2-terminal connectors. This means that it can pass battery power to the dome, convert it using a DC/DC converter to 5V or 6V, and then connect that back to the board to power the servos. This is a very clean solution that prevents having high current pass through the slip ring.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

J.E.D.I. Controller Hookup

I finally hooked up my J.E.D.I. Controller and Display Controller together tonight. When starting up the Display controller everything runs through its start up procedure perfectly. The FLDs, RLD, and PSIs continue to do their random flashing. I can use my joystick commands and the music and/or sounds play, but the random light flashing never changes to match the joystick commands. It's pretty late, so I'll take another look at it tomorrow night. I may also post something on Astromech.net to see if anyone has any ideas.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Putting Together J.E.D.I. Displays

I got the J.E.D.I. Display package a long time ago, but I was nervous about putting it together for fear that I would hook something up wrong. Clay grabbed his multimeter and helped test the power input for the system. With my power concerns put in check, Clay helped me hookup my display materials. Everything looked great! I just have to tin the ends of my 18 gauge power supply wires and hookup my J.E.D.I. Controller.

More Dome Smoothing

At the first Midwest Robots group build day and barbecue I worked on smoothing out my dome cutting lines and gouges. I'm using DAP Plastic Wood to fill in any imperfections. This stuff is great, it dries in an hour and becomes harder than the styrene. It is easily sanded and can be cut with a razor blade.

Midwest Robots First Group Build Day

Jason Neurath, Talon Culp, and I met to build for the first Midwest Robots build day and barbecue at Clay Cardwell's house. A little discussion about the future of our group, a lot of robot building talk, and even more joke telling. We had a great time! Thank you for hosting Clay.

I was excited to see Clay's CNC machine. The rear track kept binding on it's rear eight foot track. So Clay, with some help from the group, trouble shot the problems. Clay swapped some of the motors around and then shifted one of the X-axis tracks to square up the machine. All of the work paid off. After some fine tuning, the machine started working.

Clay tested the CNC out by cutting a Superman logo in some foam insulation.

With the CNC working as Clay intended, Clay practiced cutting out some Nomad panels for Talon in some foam.

One of the next big things I need to work on for R2 is the electronics. Talon showed me how he wired his droid.

Jason worked on cutting the panels out of his aluminum skins and filing down any barbs.

Talon worked on the his A&A R2 body parts.