Tuesday 20 March 2012

Jan/Feb Roundup

Well, a new year has come, and we're into March already. I've spent most of my free time procrastinating, making lists and watching action hero films ranging from Iron-Man (1 et 2), Green Hornet, Star Trek (2011 reboot) to X-Men (1-5), Daredevil etc. Pretty much sums up the year to date...

I have however spent time sourcing parts, and coming up with ideas for new projects and modifications to existing. So, a little roundup as to where we are:
  • RC Platform - I'm still in need of some parts to link the axles with the chassis - I've held back from building the chassis for that reason primarily, and for space the secondarily. At present I don't have any workshop/lab space to work in so it's on the back burner for now. I've sourced lots of pre-manufactured aluminium struts and plates, so this little project might end up parenting a few different RC vehicles.
  • RC Boat - as dumb as it sounds, I've had trouble trying to source female-female servo cables, and this has held me back (sourced some from China in December, and still not got them). I also had trouble with my Rx/Tx when trying my test Arduino code; no issues driving servos from the Arduino on a pre-programmed sequence or using a potentiometer, but I'm having trouble getting the Rx to get enough power from the Arduino (some buggering about with cables probably needed).
  • RC Hovercraft - as above, plus I still need to find a better way of cutting up plastic tubs to give me the air baffle I need. I can either keep it pretty on the inside, or just make use of copious dollops of industrial adhesive and scrap plastic. 
  • Train Control Panel - this thing keeps growing and shrinking - there'll probably be a few iterations to get what I want, but that's part of the fun (I think). I'm even considering using two panels and a touchscreen in the centre to fully represent the prototype - more on that later.
  • Train Control System - I began building my DCC system in January and February, losing time over the last 3 weeks with travel and what-not. I'm building a CAN-Bus based DCC and IO system using MERG kits and schematics, and a bit of glue in the form of JMRI and/or RocRail. I need to write up a post for the whole system and take some pictures before I finish it, something to do later I think, but in short the IO and DCC control will be coupled to a central controller via CAN-Bus, pretty much in the same way as conventional distributed IO.

Doesn't seem a complete list, but it's all I can think of at the moment. Expect this post to be edited heavily to make it look like I'm top of things.

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