The Electrician's Work bench

The mindless ramblings of a savage drunk with a screwdriver.

Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Raspberry Pi

Posted by 0ldrunk on June 11, 2012

Another new project/toy on my table is the Raspberry Pi, it just came in the mail a few days ago and I’m looking forward to seeing what this little guy can do!

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Linux Media Centre PC (HTPC)

Posted by 0ldrunk on March 31, 2010

Some computer stuff again, have not had the time to play around with PIC’s lately but there is always so much to do and so little time.

How to turn a HP Pavilion Elite into a l33t HTPC (Home Theatre PC)

I recently got a HP Pavilion Elite m9080n from some one who had switch to MAC. The HP would be a good media centre PC if it was not the fact it was built by HP. The HP case design is horrible and cramped so its doomed to thermal brake down so this needs to be changed so I had a old rack mount server case to transplant to which would give it much more room and far better cooling. After I got it transplanted I tried to boot it up and install XBMC (Xbox Media Centre) which started out as Xbox hack and now has been ported to linux and currently works off Ubuntu 9.10 distro. I had quite the issue getting this going and not because of linux but the HP hardware mainly HP put cheap crap in their computers. When I first opened up the HP I was surprised to find a Asus mobo then it turned out be a model that is built just for HP and it came with a really crappy butchered BIOS and there was Nvidia Geforce 8800GTS video card, now I’m going to rant so cover your eyes if your blind stupid fanboy. Nvidia here is where the problem was with this system and why I don’t buy Nvidia any more because I’ve been burned twice now. Nvidia will let any one build hardware for them and I mean any one so even though on the outside it looks like a quality piece of hardware because of the flashy looking heat sink glued on top but when you strip that away its total crap under the hood and I mean Crap. Every now again you’ll think your getting a good deal on a Nvidia card or in this case HP being cheap and looking to crank out a few extra bucks but your getting hardware that is overpriced garbage. The Nvidia card that HP sold will only work with one default HP windows Vista 32bit driver version that it was shipped with, forget about update drivers or 64 bit or running another OS, a card that is suppose to be powerful will only work with one outdated driver build and thats it! and I’ve had this happen before, get a Nvidia card thinking you got somthing good until you go to update the drivers and you lose hardware video. So any way I got my HTPC working no problems after I pulled out the Nvidia card and tossed it in the trash since I don’t use Vista and don’t know any one who is dumb enough to use Vista, I pulled the plastic cap off that covered the onboard Intel video on the butchered HP Asus motherboard luckily XBMC has drivers for Intel, ATI and Nvidia.

Gotta say XBMC is really sweet!

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GTP USB PIC programmer

Posted by 0ldrunk on December 3, 2009

I came across a great find today surfing the net the GTP-USB-Lite Programmer . I’ve been looking for new PIC programmer and I found one that I happen so have the parts to build it, that saves me a lot of time.

I’m going to start building this one tomorrow hopefully, just pulling out the parts right now!


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As far as I got!

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

This is officially the final post on the R/C nav lights project. I lost time and interest to continue it, the final controller worked but never got around to working in the error checking as I would have had to redo most of the program due to limited code space on that model of PICmicro, even if  I did want to continue it now most of my original work was lost when my home server was attacked.

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First test flight!

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 08, 2009 @ 03:12 AM / 949 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
Well I got the comanche back together with the finished prototype installed, had to change out all the wire I had used for the LED’s for somthing more flexible.But she’s ready for a test flight and see how dose with this extra weigh on.
Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 08, 2009 @ 11:08 PM / 1,113 Views / 3 Comments / Reply

well got my first test flight in and not too bad other then I found a bug going to have to go back and rework the glitch checking I had the lights go out mid flight in dark room, well I made a video and and got a better camera so if you watch you’ll see the glitch, when it happened the stats LED on the board started to blink to show an error, you can’t see it in the video but I saw it glow though the Comanche body.

 

 

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Working prototype

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Discussion / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 07, 2009 @ 06:24 PM / 714 Views / 0 Comments / Reply

Well got back early but have to leave Monday for another few days. I did get some work in on the prototype and it all works, just need to do some tweaks and it will be ready, the next step is to put the Comanche back together and test fly it with the Nav light controller on.
Even got a chance to toss a little video together, its not great and my 3megapixel camera only records video 15seconds at a time but it works.

 

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Ready for testing

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 03, 2009 @ 07:13 PM / 1,153 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
I have every thing assembled now and ready to go, just need to program in the lighting patterns and see how it looks on the finished product. I’m still far from done, I’m going to have to rework the circuit and board to try to get it smaller I guess that will be my version 0.2 . Don’t have the materials to do printed circuit boards other wise even with the current design it could be a little smaller.With the circuit board that is just going to lead me to my next build a CNC router to mill out boards for me. 🙄
Any way all this will have to be put on hold till Monday, being called away out of town for work so here will every thing sit on my desk until I’m back. 😦

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LamaLight V0.1

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 02, 2009 @ 05:57 PM / 1,152 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
Well here it is the first beta of my project. The circuit it fully complete and the software is mostly complete just need to program in the different lighting patterns and then its all ready to go.
Some details about the controller are it supports 6 light channels, of the six channels it supports the following 3 Nav position lights(two forward, one tail end, one mid tail) 1 Strobe light , Landing Lights(two outputs) and Search lights(two outputs).
I built every thing with parts I had on hand so the microcontroller is a PIC16f627, the transistors for switching the output are BC547B(or 2N3904) they can handle up to 100mA of current, most designs I’ve seen online use a 2N2222 which can handle double the current but don’t feel that the 2N2222 is needed since the average LED is 20 to 25mA , there will be at most 60mA of current running though the collector with 2 LEDs connected. If higher power LED’s are needed/wanted the transistors can be replaced for 2N2222 or better.

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Build Update on Nav Lights

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Feb 01, 2009 @ 02:50 PM / 962 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
Did a test on breadboard of the individual parts of the final circuit and made a couple of changes to the schematic and its all well on its way now, with a fresh start this morning I have finally began the assembly of the first prototype, once I’m happy with the layout and can get it as small as I can then I’ll solder and connect all the components.
Last thing left to do is mount the LEDs on the Co-Comanche body.

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Nav Lighting Control

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Jan 30, 2009 @ 05:41 PM / 964 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
Just a update on my work. When I started this project I just wanted to make a simple “RC switch” to turn lights on/off but have found that much more can be done. So I have it worked out and working so that the lighting can be fully controlled and set off the free fifth channel on the modded Esky 404 TX.

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It works!

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Jan 21, 2009 @ 04:12 PM / 1,553 Views / 4 Comments / Reply
After some tweaking and moving some bits around it works , reads out values to where ever I move the pot and reproduce the same values over and over on the same positions, well almost on the high end I’ll get 80~82 but 81 seems to come up most and same for the low end I’ll get 33 or 32 but that could be just the trimmer pot on channel 5 of TX and getting some variation because of it, not a big deal and won’t affect me any way so now with phase one complete I can move on to phase two and work on my nav light control.
BTW I did this all in flowcode and did not type a single line of program code, my PC mouse and my brain did most of the work.  Can you believe it?
Pics attached show it works.
Just ignore the notes written on paper its from early code trials and trying to map it

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It’s alive!!! Kinda???

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Jan 21, 2009 @ 11:57 AM / 1,087 Views / 0 Comments / Reply
Well after some hardship getting the LCD screen to work and finding out I had a bad setting keeping it from working I finally got to test my servo pulse input code and with some success. The LCD is spitting out values when I move the pot for channel 5 to different positions and getting repeating values at the same positions only problem is its slow to read whats coming off the channel and won’t return any value at some positions, so back to drawing board to rethink and rework the code. :confused: 😦

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Microcontroller

Posted by 0ldrunk on November 21, 2009

Build Log / Posted by Oldrunk / Jan 19, 2009 @ 05:29 PM / 1,264 Views / 5 Comments / Reply
So now that I have a 5th free channel on my TX/RX got to do somthing with them so back to my other hobby of electronics and I have been interested in microcontrollers for some time but never had a goal with them so never got past blinking some LEDs, now I want to blink LEDs remotely via the free channel. Now I have seen already made controllers that do this for sell but whats the fun in that if I already have the parts and resources to do it my self and learn something in the processes.
I don’t have much experience in writing code and all I know is some C code but never really used it but can read it and generally get the gist of whats going on and whats it doing. Did a lot of reading and most sources point to PICbasic as easy to learn but already familiar with C( found C easier to learn then basic) so didn’t want to go that way.Tried some demos of different C compilers for PICmicro, and later found Flowcode3 which has become my first choice because its stupid easy with just a datasheet on your device and Flowcode and little/no programing knowledge/experience you can get a lot done without typing a single line of code. If you where ever intimidated by microcontrollers try FlowCode you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make working software for a microcontroller and it will spit out your flow chart code as readable C code, its great for learning to program. Now just to figure out how the PIC controller functions work like interrupts and timers so I can get I want done.

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