Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Electronics Rev2

We've recently put together our new electronics package.  It is essentially a breakout board for all of the different off the shelf boards we use. Check it out!  It has a Seeedstudio Arduino Mega as the master controller, a 3.5A 5V switching regulator from Pololu, SD Card data logging, 4x 12A motor controllers.  The motor controllers are controlled by two Arduino Pro Mini's (2 motor controllers to each mini) which take quadrature encoder signals as feedback for motor position and current feedback for torque limiting and control.  Big improvement over our previous protoboard ratsnest.
Our second generation wind sensor is almost put together as well.  It uses a AS5040 magnetic encoder chip.  So far the whole thing weighs less than 15g. (ignore the mastic tape I needed something to hold the vane on temporarily)  It outputs a pulse at 1kHz equal with the width equal to the orientation of the magnet attached to the wind vane shaft.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Actuator test

Development of new actuators is underway. An implementation of our shaft using aluminum resulted in some shearing and sad team members. So we remade it with stainless steel and new grub screws. Here's a test of the build that used a rapid-prototyped casing and a shaft which did not fail:

(Note: Musical tastes are those of the fabrication team and are not necessarily those expressed or endorsed by this blog.)