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Author Topic: Hello all looking for a mentor of sorts! if there is such a thing these days ?  (Read 568 times)
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Hessle England
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I have a plan no more a dream to finally get over my fear of trying to compleate somthing. I know sounds kinda daft)
I have great plans I build some great things but I a;ways wanted to use electrinic stuff in them. I was a blacksmith by trade till I got hit by a car 12 years ago now I am a stay at home husband. Dont get me wrong I dont mind My wife is a one in a million would not swap her for anything. Well she has suggested I learn somthing new. So hear I am. I dont know how active this forum is but all roads I go down seem to lead here.

I am looking to build a remote control tanks now the mechanics of this are easy to me its the control side that scares the crap outa me. I would love to use a smart phone or a laptop either wifi or bluetooth. hey I dont even know if this is possible.
What I would like is a mentor who would help point me the right way now and then.

I arnt made of money I disabled I have a cnc mill and lathe so I can help in other way and can use solidworks not sure if any of that will heal anyone but hey if I can I will.

I would like to build it to a small budget if I can getting parts as and when I can but I would like to build it and learn how to do it.
I want to help my wife out with her scout group they luv science and after the water rockets we did the kids just want more and more
Well with winter comming in I thought this would be a good start we have the tank motors and gearbox now just need to control it.

From What I have read these boards can do this just not sure how to get there I never programed anything bigger the big foot the tracked toy from the 80's lol So If anyone can help point me or guide me I would be very greatfull and would look forward to this old dog learning a few new tricks

Sorry if this is in the wrong section but this looked a safe place to start.

Rik Hutch
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You should probably get your feet wet by purchasing a simple Arduino kit with everything you need, and a starter book - and learn the basics of controlling basic stuff, as well as programming the Arduino. Since you are in England, I would look into this kit and the book for it (there's an online PDF for free available):

http://www.earthshineelectronics.com/10-arduino-starter-kit.html

Get that - and start playing; learn how to connect and control the parts, and how to program the Arduino. Then you can move on to controlling something that moves.

How you do so is up to you, there are a number of options/ways to go about doing it. You could use a laptop with a wifi connection, and have the laptop control the Arduino (which then controls a motor driver); the laptop might run a web server that you can then browse to using a browser on a smartphone or another computer. Or, you could have an Arduino with a wifi ethernet shield (or just a wifi Arduino), and a small server running on that, which you then control via a browser or something. Or, the Arduino could be connected to a OpenWRT router or something. Lots of options, all different (and there are several more I didn't mention - many ways to skin the wabbit, so to speak).

Finally - before you even go down the route of building such a vehicle - think very, very carefully about security (especially if using wifi) and safety: What will you do to prevent people from "hacking" the communications (if wifi: obviously, you want to set up an encrypted link, WPA2 or something, along with probably adding MAC address filtering and such - but you might want to add a secondary SSL/SSH layer on top of that). What will you do to prevent a "runaway" condition (ie, the motor driver gets stuck, or the microcontroller fails and leaves a pin HIGH) - causing the machine to careen out of control - how do you prevent this? What is the plan if that prevention fails? Where is a "deadman's switch"?

So - when you do get to the point of building your machine, designing the system and software - you should think about this issue of security and safety for the system -first- and design it in up front, before you write a line of code or build anything; in systems design, it is much more difficult to patch in security/safety after the system is built, than it is to design it in up front first. No, it isn't fun; no, it isn't cool - but it may save you some headache down the road.

I should note that this last bit only really matters if the machine travels faster than a jog, or is large - or both; but again, if you see that you might want to increase the speed or size of the system in the future, then you might want to put in the safety/security aspect in up front beforehand (or be prepared to do a complete ground up redesign for the new system).
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Hessle England
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Thanks for that and your right I had not even thought of a deadmans switch at all thank I will look at the starter kit .
 Got a feeling I may post one or two time more just as i get stuck along the way.
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Hessle England
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queit sad more of my posts on this thread we have gone and ordered that kit, now just figner twidling waiting.

I maybe should of started with this question can this amazing stuff do what I want?
like control a small tank via bluetooth or IR of wifi for that .
This is to be tied in with the games worksop board games to be able to remotemove  your army on the field.

Maybe a bit late when I posted last night cause i just sat and read it andthought
 man you were so far out there all over the place

so sorry for the landing any way Hi all hope to speak to people at some point
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