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Topic: Access Liberty Servo Controls (Read 627 times) previous topic - next topic

wetsuit29

Feb 16, 2013, 05:33 am Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 06:12 am by wetsuit29 Reason: 1
Three 20 amp, 12 volt Volvo windshield wiper motors operate the sails of this special sailboat. One motor for the rudder and one for the mainsail and one for the jib. Each motor is reversible and each operate independent of each other. The stock controls are unreliable and extremely expensive.
I want to control these motors with a Game Pad...(X-Box, Nintindo, etc) USB interface. Game Pad to Arduino Product to laptop to Arduino Product to motor controller (30 amp)
Is there any guidance or advice on this matter? These sailboats are sailed by severely disabled people so reliability must be high.
Charles G. Cunningham

zoomkat

Perhaps for simplicity/reliablility you might want to consider nc/no pushbuttons or a center return toggle switch to operate the motors foward/reverse.
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wetsuit29

#2
Feb 16, 2013, 06:19 am Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 07:01 am by wetsuit29 Reason: 1
The joy stick scheme is a must as the persons sailing have no use of hands or legs and operate the joystick with their chin. Current controller has one joystick, 3 switches. I want one joystick for rudder control and one for sail control. If the GAME PAD fails, a new one is about 20 dollars and disposable. I need to get the GAME Pad to talk to the DC Motors.
Also, as I understand Arduino, I can also use iPad, iPhone and android to control these motors. With all these inexpensive input devices, I can tailor on to each specific class of disability.
I will post better technical pictures of these electrical/electronic circumstances. tomorrow after I sail.
Charles G. Cunningham

zoomkat

Do your joysticks use switches or pots? Are they spring return to center? Are your wiper motor servos already built to accept RC servo type control signals?
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wetsuit29

#4
Feb 16, 2013, 07:07 am Last Edit: Feb 16, 2013, 07:10 am by wetsuit29 Reason: 1
Current joystick uses switches. I want to go to a game pad scheme. A UK1133 30 amp motor controller will likely control the motor's. I can control the uk1133 wireless using TXD/RXD433A 433mhz tx/rx. This would eliminate a lot of conductors that corrode so quickly.
Think "Steven Hawking" sailing this boat, 10 boats like this one.
Charles G. Cunningham

PeterH

I applaud your ingenuity and willingness to give these disabled people new experiences. However, it sounds like a health and safety nightmare and I have 'safety critical project' alarm bells ringing in my head.

In my view, projects which have the potential to cause death or serious injury should be left to people who are competent and qualified to deal with the risks. These people wouldn't usually come to an internet forum asking how to do it.

I can imagine how the hardware and software would work and I wouldn't expect to have any difficulty implementing a system like this, but if somebody asked me to do it, I'd refuse on the basis that it's too dangerous to be done by somebody like me.
I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.

wetsuit29

This is a project guidance forum.

I desire to backstop of ideas and seek a diversity of input.
         In fact these are very specially engineered boats, but the servo system is from the 1960s. I have been a sailor for over 30 years. I am a fully trained and capable Sr. CET in 5 electronics disciplines and I hold a FCC GMDSS operator/maintainer license, with a RADAR endorsement. In fact, it has occurred to me to build what I need with discreet components from scratch. This I can do...but why should I?
        My desire is to work within open source electronics and I am not familiar with Arduino systems. I can read a schematic, and this is not that hard.
I want minimal parts, modular components, reliability and ease of maintenance of surface mount electronics.
There are many open source electronic systems out there, how can anyone be familiar with them all?
Arduino systems are readily available here in San Francisco through local vendors and seems heavily supported. Seems like a good choice of technology.
Peter's post seems to indicate Arduino should be just for hobbies.
        I will do this work, and I have not asked anyone to do it for me. The current health and safety nightmare is the current system in place now. I want to have our fleet ready to go for the Para Olympics in a year and a half. I will not wait while the world wrings its hands with worry over such a simple control issue. I will move to resolve this issue one way or another.
I only seek advise on which components are best. There are many and many will work....I don't have the patience to buy them all and try them all out, when an international forum is available for advise and support.
As I said earlier, I will post better and more descriptive photographs later to day that everyone has a better idea about what I seek advise about.
       One other thing... There are only about 100 of these boats in the world, half in the UK and Australia, and the rest in North America. There are no " people who are competent and qualified to deal with the risks." as Peter says. Expertise in this narrow issue will only come through R&D.
Charles G. Cunningham

zoomkat

Quote
....I don't have the patience to buy them all and try them all out, when an international forum is available for advise and support. As I said earlier, I will post better and more descriptive photographs later to day that everyone has a better idea about what I seek advise about.


Sorry, but photos are often not as explanitory as a good technical written description of the equipment you are trying to replace and a detailed description of what you are trying to accomplish. How about a description of the origional "stock controls". Having owned an 18' day sailer since ~1980, along with three other "holes in the water", my opinion of your plan is that it is overly over complex, high maintaince, and will have a significant amount of down time. I'm not concerned with safety as this concern should have already been addressed. You could hack the below type of gamepad for the left hand rocker switch (hot glue a chin cup on it), and use it to control a simple relay based motor controller like below. I recomend the KISS approach, as a salt water environment will probably kill your laptop and other eletronics sooner or later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-USB-10-Keys-Controller-PC-Game-Pad-Joypad-Joystick-3-/270946333972?pt=Video_Games_Accessories&hash=item3f15a8f514

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PeterH


There are no " people who are competent and qualified to deal with the risks." as Peter says. Expertise in this narrow issue will only come through R&D.


I was not suggesting that the project needed somebody who was competent and qualified to build small sailing boats for the disabled. I'm suggesting it needs somebody who is familiar with the risks involved in having disabled people in a boat, and the risks in having a small sailing boat controlled via an electronic control system, who is competent and qualified to manage those risks. The issue is not whether you can make it work. It's whether you can be certain before anyone steps foot on the boat that the risks are all known and are all acceptably low. I've no doubt you'll make it work. I've considerably more doubt about whether the end result will be free of potentially dangerous failure modes.
I only provide help via the forum - please do not contact me for private consultancy.

zoomkat

To keep the motor control simple, the below toggle switch could be wired like the bottom schematic to operate the motor in the foward/reverse directions. Hot glue a chin cup to the switch leaver. Easy, quick, and inexpensive.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2062530



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