I am working on my first “major” project, a coin-op automata.
I realize it’s most likely overkill, but what I decided to do in deference to my novice status was to break down each major function of the device into its own “section.” That way, I only have to work out how to wire up and program each section to do its thing. I also figure this means that one section doesn’t interfere with the others (if the lights don’t come on, the motors and sensors will still do their thing). I figured I'd treat the whole thing like a bunch of smaller modular parts fitted into the whole.
Then all the sections will be slaved to a “master” controller board. Basically the master will tell each board when it should do its thing, that board will run its little program, and all the master board then does is display on a 4-digit LCD the number of times it’s run this cycle (thought it might be a good idea to have a basic count of how many times the automata runs, especially so I can learn how many runs the machine goes through before I have to start worrying about swapping out the batteries/power supplies).
What I want to determine would be the best components recommended for each section’s tasks.
Here is the basic breakdown of what the automata is expected to do:
- Coin slot detector triggers when nickel dropped in slot.
- 2 Stepper motors swing open front panels to reveal automata interior.
- Hidden RGB LED strip lights up, music box music begins to play, 3 DC Motors spin various parts of the automata of the interior around.
- Music reaches end. All motors stop.
- A card dispenser spits out a single card.
6.The system waits until the PIR sensor detects movement (the viewer picks up and takes the card).
- The lights dim to black as the stepper motors close the front panels.
- Master board registers the new cycle and adds it to the counter displayed amount.
The only additional things I want to try and make possible is that I want a wifi shield hooked to the master board so that, with an Arduino app on my iphone, I can send a simple command to run the cycle without needing a coin dropped to start it (could be fun to occasionally secretly hit the button to make the device seem to spontaneously “start itself”). Also, the goal is to make this thing relatively portable (can be set atop a table or podium) and not have a visible means of power supply (i.e. an AC wall wart), so all of these would have to be powered by their own individual arrays of battery setups (I also figured if each section only has to worry about powering its own components, this should be doable even though the back section will of course have a mass of variously-labeled batteries that feed to their respective sections).
I’ve included a very simplified diagram (again, forgive the novice lack of technical precision). On the diagram I’ve mapped out all the different sections and a note about what component I was thinking would best serve.
I already know this will be a real Frankenstein with all the separate sections and their respective wiring and power.
But anyone who cares to take a look and has any suggestions, I would appreciate it. I already have been learning thanks to hunting around the forum and Google about shift registers, which might improve the payload the average section can handle more than I'd originally thought in this first sketch. So this sketch will obviously be getting updated as I learn more about what components are best designed with a given use in mind.
Thanks again for any input.