Arduino controlled, stirling engine powerd, minature sawing table.

Hi fellow tech lovers

For a school project i have been building a Stirling engine with a rombic drive system.
That part is going well but than i started thinking that it would be stupid to just make
the engine run and not do something with it. So i got a idea to build a small touchscreen control
system and a miniature sawing table that would be powered by the engine (no the dynamo does indeed not generate enough energie to make it sustainable so it would just charge a batterie where the whole system runs on and there is going to be a port to charge the batterie over usb)

So over the past few months i have been teaching my self how to program a arduino to run it all.
There is just one problem that i have ran into and that's that i don't think i have enough ports on the arduino to control it all. And many of the break out boards that i have found don't seem suitable.

The arduino would have to control 2 stepper motor's, 2 servo's, a small electric motor, a bigger electric motor that is used to start the engine and after that would serve as a dynamo, it would have to read out two thermal couples, one ir photo transistor and of course control the touch screen.

With all those parts i'm way past the amount of ports on my uno. I'm getting pretty far already in the programming side of things but not well known with the hardware side of things. Would a mega be enough or would i have to find a different solution?

I know i probably sound like a dummy and i probably agree with you, that's why i'm here to learn ey.

Thank you in advance for the help.

Best regards,

Paragon643

I would think a mega would be sufficient
list your IO requirements and work out which pins on the Mega you would use

It could be done with Uno, if you select the right driver boards.

You can buy motor driver boards that use the i2c bus. A "bus" is when the same Arduino pins connect to several devices. The Arduino acts as the master and the boards are the slaves and they can "talk" or send instructions/recieve readings to each other over the bus. The i2c bus uses only 2 pins on the Uno but they must be A4 & A5.

The other device that will use a lot of pins is the display. But, again, you can buy displays that use fewer pins, for example by communicating with the Arduino over Serial lines or, again, i2c.

Example display

Example motor driver - 16 channel*

*Note that the above will need driver transistor circuits for most motors (DC, stepper) but not for servos.

The question is, will all these more specialist parts cost more than a Mega?

With a touchscreen display, I would think that the 2K of Sram on an Uno would be limiting.

groundFungus:
With a touchscreen display, I would think that the 2K of Sram on an Uno would be limiting.

I understand that the 2K ram does make updating many colour lcd displays slow, because only part of the screen can be rendered at a time, so the rendering process has to be repeated several times to update the whole screen. I don't think the fact that it is a touch screen has any bearing, it is the number of pixels that causes the problem.

The display I linked to would, in theory, solve that problem. It has its own processor built-in, off-loading the burden from the Arduino. Disclaimer: I've never used one.

Sounds like an interesting project. I'd like to see pics when it's in a presentable form.

If you're really only limited by pins, shift registers can help. Here's a Sparkfun tutorial

I built a Stirling engine from scratch years ago. Just a regular crank on the flywheel. Cool to see it run. It's on the shelf just above the computer. Required a lot of WD-40 to keep it running, as I recall.

Good luck!

Paul

Unless you run a stirling engine at a high pressure, it's specific power output is small.

What power does your engine produce?

Allan

First off all thank you all for the reply's.

Been a busy few last days. Just now got time to read it all.

Sounds like i'll be saving my uno for a different project in the future and just order a Mega.

I'll start with making a list of all the stuff, when i have that done i'll post it here so you guys can shine in and see if i made any bad choices.

About the power out put of the engine, it's kinda irrelevant tbh. It's never gonna be enough to power it all that's why i'm putting a lipo in there to supply the power. The engine will charge it a bit but the rest will just come from the wall.

And i'll most definitely will be adding in some pictures of the project soon. I already have machined a lot of the parts for the engine, and just have to finish up the drawings of the sawing table after that i'll also be able to add some 3D cad renders of the finished piece.

So a lot of time has past.
I have been really busy with school work but i so heaven't forgot about this, every chance i get i work on it.
Recently i got this crazy idea when i found the shieldbuddy TC275 on the web, of making a interactive 3d model of the project render on the screen and than being able to move it around and select one of the controllable parts of the model i want to adjust the settings for, does anybody know if that is possible or actually the better question would be does anybody know how to do that?

Kind regards,
paragon643

Paragon643:
So a lot of time has past.
I have been really busy with school work but i so heaven't forgot about this, every chance i get i work on it.
Recently i got this crazy idea when i found the shieldbuddy TC275 on the web, of making a interactive 3d model of the project render on the screen and than being able to move it around and select one of the controllable parts of the model i want to adjust the settings for, does anybody know if that is possible or actually the better question would be does anybody know how to do that?

Kind regards,
paragon643

I am detecting symptoms of the "start many-finish none" syndrome. Stop and finish something first before imagining the next project.

Paul