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Old 15-07-2014, 07:40 AM   #21
ncmreynolds
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That is neat as heck! Would you do that for others, perhaps for a price?
Realistically I don't have the spare time for that.

I'm posting loads of photos as I go so people can see how it was done if they want to build their own. This is all being done with fairly basic DIY tools. The only power tools I've used so far are a pillar drill, jigsaw and hot air paint stripper. The pillar drill was only used because I have one.

The electronics will be trivially simple as I'm using an Arduino microcontroller to drive it. This means the animation for the globe and ring are controlled in software and the only discrete components are some current limiting resistors for the LEDs. My coding skills far outstrip my electronics ones and when a generic Arduino Mega is 13, embedding one in a project to drive it buys a ton of functionality and saved time.
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Old 15-07-2014, 07:23 PM   #22
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I think Ham Salad was asking about the Arduino programming/coding, not the whole build, though I could be wrong...
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Old 15-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #23
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I think Ham Salad was asking about the Arduino programming/coding, not the whole build, though I could be wrong...
Oh, code and a simple circuit diagram would be no problem there's not much to it.

Today I have messed around with the sound module getting it working. This is one of the nasty little WTV020 ones you can buy widely for playing sounds from a microcontroller very cheaply.

They do work but they are desperately finicky over things like the SD card you use (has to be small) and need audio in a nasty obscure format.

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Old 15-07-2014, 09:12 PM   #24
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Looking good, just bought the new version of that sound chip module.
needed a tiny one with changeable sounds...
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Old 15-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #25
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I've stuck up a video with the sound...

http://youtu.be/fICP_4IJ8ho

I need a clicking relay for the full experience.
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Old 15-07-2014, 09:57 PM   #26
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I think Ham Salad was asking about the Arduino programming/coding, not the whole build, though I could be wrong...
You are correct, sir.

Digital chip programming is not,unfortunately,part of my skill set.

You can pretty much assume that if a technique is newer than about 1984,I'm gonna have trouble....
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Old 16-07-2014, 11:22 AM   #27
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Looking good, just bought the new version of that sound chip module.
needed a tiny one with changeable sounds...
Which module did you get? While I have used these ones a couple of times, I don't actually like them. Specifically, converting the sounds into AD4 format seems hit and miss and relies on crummy software.
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Old 16-07-2014, 11:29 AM   #28
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You are correct, sir.

Digital chip programming is not,unfortunately,part of my skill set.

You can pretty much assume that if a technique is newer than about 1984,I'm gonna have trouble....
Arduinos are absurdly easy to deal with. They plug straight into a USB port in your computer using a normal USB cable and you can upload the 'sketch' they run with free software. Once you've done this they can be stuck in your project and they're pretty robust so just keep doing the same thing. They even give you an easy to use barrel connector for power tolerant of 5-12V and useful 5V regulated output. Which is fine provided you don't want to run too much else off it.

When I get this all working I'll be perfectly happy to provide all the files I've used and a diagram.

As I'm planning on putting a cannibalised PMR inside some if it might be slightly irrelevant for others, but I could make the code modular.

Last edited by ncmreynolds; 16-07-2014 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 16-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #29
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Arduinos are absurdly easy to deal with. They plug straight into a USB port in your computer using a normal USB cable and you can upload the 'sketch' they run with free software. Once you've done this they can be stuck in your project and they're pretty robust so just keep doing the same thing. They even give you an easy to use barrel connector for power tolerant of 5-12V and useful 5V regulated output. Which is fine provided you don't want to run too much else off it.

When I get this all working I'll be perfectly happy to provide all the files I've used and a diagram.

As I'm planning on putting a cannibalised PMR inside some if it might be slightly irrelevant for others, but I could make the code modular.
If you could provide parts list and sources, and an idiot level set of instructions I might be able to cope.

Since I use a mac,does the software you mention exist for same?Is it self explanatory?
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Old 16-07-2014, 07:20 PM   #30
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If you could provide parts list and sources, and an idiot level set of instructions I might be able to cope.

Since I use a mac,does the software you mention exist for same?Is it self explanatory?
I've never used it on a Mac, but it's available for Mac OS X.

Mostly you open the file you want to upload, tell the software what kind of Arduino you have and hit the upload button.
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Old 17-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #31
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Tonight I've cemented the first side of the box.

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Old 18-07-2014, 06:40 PM   #32
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Two sides of the box done. Aiming to get more done tonight. This is some old recovered 6mm acrylic of unknown provenance I cleared out of our old office when we moved out. It had been screwed over some noticeboards I think. It was a bit scratched up from being down my cellar but cleaned up brilliantly with some metal polish.

I have used some Tensol-12 acrylic cement to join it and this seems to work brilliantly. The box joins aren't perfect looked at close up, but I just need them 'good enough for LARP'.


Last edited by ncmreynolds; 18-07-2014 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 18-07-2014, 09:58 PM   #33
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One end cemented in and curing. I went a bit off the lines cutting the hole so it's not as even as I'd like it.

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Old 19-07-2014, 10:51 AM   #34
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The other end cemented in and curing. I am working on the holes in the ends being used as handles so will space the sheet behind with the circuitry on out more than it is in the photos I have of the original.

I plan to have all the functional circuitry including batteries at one end and maybe some random lumps at the other end.

If I can do it nicely I'll make the functional section removable as I can see me doing a couple of iterations of this, I always do.

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Old 19-07-2014, 12:19 PM   #35
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Clear standoffs for the working circuit board end. This is just some leftover acrylic rod I had kicking around cut/drilled with some of those brass standoffs that are used in PCs fitted and stuck with epoxy.

I'm hoping that once cemented to the inside of the box they work out strong enough to hold the board in the end, I'd prefer not to have too many visible fasteners.

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Old 19-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #36
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This is the end plate in, which I'll mount all the electronics on. Sorry folks you can't really see this here but it's the wrong colour as it's smoked brown. One of the criteria for this project is to do it fairly cheaply and use up a load of acrylic that's been lurking in my cellar, some of it for over a decade.

I have bought coloured sheets and tube to make into the 'Tariel cells', but didn't want to use a whole sheet just to mount the circuitry on.

If long term I really don't like this I'll buy some more acrylic and replace it as it will unscrew.

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Old 19-07-2014, 05:25 PM   #37
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First attempt at the bracket which will hold the 'orbit' light chaser in place. I've gone for a similar design to the original but have cut a slit on upright and passed a joining piece through it. This all fits quite nicely so I'm going to cut it into a nice shape.

I vaguely worry that the cement won't be strong enough on a single edge to hold it so will probably cement a couple of supporting pieces either side. In the original there are two sections but they look thicker.

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Old 19-07-2014, 07:22 PM   #38
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I really should have done this before I put the lights in, but I've now drilled the central 'brain sphere' to take the tube that supports it. I was worried it would shatter or I'd damage the wiring but in the end it went easily enough.

Now I need to cut the mitre joins on the tube and get it into the box. Also need to find something suitably fluffy for the middle. Although in the original it looks like it might just be cotton wool anyway.



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Old 19-07-2014, 08:23 PM   #39
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In the original the fussy stuff was Angel Hair, a Christmas decoration, made from very fine fibers of glass.
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Old 19-07-2014, 08:57 PM   #40
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In the original the fussy stuff was Angel Hair, a Christmas decoration, made from very fine fibers of glass.
Cool, thanks. I'm going to have a root round the shed and see what I can find. I think I have some very fine white fibreglass exhaust wadding somewhere.
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