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Old Feb 16, 2013, 05:12 PM
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Canada, NS, Sydney
Joined Jul 2009
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MV Queen of Chilliwack RAD / ASD Control System.

I love the idea of this forum. I have a couple of projects on the go and a couple in mind for the future.

As you all might or might not know I am building a model of the Queen of Chilliwack. She has 4 RAD's linked in pairs one pair at each end of the vessel. My plan is to mimic her operational system exactly. I will have full endless control of the 360 degree swinging Rads, this is something very few people have actually done in models that I have seen or heard of.

Last year I received a pair of the vessels actual Rad control heads. While I was home over the holidays I was able to strip one down and do some work to it, and it turns out I will be able to use it with a minimum of modifications. I have to machine an adapter so that my angle encoders will fit in the stock encoder location.

360 Degree RADs.wmv (0 min 56 sec)


So my system is based on PIC microcontrollers communicating to each other via serial data. This I feel offers the greatest flexibility and can offer amazing performance as needed. I will have the ability to operate many things such as LCD displays and other serial interface devices with ease. The use of a simple external crystal allows me to change the operating frequency of the microcontroller to match up nicely with my serial devices and offers great speed and performance.

The wireless link between the PIC in the transmitter and the one in the model is a pair of Xbee 2.4 ghz serial to wireless units. I get a 100m range from these units, and I feel this is more than enough for a scale model.

End servo control is via a Lynxmotion SSC-32, this unit can control up to 32 servos via a serial interface, so I can easily have the PIC in the vessel send out the serial commands for servo movement after it does its computations. This allows me to be free of the arduous task of timing the servo pulses in my main microcontroller.

My system will have no use of any hobby transmitters or receiver for complete control of the vessel. The only RC items will be servos, hacked rotational servos and ESC's for final control of machinery.

So far my system is quite basic, but I've got the basics figured out and it works. My setup is simple at the moment the two microcontrollers communicate via the Xbee's but run on one battery, the receiver based microcontroller does its own servo pulse timing as I have yet to integrate the SSC-32 intot he system. It works and proves all my theories and my logic. I just now I have to find the time to start working on the full meal deal.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 05:47 PM
made of fire and pop rocks
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Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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Dig it! So, a full on custom controller then? whats going to be the brain of that?
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 05:54 PM
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United States, NJ, Livingston
Joined Mar 2012
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Hi cadmunkey,

This is great! Thanks for posting. Some members here want to utilize differnet control devices, like twin trhottles, joysticks, etc. into a workable system, looks like you are one of the few who have already figured this all out! I hope you will regale us with more details as you progress.

Subscribed

Pete
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 06:58 PM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
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USA, CA, San Francisco
Joined Apr 2007
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I'm in!
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Canada, NS, Sydney
Joined Jul 2009
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bgnome,

The brain is a PIC microcontroller. I'm not using the off the shelf robotics toys. I had a friend who had done some programming of microcontrollers during his engineering degree. He taught me some basics and I learned from there. I have learned everything I know on the topic the long and hard way.

Another advantage of not using to much of the off the shelf stuff is cost. I am looking at about 500-600 bucks for the transmitter and receiver with the complete control system for the rads, that's including the rotation servos and all the encoders to make the job work out. That's not including all the programming and development stuff I had to buy to get this all under way.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 09:54 PM
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Ariel WA
Joined Apr 2005
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Very interesting. Please define RAD. I know what ASD is but have never heard of RAD.

Dave
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:20 PM
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Dave,

I don't really know where the term RAD comes from. Its short for Right Angle Drive. This is the term the BC Ferries used to describe ASD's in their fleet. I understand that this is not very common to refer to them as RAD's.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 16, 2013, 10:42 PM
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Ariel WA
Joined Apr 2005
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Leave it to BC ferries to confuse the world.

Dave
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Cadmunkey,

Where,d you go?

Pete
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Old Apr 14, 2013, 09:53 PM
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Canada, NS, Sydney
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Haha,

Sorry there Pete. I'm bad for this. I don't have a tonne of time to work on much and quite frankly haven't touched the programing side of this for months.

Last week I machined an adapter plate so that my encoders would fit into the stock potentiometer mounting holes in the control heads. I am hoping to maybe start fooling around with getting it working with the head in the next couple of weeks. This is all dependent on my course load though. I've still got some flashing circuits ive been playing with for the last two months to complete.

Cheers,
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Old Apr 17, 2013, 09:13 AM
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OK, school comes first. I'll be watching,

Pete
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