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JulyBaby
03-24-2008, 07:45 PM
I'm new here...and I'm hoping to not receive any booing and hissing toward my post. LOL

Each year a bunch of us guys get together for a fireworks bash on the 4th of July (they are legal where I live). And each year, our setup gets more and more elaborate and high tech. Well this year, I want to take it to the next level. My desire is to setup a wireless LAN and control the fireworks through a remote computer.

After talking with the guys, one of my buddies suggested I look into the I/O phidget USA Boards. He's a ASP guy and said that he's helped another buddy with some robotics using some of the phidgetusa products. He mentioned I could control the board via usb. Perfect!

To be honest, I was not even going to post this thread simply because I figured I get a bunch of ppl explaining the dangers involved with such a project. Please know, we are well aware of the dangers involved and have taken several safety precautions. Not to mention, one of my peeps is a fireman and is part of our safety team. :0)

Basically, I need to know what board would best suit my needs. My desire is to be able to ignite apprx 30-40 fireworks (individually from the remote pc). I also want to be able to remotely power a Red Police Beacon Light (through the same I/O board) to warn the guys to clear the launch pad and to inform them that the show is about to begin! What I'm trying to determine is...what PhidgetUSA product is the best solution for this project.

At first I thought the LED 64 might be a good choice. Rather than powering LEDs, I'd just power relays that would power the ignitors. But my friend that has used these products on on a few robotic projects thought it would be best to use one of the I/O boards.

Any suggestions on which board might be the best choice for this project?

Thank you!http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

srobot
03-24-2008, 08:12 PM
Due to a related project I posted on here (I think the post was removed), and other (now removed or closed) topics I started on here, I will not reply to your post unless the TR guys say I can, because I do not want to be kicked off the forum.

Cheers,
--Scotty

JulyBaby
03-24-2008, 08:31 PM
Due to a related project I posted on here (I think the post was removed), and other (now removed or closed) topics I started on here, I will not reply to your post unless the TR guys say I can, because I do not want to be kicked off the forum.

Cheers,
--Scotty

I guess I missed the rules on that when I signed up for this forum. I definitely don't want to post this here if it's against the rules. If similar topics were removed...then this should be removed too. I completely understand. :o

Matt
03-24-2008, 08:38 PM
Yeah, chat away. I don't recall exactly what it was that made me nervous last time Scotty. I learned from someone else that the igniter pulls huge amps so that the 0/16/16 couldn't handle it. You would be left with the 0/0/4 or adding secondary relays to the 0/16/16. controlanything.com has some 32 relay boards (http://www.controlanything.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=NCD&Category_Code=CAT_RELAY32), but they are NOT cheap.

We want a video of how you built it and the show! :)

JulyBaby
03-24-2008, 08:44 PM
controlanything.com has some 32 relay boards (http://www.controlanything.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=NCD&Category_Code=CAT_RELAY32), but they are NOT cheap.


WOW, you weren't kidding! Those are not cheap!

Matt
03-24-2008, 08:56 PM
LOL. No they aren't.

I would think that the 0/16/16 with low cost secondary relays would be about as cheap as it gets before getting into the area of doing schematic designs on your own. When you get to that level you would also lose the nice pretty API that you get with Phidgets.

It's a cost benefit trade off. If you have the right friends you could probably create a 32 or 64 relay custom built board for far cheaper than a pile of Phidgets, but one would have to know their stuff and have the time to spend. That's the beauty of Phidgets, electronic goodness in a can. (well okay, a box)

I don't know about the LED 64 route, maybe an EE person can suggest a creative way to tap into those signals and amp them up to strong relays?

Chester? Are you lurking? :)

DresnerRobotics
03-24-2008, 09:37 PM
Due to a related project I posted on here (I think the post was removed), and other (now removed or closed) topics I started on here, I will not reply to your post unless the TR guys say I can, because I do not want to be kicked off the forum.

Cheers,
--Scotty


I think you're being a bit over dramatic here, to the point where it might discourage others from posting, which isn't cool. The only post in recent history that I recall you being shut down on involved password hacking, which is sort of a taboo for those who enjoy their privacy ;) The TR crew here has always been fair and I can't say I've seen them edit/close a single post I didn't agree on.

That said- I'm looking at adding a laser powerful enough to set things on fire onto my robot, and have it autonomously controlled/aimed/fired, so while I feel safety should of course be in mind in a fireworks project like this, I'm all for it. I'd say the most cost efficient solution might be trying to find a low input relay that the 64 LED module could trigger and go that route.

Matt
03-24-2008, 11:24 PM
To be fair, srobot was referring to a past post about firework control where I shut down Dave from giving too much advice. I was nervous about liability stuff and I think Scotty was just trying to be respectful due to that old thread which we appreciate.

As always, TRC is a no drama zone. Just geeks having fun with their crazy projects. Andrew just gave away a hint at awesome robot fun to come. We do indeed have plans to equip Pico J5 with his very own laser :robotsurprised: Apparently, the democrats have recruited him to attack repuballonagins*. Stay tuned for more ridiculous robofun :p


*repuballonagins is a trademark of J5 Andrew Alter productions ;)

cmmguy
03-24-2008, 11:28 PM
Basically, I need to know what board would best suit my needs. My desire is to be able to ignite apprx 30-40 fireworks (individually from the remote pc).

Ok this sound interesting!

So I will throw it back at you... what are the requirements for ignitors. volts/amps/length of time

Without knowing that, it is difficult to answer what products would be best. You might be able to breadboard an array of relays that could be controlled by a low power I/O device. How much do you wnat to build for your self?

archcvd
03-25-2008, 01:02 AM
I'm new here...and I'm hoping to not receive any booing and hissing toward my post. LOL

Each year a bunch of us guys get together for a fireworks bash on the 4th of July (they are legal where I live). And each year, our setup gets more and more elaborate and high tech. Well this year, I want to take it to the next level. My desire is to setup a wireless LAN and control the fireworks through a remote computer.

After talking with the guys, one of my buddies suggested I look into the I/O phidget USA Boards. He's a ASP guy and said that he's helped another buddy with some robotics using some of the phidgetusa products. He mentioned I could control the board via usb. Perfect!

To be honest, I was not even going to post this thread simply because I figured I get a bunch of ppl explaining the dangers involved with such a project. Please know, we are well aware of the dangers involved and have taken several safety precautions. Not to mention, one of my peeps is a fireman and is part of our safety team. :0)

Basically, I need to know what board would best suit my needs. My desire is to be able to ignite apprx 30-40 fireworks (individually from the remote pc). I also want to be able to remotely power a Red Police Beacon Light (through the same I/O board) to warn the guys to clear the launch pad and to inform them that the show is about to begin! What I'm trying to determine is...what PhidgetUSA product is the best solution for this project.

At first I thought the LED 64 might be a good choice. Rather than powering LEDs, I'd just power relays that would power the ignitors. But my friend that has used these products on on a few robotic projects thought it would be best to use one of the I/O boards.

Any suggestions on which board might be the best choice for this project?

Thank you!http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

Kind of like this? http://tuckie.net/wordpress/2008/03/23/diy-wireless-firework-control/

DresnerRobotics
03-25-2008, 01:05 AM
*repuballonagins is a trademark of J5 Andrew Alter productions ;)


rofl, I think you deserve credit (blame?) for that one.

And no hard feelings Scotty, I wasn't aware of the previous thread and just didn't want our new friend here to be discouraged from posting regarding this cool project idea.

JulyBaby
04-22-2008, 10:41 PM
I would think that the 0/16/16 with low cost secondary relays would be about as cheap as it gets before getting into the area of doing schematic designs on your own. When you get to that level you would also lose the nice pretty API that you get with Phidgets.

It's a cost benefit trade off. If you have the right friends you could probably create a 32 or 64 relay custom built board for far cheaper than a pile of Phidgets, but one would have to know their stuff and have the time to spend. That's the beauty of Phidgets, electronic goodness in a can. (well okay, a box)


Thanks for the response Matt. Sorry it's been so long for me to respond. I had to leave town for a Fam Emergency...Not firework related :veryhappy:

I've given thought about going the 0/16/16 route with relays...but I was not sure what relays would be the right fit for this job. The ignitors will be pretty much the same as the ones used for model rockets. Ran off a dedicated 6v battery. I've tried looking around jameco for the ideal relay at: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/catalogs/c282/P99.pdf

And with 16 outputs, I'm not quite sure how to get that to trigger more than 16 relays. Forgive my ignorance. While I've always been a huge one for tinkering with electronics, I've never really had a chance to play with relays. I have in the past used relays on a small parking light system that you put in the garage to tell you when to stop. I tapped into the devices board using relays to control a real stoplight (Which is hanging in my garage). But, outside that...I've not had much more experience. But I am comfortable with jumpin in and getting my feet wet! :-) I just need a push in the right direction.

Thanks again for your thoughts on this!

JulyBaby
04-22-2008, 10:53 PM
Ok this sound interesting!

So I will throw it back at you... what are the requirements for ignitors. volts/amps/length of time

Without knowing that, it is difficult to answer what products would be best. You might be able to breadboard an array of relays that could be controlled by a low power I/O device. How much do you wnat to build for your self?

I'm just going to be using model rocket ignitors with a dedicated 6volt battery. I may end up using a homebrew version with wire and a match head. The length of time may vary. I'm not looking for an instant result...as in...I push a button and the firework instantly fires off. I was expecting to simply have the ignitor placed against the fuse. I expected the actual ignitor to take a second (or a fraction of) to ignite. Then the fuse would take a second (or so) from there before the firework does its job.

Does this make sense?

I'm trying to figure out what would be the best phidget board to handle apprx20-30 fireworks. I'm cool with using relays, but I just need to know what relays I'd need based on the best board. Thank you for any input you can offer on this topic!

Sorry for not responding sooner....I was out of town for a while.

Alex
04-23-2008, 10:47 AM
hey julybaby!

Have you checked out the new 0/0/8's yet?

http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5551-InterfaceKit-0-0-8.aspx

Here's the datasheet:
http://www.phidgets.com/products.php?product_id=1017


I'm not quite sure if these will work for your app (I don't know much about electronics), but I thought I'd still point them out to you:)

Dave
04-23-2008, 12:41 PM
At first I thought the LED 64 might be a good choice. Rather than powering LEDs, I'd just power relays that would power the ignitors.

Possible. The LED 64 outputs a PWM signal, not straight DC. Low-pass filter the PWM, use relays that can be switched with less than 30mA, put a diode in parallel with the relay coil, and you might be ok.


To be fair, srobot was referring to a past post about firework control where I shut down Dave from giving too much advice. I was nervous about liability stuff and I think Scotty was just trying to be respectful due to that old thread which we appreciate.

Yeah, the implosion of the last 4th of July thread was all me. The problem wasn't the fireworks discussion, it was that I was giving out advice regarding homemade pyrotechnic devices.


I've given thought about going the 0/16/16 route with relays...but I was not sure what relays would be the right fit for this job. The ignitors will be pretty much the same as the ones used for model rockets. Ran off a dedicated 6v battery. I've tried looking around jameco for the ideal relay at: http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/catalogs/c282/P99.pdf

Start by figuring out how much current your igniters will draw. Ohm's law is your friend, here. Select your relay accordingly.


And with 16 outputs, I'm not quite sure how to get that to trigger more than 16 relays.

If you don't want to use multiple I/O boards, we'll have to start thinking about multiplexers.

JulyBaby
04-26-2008, 09:41 PM
Start by figuring out how much current your igniters will draw. Ohm's law is your friend, here. Select your relay accordingly.

If you don't want to use multiple I/O boards, we'll have to start thinking about multiplexers.

I'm not sure how to test the current drawn by these igniters. What's the best way to do this?

When it comes to multiplexers, could you make a recommendation when it comes to dealing with the 0/16/16? I've never dealt with multiplexers or demultiplexers. Thank you!!!!! http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

Adrenalynn
04-26-2008, 10:04 PM
Put a multimeter inline with one, and trip the ignitor. Basically, cut the wire coming from the positive battery pole, and put the black wire of the meter there, strip back the side going to the ignitor that was on the battery terminal, and put the red wire from the meter there.

Set the meter for its highest amperage measurement and try it. If you blow a fuse in the meter, you know it's higher than that. ;)

If you have a "hold" function on your multimeter, use it. It'll make it easy to figure-out later...

Dave
05-01-2008, 12:22 PM
I'm not sure how to test the current drawn by these igniters. What's the best way to do this?

Measure the resistance of the igniter. Divide voltage by resistance. V/R=I. That's your peak current.


When it comes to multiplexers, could you make a recommendation when it comes to dealing with the 0/16/16? I've never dealt with multiplexers or demultiplexers. Thank you!!!!! http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

I took a bunch of notes on multiplexers a few months ago when I was working on a project that needed them, but I'll have to dig up the notes to recommend a specific chip. Stay tuned.