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robot maker
08-09-2008, 08:26 PM
searching the internet awhile back i found a very good linux robot design called OAP robot project,looks like a very cool design http://oap.sourceforge.net/

also another question,i use mostly windows but looking to learn linux system,what is the best and the easest linux system to learn,i heard GENTOO is great for robotics,i have almost every linux system out there,from my IT friend

Adrenalynn
08-09-2008, 08:30 PM
Too many times reading: "This component consists of custom hardware and firmware" for me to get all that excited. If it's tied to custom hardware and firmware it's just another proprietary toy to me...

It's been in my bookmark list for awhile but I haven't paid much attention to it since it just seems to get more and more proprietary.

robot maker
08-09-2008, 09:06 PM
custom hardware is the best way to go,anyone can buy a robot kit or board already made and put it together
fun part is to build the robot mostly from scratch,make some changes like sensors hands and software and making the design better, my favorate besides building the robot is making a prototype board from parts and buss wire,then you have something else called electronic-art
very easy to send a board out to pcb cmpany get it back fast in 7 days or less


Too many times reading: "This component consists of custom hardware and firmware" for me to get all that excited. If it's tied to custom hardware and firmware it's just another proprietary toy to me...

It's been in my bookmark list for awhile but I haven't paid much attention to it since it just seems to get more and more proprietary.

archcvd
08-21-2008, 03:43 PM
The OAP is what I have used as a basis for my current project. There's some great code and ideas you can pick and choose from. For example, I found the power management module's circuit design to be exactly what I needed for my power subsystem but I wasn't a big fan of the code for the onboard PIC driving it so I've coded my own. OAP is what inspired me to finally take the leap and make something myself.

The project looks like it may be dead, but you can still find some neat things tidbits that could help you in your own robotic adventures! :D

JonHylands
08-22-2008, 07:41 AM
very easy to send a board out to pcb cmpany get it back fast in 7 days or less

I don't understand this. Yes, its very easy. After you've made your 20th or 50th board, it starts getting tiring stringing all that wire. What if you want to use surface mount? What if you want your robot to be (gasp) reliable? What if you want your robot to look professional, inside and out?

535

robot maker
08-22-2008, 10:15 AM
i really dont like surface mount,need special tools,and flow oven and alot more,solder paste
then if a part goes bad,it hard to replace,it does save space
surface mount you still need to do make a circuit,same as pcb ,but alot harder then send to pcb company
company i work ,at makes testers and they use surface mount mostly ,surface mount is great when you make over 100 boards,but for a robot design may only need 1 or 2
so thats why surface not so great for robots


I don't understand this. Yes, its very easy. After you've made your 20th or 50th board, it starts getting tiring stringing all that wire. What if you want to use surface mount? What if you want your robot to be (gasp) reliable? What if you want your robot to look professional, inside and out?

535

robot maker
08-22-2008, 10:18 AM
i do the same i got ideas from the oap project ,mostly power management and charging design
using windows instead of linux,but linux will be used maybe latter
as i learn it and apply to my robots


The OAP is what I have used as a basis for my current project. There's some great code and ideas you can pick and choose from. For example, I found the power management module's circuit design to be exactly what I needed for my power subsystem but I wasn't a big fan of the code for the onboard PIC driving it so I've coded my own. OAP is what inspired me to finally take the leap and make something myself.

The project looks like it may be dead, but you can still find some neat things tidbits that could help you in your own robotic adventures! :D

JonHylands
08-22-2008, 10:32 AM
i really dont like surface mount,need special tools,and flow oven and alot more,solder paste then if a part goes bad,it hard to replace,it does save space
surface mount you still need to do make a circuit,same as pcb ,but alot harder then send to pcb company
company i work ,at makes testers and they use surface mount mostly ,surface mount is great when you make over 100 boards,but for a robot design may only need 1 or 2
so thats why surface not so great for robots

Well, I make lots of boards, and I use surface mount all the time. Many of the robots I build end up being space constrained, and to get the features I need I have to use surface mount.

As an example, look at an earlier mini-sumo I built, Seeker 2 (http://www.huv.com/miniSumo/seeker2):

548

549

This is all through hole-point to point soldering. Its messy, and its unreliable. Wires break off occasionally, and its really easy to short things from the bottom. It also takes up way too much space. Seeker 2 is 1.5" high, and my new mini sumo, Seeker 2x, is 1" high. I needed smaller (but higher capacity) batteries, and a much thinner PCB, without lots of crap hanging off the bottom.

Seeker 2's circuit board is 9mm thick at the front, and 15mm thick at the back (including the wires on the bottom).

Seeker 2x's circuit board is 4mm thick at the front, and 9mm thick at the back, and there is nothing on the bottom of the board (other than traces, protected by solder mask).

Plus, the microcontroller I'm using now is significantly more powerful, has a ton more memory, and isn't available in a through-hole version.

I personally find surface mount to be perfect for robotics. Things fit much better, and the company I use (APCircuits.com) does an excellent job of making the PCB, whether it is surface mount or through-hole (or a mix).

Adrenalynn
08-22-2008, 11:00 AM
I'm totally with you, Jon. SMT is a fact of life - I couldn't imagine working in anything else. Repair is simple once you get the hang of it, and a rework gun is no more expensive than a middle-of-the-road hobby soldering iron. If any prototype house told me they couldn't work with anything but through-hole, I'd run to the next ad in the back of Nuts and Volts. Too many thousand of them out there to choose from, each cheaper and more reliable than the next.

1985 called and they want their through-hole chips back... [1990 called and wanted that joke back...]

Hephaistos
08-22-2008, 11:10 AM
Plus, the microcontroller I'm using now is significantly more powerful, has a ton more memory, and isn't available in a through-hole version.

This is what I've found...A lot of the really cool chips these days just aren't available in through hole versions. Of course, some of the ones I'd like to use don't come in anything other than evil BGA packages.

Hephaistos
08-22-2008, 11:12 AM
1985 called and they want their through-hole chips back... [1990 called and wanted that joke back...]

Okay, but you cannot have my wire-wrap tool!

Adrenalynn
08-22-2008, 11:23 AM
I'll let you keep your antique. :) You know, I haven't done any wirewrapping since I was like six. I just couldn't get into it. If I'm not going to breadboard I tend to point-to-point wire on perf-board. Not that there's anything wrong with wirewrapping, I've seen some "beautiful" work by experienced prototypers - I just don't like doing it.

Hephaistos
08-22-2008, 11:29 AM
I'll let you keep your antique. :) You know, I haven't done any wirewrapping since I was like six. I just couldn't get into it. If I'm not going to breadboard I tend to point-to-point wire on perf-board. Not that there's anything wrong with wirewrapping, I've seen some "beautiful" work by experienced prototypers - I just don't like doing it.

I used to do wire-wrapping when prototyping 8-bit ISA cards. Boy, that was fun! It was like playing that Operation game when trying to insert the board into a PC slot. Just don't make it buzz!

Adrenalynn
08-22-2008, 11:34 AM
The last thing(s) I wire-wrapped were S100 cards. ROFL! Thanks for remind me!

Welcome to the TRC, btw! Good to have another "old timer"! :)

archcvd
08-22-2008, 05:06 PM
I'm actually pretty excited to start doing some surface mount stuff :D It will shrink my stuff considerably.

robot maker
08-25-2008, 10:39 AM
i make so many through point to point boards for my company i work for ,since they are not production,lot of my testers also use a bed of nails on all the boards i have made never had a problem if you do it right
also there is 2 types of though holes ,circuit board with traces and point to point hand soldering
ones i am talking about is circuit board you send out to pcb company that you can get with a solder mask or without,never problem with them at all very easy to replace parts,point to point homemade boards can have some if not done right,i make both some with 20 chips mosty analog,only ones i send out is when i make alot of the same boards or testers for production or for china

robot maker
08-25-2008, 11:29 AM
they are very messy boards,you are using perfboards that is so very old
if doing through hole point to point soldering they have protoboards
company i work for check into smt equipment and to have boards made and the price for good equipment was well over $600,for both through hole designs on $80 temperature control for a very good weller or $120 for digital

but smt does has a good thing about it,small size,great for production ,not great for techs,since we have many at work on customer repair side and they hate it,mostly we just put in a new one
since the boards i am making for my robot ,each one is different and as the boards and most boards will buy off self,witch is mostly better and sometimes cost less but not as much fun has a handmade board,like in my cooking i hate buying bread when the fun and showing off you creation you have made,most of the time also when you board placed in a robot ,you most likey wont see the board

for micros and lot of pins,a couple of ways to use them ,you can get surfboards that from smt to through hole,find a good board like wiring boards ,ardurino board,bot boards and so many more with different processors,or ssc-32 and other servo boards to fill your needs,or if you are adding a few parts,like OSD design i am finishing up ,i bought a prototype board with cpu on it and crystal on it and added a usb to serial and my video chips,there are so many prototype boards out there ,like olimex,and microcontrollershop

when i build boards for my robots using through design that is sent to pcb company ,most are power supply boards and analog boards and some boards the connect to a protoboard with a cpu
boards are so easy to repair and most times you dont have to almost tear down you robot to remove the board then use a surface mount hot gun or other tools,just remove the smt componet,
just ic remover or screwdriver is needed for most chips and boards can stay in the robot
surface soldering tool and then a desoldering tool,most come to gether in a rework station ,plus alot of tip adapters is needed,plus looking at the paste witch is very high for a small amount
then you have design a pcb with program from the pcb company,witch is very tedious work because of very small lines and many pcb layers,comparing to a though hole design
then when you send the board out to be made and get it back and you made a mistake or missing a trace,it very hard to fix it ,but through hole design very easy

on both designs there is a good and bad,but mostly better type is through hole design because of very few problems,mostly 1 the size,but i made mine very very close to small design using small resistors when i can ,move componets very close together when i can

company i work for for 19 years i have seen very few problems with the boards i have made and well over 100 and 10% i sent out,mostly get a few bad componets go bad when the person on the line makes a mistake or problem with the board,but i added board protectors ,like crossed wires or current monitors on some of the lines before doing the test and apply power
machine testers go bad more often the pcb,mostly bed of nails need to be cleaned or replaced
hard part is when you make them with over 30 bed of nails


Well, I make lots of boards, and I use surface mount all the time. Many of the robots I build end up being space constrained, and to get the features I need I have to use surface mount.

As an example, look at an earlier mini-sumo I built, Seeker 2 (http://www.huv.com/miniSumo/seeker2):

548

549

This is all through hole-point to point soldering. Its messy, and its unreliable. Wires break off occasionally, and its really easy to short things from the bottom. It also takes up way too much space. Seeker 2 is 1.5" high, and my new mini sumo, Seeker 2x, is 1" high. I needed smaller (but higher capacity) batteries, and a much thinner PCB, without lots of crap hanging off the bottom.

Seeker 2's circuit board is 9mm thick at the front, and 15mm thick at the back (including the wires on the bottom).

Seeker 2x's circuit board is 4mm thick at the front, and 9mm thick at the back, and there is nothing on the bottom of the board (other than traces, protected by solder mask).

Plus, the microcontroller I'm using now is significantly more powerful, has a ton more memory, and isn't available in a through-hole version.

I personally find surface mount to be perfect for robotics. Things fit much better, and the company I use (APCircuits.com) does an excellent job of making the PCB, whether it is surface mount or through-hole (or a mix).

i never done wire wrapping and never will,to many many problems

The last thing(s) I wire-wrapped were S100 cards. ROFL! Thanks for remind me!

Welcome to the TRC, btw! Good to have another "old timer"! :)

Jon
looking at the pictures again they look bad
way i make mine is protoboard with plated through holes
then using buss wire make traces just like on a through hole pcb design
i have done with very few jumpers,and when i add them i place on top with clear tubing ,some if needed on the bottom,then they look very neat,and buss wire size depends on the current used in the circuit,some times both

Well, I make lots of boards, and I use surface mount all the time. Many of the robots I build end up being space constrained, and to get the features I need I have to use surface mount.

As an example, look at an earlier mini-sumo I built, Seeker 2 (http://www.huv.com/miniSumo/seeker2):

548

549

This is all through hole-point to point soldering. Its messy, and its unreliable. Wires break off occasionally, and its really easy to short things from the bottom. It also takes up way too much space. Seeker 2 is 1.5" high, and my new mini sumo, Seeker 2x, is 1" high. I needed smaller (but higher capacity) batteries, and a much thinner PCB, without lots of crap hanging off the bottom.

Seeker 2's circuit board is 9mm thick at the front, and 15mm thick at the back (including the wires on the bottom).

Seeker 2x's circuit board is 4mm thick at the front, and 9mm thick at the back, and there is nothing on the bottom of the board (other than traces, protected by solder mask).

Plus, the microcontroller I'm using now is significantly more powerful, has a ton more memory, and isn't available in a through-hole version.

I personally find surface mount to be perfect for robotics. Things fit much better, and the company I use (APCircuits.com) does an excellent job of making the PCB, whether it is surface mount or through-hole (or a mix).

Adrenalynn
08-25-2008, 11:59 AM
>> Jon looking at the pictures again they look bad

Jon designs, engineers, and builds working devices. He shows working designs, engineering, and devices on the forum.

You??? ...

JonHylands
08-25-2008, 12:13 PM
Jon
looking at the pictures again they look bad
way i make mine is protoboard with plated through holes
then using buss wire make traces just like on a through hole pcb design
i have done with very few jumpers,and when i add them i place on top with clear tubing ,some if needed on the bottom,then they look very neat,and buss wire size depends on the current used in the circuit,some times both

That perf-board I used has plated through-holes as well. I used probably larger gauge wire than I had to in order to make it work, but that was what I happened to have on hand.

Of course they look bad - that was the whole point.

My new mini-sumo board, for Seeker 2x, which uses mostly surface mount parts:

567

568

That board clearly doesn't look bad. Its a one-off, surface mount design, two layers, fairly simple. I didn't even use a stencil to put the solder paste on.

My point is, you are saying that surface mount is no good for robots, and I'm showing you an example of a robot that I am building that is using surface mount. Maybe you wouldn't build a robot PCB using surface mount, but that's no reason to make so blatant a claim.

If you refuse to use surface mount, you'd never be able to build a circuit board that would fit within the physical constraints I had for Seeker 2x.

robot maker
08-26-2008, 11:32 AM
i didnt say smt is bad for robots,i have some in my robots my self mostly ones i bought
but to make them is alot of trouble ,plus the repair,unless somebody like you or others that have all the rework equipment,and reflow oven ,perf boards and plate through boards are great for small projects,but when going to larger project then have making a pcb and sent it out to pcb company to have it done and then only need a soldering iron and cutters is very easy
but with both ideas always drawbacks with both
one you have is equipment is very high,unless you buy cheap junk,and buy or make a reflow oven
since i was getting the parts to make one my self,and then to replace a bad part,good side is small size
on the other making a pcb and then send it off to pcb company,is easy and then placing the parts or the need to replace the parts is easy,bad side is it little larger board

but using perf board or plated through board is not the same as a pcb board that is made
plus takes alot of time to make smt board,now if some board companies have a smt board already made,like sparkfun has,then its not to bad to put them together only need reflow oven and few tools,when you design circuits for a robot ,i would like to get it done very soon ,not take a long time,designing the circuit,then design pcb,then put it together ,then still build robot and still work and home related stuff,like most do,and then start on a new robot,
so you would want to find a board design that has mostly what you want with out adding to much circuit,or find a easy design that you can send out to pcb company and stuff very easy
plus programming learning
that one reason my ROV project is on hold for awhile,along with a website
robots take alot out of us ,but are fun to design and build

good about smt boards latter on for me is to make many and sell them
like my automatic charging station up to 10 amps charging current,also a special microphone design with male/female seperator


That perf-board I used has plated through-holes as well. I used probably larger gauge wire than I had to in order to make it work, but that was what I happened to have on hand.

Of course they look bad - that was the whole point.

My new mini-sumo board, for Seeker 2x, which uses mostly surface mount parts:

567

568

That board clearly doesn't look bad. Its a one-off, surface mount design, two layers, fairly simple. I didn't even use a stencil to put the solder paste on.

My point is, you are saying that surface mount is no good for robots, and I'm showing you an example of a robot that I am building that is using surface mount. Maybe you wouldn't build a robot PCB using surface mount, but that's no reason to make so blatant a claim.

If you refuse to use surface mount, you'd never be able to build a circuit board that would fit within the physical constraints I had for Seeker 2x.

JonHylands
08-26-2008, 11:48 AM
i didnt say smt is bad for robots


Actually, you did (more or less):



...
so thats why surface not so great for robots



when you design circuits for a robot ,i would like to get it done very soon ,not take a long time,designing the circuit,then design pcb,then put it together ,then still build robot and still work and home related stuff,like most do,and then start on a new robot,
so you would want to find a board design that has mostly what you want with out adding to much circuit,or find a easy design that you can send out to pcb company and stuff very easy
plus programming learning

I like to put a lot of thought and design work into my robots. I'm never in a hurry to get it done, and I don't like to do something the "easy" way if the hard way produces something that is better. I very rarely find a commercially available micro-controller board that fits the constraints that I set for the robots I build.

I probably spent 20-30 hours building the CAD model for Seeker 2x. I probably spent another 20 hours on the PCB design - it underwent many revisions on the computer before it finally made it to the PCB maker. I've already spent 10-15 hours on the software, and I haven't even started on the mini-sumo behavior yet.

By the time I'm done, I'll probably have spent 300 hours total on this robot...

- Jon

robot maker
08-26-2008, 11:54 AM
i dont build robots for a living,but i can find a few boards that the company does need that i made and take photos,i can show the design ,but i cant use the design because of copyrights
also one design i do have on the market,got paid 2 years ago $21000 straight deal no patent
i have seen JONS work looks very good ,as is website on ROVS ,since i am in the yahoo club
mostly i am into analog designs ,super high precision 10 ppm or better power sources(not a power supply) for testing and calibrating electronic equipment
looking soon to add microcontrollers to my designs at work,but als lokiing at retiring very early from my job ,to spend full time robot making and traveling witch i do alot
already i need to stop to take my wife to france for a few weeks next month

>> Jon looking at the pictures again they look bad

Jon designs, engineers, and builds working devices. He shows working designs, engineering, and devices on the forum.

You??? ...

JonHylands
08-26-2008, 12:14 PM
i dont build robots for a living

Just to clarify, neither do I. I'm a professional software developer, and I work full time writing code.

All my robotics stuff is done on the side, in my spare time.

- Jon

robot maker
08-27-2008, 10:47 PM
i do the same sofar i am 1 year on my robot and still not done and ,i do some at work since they have machine shop and special test eqauipment ,like motor torque tester
i said smt no so great didnt say its really bad,i am using alot my self in my robots ,so i know they are good,but making them is a different story all together,if i made smt for all my boards in my robot maybe 2 years or morebefore i get done,and still want to finish another robot that i did some design on called beer-bot,the lynxmotion j5 mod and still my underwater ROV project
where i am using smt boards and through hole designs made by me


Actually, you did (more or less):





I like to put a lot of thought and design work into my robots. I'm never in a hurry to get it done, and I don't like to do something the "easy" way if the hard way produces something that is better. I very rarely find a commercially available micro-controller board that fits the constraints that I set for the robots I build.

I probably spent 20-30 hours building the CAD model for Seeker 2x. I probably spent another 20 hours on the PCB design - it underwent many revisions on the computer before it finally made it to the PCB maker. I've already spent 10-15 hours on the software, and I haven't even started on the mini-sumo behavior yet.

By the time I'm done, I'll probably have spent 300 hours total on this robot...

- Jon

that is good to know since i lack in programming and may need your help or adrenalynn that really good at programming
i am just started to learn programming,some looks some what hard,seem to like ADRENALYNN idea about using AVR OR WIRING/ADUIRINO type processors to start with
thanks for a good idea,seem to like the wiring board since i already have one and bought many other demo boards to learn latter on

Just to clarify, neither do I. I'm a professional software developer, and I work full time writing code.

All my robotics stuff is done on the side, in my spare time.

- Jon