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lnxfergy
01-14-2010, 10:34 AM
Please see the Tutorial (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/tutorials/how-to-diy-128/setting-up-your-mech-warfare-scoring-system-3302/)

DresnerRobotics
01-14-2010, 11:04 AM
Need everyone to PM on this ASAP, even if you can't purchase right away. We need as accurate count as possible as we're putting a very decent amount of money down to make this happen.

Also, please include whether or not you are attending Robogames THIS YEAR. We have to make these PCBs in batches and we may need to put you on the second batch if you are not attending this year.

lnxfergy
01-14-2010, 01:41 PM
And one last thing: please include your full REAL name, just so we're able to cross reference with the robogames registration later on. Thanks!

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
01-15-2010, 01:22 PM
Actually, ANOTHER last thing: Please include your main contact email along with your full name. We'll be setting up a competitors mailing list to ensure all information needed is distributed to the right people. If you've already sent lnxfergy a message for a board, please followup with your preferred email address as well.

Thanks!

webgeek
01-15-2010, 10:26 PM
Two questions:

1) Can you include a second option for the MINI RoboController that has all the headers and motor drivers? I'd rather the more capable board than a stripped version just because it seems more useful all around.

2) Does the price above include the XBee module for the controller or should we plan on ordering on as well?

Thanks!

lnxfergy
01-16-2010, 01:18 AM
Two questions:

1) Can you include a second option for the MINI RoboController that has all the headers and motor drivers? I'd rather the more capable board than a stripped version just because it seems more useful all around.

2) Does the price above include the XBee module for the controller or should we plan on ordering on as well?

Thanks!

If you want the full MINI, you can purchase it through the Trossen store. We can probably waive the shipping on the panels, which you'd still purchase from us, and Andrew would make sure the panels end up in with the full MINI purchase (which would include the shipping cost from Trossen). I'll get back to you on that tomorrow, or as soon as I confirm such an arrangment.

I should also clarify just a bit, the $30 special may not be a Rev. E board. We have several Rev. D boards left over from 2009 that may be sent out first. Either functions just fine for Mech Warfare, if you really need a version that is more general purpose, I'd suggest going the route of the regular retail MINI.

Prices do not include XBEE.

-Fergs

billyzelsnack
01-18-2010, 01:53 AM
Do the rules require that I mount the transponder on the robot? I already have a micro-controller and I already have a wifi link. In other words.. Can I have my robot talk to an external device and have that external device use the transponder to talk to the scoreboard? Even better.. Can I just talk to the scoreboard directly from the robot over the wifi link?

sthmck
01-18-2010, 08:08 AM
I can't actually speak for Andrew or Mike, but I would guess that they may not want to do that. The reason is that they are trying to make it as fair and equal as possible. Basically if one person gets to cut out the transponder other people are going to want to do the same. Let's face it, cutting it out eliminates weight and save space, which is something we all wabt to do. I would imagine even more so for you. The biggest problem I could see is that if they were to allow you to do what you have proposed they would have to make it an option for everyone. That would require a lot of onsite testing and setup to make sure everyones scoring system is working correctly. That's just my guess, but it is really up to the event organizers. To be honest I want to see your robot compete this year so I wouldn't really be bothered if the transpoder wasn't on board, but that's just me.

lnxfergy
01-18-2010, 10:21 AM
Seth pretty much nailed what our response is. You must use the official transponder in order to compete. (also, the transponder uses XBEE, which is a zigbee device, not WIFI)

-Fergs

billyzelsnack
01-18-2010, 11:45 AM
Where can I find info on the full dimensions and weight of the components?

Also. Do the rules require that the transponder remain unmodified? For instance.. I'd probably want to mount the transponder under the front panel. To make that as slim as possible I'd probably want to relocate the voltage regulator and maybe the xbee if the xbee antenna can't be moved.

lnxfergy
01-18-2010, 06:44 PM
Where can I find info on the full dimensions and weight of the components?

Also. Do the rules require that the transponder remain unmodified? For instance.. I'd probably want to mount the transponder under the front panel. To make that as slim as possible I'd probably want to relocate the voltage regulator and maybe the xbee if the xbee antenna can't be moved.

I've updated the original post with some setup details, obviously, it's still under construction, but that should take care of your dimensions/weight request.

As for mods, the only approved mod right now is to hot wire around the voltage regulator, but be sure your power supply is well regulated. The wire antennas on the XBEEs fold down fairly flat, as long as it doesn't degrade the signal, you should be fine.

-Fergs

CTR1
01-23-2010, 11:41 PM
Can someone give me a simple straightforward list of the required parts? So far I know I need 2 xbee comm modules, the usb explorer, 2 score panels cuz Im building a biped, and the $30 target only board...ANYTHING else I need?

webgeek
01-24-2010, 10:06 AM
Can someone give me a simple straightforward list of the required parts? So far I know I need 2 xbee comm modules, the usb explorer, 2 score panels cuz Im building a biped, and the $30 target only board...ANYTHING else I need? You need only the two score panels, one XBee module, and the MINI Robocontroller board. A USB Explorer is used to connect the XBee module to a computer for communication or to configure it. I'm willing to bet that Andrew will configure it for you before shipping it out if you ask politely (assuming he isn't doing it already.)

If you are using XBee's to control your mech than you need three XBee modules. One for targeting, one for the mech, and one for the remote computer. And in that case, you'd want the USB Explorer as well for the computer-side of the equation.

Mike

lnxfergy
01-24-2010, 11:14 AM
Panels & transponders will be fully configured when they go out the door. The only thing that wasn't listed on the front page was the XBEE. You won't need a second XBEE+explorer, we have the PC side stuff on our scoring box at the show.

Webgeek did bring up an important point, that I'm emphasized in the past, but forgot to emphasize this time around -- you won't be using the scoring transponder, or it's Xbee, for anything else on your mech. If you are using xbees to control your mech, you'll need 2 xbees + an explorer (in addition to the 1 XBEE for the transponder).

-Fergs

Upgrayd
01-25-2010, 08:24 PM
Do we have an estimation on when payments can be made and when transponder boards + targets will start shipping?

sthmck
01-26-2010, 07:33 AM
Yes, inquiring minds with very little space left on their mechs would like to know. :)

DresnerRobotics
01-26-2010, 10:42 AM
Targets are the biggest hold up right now, the boards are ready. The FSR's we're using are back-ordered at the manufacturer level. Should be less than a month.

In the meantime, you can use 3.5x3.5 inch pieces of plastic as placeholders for the targets, and if you don't mind paying for shipping twice we can ship out the transponder boards pretty much today.

Upgrayd
01-26-2010, 12:29 PM
I guess what I am driving at is obtaining some accurate hole dimensions and hole spacing on both the target boards and transponder for those of us wanting to machine some more permanent brackets.

gdubb2
01-26-2010, 12:55 PM
Post #1 of this thread covers the dimensions of the transponder boards.

If you prefer metric, 61mm X 61mm OD, holes 53.3 X 53.3 centers.

Gary

DresnerRobotics
01-26-2010, 01:52 PM
I guess what I am driving at is obtaining some accurate hole dimensions and hole spacing on both the target boards and transponder for those of us wanting to machine some more permanent brackets.

And we'll have the hole spacing for the target panel PCB up shortly as well.

lnxfergy
01-26-2010, 02:09 PM
I just updated the first post with information about the scoring panels. (detailed specs are in the Setup & Mounting instructions most of the way down the page).

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
02-01-2010, 12:40 PM
Just as a heads up, we sent out emails to all of those interested in the scoring system with the payment details. Please check your email or PM me if you have any questions, we do need to get payment in ASAP otherwise I'm having to pay out of pocket for most of this stuff up front. Thanks!

billyzelsnack
02-01-2010, 01:06 PM
I apologize that I've not commited yet. I just don't know how well my robot will handle the extra weight of the guns. I want to see how that goes before I think about adding even more weight with the scoring system. My guns are in the mail and I should know by the end of the month.

tuzzer
02-06-2010, 12:47 AM
I have just sent in the payment for the Transponder, Scoring Panels, and XBEE.
So that would be all I need in addition to the robot? Is the only requirement is to power the scoring system board? And what voltage does it use?

Thanks.

gdubb2
02-06-2010, 11:35 AM
The Transponder board has an on board regulator, it can run from 6-16 VDC.

(See post 1 of this thread)

Basically all you do is connect the targets to the transponder, apply the power and away it goes.

Good luck
Gary

FlowbotX
02-06-2010, 08:34 PM
Targets are the biggest hold up right now, the boards are ready. The FSR's we're using are back-ordered at the manufacturer level. Should be less than a month.

In the meantime, you can use 3.5x3.5 inch pieces of plastic as placeholders for the targets, and if you don't mind paying for shipping twice we can ship out the transponder boards pretty much today.

Hey Tyberius,

I'm all paid up for the scoring system. I was just wondering do you have a new ETA on when you will be shipping the systems out?

Thanks...

tuzzer
03-06-2010, 02:12 PM
Hi, would it be possible to let us know approximately when the scoring system will arrive and at least sent out a confirmation that the payment has been received?


Thanks

DresnerRobotics
03-07-2010, 09:45 AM
Everyone who was contacted has paid. We built and tested the first batch of target plates this weekend (we had to wait on factory backordered FSRs). Testing went great and 'the rest of 'the target panels and transponder boards should ship out this week.

tuzzer
03-07-2010, 10:59 AM
Everyone who was contacted has paid. We built and tested the first batch of target plates this weekend (we had to wait on factory backordered FSRs). Testing went great and 'the rest of 'the target panels and transponder boards should ship out this week.


I am not sure if I have been contacted. Could you please check if you have one that goes to the University of Waterloo?

Thanks.


Matthew

DresnerRobotics
03-07-2010, 11:01 AM
I am not sure if I have been contacted. Could you please check if you have one that goes to the University of Waterloo?

Thanks.


Matthew

I meant contacted initially. You were invoiced and are all good to go in terms of payment. :)

webgeek
03-22-2010, 03:44 PM
I got the parts, but they are not pre-built. Got any plans or pictures of how I should put it together? Thanks!

Mike

lnxfergy
03-22-2010, 04:05 PM
I got the parts, but they are not pre-built. Got any plans or pictures of how I should put it together? Thanks!

Mike

I believe the intern is working on a tutorial -- should be up very shortly.

-Fergs

mannyr7
03-23-2010, 05:05 PM
A code snippet for reading the led output from an external microcontroller (Arduino) would be much appreciated!! So we can track our hits locally. Please, please, please? :happy:

jes1510
03-25-2010, 10:25 AM
You should just be able to connect to the output pin that drives the LED. Tie that to an interrupt pin on the Arduino. Use the interrupt pin to increment a hit counter. See here for interrupts on a n Arduino:
http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/AttachInterrupt

Here's some pseudo code that should come close to working assuming pin2 is tied to the LED on the target board



int hits = 0;

void setup()
{
attachInterrupt(0, poppedACap, RISING);
}

void loop()
{
do stuff...
}

void poppedACap()
{
hits++;
}

tuzzer
04-05-2010, 10:08 PM
Still haven't receiving it (Don't worry, I am not blaming anyone.... just that Waterloo is far...). Is there by any chance that you have the tracking number for the scoring module?
Would there be any available at the venue in case it doesn't get here before the competition???

DresnerRobotics
04-06-2010, 08:44 AM
I'll have extras, but it should get there in time. Usually takes 2-3 weeks to ship via usps

tuzzer
04-10-2010, 06:27 PM
I tried to power it with 3V and it still worked perfectly fine. Do we really need to power it with 7v? that's because my batteries are only 6.6V

DresnerRobotics
04-15-2010, 01:06 PM
I tried to power it with 3V and it still worked perfectly fine. Do we really need to power it with 7v? that's because my batteries are only 6.6V

6.6v is fine, I power mine off of 5v. 3v is getting too low.

DresnerRobotics
04-15-2010, 01:09 PM
Had a thought, and this is probably going to end up being a permanent change/requirement to the Scoring system next year.

The Blue LED that is connected to Pin 9 on the transponder board lights up when the target panels take a hit. I'm thinking this should be connected via a length of wire and mounted on top of the robot so that it is visible from all angles, that way we have a visual indication of when we take a hit. Taking it one step further, a 2nd LED could be added and mounted next to the camera lens (I'm thinking a red one) so that when you take damage your video feed will flash red.

Thoughts? I'm suggesting all competitors take a minute and make this change to their transponder board, just remove the LED and reattach it on a length of wire, then mount it somewhere highly visible. EDIT: Or simply mount your Transponder Board in a place where the LED is pointing up (ie: visible from all angles)

lnxfergy
04-15-2010, 01:14 PM
Had a thought, and this is probably going to end up being a permanent change/requirement to the Scoring system next year.

The Blue LED that is connected to Pin 9 on the transponder board lights up when the target panels take a hit. I'm thinking this should be connected via a length of wire and mounted on top of the robot so that it is visible from all angles, that way we have a visual indication of when we take a hit. Taking it one step further, a 2nd LED could be added and mounted next to the camera lens (I'm thinking a red one) so that when you take damage your video feed will flash red.

Thoughts? I'm suggesting all competitors take a minute and make this change to their transponder board, just remove the LED and reattach it on a length of wire, then mount it somewhere highly visible.

Don't think we actually need to remove the LED from the board -- just point your board up or out, so that the blue light reflects off the turret or upper torso. It's really freakin bright -- I could easily tell when I had hit Second Amendment, the whole turret lit up.

Also, for those of you who competed in 2009 -- I'll be bringing extra "Crazy bright Blue LED that might blind small children" LEDs with me, so we can install one on your board onsite if you wish.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
04-15-2010, 01:15 PM
I tried to power it with 3V and it still worked perfectly fine. Do we really need to power it with 7v? that's because my batteries are only 6.6V

Whoa, somehow I missed this post. 3V will absolutely not work -- the 16MHz clock is out of spec at 3V, and the oscillator could easily fail -- also, it's a good chance that the serial output is not actually working because of the clock (did you connect via xbee, or just see that the led triggers? the latter will work, the xbee/serial will likely fail miserably)

-Fergs

gdubb2
04-15-2010, 01:22 PM
Great idea..

Gary

DresnerRobotics
04-15-2010, 01:27 PM
Don't think we actually need to remove the LED from the board -- just point your board up or out, so that the blue light reflects off the turret or upper torso. It's really freakin bright -- I could easily tell when I had hit Second Amendment, the whole turret lit up.

Also, for those of you who competed in 2009 -- I'll be bringing extra "Crazy bright Blue LED that might blind small children" LEDs with me, so we can install one on your board onsite if you wish.

-Fergs


That option probably works fine for quads, but on bipeds not so easily. I have my transponder mounted on my back facing inward.

You're right though, if you're able to mount the board so that the LED is highly visible, you should be fine. That said; having it exposed might lead to damage (which is why I have mine facing inward, for protection).

EVERYONE - We're updating the first post of this thread with the Xbee settings, make sure to review it and try to get your Xbee setup in the correct manner prior to Robogames. We'll have time to make corrections and test things, it's just easier if everyone comes prepared.

lnxfergy
04-15-2010, 01:55 PM
EVERYONE - We're updating the first post of this thread with the Xbee settings, make sure to review it and try to get your Xbee setup in the correct manner prior to Robogames. We'll have time to make corrections and test things, it's just easier if everyone comes prepared.

All information on setup should now be posted to the first post in this thread.

-Fergs

Stobs
04-15-2010, 04:04 PM
Had a thought, and this is probably going to end up being a permanent change/requirement to the Scoring system next year.

The Blue LED that is connected to Pin 9 on the transponder board lights up when the target panels take a hit. I'm thinking this should be connected via a length of wire and mounted on top of the robot so that it is visible from all angles, that way we have a visual indication of when we take a hit. Taking it one step further, a 2nd LED could be added and mounted next to the camera lens (I'm thinking a red one) so that when you take damage your video feed will flash red.

Thoughts? I'm suggesting all competitors take a minute and make this change to their transponder board, just remove the LED and reattach it on a length of wire, then mount it somewhere highly visible.

For myself, I would rather see the relocation of the blue LED as noted above be either optional or required, and that of the red LED - again, as noted above - be optional only. For the way I focus on a matter I don't want to be distracted by a flash with each hit, although I would setup a private warning(s) indicator/monitor of some type once a certain number or percentage of hits is incurred.

[Edit]
PS: One consideration though is that I don't feel it's the obligation of a team to provide additional information to it's opponent, if I'm correct in (vaguely) recalling that hits on each combatant is otherwise publicly and predominately displayed during the course if each contest - it is a competition after all - so I'm inclined not to have a visible blue or red LED mandatory.

I have to admit that I just recalled that with the MechWarrior games I've played that there was typically a HUD-type display of some sort indicating the condition of the opposing Mech, negating what I just posited. If that's the consideration and the consensus is to provide such public display LED(s) then I'd ask that it not be mandated to be within one's own camera's field of view.

lnxfergy
04-15-2010, 08:02 PM
You don't have to put it within the field of view of your camera (Andrew chose to do this). Also -- I think this is really more of an item for the crowd -- they really had no idea when a mech was hit last year (other than seeing a scoreboard -- but, not sure we'll have a way to project it somewhere easy to see).

As for the display of a HUD with scoring information -- it's a bit harder than you'd think at first.

-Ferg

Stobs
04-15-2010, 08:57 PM
You don't have to put it within the field of view of your camera (Andrew chose to do this). Also -- I think this is really more of an item for the crowd -- they really had no idea when a mech was hit last year (other than seeing a scoreboard -- but, not sure we'll have a way to project it somewhere easy to see).

As for the display of a HUD with scoring information -- it's a bit harder than you'd think at first.

-Ferg

If I'm reading the thread correctly then the blue LED on the transponder card being relocated towards/at the top of one's Mech would seem agreeable to me; I just don't want to have to watch a flash on my screen is all I'm commenting on. The HUD reference was for the MechWarrior game, not Mech-Warfare :happy:

DresnerRobotics
04-15-2010, 09:03 PM
For myself, I would rather see the relocation of the blue LED as noted above be either optional or required, and that of the red LED - again, as noted above - be optional only. For the way I focus on a matter I don't want to be distracted by a flash with each hit, although I would setup a private warning(s) indicator/monitor of some type once a certain number or percentage of hits is incurred.

[Edit]
PS: One consideration though is that I don't feel it's the obligation of a team to provide additional information to it's opponent, if I'm correct in (vaguely) recalling that hits on each combatant is otherwise publicly and predominately displayed during the course if each contest - it is a competition after all - so I'm inclined not to have a visible blue or red LED mandatory.

I have to admit that I just recalled that with the MechWarrior games I've played that there was typically a HUD-type display of some sort indicating the condition of the opposing Mech, negating what I just posited. If that's the consideration and the consensus is to provide such public display LED(s) then I'd ask that it not be mandated to be within one's own camera's field of view.

The all-angle blue LED would be the only thing that I'd consider making mandatory, I didn't mean to say that the red LED near the lens would be a required thing- that was simply me thinking out loud for my own Mech.

I think having a visual indication of when you hit your opponent is important as we don't have a way of providing the HP count for people to pull into their HUDs (yet). The transponder currently does relay which panel has taken a hit via a variable high pulse output on pin 12?, so you could build an onboard 'damage display', but it wouldn't provide you with data on your enemies' HP. Eventually we will have something like this, essentially a scoreboard server that people can monitor X port to pull HP data from. But as Fergs said, the visual LED would also provide the crowd some feedback as well, so I think that condition would stay.

Stobs
04-15-2010, 09:49 PM
Outside of the arena of contest I'm all for camaraderie and sportsmanship - something instilled in me from being a weee little one onwards. Inside the ring is a different story though! Keeping fair play in mind I begrudge giving information (read "power!") to an adversary in that context. :) On the other hand getting spectators informed and involved can only be good, so it makes sense to have the hit indicator. With that last in mind it's too bad weight and power consumption need to be managed so conscientiously - we could have something like model train smokers (http://www.trains.com/ctt/default.aspx?c=a&id=538) emanating more and more smoke with each hit! lol Not very useful but nicely visceral, imho ;)

darrellt
04-16-2010, 01:52 PM
Outside of the arena of contest I'm all for camaraderie and sportsmanship - something instilled in me from being a weee little one onwards. Inside the ring is a different story though! Keeping fair play in mind I begrudge giving information (read "power!") to an adversary in that context. :) On the other hand getting spectators informed and involved can only be good, so it makes sense to have the hit indicator. With that last in mind it's too bad weight and power consumption need to be managed so conscientiously - we could have something like model train smokers (http://www.trains.com/ctt/default.aspx?c=a&id=538) emanating more and more smoke with each hit! lol Not very useful but nicely visceral, imho ;)


I use my ankle servos as smoke generators. If you see smoke coming out, you can be assured I am indeed dead!

lnxfergy
04-16-2010, 02:53 PM
I use my ankle servos as smoke generators. If you see smoke coming out, you can be assured I am indeed dead!

Ha!

-Fergs

lnxfergy
04-16-2010, 04:07 PM
You should just be able to connect to the output pin that drives the LED. Tie that to an interrupt pin on the Arduino. Use the interrupt pin to increment a hit counter. See here for interrupts on a n Arduino:
http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/AttachInterrupt

Here's some pseudo code that should come close to working assuming pin2 is tied to the LED on the target board



int hits = 0;

void setup()
{
attachInterrupt(0, poppedACap, RISING);
}

void loop()
{
do stuff...
}

void poppedACap()
{
hits++;
}



Slightly more advanced, for a regular Arduino (will read using interrupt 0, on pin digital 2):


volatile int hitPlate; // which plate was hit last
volatile int hitCount; // number of hits since program start
unsigned long hitTime;

void setup()
{
hitCount = 0;
attachInterrupt(0, hitDetect, CHANGE);
}

void loop()
{
do stuff...
}

void hitDetect()
{
if(PIND&0x02 > 0){ // line went high, this is a hit
hitTime = millis();
hitCount++;
}else{
hitTime = millis() - hitTime;
hitPlate = hitTime/50;
}

}and for an ArbotiX, we need to use the pin change interrupts (since ints 0/1 are also used for serial 1). In the code below, we are using Analog 0:


volatile int hitPlate; // which plate was hit last
volatile int hitCount; // number of hits since program start
unsigned long hitTime;

#define HIT_PIN 0 // this should be which pin you want to use 0-7

void setup()
{
hitCount++;
PCICR |= (1 << PCIE0); // enable PC interrupt on port A (analog)
PCMSK0 = (1 << HIT_PIN); // enable interrupt on our selected pin
}

void loop()
{
do stuff...
}

ISR(PCINT0_vect){ // pin change interrupt ISR
if(PINA&(1<<HIT_PIN) > 0){ // line went high, this is a hit
hitTime = millis();
hitCount++;
}else{
hitTime = millis() - hitTime;
hitPlate = hitTime/50;
}

}Should work as long as there isn't much signal bounce. (but I can't say that I've tested it)

-Fergs

mannyr7
04-16-2010, 09:46 PM
Had a thought, and this is probably going to end up being a permanent change/requirement to the Scoring system next year.

The Blue LED that is connected to Pin 9 on the transponder board lights up when the target panels take a hit. I'm thinking this should be connected via a length of wire and mounted on top of the robot so that it is visible from all angles, that way we have a visual indication of when we take a hit. Taking it one step further, a 2nd LED could be added and mounted next to the camera lens (I'm thinking a red one) so that when you take damage your video feed will flash red.

Thoughts? I'm suggesting all competitors take a minute and make this change to their transponder board, just remove the LED and reattach it on a length of wire, then mount it somewhere highly visible.

Sounds good! So, can we wire 2 led's off the same feed? Series, parallel?

Upgrayd
05-17-2010, 02:59 PM
Is it safe to assume target panels and transponder will remain the same for 2011?

lnxfergy
05-17-2010, 03:14 PM
Is it safe to assume target panels and transponder will remain the same for 2011?

Yes, with the caveat (already in the rules) that firmware upgrades may be required (almost certainly will, as we are discussing 2vs2), so please make sure that the ISP header is easily accessible by me!

-Fergs

darkback2
09-28-2010, 11:45 PM
So this weekend I started making some changes to squidword. I pulled his target panels out of the box they were shipped home in and plugged everything in. I noticed when testing that some parts of the panels weren't working. I checked them out and found this:
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/score-2.jpg
doesn't register hits from this quadrant anymore.
and
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/score-0.jpg
Doesn't register hits from this quadrant anymore.
Incase you are wondering here is what it should look like.
http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/gallery/files/1/4/9/9/score-1.jpg

This might explain why squidword was setting off his target plates just walking around the arena. Though I'm not really sure.

In anycase, if you haven't gotten your plates yet, or put them together you might want to add an extra bit of wire to eliminate strain on the ribbon cables. Also if I could be so bold, I would suggest future iterations of the scoring panels come with a larger board so that strain is minimized.

Also, those of you who already have your panels might want to check them. Once the sensor ribbon breaks it won't register anymore, and in the three panels I have that have this damage its only one or two sensors that are broken.

Hope this helps.

DB

lnxfergy
09-29-2010, 07:53 AM
This might explain why squidword was setting off his target plates just walking around the arena. Though I'm not really sure.

I don't think you can really get a false hit here -- also, this sort of damage most likely happened during shipping, unless you were dragging your target plates around behind the bot. When I shipped Issy back from CIRC in March, I did so with his target plates still attached to him -- which broke one of the FSRs just like you show (it was of course rubbing against the case for several hundred miles in a UPS truck).

You can replace just that FSR. I replaced the single broken FSR on mine before robogames, it's not a very fun process, but it's not *too* tough.


In anycase, if you haven't gotten your plates yet, or put them together you might want to add an extra bit of wire to eliminate strain on the ribbon cables. Also if I could be so bold, I would suggest future iterations of the scoring panels come with a larger board so that strain is minimized.

If only you could have heard the complaints about how large/heavy the PCB already was....

-Fergs

darkback2
09-29-2010, 11:34 AM
I know...everyone is a critic.

One of the panels registers a hit if you shake the ribbon. Might be transfer or something...

lnxfergy
09-29-2010, 12:14 PM
I know...everyone is a critic.

One of the panels registers a hit if you shake the ribbon. Might be transfer or something...

Is "shaking the ribbon" causing the face of the sensor to contort at all? Any flex/stretch in the surface of the FSR can look like a hit because it compresses the sensor -- hence why we wanted the firm attachment from FSR to PCB.

-Fergs

DresnerRobotics
09-29-2010, 01:51 PM
I know...everyone is a critic.

One of the panels registers a hit if you shake the ribbon. Might be transfer or something...

We're just trying to get more info here. I have not seen this happen on my own target plates, and I wasn't particularly gentle to them (and fell a good number of times on them). If its a problem that other people are seeing, then obviously it needs to be addressed.

We'll get you taken care of regardless, just wanted as much info on possible as to what could be the cause.

tician
10-19-2010, 11:36 PM
Having torn a few of the 0.2" sensors for the Bioloid foot pressure sensor kits, reinforcement is a must whenever they may be exposed to any movement or stationary twisting. The polyester lead is very flexible, but also very fragile under mechanical stress so they have no problem tearing completely through at the crimp pins (single layer of polyester). Liking to learn from my mistakes, the survivors and hastily ordered replacements received a bit of Kapton (Koptan if you're cheap like me) tape along the length of the polyester lead (preferably wrapped completely around the lead to reinforce all sides and over the crimp pins as well), but scotch tape or clear packing tape may do the trick.

Replacement crimp pins can be purchased through digikey, but unless you have torn several sensors or have other parts on order, the cost of shipping is likely to cost more than new sensors.
That said, replacing torn crimp pins is not too terribly difficult and can be done with a pair of needle nose pliers. Just trim the torn section clean (might want to take this opportunity to reinforce it as well), align the teeth of a pin through one of the printed conductors (no guarantee without a proper crimp tool that the teeth will curl back into the lead and conductor instead of bending flat against the backside), and give it a good press. After the teeth cut through the polyester, I use a small blunt object (flat head screwdriver) to ensure the lead is completely inserted into the recess of the pin before bending the teeth back into the lead. Rinse and repeat.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried MEAS-spec flexible piezo vibration sensors for impact sensing? They are a bit cheaper than the FSRs and would probably only need one per target panel, but I'm not sure if there may be some major problem using them in this manner (like being too sensitive and detecting footsteps/normal jostling of the bot or the sandwich of plexi/lexan too greatly damping the vibration from impacting projectiles). Just sort of thinking out loud as spending $100+ for sensors and then another $30+ for a board (neither of which would I use often) is a little... meh, I've got a big sheet of thin plexi and have been meaning to make another order (at $3 a pop, why not?). I should really stop posting unless I have something useful to add. Sorry about this.

gdubb2
10-20-2010, 04:42 PM
Just a FYI for those building target panels. If you wrap the ribbon cable from the FSR around the base plate as shown in the tutorial, be VERY careful not to kink the cable. It doesn't take much to ruin it. I just found out how fragile they really are..

Gary

DresnerRobotics
10-21-2010, 02:43 PM
Having torn a few of the 0.2" sensors for the Bioloid foot pressure sensor kits, reinforcement is a must whenever they may be exposed to any movement or stationary twisting. The polyester lead is very flexible, but also very fragile under mechanical stress so they have no problem tearing completely through at the crimp pins (single layer of polyester). Liking to learn from my mistakes, the survivors and hastily ordered replacements received a bit of Kapton (Koptan if you're cheap like me) tape along the length of the polyester lead (preferably wrapped completely around the lead to reinforce all sides and over the crimp pins as well), but scotch tape or clear packing tape may do the trick.

Replacement crimp pins can be purchased through digikey, but unless you have torn several sensors or have other parts on order, the cost of shipping is likely to cost more than new sensors.
That said, replacing torn crimp pins is not too terribly difficult and can be done with a pair of needle nose pliers. Just trim the torn section clean (might want to take this opportunity to reinforce it as well), align the teeth of a pin through one of the printed conductors (no guarantee without a proper crimp tool that the teeth will curl back into the lead and conductor instead of bending flat against the backside), and give it a good press. After the teeth cut through the polyester, I use a small blunt object (flat head screwdriver) to ensure the lead is completely inserted into the recess of the pin before bending the teeth back into the lead. Rinse and repeat.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried MEAS-spec flexible piezo vibration sensors for impact sensing? They are a bit cheaper than the FSRs and would probably only need one per target panel, but I'm not sure if there may be some major problem using them in this manner (like being too sensitive and detecting footsteps/normal jostling of the bot or the sandwich of plexi/lexan too greatly damping the vibration from impacting projectiles). Just sort of thinking out loud as spending $100+ for sensors and then another $30+ for a board (neither of which would I use often) is a little... meh, I've got a big sheet of thin plexi and have been meaning to make another order (at $3 a pop, why not?). I should really stop posting unless I have something useful to add. Sorry about this.


We used Piezoelectric the first year and had a lot of problems with them, mostly misfiring when walking, etc. The FSRs are a great fit because they're just sensitive enough.

Honestly, most of our Mechs are in the $1000-1500 range. I really don't think $130 once every couple of years is a very steep cost, regardless of how often you use it. You also have to consider that Trossen is nice enough to provide us these sensors at wholesale, they'd be REALLY expensive if we wanted to buy them at retail.

You should check out what the Combots guys pay per MATCH, let alone per event in maintenance and equipment costs. $130 for 2-4 years of use of scoring equipment is chump change.

tician
10-21-2010, 10:12 PM
Thought there would be a very good reason for using the FSRs with those polyester leads (grrr...). The only reason I questioned them was the prior frustration of tearing some of them before the sensors and boards were even connected, but not realizing it until completely assembled and installed (gave myself a good slap to the back of the head for that).

On the topic of cost, when put in that context it is most definitely a reasonable solution and I really really REALLY hope I can motivate myself to actually complete a bot. I would love to get out of this inbred/illiterate/<dueling banjos> neck of the woods and socialize with real human beings while discussing robots and similar. Unfortunately: Limited budget (unemployed recent grad) + Anxiety problems = Few projects beyond planning stage. Few projects into material acquisition stage + Anxiety about having anxiety problems = stacks of unused parts and massive guilt about wasting money on uncompleted projects.

I am truly sorry for the increasing off topic-ness of all of this, I just could not stop myself.