Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wiring up the dome

It took me a few days to sort out how I wanted to power the dome electronics.

One idea I would liketo have in the future is a slip ring, which allows power to be routed into a spinning surface like the dome. However, I can't afford one of those right now.

So, the best option is to put a battery on the dome plate, which rotates with the dome.

The complicated thing I kept pondering was how to simply plug and unplug the electronics from the dome when the dome needs to come off.

What I decided to do was use a 2-pin coupler between the battery and fuse block. The fuse block would be held in place with two wingnuts, so the entire electrical system can be removed with the dome. The battery is zip-tied to the dome ring and the fuse block is attached to a L bracket onto the dome plate.

I also made extra heavy use of wire covering, the plastic that wraps around to keep the wires organized. I made the negative wires good and long while I need to make longer wiring for the positive leads. I wind up with a fair amount of cable being stuffed into the dome....but I am able to access that via the electronics panel and make sure its not in the way of anything. (This is how a slip ring will really save a lot of hiring headache!

I cheated and taped my old resin eye onto the dome. But, with two rocker switches wired up for dome bumps (PSIs and JEDIs respectively), we were set to power on!

The PSIs, despite being behind 2 layers of plexi, are still very bright! The Logic Displays look outstanding but will really benefit from being behind some fiber optic cable that diffuses them better.
(After I took these pictures, I added another layer of plexi behind the PSI lights in an effort to tone down the brightness a smidge)

To see a YouTube clip, click on the link: