Saturday, December 26, 2009

More upgrades for R2-D2

Well Santa was good to me and R2-D2.

Over the last few days, I have had a chance to purchase some electronics for more improvements in R2-D2

Below is a ServoCenter USB to Sevo Controller board.  This one card allows me to control 16 servos.  If I wanted to daisy-chain several cards, the cards can control up to 256 servos!  The card has excellent technical support of programming support for Visual Basic and Visual C#.  I currently have a program that handles the sounds on a Windows wireless game pad.  I would like to control several of R2's panels, doors and so forth using the gamepad.  This saves me from having to buy a more expensive radio to have this ability via more channels.

Another change is replacing the 12 volt 7amp battery being used in the dome for the electronics.  I found two very small 6 volt Werker batteries I am going to try running in series.  These are small enough to fit within the inside lip of the dome, secured to the plastic ring inside of it.

And finally, some pieces for R2's onboard computer.

The first is a USB to Serial Port converter cable.  The Netbook does not have any serial ports, so this will allow it to connect to the AX3500 controller card.  The cable that came with the controller card is a serial (9 pin) connector.  Now I can quickly connect to the controller card to make changes or read settings and logs.

The last item is a non-powered hub.  The Netbook only has 2 USB ports and both are currently in use.  One has the gamepad plugged into it while the other powers the external speakers.  With the addition of this hub, there is now room for the ServoCenter to be plugged in.