Monday, August 15, 2011

Dome electronics prep

Tonight I wanted to get the electronics mounted on to mounting plates with standoffs.  With the slip ring and connectors complete, I can get these done while awaiting some fuse blocks to arrive.

I found that the input pads on the ServoCenter are the for use with prong leads that solder on.  I soldered on some 2-prong leads and just needed to find some 2-wire female leads.  I had servo wire, but that is 3-wire.  One of the other builders made a great suggestion:  computer jumper leads!  I have a few old PCs in the basement so I just snipped off the leads that go from the power supply to the motherboard.  These are where the PC speaker, power switch, reset and other case features plug into the motherboard.

I didn't have any aluminum scrap wide enough for the ServoCenter card so I opted to cut up a piece of FR4 electronics board.

I used some 1/2 inch female-female 4-40 thread standoffs for the card and opted for double-sided tape for the Pololu 12v to 5v 3.5amp power converter.  Its so small, there isn't any area to screw or mount it to anything.

The left side, orange and black lead goes to the power converter, this will be the source of 5 volt power for all the servos controlled by the ServoCenter.  The blue and black lead goes to the 12 volt input for the card itself.  This will plug into the fuseblock the Slip Ring will power.

As I said, the power converter is tiny!  I also put a cable organizer under it as all those servo wires and other leads are going to get messy quick.

For the slip ring connector card,  I opted to place it on its own piece of aluminum material.

Here's the completed pieces tonight.  

What remains?

Well, I need a small fuse block (ordered) to replace the larger one in the dome now.  I need that one in the body as I am out of power leads there.

The setup, as I have now, routes power directly into the dome servos.  I will eventually need to splice that to the dome plate, to power the dome accessories, such as the periscope and life form scanner.  Since the slip ring board has two power leads, I just need to create a quick-release connector for easy removal of the dome.  The slip ring connector would unplug, by design, from the ServoCenter.  A second quick-release would disconnect between the slip ring card's second power lead and dome plate fuseblock.

Clear as mud, right??