PINNED - Plug & Play PGDT for Radio Control

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PINNED - Plug & Play PGDT for Radio Control

Postby woodygb » 28 Dec 2013, 13:06

Is there any interest in a fairly simple ...almost plug and play R/C interface for the Penny and Giles range of controllers?

I currently have a working setup that needs a modified ribbon cable to finish it ( the current ribbon cable has been hacked about for testing ) ..I'll then offer it for BETA testing to anyone that has their own R/C gear ..

Procedure for fitting.
This ribbon cable will be replaced with a modified one ...
Image
There will be the addition of an external interface box ...so a 10 mm slot / hole will need to be made in joystick housing to allow the wires to pass to and from the box.
Power for the interface ( 24v ) can be from where ever is convenient .... XLR Charging port...Main Batteries .. or from inside the Joystick if you feel brave.

Hopefully ON/OFF of the Chair via the R/C Transmitter ... I can already do this with the VSI I have ..but would need to identify the place on other joystick boards to make the connection.

Price .... probably around £100 WITHOUT the Radio Transmitter and receiver and at least £200 with.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 28 Dec 2013, 13:29

Is there any interest in a fairly simple ...almost plug and play R/C interface for the Penny and Giles range of controllers?


I get emails about 5 or 6 times a year from people wanting me to do this for them for various reasons. Often to do with vehicles and storage. But worryingly also for parents to drive their kids remotely!

I would be interested. As you know I already have pilot Plus, Omni plus, etc RC on 3 of my chairs and its invaluable. I use it all the time. And of course the Roboteq accepts RC signals directly on my BM3 chair.

But as a thing of interest, it would be good to at least look at it.

Why only penny/giles?

More to the point, why on earth don't the manufacturers include this as an option anyway? Modern encrypted 2.4ghz radio gear isn't subject to interference or control loss.

For what its worth, a RX with several external satellites sited high up in the backrest works about 500% better than anything simpler, near the metal chassis/seat frame.

BM3 has 1x 10 channel (AR 10000) receiver under the seat tray. It alone regularly sees no signal. shielded by the chair itself. But there are 3 more remote receivers, sited in the sides, front, and seat back. These never lose the signal. At any angle or position. Even through (or inside) vehicles or house walls etc. So some planning care needs to be taken here.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 28 Dec 2013, 13:37

The interface ( Arduino based ) will happily inject any programmed swing voltage in the 0v-5v range into ANY joystick ...

I can however ...I think /hope...currently only offer a probable "plug and play" solution for the Penny and Giles range.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby segreen » 29 Dec 2013, 11:32

I'd be interested Woody...

Steve
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 29 Dec 2013, 11:40

I've ordered the parts to construct a new / modified ribbon from Macua via Ebay ... they will take a while before they arrive.

I'll knock one or two interfaces up when they arrive and pass them out for testing.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby RC Hopeful » 08 Jan 2014, 05:08

Hi there and good day to all. I must say I cant believe I found 1 source with so many projects that I have wanted to do for years. From RC wheelchair to high power/ long distance FPV video. I have recently purchased a few used chairs that I want to do a few projects on. I have a Quantum and a Jazzy select as well as a pronto. I have purchased these over the past year in the Southern California area over a 300 mile radius (Yeah, A LOT of traveling) but the price was good. I just recently bought a programming cable and the software to change the settings. I want to say it was a SA96525 RS232 cable, but cant remember for certain.

Woody....
I have bought a used radio and receiver from a guy from his RC plane, good price also, and would love to try any solution you have for RC'ing them. I can send along Controller specifics and Model #'s from the chairs if that would be helpful. I also have a few "For parts" models, but am unsure of their operational status. I know parts and testing can get expensive, and would be willing to help with a few bucks for the testing phase, and of course if things work out all the better for both.
Thanks for the posts, Dwayne
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 08 Jan 2014, 12:03

What is it? (RC)

The only systems that can/will work safely must be encoded and failsafe. So any of the modern 2.4ghz stuff can work (not all receivers have suitable failsafe) or 35, 36, 40, 72 MHz as long as they are PCM and encoded - not PPM systems.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Es* » 08 Jan 2014, 16:20

I'd be very interested in one of these, if I can ever get my hands on an R-net programmer - at the mo I'm doing a Roboteq project, but I've got so many R-net parts that it seems a shame not to use them...
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 08 Jan 2014, 23:28

I will update you all when/after I have finished and submitted the first prototype to B.M. for testing.

Currently I'm only able to test on a jury rig ...consisting of a Penny & Giles VSI and my Robot Wars base.

I'm hoping that all the later VSI , VR2 , PILOT+ Joysticks use the same ribbon from the Joystick to the control board ..as this is where the interface hacks in....I have no info about the R-NET.

Image

Image
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby RC Hopeful » 09 Jan 2014, 03:33

The TX radio is a FOCUS 4 by hitec model FOC456. The manual says 4 channel PPM / FM transmitter. The radio receiver is a hitec Dual conversion RCD3500 HFD-08RD 72 MHZ.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 09 Jan 2014, 11:56

Well that's of little use for a powerchair as it has no encoding, no failsafe.

A bit of interference and the powerchair will run away into traffic, smash into your car or people and keep going. In the modern hobby world that pretty valueless. Try and get a 2.4ghz system or a 72mhz system with programmable failsafe. Then if signal quality is bad or whatever it can be programmed to just stop.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby RC Hopeful » 10 Jan 2014, 03:38

Well, thanks for the info. That would not be a good thing for sure. I'm not to surprised at the price was low, I had been eyeing a Hitec Aurora 9 on E-Bay, I guess I will have to consider that a little more.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 10 Jan 2014, 08:34

Search for spectrum DX7 2.4ghz transmitter. Cheap and common. And then for one of the receivers that has PROGRAMABLE fail safe.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby rustyjames » 11 Jan 2014, 00:58

Is there a recommended Spectrum transmitter to use? Would a model DX5E work? I don't know hardly anything about this topic but now I'm hooked on building an RC chair :mrgreen: I'm working on my shopping list!
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 01:34

The DX5E with a AR600 receiver should be just fine....

AR600 Failsafe
• Prevents unintentional electric motor response on start-up.
• Establishes low-throttle failsafe if the RF signal is lost.
• The AR600 removes servo output pulses to all channels except the throttle channel during failsafe.
• The AR600 throttle failsafe position is stored via the throttle stick position on the transmitter during binding.

I have that eventuality programmed into the Arduino that I'm using for the interface ... should it receive a null or zero signal the interface outputs a signal equiv to the chairs joystick being centered.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby rustyjames » 11 Jan 2014, 03:08

Thank You Woody. I forgot to mention that I picked up one of those PG Omni Plus thingy's that The Burgerman mentioned. Should I still go shopping for the same receiver? I have a lot to learn about all this stuff!
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 10:26

The 5 channel transmitter will work and is cheaper. But is not programmable for say throw or end point, centre point or say expo. Other than trims which cannot be disabled. These small things make setting it up accurately much simpler.

The Omni is easy enough to use as long as its with PG Drives pilot plus. And it has an analog input and a 5v output.

The only issue with the AR600 in a powerchair is that it has no external rx and is surrounded by bits of metal and framework. When using a similar rx I found various angles that were "dead" spots at only about 100 foot away down the street as the chair turns.

Fail safe kicks in and it stops. So I am using a AR10000 rx stolen from my heli, with 3 satellites that can be fitted at the perimeter, on back high up, at sides, etc. Depends on the reliability or range you are expecting. Especially through walls, in vehicles etc.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 10:42

The interface that I'm building has a built in one button press calibration routine to find and store the Channel end points and neutral.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 11:07

Fair enough! DX5 is adequate then. What happens with the more "advanced" rx's that have all channel programmed fail safe? Rather than just throttle and other channels going dead?

With the roboteq for eg, the RC stops the chair in one of 3 ways:

You set a channel to fail "safe" at say 110% beyond the guard bands...
You set the channels to zero (1490 to 1520 for eg) on signal loss...
You set a 3rd channel to go to a pre set position on failsafe to trigger some response.

All of these options swaps to analog joystick or stops the chair. Or whatever you wish. No rx output would do the same thing.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 12:30

You set a channel to fail "safe" at say 110% beyond the guard bands...
You set the channels to zero (1490 to 1520 for eg) on signal loss...
You set a 3rd channel to go to a pre set position on failsafe to trigger some response.


The Arduino is currently programmed to ignore all out of range signals i.e. less than 1000 and more than 2000...with the exception of null / zero.

A fail safe receiver setting of neutral = 1500 on both Ele & Aile ... is my setting with the BR6000 receiver..thus the R/C will default to the Wheelchair OFF signal.
I could ..if required ( I'd prefer not to ) ...setup the Arduino to look for a failsafe signal on another channel ..Throttle channel being the norm for a single failsafe channel receiver.

B.M.
Could you throw me some data on the Omni as it seems that interfacing with it should be a piece of cake.

Cheers Alan
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 12:50

I'm currently having a tussle with an Arduino based R/C interface for my Robot ....
This is controlling two 110 amp Curtis mobility scooter controllers and has programmed mixing so that I can use a Gyro in the system.
I did try a cheap V-tail mixer but it kept glitching forcing me to write a mix for the Arduino ... which NOW seems to work fine.
A bit more testing with the Gyro plugged in should have me satisfied that it will work well enough in Combat conditions.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 16:42

I can find its tech sheet if you give me a while...

Trying to get windows search to work. I screwed it up somehow.
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 16:47

You need gyro directly after the RC steering channel? I did this on my olde RC interface. Feels really odd to have the chair take over the steering as you run along a road edge for eg.

And if you are brave you can use a heading hold version to keep your chair "balanced" on its rear wheels. Till it runs away with you...
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 17:10

Yes,

Aile ( Steering ) Channel to Gyro and then on into the Arduino interface / V-Tail mixer ( with Dual Throttle pot outputs ) together with the Ele (Throttle ) Channel that plugs straight into the Arduino.

A Gyro is a MUST in my case it's needed to keep the nose of the bot heading in the right direction and stops it overshooting when coming out of a turn as it's VERY nose heavy ...I'd guess that approx. 80% of the 100kg mass is in front of the driving wheels and the nose rests on 25mm/1" ball casters.

Image
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 17:27

You still do robotwars?

Do you have a photo of the bot?

Why is it not televised now?
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 18:13

kapoow+tan.jpg
kapoow+tan.jpg (59.29 KiB) Viewed 19590 times


Recent rebuild/reshape. Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6HND87KrGk
Video of first outing with new shape at Maidstone in Oct 2013...PLEASE NOTE THAT I DON'T DRIVE ... my Team mate does that...
but in his defence the gyro was dead ..... Ka_Pow! has the roll over "tombstone" on the back and the RED X that shows the panel covering the Link and Gas tap.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/robotwars/

http://www.roamingrobots.co.uk/

http://www.robotslive.co.uk/

Jonno ...the owner of Roaming Robots ..is constantly trying to get production companies interested in putting Robot Wars back on T.V....last year he obtained the rights to use the Robot Wars name and logo for his show and I believe that he now has some interested parties.
I assume it originally died due to production costs versus viewing figures .
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby woodygb » 11 Jan 2014, 18:34

I still have Onslaught ( Heavy Weight = 100kg's ) and a Feather ( 13.6 kg's ) called Ka_Putt!.. there are many other weight classes ..some are not popular and in General we have just 3 weights that compete ...Ant , Feather and Heavy.
75g- Fleaweight
150g- Fairyweight (UK - Antweight)
1 pound (454 g) - Antweight
1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) Kilobot (Canada)
3 pound (1.36 kg) - Beetleweight
6 pound (2.72 kg) - Mantisweight
12 pound (5.44 kg) - Hobbyweight U.S.
6.0 kg (13.22 pound) Raptor - Europe
15 pound (6.80 kg) - BotsIQ Mini class
30 pound (13.6 kg) - Featherweight
60 pound (27 kg) - Lightweight
120 pound (54 kg) - Middleweight / BotsIQ Large class
220 pound (100 kg) - Heavyweight
340 pound (154 kg) Super Heavyweight
Image
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby rustyjames » 11 Jan 2014, 18:40

Burgerman wrote:I can find its tech sheet if you give me a while...Trying to get windows search to work. I screwed it up somehow.


http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/pdf-files/omni.pdf
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby rustyjames » 11 Jan 2014, 18:46

Woody, Thanks for sharing, never knew those could do that kind of action, or of the different weight classes. That's fun!
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Re: Plug & Play PGDT R/C

Postby Burgerman » 11 Jan 2014, 18:48

Well found. Didn't know I posted it up on the web!

page 95 onwards gives the analog input info. And on off. And output power/centre etc. Like almost every pg mobility joystick its a 1.2v swing.
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