WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Power wheelchair board for REAL info!

POWERCHAIR MENU! www.wheelchairdriver.com/powerchair-stuff.htm

Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby LROBBINS » 31 Jul 2019, 17:49

After you replace the next MOSFET (and before testing) ground the control power lead (yellow wire on the HDC and probably on yours too). If it blows again, it's definitely a problem on the power (rather than processor) board because the power board should be hard off with the control lead grounded. Even if it passes that test, it could still be a failure in the Roboteq so a test with motors disconnected remains a good idea.

Interesting that that controller has the logic circuitry and power circuitry all on 1 board - that makes it a lot easier to get at the MOSFETs. On the HDC they're two boards and even removing the logic board leaves the power board just about impossible to get out, and even more difficult to test without the logic part connected.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 31 Jul 2019, 18:09

My older HBL2360 is multiple boards stacked. I'll shelf this project until I can afford a new Roboteq before I remove more than one or two more mosfets. My better 7/8 had to assist removing the one. Multiple working hands are required. They are in there tight!

I can't be certain I wasn't the cause of the original failure (I had the script running and amps limits high) or I would be adamant about Roboteq replacing it. I did not have the control lead grounded when I did the second attempt. I can't remember if I did or not the first time.

I SHOULD get time to try again this afternoon.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Scooterman » 31 Jul 2019, 19:41

Will - when you've finished the build we you add it to your own website (like your other builds) so can it can be linked to for AB non-WD ppl so they don't have to read through thread?
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 31 Jul 2019, 20:23

Eventually. Building web pages is time consuming. When I finish this build my next project (if time allows) will be to build a large enough 3d printer to do a one piece cover for the battery box. I've already mostly designed and modeled it. I want one that doesn't move the bed and uses real ball screws for movement.

I'd rather wait to do a build page until both projects are finished so the chaor will have proper covers.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 01 Aug 2019, 13:46

Replaced the mosfet (again!) and got it to boot without releasing its soul. I connected one motor on channel one. It made it through the calibration routine correctly but the motor does not commutate properly. I can't verify if this is a Roboteq hardware failure, encoder issue, or Roborun setting. When I get a hand again I'll connect channel two of the Roboteq to the same motor to see if it remains the same.

I'm pretty sure the failure was on the channel two side since the second time the mosfet popped motor two did not move. Doing the above should tell me the failure is in the Roboteq if the mosfet pops, and hopefully not, in motor two if it doesn't.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Scooterman » 01 Aug 2019, 17:28

Williamclark77 wrote:q
I'd rather wait to do a build page until both projects are finished so the chaor will have proper covers.

Understood :thumbup:
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby ex-Gooserider » 01 Aug 2019, 18:43

Williamclark77 wrote:If I was certain I wasn't at fault I'd hit up Roboteq. I (finally) got the burnt mosfet out. It literally popped. Very easy to spot. I don't know what type of solder they used but it refused to turn loose or flow into any desoldering wick. I haven't soldered a new one in yet. I will when the opportunity and an assistant is near.


Solder is almost certainly the RoHS lead free crap they use on just about everything this day due to EU requirements (never mind that it is arguably more toxic than lead solder....) It has a higher melting point and often uses a different sort of flux... It also does not flow as nicely as lead solder does.

What I have found most useful in working with boards made with the stuff is to ADD a good amount of lead solder and then use a solder sucker and solder wick to suck up the larger blob... (Big blobs are easier to remove anyway...)

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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 01 Aug 2019, 21:36

Thank you for responding Goose. I was hoping you would. I know your soldering abilities are light years better than mine. I attempted adding more good ole 60/40 or 63/37 solder. Albeit not much. I was afraid of connecting two pin holes and not being able to remove it. Even buried under flux it still never really flowed. I was also too chicken to turn my iron up over 375 degrees C and hold it on more than about 2 seconds.

Good news. I guess you could say good news compared to the possibilities. Short circuit protection on fast, stall protection on the lowest, amps max set to 20. I unhooked motor 1 from channel 1. Connected the channel two wires to motor 1 since I got no smoke connecting channel 1 to motor 1. Immediately smoked the mosfet as soon as the master relay was latched, before even booting the Roboteq up. So, it's definitely the Roboteq.

I don't know if Roboteq would offer any assistance being I took it apart. They haven't responded yet to my previous email. I'm also not certain if I wasn't at fault since I didn't really go at the in the most cautious way the first test. The script with motor compensation on could have been an issue. It still hasn't shown a MOSFAIL fault (if that even applies to brushless. Haven't checked) and doesn't give any short circuit errors.

We will see. I'm just glad it wasn't a motor(s).
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby LROBBINS » 01 Aug 2019, 21:57

I too am glad it wasn't a motor, each one costs like 3 Roboteq's, but I'll bet Anaheim is good about re-building them if needs be. You are aware that Roboteq gives 1/2 off on replacing a failed out-of-warranty controller?
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 01 Aug 2019, 22:39

I just asked Roboteq if they still do that offer. I actually wasn't aware of it. Thank you. They've also removed the "90 day warranty", or whatever it was, from the specifications on their website.

I've found Anaheim is like most places - it depends on who you talk to. I'm sure they would. I have no idea what the turnaround time would be. I hate calling them and try to stick to email. They're in California and have a hard time understanding my southern accent. Quite expensive, especially for custom wound motors in low quantities, but definitely worth it. I've beat two sets of their motors/gearboxes relentlessly for years with no issues.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby LROBBINS » 02 Aug 2019, 08:39

So what warranty does Roboteq have now if not the absurd EIA-standarad 90 days?

Anaheim indeed has a very good reputation and your experience strongly supports that. I would more-or-less willingly pay their extreme prices IF I could get one with both encoder and (manually releasable) brake, but at least a couple years ago they said no can do. After all, I paid just as much for the MicroMotor units currently on Rachi's chair and though they are good, they're not nearly as good. There are some Chinese brushless out there that can be had cheaply, including with brakes and gearcase release (instead of brake release) but their right angle drives use worm gears and I hate to give up the efficiency of planetary+helical. Still working on my lift & tilt idea (now with lead screws), so it will be a while till I try to design a complete chair, so maybe other options will become available.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby ex-Gooserider » 06 Aug 2019, 05:43

Williamclark77 wrote:Thank you for responding Goose. I was hoping you would. I know your soldering abilities are light years better than mine. I attempted adding more good ole 60/40 or 63/37 solder. Albeit not much. I was afraid of connecting two pin holes and not being able to remove it. Even buried under flux it still never really flowed. I was also too chicken to turn my iron up over 375 degrees C and hold it on more than about 2 seconds.

You need to be generous in adding the 60/40 as that is the 'magic sauce' that makes the crappy stuff removable... You also need to turn your iron up a bit as the RoHS stuff has a higher melting point - it is a bit of a balancing act, as a higher temp reduces the time needed to melt the solder, but also reduces the time it takes to damage the board....

I don't know if you can work one, but what I find is that using a 'Solder Sucker' is often better at removing the initial bulk of the solder, and then use wick for the 'clean up' to get the rest....

Also if you don't plan on re-using the part (generally not a great idea, even if it doesn't look smoked) it is easier to chop it off the board and just work on removing one lead at a time (the solder sucker will often pull the lead out with the solder....)

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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 10 Aug 2019, 19:10

LROBBINS wrote:Anaheim indeed has a very good reputation and your experience strongly supports that. I would more-or-less willingly pay their extreme prices IF I could get one with both encoder and (manually releasable) brake, but at least a couple years ago they said no can do. After all, I paid just as much for the MicroMotor units currently on Rachi's chair and though they are good, they're not nearly as good. There are some Chinese brushless out there that can be had cheaply, including with brakes and gearcase release (instead of brake release) but their right angle drives use worm gears and I hate to give up the efficiency of planetary+helical. Still working on my lift & tilt idea (now with lead screws), so it will be a while till I try to design a complete chair, so maybe other options will become available.


I'm positive I could incorporate a brake and encoder. It would be fairly easy for me to make an adapter to mount the encoder on the releasable brake with a small shaft extension if the small rear shaft wasn't long enough. I wouldn't mind doing it if you ever decide to. I ALMOST did on this one. The main reason I didn't is because that would make the motors about 1.5" longer. See the photo I just posted for Vitolds in the Roboteq thread (which doesn't show the docking pins either). I'm out of room without moving the COG farther forwards by moving the rear axle centerline rearwards. W1 nor W2 has mechanical brakes. I don't really miss them 99.9% of the time.

Goose, that's how I removed the first mosfet. It was burnt anyway.

Long story short I replaced the Roboteq. One motor still wouldn't commutate smoothly and kept binding. Removed the motor, which is no easy task. Apparently it was assembled on a Friday afternoon. The encoder was so far off center that the cover was bottomed out against the shaft on one side. I removed and reassembled it properly. For something that costs this much is unacceptable.

Anyway, reassembled everything and restarted just as I did the first time except no script and amp limits very low. Worked perfectly. This lets me know that either A) The Roboteq was faulty out-of-the-box or B) the script running with the encoder binding the motor overloaded the Roboteq. However, the encoder issue was on Channel 1. The Roboteq didn't work and blew on channel 2.

Either way, these custom experimental builds are difficult enough without expensive hardware issues adding to the troubles. It kills your confidence and delayed this build a month.

It's storming here so the wiring might get completed this weekend and working on the Arduino/touchscreen code sorted. At least workable anyway.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby LROBBINS » 10 Aug 2019, 22:54

I'm positive I could incorporate a brake and encoder. It would be fairly easy for me to make an adapter to mount the encoder on the releasable brake with a small shaft extension if the small rear shaft wasn't long enough. I wouldn't mind doing it if you ever decide to.
Another mfr of high efficiency brushless motors said they could mount encoder + brake available, but the only releasable brake they had had a bail that flipped over where the encoder would mount. When I get to the point of actually starting on a scratch built chair, I'll keep your offer in mind. 'Twould be even neater if instead of an encoder one could mount an absolute angle resolver.

I ALMOST did on this one. The main reason I didn't is because that would make the motors about 1.5" longer. See the photo I just posted for Vitolds in the Roboteq thread (which doesn't show the docking pins either). I'm out of room without moving the COG farther forwards by moving the rear axle centerline rearwards. W1 nor W2 has mechanical brakes. I don't really miss them 99.9% of the time.
No choice in the matter here. Siena area is full of steep hills, 10% grade or more, and driving as attendant I can't exactly keep my hand on the stick to keep it from sliding. However, couldn't you turn your motors at an angle - front end up to get more room? Yes, it would mean different mounts, but that seems to be the sort of thing you have 0 trouble doing.

BTW, today I figured out how to automate reversing of sensor polarity in a way much simpler that what I'd tried and failed at the last few days. It now detects mis-specified polarity and corrects it within about 5 msec of the first stick movement.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 11 Aug 2019, 02:24

When the suspension bottoms the motor is literally 1/4" from the tilt actuator. No rotating them. No moving the actuator up. The motor is close to the seat pan when tilted down. It could be done, just not without quite a bit of redesigning. That should be done at the beginning. I'm too far along now!

Image

All wiring coming inside the pod is neat, durable, and uses locking Molex connectors.

Image

Bottom side of the joystick lid connected to the plugs shown above. Nice and tidy.

Image

The touchscreen looks great. I'll get pics tomorrow. Still doesn't function properly and displays gibberish. My coding and TTL communication abilities are weak.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby snaker » 11 Aug 2019, 10:34

Williamclark77 wrote:The touchscreen looks great. I'll get pics tomorrow. Still doesn't function properly and displays gibberish. My coding and TTL communication abilities are weak.

It might be the limit of Arduino. Arduino is too weak to do anything real. Did you try esp? It is hundreds time more powerful than Arduino. And also a lot cheaper.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Irving » 11 Aug 2019, 12:26

I agree snaker - I'll second any of the ESP chips, esp8266 at 80MHz or the esp32 at 160MHz (Arduino is 16MHz). The esp32 is my goto workhorse now at <$5 a unit, I buy them in batches of 10.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 11 Aug 2019, 15:16

I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.

Anybody is welcome to help write the Arduino sketch. I'd compensate you. It's not that complicated if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, I do not know what I'm doing!
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Irving » 11 Aug 2019, 18:39

Williamclark77 wrote:I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.

Anybody is welcome to help write the Arduino sketch. I'd compensate you. It's not that complicated if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, I do not know what I'm doing!

Happy to help Will, PM me.

Not sure what you mean by won't fit... different form factor to Arduino but 1/3 the size!

And for the experienced, the esp boards will run a proper real time operating system, such as RTOS though I'm using Zerynth, which gives the multi-threaded real time capability of RTOS with the simplicity of Arduino programming in both Python (for the slow bits) and C++ for the fast bits.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Vitolds » 11 Aug 2019, 18:49

Williamclark77 wrote:I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.

Anybody is welcome to help write the Arduino sketch. I'd compensate you. It's not that complicated if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, I do not know what I'm doing!

tell me what you can’t do.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 11 Aug 2019, 19:33

Williamclark77 wrote:I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.


Irving wrote:Not sure what you mean by won't fit...


You're killing me. The gifted Asian and abacus won't fit! :clap:

Vitolds wrote:tell me what you can’t do.


I'll do a quick video of where I've gotten thus far when somebody else is around to hold the camera. It looks great but that's it.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 11 Aug 2019, 19:34

Williamclark77 wrote:I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.


Irving wrote:Not sure what you mean by won't fit...


You're killing me. The gifted Asian and abacus won't fit! :clap:

Irving wrote:Happy to help Will, PM me.


Vitolds wrote:tell me what you can’t do.


I'll do a quick video of where I've gotten thus far when somebody else is around to hold the camera. It looks great but that's about it.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Irving » 11 Aug 2019, 21:59

Williamclark77 wrote:
Williamclark77 wrote:I'm pretty sure a gifted Asian with an abacus could handle this. That setup won’t fit in my joystick pod though.


Irving wrote:Not sure what you mean by won't fit...


You're killing me. The gifted Asian and abacus won't fit! :clap:
:lol: :lol: wrong end of the stick... :D
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 12 Aug 2019, 15:37

Of course taking photos of an LED screen makes it look like crap. I should've did screenshots of the Nextion Editor.

The display info is (or supposed to be rather): top middle - battery voltage, just below that - AH used, just below that - MPH, the small number on bottom - total mileage, just above it - trip mileage. The lights and horn text are latched and momentary buttons. That was simple to do. The speed and accel sliders are PWM outputs .1 to 4.9v to replace mechanical potentiometers. Haven't gotten to them yet. Need to let my brain quit smoking.

Image

Image

Did a test drive yesterday. I didn't but someone was here to. Very impressive. No motor compensation. It could still do a fairly smooth zero turn in grass with the casters locked (I intentionally binded them with the footrest to test). The suspension looks great and definitely works. A lot. It was too soft for my 220 pound test rider and was bottoming pretty easy set up at the almost softest settings, but I'm a 130 pounds soaking wet. So, it should be a good starting point for me.

I'll test it in a few days. Still a bit of tidying up to do and reprint the joystick pod with a slot for the wires.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Irving » 12 Aug 2019, 15:42

Williamclark77 wrote:Of course taking photos of an LED screen makes it look like crap. I should've did screenshots of the Nextion Editor.

The display info is (or supposed to be rather): top middle - battery voltage, just below that - AH used, just below that - MPH, the small number on bottom - total mileage, just above it - trip mileage. The lights and horn text are latched and momentary buttons. That was simple to do. The speed and accel sliders are PWM outputs .1 to 4.9v to replace mechanical potentiometers. Haven't gotten to them yet. Need to let my brain quit smoking.

Looks good so far for a WIP. So which bit do you need help with? How about sharing your code to date (pm if you don't want it public yet)
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 12 Aug 2019, 16:28

Irving wrote:Looks good so far for a WIP. So which bit do you need help with? How about sharing your code to date (pm if you don't want it public yet)


It's a mash up right now. Bits and pieces. I should get time later today and tomorrow to piece it together and post for you guys to laugh at. I'll make all of that public. About the only part of my builds I won't make public and shareable are the 3d CAD files and exact brushless motor specs.
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 13 Aug 2019, 15:15

Cable entry to the pod. I'll deburr the the holes where I tapped the plastic later. Didn't even notice it until now. The tilt joystick's circuit board and connector have a cover I made. It'll get installed later. Crap cellphone pictures.

Image

Image

The pod top will be redone later once I'm certain of any and all changes needed. A second toggle to turn the screen on/off will also be added once the software is sorted.

Image

It looks bigger than it is in the pictures. It's smaller than an Rnet pod.

Image

Image

Swing

Image

Image
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 14 Aug 2019, 16:00

Did some testing yesterday. The suspension works very good. It's going to take a bit to get it set up correctly. It's sensitive to minor adjustments.

One epic fail on my part is I designed the caster fork axles to be vertical at rest. On paper and sitting still it's perfect. In practice with someone in it compressing the suspension they have rearward rake (or forward depending on how you look at it), which means the front end lifts when you turn at sharp angles. If I do it over I would design them with slight negative rake unloaded so they'd be at zero degrees loaded and slight positive compressed. I may build more later. No time soon.

Attached are the touchscreen files, a pdf with the layout and functions, and my feeble Arduino sketch. I did have the horn and lights button working as well as gibberish from the Roboteq in the correct places. I started over just adding one section at a time to get each working before adding another. I managed to break it all.

I'll fool with it when time allows but it's attached in case someone smarter than I is willing to show me mercy. :lol:
Attachments
WillChair 3 v1.2.zip
Nextion display files
(955.37 KiB) Downloaded 14 times
Screen_01.pdf
Screen layout and comments
(92.69 KiB) Downloaded 16 times
WillChair3_V1.0.zip
Sadness
(1.77 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 17 Aug 2019, 19:16

Yesterday I made the accessory mounts that go on the side of the chair. The thigh abductors go in them. My rifle prop and whatever else with a 1/2x1/2" square shank can be fitted.

Short machining clip

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-FW7qSJq/0/4abc9daa/1280/i-FW7qSJq-1280.mp4

It's ready to go. I'll get in it and do some riding later today.

I fooled with the Arduino sketch and display yesterday also. Got the horn and lights buttons working. The accel and speed sliders also work. However, they're not mapping correctly. In Roborun it shows them outputting as min/max only, not the exact amount. Getting closer!

I'll attempt the serial communication with the Roboteq later. I've lost patience for now.
Attachments
WillChair3_V1.0.zip
I hate coding!
(1.85 KiB) Downloaded 11 times
WillChair 3 v1.2.zip
Nextion Display Files
(955.26 KiB) Downloaded 12 times
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Re: WillChair Three - Let's Build it!

Postby Williamclark77 » 22 Aug 2019, 23:16

Probably unnecessary but I made these covers for the encoders to seal them up. 3d printed then coated with liquid electrical tape to make certain they're waterproof.

Image

I've used it a fair amount over the past few days. I'm thoroughly pleased with it so far. It's good to go other than a bit of tidying up on the wires. I'll do that this weekend. Still haven't sorted out the touchscreen but haven't had a chance to mess with it much. The suspension settings still need a bit of tweaking. It's sensitive to minor adjustments.

The suspension works fantastic! The chair moving so much takes some getting used to. That four inches or so of travel feels like a lot more.

I stuck a camera on my Chinese knock-off Noga mount and put it on the back of the chair. It's magnetic. The rear suspension doesn't look like it's moving as much as it is because of the angle, but you can see how it works. My back and kidneys appreciate it.

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-nq62bDL/0/d4c8d3a6/1280/i-nq62bDL-1280.mp4
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