Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Making a wooden power plug

Having finished the head, it seemed poor to use a plastic plug. What better than a wooden plug?

Initially I started trying to take apart the plastic casing of the transformer, which looked like this. Unfortunately, the supply failed, which I believe to be due to fusin printed circuit connections with solder while trying to solder a new lead onto the circuit board. FAIL!
What's inside a 5v power transformer
Having destroyed one supply, another was found in the shed. This was fitted up with an oak casing

This was made from two short pieces of oak plank, with a cavity taken out with an electric router

Wooden power supply casing

The two halves together look like this

Wooden power supply casing
These are not flush.  To do so they needed to be sanded together as one piece. This would only work once glued together. Here theyare in the vice with cramps attached (one traditional iron screw cramp, and one metal/plastic ratchet cramp)
Gluing together wooden power supply casing

Friday, 24 February 2012

Head is finally finished...

Finally the head is just about ready...
Reading lamp head (front)
I amused myself looking up the original drawing....

Reading lamp original design sketch
Here's what's inside the face...
Reading lamp with face off
...and the arduino control circuit under the base...
Reading lamp showing arduino casing
All that really remains is to make the power supply...

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Moving automaton head electronics from test-bed to in situ base

On the bench. Trying to transfer the patched electronics from the nice easy patch-cable connections of the test bed to the real, hard-wired circuit in the final location of the base of the automaton head.
Automaton head on test bench
Testing the pots...
Testing practical implementation of circuit diagram for automaton head
The arduino screwed down in place, in final location inside base.

Arduino in place in oak casing 
Connecting up all the wires that need to be at the positive (+5V) voltage, by threading through a circuit board, to be soldered together.
Connecting common +5v wires
Final +5V "rail" with all +5v connections soldered together
Soldered common +5v wires
Connecting up all the wires that need to be at earth (ground), by threading through a circuit board, to be soldered together.
Connecting common earth (ground) wires
Final earth (ground) "rail" with all earth connections soldered together
Soldered common earth (ground) wires
The final circuit in place in the base, next to the conceptual circuit layout diagram.
Circuit diagram for automaton head in practise

Friday, 17 February 2012

Fitting arduino electronics into the automaton base in practise

Having finalised the circuit, it needs to move from test bed to final location with the base the automaton sits on... Here is what the arduino test bed looks like. Spaghetti everywhere. Most of which is just convenience wiring to help.

Automata head with circuitry
This is the circuit drawn out in beautiful hand-drawn pen.
Automaton head circuit diagram
This is the head on it's base (not finished here)
Automaton head with base
This is the box and how it opens out showing the space available
Base for automaton head
So here is the tidied up circuit diagram showing approximate location of the electronics. Next to it, is the box with the control pots in place.
Circuit diagram for automaton head

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Making a base for the automaton head

Measuring out base from an oak plank
Measuring out base for automaton head

Drilling pilot holes for recess, that will form internal housing for electronics. I love working with oak - such a great smell, yum :)

Drilling pilot holes in base for automaton head

Cleaning up internal cavity
Carving base for automaton head
The internal space for electronics, finished
Base for automaton head
With lid...
Base for automaton head

This is the head on it's base
Automaton head with base

Thursday, 2 February 2012

New simpler electronics

I have bought a fine bag of potentiometers. How sad!
Lots of potentiometers
They are presumably culled from some beautiful old stereos, but anyway...
Automata head with circuitry
Here is the more or less final circuitry. I have decided not to tackle the power issue about servos only getting  current on a change of signal. This is a cop out, but it's time to move on.

however, I have introdcued a transistor to step up the current to the eyeball LEDs.

Transistor to power LEDs
Automata head with LEDs on

This does make them a little brighter