Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Puff the magic dragon - uh-oh I see smoke...

So this blog was supposed to be about how I decided I needed a bit more room inside my robot, how I switched to a large box, mounted the motors on it, added cabling so the motors can be easily swapped out, added a power switch and generally tided things up a bit.

So many wires
Unfortunately when I was setting OptimusPi up last night to take photos I suddenly noticed smoke escaping from the inside of the box... Possibly the mythical magical smoke that makes electronics work?

Quickly cutting the power (yay for the new power switch) I popped the lid off and removed the battery to check for damage. An initial glance didn't show any burnt wiring or other damage, which implies the damage was done to the Arduino which is hidden beneath the motor driver.

I've checked the Raspberry Pi and the OLED, which both seem to be working happily, but it was getting late and I didn't have time to check the state of the Arduino, so that's something I'll have to do tonight.  Hopefully its just the Arduino that got charred, and not the motor driver, as I have a spare Arduino I can replace it with (Although not a nice, shiny, black Adafruit one). But with only 11 days to go until PiWars I have a lot of work to do.

But back to the updated robot. With the motors mounted to the base I, technically, don't need the plywood base I was using previously, however it means the robot doesn't look all that pretty. I did have plans for the top, but now I'm not sure I'll have time to get anything extra done now.


One other problem I ran into is I managed to end up with motors that aren't mounted level, so it has a bit of a wobble to it. Its something that's fixable (just takes more time) but I need a working robot first, here's hoping nothing too badly damaged.

Leo

6 comments:

  1. Best of luck getting OptimusPi into a usable state - I have regular panics about inadvertently destroying bits of ElMo in the run up to next weekend...

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    1. Thanks! OptimusPi is back up and running again, although still a little wobbly.

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  2. Nooo! That truly sucks chap. I think I'd be having kittens at this point. I've already fried one Pi in the process of building mine. Good luck with repairs.

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    1. I managed to burn out the motor driver last year, but at that time I was still on the reserve list for PiWars 2014, so it wasn't quite so big of a deal.

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  3. Smoke.... Oh that's never a good sign. Was it the Arduino in the end?

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    1. I think it was the UBEC, as everything else seems to be working and there's no sign of burn marks. Of course as I don't know for certain I'm still a little worried...

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