Robots, Printers, and… Toilet Sensors?

By | 06/12/2020

Much has been a’doing!  

I’m wiring up the chassis for NE-1 at the minute, just using breadboard, jumpers and hot-glue at the minute.  Once I get things working I’ll switch to perma-proto board and an actual lid for the chassis.  Also just running off AA batteries at the minute, I’ll make the new battery pack over the next few weeks too.

My project to rebuild my old printer is going brilliantly!  I used my Prusa to print the parts, designed a new holder for the bed sensor and managed to get it to print first time!  The photos with the cubes shows the best I could manage before in red with the old printer (after a lot of hacking too), and the orange are the first two prints with the rebuild!  The quality is already much better and nothing has been tuned yet.

Unfortunately the extruder carriage isn’t ideal for this new setup, the nozzle can’t reach all of the bed and the sensor hits the cable cover at the rear of the bed.  Plan is to design a new carriage as I’ve not found anything online that’ll fit the Titan Aero I’m using, this means I can upgrade to the E3D Volcano hotend too.  As I’ll be printing big things with this the Volcano will let me run filament through it *much* faster so it’ll be able to keep up.

Finally, the long mentioned occupancy sensor for The Castle Tap.  I went to install it last weekend, worked late in to the night to fix a bug in the radio code and somehow just broke everything.  It’s been a pain for a while so I’ve changed tack and switched to ESP32 boards for the controllers.  The have a wifi chip built in so no need for external modules, the biggest benefit is the ESP-NOW protocol that ExpressIf released for the board.

I wired them up, dropped some code on to test the mesh networking, and it worked.  

It. Just. Worked.  

After fighting the damn radio modules for a few months it was kinda anti-climactic but a hell of a relief.  I’ll get the sensor code and logic ported over and hopefully that’ll be that up and running.  The boards are a bit more expensive than the Arduinos I was using but as I don’t need separate radio modules it works out cheaper overall, also, they actually work!

Next video for the NE-1 robot will likely be Monday, I’m hoping to have it driving around over Bluetooth and being able to use the encoders for distance based control too. 

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