Sunday, October 20, 2013

Brains behind Arduino Lawn Mower!


Finally got a delivery from China.  It is the new Arduino Mega 2560 R3 compatible MCU along with a the v2 Sensor Shield.  (this combination had the same pin to usb short I discussed in an earlier post.  Be sure to check that post for the fix or it will fry your mega 2560! (Arduino Mega 2560 shorts against v2 Sensor Shield)
 It took a couple weeks to be delivered,  but the price is less than a quarter of what the cheapest price vendors are offering it here in the U. S..  Not only do a lot of local vendors order them from china,  but a lot of auction sellers will take your money and have it drop shipped from china.  Well worth it to do some research and cut out the middle-man! 


Now that I started to put the components into the battery box,  it is getting very tight with the new SLA 12Ah 12v battery.  The solution is to build a multi-level control board that will slip right in beside the battery. Seems like it works very well,  but it might get a little tight after I start adding sensors and more wiring. 

  The control board is very simple.  I used a scroll saw to cut some recycled plastic (old store sign) and the spaced 3 of them together using metal stand-offs.  If the stand-offs are hard to locate,  you could also use small diameter threaded rods.  Just tighten the plastic into place by sandwiching it between a couple washers an bolts.  
  I also drilled holes to mount my microcontroller boards and larger ones for wire runs and possibly air flow in case I  need to install any cooling fans. 


Final pic for this post.
 The paint complete.  An industrial weatherproof Rustoleum door and metal paint.  Hard as a rock,  gloss black.   Also shows some of the electronics being test fit!  This stage of the fabrication is almost  done.  Now I get to do some simple coding and 9 (remote controlled driving!) .  I am really looking forward to this thing moving under its own power! 
  After some remote controlled driving and any mechanical tweaks, I will install the propane powered cutter motor with a custom fabricated mount and start testing with sensors to make it truly automated.  I am real curios if sonar/sonic sensors will work alongside a loud combustion engine!  
  Maybe I'll finally get to post some action videos and not just sti9
 Well,  back to the lab! Hope you enjoyed this installment. If you have any questions,  please leave a comment and I will do my best to help.