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Category: arduino

Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Valuable Lessons on Autonomous Boats

Testing is crucial.  These are my notes from things I learned on today’s autonomous boat tests. Do not program  GPS coordinates at 5am!  This is critical.  The boat went out to the middle of the lake and stopped.  It took me several moments to realize it did exactly what I asked it to do.  I failed to enter in return coordinates. The shoreline is dynamic.  Do not trust Google Maps, even in satellite view, when getting GPS values close to…

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First Autonomous Open Water Test with the Aquacraft Wildcat

First Autonomous Open Water Test with the Aquacraft Wildcat

  Took the boat out to the lake for its first open water autonomous test.  It worked well.  The turning rate happened to be perfect for the (nearly) slowest speed it can go.  It navigated three GPS points, one lap across the cove and back. The existing lid to the boat doesn’t fit with an Arduino Uno plus servo shield sitting on top so I ran it without a lid.  After the first a lap I brought it in to…

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Reading PWM Signals of an Aquacraft Wildcat RC Boat

Reading PWM Signals of an Aquacraft Wildcat RC Boat

These are my notes on connecting an Arduino to an Aquacraft Wildcat RC boat and reading the PWM signals for the Servo and ESC during the arming sequence. Reading the Servo PWM was as simple as connecting one wire from the receiver signal pin(usually white) for the Servo channel to a PWM input pin on the Arduino and using the same sketch I used to read a Traxxas radio. The only other wire needed was to create a common ground,…

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Open Water Remote Control Test

Open Water Remote Control Test

Selected a hobby grade remote control boat as a suitable platform in the next step for my quest to build an autonomous watercraft.  Picked up a AquaCraft Wildcat Brushless Catamaran and took it out to Lake Berryessa to test under remote control.  Got a feel for the speed, turn rate, and battery life.  The boat is much faster than I need it to be as an autonomous robot.  At its slowest speed, turning is still very responsive.  I estimate I’ll only…

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Programmable Headlights on an RC Car

Programmable Headlights on an RC Car

Experimenting with smart LEDs on an RC Car… These are Adafruit Pixie Chainable Smart LEDs and an Arduino Uno.  On the car I replaced both channel’s servo cables with Y-harnesses.   Plugging one end of each harness back in to the servo/ESC, the other end is used to connect to Arduino PWM input pins.  Reading those values and using that information to  control the LEDs.  Adafruit Pixie LEDs are chained together but individually assignable to any color by the program.  This…

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Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Open Water Test Results – 1/20/18

Today I took AquaBitsTwo out for its second test in open water.  These are the results, notes, and lessons I learned… Wind.  I was unaffected by this during the first test and didn’t need to deal with it.  Today there was some wind.  Not very much, just a few miles per hour.  But my motor mount and rudder acted like sails and the boat wanted to align with the wind.  Boat bottom is flat.  I guess that’s what fins and…

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Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Lessons on the First Open Water Test

Just returned from Lake Berryessa for my first ever autonomous boat test on open water.  Some notes so I don’t forget the lessons learned. I managed to get three test runs in for trimming and adjusting the turn rates.  Unfortunately,  it turned out the boat leaks and that was all I could do.  I did test it in a tub and in a creek, but I should have let it soak for a long time to determine if any issues…

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How to use a Spektrum DX4C’s Switches in Arduino

How to use a Spektrum DX4C’s Switches in Arduino

These are my notes on how to use a remote control’s switches to control extra features of a robot.  In my case, I have an autonomous rover and would like to build a switch to press on the remote control to stop the rover and take manual control over it. I used a Spektrum DX4C transceiver. First, I configured the Spektrum  DX4C profile model in memory so that Channel 3 will be used as a switch.  To do this: Press the…

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Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Lessons Learned Making My First Boat

Just got the boat on the water for the first time and I wanted to jot down my thoughts while they’re still fresh.  This was the first time I’ve ever made a boat, or an RC model of any kind.   When I realized I could make them from Dollar Store foam and hot glue I was very impressed and happy to do so since I could get on the water for free, essentially.  As the build progressed though, I started…

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New Project Announcement: AquaBitsOne

New Project Announcement: AquaBitsOne

We here at remotebits.com(aka, me), are excited to announce our next phase in rover robotics: AquaBitsOne.  This will be a prototype vessel that shifts us from terrestrial exploration to aquatic.   Over the years I have begun to fine tune my own personal development methodology, which involves setting up one big annual goal divided up in to steps that I map out as monthly goals.   You could say it is Agile Methodology applied on a personal level.  One Epic of…

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