A little bit of test code

Once the main board is assembled, it can be tested without waiting for the sensor or motor driver boards to be ready. In time honoured fashion, we start with a little program to flash the LEDs.With any new microcontroller project, it is a good idea to start with some simple code that will allow you to test your ability to create a project in the chosen development environment, compile the program, transfer it to the microcontroller and run it. While you are at it, you get to test the simplest part of the system hardware. (more…)

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A new mouse is born

I finally have a primus mouse built and ready to test. All the bits are there and the processor runs up and can be programmed. Here are a few pictures to get you in the mood.By placing the components on three separate boards, each is relatively simple to build and…

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Primus pin functions

The Primus micromouse will use the dsPIC30F4011 processor from microchip. It has plenty of power and resources for just about any micromouse and is relatively easy to get and use. Here is a list of the proposed functions for each processor pin on the controller board dsPIC30F4011 Pin Functions for…

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Primus Chassis

Now the motors are here and the brackets cut, it is time to assemble the bare boards to see what the mouse will look like.Primus is intentionally simple and consequently a bit chunky. Two large and two small boards are needed. These are conveniently cut from pieces of perforated prototyping…

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Sensor Data Analysis

Micromouse sensors are subject to several sources of error and interference. Capturing a set of data samples lets you do some simple analysis of the effects of those errors.The test rig was set up with a section of wall placed at about 50mm from the sensors. This gives a large…

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Sensor test

The simple sensor circuit described by Ng Beng Kiat seems to give the best results.On his web site (http://www.np.edu.sg/alpha/nbk/) Beng Kiat describes Min4, one of his recent mice. In there is a PDF with schematics for the mouse. The sensor circuit for Primus is essentially the same except for a…

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Motor driver chip

The Allegro SLA7062M stepper driver is a excellent choice for a versatile and robust stepper motor driver.This device will let you drive a unipolar stepper motor at voltages up to 46 Volts and 3A per phase. It employs an internal PWM control of motor current which is can be set…

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Motor Mounting

The Sanyo Denki 103H546 is a completely standard stepper motor in a size 17 frame. The mounting face is tapped with four conveniently located holes tapped for M3 screws.All we need is a simple way to fix the motor to the base and main circuit board. For that, some kind…

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