Well- this is one cool project. Those of you who’ve seen this toy before will
note a few some modifications! Like:
IR illuminator / Laser rangefinder / Camera / Turret elevation actuator
BUT- inside there’s also: a 2 Watt video transmitter (long antenna...Ham license
440MHZ transciever- short helical antenna (Ham license req’d) Custom telemetry processor
(using PIC16F84) Replaced old sound module with audio output from the radio
OK, so this is one sweet teleprecsience vehicle. With at least a half mile control
radius, I can navigate it at a remote station using the video camera, find a target
(even in the dark), lock on it with the laser rangefinder and FIRE!! Only plastic
darts, of course... ‘bear scares’ never entered my mind.
Still, I hate the tank tread motor s(too noisy) and am considering some kind of
high voltage defense for those goofs that just can’t leave the thing alone on the
street. (but I can understand- imagine this cruising along by itself, under parked
cars and through the yards!)
Errol the Dragon
Errol has evolved WAY beyond what I intended- he’s a hit at Halloween and has introduced
me to a whole new world of fandom.
And he’s stuffed with as much electronics, servos, sensors and lights as I can
The dragon has two processor boards (one in the head and another in the tail).
The eyes, brows, ears, tail and snout move as per programmed routines.
The mouth movement and head angle( gyro) basically select the program that controls
the movements, although the tail has accelerometers that also get used as input.
A loud sound or light flash starts a ‘surprised’ reaction routine.
Now, the lighting is amazing- temperature (for mood) controls the eye colour as
does the ambient lighting. There’s fibre optics in the horns and scalp, along the
tail ridge and all throughout the wings. There’s two sound processors that brighten
the accent lights and flash EL and LED lighting in the wings- truly awesome at the
Last thing is temperature control- being Errol can get hot. There’s four fans
that the processors regulate, and I probably should add another.
Am I having fun or what?? But you know, this only raises a whole set of new ideas-
imagine for a moment if Errol had a whole unique character by himself? He’d literally
take YOU for a little walk...
Servo wiring and fibre optics inside the head
Vancoufur and FE Panels Some tips we mentioned... more coming soon
Tiny, bright and cheap LED strings- Canadian Tire Xmas ribbon. You get a blinker
circuit, battery box and 20 tiny LEDs for ten bucks. Take the wire with the LEDs
out of the ribbon. It runs on about 2.5 volts- so put two in series for a 6 volt
battery with a 100 ohm resistor. The wire insulation is ‘thermaleze’- a soldering
iron vapourizes the insulation and solder will stick after about 1 minute.
Note: You can use the same wiring technique for single LEDs from Xmas strings.
He's so cute, I couldn't resist...
I started to play with his insides and build a PIC based IR transmitter for him
to chase down, but other projects slid in there and I only breadboarded something
together. I hope to get back to him one day though...
Disco lights from dollar store make great eyeball globes for about 5 bucks... You
get 2 eyes, and 2 led lights for them and some extra motor parts. Just separate the
halves with a knife blade (they come apart quite easily) extract the LED board from
the spinner. You can either use the flasher chip(black epoxy blob), or cut the board
in half and just wire to the LEDs.