Raspberry PI Rover Upgrades

I recently picked up the Pimoroni Garden hat and some sensors to play with as it looked like a neat way of swapping breakout boards around without wiring or soldering.

Soon after I thought why not upgrade my rover with the hat so it can drive around measuring air quality, temperature etc… Then I remembered I had my phat stack board lying around and the project turned into lets see how many hats I can stack on the rover.

20181110184604 So first I added the phat stack with the breakout garden hat, explorer (motor) phat, four letter phat and a scroll phat HD. For convenience I also attached  USB hub / Ethernet adapter. This makes it easier to work on the PI if there are any Wifi issues.

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I tested everything worked and whilst being blinded by the scroll phat I had the idea of using it as lighting for the front mounted camera. Continue reading Raspberry PI Rover Upgrades

Gemini 4 blade propeller

I recently received a 4 blade propeller in the post to try out on my Gemini craft. Going from my experiences with my smaller craft it should be quieter and more powerful. Well it certainly seems more powerful but its a lot louder! There’s also another issue where its drawing so many amps that the ESC seems to be getting too hot and cutting out. I am not surprised really and even the wires themselves are getting hot! I think I will switch back to the 2 blade for now.

e-Gemini on the water

After a major downpour on Friday I stumbled across a flooded car park which I thought would be perfect for testing my e-Gemini on water. The craft performs remarkably well, hovering gracefully and turning on six pence. As you can see I am still getting used to the handling. 🙂

e-Gemini on its first run

Here is my first go at piloting the craft. It feels a bit nicer to control compared to the smaller craft because of its extra weight and size. I have not used it enough yet to know whether or not I need to adjust the center of gravity. It may look a little twitchy in the video but I was trying to keep it in a small area away from any cars so did not give it a proper straight line test.

Something I forgot show in my previous post is the electronics under the hovercraft seat.

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Here we have a 5000mah 3 cell Lipo so plenty of speed and runtime. This connects to a brushless motor ESC which connects to the brushless motor and receiver. The receiver is an ar600 aircraft receiver. Aside from sending control inputs to the ESC it is also connected to a servo at the rear of the craft to control the rudders. A servo extension cable was required because of the distance and the fact the cable had to be run around the duct in order to make sure it was safely away from the propeller.

Getting back to the e-Gemini

Funnily enough the e-Gemini was the first hovercraft kit that I brought way back in 2013. Unfortunately because of the space required to build it and the fact it looked a little overwhelming back then I have put it off till now.

The kit requires a lot of manual Continue reading Getting back to the e-Gemini

Fusion 400 takes to water

I finally plucked up the courage to take one of my hovercraft out on a lake. The thought of sending something out with all those costly electronics is bad enough but when its a model you have built the thought of losing it is even worse.

My plan was to make sure the swan peddle boat hire was Continue reading Fusion 400 takes to water