Mini 4WD Lunch Box

The lunch box is probably the most famous Tamiya RC of all and I have yet to build one. I did however stumble across a Mini 4WD version of the lunch box which would make a nice scaled down model to have on a desk. Mini 4WD is something that never seemed to make it to the UK, probably because of Scalextric’s dominance of the slot car market. I only know of their existence thanks to someone bringing me one back from a visit to Japan as a present.

Mini 4WD is similar to Scaletric but you have no control over the car once the race has started. This means everything is more down to the build and design of the car rather than adjusting the speed as it goes round.

Anyhow I now have a few mini 4WD cars. They make a nice break from larger projects as they easy snap together kits that can be made up in an evening. They also make for good shelf models of full size Tamiya RC kits.

20180510201140

They are also good fun to run although its better if you have a track for them to follow. This one in particular has a wheelie bar and some Continue reading Mini 4WD Lunch Box

Raspberry PI LED Matrix Games

A while back I brought a new hat for the Raspberry PI called the unicorn hat HD. Its a 16 x 16 led matrix (256 LEDs) which I managed to get cheap while it was discounted.

I started playing with it recently and at first tried to use it as an over head minimap in mine craft. This kind of worked but the mine craft API was too slow to feed it data quick enough. All well and good if you only stood in one place but useless otherwise.

Next I thought I would try building some pixel games and have been working on a little space invaders clone.

The game is written in python and uses the pygame package for keyboard input but if it were to use something else for input like GPIO pins then pygame could be ditched.

I need to get my head round drawing text to it so I can make a game over screen etc…

You can clone the code here: https://github.com/kenjara/Unicorn-Hat-HD-Games

space1

M107 Self Propelled Gun Part 2

Last night I started working on the gun for the M107. The gun is interesting because it has lots of moving parts that you have to make sure are not glued. It is also massive and I have no idea how this thing will fit into a display case.

20180501203508

I could not resist test fitting it to the hull to see how it looked. It still needs some cleaning up and a few more parts added before being painted.

20180501203441

Stereo Pirate Radio

Last year I built the Pimoroni Pirate Radio which I have been listening to whilst building stuff ever since. The board the powers the audio on the radio supports two speakers but the radio as standard only has one.

Pimoroni recently released an additional matching speaker that can be attached to the other channel on the radio. It was reasonably priced so I decided to pick it up and upgrade my radio to stereo. Continue reading Stereo Pirate Radio

M107 Self Propelled Gun Part 1

I have not posted on this blog in some time and its been even longer since I have posted about a plastic kit.

A lot has happened since then including moving into my own place which I have built a basement workbench in. This has solved one the main barriers to modelling I had which was having to pack my modelling stuff up from the dining room table after each session.

I have a number of part built kits to resume but I decided to start a fresh with this great kit. I have been looking forward to building it for a while as its something a little different from the usual tank. Its an Italeri kit sold as a Tamiya with some Tamiya figures so a bit of an odd one.

packagelarge[1]

Being an Artillery piece with a massive gun should make for an impressive model when complete. So far I have built and painted the chassis and dozer blade. The blade can be moved which is demonstrated in the video below.

 

Micro:bit – Micro:bit Bluetooth robot

The Micro:bit is a tiny computer designed by the BBC for educating children in computing.

You may think there is not much point in using the Micro:bit for robotics when there is the Raspberry PI and Arduino available but there is beauty in its simplicity.

Much like the Arduino you flash it with some code and it will run it until you flash it again. There are plenty of tutorials and different languages to use making it very quick and easy to work with. There are even block programming editors.

Recently I got my hands on a second Micro:bit so I thought I would have a go at Bluetooth communication between them having one as a transmitter to control a robot powered by the other.

The robot kit I have here is the Kitronik line follower buggy. It uses a motor driver edge connector board to drive the motor and monitor inputs. The board is nicely labeled so that you can see which pins you needs to write to in order to control the motors.

IMG_20170912_134248

Most of the editors for the Micro:bit are online only but I have found an offline Python editor called Mu that can be used and is my environment of choice. For this project though I decided to use Microsoft’s Javascript/block editor. Continue reading Micro:bit – Micro:bit Bluetooth robot