Wow, I can’t believe how easy that was. After hacking the transmitter yesterday without testing to make sure it worked first I thought I’d been a little bit silly. Today the motor controller arrived from France and I plugged it in, had to change one setting, and tada, working perfectly! That just never happens! I’m so happy!
Printers are still flat-out with other projects though so haven’t been able to find time to print out the rest of the sprocket mounts and wheel spacers. Some split-links also arrived today so at least I can get on with correcting the slack in the chains and see if I can do something to align the sprockets more consistently.
I arrived home from work today to find that a number of parcels had been delivered by the postman. Amongst the parcels were metal ball joints for the rocker bogie system (more on this in another post) and the final components I needed to make a radio transmitter/receiver.
Essentially, this is a radio control with a forwards and backwards button for the each side of the vehicle. Once built into the prototype it should allow for a greater range of testing.
Getting this working has been extremely satisfying and I’m trying to put my finger on why that is. I guess that as I child I’d always wanted a radio controlled car and now as an adult I’ve built Ada’s little brother Eric a radio controlled lorry by commandeering a remote from another toy. This was also the case for the current working prototype. I guess that being able to make one from scratch just opens up a whole new world of opportunities for letting out the big kid in me.
In other news, it’s been a very productive day all around. The engineering students have started building their own prototypes (more on this later too) and being in class with them gave me the opportunity to splurge out all of the ideas that have been running around my mind.
I also had a chance meeting with another lecturer who suggested using hydraulics to equalise the rockers. I think this likely has great potential and needs to be looked into further. One of the advantages that I would expect is less wear and tear on moving parts and ultimately a more reliable wheelchair. I’m not sure how I’ll make a prototype, syringes maybe(?), but seeing as the metal ball joints arrived in the post today I’ll explore those first…