Remotely controlled starship
I hope this question is appropriate to this forum, I'm new here, but I'm about to start building a PolarLights 1/350th scale Enterprise. If you're unfamiliar with the kit, it's styrene, large and very cool. Get one to express your innner geek.
Anyway, I want to hang it using steel wires, painted flat black and it will be displayed against a black background, with the illusion, I hope of it floating in space. I plan to run power to the model via the wires, like those little track bar lights you might find in a coffee shop.
All the electronics for the ship will be inside (it's a big kit) and I have the schematics to make the lights blink and the photon torpedos fire. But I don't want the torpedoes to constantly fire. I'd like to be able to push a button and have them fire. But with only three wires going to the model, I can't control the navigation lights, strobes, impulse engines, spotlights, etc.
I could install DIP switches in some inconspicuous spot, but how much cooler and geekier to trigger the effects from an infrared remote control shaped like a tricorder?
I have found a company that sells a remote (I'll have to hack it into a tricorder), a sensor and a PIC preprogrammed chip to decipher the remote codes (http://kitsrus.com/pdf/k92.pdf), but the schematic shows that all the outputs are high. Pressing a button on the remote sets the appropriate output low.
So, can anyone suggest what I can do to trigger the effects? They sell a more expensive and I'm sure much heavier kit with relays (http://kitsrus.com/pdf/k142.pdf) that actually reverses the outputs -- pushing a button sets an output to high -- using inverters. (They also sell a kit with four relays, using a UHF transmitter -- a car remote.)
But I'd like to do this without a relay. I know very little about electronics -- just enough to follow a schematic and wire it, hoping there are no mistakes in the schematic. But I thought a transistor, like an SCR thyristor, could be used as a switch. Could I take the first kit I mentioned, add the inverter to switch the output to high when a button is pressed, and use the thyristor to basically be a solid state switch? Essentially doing the work of the DIP switches?
I fear the 5V outputs of the PIC module would be too high for the thyristor and maybe that's why the relays are necessary.
I appreciate any help and advice.
PS All the kits I mentioned are at http://kitsrus.com/kits.html