Introduction: Arduino V-Twin Flux Capacitor

About: At the age of six my father had given me a crystal radio KIT ( Wind your own coil,Etc.), After that it was just an explosion of interest and passion. Have been self taught in all electronics. And starte…


Personal Electronics Entertainment With Embedded Education.

Basically a project that is fun and I learn a hole lot of stuff from it.

. This project started out as just a small robot so I could learn more about my Arduino and coding. And at first he was a simple little bot or tot I guess I should say. With a CD player case as a body, a couple of servos and some old laptop speakers with a few LED's (Gotta have the bells and whistles).

Then one day as I was looking at all the scrap electronics laying around and thinking I will never use most of this crap, What the heck am I keeping it for? Right at that moment the giant ultra bright LED went off in my head!!!


Step 1: And So It Begins.

The following is a how I did it and certainly nothing is written in stone, so be creative. I can't tell you how many hours I spent looking at some old electronics trying to think of a way for it to serve a purpose in the project, Sometimes it worked out and sometimes it did not(Thank goodness for hot glue). EVERYTHING in this project except the Arduino has been re-purposed from something else, including the wire. Most of it was just plain old junk. I don't know maybe I'm an electronics hoarder and just don't know it.The equipment in the pictures is actually in 100% working order. I have both the A and B model scopes and a spare set of tubes for each.

Step 2: Getting the Chassis Ready

The first thing I did here was to drill out the mounting holes for the stand off insulators that hold the Arduino and Perf board. Also I drilled the hole for a grommet where the drive servos and battery leads go through. Then on the top chassis I drilled the holes for the servo output shaft and the hole for the wire bundle from the head/neck assembly. I then proceeded to drill the holes for the stand offs on the flux capacitor(See step15 for proper spacing) and the hole for that wire bundle in the top chassis.

The next thing that I did was have a few beers and, remove all the labels, then sand, And sand, Have more beer then sand, and sand, Well you get the Idea. The key here is if you want a good finish when your done its PREPARATION PREPARATION PREPARATION !.

The Arduino Uno pictured above was only used for a general idea the actual Arduino
used is a Mega 2560.

Step 3: Painting.

Truly do this how you want and spend the time thinking about it. One tool I used was a simple painting program to draw a box, then I could try a bunch of different schemes with out actually painting.

So I started by Painting the top cover with a couple coats of gold. then masking with 1/8" pin striping tape after it was COMPLETELY dry. I then lightly sanded the exposed gold. The bottom of the bottom piece was masked off where the servos and battery would go so I would get a good glue joint. Then I painted both top and bottom of bottom a few coats of green and pulled the masking tape off. This first go around did not work due to the fact that I did not use primer. So after sanding it all down AGAIN I primed it first then repeated the previous steps and finally adding three coats of clear coat with a light sanding between each coat.

Step 4: Face Plate.

During paint drying times I decided to work on the face plate. I cut the tray front so the four digit display would fit then I hot glued the try front to the face plate. I then sanded and painted the face plate green. After the paint was dry I hot glued the display in place then added the wires for the display.

Step 5: Bottom of the Bottom Chassis.

First I acquired two Futaba S3004 servos from my R/C junk box and modified them for continuous rotation(Plenty of Instructables on this). The wheels are mounted in the typical way by screwing the servo arms to the wheel hubs. Notice I also mounted the wheels slightly back as apposed to the front. This is to give me better balance and not have to much pressure on the rear wheel or not enough and nose over when stopping.

I then glued a six volt 2000 Mah. battery(Another R/C relic) to the bottom. This battery is used for driving the servo motors.

Next I put the keypad on. It was left over from some lock boxes I made. It has self adhesive backing which makes installation neat and easy.

Most two wheel robots use a caster wheel for the back wheel but I did not have any that I could find although I did all most decommission a piece of luggage for one of the wheels. I did how ever find an R/C tail wheel assembly but could not find a way for it to mount and be sturdy. Then I saw a printer fan and its mounting hole was the exact size of the tail wheel shaft and made a perfect bushing. So although I did not plan on it Pee-Wee now has a cooling fan. The fan is rated at 24 volts but does well enough at 6 volts.

Lastly I hot glued the nine volt battery for the Arduino in place and then routed the wires with dabs of hot glue out and through the grommets.

Step 6: Neck Assembly.

So for the neck, as I was looking through a computer junk box I found some old desktop and laptop memory chips. I glued three laptop chips in a triangle length way.

Step 7: Basic Head (SCULL).

And for the scull (for lack of a better word) I glued three desktop
chips end on end in a triangle. For the top of the head I found an old CD ROM circuit board that fit the large triangle and glued it to the triangle first removing any small components to get a good flat bond(This is easily done with a small flat head screwdriver).

Then using a dye grinder I cut the top almost to the edge then
finished with a Dremel and sanding wheel.

Step 8: Mouth and Ears.

Now I glued on a Nokia 5110 that was used for another project(To which that project now has a 7" color touch screen.) to the front of the head. I then added another laptop chip for an upright and glued on an ultrasonic ping sensor.

Step 9: Eyes.

To add some eyes I cut small holes and added RGB LED's to each side of his head pointing forward.

After calculating the proper resistance using Ohms law for the LED's I then used my Fluke Lab meter to get the current draw as close to possible to the manufacturers specs. That's why there are two resistors in series on two of the leads. I could have used the two LED's in parallel but I wanted to be able to control them separately.

Step 10: Final Assembly of Head.

Then finally I connected all the wires.
All wires were then run under and into neck.
At the back witch is a corner I cut a slot large enough to let the wires pass freely.

Step 11: Prepairing the Head for Connection to Body.

Now taking a round servo wheel I cut a large hole so that the wire bundle from the head would pass freely. I also made sure the hole was not to big so it could be seen when the neck was in place. I then used a LONG drill bit and drilled a hole in the top of the head. This hole is so I can tighten the screw for the servo arm while attaching the head.

Step 12: Construction of the Flux Capacitor V-Twin Assembly.

This part of the project started from me trying to think of what to do with the hard drive platters I used for the original Pee-Wee.

So again I started rummaging through yet another junk box but this one was all REALLY old electronics. I started with a pair of vacuum tubes that had the same internal structure. I could not go by the numbers because most of them have worn off many moons ago. I then took two red LED's and hot glued them to the bottom of the tube. I wanted most of the light from the led to go into the tube so I took some black paint and covered all of the hot glue.

Step 13: V-Twin Assembly Continued.

In the same junk box I found some coils and chose one all most the same diameter as the hole in the center of the hard drive platters. To this coil I glued the two tubes in a V configuration.

Step 14: Flux Capacitor Heat Sink Assembly.

Taking one of the hard drive platters I drilled four holes for the standoffs(go slow!!! they break VERY easily). I then used a slightly larger bit and just barely drilled a little out on one side only so I could use counter sunk screws(I tried but I just could not find my counter sink bit). then I sanded and painted the stand offs and attached them to the platter.

I used this platter for a template of the holes on the top chassis in step 3

Step 15: Heat Sink Assembly Continued.

At this point I can't stress enough to check ALL electronic components BEFORE you install them even if they are new.

Using a couple of the spacer rings from a hard drive I cut slots in them. These spacers were then glued to the platters. Before gluing I scratched the surface real good to get a good bond.Now I glued different color LED's in the slots I cut. I decided to add the current limiting resistor here and the wires.

Step 16: Heat Sink Final Assembly.

Now each platter assembly is is glued together watching where the LED's will be pointing. I added another small piece of tubing then added two lap top platters. The spacer was funny because doing this project I ran out of solder wick and decided to, you guessed it sand it and paint it gold.

Step 17: Adding the V-twin Assembly to the Heat Sink Assembly.

Here is when I glued the tube assembly to the top of the flux capacitor.

Step 18: Constructing the Central Matrix.

Wanting to hide all the wires, ten in all. I found a piece of plastic tubing the same diameter of the platter hole, cut it the same size as the stand offs and painted it gold. I then glued some old crystals in a spiral pattern around the tube. I don't glue it to the flux capacitor until the next step.

Step 19: Adding the Flux Capacitor to the Top Chassis.

Basically I just secured the standoffs with screws then glued the central matrix to the flux capacitor so I get a good square fit. Then I added some old diodes I found to the top chassis. I then took three feet of 22 AWG solid copper hook up wire and stripped it then tightly wound it on a small diameter rod from a printer. These two coils were then hot glued to the tops of the tubes of the V-Twin assembly. the straight ends were soldered to the Diodes on the chassis.

Step 20: Bottom Chassis and Electronics.

For sound I used the same laptop speakers from the first Pee-Wee.

I also installed an R/C aircraft switch. This particular switch ( I think its from Great Planes Mfg) is pretty cool because it has a charge plug built in so I can charge the 6 volt battery pack.

The 9 volt battery in the picture was only used for testing. The actual battery used was mounted to the bottom in step 6.

Then a USB connector from an old printer. I also modified and old printer cable so it would make a nice 90 degree bend.

I then ran the flat cable from the keypad with a dab of hot glue. On top of the cable I hot glued a STANDARD S3004 Futaba servo for the pan servo.

The perf board was populated with the various components:

  • Current limiting resistors for seven segment display.

  • 2n2222 transistors for the digits of the display and there current limiting resistors on the bases.

  • Current limiting resistors for the Nokia 5110 display.
  • 6 volt, 9 volt, 5 volt, and ground headers were added.
  • LM386 audio amp and supporting components.( Gain can be changed by potentiometer)

At this point I tested ALL installed electronics including determining best breaking, acceleration, turning, etc.

Step 21: Final Assembly.

Now comes some fun.

First I connected all the wires from the flux capacitor making notes of the wire to pin combination. I then tested the LED's with some simple code. Satisfied with the outcome I proceed to the head(scull) again making notes of the wire-pin combination and wired the RGB LED's making sure to put them on PWM pins. Next I wired and tested the Nokia 5110 display Lastly I wired the ultrasonic ping sensor and tested it also.

I then developed some code to test ALL Motors, lights, displays, and sensors to see if anything interfered with anything else.

Assured that everything was functioning properly I cleaned up the wiring and assembled the top case to the bottom.

I installed the head to the pan servo by first coating the servo wheel with a small amount of Vaseline. I also coated the servo screw and my screwdriver tip with Vaseline. Now I hot glued the neck to the servo wheel with a BUNCH of hot glue being sure the pan servo was at 90 degrees and the ping sensor was pointing forward.

The Vaseline keeps the glue from sticking to the screw and screwdriver so you can easily remove the head by unscrewing the servo wheel from the servo.

And there you have it the ARDUINO BASED V-TWIN FLUX CAPACITOR also known as Pee-Wee.

I guess if anyone want's it I can post the code but it is pretty sloppy and constantly changing as I add more sensors.

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Participated in the
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