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Remotely controlled starship Answered

Hi,

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.

Jennifer

PS All the kits I mentioned are at http://kitsrus.com/kits.html

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LasVegas

12 years ago

Use black 30 gauge wire to hang it. First, it's very thin, but surprisingly strong and second, you can pass power through it if you use more than one wire. More than two wires would allow you to use the additional wire to send control signals serially or binary.