Hello Everyone! Ever wanted to learn how to make a car that can not stand light? Well here it is! I am going to go through step by step instructions on how to construct a car from circuit components and cardboard! As long as you follow these simple instructions you can show off to your friends and family :)
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Step 1: Material Mania
There are a multitude of materials needed so here is a categorized list between electronic components and the necessary components for the actual body of the car!
- 555 timers (2x)
- You can use the 555 chips for basic timing functions, such as turning a light on for a certain length of time, or you can use it to create a warning light that flashes on and off. There are a multitude of uses for it and here we are going to use it in order keep the car running smoothly and to change its movement if there is a light source added to the system.
- Capacitors are devices which store electrical charge. They are a basic component of electronics and the most common use for capacitors is energy storage.
- A photoresistor is a light-controlled variable resistor. A photoresistor can be applied in light-sensitive detector circuits, and (like this one) light-activated and dark-activated switching circuits.
- This is the power source of the entire car
- Resistors add resistance to the circuit in order to allow current to flow without the ability for a short circuit.
- A diode is a two-terminal electronic component that conducts current primarily in one direction (asymmetric conductance); it has low (ideally zero) resistance in one direction, and high (ideally infinite) resistance in the other. This circuit will need multiple diodes so that when the capacitance discharges energy it will not flow very far and allow the circuit to flow smoothly
- To allow the power to flow through the circuit and connect these circuit components.
- How we connect all the circuit with power.
Car Components :
- Motor (2x)
- Wheel Movement
- Body of the car
- Any Michaels or Target store
- To shape the body of the car very precisely
- School usage
- The wheels and castor (the sliding front support) will be designed and created from this
- A computer with the proper program will be necessary in order to use this
- CREATIVE ALERT: Any color filament will do for the caster and wheels
- School usage
- They help glide the wheels on surfaces
- They will hold the motors in place so the wheels can be used directly
- CREATIVE ALERT: Any color zip ties are really cool to add aesthetic to your car
- Goes into the castor and helps guide the car
- Any Michaels or Home Goods Store
- Michaels or Hardwood Store
- To glue battery to the bottom of the car and the castor to the bottom of the car
- To hold the circuit down tightly on the car
- Hold the motors to the car as well.
- Paint and Paint Brushes
- In order to paint the body of the car however you'd like
- To put around zip ties
- Walmart or Target
Step 2: In the Meantime...
- Now time to connect your circuit !
- The 3D printer will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete the wheels and castor, so in order to be time efficient the first thing you should do is send the job to the printer so that the wheels will be ready when necessary.
- Also make sure the wood has been laser cut before starting the project. Make sure the program has the correct dimensions for the box.
Step 3: Build, Build, Build! Pt 1
First grab the bread board and both 555 timers.
Place both 555 timers on the breadboard as shown , with large space in between to recreate the pattern twice.
Step 4: Build, Build, Build! Pt 2
Now to make sure the whole breadboard is wired, make sure to connect the rails by color. This connection can be referred to the black wires in the schematic.
We need to power the chip and start the wiring for the car. To do this we must connect the first pin to the ground railing and the eighth pin to power railing. Also, make sure to connect the fourth pin to power to constantly reset the circuit.
Step 5: Build,Build,Build! Pt 3
Note: I jus changed the color of the wires, this means northing particular to the circuit's purpose
Now connect pin 2 and pin 6 together which will set the "floor" and the "ceiling" of the voltage (which in this case would be 9V and 0V). Pins 2 and 6 control the overall output with the effect of pin 7 which we will plug in much later in the circuit.
Step 6: Build, Build, Build! Pt 4
Now we will be connecting the motor to the circuit. The negative side will be connected to the pin 3 and the positive side will be connected to power. Pin 3 is the output pin (and the voltage will either be 0 or close to 9).
Step 7: Build, Build, Build! Pt 5
The positive side of the battery gets connected to the power railing as shown. The diode is connected to pin 3 to prevent any back emf that could occur from the battery source.
Step 8: Build, Build, Build! Pt 6
Moving to the other side of the chip, we can now put in the photo resistor into pins 8 and 7. The photo-resistor is connected in to pin 7 since it is another pin that can control the output. The photo-resistor increases the time on the square wave when there is more light. The rate of charge on the capacitors (which comes in a later step) also depends on the photo-resistor.
Step 9: Build, Build, Build! Pt 7
We now can plug the capacitors into the circuit. You connect one capacitor to pin 5 and ground and another capacitors to pin 6 and ground. The capacitors help decide when to activate pin 7. When the capacitor hits 6V, pin 7 is activated and discharges. Once the capacitors are at 3V, the capacitors begin to charge. Discharge also depends on the diode we are going to plug into pin 6 in a later step.
Step 10: Build, Build, Build! Pt 8
From here we connect another diode from pin 7 to pin 6. This diode helps determine the discharge of the capacitors.
Step 11: Build, Build, Build! Pt 9
Right next to the previous diode, a resistor of 1k Ohms will be put into the circuit at pin 7 and the other end of the resistor can be plugged into a hole that is not connected to the 555 timer. The resistors are also part of the system which helps with the charging and uncharging of the capacitors.
Step 12: Build, Build, Build! Pt 10
Lastly another diode will fall on this side of the 555 timer with the positive side connected to pin 6 and the negative side connected to the other resistor.
Step 13: Build, Build, Build! Pt 11
Now if we connect the 9V battery, the motor should be able to run smoothly!
Step 14: Build, Build, Build! Pt 12
Now repeat steps 1-11 on the second 555 timer to see the other motor running smoothly.
ALERT: The above schematic is for more advanced builders to get a better sense of what is happening.
Step 15: Go Together Like Glue
Now is time to put our electrical caps aside and begin making the car. First we start by taking the cardboard we cut beforehand and gluing the sections that belong in the relative carved sections .
CREATIVE TIP: Here is where we can start getting super created. I decided to paint the front of my car military style but you can do anything you'd like! Just make sure the paint dries before you continue with this project.
Step 16: "Sticky Vicky"
The double side tape will finally come in handy here and one other section. You will place two or three pieces of tape on the back of the breadboard and then hold it down on the body of the car. This should hold it securely.
Step 17: Hot Wheelz
By this step, the 3D printer should be done making the wheels and castor. Now it is time to put the wheels on the motors so that we can complete the entire car. We place the plastic rings from earlier around the circumference of the wheels to give them traction. Then we push the wheel on an edge of the motor. To choose which edge, you want the thin side of the motor to face the front of the car or where the castor will be and the outside edge will be where the wheels are. All you have to duo is push the wheel into the edge and it should be sturdy.
TROUBLESHOOTING: Make sure when you push the wheel into the edge it is not too forceful or the wheel might be at risk of breaking! You may need to spend another hour and a bald waiting.
Step 18: You're Not Going Anywhere!
We are so close to finishing our vehicle ! Now we need to connect our Hot Wheelz to the body of the car. Again, we use the double sided tape on the top side of the motors to stick it to the bottom of the car. It should lie perfectly between the pair of the two small oval holes. Sadly this will not be enough so zip ties are super necessary. Make sure to feed the wires through the large rectangle in the middle of the body of the car and then feed the zip tie through each pair of the two oval holes. Then secure the zip tie until the motor will not move.
CREATIVE TIP: Some people cut off the zip tie once it is secure but I think it could be interesting to leave the zip tie and use the pipe cleaners to cover the zip ties (as if they are antennas).
TROUBLESHOOTING: Be careful when securing the motors, since the motion of the wheels could be affected if the wheels are touching the body of the car.
Step 19: Give Me Power or Give Me Death!
For the last step we use hot glue in order to secure our last pieces of the car. Fist use the marble and secure it into the castor with a medium amount of force. Too much may break the castor so please be careful. Then place some hot glue at the edge of the car on the bottom side so that the castor can be secured in place. Then we place some hot glue in between the two motors to secure the nine volt battery. Before placing the battery make sure the feed the wires through the rectangle before hand. Once the wires are fed in, the battery holder can be placed between the motors.
Step 20: What Now?
Well we have reached a fork in the road,
Circuit worked: If your circuit worked then great job! You can move on and enjoy your new robot.
Circuit did not work: If your circuit did not work then NO FEAR! I have had my fair of burnt LEDs and broken chips in my day to understand what is going on!
- First thing first, if the circuit does not work then you may have forgotten to power the chip make sure group and Vcc are all plugged in.
- Make sure things are not short circuited in your circuit. For this, use a multimeter and check separate sections of the circuit to make sure the voltage drops all make sense
- Double check the power supply and make sure everything is working correctly. Again use a multimeter
- Make sure all the connections are stable and the wires are not crossing over each other too much
- Double check the resistor and capacitor are not having too much of an impedance on the circuit
- Double check if the chip is working properly
Step 21: Ta Da
Well now you have it folks! We have successfully completed our robot that runs away from light, sounds like a college student to me :)