Making an RC-Car awesome again!

A few weeks ago, I found one of these bad boys lying on a table marked “free.”  Compulsive hoarder that I am, I picked it up and immediately thought of what awesomeness I could convert it to. I settled on controlling an RC-car with it because I had a car handy, and I thought it would be cool to take this approach to driving it. Originally, I was controlling the whole thing with an Arduino, but it turned out to be kind of a waste of a 50-dollar microcontroller, and I didn’t want to have Arduino stuck in this project forever. So I got to work on doing everything with hard logic. First, I unplugged and removed the board from the steering wheel base to simplify everything before I even got started. Ignore the wires sticking out of it.Image

Next, I got to work on the board. I had discovered, back when I was controlling it with an Arduino, that in order to activate each function (Forward, Back, Left, Right,) I had to ground one side of each button-pad. Comparators seemed like the best way to do this, so I decided to use a couple of 358 opamps as comparators to take inputs from the pedals and such and compare them to a set voltage, and flip to negative if the pedals were pushed down or the wheel was turned a certain way. Here’s a schematic of the circuit I built: Sorry if it’s confusing. I’m kind of new to this.ImageAfter a few hours of soldering and such, I had this:

ImageI used potentiometers to create reference voltages for the steering wheel. This way, when supply voltage changes, it doesn’t throw everything off. This is also pretty handy because I can change how sensitive the steering wheel is in about 14 seconds flat.

So, after all was said and done, I had a pretty sweet setup! Here’s a picture of the whole thing, all done: ImageAnd, as an added bonus, here’s my cat enjoying a glass of wine.


Happy hacking!

Portable Powered Breadboard!

Recently, I was pondering the mysteries of life, and I realized how convenient it would be for travels and such, if I had an enclosed, portable breadboard! It would be great to have something small and close-able to take on travels and such, and I figured it might be a fun project too! I decided that it needed to have some kind of power source, and bonus points would be given for adjustability (Adjustableness.)

A few weeks ago, my dad brought home a portable, old parallel debugging box from work, and, since I didn’t think I would be debugging any parallel ports any time soon I decided that it would be an awesome enclosure to use for this project. So I got to work!

Here’s the box before I got to the fun stuff.


The first step would be to gut the box out and make room for the new stuff. I saved all of the internals just in case I needed it (Coughcough hoarding,) Then I hot-glued a mini breadboard into it. Here’s what it looked like: Image

Next, A circuit had to be created, and diagrammed for easy creation. After looking through my supplies, I found a pretty sick rotary selector switch and some voltage regulators, and inspiration followed. Here’s the diagram:

And now the fun part! I grabbed the parts needed and got a-soldering. It didn’t take me very long, since everything is pretty simple and straightforward. Here’s the finished product, all glued and soldered:Image

So there you have it! A portable, adjustable-powered breadboard.There isn’t anything in one side, so I can store jumper wires and stuff there when I need to. Hope you enjoyed it!


Hey people!

People? Hello?

Whatever. Moving on. I made this site for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I needed a place to publish and document my projects and stuff. Secondly, someday, I might actually start making cool things. If that ever happens, I have a place for people to go and say, “Wow. This kid is awesome. I want to be like him!”

Also, I’m a pretty freaking awesome person and you might want to come take notes. Just a suggestion.

Ok, I think that’s it! Feel free to email me at : nfarrington1 <at> gmail <dot> com with any suggestions or whatever.