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Messages - LukeZ

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Open Panzer Help / Re: Smoker w/voltage booster
« on: November 04, 2018, 10:12:35 PM »
I don't think the Taigen/Heng Long smokers have a great reputation for longevity generally, though it seems like I have read that as of a few years ago the Taigen's were slightly higher quality. It used to be half the HL smokers burnt out the minute you turned them on.

For sure I do know that if the fluid level ever gets low they will certainly burn out. They need to be soaked in fluid in order not to overheat.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Smoker w/voltage booster
« on: October 30, 2018, 08:48:16 PM »
A couple comments. First, the downside of having the heating element powered in parallel with the fan/smoker motor is that at low speeds, the heating element is not going to get as hot as it will at full throttle. It very well could be the case that your source battery has plenty of voltage to create as much smoke as you want, but the way the standard smoker is wired full voltage only gets to the heating element when you're going full speed. At all other speeds it is getting something less.

So the easiest thing to do is wire the heating element separately to its own on/off circuit so it's always either full on or off, not halfway, as you suggest. But when it's full on you may find you don't need the voltage booster.
  • You could connect the heating element directly to the Aux output which can probably handle the current, but recall, the Aux output is capped at 5 volts (rather than full battery voltage). So that may not be enough.
  • You could wire it directly to one of the Motor A or B outputs (if those are free in your implementation), and use the Motor A/B on-off digital functions to treat it as a high-current switch (no more than 2 amps). The motor outputs give full battery voltage.
  • You could use a relay on one of the general purpose outputs and turn that on/off, with the relay connected to your source battery.
If your source battery voltage is not enough to give you the smoke you want, then you can experiment with a voltage booster, but I would not use the smoker output (because of the pulsed signal and also for the reason mentioned above, it is not always full voltage). Nor would I use the Aux output because again that is limited in voltage to begin with as well as current. The way the voltage booster works is that it basically converts current to voltage, you don't get extra voltage for free. Instead, I would toggle the voltage booster with a relay controlled by one of the general purpose outputs. But now we are involving lots of extra bis and bobs.

The best way to increase the heat output of the heating element is not to increase voltage, but to decrease the resistance of the element itself. This will cause the current going through it to increase as per Ohm's law, even though voltage remains constant. The standard resistor used in Taigen/Heng Long heaters is 18 ohms, you could try something less and increase the current (heat) generated. Resistors can be bought for pennies on DigiKey and elsewhere. You want to get one with a relatively high power rating (in watts) so the resistor doesn't just burn up, but of course there are size limitations you are working with as well and if you it is rated too highly it won't heat up sufficiently. Some experimentation would be in order, there were a couple threads back in the day on RCUniverse and RCGroups where guys including myself were goofing off with various resistors. Values from 5-12 ohms were tried, usually with ratings of 1 to 2 watts. Maybe there are more recent experiments recorded in other threads if you do a search.

Open Panzer Help / Re: OPConfig default OPZ file location
« on: October 29, 2018, 05:24:05 PM »
Yeah, that won't work, I need to make a change within OP Config so that it remembers your last location. Right now it is hard-coded to the Desktop. Before that I was just leaving it up to Windows, apparently your Windows was nice enough to remember your last location, but my Windows was no so nice and invariably took me to some deep sub-folder that was useless.

I haven't had much time recently but this is on my list for when I get back to it.

In the meantime as a work-around you could put a shortcut to your preferred folder on your desktop, at least then it will be a quick double-click to get to it.

Open Panzer Help / Re: OPConfig default OPZ file location
« on: October 25, 2018, 01:01:06 PM »
There was indeed a deliberate change made in this area recently. The behavior you previously had is not universal, specifics of your Windows setup also have an effect and for some it would not save the last location or the last location was not where you would want it. Forcing it to the desktop was a convenient solution for me, but I will think about how it might have been done better and let you know if I make an update.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 24, 2018, 04:35:33 PM »
Just a quick question though, where exactly do the radio settings/reads reside?  are they included in the .opz file? or do they only reside in the TCB? When I just updated the firmware, I had to re-read the radio for some reason...not sure why, maybe like you said my firmware was a little out of date though no message occurred.   Only got one that said to check OPConfig for updates.
The radio settings like all the others are included in the OPZ file (as well as on the TCB naturally, when you write the OPZ file to it). This particular update (v0.93.43) doesn't cause an erasure of settings which is why it doesn't say anything about it, but that's only relative to the last update (0.93.42). Your TCBs were all the way back on 0.93.07, so as I said before, there were intermediate updates between 93.07 and 93.43 that would cause your settings to be erased.

Oh, and I cycled the #5 switch on the board, and snoop comes up right away now....I cycled the other 4 too, just to be sure and it seems one has a weak spring (#2) as it doesn't snap from side to side like the others.....perhaps a dodgy switch.  Is CHE a brand for those??  I'll let it be for now, but if it continues I'll have to change it out.  Any others report a problem with the dip switch?
I have seen one other report of a faulty dipswitch, see here. No doubt Hobby King is using a cheap component, I guess the good news is we don't need to use them much after their initial setting. I'm not familiar with CHE brand.

If yours remains flaky you could try to short the two pins of the #5 switch. This will cause it to be permanently set to ON meaning it will always communicate over USB.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 24, 2018, 02:00:11 PM »
Ok, that did it. What a long investigation this has been! Of all things the issue was caused by having LVC enabled. A bug in the firmware skipped the first initialization of aux channel triggers only when LVC is active. I usually don't have it on because I do most of my testing with USB power only on the bench, so that is why I never saw it.

I've released a firmware update (v0.93.43). It won't erase saved settings but looking at your debugs your TCBs are a few versions behind so I think one of the intermediate releases probably will erase your settings, therefore be sure to save OPZ files before you do the update, and then re-write your settings.

After the update, you should be able to confirm that with A) LVC enabled, B) Trigger with Cannon checked, and C) your airsoft switch in the disabled position, your TCB should load up with the airsoft actually and truly disabled. If you watch Snoop it may say that the airsoft is enabled during the dump but immediately after the dump it will read your switch and set it to disabled.

Let me know if it really does work!

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 23, 2018, 09:39:19 PM »
Can you post the OPZ of your German KV2? I'll test it on this end just to see if there is maybe some strange combination of settings unique to your selections that is causing the issue, though I doubt it.

The message "Comms changed to USB" will only appear if Dipswitch #5 changes from the Off position (communication over bluetooth) to the On position (communication over USB). I wonder if you have a flaky dipswitch. If you aren't manually flipping that switch that message should never appear. If there is something faulty with that switch it would definitely explain the difficulty you have in connecting. The fact that debugging info takes a long time to appear is also strange, but it could also be related to a flaky switch.

You will notice after your German KV finally does dump the debug information the first thing it does next is lose connection with the radio, or more accurately, it lost connection during the time it took to write the debug info. This does not happen with your other model that has native SBus, which again shows the more reliable connection you get with that setup.

I still don't know what's causing your issue, I'll test your OPZ but I'm not expecting much. If we can't find anything you will just have to work around it by unchecking the "Trigger with Cannon" option on those models, which although I never planned it that way, turns out to be a pretty handy fix to  your specific problem.

You mentioned the XSR receiver can cause noise in the sound card, I have noticed that as well, and it's important to install them apart. The XSR and most of these new receivers not only receive but actually have a built-in transmitter as well, to return telemetry back to your radio (even if you are not using that feature). So that is what can cause interference.

Open Panzer Help / Re: New to OP TCB and need some troubleshooting
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:14:32 PM »
Glad to hear it, let us know if there is anything you can't figure out.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Benedini Mini and volume control with 9x pot?
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:13:49 PM »
That's a good idea Jerry, thanks for sharing. I've always wished the 9x had more 3-position switches and I always replace one of the pots with a switch just as you have done, even if you're not using the Benedini it can still useful.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:09:20 PM »
Another simple and silly thing to try is start your tank with your airsoft switch in the enabled position. What happens? Ie, could it be possible that you accidentally have the switch positions reversed? You can also confirm how the switch is working by toggling it while snooping.

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:00:27 PM »
Ok Jerry, had a bit of time to look at this finally. In fact the sequence of events at startup is correct - the more general "Trigger with Cannon" setting is applied first, and then secondly if the user has assigned a function trigger to manually enable/disable the airsoft that setting is applied afterwards by whatever position your switch happens to be in.

Testing on my end everything works as it should and you would expect. Even with "Trigger with Cannon" checked, if I assign enable/disable airsoft to a switch, and have that switch in the disabled position at startup, then the TCB loads the disabled setting, and airsoft doesn't fire until I specifically enable it. Therefore we know the code at least can work, and does for me. Going back through our earlier discussion of this, it seems like we are back to where we ended at that time.

This leads me to think that the next step is for you to examine more closely the exception we had put aside earlier:
I just thought I'd mention an anomaly to my discovery.  One of the 6 boards that I have connected to airsoft cannons did not have the issue.  It worked perfectly even though the box was checked to 'trigger with cannon'.  I cannot understand why, but all the others responded correctly when I unchecked the box.  ..just thought you'd like to know that not all of my TCBs were exactly the same, even though as far as I can determine, they all are setup the same.....

It appears that even for you the code can work correctly in some cases. We need to pinpoint what is different about that one tank than the others? Are you perhaps using the nice SBus receiver for that one tank and those pesky PWM-PPM converters on the other 5?

Open Panzer Help / Re: Airsoft switch position detection issue solved
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:42:53 PM »
I might not remember exactly all the details of the original problem or of your setup. When the "Trigger with Cannon" option is checked it means that the airsoft action will automatically occur when you trigger the Cannon Fire function. So yes, in that sense a trigger is still required, but the Cannon Fire function basically does a half-dozen things with a single function (sound, light, servo recoil, airsoft, IR, track recoil, etc, etc...). If you un-check that option, you can still trigger the airsoft but you will have to use the Fire Airsoft / Mechanical Recoil Unit function and it will only run the airsoft action but none of the other components of cannon fire.

I guess it is a little confusing, and almost everyone will want to leave that option checked, but by unchecking it you have the ability to create your own cannon fire effect by using half a dozen functions instead of the single Cannon Fire function.

Anyway, that explains that option. I'm assuming you are using the Cannon Fire function rather than a bunch of individual functions. And that ironically, when you uncheck the option to include airsoft with Cannon Fire, meaning it should no longer be active at all, you are able to re-activate it with the airsoft enable/disable functions. But when you leave the option checked, it tends to "overwrite" the initial setting of your enable/disable switch such that it always starts up enabled.

Do I have that correct? If so it might be something I can correct, it sounds like just an issue with the order in which settings are applied at startup.

For now let's ignore the 1 of 6 exceptional case because that is just going to muddy the waters. As for the cannon sound, what sound cards are you using? The Taigen sound card will not play the cannon sound unless the engine is running, that is a limitation of the Taigen and nothing to do with the TCB. All other sound cards should play the cannon sound at any time, engine running or not.

Open Panzer Help / Re: New to OP TCB and need some troubleshooting
« on: October 18, 2018, 04:13:29 PM »
No, you do not need any Y-cable. I think the only mention of any Y-cable in the Wiki is in the section describing the use of two serial controllers at once, but since you are using standard hobby ESCs that does not apply to you.

The ESCs plug into the RC outputs and you have it correct, left track goes to output 1 and right track goes to output 2.

Your description of the behavior you're seeing is not entirely clear. It almost sounds like you might have the wrong selection under the Vehicle Type option on the Motors tab. Double check and make sure you select "Tank (Dual drive motors)"

Hi Baeng, I recommend anybody who is not already experienced with reflow soldering to not attempt to assemble these boards. There is too much that can go wrong and I can't support hardware that others built.

Yes that is exactly correct. There is a little triangle cut-out on the bottom pad of the chip, on my chips there is also a little cross on the top of the chip at this same corner, these align with the dot on the board on the lower-right side as you mention.

The main thing is not to get too much paste on that footprint before you reflow. You want good coverage, but the layer of paste should be very thin.

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