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Offline Snipah

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Barrel Smoke
« on: March 20, 2021, 05:59:52 PM »
Sorry if this has been discussed but was wondering if OP can run a barrel smoker as well as the engine smoker?
Or would it one only?

There are some units out there that suit Clark boards, as I love the OP board would like to be able to include its use.
Picture included.
vid link also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFnq3jSHeVQ

Regards to all tankers out there
15659937.png
(39.19 kB ~ Downloads: 17)
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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2021, 07:01:13 PM »
Hi Snipah, thanks for letting us know about this. I can't see the picture you uploaded, but I did watch the video. The device looks fairly simple. So far as I can tell it takes power from the battery, and then when a trigger signal is sent it shoots out the smoke. In the video he is using the cannon flash line as the signal, and the TCB has a flash port the same as all the other boards, so that should work fine. We have plenty of other extra ports as well if for some reason it would be preferable to use a different trigger.

The only thing I see is they don't sell it with the exact plug we want. Our Flash port is a 3 pin JST-XH. They offer a version with an XH plug but it is for the IBU which uses a 2-pin plug.

Anyway, I have no doubt this can be made to work but some experimentation may be needed at the start and you may have to make your own connector. If you decide to buy one let us know and I will work with you to get it running.

I think I will also send the guy an email and see if he is willing to offer a version with the correct plug for the TCB...
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Offline Snipah

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2021, 10:09:10 PM »
Thanks Luke,
The connector sourcing is not a problem easy to change that, the trigger board is the interesting part. Must have some sort of timer circuit.

the pic was just a .png file of the kit.

Stanley Tai at rctanklegion
TL_barrel_smoke_unit.jpg
Barrel Smoke TL_barrel_smoke_unit.jpg
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Offline Snipah

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2021, 02:39:09 AM »
Just placed an order, He is including the JST-XH plug.

When it arrives lets see what we can cook up :-)
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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2021, 02:44:39 PM »
Ok, good. I have also done some more searching on these things. As usual with Heng Long, it can get confusing. I see they have multiple types of new smoke generators, and you can also get them in both 6 volt and 7.4 volt versions. It looks like the one that RCTankLegion is selling is the 6 volt version but I guess you will find out. The voltage most likely only matters to the heating element, I doubt the air pump motor cares.

From what I can see, the way these are wired the heating element is always on, basically it is tied directly to the battery. So there is nothing special there.

I have seen multiple versions of the trigger switch board, but I assume they all do the same thing - simply turn on the air pump for a few seconds when a signal is received. For boards that don't have a dedicated signal for this purpose people have just been using the cannon flash LED signal instead.

I am sure what Stanley is selling will work with the TCB. What might also be another option that could be just as easy in the end, is to buy the smoke generator by itself and simply use an RC relay switch attached to one of our General Purpose I/O ports to control the air pump. These relays things are cheap and easy to find on eBay, AliExpress, etc... and they can plug directly into our I/O ports without any modifications. The TCB can take care of turning on the air pump for the correct length of time in firmware. 

If you wanted to use 2 relay switches, we could also have the ability to turn off the heating element from the radio.

I will test this second method, and you can test the first method. When we get to the point where we know what we're doing ;), I will add a page to the Wiki on this topic.
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Offline Snipah

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 10:51:27 PM »
Goods on there way via TNT courier :-)
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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2021, 10:06:04 AM »
Great! My parts should arrive next week and I will do a test with the relay method.
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Offline LukeZ

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 01:41:52 AM »
My parts arrived and I did a test today using the General Purpose I/O ports on the TCB with a dual channel relay module and the barrel smoke seems to work well with this setup.

These are the parts I used:

Heng Long Smoke Generator 7.4 volts
I noticed that these new smokers are being sold in both 6 volt and 7.4 volt versions. For our purposes, the 7.4 volt is preferable since you are going to power it directly from the battery which is usually a 2S lipo or 7 volt NiMH. I guess the 6 volt versions are for use with the new Heng Long boards which have a dedicated 6 volt output for the barrel smoker.

Dual Channel DC 5V Relay Switch Module for Arduino Raspberry Pi
There are a million cheap relay modules available on eBay, Amazon, AliExpress, etc... Make sure to buy one that is rated at 5 volts (sometimes they sell 12 volt versions).

0.1" 2.54MM Jumper Wires Female-Female F/F
These little jumpers let us connect the General Purpose output pins to the relay module. You could also use some standard servo leads, but we only need 4 connections and of course servo leads have 3 positions so that is a little awkward.

The links to these items will no doubt break eventually but I've posted photos of these items below (first three images).

The fourth image below shows how I wired everything, and the 5th and 6th images show the settings in OP Config that I used as well as the function triggers.

Basically we are controlling two relays with the A & B outputs on the TCB board. One relay controls the blower motor, the other relay controls the heating element. Due to the way I wired the blower and heater to the relays, if the heater is turned off the blower motor can not run. When the heater is turned on the blower motor is not automatically turned on, but becomes able to be turned on. The blower is "pulsed" briefly with a function assigned to the same trigger that I assign the Cannon Fire function to. The blower relay is connected to External Output A and the heater relay is connected to External Output B.

The particular relay module I bought actually activates the relays when the control pins are held to ground, instead of to +5 volts as we might expect. That is no problem, in OP Config we just set the outputs to Default High and then the pulse will be the opposite (held to ground). But other modules may work differently, so just experiment. Either way with the correct settings in OP Config you can get it to work.

Previously OP Config did not have an option to adjust the external output pulse times, I've added this in the latest release (OP Config and TCB firmware versions 0.93.73). Before you updated your software/firmware save an OPZ file because these changes will cause your previous settings to be erased from the TCB.

Anyway, we can now adjust the pulse time which will be the length of time the blower motor runs when triggered. I found that it really doesn't need to be very long. In the crappy video I took below, I was only using 150mS (0.15 seconds).

Other than the Heng Long smoker, the other parts are very cheap. I think the ability to turn off the heater from the radio is a good one, because unlike the exhaust smoke units which have a fan running over them all the time, this one will only have a very brief bit of air blown through when the cannon is fired, the rest of the time the heating element would just be steaming away, and I found it will even start pushing a little smoke out the barrel as the gases start to expand in the smoke reservoir. Most people aren't using the general purpose outputs for anything so this approach doesn't take away any other functionality from the TCB. It does require two Aux channels from your transmitter though.

hl_7-4v_smoker.jpg
Barrel Smoke hl_7-4v_smoker.jpg
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dual_channel_relay.jpg
Barrel Smoke dual_channel_relay.jpg
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ff_jumpers.jpg
Barrel Smoke ff_jumpers.jpg
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barrel_smoke_relays.jpg
Barrel Smoke barrel_smoke_relays.jpg
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barrel_smoke_outputs.jpg
Barrel Smoke barrel_smoke_outputs.jpg
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barrel_smoke_functions.jpg
Barrel Smoke barrel_smoke_functions.jpg
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BarrelSmoke1.jpg
Barrel Smoke BarrelSmoke1.jpg
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BarrelSmoke2.jpg
Barrel Smoke BarrelSmoke2.jpg
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BarrelSmoke3.jpg
Barrel Smoke BarrelSmoke3.jpg
Views: 20
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Offline Snipah

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Re: Barrel Smoke
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2021, 03:52:04 AM »
Thanks for the detailed explanation Luke. I am going to have to read numerous times to decipher that language :-)
I love the pictures though hahaha much easier. I have lots of buttons/switches on the trans. Turning off the heater when not in the thick of battle makes perfect sense. Just like a safety on a gun :-)

My stuff turned up today also.
Good service from Malaysia to New Zealand..  I will post my finding also

Cheers Brett
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