Wednesday, February 10, 2010

World's Most Useless Machine Build - Part 2

Building My Own Version of "The World's Most Useless Machine"  
Part 2 - The Plan

After seeing SaskView's video I saw a link back to his complete build instructions on the Instructables   Web site where he posted a great set off build instructions. I spent a lot of time reading the instructions and all the great comments. I took a look at all the variations people built and the troubles they had with the electronics. I even posted a few helping tips for some of the electronic questions. I noticed that most people where having so much trouble with the electronics they got around it altogether by just modifying the servo motor and using simple switches bypassing the electronic timer circuits. Well that is a simple solution to a complex problem for sure!. But since I really wanted to apply my electronics skill I went against my general principle of "keep it simple stupid!" and I will be controlling the motor with electronics. In fact I am going to expand the circuit by adding a second timer circuit to give the machine a slight delay before the motor starts. After looking at the the posted example videos I felt it might need a tad delay for effect.

So here is my design check list:

1.  Figure out how hobby servo motors work and how to control them.
2. Design a control circuit that uses a dual 556 timer with one side for the delay and the other side for the motor.
3. Design a nice box to house the machine.
4. Design the mounting for the motor, circuits, battery etc.
5. Design the arm that lifts the lid and turns off the toggle switch.

Seems simple!

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