Week Review 3/27/2024

Work on Float Electronics

The Float Electronics work, with a caveat! The motor driver we are using dances right on the edge of the operating current of the motor. This means that if the motor spikes in current draw it has a nasty habit of lighting on fire.

Image of the burnt motor driver

Image of a regular motor driver

This is not a big enough issue to completely halt testing, but it is a big enough issue that I want to completely resolve it before the competition. Thankfully switching motors drivers is a fairly straightforward process.

This week was short so I was not able to make a full breadboard version of the board, but I was able to get a working basic implementation of the motor driver.

basic implementation

I am using a Pololu MC33926 motor driver board, it meets the specifications that I need and is in a reasonable form factor, but the inputs are a little bit obtuse. Where the last motor driver only needed a few inputs.

Next week I plan on making a full breadboard version then making a new PCB.

Float Hardware

Last week the Float had a crack so we have had to build up the new float tube from the ground up. Luckily the backup tube we had was close enough in dimensional accuracy that we were able to use the piston unmodified.

We acrylic welded a ring on the outside to hold the weights and acrylic welded the nut plate into the middle of the tube.

We used 123 blocks to help keep the tube as perfect as possible. This time we used the acrylic weld a little more sparingly and it reduced the amount of crazing on the inside of the tube.

new tube