This is a continuation of Kinect Sensory Playbox. Click here for Part 1.

Yesterday my SparkFun order of 5v relays came so I had everything that I needed to start building my project. I bought enough parts so that I could make about 14 fans and controlers but after thinking about the size in real life I decided to only use 10 of them for this installation.

I started off by building a test controller which consisted of a relays, a green led, a red led, and a 2n2222 transistor. If you want to know more about controlling DC motors with relays and an Arduino check out my previous blog post here. For this project I have decided to power the Arduino from the computer and have an external power supply that powers the motors and the LEDs. I did a quick test to see if it was working and to my luck it was!


Next I needed to figure out a way to attach the motors to a long wooden stick so that I can properly mount them. I realized that the motors were about the same size as a copper pipe so I bought some brackets from the plumbing section of Home Depot. To my surprise they worked extremely well and when the motor was attached it did not move much at all.

I then mounted 10 motors on the same long plank without any leads just to test fit them in my enclosure I bought.

After all 10 were measured mounted and tested it was time for me to cut out holes from my enclosure so that you can see the fan and lights behind it. I debated a while with my father on what the best enclosure was. I wanted to build a neat little wooden box and just you a jigsaw to cut out the holes. He suggested that this would not look very professional and it would be very hard to get each hole the exact same size. His idea was buying an acrylic eavestrough and cutting holes with a drill. This idea was the best and after starting this build I am really happy I decided to go with his idea since it does in fact look much neater and was much simpler to build.

I decided to make holes every 24 cm. It seemed like this spacing was perfect for the size of the hole and the length of the installation.

I cut one hole to begin with to do a test fit. The size was perfect and so was the spacing. I decided to move the hole up by 1/8th of an inch but other then that it worked perfectly. Using the test controller I made at the beginning I decided to install it and see what the effect was like. I was pleased with the results.


One thing I did notice from this test was that the green LED was not getting enough power, since it was on at the same time as the fan. To compensate for this I decided to jump the 470ohm resistor I used for this led and the effect was much better. The green led was not getting over powered because the motor was acting like a resistor.

After the test I decided to drill all my holes and start producing more control boards.

Soldering the control boards took a really long time. This really made me appreciate mass produced electronics and the technology behind that. It is crazy how long it takes to solder a few LEDS, a transistor and a relay. Half an hour or so later I had managed to create the second controller. The wiring was made so that both power and ground was passed through each board to the next one. This ment that there was one master board with power and the rest were slaves.

Then I had to make 8 more…

My next steps will be connecting all of the controllers together and then soldering all the motors to the boards. After that the physical component of this project will be over and the programming of the micro controller will begin. As always I will post my code here if anyone else would like to play around with the Kinect and physical components.

Stay tuned!


 

1 Response » to “Kinect Sensory Playbox (Part 2)”

  1. martin says:

    Hi Vlad, i love your tutorials and i gladly help with some humble donation put the donate/paypal button and maybe others join as well, ……. so you keep playing kinects/arduino and posting. God add to the world community !

    great guide.

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