Arduino 2560 project

This forum relates to the Open Source Tank Control Board (TCB). Please read the sticky and visit the main site to find out all about the board and how to install it.

Postby LukeZ » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:29 pm

The first thing I would suspect is the PWM->PPM converter, as mentioned before. The TCB is designed for digital input and you'd really be doing yourself a favor to get a receiver that can spit out PPM, SBus, or iBus.

Nevertheless keep us posted, I'm enjoying your project.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:36 pm

Well after buying two new cheap 2560's, and having chatted to the understanding sellers who agreed to me returning them, I have discovered an important thing to bear in mind. The cheap boards have a CH340 chip on them, and this chip appears to be where communication problems occur.

As both of them told me, if I am going to use the board for something like the TCB firmware, then don't get a board with the CH340 clone chip.

They are easy to spot, the clone chip is a small rectangular chip. It sits just behind the USB socket.

The one to get is either a genuine board, or one that uses the same chip as the original. This is larger, square, and sits in the same place.

Fortunately, I found a company on Ebay that was selling off a stock of genuine, boxed Arduino's. They had bought them for a project and then decided to have their own board designed and produced. They were selling these off for 50% of the price of a genuine one.

Just in case the super cheap PWM>PPM converter I bought was what blew the old 2560 board (which may have been genuine, it has been sitting in a parts bin for years - it may have been playing up when it was used in a 3D printer?) I have a new converter on order, and will wait until I have that before plugging anything in.

Fingers crossed, and I will update when progress has been made. :thumbup:
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Postby jhamm » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:03 pm

Hey Wibbly,
i use the 2560Core or 2560Pro Boards.
The reason is the 5V Power on the 2560Board deliver a current of maximum 1A.
This is not enough for a Reciever an two Servo and other 5V-Device.

Here an example with Mega2560Core Basic TCB without lights:
Mega2560Core.jpg
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Postby wibblywobbly » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:18 pm

I am hoping to get away with 1 servo for the recoil, the turret motor and both drive motors will be powered from the battery via esc's, with just the signals going through the 2560. I could also use a UBEC to power the receiver.

It's early days, I enjoy tinkering with this sort of thing and seeing what works, and what doesn't.

It's always good to see how others use the system. :thumbup:
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Postby wibblywobbly » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:00 pm

Got it working. Did it the cheapest way possible.

Still need to sort out recoil, and muzzle flash.

The wiring looks a mess, this was a quick wiring job to test the circuits. It is being cut down to tidy it all up.

Cost once it is all done?

Arduino 2560 £10
3 x Bustaphedon 20amp esc's (drive and turret) £15
DasMikro Mini sound card (Benedini clone) £25
Speaker £10
PWM to PPM converter £10 (not needed if you have a PPM tx/rx)
Servo recoil £5

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Postby wibblywobbly » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Now tweaked the settings, added a DasMikro Mini sound card, and it's running like a dream.

The wiring looks a mess as I just threw it in the hull to test it. I have all of the components on plugs, so in the event that any one component fails I can simply unplug it and replace it.

It's being nailed down and tidied up before I do the turret/recoil and muzzle flash.

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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:22 pm

I have no idea whether anyone else has completed one of these projects.

I have the lower hull working like a dream, the sounds are excellent.

The turret is proving a challenge, so if anyone has got theirs working I would love to know how you did it.

All I need is:

A working servo recoil.

I have tried using 5v, Pin 25, and GND, directly to the servo. This wouldn't work in the real world as the Arduino can't supply enough power. It should work on a no-load servo, but it doesn't.
I have tried using a voltage regulator stepped down to 5.5v, with the signal wire going to pin 25, but that doesn't work either.
The only thing I haven't tried is running a GND from the battery negative terminal.

Snoop shows the stick as registering a cannon fire. But the servo doesn't activate.

Muzzle Flash.

Pin 41 is used for the HL high intensity muzzle flash. But hooking up a 5v led +GND simply gives a permanent 'on'. If memory serves me correctly the HL unit uses a capacitor. If the capacitor is charged on a permanent 5v supply it would explain why the led stays lit up.

I tried using the A8/A9 pins but the flash led will not light up. The Aux settings are defaulted to Output and Low.
I tried using the Auto Flash but no joy.

Auto Flash with Cannon

If this box is checked, the Aux Output will automatically be flashed (output brought high) whenever the cannon is fired, no function trigger needs to be created. If your muzzle flash is a simple LED, connect it to the Aux Output and check this option. But if you are using a Taigen High Intensity Flash unit, connect it to the dedicated Flash port on the TCB instead, in which case this Aux output can be used for other purposes.


Flash

The Aux Output can be set to flash (blink once). The length of time of the flash is specified on the Lights & IO tab of the OP Config program, from 1/1000th of a second to 5 seconds.

There are two ways to cause a flash to occur. You can check the “Auto Flash with Cannon” option in OP Config on the Lights & IO tab. Now any LED connected to the Aux Output will flash automatically when the cannon is fired. This will be the most common usage for those with LED muzzle lights. (But if you want to use a Taigen high-intensity flash unit the TCB has a dedicated port for that, see here.)

Or you can control the flash manually whenever you want, by assigning any trigger to the Aux Output - Flash function.


However there is also this but I don't know if it applies to the DIY 2560 installation:

Note that most of the eBay sellers will have the red and black wires opposite of what makes sense on the TCB. LEDs require a certain polarity so be sure you wire them correctly. For your convenience, positive and negative are printed on the bottom of the TCB board for every single output.


There is probably a very simple explanation for what I have missed, but if anyone has done it please post the solution up! :clap:
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:58 pm

Great you have it working! If you can, a step by step tutorial would be great.

Next step for you would be to make your own open panzer sound board (Which is an unvaluable GEM). If you think the benedini sounds are excelent, you have yet to try the ones I did for the open panzer board :)
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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:12 pm

It's just the turret that has me frustrated. The OpenPanzer Wiki deals with the stock TCB, but using an Arduino 2560 isn't covered all in one place.

A Russian guy, Sergey, has done it using a slightly different board, and his wiring is different, eg Pin 24 for the servo recoil rather than 25. He has used a voltage regulator to power the servo, but hasn't used the negative output, so I don't know if I should remove it as well. I am reticent to experiment in case I do some blue smoke magic.

I used the Tiger v3 sound file, the engine sounds are excellent, it sounds just like the Bovington Tiger, but the machine gun, and main gun volume is barely audible.

The low voltage detection doesn't function, I have a feeling that this is because a jumper is needed from Pin 15 to GND.

Once I know that everything works I will create a PDF with a full step by step guide. The lower hull is actually quite simple. I could have made it even tidier but wanted plugs on everything so that I can replace anything without resoldering.

It is running a PWM>PPM converter, which means that a standard tx can be used, which is what most people have.
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:28 pm

wibblywobbly wrote:
It is running a PWM>PPM converter, which means that a standard tx can be used, which is what most people have.


Not sure about this anymore. Well, maybe among tamiya electronic tank users yes, but SBUS-IBUS is present everywhere now.

In your case I already recommended you plugging an affordable multiprotocol module in the back of the radio, so you can use 16 channels and trigger all the functions the open panzer board lets you use. It also saves you the adaptor, and also the receiver is nail size, which is important in our tanks too. If in your writtings you can explain how to do it with SBUS, it would be very appreciated at least by myself.

Anyway I will read with A LOT of interest your PDF file, and I might try to do my own boards too. This is going to be a very interesting project!
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Postby jhamm » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:04 pm

Hi,
the low voltage detection is very easy to do by
two resistor and one capacitor:
VoltageDetect.jpg
VoltageDetect.jpg (12.28 KiB) Viewed 1454 times


this is a part of this schematic:
OpenPanzer_TCB_Mk1_Schematic.pdf
(173.49 KiB) Downloaded 67 times
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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:21 pm

PPM and Sbus plug straight into the Arduino. Just 3 wires. For SBUS a signal inverter is required. The PWM>PPM converter is smaller than my PWM receiver, so I simply stuck it on top, it doesn't occupy any hull space at all. 4 short cables going from the rx to the converter and one 3 wire cable going from the converter to the Arduino.

The difference between the TCB and the DIY Arduino is that 99% of the circuitry is built into the TCB.

To add an IR battle system to the Arduino will require various additional components.

There are some people out there who have designed breakout boards that simply plug into the Arduino, this makes things very simple. The files are on the OP forum, so if someone who understands these things wants to, they can get one made.
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:28 pm

wibblywobbly wrote:PPM and Sbus plug straight into the Arduino. Just 3 wires. For SBUS a signal inverter is required. The PWM>PPM converter is smaller than my PWM receiver, so I simply stuck it on top, it doesn't occupy any hull space at all. 4 short cables going from the rx to the converter and one 3 wire cable going from the converter to the Arduino.


Yes, but how much room does the PWM receiver and the wires to the adaptor take? How many channels does it have?

Meanwhile...

Image 16 channels

At least on my Panzer IV with tamiya speaker, space is premium and every milimeter counts.

Please dont take it as an argument, lol.
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Postby jhamm » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:32 pm

He is pinned down on his PWM converter ....
and do not want to step away from the path
Any discussion about this is wasted time
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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:31 pm

I only need 4 channels, the project objective is to get this working as cheaply as possible. Space isn't a problem, even in a Tiger, I have plenty of space for everything. The XT60 plugs take up more space than the rx + converter.

Sure, I could go and spend money, but that isn't what the project is about. It's got nothing to do with being pinned down on a PWM converter, this is simply the cheapest way to get a PWM tx/rx to send the required signals to the Arduino. Not everyone can afford a new transmitter, or an expensive control board etc. This project is to help those people on a tight budget.

If anyone wants to install a PPM or SBUS system + signal inverter that option is always there.

The cost of doing this is almost £100, an SBUS tx/rx would add another £40-50.
It would be about the same price to buy an Elmod board that runs happily on PWM, and that is very simple to install.
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:05 pm

wibblywobbly wrote:I only need 4 channels, the project objective is to get this working as cheaply as possible. Space isn't a problem, even in a Tiger, I have plenty of space for everything. The XT60 plugs take up more space than the rx + converter.

Sure, I could go and spend money, but that isn't what the project is about. It's got nothing to do with being pinned down on a PWM converter, this is simply the cheapest way to get a PWM tx/rx to send the required signals to the Arduino. Not everyone can afford a new transmitter, or an expensive control board etc. This project is to help those people on a tight budget.

If anyone wants to install a PPM or SBUS system + signal inverter that option is always there.

The cost of doing this is almost £100, an SBUS tx/rx would add another £40-50.
It would be about the same price to buy an Elmod board that runs happily on PWM, and that is very simple to install.



That is not correct. A multiprotocol module is 30 euros, you can just plug it at the back of your radio.
The SBUS receiver is 9 euros. How much was the converter? For a little more you have a much better setup.

But the amazing thing is the multiprotocol module works with both the PWM turnigy receivers you (and I) have, the frsky SBUS, and hundreds of other brands.

So for me, the multiprotocol module was indeed a way of saving tons of money. You all know I am the cheapest guy here, and I am running 2 two euros ESCs with my OP board, lol.

But hey, I dont want to derrail your thread, so I wont insist here but Ill be happy to answer any questions you might have in private.

At the other hand, you only need 4 channels???! With the open panzer I am using 16 and sometimes I wish I could use more!... Yep, I know I am a freak, lol.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:28 pm

It's not about 'my' transmitter, it's not about 'me' building something expensive, it's a project using Open Source firmware, and cheap components to see what can be achieved. I keep saying that.

If I had a big house I wouldn't buy the smallest furniture on the market to go in it. :haha:

Only recent transmitters allow someone to install a module. What I am doing is getting the DIY TCB to work for those that do not have a modern transmitter, that cannot be adapted to PPM or SBUS.

I am in two tanks clubs, I don't think anyone in one club has anything other than PWM transmitters, and maybe two in the other club that do have them.

The only option they have is to use a signal converter. They cost around £9, they automatically detect the incoming signal and a press of a button selects PPM or SBUS output. They work the other way as well.

phpBB [video]


If the converter didn't work I would have abandoned the project, it would make far more economic sense for someone on a tight budget to buy any of the aftermarket boards.

If someone already has a PPM or SBUS tx/rx then they can use that, they just need a signal inverter for the SBUS. Once this is all working I will create a guide that shows the options for those that want to explore them.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:29 pm

Shout out to Rad.

Benedini Mini advice needed. I happily admit to being as confused as heck by the official manual, and the TCB set up instructions, so I am hoping you can tell me what I need to do.

The sound file that I have has the Cannon sound as Sound#2.

Looking at the screen for setting this up, I have the parameter tab set up as per the TCB Wiki.

Prop 1 Type
Gas
2nd Function1/2
1st Coder 12 key

(I have no idea if this is correct for the Arduino DIY version).

Coder Function
This is where I am lost. How do I complete the rest of the fields on this screen so that the Cannon sound is triggered by left stick up?

If you can assist, I would be very grateful. :clap:
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:12 pm

Hi, I am sorry to tell you my experiences with the Benedini in combination with the TCB are non existant. I got one prototype OP soundcard and I sticked to it because its easy of use and sound quality.

If you managed to do your own TCB I really encourage you to try to make the sound card, because again its easy of use, capabilities, and also because you can use it as a stand alone device on any other RC thing you might have.

Said that, if you already have the benedini mini, yep, I have to agree with you and the manual is very hard to understand. I began writting a step by step tutorial of the benedini, which when read after the Benedini mini and micro reviews I wrote on my website should clear a lot of people's questions. I will try to push it this wheek while at job, lol. Not sure when it will be ready.

Anyway this is one of the points where you fried my brain. Remember when you said you only needed 4 channels?
Well, I guess one channel for throttle, another for steering, another for turret rotation and another for elevation.
So how in the hell do you expect to trigger the huge amount of the functions rest? If you open the open panzer software and scroll to the
"Functions" window, you will see you need to, first, select function. (In this case, it will be the cannon fire) second, select the trigger source (and that is another channel, for example AUX 1, which is channel 5) and then the trigger action (the position of the switch) which I believe you would like to use the momentary switch in the top of your right hand.

With that, you spend half of a channel, but you still have tons of other functions to activate, like smoke, lights, machine guns, transmision engages among one zillion of user sounds or adjust the volume with a knob. So hence the need of the 16ch SBUS receivers.


Anyway I think this already answer your questions. You might need to tell the TCB what you want to do, because the TCB controls the benedini.

At the other hand, you can directly control the benedini directly plugged to the receiver you have, but learning how to use that board is a complicated process (that I am already writting) in my case I had to do very advanced radio programming and also to change one of the pots in the radio with a 6 positions switch and after some software tweaking to make it look like a 12 positions switch.

For triggering the benedini extra sounds bypassing the TCB you have four options
One of the wires takes one channel to be able to play only two sounds.

And the rest of the sounds either you fit a 12 positions encoder and you select the sound with it, and with another push button you trigger it,
Or you program a lot and have loads of logical switches in different positions,
Or you teach the unit and you flick one switch X times to one side to select it, and another to trigger it. Doable but HELL. I dont think anybody would want to flick 15 times one switch to a side to select the sound 15, and then another switch to the other to play it.
or you can also replace one pot with a 6 positions switch and tweak it to look like a 12 pos.


Complicated, really. So let the TCB do the things easy for you.

If I were you Id start grabbing my radio and programming it all the switches it has, and the desired functions.
Then to connect theTCB to the computer, and mimic those functions in the OP config. Flash the file in the board, and have fun.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:28 pm

My Mini isn't plugged into the rx, it's plugged into the Arduino. :D

Multiple functions can be assigned to the same trigger.
The Cannon is assigned to left stick up, anything else can be assigned to left stick up as well.

There is no smoke unit, I always remove them.
There is no elevation, I always set the barrel horizontal and then disable it.

The only thing that I need to do is assign the Mini cannon sound to left stick up, then everything that I set out to do (which I have mentioned numerous times) is complete.

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