Aurdino Mega TCB

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 baldrick131 » Wed Feb 02, 2022 1:55 pm

Its been a while since I posted anything since I built My Brummbar and with my next project in the process of acquiring the parts I decided to give building an Open Panzer TCB as the cost of another IBU2U board was putting me off as my next project is Pz3 Based and I would struggle to fit one in anyway.
I searched the internet to get as much information as possible and was surprised at the amount of various ones that have been built by far more talented people than me.
And before I go any further I will admit I have minimal experience with electronic components and how they actually work.
So A BIG THANK YOU :clap: to every body who has taken time out to share their findings and information to enable a novice like me to even attempt to try and build one.
My advice to anybody who would want to have a go at building one is start with the Open Panzer Forum and read as much as you can as I did and follow any links to other peoples builds as there are plenty out there that have very clear instructions and parts lists to enable you to get started.
I built my test board using some PCB prototype board and an Arduino MEGA2560 Pro
Like this one
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/174014097131 ... Sw6zNdaWhG
I downloaded a electronic circuit building program called Fritzing and started designing my TCB using a collection of diagrams and assorted info found and printed off regarding the componants required and how to connect them to avoid setting fire to it all'
Image
## EDITED 08/02/2022 Updated Fritzing diagram to reprizent the finished board ##
This is what I ended up with.
It does not have the IR battle capability added as i just want a TCB that has movement,sound,light and servo control for traverse,elevation and barrel recoil all of witch the OP TCB can do and adjust accordingly.
The movement will be provided by 2 cheap brushed ESC's.
Like these
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384276691240 ... BMuuL-ptdf
The sound Can be provided by a Taigen sound card just as a standard Taigen tank would use so you would need a card and speaker along with a volume knob.But I will be using a Dasmikro mini sound card on my one.
Image
Image
This is my prototype board and yes it is messy but it has had various things added and not all are used as I was trying different outputs to see what did and did'nt do what I wanted.
phpBB [video]

This was an early test to see if it all worked and I was more than pleased with how it went.
Last edited by baldrick131 on Tue Feb 08, 2022 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Sub » Wed Feb 02, 2022 9:40 pm

Hi Baldrick131.
I have now built 3 of the Aduino Mega 2560 DIY Open panzer control boards and they are fantastic, the Open panzer software is just awesome, i am surprised more people don't have a go at making their own TCB the adjustments are endless and Open Panzer forum is great for support and help, there are a few of us on here who have gone this way so welcome, i am just finishing off an Arduino board for a 1:11 scale halftrack scratch build that i am presently doing complete with a true halftrack proportional steering to track turn ratio all from the Open Panzer config from lukez.
Truely awesome.
Well done on your build, i just added a 5v BEC to run the servos as i note you added Mosfets to cater for the extra loads needed great stuff.
Regards
Sub.

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Postby square4 » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:45 pm

Well done on figuring all that out and getting to work. :clap: :clap:
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:47 am

Woah man, first of all I applaud your effort and skills, but I have a question. Please don't take it wrong.

I'll start saying I have one Open Panzer TCB with the Open Panzer sound card prototype in my King Tiger and I like it a lot. I just had to add the dual ESCs, receiver and done, but the question is: What is the sense of building the TCB you have created?

I mean, you still have to wire speed controllers for the motors, you are using servos for elevation, recoil and other moving parts, you are also planning to use a benedini mini for all the sounds and lights... What I mean is, besides IR battle capability, I don't see any need for using a TCB because you can do all that the TCB does just programming your radio.

I have a tank that way, dual ESC for motors, mini ESC for smoke, servo elevation, servo recoil. The benedini mini takes care of all the motor sounds, user sounds, 2 machine guns, headlight, spotlight and noteks. Inertias, curves, speed of recoil, track recoil and all of that, are programmed with the radio using erskytx or open tx software. So what I mean is I see no use for the TCB itself as it is.

At the other hand I'd find all the sense in the world if you make an all in one package with soundcard and ESCs integrated. There is a guy in the OP forum, Heclo, which has created his own version, all in one, and added even more functions, and sells it for a very reduced price. That is really, really cool.

Hope you end making something similar :thumbup: please don't take it like a critic, I am just curious, and hey, you might end making your own ultimate improved version!
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Postby jhamm » Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:49 am

Why build the TCB yourself?
Because you can! :haha:
And because it's fun to build everything yourself.
Or you have special applications where you need to build it yourself.
This can be a lack of space that requires the electronics to be divided up:
1289.JPG

There are many reasons for that... that´s hobby. ;)
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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Thu Feb 03, 2022 10:53 am

jhamm wrote:Why build the TCB yourself?
Because you can! :haha:
And because it's fun to build everything yourself.
Or you have special applications where you need to build it yourself.
This can be a lack of space that requires the electronics to be divided up:
There are many reasons for that... that´s hobby. ;)


Lol, yes, I undestand the fun of it, building and wiring is 3/4 of the fun for me too.
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Postby jhamm » Thu Feb 03, 2022 11:04 am

Rad_Schuhart wrote:Lol, yes, I undestand the fun of it, building and wiring is 3/4 of the fun for me too.


Mega LOL..
the fun is when it works without holy smoke!
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Postby baldrick131 » Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:48 pm

I guess its more fun if you can say it was all build by yourself.
As for just using the dasmicro to control it to be truthful didn't Know I could do that.
Image
This is my first go at making a proper PCB I had a go with the fritzing program but it wasn't working as easy as I would have liked so I found easyeda and it was easier to work with once I had worked out how to make the parts to use on the PCB that weren't available in the easyeda library.
Image
It was a bit of a rush job and I missed off silk screen printing and the sockets in the parts library were numbered different to the diagrams I was working from so all the sockets needed to be fitted flipped over but I did let the smoke out of a taigen flash unit but that was my fault rushing to get it working.
phpBB [video]

So after trying it and seeing how easy and quick it was to get some PCB's from china I set about refining my layout and added the battery monitor circuit and more detailed silk screen printing labeling all the sockets.
Image
Image
All I have to do now is to get the tank done to try and fit all of the bits in.
Image
So my main reason for posting this is to prove a complete novice with no electronics background and average ability with a soldering iron is more than capable of doing it
Last edited by baldrick131 on Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Shagnifico » Fri Feb 04, 2022 5:56 am

Awesome sauce! I got an arduino 2560 and a nano I plan on making an OP board and a nano for stabiwii. Too bad I’m so lazy.

Rad you should make a “how to setup tx for rc tanks” tutorial.

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Postby LukeZ » Sat Feb 05, 2022 11:45 pm

Hi Rick, I'm very impressed. You went from a self-confessed novice to a professional circuit board designer in very little time! And now you absolutely do have something you made yourself which is very cool.

I'm interested in the green and red connectors on your final design. If I had to guess it looks like you've provided convenient power taps to your two drive ESCs (green), and I guess the two reds are one for the battery and a second for powering other stuff?

As you mentioned there have been several other users who have made up their own designs and it's always interesting to watch as each one takes a slightly different approach. I very much like what you have done, it is clear to me you put a lot of thought into what you needed and what could be let go. Some features have been left off, but what remains probably does 100% of what 90% of users would ever want, and in exchange you have gained something easy to assemble, small, and I'm guessing also inexpensive; all worthy advantages.

My hat's off to you, and I'll look forward to seeing it in your next project. (I just checked out your Brummbar by the way, it's fantastic!)


Luke
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Postby baldrick131 » Sun Feb 06, 2022 12:20 pm

LukeZ wrote:Hi Rick, I'm very impressed. You went from a self-confessed novice to a professional circuit board designer in very little time! And now you absolutely do have something you made yourself which is very cool.

I'm interested in the green and red connectors on your final design. If I had to guess it looks like you've provided convenient power taps to your two drive ESCs (green), and I guess the two reds are one for the battery and a second for powering other stuff?

As you mentioned there have been several other users who have made up their own designs and it's always interesting to watch as each one takes a slightly different approach. I very much like what you have done, it is clear to me you put a lot of thought into what you needed and what could be let go. Some features have been left off, but what remains probably does 100% of what 90% of users would ever want, and in exchange you have gained something easy to assemble, small, and I'm guessing also inexpensive; all worthy advantages.

My hat's off to you, and I'll look forward to seeing it in your next project. (I just checked out your Brummbar by the way, it's fantastic!)


Luke

Thank you Luke I'm glad you like what I created from your design.
And yes the colour coded connectors are an idea I got from a cheap barrel smoker set we're the different connectors we're coloured.
The 2 red ones and the 2 green ones are all connected to the battery I added a second battery connector to provide a supply to the BEC that powers the cannon smoke unit and like you worked out the green ones for the battery supply to the Esc's hopefully doing away with some spaghetti in the finished model.
The connectors for the smoke unit and auxiliary output (used for the fan) are in blue. I put mosfets for these as I had seen them used for the outputs on other boards when a higher output was needed as a novice I'm not sure if this is correct but seeing as they are supplying a resistor and motor it makes sense to be over rated.
I am thinking of getting another of the Aurdino boards and fitting double header connectors so it can be fitted on the TCB with the ability to have a second board fitted on top of it that can have a version of the OP sound board fitted or IR battle capability to make it even more versatile.
I still have no clue how any of the components work but I am interested to see what I can achieve.
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Postby baldrick131 » Sat Feb 12, 2022 11:52 am

I would like to give LukeZ a big thank you for posting my files on the Open Panzer forum Download section :thumbup:
https://openpanzer.org/forum/index.php? ... e=download
So if you want to build one yourself all the files to get the PCB's made (JLPcb is where I got them from it cost me £26 most of which was postage to have 5 "min order" made and delivered to the UK in about 2 weeks).
The Bill of Materials has all the components and suppliers listed but as I am in the UK Listed most of the parts from RS but that was mainly for reference purposes as RS are quite expensive but it doesn't take much effort to cross reference the info to get cheaper alternatives from ebay and cheaper suppliers although some of the components for the power supply were quite pricey no matter where I found them.
The Aruino and the ECU's I got from Aliexpress for not a lot of money so it was cheaper and easier to use ECU,s to power any motors rather than make the PCB bigger to accommodate the extra components to do the job.
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Postby LukeZ » Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:35 pm

Hi Rick, sorry for the slow reply, but I'm glad you saw the files. Thanks for being willing to share those with the community and I hope someone else will find them useful. I've also posted a note in the DIY TCB designs thread on the Open Panzer forum so people can find it that way too.

A propos of your earlier message about considering a future design to incorporate more features, you certainly could and I suspect with what you have learned so far you will find it hard to stop experimenting and expanding. ;) In the meantime I think it was a great decision to do something simple and straightforward that pretty much anybody could build. Given that DIY is at present really the only avenue available to us, I hope this design inspires more people to give it a try who otherwise might have been intimidated by something more complicated.
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Postby baldrick131 » Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:51 pm

LukeZ wrote:Hi Rick, sorry for the slow reply, but I'm glad you saw the files. Thanks for being willing to share those with the community and I hope someone else will find them useful. I've also posted a note in the DIY TCB designs thread on the Open Panzer forum so people can find it that way too.

A propos of your earlier message about considering a future design to incorporate more features, you certainly could and I suspect with what you have learned so far you will find it hard to stop experimenting and expanding. ;) In the meantime I think it was a great decision to do something simple and straightforward that pretty much anybody could build. Given that DIY is at present really the only avenue available to us, I hope this design inspires more people to give it a try who otherwise might have been intimidated by something more complicated.

No problem I've already got an amplifier shield and micro Sd shield just got to get a teensy board and I can start working out how it goes together
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