Posts Tagged ‘props’

Ammo Counter Assembly Instructions

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Counter Assembly

DIY assembly guide for the ammo counter.  If you ordered an unassembled circuit kit, this is the instruction page for you.

Assembly order is from the center outward to minimize solder bridges.  Keep some solder removal braid handy to remove any bridges between pads.

BACK OF THE PCB

  1. Install the IC, making sure to orient with pin1 indication on the PCB
  2. Install the three resistors.
    1. 2x 10k on the bottom
    2. 100 ohm on the top
  3. Install the LEDs and bend into position to match your install location.
    1. LED on top center position (unmarked)
    2. LED on bottom marked position.

Note: The LED polarity is not marked on the board. See the wiring section for additional help.
You can also look at the copper traces that connect to the LED socket.  The ground is connected in multiple points.  The positive is connected to a single trace.

  1. Install the capacitor to the top of the PCB.

 

FRONT OF THE PCB

  1. Install the diode, leave the leads long and do not solder yet.
  2. Install the display but do not solder yet.  Orient the same as the graphic 8.8.
  3. Bend the diode down and out of the way of the display.
  4. Solder the display and diode.

WIRING

+---------------------------+
|+-------------------------+|
||  +-----+      +-----+   ||
||  |     |      |     |   ||
||  |     |      |     |   ||
||  +-----+      +-----+   ||
||  |     |      |     |   ||
||  |     |      |     |   ||
||  +-----+ .    +-----+ . ||
|+-------------------------+|
|1 2   3 4   5  -====-  8 9 |
+---------------------------+

+---------------------------+
|           11 10           |
| .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . |
|    =.1uF=          =100=  |
|---------------------------|
|\   ATTINY2313            ||
|/                         ||
|---------------------------|
|  =10k=             =10k=  |
| .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . |
|9 8   7 6    5    4 3   2 1|
+---------------------------+

Signal Name Location Ground
FIRE SWITCH 1. Fire Signal 2. Ground
AMMO AVAILABLE LED 3. LED + 4. Ground
POWER 6. Battery + 7. Ground
RELOAD SWITCH 9. Reset Signal 8. Ground
Top LED (Always ON) 10. LED + 11. Ground
Muzzle Flash 5. FX

 

Note: Power socket overlaps with the diode.  Be careful not to short.

 

TESTING

  1. After connecting power, you should see the display light up with the current clip size.
  2. Press the fire button to decrement the ammo count.
  3. Press the reload button to reset the count.
  4. When the count reaches zero, the Ammo Available LED will turn off.
  5. Additional fire modes are accessed by holding the fire button while pressing reset.  Display will read F1, F2, F3 to indicate the selected fire mode and clip size.  Release the fire button to save your selection.

 

PCB Trace Reference

This section is useful for modification and troubleshooting.  You can see where the trace wires go on the pcb.

Top

Counter_3.11 FRONT_PCB

Bottom

Counter_3.11 BACK_PCB

Reference Pictures

Additional pictures are on flickr.

 

Final assembly.  Shows placement of diode below the display.

Counter Assembly

 

Display is not soldered down yet.  LED leads bent to match install positions. Shows orientation of chip.

Top resistor pictured is 150 ohm, kit includes 100 ohm.

 

Counter Assembly

 

Orientation of display to front

Counter Assembly

Supernatural EMF Reader

Monday, November 10th, 2014

This is a summary post of my finished “revision 1” EMF Reader from Supernatural.  For revisions 2 and 3, please email me for the latest instructions.

Below you will find the following sections:

  • Description and Pictures
  • Part List
  • Rough Step by Step Build Instructions

IMG_2709.JPG

 

Description and Background:

The EMF Reader in Supernatural is an excellent project for people like me that have some electrical knowledge. What I did was design a prop EMF reader around the Arduino platform so that it is actually functional while still looking like the prop from Supernatural.

I went to my local hardware store and bought an analog multimeter. After taking it apart, I played with it on an Arduino board and figured that it was possible to make a functional EMF reader using some off the shelf parts. I could even have the circuit play the telltale “erREEEEErr” sound on a speaker.

I finished the prototype circuit and proceeded to sourcing all the parts and designing a printed circuit board (PCB) that would do everything I wanted.

I measured the analog meter part with my caliper to ensure a good fit with the custom PCB.

In addition, this thread was very useful for finding reference pictures: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=115093

Functionality:

  • Meter with a pin that bounces to high when triggered
  • Five top LEDs that match meter display
  • Speaker that makes tone sweep sounds
  • Hidden trigger button to override EMF “readings”
  • Mode selector switch
  • When not activated, the lights will blink every few seconds to indicate the meter is on.

Pictures of my Completed Supernatural EMF Reader:

Link to full album on flickr.

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15611186946_f8a3560308.jpg

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15449301180_905d6d813a_m.jpg http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15014108624_855726fd42_m.jpg

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15428820969_2bdd7f5ca8_m.jpg http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15448890837_1fa282bb9e_m.jpg

 

Step by step build instructions

Review the part list is on google docs: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1utMpaAC1ZA9goVU3gp6g81bixKeKB2StwvKHZPLGDF8/edit?usp=sharing

Once you have gathered all the parts, it is time to assemble. This does require minor solder skills.

If you have never soldered before, it’s easy! Get a $5 solder iron from the hardware store and the thinnest solder spool you can find. Then watch some YouTube videos to see how it’s done. Through hole soldering of big solder points (like in this project) is great for learning.

Salvage Parts and Test the Fit

Analog Meter

Take apart the multimeter to get at the analog mechanism inside. You will need the clear plastic from the front, the needle rotor, and the thumbwheel.

Cut a hole in the prototype board and do a “test fit” of the rotor. Make sure that it can spin freely. Eventually, it will be bolted down with washers to ensure the needle has enough clearance to move above the surface.

Switches and Knobs

Put all the various parts where you think they should go. Make sure that you have enough room for everything where you want them before you start soldering parts into place.

Assemble the functioning portion of the circuit

Arduino

You have two choices to get the circuit functioning. Use an Arduino Pro Mini or use an Atmega328p chip. The Arduino is easier and recommended. I chose the Atmega328p chip because I was using a custom made prototype board that had wires pre-routed to the various switches.

  • Advantages of the Arduino Pro Mini: Easy to use and program over USB using the Arduino software. Use this for your source code: https://codebender.cc/sketch:56076
    Note: there are 4 files to download.
  • If you choose the Atmega328p Chip, things get a little more complicated (you are on your own). More info here: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Standalone
  • If you purchased a circuit board from Dustin (me), then there is nothing you need to do.  Your circuit is preprogrammed.

Mode Select Switch

Solder in place the toggle switch. Depending on your Arduino, pull up resistors may be required. More info here: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/pull-up-resistors/what-is-a-pull-up-resistor

Wire one of the toggle switch’s two side pins to pin 2 on the Arduino. The center is the common pin, wire to ground on the Arduino.

LEDs

Install the 5 LEDs at the top of the prototype board. The short lead from the LED goes to ground. The long lead from the LED goes to the Arduino.

Wire the LEDs to the Arduino pins in the following order: 2,4,6,7,8 (pin 5 is reserved for the meter output)

You can also install the white and yellow dummy square capacitors now if you like. These are cosmetic only and are not wired to the circuit. Solder them to the prototype board normally.

Cover the LED leads with electrical tape. This too is cosmetic, but also helps hold the LEDs down when you are handling the EMF reader.

Meter Potentiometer

Solder in place a blue square potentiometer. This will be used to adjust the meter sensitivity.

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/14942253803_4190afceca_m.jpg

Pictured is my custom PCB. If you are using a different prototype PCB board, yours will look different.

Analog Meter

Install the meter onto the PCB, use two washers between the meter and the PCB to give the needle more clearance over the surface. Attach the meter using 2 screws, 8 washers, and 2 hex standoffs.

The washers on the backside of the PCB will help spread out the squeeze from the screw and hex standoff.

Wire the red wire from the meter to the analog output pin 5 of the Arduino through a potentiometer. The black wire goes to ground.

The potentiometer is used to “tune” the max point of the meter. The analog meter has a screw in the center; this is used to set the min point of the meter.

Later, when you are ready to power up, you can adjust the potentiometer with a screw driver until it performs right.

Printed Graphic

Download the .psd file here: https://www.mediafire.com/?cm0quv5bc5d9qa2

Print onto peel and stick adhesive photo paper, then trim the print then stick on the protoboard behind the meter’s needle.

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15580793151_c6274679b2_m.jpg

Use hot glue or epoxy to affix the clear plastic cover over the meter.

Assemble the cosmetic portion of the circuit

Capacitors

There are two round capacitors in the upper left corner of the board. Solder them in place. It is ok if they are not straight up and down.

Thumbwheel

Solder on the thumbwheel below the meter.

Antenna P-Clips

Place the antenna clips on the antenna and drill the prototype board so you can eventually bolt the antenna in place. Do not bolt down yet. Right now we just need to get the spacing between the P-clips in the correct position.

Coil 1

The first coil goes on the right hand side of the meter. Use your magnet wire to create this coil by winding the 22 gauge bare copper wire around a pen or screwdriver. Once the coil is long enough, cut off the excess and solder down.

With the coil soldered down, re-insert your pen or screwdriver and straighten the coil out.

Coil 2 (antenna)

The second coil is wrapped around the antenna between the two Pclips. Use the red magnet wire. This wire is a lot thinner and will take many layers. Just keep wrapping around until your coil looks right.

Antenna Bolts

It is now time to bolt the antenna in place. Use the screws, washers, and nuts.

Rainbow Wire

Take approximately 10 inches of rainbow ribbon wire and split them apart into separate strands. Half of the strands will run from the top right to the lower left. The second half of the strands will run from the lower right to the lower left.

Use more of the 22 gauge bare copper wire to create U shaped cable ties. Thread the ribbon wire under the U, then press down with a plyers and solder the U wire down.

If you look closely in the pictures, you can see these cable ties are used in the corners to hold down the ribbon cable.

Final Hex Standoffs and Battery Holder

Place the last two hex standoffs between the LEDs. With all four hex standoffs now attached, use them as a guide to cut holes into the battery holder and affix the battery holder to the EMF reader with more screws and washers.

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15459480888_dd5be5f505_n.jpg

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15014108624_855726fd42_n.jpg

Sound and Speaker

Pin 11 from the Arduino outputs the sound. However, if you connect a speaker directly to pin 11 and ground, you will have little volume. You need a speaker amplifier.

The PAM8403 is a cheap (under $2) small amplifier board. Wire the amplifier board to the battery power input, 4.5 volts. Then wire pin 11 from the Arduino into the input of the amplifier board. Lastly, wire the two wires from the speaker into the amplifier board’s output.

http://www.westaby.net/wp-content/uploads/15024643424_00064fb169_n.jpg

Cortana Dog Tags

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

In preparation for Halo 5, I am proud to announce the availability of Cortana Dog Tags! If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, check it out here~!

The Dog Tags are in the store under Blank Cortana Circuit.  Select the option to add dog tags and you will get a custom engraved dogtag, chain, and a eagle sticker!

Updated July 6, 2013: Wow, thanks for the enthusiasm everyone. Cortana dogtags are sold out, there is a 3 week wait on the next batch.

 Halo 5 tag

Click images for high res.

New Sound Options in the Store

Friday, May 18th, 2012

I often get asked about offering sound functionality in my prop kits that I sell. As demonstrated by my energy sword design I had a solution for sound, but it was not a solution that I could extend to my cheaper kits. Sound is hard, not just hard but expensive. Till now.

Introducing the 300 second USB recording module from <a href=”http://www.electronics123.com/300-second-usb-recording-module.html”>electronics123.com</a>. I have fully inregrated their sound module into the Backlit Ammo Counter offered in my store via an adapter circuit. The sound module can also be used stand alone, but you do not need me for that, go buy one from Electronics123! They are good folks.

The need for the Adapter Circuit

The sound quality offered by this sound module hits a sweet spot in cost to performance. In addition, the level of programmability at this price level is unmatched. The only function that cannot be programmed is to switch between two sounds based on a second input. I want to hear the firing sounds only when ammo is available, and the dry fire sounds only when ammo is not available. This is where the adapter circuit comes in. The backlit ammo counter already reports via the bottom LED if ammo is available or not. The adapter circuit takes the signal from that LED and the FIRE switch and performs some logic to decide which sound to play.

Is that simple, now the sound module gives sound effects exactly as expected for a fully automated weapon. Options for semi-automatic are in progress.

Secondary Announcement

New configuration options for the Ammo Counter in the store! Custom rates of fire. Prior to now all Fully-Automatic Ammo Counters have had the same fire rate of 5000 rounds per minute. Which is crazy fast for the most popular selection, the Halo AR having a fire rate of 600rpm.

Cortana Prop Circuit

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Project is a cortana prop. Partnered with James Hodson and friends to complete. My portion is complete. Have a circuit board here that is the size and shape of the Halo Data Crystal (the thing that can contain an AI such as Cortana).

What is a Data Crystal Chip? Please see the Halo Wiki [halo.wikia.com].

Feature set:

  • Circuit board is designed to look like a naked “cortana” data chip.
  • Board can be placed in a molded outer shell to be more accurate. More details to come.
  • Compatible with multiple power sources depending on final usage:
    • LiPo cell (internal shell design)
    • Alkaline (wired to slot connector)
    • USB (wired to slot connector)
  • Can be plugged into a matching slot connector for power up
  • Slot connector can be used to power up other suit lights. Inserting the board into the slot is like flipping a switch on.
  • Micro-controller chip is on the circuit board to animate the lights.

Source Code

http://pastebin.com/UwkeFcpJ

Status

04-26-2011

Working hard on the next stage of the project: Make a plastic shell that houses the circuit and a battery (team jlhR2).
Link to post: [405th Forum]

Video demo of using the cortana chip as a switch

04-18-2011

PCB order is in, could mass produce a few right now if I wanted.
Link to post: [405th Forum]

04-06-2011

First prototype is fully assembled, ready to proceed to stage 3 on the schedule.
Link to post: [405th Forum]

03-22-2011

A nice explanation of all that the cortana board can do.
Link to post: [405th Forum]

03-21-2011

First few revisions of the circuit board have been assembled and tested. Slot connector works great~! I ran out of those tiny smd LEDs and ordered some more. Will get one completely assembled later this week.
Link to post: [405th Forum]

Bringing in the latest pictures and videos to page 1.

02-03-2011

I am still working on a final draft of the main board design, but here is the gist of what it will do and look like: First, the size is tiny. The thing is as small as the real deal, 1.00×1.85 inches (25×47 mm).

JlhR2 and I are still working on a pep template / mold that will go over the top.