2015-06-12 (F) Weekly Summary

The old test station design was flawed. It tried to put too much weight on the PVC. A new design was drawn up which has three stations on a single piece of PVC instead of five and much less PVC between the stations. If the weight of this design was too great stations could be easily removed so only one or two stations were on each base. Of course this would mean a reduction in the number of usable stations. PVC adapters were purchased and lengths of PVC pipe were cut. The new design allows for some small adjustments between the generator pulley and the turbine pulley to account for the changing pulley sizes.

 Sketch of new station

PVC build of new design

The turbine testing was temporarily put on hold due to some bad weather. In the meantime a step pulley program was written in OpenSCAD. Step pulleys can be found in adjustable speed power tools like saws and drills. When used in identical pairs different speeds can be set. Naturally, changing the speed also changes the torque. Pulleys like these may become necessary in the future when testing wind turbines for generating output capabilities. The OpenSCAD file was made public.
OpenSCAD program file.
Necessary supporting file.

Animation showing versatility of step pulley program

A new project built on an old project was started. Distance sensors with tactile feedback were interesting to me but I felt like they had room for improvement. The Self Contained Haptic Distance Sensor was a neat idea but the servo was too slow. The Cyborg Distance Sensor worked great and overcame the slow reaction time but was only accessible to people with magnetic implants. With some small changes to the code and enclosure a new design was prototyped which featured a vibrator as the feedback device. By far this is my favorite design due to the ability to pick it up, without training, and have sonar vision within seconds. Testing with several people has been very positive.

Rotating view of exposed circuit

Enclosure with USB access

Schematic of Vibrating Distance Sensor

Usable vibrating distance sensor

The rest of the weekly summaries have been arranged by date.

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