Recent blog entries for cgates

Hey Chris Schur, I checked out your videos. Very cool.

I have similar visions for my robot. Having a power station in the room with an IR beacon. One difference though. I was thinking about including a line follower and using that to guide the robot the last couple feet into the charger.


29 Sep 2004 (updated 29 Sep 2004 at 22:37 UTC) »

Wow, looks like its been almost 2 years since I participated with this group. I've been checking up on the articles and browsing the diary entries during that time, but I havn't been working on any of my own projects.

I started looking through my robot stuff about two months ago and started getting the itch to work on it again. I quickly recalled that I was stuck tring to come up with a design for the shaft encoders. Using encoders that had been salvaged from printers or tring to incorportate something off the shelf just wasn't working out. A friend of mine owns his own machine shop and a trip to visit him opened my eyes to a whole new set of options. His equipment is the type you use to fabricate very, very large parts, but I was able to learn the basics of lathe and mill work.

Anyway to make a long story short I purchased a mini- mill and mini-lathe last month and have been working on fabricating new axels and shaft encoders. The mill and lathe are made by a company in China called Sieg. I have been very pleased with the equipment so far. Sieg sells their equipement wholesale and it is branded and resold by several different companies including Harbor Frieght, Grizzley and Micro-Mark.

I purchased mine from Micro-Mark. Ask me what I think of Micro-Mark's customer service (hint: it won't be a positive review). There are numerous other sources for the equipment and accessories. seems to have a wide selection and great customer service. They also have alot of educational material on using the equipment.

My website is in need of being updated. When I get some new stuff out there I'll let everyone know.

10 Dec 2002 (updated 10 Dec 2002 at 22:34 UTC) »

All, I've finally got around to moving my website. You can find me at . My plan it to post and maintain a repository of datasheets and online manuals for various chips and modules. One of the datasheets that can be found on my web site is for the Motorola 6808 8-bit processor. I've done some searching and my site may have the only online copy out there.

There will also be current info on my robotics and electronics projects.

Greetings all, Been a while since I've posted anything of substance. I've just been too busy doing other things. I did get some time this week to work on the robot and update the web site. I also purchased a sonar unit. When I get that up and working I'll post the details on the web site as well.

oops, never mind. I found the information in one of my old dairy entries. The Company is The kit is a polaoid interface kit and sells for $49.00, I have one on order and should arrive in a few days.

Need some help: I've lost contact information for a company in Boulder Co. that sells a sonar kit based on the polaroid 6500. The kit includes the transducer and interface logic. The detection range is 6in to 35 feet and can detect multiple objects that vary more than 6in in distance. Does anybody happen to know the name of this company and have their contact info?

Thanks for the help. Corey

26 Mar 2002 (updated 26 Mar 2002 at 23:49 UTC) »

Havn't been doing much with the robot the last couple months, been busy with work. I have, however, ran accross a couple things worth passing on to the group. I found a navigation tree program written in java script for navigating your personal web site. I made some modifications and enhancements, its currently in place on my web site, but you have to use IE. I still need to make some repairs to get it to work with Netscape. Take a look if your looking for something new to navigate your site. The tree works alot like windows exploer. If you want a copy of the source code let me know.

The other thing I ran accross that I thought was cool was a semi-connductor reference tool. NTE Electronics provides a freeware tool that lets you enter a given part number and crosses it to the NTE number and gives you a link to a datasheet. I was able to cross a box of over 100 different transistors that I've collected over the years in only a few hours.

7 Jan 2002 (updated 7 Jan 2002 at 21:27 UTC) »

Fixed the bug on the schematic page. There is now a chassis wiring diagram, a schematic for the H-bridge and a schematic for the motor deck's CPU board under the robot project.

SuperDave, I havn't worked with that exact chip before but programing it should be similar to the other chips I've worked with. Check Motorola's web site. They should have a cross compiler and a manual.

I finally updated my web site to include my robot project.

Been a while since I posted anything. The hollidays have been a very busy time both at home and at work. I pray everyone enjoyed the holliday season. I'm taking a long weekend for new years, I'm planning to update my web site with some pictures of the robot.

My robot project is progressing very well. The motor deck is about 80% complete mechanically and about 20% complete software wise. The CPU, H-Bridge and display are complete. The chassis is also complete. I still need to add hardware for shaft encoders and a line follower. I've put together a software routine that tests the hardware. The test routine isn't fancy but it confirms that the CPU, H-bridge and displays are working; it also makes the robot take off in a straight line, then stop, then take off again. I'll put a short video clip of it on the web site.

I've started planning for the control deck and sensor deck. The motor deck uses a motorola 6808 8-bit processor. It will take commands from the control deck and return data from the line follower and shaft encoders. By breaking the robot into separate decks with multiple processors I get to off load service routines from the main processor on the control deck. The control deck will have a single motorola 68010 processor. A serial port on the control deck will allow me to download and upload data to a PC or handheld device. The sensor deck will have a 6808 that processes commands from the controll deck and returns data from various sonar and IR senors. I'm planning on placing three sonar units on servos. A second 6808 on the sensor deck will probably be used to handel the PWM to the servos.

I'll put detailed plans, schematics and source code on my web site as the project progresses.

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