Older blog entries for ericzayers (starting at number 2)

Ah Ha! It was a bad voltage regulator! That was problem #1. The second problem is that I'm using a 16F876A configured for LVP and I was trying to use one of the pins on port B as a general purpose I/O and I think it keeps resetting the circuit. If I leave that pin disconnected, the logic behaves better (but of course, I can't control that coil on my stepper motor!)

The WM Berg Grab Bag was 19 lbs and ended up costing about $37 with shipping included. I got lots of dowel pins, a lot of nice gears of different types, set screws, nylon screws, and assorted other stuff (anyone need a 90V electric brake?) I think it was a pretty good deal, but now I know I have a lot of stuff I'll never use, or maybe will only be good for ballast. Anyone need 3/32" x 1/2" dowel pins? I've got lots to spare.


I am having some kind of problem with the line following project. I took the circuit off the breadboard and wired up one stepper motor and it seemed to be working fine. I wired up the second one and now it is just flaky.

I took my latest work to the AHRC meeting and got lots of good advice - use 30awg wire wrap wire, ground my digital and motor logic differently, use a crystal oscillator, not a resonator, bump up the voltage on my battery pack (add another battery). I still think the voltage regulator might be bad - it was all working before (sniff!)

I mounted the motors on some plastic I cut from the Lanier copier with my table saw. A table saw cuts plastic really easily :-) I'll make a new web page for this project soon.

9 Jun 2004 (updated 9 Jun 2004 at 20:19 UTC) »

My BugBrain kit is up on my web site http://www.ayershome.org/~eric/robots/bugbrain/BugBrain.html

I bought this kit after seeing the ad on robots.net, so it's appropriate that I post it here.

I just acquired 2 new items to help with my robotics hobby:

#1) A Delta DP350 drill press. I wanted to see what this thing could do, so I got my new 3/32" drill bit and tried my hand at drilling a hold through a 1/2" stainless steel rod as my first hole. So, now I've drilled my first hole in stainless steel! I also broke my first bit in it! I guess I have a lot to learn. I won't be so ambitious the next time and someone told me about using 'coolant'

#2) An old Lanier photocopier. This monster weighs over 100 lbs and is chock full of useful stuff - cogs, belts, spur gears, stepper motors (some with encoders), gear motors, several worm gears, shafts, various sensors. I've spent a few hours disassembling it and still have a long way to go.

I'm currently working on a small line following robot that will be powered by a PIC16F876A (programmed in C using linux.) I've got two small stepper motors that I wanted to try to power thing with purchased from All Electronics for USD$1.25 each.

Once I got the stepper motors working, I realized why everyone says, "don't use stepper motors." They just don't have enough torque to drive the wheels directly. However, now that I have some gears out of the photocopier, I think I can make use of them.

My next step is to try to mount my gears to the back of my wheels (round wooden disks) and then mount the motor gear output to the gear mounted to the wheel and see if it has sufficient torque. I should be able to make good use of my new drill press.


Check out www.wmberg.com for the $25 "Grab Bag" of $500 worth of parts!

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