Fencing, Again « My Site/Blog
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Fencing, Again

So the whole scoring machine project started moving forward again. I’ve decided to dump more effort and money into backing the first few prototypes and there definitely exists the possibility that this is something I will run from my dorm room at school. I’ll skip over most of the technical details now as I plan to fully open all of source all of the schematics and release a full technical writeup and instruction manual for wiring your own. I’ve had to alter a few aspect of the original design, primarily how each of the 21 LEDs are lit. As the Arduino only has 14 digital outputs there was no way I could control each LED individually. Additionally, since each output can only provide 40mA of current I would only be able to drive a maximum of two LEDs were output. This would cut the number of required outputs down to 11, which still cuts it quite close. I decided the best course would be to power the LEDs directly from the VCC, which has more than enough power when the board is powered by the 9V wall adapter. Wiring three of the 10mm LEDs in series allows me to power them from the 9V source without any resistors, which is nice (less soldering for me). I am still not sure whether I want to control each of the six LED red and green banks together or as two sets of three. I think for now I may just power all six together and save myself from having to wire another two transistors in. I also think I’m getting rid of the power switch. It would save me some wiring and, honestly for this machine, I can’t see it being of much use. I started looking into sourcing the final components for a production run and basically have everything figured out except for the case. I’d really like to get my hands on a printer and design some prototypes to make sure the cases turn out as planned.

I’m pretty psyched that this whole project is about to come together. It’s literally been on my mind since I started fencing almost three years ago. The possibility of me getting my own 3d printer is very exciting and would definitely open new doors in terms of what I’d be able to turn out. Also, if I can tell my kids I ran a small business out of my door room with my own 3d printer… well, I think that’d make a pretty good story.

Here are some pictures if you want to see what my prototype looks like so far. Honestly the hardest part was drilling 18 10mm holes that were properly aligned, which I didn’t do. That was one of the main reasons I knew I’d need to build custom ones as opposed to making them by hand. The reason two of the LEDs are missing is because I originally thought that I would use four or five for the on target indicators instead of six. More LEDs are on their way!

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These LEDs are bright!

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