#4899675
Update 11/19/2017

I've updated the code on github with a few new features. I've made the location of the animation configuration easier to find with better comments. I've also added some bootup effects for the powercell and cyclotron when power is applied to the arduino. Here is a short video describing the options you can choose from



This is a code only update so all you have to do is upload the code to the arduino and you will have the new features. Code can be found here

Original Post

https://github.com/CountDeMonet/Arduino ... nimial.ino

I had a bunch of extra components lying around so I decided I would use them to upgrade the lighting on my Spirit pack. I wanted the standard powercell and cyclotron animations while I walk around. I kept the flashing light in the powercell when firing the wand but removed them on the cyclotron. The result can be seen here:



The Arduino code has been added to my github repo and you can find it here:
https://github.com/CountDeMonet/Arduino ... nimial.ino

There are options in the code to use the video game cyclotron animation or just the regular light cycle.
Code: Select all
const bool useGameCyclotronEffect = true; // set this to true to get the fading previous cyclotron light in the idle sequence
You can also adjust the speed of the animations by updating these variables:
Code: Select all
int pwr_interval = 60;       // interval in milliseconds at which to cycle lights for the powercell.
int cyc_interval = 1000;      // interval in milliseconds at which to cycle lights for the cyclotron.
int cyc_fade_interval = 1;   // fade the inactive cyclotron to light to nothing from a brightness of 255
The components used total $45 but there is enough here to light 2 packs fully. With one more stick you could light 3:
  1. Optional power converter set to 5V output: 6 for $9.69
  2. Arduino Nano: 3 for $11.86
  3. Neopixel Stick: 5 for $8.49
  4. Individual Neopixel: 100 for $15.88
You can probably find these components cheaper on ebay as well. Still if you calculate just the components used it's only $9.61 per pack upgraded. The 100 individual neopixels for $15 is a steal.

Here is a fritzing diagram of the whole setup with the power converter:

Image

If you wanted to not use the power converter and are ok with the lights being a bit dimmer you can use this setup which would be simpler to solder up. The code would be the same
Image

For my pack I'll be using an old 11.1v 1800mah lipo I had laying around. You could easily use 4 AAA's as well for this setup and they would last a long time. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Sackorange-Batte ... B071ZQ3DGT would work well if you wanted to use that.

I like to use the power converter set to 5v output as the neopixels like more stable voltage than the 5v out on the arduino can handle. It allows you to go brighter with the neopixels. You could simplify this even more and remove the converter and use the arduino vin to take in the battery. I also like to use connectors but this whole setup could be easily soldered all together since it only uses 2 pins on the arduino.

I also used some red and blue transparent folders to upgrade the light windows. Here are some pictures of the board I made and the installation. I created 2 models for 3d printing to make the installation easier. Those are also included in the github repo

https://github.com/CountDeMonet/Arduino ... onPackMods

I installed everything with hot glue. Easy and effective. I'll probably add a switch to turn the lights on and off instead of plugging the battery in each time but the install only took a few minutes.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by CountDeMonet on November 19th, 2017, 2:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
GBDRE760, FaMzNeSS, redfive1973 and 4 others liked this
#4899677
I still have a lot to do on my son's pack so the rest of the mods will be pretty minimal. I've added the split loom and a new ribbon cable. The ladder has some new screws and I've added the ribbon cable clamp. The ion arm received a cut down wooden skewer that has been painted a brass color. I also have an alice frame for it and I plan to 3d print a wand mount cause that peg does nothing. Other than that I think I'm pretty much done upgrading.

I just tested the current draw and it averages out to .02 amps maxing at .03 when full powercell and 2 of the cyclotron lights are lit. For an 1800 mAh battery I should get many many hours of usage. On the order of 50-60 hours for that pack.

Image
Last edited by CountDeMonet on October 16th, 2017, 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
machina28 liked this
#4899708
I've added a few more models to my github repo. One is a gun track for the spirit wand to make it look better and the others are for the wand v hook. Here's how I installed it and I think it worked out awesome

https://github.com/CountDeMonet/Arduino ... onPackMods

The models are printed
Image

The awful peg thing is taken off with a dremel

Image

Holes are drilled for the new mount

Image

The mount is installed and sanded so it works smoothly

Image

The gun track and female mount are added to the wand. The gun track could probably be 125mm instead of 120. The front thing sticks out farther than it should so a little more exaggerated would probably look better. I'm fine with it as is for me.

Image

Looks so much better

Image

I also cleaned up the ribbon cable. It was bothering me before.

Image

Tomorrow I'll paint all of the new parts black and reinstall. Then finish mounting it to the alice frame and I'll be done for this Halloween. I replaced a few decals as well. I didn't like the ones on it from spirit.
Last edited by CountDeMonet on October 16th, 2017, 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TragicManner liked this
#4899747
I updated the gun track model in github to be 125mm in length and printed it again. It came out much better I think. I added some left over decals I printed for my sons pack to the wand. The sun washed the colors out a lot in the pictures but you get the idea. It does look a lot better with them. I'm going to pick up a silver paint pen and hit the switch areas with it and call that done. Only thing left for me to do on this is mount it to the alice frame. There is a TON more I could do but I have more pressing matters to worry about :)

Image

Image

Image

Image
GBDRE760 liked this
#4899798
I have posted the 83% scale replacement wand for the spirit pack to thingiverse

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2591049

I'll be printing another one starting tonight so I'll finally get to find out how long it will take to print and how much filament I'll use :) Here's a comparison photo of the size

Image

This wand pictured is mirrored for a left handed user. The models on thingiverse are oriented properly for the spirit pack.
B-Rad, bworld liked this
#4899810
CountDeMonet wrote:Image

This wand pictured is mirrored for a left handed user.
As a lefty, I am intrigued by this. If you answered the question elsewhere, I have missed it, so I'll inquire here:

Will the left-handed thrower go onto a mirrored pack, or will it still need to be 'drawn' with the right hand?

Back in the late 80s, while running WEG's GB RPG games for my friends-- who were playing as themselves-- I specified when the left-handers would need a mirrored pack, and included unfamiliarity deduction stats if the Northpaws and Southpaws ever had to use one another's gear. I never imagined I'd someday BUILD proton packs, this was all just on paper.

I also doodled a thrower with one-handed controls for one friend who was born without a right hand. It had a 'cup' projecting out in the area that's normally the front grip, for his forearm to socket into. In the game world, NOBODY else could use his thrower but him.

I just saw the guy last weekend at a local annual comic convention. My son Zak walked up and I introduced them, and to my amazement, Zak instinctively held out a left hand to shake his, something I always had to remind myself to do. The old school chum had his handless right forearm tucked in his pocket, so I have no idea how Z. made that decision.

Alex
#4899811
Alex Newborn wrote: As a lefty, I am intrigued by this. If you answered the question elsewhere, I have missed it, so I'll inquire here:

Will the left-handed thrower go onto a mirrored pack, or will it still need to be 'drawn' with the right hand?

Back in the late 80s, while running WEG's GB RPG games for my friends-- who were playing as themselves-- I specified when the left-handers would need a mirrored pack, and included unfamiliarity deduction stats if the Northpaws and Southpaws ever had to use one another's gear. I never imagined I'd someday BUILD proton packs, this was all just on paper.

I also doodled a thrower with one-handed controls for one friend who was born without a right hand. It had a 'cup' projecting out in the area that's normally the front grip, for his forearm to socket into. In the game world, NOBODY else could use his thrower but him.

I just saw the guy last weekend at a local annual comic convention. My son Zak walked up and I introduced them, and to my amazement, Zak instinctively held out a left hand to shake his, something I always had to remind myself to do. The old school chum had his handless right forearm tucked in his pocket, so I have no idea how Z. made that decision.

Alex
Interesting, yeah my son is left handed and I was originally just building the pack as normal but he was having a really hard time flicking the switches and just looked awkward on him. I set out to build him a fully mirrored pack at roughly 83% scale. I took a few liberties here and there to save on weight but overall it's dimensions are close if you scale it up. Just a little thinner depth wise.

I started this one long before I knew about the spirit pack. Man going on 6 months now I think. It's almost done tho.

Image
Alex Newborn liked this
#4899857
CountDeMonet wrote:
Interesting, yeah my son is left handed and I was originally just building the pack as normal but he was having a really hard time flicking the switches and just looked awkward on him. I set out to build him a fully mirrored pack at roughly 83% scale. I took a few liberties here and there to save on weight but overall it's dimensions are close if you scale it up. Just a little thinner depth wise.

I started this one long before I knew about the spirit pack. Man going on 6 months now I think. It's almost done tho.

Image
That is a thing of beauty!

One of my sons is a lefty. I notice he always holds the thrower with his right, but doesn't grip the forward portion with his left. Here are some pics someone took at a recent event.

Image

Image

I just chalked that up to his CP, but it might also be due to being left-handed. Interesting.

By the way, if that mirrored pack is all 3D printed, you know not to leave it in a hot car, right?

It's too gorgeous, you gotta preserve it!

Alex
NickFame13 liked this
#4899860
This is awesome! And something I think I can tackle before Halloween! Some questions though-

I've never messed with an arduino but I think I can get the code you provided on it no problem. And I'm not bad at soldering, but I think I need a few more supplies than what you mentioned.

I'll need some kind of breadboard or PCB right? And what are the little connectors called you used?
#4899865
Jhall0712 wrote:This is awesome! And something I think I can tackle before Halloween! Some questions though-

I've never messed with an arduino but I think I can get the code you provided on it no problem. And I'm not bad at soldering, but I think I need a few more supplies than what you mentioned.

I'll need some kind of breadboard or PCB right? And what are the little connectors called you used?
Quoted as there was a reply posted before the above post was approved.
#4899868
Jhall0712 wrote:This is awesome! And something I think I can tackle before Halloween! Some questions though-

I've never messed with an arduino but I think I can get the code you provided on it no problem. And I'm not bad at soldering, but I think I need a few more supplies than what you mentioned.

I'll need some kind of breadboard or PCB right? And what are the little connectors called you used?
Honestly, I'd recommend for something this simple just soldering the boards together. Now I'm kinda wishing I had done that. The connections are really simple and the boards and connectors, while it makes it neat, is a bit of a pain. For the full thing I'm doing in the other thread yes I would recommend some more organization.

Uploading code to the nano is simple. You just need to get the nano recognized by Windows or Mac first. Once the pc sees it just load up the code into the arduino ide and hit CTRL-U on windows. The drivers I use, and have been the most reliable I have found, are these: http://bit.ly/2pMF4in

For development I used solderless breadboards like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EV6LJ7G
Kits like this are also nice for breaboards and they go on sale often. Quick way to get a bunch of components: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ERPEMAC

For the breadboards that I solder the stuff to I use these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IONQQ3Y/
I will say that they are not the easiest to solder or bridge between pads. I'm not sure I would buy them again.

For the connections between pins on the breadboards I use wire wrapping wire. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L6O125K

The connectors that I use are a form of JST. They require a tool to put together: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1RFZZ4

This is the connector set I have: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0734PS688
The connectors are ok. I've had a few bad ones though which I am not happy about. I would probably go with a different brand if buying again. A bad connector can be a pain to diagnose.

Again, while that is all of the stuff I use I really don't think it's necessary for this project. Maybe a breadboard to organize the buck converter and arduino but I would forego the connectors and just solder directly to the arduino if I were to do it again.
#4899880
I'm nearly done printing the new wand. The grips are printing right now and I need to print another clippard valve but after that it should be ready for assembly. Total print time so far is around 15 hours. The base piece took the longest at around 9 hours and I printed that over night last night. I'm printing everything from the thingiverse entry and it is working out really well.

As far as filament cost goes I'm looking at maybe 10-15 dollars worth. I only have a few small pieces left and I have at least half a roll to go.

Image

printing the handles...
Image
1chapelcredit liked this
#4899898
CountDeMonet wrote: Honestly, I'd recommend for something this simple just soldering the boards together. Now I'm kinda wishing I had done that. The connections are really simple and the boards and connectors, while it makes it neat, is a bit of a pain. For the full thing I'm doing in the other thread yes I would recommend some more organization.

Uploading code to the nano is simple. You just need to get the nano recognized by Windows or Mac first. Once the pc sees it just load up the code into the arduino ide and hit CTRL-U on windows. The drivers I use, and have been the most reliable I have found, are these: http://bit.ly/2pMF4in

For development I used solderless breadboards like these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EV6LJ7G
Kits like this are also nice for breaboards and they go on sale often. Quick way to get a bunch of components: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ERPEMAC

For the breadboards that I solder the stuff to I use these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IONQQ3Y/
I will say that they are not the easiest to solder or bridge between pads. I'm not sure I would buy them again.

For the connections between pins on the breadboards I use wire wrapping wire. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01L6O125K

The connectors that I use are a form of JST. They require a tool to put together: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1RFZZ4

This is the connector set I have: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0734PS688
The connectors are ok. I've had a few bad ones though which I am not happy about. I would probably go with a different brand if buying again. A bad connector can be a pain to diagnose.

Again, while that is all of the stuff I use I really don't think it's necessary for this project. Maybe a breadboard to organize the buck converter and arduino but I would forego the connectors and just solder directly to the arduino if I were to do it again.
Great! Thanks for the detailed reply! So I'm going to order some parts today, this is what I have in my cart -

Optional power converter set to 5V output: 6 for $9.69
Arduino Nano: 3 for $11.86
Neopixel Stick: 5 for $8.49
Individual Neopixel: 100 for $15.88
4 AA battery holder
The breadboards you mentioned
and wire

Is there anything I'm missing? I don't have a 3D printer but my library does for .10c a gram. So I'm planning on getting the power meter printed there. Not sure how many grams of filament it is but I don't think it will cost very much.
#4899912
everything will run off the arduino when testing the code thru the usb so you don't need to start with the buck converter. I'd start with soldering up the lights and the hooking them to the arduino. Then load up the code and make sure it's all working the way you want it. Then put the battery pack buck converter together but leave it disconnected from the arduino. Hook up the batteries and adjust the potentiometer on the buck converter until your digital multimeter reads 5v on the output side. Since you will only have 6v to start with it might be a little touchy. Once you have verified 5v on the output you can hook it up to the arduino. Nice thing about the buck converter is if you do plug in the arduino to the usb it doesn't hurt it so you can update code at any time if everything is soldered together. Just don't ever have the battery connected and the usb at the same time.
#4899935
very cool. Let me know if you have any questions.

I finished printing the parts for the replacement wand today. The main body and the grips took the longest. I printed the grips at .24 and a higher infill than I did last time for a little more detail. Main body was about 9 hours and the two grips were also about 9 hours. The rest of the parts took about 5 more hours. So just under a day printing I guess. The assembly is actually pretty quick as most of the parts are glued on. I use 5 minute epoxy for most of the wand. Anything that could get knocked off I usually do an outside bead of 5 minute epoxy and an inside bead of gorilla glue. Nothing breaks a gorilla glue bond. The 5 minute epoxy sets up fast then the gorilla glue creates the permanent bond and I don't have to worry about expansion or holding the parts. The grips are one of the main things that will get that treatment.

Image

Here's a pick of the spool as it sits. This is a $20 spool of filament and best guess is a little more than a quarter of the spool. So maybe $7-$9 in filament. Maybe I can get a trap out of this spool too :)

Image
#4900058
Well I don’t have the neopixel sticks yet, but I have the 3D prints in and they look great!

I also got the Arduino up and running with the buck converter. My soldering isn’t the greatest but it works!

It took me a minute with the IDE software to figure it out. It kept giving me an error until I figured out to install the neopixel library. But now the Cyclotron lights work!

Thanks so much!

My second concern is will this pack be built to b[…]

Hasbro Pulse Con 2021

Absolutely. While no one knows how difficult it'll[…]

So I was dusting all my gear off for the first tim[…]

Update time! Got a few things knocked off the list[…]