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 Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.

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barriew
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PostSubject: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:58 pm

I previously mentioned that looking around for a new project I acquired Glyn Guest's Elliot Fireboat plans. I wasn't too keen on the design of the ship, but saw the elevating and rotating tower as a suitable challenge which I plan to add to my existing fireboat. The added bonus of this plan is that I do not increase my fleet which is already too extensive. Shocked
Just to remind you, this is what the model looks like now.



and this is Elliot with the tower.



I have ordered the bits I think I need - Glyn used a tin lid as the basis of the turntable, but I don't have a suitable one, so have ordered some mdf circles. I have also ordered some threaded rod. I have two standard servos and a fire monitor, although I may make a second one to go on the bows. When the bits arrive I can start work Very Happy

Barrie
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Damien
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:33 am

2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup It's the challenges that keep us going Barrie.  2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup
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nhp651
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:15 pm

another cracker , matey.just love your boats. Thumbup 2thumbsup
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barriew
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:27 pm

The first job was to remove the fittings from the deck, plus the rear railings. The deck was only 1 mm plastic card, so to strengthen it I added some 1.5 mm. It may require additional stiffeners under the deck - I'll see how it is when everything is finished.



Next job was to mark the centre of one of the larger discs and then fix a servo wheel to it. Eventually I will create a 'skirt' to hide the servo head. This will probably be another 90 mm circle with its centre cut out.



The arms for the tower will be made from timber - GG used plastic I beams, but I couldn't find any big enough.

Next up was cutting a hole in the deck to take the rotate servo. This was then fixed to give the necessary clearance for the rotating platform. 



I have also been working on the lifting servo. Two cheeks have been cut from liteply. The servo will be glued between these, and these then glued to the rotating platform.

This has all been reasonably straightforward - next we come to the tricky bit Rolling Eyes One arm needs to be attached to the lifting servo and the other given a pivot on the opposite side. These will need to be accurately aligned if the tower is to rise without twisting Shocked

Barrie
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barriew
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:48 pm

I should have posted this photo yesterday - the servo mounted in the deck.



The arms have now been fitted to the servo and a dummy pivot.



I was about to fix the two sides to the turntable when I realised that if I just stuck them down I would not be able to fix the turntable to the servo, or remove it Embarassed. So I made a mounting plate from some liteply which I will screw to the turntable. The two sides are now glued to the plate. 

I have also cut the strengthener for the operating platform. The arms will be fixed to this.



This maybe all I get done this week - shopping etc tomorrow and new car to collect on Friday  2thumbsup

Barrie
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barriew
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:44 pm

Back to the modelling. I made good progress today and have the basic functions working Shocked The first video shows the tower going up and down controlled by a servo tester. As you can see, its a little jerky - not sure if the servo is at fault, or the tester. It also appears in this that the platform is not level when in the down position. I will have to check this as it appeared OK to me before I did the video.

https://youtu.be/rNS0qbJKHwc
The second video show the turntable.

https://youtu.be/dUGHhMl5lpo turntable

Next job is to test with the Tx/Rx to check out that servo and then  need to add some cladding to the servo platform and apply some paint.  

Once I am happy I will start on the controller which will ensure that the tower is not rotated until it will clear the railings, and also that it is not lowered until is in the correct position.

Barrie
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barriew
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:20 pm

The servo is OK - I tested this morning. However, there is something wrong with the geometry as it doesn't look right. I started trying to sort it out but I have somehow damaged my left wrist and had to give up. Hopefully its nothing serious and I will be able to get back to solving the problem soon.

Barrie
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nhp651
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:40 pm

fascinating and ingenious work barrie. love it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:24 am

Sorry about your wrist Barrie.
The engineering is coming on nicely.  2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:40 am

Damien wrote:
Sorry about your wrist Barrie.
The engineering is coming on nicely.  2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup
yes mate...........get well soon.
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barriew
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:06 pm

Thanks for the good wishes! I'm not sure what that was all about! Yesterday morning I could hardly bear to move my wrist. I strapped it up and tried not to use it all day. This morning its fine - no more discomfort than normal.

So back to the tower! I have now sorted out the geometry and it works pretty well most of the time. The platform does occasionally stick leaving the horizontal. If it continues I think some weight on the outer edge may fix this problem. The problem may be caused by me using brass for the second leg which is not quite stiff enough.

I am now trying to work out the sequence for completing things. I need to clad the elevating servo to make it look neater, and also fix it to the turntable. If I completely clad it, I won't be able to fix with screws as I plan to do. Shocked

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:38 pm

I did some painting yesterday, today I made another fire monitor. I have also clad the elevating servo in plastic card. The railings round the upper deck were never very good, so I have added one more stanchion on each side. They are not quite identical, but look OK. 
I have also finished the basic routines for the Arduino to control both servos and slow them down to a more realistic operating speed. I will be trying to enhance this so that you can't rotate until clear of the railings, and can't lower unless the turntable is central.

Barrie

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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:03 am

I did some more painting yesterday and hope to re-assemble the bits today. I have 'acquired' some thicker and stiffer brass rod which I think will be more rigid and make for smoother operation of the platform.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:20 pm

I had hoped to get most of the construction finished today, but my decision to replace the brass leg caused me quite a few problems. I think they are sorted now, but I didn't get as far as I wanted. Also I have connected the tube for the fire monitor and it seems rather stiff. I need to see if it is possible to find some that is more flexible, but the correct diameter to fit the monitors. Ironically I actually added a tube to the original monitor to make the tube fit better Embarassed bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:27 pm



Assembled Shocked 

Here is a test without any computer processing.

https://youtu.be/2J_21Jlte8k

Rather jerky - partly because the superstructure is not on the boat, but not very good and limited movement.

This is via the Arduino processing. 

https://youtu.be/L0ySmiAmjkg

Still some problems to resolve, but I think it will work. Notice the increased range of movement and also much smoother and slower.

The tubing is still causing some problems and the program needs adjusting to get the correct movements and limits.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:49 pm

the tubing looks a very hard none flexible type barry............have thought of soft silicon stuff.........I bought a length of black silicone tubing off ebay some years ago for the vent on one of my trio of lifeboats and it's as flexible now as it was 6 years ago when I bought it


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Silicone-Vacuum-Vac-Hose-Pipe-Tube-3mm-4mm-5mm-6mm-All-Colours-Boost-Tubing-AFS/271018101405?var=570101596617&hash=item3f19f00a9d:g:R0YAAOxyOalTX6J6
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:40 pm

Yes - I thought this was silicone, and more flexible than the clear stuff I started with, but I think I will try some of the silicone.
Thanks for the link,

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:56 am

Very good Barry.   Cool

I watched your You Tube films and wondered if the speed could slowed down.  This might eliminate the jerkiness effect. ?  I am building my second Seabex 1 at the moment which also has fire pumps and crane, so your topic is of great interest.

I'm thinking of Arduino as well. so a few hints on the programming would be appreciated.

cheers

ken
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:31 am

Kenny

I am not quite sure what caused the jerkiness - there are at least 3 potential culprits

1 - dodgy servos
2 - interference from lots of 2.4 Ghz equipment in my office
3 - as you say the speed. It is possible to slow this down further.

So far I have tested using a Uno development system and breadboard. I have now built the circuit onto some stripboard which means I can test away from the office. I'll let you know how I get on. Once complete I am happy to post the Arduino sketch on here, although its actually quite simple at the moment. I may enhance it to put in some safety checks.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:32 am

barriew wrote:
Yes - I thought this was silicone, and more flexible than the clear stuff I started with, but I think I will try some of the silicone.
Thanks for the link,

Barrie
Silicone tubing arrived this morning and it is stiffer than the tube I'm already using Shocked

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:42 am

This project has come to a stop Embarassed I am having problems with the controller. It works perfectly on the breadboard, but when I made a dedicated circuit for it I ran into problems - nothing works Rolling Eyes I've checked and re-checked the circuit and can't see anything wrong, so I need to try and build a new one. Just waiting for parts to arrive.
In the meantime, I am going to start my next project 2thumbsup

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:32 pm

Well - I finally got the controller board to work with micro servos, but when I attach it to the model the servos just vibrate. It all worked from the breadboard, so not sure what's wrong. I have coupled everything up without the controller and will hopefully test it on Sunday - if the lake isn't frozen.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:55 pm

Shocked Shocked Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:42 pm

It looks as though the servos are taking too much power Rolling Eyes The motor wouldn't run when the tower was elevated and rotated. It would appear that I need a second power source for the two servos operating the tower.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:02 pm

After some experimentation today, I have made some changes. The controller board is now powered from the drive battery via the esc and receiver. The two servos have their own 6 volts supply from 5 x 1.2 volt NiMh batteries. When I get some servo extension leads I will be able to finalise the installation and maybe re-test next Sunday.
I have a servo power meter on order which will allow me to see how much power those two full size servos actually use. I normally use micro servos for steering which are not a problem power wise.

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:11 pm

This si the final version - still not as smooth as I would like, but you get the idea!

https://youtu.be/BzomIpjg0SM

Barrie
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:48 am

2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup 2thumbsup Coming along nicely Barrie always little bugs to iron out.
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PostSubject: Re: Fireboat elevating and rotating tower.   Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:43 pm

Further problems this morning Sad Not sure of the cause, but I suspect its still power related. When sailing with the tower elevated, the tower would suddenly dip and then return. My Tx, which monitors Rx voltage, would beep at the same time, which is what leads me to think it was power and the Rx losing contact with the Tx. It was pretty cold this morning, so maybe the NiMh batteries were not delivering full power.
I think I will try with a 7.4 volt LiPo instead of the 6 volt NiMh.

Barrie
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