This page created 04-23-2001

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Kilian's Robot Shop of Horrors - 04/20/2001

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Subject: [TCRG] RSOH Friday/Saturday.
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 13:56:25 -0500 (CDT)
From: Alan Kilian
To: (Twin Cities Robots Group)

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that 5:00 am is too late to get to bed? Well 7:00 am is REALLY too early. It was daylight for cripes sakes!

We started off experimenting with Bryan's coil gun project. We made a 1 Inch diameter coil of number 12 (or 14) solid copper house wire about 2 Inches long. It looked cool. We tried dumping a 24,000 micro Farad 80 Volt cap into it. There was some concern about the possibility of the cap blowing up, or the ball flying around, but they were completely unwarranted. The ball barely even moved. So we took a coil of wire about 24 Guage or so and tried that. Hey, the ball actually moved! It didn't exactly shoot out, but if we held the coil horizontally, the ball sortof plopped out the far end. Bryan has some software that told him the perfect coil to make, so let's hope he has a ball launcher in a few weeks. It will clearly take some bigger caps or volts or something.

We kept wondering about Brynn. "I'll bet he's writing software on the plane right now." "I'll bet he's soldering on the plane right now." "I'll bet he's using his dremel tool on the plane right now." "I bet he just got tossed off the plane." We sure are excited to hear about the whole trip when he gets back.

Then Jeff M. stopped by with some darn nice PCBs that he had routed out at Honeywell. We spent the next 6 or 7 hours soldering and testing them until we finally had two working stepper motor driver boards built out of nothing but discrete components. Well, OK there were two TTL logic chips in there, but I meant no integrated driver chips. Real transistors and everything.

Then it was morning, and I went to bed. I didn't even get dinner.


Bryan's Coil Gun

The first coil wrapped on an
aquarium tube.
Alan working on the power
The coil attached to the
power supply. With industrial
strength duct tape.
The setup on the sidewalk.
The second coil. An
off-the-shelf roll of wire.

Stepper Motor Driver

The PC boards that Jeff M.
Top view of board with
transistors and heatsinks.
Getting ready to assemble it.
A completed board.
Trying to figure out why the
stepping order was wrong.
It works after 1 cut, 2
jumpers and replacing 4
Jeff admiring the final

Strobe Lights

Some fast strobe modules that
Alan had.
The high voltage supply.
Alan and Bryan connecting
them up.
The wide angle strobe.
The narrow angle strobe.
Bryan using the RSOH photo
copy machine.


More laser experiments.
It was getting light outside
when we quit.
Downtown looked funny on the
way home. The clouds were
covering the buildings.

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