Tuesday, 16 September 2014


Finally, the original proximity sensors have been refitted to my Armdroid, and a new wiring harness completes the installation work.  As you may recall, they had been removed earlier when diagnosing tight-spots in the mechanics.

Machining new aluminum spaces was probably the most time consuming part.  The original spaces were in bad shape and had a tendency to rub on the reduction pulleys with the timing belts, this caused friction and as result, performance suffered.

The sensors are aligned perfectly to reduction gearing.  Setting up can be tricky - a multimeter comes in handy for testing, and making position adjustments.

All sensors have been positioned within a millimeter of reduction gearing, and more importantly, no longer make any physical contact.

The new 6-core wiring harness, connecting the four sensors mounted on the rear support bar, front-mounted gripper sensor, and Base position sensor was installed:

The hand sensor is still a mystery, see previous post Magnet Madness
For now, accepting the fact this won't do anything useful, have purposefully left disconnected and will decided later what I'm doing here.

Update:  Its a shame Colne Robotics didn't invest in designing a decent gripper tension feedback mechanism similar to that employed in the Microbot MiniMover-5 triggering a micro-switch contact under tension, or the gripper is completely closed.
Pictured to right - TNMOC/Armdroid showing sensor installed under Right-Hand Wrist function.  Not convinced this is correct either, sure, it will work, but leaves the Left-Hand Wrist monitored by only one sensor.

Another grey area in the instructions is chassis grounding - prototype models had their 7805 voltage regulator bolted to the chassis which grounds the circuit to the metal work.  Later, single-interface models do not do this, so a chassis ground cable was included in my wiring.   This will allow me to easily switch between interface circuits.

Tracing the circuit, the majority of the 14-pin header for the feedback sensors are ground connections.
Also, note, in Input Mode, the port address line D2 (header pin 8) is spare - no connection

This configuration is likely to change, but these are my current assignments:

Microswitch Assignment to Functions INPUT BIT CABLE / PIN
Forearm MS1 (D3) Yellow (13)
Left Wrist MS2 (D4) Brown (12)
Right Wrist MS3 (D5) Green (9)
Shoulder MS4 (D6) Pink (11)
Gripper MS5 (D7) Purple (9)
Base MS6 (D8) Blue-Green (14)