Development super "kugelbahn"

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Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 11 Dez 2017, 18:30

This development has been going on for a year now. The first half year it was mainly the development of the controller that asked the most time. I need about 100 I / O lines for the entire design. That is why I opted for a DIY controller together with an FPGA module. With an FPGA you can assign any I / O pin to any function. This makes the layout much easier. Due to the parallel processing, the processing speed is much higher. You do not suffer from interrupts, your timing is never critical. Software is written in verilog code. I operate the controller myself, the grandchildren still have to get a separate control panel with more limited functions. That is now being made in the following weeks.

My intention is to create a super large ball track for the grandchildren. They are still too young themselves, only 5 and 3 years, but they can play with it. That's why it had to be very interactive. The first phase of the project should be completed within a few months. Then I can still adjust a lot, optimize, etc. When the first phase of the project is finished I will make a video. That will also be available.

For the construction of this super ball track I have to buy the following Fischertechnik sets:

524327 Dynamic XL kogel baan 4x
91082 Creatieve box 1000 4x
533873 Dynamic tunning set 4x
505282 XM motor 9V 3x
30383 Box 1000 1x
505283 Power set 220V 1x
500881 Control set 1x

Bild

There were still some special parts needed, which I ordered separately. Those parts were not in the separate sets.
Some basic specs of the controller:
16 outputs for 9V motors via TB6612 chipsets.
32 servo outputs, expandable to max. 64.
128 Neo color leds, expandable to almost unlimited number.
4 external encoders.
3 SPI lines input/output for unlimited input detectors and output leds, 7 segment display's etc.
1 internal SPI line for the controller frontpanel.
1 IR receiver for the remote control unit (old DVD remote controller )
1 LCD 4x20 char display
40 key matrix keyboard.
2 encoders frontpanel
4 Pot meter for analog inputs.
2 outputs for scope or LA
USB connection for the FPGA programming update.
Power: 5V 4A, 2 x 9V 2.7A

I make certain alu parts for better stability, especially at high parts. I am retired, time is no problem. I have a lot of experience in mechanics, electronics, PCB design, optics and also have some machines for it (lathe, milling machines, drilling machine, punching machine etc.). If I can not find something, I usually make it myself. That is of course a huge advantage. I have worked 15 years of mechanics and 26 years of electronics design. That makes it easy to build something.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon reus » 14 Dez 2017, 11:02

The movable rail on the worm gear, great idea!
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 14 Dez 2017, 18:05

reus hat geschrieben:The movable rail on the worm gear, great idea!

Thanks!
There are many other modules but they are not yet visible on the photo. Currently I have too few inputs for the detectors. That is why I now design 2 extra PCBs each with 40 inputs extra . I still had to make a separate control panel for the children with limited functions.

Meanwhile, another module is ready to raise the steel bullets:
Bild
If all steel balls are almost against the ground surface, they have to go a bit higher for the distribution. Here a solution with a 6-fold rotation arm with an XS motor. The magnetic holder is a modified standard block FI-32064 with a neodymium magnet D5x5 mm. This makes it cheaper to use multiple magnet holders.
Neodymium magnet:
https://www.supermagnete.be/eng/disc-ma ... _S-05-05-N
You just have to drill the standard block D4.9 depth 8 mm and press the magnet into it. This way, the standard block will still remain usable for ordinary applications.

To avoid slipping, a screw bolt M4 is mounted between the gear and the FT block 31019. I like stable solutions!
Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon chehr » 16 Dez 2017, 23:32

Hi Frans,
your development content is very impresive.
The combination of an FPGA with fischertechnik is new at least for me.
How is your development including validation approach and programming environment?
Do you firstly simulate the function via Simulink prior FPGA burn or can you burn the FPGA several times?
How do you generate the VHDL?
Thanks in advance,
Christian
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 17 Dez 2017, 10:58

Hi Christian,
chehr hat geschrieben:Hi Frans, The combination of an FPGA with fischertechnik is new at least for me. How is your development including validation approach and programming environment?

The basis is a FPGA module from Terasic the "DE0-Nano board" This module is ready for use, if you make a carrier print for all connections you are so ready to use more than 100 I / O connections.
The module:
https://www.mouser.be/productdetail/ter ... 6tdnj3I%3D
There is a USB connection for access to the FPGA. This allows you to program the FPGA unlimited number of times. Reprogramming takes only a few seconds. The development environment is done with the free web version of Altera the "Quartus tool" The language used is verilog ( or VHDL if you prefer to use it, hardware schema entry is also possible but is used less (just like assembler). Verilog and the C language are very similar ).

An FPGA works in parallel and is incredibly fast. Mutual tasks do not affect time load. You should not write interrupt routines for time critical tasks.
Do you firstly simulate the function via Simulink prior FPGA burn or can you burn the FPGA several times?

I do not simulate, but use some output pins to measure internal signals. Sometimes these are multiple pins if you have to examine a lot of data. I use a logic analyzer for this. If you use a state machine, you will soon know whether the sequence will be correct. You can always send all possible internal signals to your reserved output measuring pins. I use a lot of SPI protocol connections. They are very simple to analyze on an LA. In order to bring out other signals, you must first recompile them. You have to tell the FPGA which signal to connect. My fully current working program needs a compilation time of 1 to 1.5 minutes. Downloading to the chip takes 3 seconds.
There are 2 possibilities here, a temporary reload of the FPGA (sram) or a reprogramming of the FPGA flash. The first method preserves your original program, the 2nd method overwrites your old program. With the first method you will therefore first test whether it works. Only then do you use the 2nd method for the final reloading of your program. Both methods are directly supported by the Quartus software programmer over your USB connection.

The software development is just like with C programming. You can make your own lib. But many functions can be made via the Quartus MegaWizard Plug-in Manager. Do you need a ram module you can create it with a few mouse clicks. Number of bits of the data bus are configurable, as well as the number of words, single or dual port access etc. The FPGA is quite large, 22,000 logic elements, 608,256 bit internal ram, 132 embedded Multiplier 9-bit elements, 154 pins. I now use 3600 LE's of the 22,000 available there is still some room for expansion of the program. Of course, you can not use up to 22,000 LEs.

The Quartus software has its own editor specially made for the language used. This editor is very powerful, contains a lot of help via colors of reserved words, contains a lot of auto function etc. Quartus is a complete development package. There is also a paid version where you can make many more simulations, but for the hobby this is not applicable.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 18 Dez 2017, 14:49

Today I have tested an escalator module with fischertechnik parts. This brings the steel balls back up again. The chain contains 200 chain parts and 40 black blocks 15mm (black block model from 1980).

Bild
There is also a small joystick made for the grandchildren. It has 2 positions, left and right, and the detection is with neodymium magnets and hall detector.

Bild
More modules are still being made for the entire project.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon Kilian » 19 Dez 2017, 09:37

Great project! Please keep on posting!
Beste Grüße
Kilian
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 19 Dez 2017, 18:44

Thanks Kilian!
Here is another small module to move the steel balls to the left or to the right via a small servo. The grandchildren can make the choice via a button on their control panel. I use several of these controlled modules in the project. This will become clearer later when I make a video of the entire super trajectory.

Bild
I make a lot of use of neodymium magnets and a hall detector. This allows you to adjust the throughput speed of certain modules. You can also count very quickly how many steel balls come along. This detector is very simple, inexpensive and can be connected to any standard input. The output of the hall detector is an open collector.
Bild

More modules will soon be coming!
Frans
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon PHabermehl » 20 Dez 2017, 00:20

Fascinating work!
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 20 Dez 2017, 20:32

Thanks PHabermehl,

Today another module is added to my project, a big waterfall with 5 levels and neodymium magnets for the hall detectors.

Bild

Bild

Bild

The sensors allow to control extra neoleds as the steel balls tumbling down. These detectors are also used to synchronize other modules. This module allows the steel balls pretty quickly go to a lower level.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon gamma » 23 Dez 2017, 18:17

Ich finde Kugelbahnen super!

Welcher Baukasten von fischertechnik is denn der beste (Lidl,Real)?

Ich habe mal eine Kugelbahn für Tischtennisbälle gebaut, die rollen sanft.

Bild
Gehe niemals zum Arzt, dann bleibst du gesund.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon The Rob » 23 Dez 2017, 21:56

Ich kann den L2 empfehlen. Die Anleitung ist ausgereift, alle darin enthaltenen Bahnen funktionieren gut.
Außerdem sind alle Spezialteile enthalten, die seit Erscheinen der Dynamics Serie rausgebracht wurden. Trichter, Weiche, 90º- und 180º-Kurve, Hochgeschwindigkeitsschiene und kurze Schiene.

Das M ist auch sehr nett, hat auch fast alle Teile und ist relativ günstig, weil ohne Motor.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 24 Dez 2017, 11:26

gamma hat geschrieben:Ich finde Kugelbahnen super!

Welcher Baukasten von fischertechnik is denn der beste (Lidl,Real)?

I live in Belgium, Fischertechnik Lidl sets are not available here. I always buy the Fischertechnik Dynamic XL boxes 524327. For me, this has the best price ratio. There are a lot of pieces in the box (1250) and most of them you really need for your own design. If there are really pieces missing I buy the parts separately. All my Fischertechnik boxes are from Amazon. The price of this Dynamic XL is always exceptionally low. Prices differ but are between €89 and €115 (normal UVP 169.90). I just buy "sold and delivered by" Amazon! All deliveries were here within 3 to 4 days.
Soon I want to buy a 5th box Dynamic XL. Especially the following pieces are always needed in large numbers:
35049
32071
32064
31982
38240
32879
and the XS-motor.
These parts are fortunately in large numbers in the Dynamic XL box.

I just received my Christmas gift, a Sony FDR-AX53 4K videocamera. It is meant to record video clips from my super "Kugelbahn". I have the editing software, Pinnacle studio ultimate 19. Next year you can expect some clips on youtube from my "Kugelbahn"!

Update:
Today I have just ordered my 5th Dynamic XL box, they are available again at an extra low price at Amazon!
Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon gamma » 25 Dez 2017, 00:13

The Rob hat geschrieben:Ich kann den L2 empfehlen. Die Anleitung ist ausgereift, alle darin enthaltenen Bahnen funktionieren gut.
Außerdem sind alle Spezialteile enthalten, die seit Erscheinen der Dynamics Serie rausgebracht wurden. Trichter, Weiche, 90º- und 180º-Kurve, Hochgeschwindigkeitsschiene und kurze Schiene.

Das M ist auch sehr nett, hat auch fast alle Teile und ist relativ günstig, weil ohne Motor.


Für den Einstieg ist wohl besser L/L2 geeignet. Welche Unterschiede gibt es zwischen L und L2?

Gibt es eine Übersicht mit allen Modellen der Baukästen?
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon The Rob » 25 Dez 2017, 04:38

Der L war der allererste Kasten in der Dynamic Serie. Am Anfang gab es glaube ich nur die 180mm langen Schienen, nichts anderes.
Seitdem ist eine Menge dazugekommen, der L2 (die überarbeitete Variante) ist vom Umfang ähnlich, hat aber eben alle neuen Teile (außer den Klangröhren) mit dabei.
Einziger Vorteil vom alten L: Das gibt es in letzter Zeit öfter mal spottbillig.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 25 Dez 2017, 20:20

Today I have made a new module, a worm screw with XS-motor drive and dual input-output. Here the steel balls can be used as storage but the children can also take them out to place further in the process. This makes it more interactive. There are 2 inputs and 2 outputs. If the children do not take anything away, the steel balls are moved further by a worm screw with an XS motor.

Bild

This is the test module. Soon it will be accommodated in the entire process.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon gamma » 25 Dez 2017, 20:52

fotoopa hat geschrieben:I live in Belgium, Fischertechnik Lidl sets are not available here. I always buy the Fischertechnik Dynamic XL boxes 524327. For me, this has the best price ratio. There are a lot of pieces in the box (1250) and most of them you really need for your own design. If there are really pieces missing I buy the parts separately. All my Fischertechnik boxes are from Amazon. The price of this Dynamic XL is always exceptionally low. Prices differ but are between €89 and €115 (normal UVP 169.90). I just buy "sold and delivered by" Amazon! All deliveries were here within 3 to 4 days.
Soon I want to buy a 5th box Dynamic XL. Especially the following pieces are always needed in large numbers:
35049
32071
32064
31982
38240
32879
and the XS-motor.
These parts are fortunately in large numbers in the Dynamic XL box.

I just received my Christmas gift, a Sony FDR-AX53 4K videocamera. It is meant to record video clips from my super "Kugelbahn". I have the editing software, Pinnacle studio ultimate 19. Next year you can expect some clips on youtube from my "Kugelbahn"!

Update:
Today I have just ordered my 5th Dynamic XL box, they are available again at an extra low price at Amazon!
Frans.


Die Dynamic XL-Kugelbahn ist für Anfänger leider nicht geeignet. Bei Amazon bestelle ich aus Prinzip nicht mehr. Bei MediaMarkt kostet sie derzeit auch 89 eur.
Quelle: https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/4572646_-dynamic-xl-fischertechnik.html
Also günstig findet ich das auch nicht, früher hat ein Kasten Fischertechnik 100 DMark gekostet. :D :) ;)
Die Videos interessieren mich.
Gehe niemals zum Arzt, dann bleibst du gesund.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 25 Dez 2017, 21:26

gamma hat geschrieben:Die Dynamic XL-Kugelbahn ist für Anfänger leider nicht geeignet. Bei Amazon bestelle ich aus Prinzip nicht mehr. Bei MediaMarkt kostet sie derzeit auch 89 eur.

Here in Belgium we can not buy this at MediaMarkt. Here the price is € 169 via the https://www.fischertechnikwebshop.com/B ... Dynamic-XL
You have more options in Germany. I need multiple construction boxes because I only make my own design. The goal is of course different, I build something and make it interactive for the grandchildren. They are still too young to make this kind of design. My job is to make it interactive and that works well. The grandchildren are only 3 weeks!, 3 and 5 years old!

The video will still come. I have worked with DV tapes for years. It all requires a lot of time, especially if you want it right. Now I use Pinnacle studio Ultimate 19 for this. The new Sony ax-53 camera is already tested here and ready to use.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon fotoopa » 29 Dez 2017, 14:06

Today I tested a small rotor for distributing the steel balls. As promised, I have now made a short video. The video is short, I must still learn the video editing program. I just put it on youtube and hope it works.

https://youtu.be/gddKHziSk-0

This rotor has to distribute the balls. For certain modules only a limited number per session can be passed on. As long as insufficient bullets have passed by, the rotor will continue to rotate. The servo is not activated in empty spaces and the rotor may then continue to rotate. There are 6 neodym magnets on the rotor to catch the bullets. On the edge are another 6 small magnets for a hall detector. These small magnets are D3x3 mm. There is an additional reflection detector mounted. That detector determines whether or not to stop a bullet.
This is just a small test module. A small piece of software in the FPGA does the job. I still need to do some security, such as shielding the PCB from the detector. I am looking for a method to fix them in an insulating resin together with a fischertechnik block.

Frans.
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Re: Development super "kugelbahn"

Beitragvon geometer » 29 Dez 2017, 16:22

Hi Frans,

great work! Did you see my article "Kugelrund und bunt" https://ftcommunity.de/ftpedia_ausgaben/ftpedia-2017-3.pdf (ft:pedia 3/2017) about making dark grey steel balls that keep their gloss just with ordinary coffee? I just dare to ask because this modul seems to be perfect for sorting balls by colour.

Best regards,

Thomas
Dominostein-Aufsteller: http://youtu.be/im__tkT311w
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