Control Panel 98% Complete!

Everything on the panel is now in place except for LED indicators and the LCD:

I need to 3D print a bezel for the LCD to mount it nicely. The voltage meters... Sorry, the fuel gauges are a little loose, as well. Probably have to use some strategic adhesive placement for settle those into the panel nicely.

The wiring is pretty clean so far (but not organized into neat bundles, yet):

Every switch and button has a nice two-pin female 0.1" spaced header for easy connection to the "Inputs" shift register daughter board. The C++ class that manages inputs simply shifts the states of all the switches and buttons into a few bytes in the MCU and handles all of the debouncing and everything. The Input object then calls delegate objects when there are actual registered presses. It's very clean and efficient and offloads a lot of work away from the MCU.

Silkscreening the panel would have been ideal, after all is said and done, but the vinyl decals were cheaper and actually look really nice.

The glossy decals against the matte powder coat is actually a cool effect, so I'm quite happy with it.

But, of course the best part of the whole panel is having a Weapons quadrant:

Yes!!! The best offense is a good defense.

It's getting close to being operational again. Can't wait to bring it down to the Labs. She's nearly ready to take spins around the LM grounds!

I'd really like to make the chassis reusable, as in, the chair is only an accessory to the chassis. The chassis will have some kind of receptacle thing or set of points into which attachments can go. The chair, maybe a "wagon" box or even a variation of a chairs can be put onto the chassis.

When the wagon box is on the chassis, the user can control the chassis as an office "mule" with an smartphone or even a simple control box. They could walk along with it while it does the carrying. I've designed the control to be handled simply through a UART in the chassis, so the ridiculous control panel on the Ikea chair is only a device that talks to the chassis over a UART and is not really necessary for control.

The simple serial protocol makes it easy to adapt the control to wireless or to a new and cooler control panel with TWICE the switches and buttons or whatever. The base concept, though, is that this chassis is highly adaptable to whatever the own needs it to do. Today, the silly thing can be easily configured to use just a joystick and ZERO smarts, if you want to keep it simple.

After watching the latest ideas that have been move into the process, I'm actually most interested in taking that Rally Fighter chair and putting it on the chassis. Then we'd have the Rally Fighter Office Chairiot Mark II! Sweet.

So many possibilities.

Andy Frey

My name is Andy and I am a maker. Enough about me. How are you? What did you have for lunch yesterday? Have you made anything cool lately? OK, back to me: I like to make things, with or without purpose. Clocks, shelves, machines that turn themselves off, homemade circuit boards, IKEA chairs with motors, etc. I love to learn how to manufacture stuff myself. I also love to take things apart to see how real-world products are engineered.