Friday, April 30, 2010

One Drill and 3 H-Bridges

So, we ended up having to ask our friends over in the MEAM department for some adequate power supplies to run the drill. Since the H-Bridges from the Lab box only do 2A, Sid suggested that we place multiple H-Bridges in parallel to supply more current.

A 30V power supply and 3 H-Bridges later, our drill circuit was done and mounted behind the PVC monster, allowing us to rotate the threaded rod and translate the backboards back and forth.

Surprisingly enough, at full speed, the backboards have minimal shake. This was our relief since we though we would not be able to fully power the drill, much less rotate the rod with a full load.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


A lot has happened in the past week; unfortunately, I was in Maine all weekend and didn't get a chance to update the blog. That being said, here are the new things we have done:

1. The monome "API" of sorts is mostly complete. This means we can display graphics/scores much easier using pre-defined functions.

2. About 60% of the game code has been written. Still to do: some interrupt routines, overtime, conrtol of motor/servos once they are integrated.

3. Many of the parts have been built/bought/obtained. These include:

18V Drill Motor for translating the backboard

monome Displays for graphics (note: we had to make them again with brighter LEDs)

SP-404 for sound effects (already own this, thankfully)

Making the backboards using the laser cutter (thanks to Eric Pinter/Savior of 350)

Starting a fire is a good idea.

Still to do: finish game code, incorporate motor madness, and get the last few parts, including EEPROM memory for high scores. Until then, we leave you with this picture, with the proverbial caption...


Sunday, April 11, 2010

weekend update

Some events that have taken place:

1. After struggling for hours with the implementation of trying to play .wav files off the microcontroller (in short--not worth it), we have come up with a more elegant solution: use the SCI serial interface to send MIDI commands to an external sampler/sequencer, the Roland SP404 (which I own).

For those who don't know, the 404 is a drum machine/music sampler sort of thing:

Basically, this will allow us practically unlimited playing time and high quality for samples, polyphony (so we can add sound effects on top of music, for example), and reduced foot print, as this will only require 1 microcontroller pin for a stereo setup. Granted, this does simplify the sound portion somewhat, but we would have only been able to store 10 seconds of poor quality .wav audio on the microcontroller, and the effort we put into that method thus far (10-15 hours) hadn't achieved any tangible results.

2. We have also ordered most of the rest of the parts:
-Cheap cordless drill for a DC motor
-Sharp GP2Y0D310K Distance Sensors, for detecting made baskets
-Plastic Hoops, hopefully sturdy enough

We also plan to purchase the threaded rod, used with the drill to translate the backboards, tomorrow.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

and so it begins

This is a blog dedicated to the UPenn ESE 350 final project tentatively titled "NBA SHOOTOUT." The team members are Ross Boczar and Gabe Torres, both ESE juniors.

Today we (I) built the frame for the game. Took 2 trips to Home Depot. Special Thanks to Bruce Boczar for generously donating the funds for the frame!

A few hours later, and the frame is complete. This behemoth has no chance of ever being inside the RCA Lab...