Week 7 - Spartan Superway Controls

During our 7th week, we began looking into the Xbee communication between the server and the Arduino. We were able to decode the packet that is sent to the Arduino however cannot figure out why the Arduino is not receiving the ticket. We will begin taking the code apart a bit more to try to understand. I will also try creating a new script for the Arduino and see if we can get it to react with a simpler code.

Lastly, I will begin doing calculations for our 2nd presentation. I will look into the speed that the car will be travelling, as well as the current draw of the whole system. This will help me plan out how we will need to wire the Arduino as well as where any improvements can be made with the components.

Week 6 - Spartan Superway

For this week, we wanted to work with the code a bit more to understand how the previous system was program. Since we got the RFID working, we started working with the wireless XBee modules and how they communicated with the main server. We found that the Arduino makes a packet that is sent to the app, including data about the pod's position and other statuses. This week will be trying to all get the app working on our laptops, as we could not open the serial monitor from one computer. We hope that we can get this running by next week so that we can begin making changes.

Week 5 - Spartan Superway

For our fifth week, we decided to take a closer look into the coding of the previous bogie and try to understand all of it. Right now we believe that the code is a bit too long and shortening it would be best for the Futran system. Since we are removing the Hall Effect sensors, this should help cut down on the code's length, but we will still need to figure out how to make the switching work with RFID sensors now.

We were able to get the RFID chips working using the MFRC522.h library, as well as test several different scenarios using read/write functions to change the LEDs of the Arduino. This step will definitely help us later on when it comes to programming the servo to switch to different positions. Before we continue any further, we want to look at how the XBee modules communicate with the app before we start making changes to the RFID data.

Lastly, I began creating a new wiring diagram for the components that will be used in the new Futran bogies. I was able to remove the Hal…

Week 4 - Spartan Superway

During this week, I began looking for potential components that we could use for the new 1/12th scale pods. There are a lot of parts that we can reuse from the previous pods, but after looking at the final reports of years before, I decided to look at electronics that would help make our bogies better.

More specifically, we plan on removing the Hall Effect sensors and running strictly RFID sensors. The RFID tags are really cheap and previous teams had no problems with them being sensed. In addition, we will be replacing the motor and the battery.

After some research, here are the current plans:


Arduino MegaRFID readersUltrasonic sensorsServo for switchingWheelsButtons & LEDs
REPLACE/NEED TO BUY Motor - Controller - - tags -…

Week 3 - Spartan Superway

During the third week on the Spartan Superway, we gave our lightning presentation about the 1/12th scale controls team. I detailed the specifications of the controls, specifying what components were used on the previous pods and how they were programmed. Following this week, I will begin examining the code and the electronics in more depth to be able to find which items can be used for the new Futran system.

Week 2 - Spartan Superway

In the first week of the fall 2017 semester, I decided to rejoin the Spartan Superway for my senior project in order to continue the progress I made over the summer. During the summer I was working with the solar team, but this semester I will be working on the 1/12th scale project, where I will be building the control systems along with Andi Khosravi and Ben Trump.

During the first week in the St. John station, we began with a quick tour of the facility and were separated into our groups. I not only met the other members of my team, but also everyone else who will be working on the 1/12th scale platform. 
Our task is to create a new outer loop based on the new Futran design. I will begin looking into the previous reports and codes to see what we will be able to reuse with the new design. Because we do not really have a foundation right now, it is difficult to plan what components will be needed for each bogie, but hopefully we will be able to come up with a design that fits all the r…

Week 8 - Spartan Superway Internship (Final Week)

With the last week of my Spartan Superway internship, I began to make final revisions to my design. We plan to send the design out to a manufacturing company, where they will cut our design out of sheet metal and fold it for us. It will take approximately 3 weeks for its production, so by the start of Fall 2017, those working on the Spartan Superway for their senior project will be able to assemble it.
The first step I did was to revise the top and bottom L brackets that attach the mount to the L beams of the track. I made them smaller to accommodate the new design, but still being able to slide them along the the tracks for adjustability. 
Figure 1: Revised brackets with mount and beams
With the widened track, I also extended the bolt slots of the bottom of the mounts to reach the 3.5 meter distance between the two tracks. Lastly, I added bolt holes to the frame to allow the braces and the top and bottom pieces to be connected. Unfortunately since we do not know which panels we will be…