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Customizing G1 Omega Supreme toy

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Omega Supreme, Oct 9, 2014.

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  1. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Hi,
    I have a G1 Omega Supreme Transformers robot and I'd like to add more electronic gimmicks to it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks :).
     
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi
    Welcome to EP :)

    so what sort of "gimmicks" would you like ?
    you name things you may like and people on here will be able to tell you if its possible and how you could go about doing it

    Dave
     
  3. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    I want my G1 Omega Supreme toy to be able to talk. Maybe like those dolls that you squeeze and they say something appropriate to their character. G1 Omega is plastic so he probably would require a button.
     
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    OK good start :) there are voice /message modules available that you can record messages to and play back
    ebay probably have the cheapest ones ... you will need to determine how much room you have inside you toy to see of there is room for the module, battery etc
     
  5. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    How do I know what resistor, capacitor, power supply, etc. values to use when designing and building circuits?
     
  6. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Guessing, math, asking questions, and samples.
    This is a very broad question.

    Resistors are commonly used to limit current flow through something like an LED or a capacitor. Lower values allow more current through, higher values limit it more.
    Capacitors are commonly used as filters (To accept, or reject specific frequencies) or as a timing component. (Filter purpose will also filter out noise from power supplies, and help keep the output stable)

    As a real world example, using a 555 timer to make a 5 second delay will require that you choose a 2 resistors and 1 capacitor. They can be almost any value you want, just so long as the math works out for your timing... now if someone hands you a capacitor, then you have to do the math to choose the final two resistors. (Where before you could pick almost any value for any of those 3 things to start)
    http://www.ohmslawcalculator.com/555_astable.php
    Play with numbers and see what happens ;)

    Power supplies are a little tricky to cover right away, but there are two types of supplies. Constant Current, and Constant Voltage. The most common you will see is Constant Voltage. This should also be what you work with for the majority of your projects, as it will be easier to understand and work with, and many circuits are designed for constant voltage in mind.
    When you make your own circuit, you try to pick a power supply that is equal to or slightly higher than the voltage you need for any part of your circuit. There is no point buying a power supply that pumps out 24V if your circuit can operate with 3.3V. The second consideration is the current draw for your circuit. If you can plan it all out or do the math for your circuit before construction you should have an idea of how much current it draws. When you choose a power supply, you typically pick one that is capable of supplying more current then you need. (As a sort of buffer)

    For more/better details, find a project that interests you, then ask specific questions about that.
     
  7. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Thank you for the advice! I found something on amazon that suits my needs. These devices will greatly increase the play value of my toys. I always seem to make things more difficult and complicated in my mind than they have to be. You've shown me that simple is the most elegant solution to any problem. Thanks! ; )
     
  8. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
     
  9. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    After designing a circuit on paper and on a breadboard, do you physically build the circuit yourself? Or nowadays do you send the design out to a third-party to build it for you? I don't have a soldering iron or a workshop.
     
  10. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Personal preference.
    It would be best to get a soldering iron, some basic tools, and a small collection of assorted capacitors, and resistors at least. Get some inductors and other things like LEDs if you have the extra money to spend.
    Think up your idea and draw it out on paper, or in a circuit simulator. Once complete you 'proto-type' your idea to make sure that it works (This is usually done on perf-board or a breadboard). Once you are happy with the design and function you can design a circuit board for it and send it out. When you send it out, you can get just the board made, and you need to put the parts on yourself, or you can get someone else to completely manufacture the product. This is personal preference.
     
  11. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    What is Arduino? What's all the hype about? What's it good for? How can it help add play value to my toys?
     
  12. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Wow, if you were any greener you'd have chlorophyll ;)

    Arduino is a microcontroller development board. Unlike PIC, AVR, and other microprocessors, these things have added peripherals and a 'bootloader' that allow the user to easily program it.
    As far as what's it's good for? Well, the Arduino, like any other microprocessor requires a time investment to learn how to program it. Once you have the basic down you can accomplish things with a microcontroller that you would otherwise need to sit down and plan an entire circuit for. For example, a simple time delay action could be done with a dedicated circuit with a 555 timer, a couple resistors and a capacitor, or it could be done with a microcontroller.
    The advantage to a microcontroller is that you can change the behaviour of your circuit simply by reprogramming it. To change the delay in the previously mentioned dedicated circuit, you would need to use more expensive parts like potentiometers to be able to adjust the timing, or you would need to swap out parts.
    You should try to avoid the 'everything is a nail when I have a hammer' outlook when you have a microcontroller though. Just because a microcontroller makes it easy to build, does not mean it's the best option. They tend to be a little frail compared to some of the more dedicated components, and if the circuit ever fails it is harder to troubleshoot because the microcontroller's program is not usually made public. How do you fix something if there is a chip that you have no clue how it actually works?
    They can add value to your toys be keeping some of the more advanced circuits smaller in size, and still be able to complete more complicated tasks.
     
  13. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Hmmm... So should I learn how to program microcontrollers instead of designing circuits? It seems like less trouble and I don't have to spend all that time figuring out how components work, and work together. I'm not familiar with the term "everything is a nail when I have a hammer". What does that mean? In the future will programming take the place of circuit-building?
     
  14. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    What are some good Arduino robotics packages I can buy? Does Lego Mindstorms use Arduino?

    I want to learn how to use motors to build robots. Do I need to study mechanical engineering?
     
  15. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    No, learn how to design circuits. That is the most important part. Microcontrollers just make more advanced things easier to implement.
    The term I used is a mentality to use a microcontroller for EVERYTHING, even if a simple 555 timer can get the job done.
    You need to study Google.
    Arduino is a specific brand of development board using an Atmel microprocessor.
    The Lego Mindstorm uses a microcontroller, but I am unsure what kind.
    You should learn to walk before you run. Learn some basic circuits first before attempting to build a robot.
     
  16. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    I don't like soldering. It's too frustrating and messy. I like plug-and-play. I've never been good with precision hands-on work whether it be with a soldering iron, microscope, jigsaw, sander, drill, etc. I just end up making a big mess. Is it okay if I never pick up a tool and physically build a single circuit, or solder on a single component?
     
  17. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009

    well if you want to achieve anything of what you want to do above and pretty much anything else in electronics
    you better start learning to solder else any suggestions for circuit ideas given to you will be a total waste of out time

    Dave
     
  18. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    You could get by building lower powered circuits with a breadboard. No soldering required... but it is a very very important skill to have...
    You can breadboard your circuit to test it, and send it out to get made, but are you prepared to order a complete new board if a simple $0.05 component is missing or needs to be replaced?
    It's like owning a car and not knowing or wanting to know how to inflate the tires.
     
  19. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme

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    Oct 9, 2014
    Maybe if I learn how to program microcontrollers I won't have to deal with soldering?
     
  20. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    OK and how are you going to connect to the MC ?
    you are going to need a programming board power leads etc
    so you have programmed a MC on a commercial test jig ... what are you going to do with it ?
    at some stage you will need to use a soldering iron to build a circuit to use it in


    D
     
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