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Need Hardware list for 5-Dot-Matrix printing with Wifi-Modules

Discussion in 'Radio and Wireless' started by Capt_Kaplan, Dec 8, 2016.

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  1. Capt_Kaplan


    Dec 8, 2016
    Hello guys
    I just received a project from my local Soccer-Club to be able to print letters on the play field (grass-surface).
    Mainly for cheering purposes, maybe also for advertisement later on.
    The idea is pretty straight forward:

    There are 5 RC-Cars with down facing spray cans, used as printers [-P-] as shown below.

    Those 5 RC-Cars have all the same specs, this means you can expect one defined speed V.



    (I hope it is obvious that this is going to write "COOL" ^^)

    All those "O" 's represent a spray-puff and thus generating letters with this so called 5-Dot-Matrix method.
    The challenge is to make it wireless (WiFi).
    I was thinking of getting:
    5* ESP8266 v-07 ( I choose v-07 to be able to add an antenna if increased range is needed in the future)

    1* Arduino Uno, this one will be carry the code for the pre-selected words. (This can also be carried by RC-Car-3 as so called Leader/Commander)

    5* Servos to interact with the spray cans to create those puffs

    5* 3.3V Power supplies (Maybe Coin-Cell battery) for the ESP8266's

    1* Battery for the Arduino Uno
    But I am not sure if i can even work with this setup.

    I mean I need to be able to connect everything like this (unless someone tells me otherwise):

    Spray-can - Servo - ESP8266 = RC-Car-1

    Spray-can - Servo - ESP8266 = RC-Car-2

    Spray-can - Servo - ESP8266 - Arduino Uno = RC-Car-3

    Spray-can - Servo - ESP8266 = RC-Car-4

    Spray-can - Servo - ESP8266 = RC-Car-5

    As mentioned the Arduino Uno contains the commands for all the other RC-Cars. This means that ESP8266 connected to that Arduino needs to be able to independently control (over WiFi) 5 Servos.
    Servo from RC-Car-1 & RC-Car-2 & RC-Car-4 & RC-Car-5 & its own servo. Is it even possible to connect one ESP8266 with 4 other ESP8266 over WiFi at the same time? Does it even have to be at the same time? I could perhaps add delays (sleep-times) with experimenting...
    Is there already a code for 5 Dot-Matix Printing?

    Thank you very much for your attention

    Best regards.

    P.S. : It has to be over WiFi with 5 independent RC-Cars. I know it could make my project way easier if i just added a long stick of PVC-Pipe and made wired connections to each Servo and mount that on rails or something, but this needs to be versatile. =)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2016
  2. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    Jun 21, 2012
    You might be able to get the WiFi to work with the "command car" but I think it should then communicate over a low-power Bluetooth link with the other four cars. You can purchase Arduino shields with Bluetooth modules ready-to-install. Program all five of them as a mesh network and use another shield on the command car Arduino to receive WiFi "instructions" that will be decoded and sent to the other four cars. Are you going to use five people to "pilot" five cars via WiFi remote control?
  3. chopnhack


    Apr 28, 2014
    Even with
    , you will have variations due to terrain. I would test your theory to see if you will not need a more sophisticated method of synchronizing the cars.
    hevans1944 likes this.
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