Halloween Animatronics,Animatronics for Beginners to advanced electronics automation and pneumatic controls

 

How to Build Your OWN Halloween Animatronics
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from Halloween Animatronics VOLUME 1 - Micro-Controllers and Computer Control

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Halloween Animatronics

 

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Halloween Animatronics

Let's Take a look at Micro Controllers
selected information from Halloween Animatronics Volume 1 Micro-Controllers/Computer Control.

What if you could control eight servos at once with just a single chip and a few components. Here I have a Pic Micro 16F84 chip and I'm going to show you not only how to program and use these microprocessors for animatronics but the stuff you really need to know.
Lets take a closer look - as you can see theres not much to the circuit design which makes it ideal for driving servos. Other than the 5 volt regulator, you dont even have to worry about heat sinking anything when building it. I put a 1000 microfarad capacitor between the supply voltage and ground because when you run this many servos you want nice even voltage and that cap will help keep it steady.
Of course you want to use an 18 pin chip holder for the microprocessor Im using a 24 pin servo header There's a 4mhz ceramic resonator and a couple of resistors. Well that's about it for the circuit, now you can see why it's so quick and easy to build.

Now let's take a look at what you need to program these chips.

1- You need a computer.

2- You need a programmer.

I am using an epic plus programmer (about $40)

This one has the ZIF or zero insertion force socket so you dont need to pry the chip out of the programmer every time you set it up. You connected it to the computer using the parallel printer port. And of course you need the PIC 16F84 chip.
Now the most expensive thing about this setup is the compiler. it's just a program you need to convert your BASIC code into a HEX file that will be burned into the chips memory. We'll go over the actual coding you will need a little later.
When you are done writing your code, just open up the Programmer software. and load your finished hex file. Your Hex files need to be in the PBC (pic Basic Compiler directory) for them to work. So I load up the Hex File and put the PIC in the Programmer. The zif socket makes this a snap. Next - Just click 'program' and your underway.
The Red LED on the programmmer will indicate it's working. IT's really that simple. Now the PIC 16F84 is programmed with your code so Let's put it in the Circuit and see how it works. Seat the Microprocessor - be certain of Pin orientation. Connect a few servos. Power it up and voila
On the Power supply side, we have 5 volts to pin 14, and a 4.7k pull up resistor between power and pin 4 MCLR. We also have filtering capacitors between positive and ground.
click here for larger schematic
This is the 4 megahertz ceramic resonator which is easy to connect one side to 15 - one side to 16 and the middle to ground.
click here for larger schematic detailing the 4mhz ceramic resonator or clock.
Now this series of pins - 6 through 13 are your I/O or input output pins. Most of what we're going to do is on these pins.
We can use them as inputs, like if we want to read the status of an event trigger. we could use them as outputs - driving a servo, or turning a relay on. As they say, the sky is the limit and you will see that once you get used to programming these microcontrollers, you can pretty much use them for anything you dream up.
We'll start by blinking an LED, then we'll move on to servo control.
Line 1 - Typing HIGH 0 (zero) - I am telling the PIC that I want pin RB0 to go HIGH - (logic high that is.. 5 volts on RB0).
Line 2 - Pause 250 tells the pic to wait (or pause) 250 milliseconds. which is 1/4 of a second (on the 4mhz clock)
Low 0 tells the pic that I want RB0 to go Logic low, zero volts,which turns the LED that will be connected to RB0 off.
I'll show you how easy it is to write PIC Basic code and use microcontroller to control things.

when the program is executed the PIC does excactly what I'ts told - Nothing more. So it only did it one time, which is what exactly what we told it to do.

The PIC will execute line by line until the program is finished and stop.

But that's pretty boring and I'm sure you can handle more so let's modify the code a little. Typing in Start - with a colon after it lets the PIC know that everything after the word START should be executed IF the program encounters the word START. I could have used pretty much any word instead of start, because it's just a name, but lets keep it logical.
GOTO start. When the PIC encounters this directive, it goes to start... and executes the commands line by line.. this is called a LOOP.

Even if it may seem complicated, It's really not. In
Halloween Animatronics Volume 1 - You actually SEE how simple it is! Plus you get several useful scripts included with your purchase! From servo movement to turning stuff on and off and more! All you have to do is copy and past it in your editor or type it in and start programming your PIC's right away !


Ok, Let's move on .

A few simple rules when programming the PIC.
1-You have to tell a pin that it's going to be used as an INPUT ahead of time but that's easy.
INPUT 1 tells that microcontroller that RB1 is now considered an INPUT and it should LOOK for a logic HIGH or logic LOW and remember what state the pin is in until it checks it again.
What good is this? Well, if you had an event trigger hooked up to this INPUT Pin, the PIC will just sit there waiting until the trigger is tripped, then the PIC will perfom it's routine ! That's handy, let me tell you !
Logic High = 5 volts / Logic Low 0 volts

IF pin1 is equal to zero (logic low) THEN we want it to do something.. I want it to blink the LED. So the microcontroller checks for a logic low on RB1 - if there is not a logic low, it simply goes back and checks again. If it SEES a logic low (zero volts) then it is commanded to execute the BLINK part of our program. It goes to the LINE with the word BLINK and then executes the statements line by line until it encouters the command GOTO START

INPUT 1
start:
IF pin1=0 THEN blink
GOTO
start
blink:
HIGH 2
PAUSE 500
LOW 2
PAUSE 500
GOTO start
END


seriously, once you get one of these toys, you will be programming your animatronics to do all sorts of very complicated tthings!
OK, when we run this program, RB1 has a logic low (zero volts)... nothing is hooked to it.. so I't is executing the BLINK part of the program. When I apply 5 volts, Logic HIGH, to RB1 the microcontroller sees it and since it is not equal to 0 zero, it does not execute the BLINK part of the program it just goes back to start and keeps looking for logic low.
Allright, enough of this.. let's program a SERVO. This is the basic code I am going to use to tell a servo what postion to be in. Do you Remember the Pulse we made with the 555 timer circuits? This is the same thing. We type in PULSOUT and then which pin we are going to be connecting the servo pulse to (in this case RB0) and how much pulse width we want.

click here to see a better picture of this servo movement code
PULSOUT 150 or 155 is about center position for most servos, You can see the LOOP - FOR B0 = 1 to 60 and NEXT B0. Picbasic wants to see variables in this form B- somthing.. for byte sized variables or W - something for larger variables. So in order to make this work, just use B0 as the variable. PULSOUT - pin number and postion. 155 is about center position.
now Just copy this code and paste it. I am going to change the pulse width of this second loop to 100 which is going to drive the servo LEFT Paste the loop once again and change the pulse width to 200 to drive the servo RIGHT. Compile and burn this code into the PIC with the software and programmer board (EPIC) and the servo moves CENTER then LEFT then RIGHT then goes back and does it again. Incidentally It will never see the line that says END because the loop does not allow it to ever get there but I always include the statement END

start:
FOR
B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,155     'center servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0

FOR
B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,100     'left servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0

FOR B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,200     'right servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0
GOTO start
END

start:
FOR
B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,155     'center servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0

FOR
B1= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,155     ''center servo 2
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B1

FOR
B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,100     'left servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0

FOR
B1= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,200     ''right servo 2
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B1

FOR
B0= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,200     'right servo 1
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B0

FOR
B1= 1 TO 60
PULSOUT 0,100     ''left servo 2
PAUSE 18
NEXT
B1
GOTO
start
END

So Lets just add another servo to this program. Just type in the pulseout, pin 1 for RB1 and the desired pulse width. CENTER 1 then in the next loop I just add the same line, and set the pulse width so the servo goes RIGHT then in the final loop I just add the line and set the pulse width so the servo goes left.

Now you should start seeing the advantage of adding the PIC 16F84 to your Halloween Animatronics. The PIC 16F84 can be reprogrammed thousands of times so even if you mess up the coding you program it with, you can simply fix it, then re- burn it.

Now you wont need to make those pesky 555 servo ckts for the bulk of your electrical animatronics, Just use the PIC or the BASIC stamp. I prefer the PIC because it's only about $7 dollars last I checked and the BASIC stamp microcontroller is much more expensive. Here are some PIC 16F84 links to check out

GET YOUR FREE PIC 16F84 SAMPLES HERE
GET the COMPLIER and PROGRAMMER From
http://www.rentron.com/

Now you can see how to easily get started and seriously improve your Halloween animatronics. The video shows you not only the BASICS (yes you don't need to know electronics to get started) and then gets you up to WARP SPEED with nothing held back ! We go in depth with PIC routines and then on to using Serial Sofware and automatically controlling your Halloween animatronics using your computer and MORE, yes MORE!  
Click here to go to Animatronic Neck designs  

Here alone you will find a complete guide to making your own Halloween Animatronics. Since building animatronics requires you to be familiar with several technical areas, we are proud to introduce a NEW series specifically focused on Halloween Animatronics.
This 3 part technical series of DVD video's, downloadable videos and downloadable PDF documentations will allow you to begin with absoluetly no electronic knowledge and progress, step by step to creating your OWN working Halloween animatronics! And we're not talking about the cheap junk you find at the superstores, You will be creating Hollywood style animatronics... The type that will, without question, blow away your entire neighborhood!

3 Awesome DVD volumes
Volume 1 - beginning to intermediate knowledge levels
Volume 2 - Advanced animatronics (pneumatics/design and control)
Volume 3 - Halloween Scare Concepts and Designs

Click around the site and Start the Halloween Animatronics learning curve RIGHT NOW!

THIS IS THE INFORMATION YOU'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR

We have brought all these resources together for the expressed purpose of teaching you step-by-step, not only the mechanics of Halloween Animatronics, but the actual design and construction of the electronic control circuits that make it all happen!

Copyright 2008, Dave Corr




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