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    Originally Posted by gimp
    Lead? Dunno, whatever.
    Lead is really dangerous to work with. If you are scratch building the boat, then I'd use whatever plumbers use these days (they stopped using lead decades ago).

    I'd make the keel a deeper than true to scale, to help give it more leverage.
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    I'm thinking aluminum or steel. Lead is simply harder to obtain. Low-quality bismuth would work fine as well, especially given its low melting point (easier to weld it if I have to weld).
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    I'm thinking aluminum or steel. Lead is simply harder to obtain. Low-quality bismuth would work fine as well, especially given its low melting point (easier to weld it if I have to weld).
    You probably don't want to go with aluminum, it's just too light. Bismuth's low melting point doesn't actually make it easier to weld, if I recall right you can not weld it with standard argon or an argon/co2 mix as your shielding gas. (Though I might be mistaken, it's been a few years since I've looked at a welding theory book)

    Hunting stores should be able to hook you up with lead shot. It is possible to safely work with it at home, but be careful about contaminating the water wherever you sail.

    I actually had stainless steel in mind when I thought of the keel. It is fairly dense, won't rust, and although it isn't the easiest thing to work with, any fab shop should have cutoffs of SS plate that they will give away or sell for pretty cheap. Throw in a $20 or a case of beer and they might even cut/drill it to meet your needs.

    If you do have to weld it, mild steel is easiest. Or you could even go with copper and solder it if you have a heat source big enough. Last time I had to solder two pieces of thick copper, I threw them on the BBQ and used that as a re-flow oven, though you probably don't have and don't want to buy solder paste and proper flux if you're just doing a one-off...again, a case of beer at the local fab shop goes a long way
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    Dude, I just turned 19, I've still two years until I can go around offering cases of beer.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    Dude, I just turned 19, I've still two years until I can go around offering cases of beer.
    I knew you were 19, but I forgot about the location difference.
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    Okay, so first thing first. Gonna order two arduinos, two xbees (with antenna/s) and one cord to connect an xbee to the computer (debugging).

    Arduino mega: $50
    Last edited by gimp; October 2nd, 2009 at 01:40 PM.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
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    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    one cord to connect an xbee to the computer (debugging).
    Do you have more info on how this "cord" works? do you need client software? Are you going to be using the Digi Intl drivers? etc?
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    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents
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    9V battery holder with switch & 2.1mm plug - $4.00 x2 = $8.00 (NOT REQUIRED)
    Half-size breadboard - $5.00 x2 = $10.00 (NOT REQUIRED)
    XBee Module - $23.00 x2 = $46.00
    XBee Adapter kit - $10.00 x2 = $20.00
    USB TTL-232 cable - $20.00
    USB Cable - Standard A-B - 3 ft - $4.00 x2 = $8.00 (NOT REQUIRED)
    Breadboarding wire bundle - $6.00 (NOT REQUIRED)
    Adafruit Motor/Stepper/Servo Shield for Arduino kit - $19.50

    Total 137.50, though if you remove the not required stuff that's $32 less. Add shipping and you're looking at 110-145 depending on if you buy some of the stuff I'm buying.

    Total spent so far would be around 250. (Note: Liquidware has awesome customer service and the cheapest arduino megas by like 10-15 bucks.)

    Going away for almost a week, would be nice if I got some feedback.

    Still have to buy pots and springs to create joysticks (unless someone can find me an analog output joystick - like they have on remote controls for toy cars - please?)
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    Total spent so far would be around 250.

    Still have to buy pots and springs to create joysticks (unless someone can find me an analog output joystick - like they have on remote controls for toy cars - please?)
    Perhaps buy a toy car to get the joystick?

    I assume that the boat itself is part of the roughly $100 not listed.

    Are you planning on using the Digi/Maxstream version of ZigBee? Its not terrible, and can simplify stuff, but for what I was using it for a year or so ago, they wanted to keep training wheels on.
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    Hmm, buy a toy car for 20 bucks to get a two dollar joystick... pass?

    The boat itself is indeed part of the price that hasn't been covered.

    I ordered the XBee you can find at adafruit. Whichever one that is. I don't know if it's the "Digi/Maxstream" version.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents
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    Originally Posted by gimp
    I ordered the XBee you can find at adafruit. Whichever one that is. I don't know if it's the "Digi/Maxstream" version.
    They are made and sold by Digi, which owns Maxstream. Digi Intl has been rebranding their stuff, so the old Maxstream name is being phased out.

    Under the covers, its really an Ember ZigBee chip, probably an EM250.

    I was actually refering to the software loaded into the radio, not the brand on the chip.

    Digi has decided that naked ZigBee is too hard to program, so they have implemented drivers with easy-to-use APIs. They have a big line of "drop in networking" built on it, with assorted access points, WiFi to ZigBee radios, repeaters, etc.

    So whatever code you write on your Arduino, has to talk the proper protocol that is in the radio, which lately is usually the Digi International version, not the official ZigBee or even IEEE standard. Ususally this is good, but if you want to do stuff that is in the ZigBee spec that Digi didn't publish, you get to pull your hair out.
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    All I want is the XBee to accept input from arduino and push it out, and accept input from wifi and give it to the arduino. Nothing too fancy, I think. I'll see what capabilities it has and what work I can make it do but honestly it's not a big deal.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents
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    It's been a week and the stuff from adafruit still isn't here... hmm.
    (Edit: Just waiting on a piece to be in stock; the response time from a ticket submission was incredibly fast. Like, less than ten minutes.)
    Last edited by gimp; October 16th, 2009 at 09:30 PM.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents
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    I'm thinking of creating my own joysticks: Pot, spring, and stick.

    I'd have to do something like slide a spring over the axle, attach one end of the spring to the pot, and the other end to the axle. Then attach a round, thin shaft to the axle - this will be the thing you push.

    However, upon further review, I've decided that's stupid. It'll take hours to get the first one right and probably thirty minutes for each of the others, and I dunno how sturdy the whole thing would be.

    Perhaps it's better to get the cheapest two-axis pot I can find and machine a slot in the housing that won't let the pot move side to side. This will cost me around $5-6 instead of the proposed $2 per joystick, which is an extra $12-16 wasted. Oh well, life's life.

    However, for now I'm just going to be using an even simpler solution: button for one direction, button for other direction. This will be my testing solution because I have the nice square buttons.
    Chat Server Project & Tutorial | WiFi-remote-control sailboat (building) | Joke Thread
    “Rational thinkers deplore the excesses of democracy; it abuses the individual and elevates the mob. The death of Socrates was its finest fruit.”
    Use XXX in a comment to flag something that is bogus but works. Use FIXME to flag something that is bogus and broken. Use TODO to leave yourself reminders. Calling a program finished before all these points are checked off is lazy.
    -Partial Credit: Sun

    If I ask you to redescribe your problem, it's because when you describe issues in detail, you often get a *click* and you suddenly know the solutions.
    Ches Koblents

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