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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been toying with the idea of building an Arduino prop controller for a while now but never needed anything this advanced till recently.

Before I start my build I wanted to ask a few questions.

1. Should I build the FOUR BANGER or the OCTO BANGER?
Currently I'm just looking at 4 banger.

2.The parts list tells me to use a 5v relay, will I only be supplying 5v to what ever motor or solenoid I connect to it? If so do I need a different relay or will this work?

3. How would I add a speaker amp?

4. The list said to get female to female jumper cables, then it said to get some cables with male ends too. Should I just buy a bunch of each?

Here are the parts I've picked out from ebay. Please let me know if need to select some different parts.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201999089472

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181943478555

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311713026588

http://www.ebay.com/itm/112042307835

http://www.ebay.com/itm/361443057814

http://www.ebay.com/itm/182512061644?var=485092677421

http://www.ebay.com/itm/192126476366

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302083735890
 

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I don't use Arduinos, I make my own controllers using PIC's so can't help with all your questions. As for relays, they are referred to by the coil voltage needed to energize the relay, not what the relay can control. Relays have dry contacts for connecting your devices, so a 5v relay can control any DC or AC device within the contact rating on the relay.
 

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Hey Dustin, A few months ago I was in the same boat as you!! I wanted to build my own controllers but I'm not an electronics guy and was hesitant to try it. I am on my 6th one now!! These things work great and are very easy to put together. Wickedbeernut, a member on this forum, helped me get started and gave me plenty of advice, I would have never even tried it without his help.
I am still learning and am by no means an expert on the subject but I will try to help answer some of your questions!!
Building the Octobanger or the four banger just depends on how many devices you want your controller to control. In my case, all the ones I have built have been the four bangers. I also like this design because the relay shield snaps right onto the Uno so there is no additional wiring.
Like J-Man said, the relays only act as switches and can control anything, AC or DC up to the rated amperage of the relay.
Adding an Amp is easy. Just plug a cord from the output of the Mp3 player to the input of the amp!! Then hook up your speakers!! I have been using this one that J-Man told me about, http://www.ebay.com/itm/TPA3116D2-2...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649, I have bought 5 of these so far and they seem to work pretty good.
I bought the same pack of Jumpers that you did. For the price its good to have an assortment on hand.
I ordered the Uno boards with the Micro USB, that will solve the interference problem when putting on the relay board, http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-UNO-R3-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
This is the relay board I got. This one will connect directly to the Uno with no wiring!! http://www.ebay.com/itm/5V-4-Channe...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
I hope this info helps!!

HH
 

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So I've been toying with the idea of building an Arduino prop controller for a while now but never needed anything this advanced till recently.

Before I start my build I wanted to ask a few questions.

1. Should I build the FOUR BANGER or the OCTO BANGER?
Currently I'm just looking at 4 banger.

2.The parts list tells me to use a 5v relay, will I only be supplying 5v to what ever motor or solenoid I connect to it? If so do I need a different relay or will this work?

3. How would I add a speaker amp?

4. The list said to get female to female jumper cables, then it said to get some cables with male ends too. Should I just buy a bunch of each?

Here are the parts I've picked out from ebay. Please let me know if need to select some different parts.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/201999089472

http://www.ebay.com/itm/181943478555

http://www.ebay.com/itm/311713026588

http://www.ebay.com/itm/112042307835

http://www.ebay.com/itm/361443057814

http://www.ebay.com/itm/182512061644?var=485092677421

http://www.ebay.com/itm/192126476366

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302083735890
1. fourbanger is fine for most props, you can always go octo if you like using the arduino.
2. The 5volts is to supply the relay board. You are switching up to 30VDC 10A or up to 250VAC 10A. You can switch 120VAC or 12VDC or whatever you need to.
3. You add a cable ( 1/8" (3.5mm) Male Stereo Audio Cable) from the output of the UART mp3 player to the input of your amp or powered speaker.
4. You definitely need male to female, might as well get the assortment, if you are interested in working with arduino in the future.

The parts you chose are fine, this is what you need for the fourbanger, except for the power supply, you need a 5volt power supply for the relays, not a 12v.
I use the 5v 2Amp with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't use Arduinos, I make my own controllers using PIC's so can't help with all your questions. As for relays, they are referred to by the coil voltage needed to energize the relay, not what the relay can control. Relays have dry contacts for connecting your devices, so a 5v relay can control any DC or AC device within the contact rating on the relay.
Thanks again J-Man your always a huge help!!!

Hey Dustin, A few months ago I was in the same boat as you!! I wanted to build my own controllers but I'm not an electronics guy and was hesitant to try it. I am on my 6th one now!! These things work great and are very easy to put together. Wickedbeernut, a member on this forum, helped me get started and gave me plenty of advice, I would have never even tried it without his help.
I am still learning and am by no means an expert on the subject but I will try to help answer some of your questions!!
Building the Octobanger or the four banger just depends on how many devices you want your controller to control. In my case, all the ones I have built have been the four bangers. I also like this design because the relay shield snaps right onto the Uno so there is no additional wiring.
Like J-Man said, the relays only act as switches and can control anything, AC or DC up to the rated amperage of the relay.
Adding an Amp is easy. Just plug a cord from the output of the Mp3 player to the input of the amp!! Then hook up your speakers!! I have been using this one that J-Man told me about, http://www.ebay.com/itm/TPA3116D2-2...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649, I have bought 5 of these so far and they seem to work pretty good.
I bought the same pack of Jumpers that you did. For the price its good to have an assortment on hand.
I ordered the Uno boards with the Micro USB, that will solve the interference problem when putting on the relay board, http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-UNO-R3-...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
This is the relay board I got. This one will connect directly to the Uno with no wiring!! http://www.ebay.com/itm/5V-4-Channe...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
I hope this info helps!!

HH
Thanks for the tips! I updated my shopping cart. What speaker would you recommend? If its total price is over $10 for the speak and amp I may just stick with using powered computer speaker.

1. fourbanger is fine for most props, you can always go octo if you like using the arduino.
2. The 5volts is to supply the relay board. You are switching up to 30VDC 10A or up to 250VAC 10A. You can switch 120VAC or 12VDC or whatever you need to.
3. You add a cable ( 1/8" (3.5mm) Male Stereo Audio Cable) from the output of the UART mp3 player to the input of your amp or powered speaker.
4. You definitely need male to female, might as well get the assortment, if you are interested in working with arduino in the future.

The parts you chose are fine, this is what you need for the fourbanger, except for the power supply, you need a 5volt power supply for the relays, not a 12v.
I use the 5v 2Amp with no problems.
If I run a 5v 2a power supply will I only be supplying 5v to my wiper motor?
 

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If I run a 5v 2a power supply will I only be supplying 5v to my wiper motor?
No. The power supply is to switch the relays and the arduino. You supply your wiper motor with whatever power you want, but it has to go thru the relay. The relay is your switch to turn the wiper motor on and off thru the fourbanger program.
 

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Im looking at these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/152566496126
2pcs 40mm 8Ohm 8Ω 10W Neodymium Speaker Loudspeaker

Oh and one last question. I can use the park feature on my wiper motor with an Arduino?
Those are pretty small speakers, don't expect big sound from them. Also keep in mind that ebay items from China sellers sometimes take 30 days to get. As for using the "park" feature on a wiper motor, yes, any programmable controller via a relay will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Those are pretty small speakers, don't expect big sound from them. Also keep in mind that ebay items from China sellers sometimes take 30 days to get. As for using the "park" feature on a wiper motor, yes, any programmable controller via a relay will work.
Yeah I'm not expecting any of this to be ready for this years Halloween.

I was just looking for speakers that are about the same as what you would find in a set of PC speakers. LOL honestly I'll probably just go to goodwill on 1/2 of days and see what I can find.

That's good news! I'll look more into how to park a motor after I get it all built.

One last question I did not think about asking earlier. How do I wire this little amp onto my 4 banger?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/142131079828?rmvSB=true
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You don't. The amp needs a separate 12v power supply of at least 1A.
Ok after a couple of YouTube videos I have a much better understanding of how it works. I was under the impression that it it attached to the Arduino. How could I power both of one power source?
 

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Ok after a couple of YouTube videos I have a much better understanding of how it works. I was under the impression that it it attached to the Arduino. How could I power both of one power source?
While it's possible to do that by splitting the output from the power supply, it's best to have a separate power source for the amp. Some circuits don't work well by using a single power source as you can get feedback noise thru the amp into the speakers. You can try it and see how it works but you may have to go with 2 power supplies.
 

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Ok after a couple of YouTube videos I have a much better understanding of how it works. I was under the impression that it it attached to the Arduino. How could I power both of one power source?
The Arduino is not used to power your stuff, it is a controller, at the basic level, it runs a program telling things to turn on and off.

The four and octo banger were made to run with specific equipment.

The fourbanger starts by playing the ambient music thru the UART mp3 player. It waits for a trigger (from the PIR or a momentary switch, etc...) then it launches a "scare" sequence, starting with a "scare" audio track that is much louder than the ambient music. This sequence also starts the relay sequence, which you select with sliders for different timings. If you want to use the TPA amplifier player with the fourbanger, it won't work without the UART mp3 player. The UART is designed to communicate thru its rx pin from the arduino #10 pin. The UART mp3 player has an 3.5mm audio output, that would go to the amplifier, to its 3.5mm audio input. The TPA would be hooked up to your speakers.

You could also forgo the TPA amplfier if you wish and use amplified computer speakers if you have the room in your prop to hide it.

You will need a 5volt, 2A power supply for the relays, unless you use the relay shield for the arduino, then you just need the 5v 2a supply for the arduino. The relay shield would be powered thru the arduino.

Depending on what speakers you get, you will need a power supply for that.

If you want to run a wiper motor, you need a 12V, 5A supply for that.
IF you want to run lights, more power supplies.

What I did was make an electrical box with 4 receptacles. I would control each receptacle with a relay. Then I can plug whatever i need to run into the receptacles. Kinda like home automation. This way, if i want some Christmas lights or floodlights, i just plug them into the receptacles and can control them turning on and off.

As you can see, it's not as easy as a picovolt.

As for the park feature, you would need to use a relay for that. You would use 2 relays for forward/reverse. That would leave you with one relay for lights, or something else. One prop uses up them relays.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Bosco! I understand much better of what the Arduino is. I thought It worked more like a Pico controller from fright props. It's kinda funny, I've been a aircraft mechanic for many years now and we would always leave things like this to the specialists. LOL I can pull a jet engine out of an F-35 but I'm having lots of trouble with this dang Arduino.

Just going to skip the amp for now and go with PC speakers.

Guess I'm done asking questions for now. Sure I'll have more when all the parts get in.
Thanks guys!
 

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You will need a 5volt, 2A power supply for the relays,
The relays on that shield only draw 20ma each, even with all 4 energized that's less than 1/10 of an amp. While using a 2A power supply certainly won't hurt anything, it's not really necessary. 1A is plenty to power the Arduino/mp3/relay board.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yeah I realize that I pc speakers will need power still. I was only really adding in the amp to try and save some money. I can get a set of powered speakers from Wal-Mart for like $10. Even less if I find them at goodwill.
 
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