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My 3 axis skull...in progress

589599 Views 2217 Replies 203 Participants Last post by  HalloweenBob
I have a couple of pictures of my prototype. I will take a bunch of new pictures as I make the other three skulls, but this should give you an idea of what I am doing.

I am making a singing quartet based on (That means idea stolen from) Mike C's Graveyard Quartet. Ever since I saw his video I couldn't get it out of my head.

A neighbor of mine with a machine shop has helped me with the prototype, machining some of the parts I needed, and helping with the design.

I have been using the prototype to do some programming to make sure it all works with Brookshire's VSA software. So far, so good. I will post detailed pics of every step as I start making more skulls, but for now, here's a couple of basic shots with labels on them.

The Jaw servo was not mounted yet in this pic. It is in now. You can see the mounting screws and the linkage wire in the pic. The servo mounts standing up on end. I will add pictures of that later. The eyelid servo is mounted under the plexi-glass. That one is not hooked up yet, but when it is, it will be attached to one of the eyeballs...I am using wooden balls for eyes. It will move it up and down, not side to side. The purpose is to make it appear that it is blinking. I have large fake eyelases that will be attached to the eyeballs. When the eye is moved down, it appears to be closing as the top eyelid moves down with it. In the pic below, you can see the slot cut in the eye socket where the armature will go to move the eyeball. Don't worry, I will post pictures of that as well. I am using a 3/16 rod end as the gimbal which allows movement in all directions. When I build the next one, I will have clear shots of that as well.

Feel free to ask questions, and I will answer as best I can. I now have it hooked up to VSA and it is working very well. I am using the lightweight Pirate Skull and so I do not need springs, elastics or counterweights.
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Kudos from your newest student

I have to say that it says alot about you to see how generous you have been with information about your 3 axis skulls.

Up to this point I have been playing with hacking Gemmy Douglas Firs, but after seeing your project, I'm eager to begin as others have in your footsteps.

Before I ask a lot of questions and waste your time, I'll read thru the older posts.

... again, what a wonderful presentation you had.
I've Been Bitten By The 3 Axis Bug

Before stressing over details, I want to see if I have a general idea of the overall configuration. Can you please let me know if I have a handle on this, or am missing a lot of components and processes.

I put together a little overview graphic so we are all looking at the same thing.

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O.K. for a few more general questions...
The SSC-32 Servo Controller is:
... a board in a workstation?
... an external board that can connect to a workstation /l aptop?
... can control up to how many servos?
Can you use CAT5e or similar between the SSC-32 and the servos ?
How many list members on this thread are just looking into, have started, or completed and are operational with a 3 axis solution? A roll call would be helpful.
I'll Start

Bart - Just fact finding in prep to begin
OK ... Made the Leap and have joined the ranks ( thank God its Christmas ).
Just ordered Brookshire's VSA software and Lynxmotion SSC-32 serial port servo board.

...now heres the rub. I was also going to get the Kitsrus Kit 74 PC Printer Port Relay Board, BUT... My laptop does not have a Parallel Printer port. Just USB. So my question is this, is there another way to acomplish the same thing the Kit 74 Relay Board did but with USB?
Likewise, if someday I want to pop for the Brookshire RAPU and dump the production on to it, how does the relay board interact / connect to the RAPU ?

Looking forward to hearing from the experts.

Has anyone using the Brookshire software utilized a joystick for Real Time event capturing?

It looks like it would really speed up programing.
...and while I have the floor, does anyone know if there is a Brookshire Software users group and forum?
It controls only one axis at a time. I wrote my own real-time software that imports into VSA. It saves a boatload of time programming.
can you talk me thru the practical application of your software, and the hardware involved? Its sounds like a great timesaver.

Since Im starting out as a newbie myself, Ive thought about the very same question, but was too embarassed to ask.

Even a TEST sequence, that would allow you to see that all servos work and are coordinated would be helpful.

Im all for that.

BTW, just ordered (4) Lindberg Skulls. next it will be the servos. The Brookshire software is loaded on the laptop, but I don't have a good feel for it yet. I think it wont make sense to me untill the shulls are built and wired into the SSC-32 ( Whick scares the crap out of me ). Thank goodness for this forum. The SSC-32 circut board is very intimidating., but with the help of past and future posts, Even a newbie like me will get thru it. I hope Halloween Bob doesn't drop off the face of the earth on us now that his quartet have found a new home. - Bart

Has anyone thot of buying/selling/trading VSA routines? Would they be "copyrighted" or "artitstic property of.." In the case of Christmas Light shows (light routines) the commercially available light controllers have a list of songs you can buy but I havent seen anything for/abt skellys in the way of VSA routines for sale...

Im guessing that most people are using similar (4) 3 axis skulls? Im wondering what most are using for power supplies. Can Computer workstation power supplies be used? and if so how many would it take? One is enough for all skulls? One per skull?

Ya lost me there a little bit there. Im tracking a few 5 vdc power supplies and wonder how big is enough, not enough, too much to basically replicate what Halloween Bob did. Are any of these a good choice?

Thanks in advance

#1) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=280187011813&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=018

#2) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=140193697239&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=004

#3) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=140193697239&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=004

#4) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=300185997821&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=020

the board is powered by a wallwart.. and the servos get their power from the board thru the Cat5 cable... only three wires are used, the + and - DC and the signal wire, unless you have reeeeally long runs, then you can power each servo from wallwarts. You have to watch the current load.. if you have more than... oh.. 5 skulls or so, then unless you've got a 1A(approx) wallwart, you'd have to go with a bigger supply. Computer PS's have been used, as well as bench supplies... just a matter of current needed for the servos and SSc32 and whats on hand..
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four,....count 'em FOUR lindberg skulls arrive UPS today. Time to order servos. :D
Tee Hee Hee
OK gang...
Before I smoke the SSC-32 board... I wanted to post how I think the board is supposed to be wired.

I also am not sure of the baud rate so I can set the jumpers. I am posting a graphic so we all have something to look at.

Help guys.
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Bob, I thought I read in an earlier post that you HAD to run the second set of power lines because the board needed to see it ???

This is exactly why I wanted to put up this graphic...and why I will keep stroking it and reposting it untill it is correct.
The thread in question is this one
Quoating your thread below:

" I discovered, that even though I was sending the voltage directly to the servos, and was not using the voltage wires off the SSC-32 board, I still had to feed the DC voltage for the servos into the board in order for it to work.

I just tapped off the terminal block wires and sent that to the board, again being careful to get the polarity right.

You can see that here: "

[snip] end of quote

I didn't quite get it and was a little confused by this, especially since the photo is obscured and I can't see where the newer connections actually terminate to on the SSC-32.
I hate to be a pain, but I hope that this will clear things up. I would also like to add the Kit74 feature and want to add it to this "flow diagram" . Thanks Bob for your patience.

...and per the good Capt'n , the baud rate is 115.2k which uses BOTH baud rate jumpers.
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Again , thanks for your response. I think that this should be correct for the SSC-32, just need your signing off on the schematic & flow.
Note that I have the (3) groupings of jumpers to correspond with the correct application.

If this is correct, then next I'll ask about the KIT74 for the relay cut-out of power to the servo groups. I like that idea and would really like to impliment that.
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I believe that this is also correct for the KIT74 relay board, but being the chicken I am, thought I'd also post this for comment and confirmation.

In the case of the Computer power supply Im hacking for this project, it has both a 5VDC AND 12VDC tap, so I'll be able to power both boards AND the relays and servos for the skulls, and with the AC coming in, power the last (4) open relays for some AC lighting...I think.

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I just finished the Computer Power Supply Hack... Clean 12 VDC, 5 VDC, and 3.3 VDC.
It's a nice package...

I also opened up the Brookshire software and basically got nowhere. Is there an online tutorial, or users group? I have so many questions.
Whats the best On-Line deal for the HiTec servos used on these 3-axis skulls?

ebay stores range $15 to $20 ea. for the HS-425BB's ,
and $21 to $26 for the HS-65HB's

not including shipping...

Anyone find better pricing out there?
Does the VSA software have to see the SSC-32 powered up and connected to the computer serial port in order to work?
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