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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Welding The Neck Section

By |April 26th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Was a good day today. Finished welding of the neck. It sits on top of the lower chassis upside down.
Very sturdy, massive gusset hold it together in all directions, will have very little twist.

Below is one trailing arm sitting on a suspension hanger. Waiting for the part, which is redone, until I can fit
the last cross member. Looks all good though. All measurements are spot on and everything is very much like it is designed.
We have under 1 mm deviations from the planned measurements, which is amazing considering how alu pulls in when you fully weld it.

Below is a pic […]

Current Sensors

By |April 24th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Today I got some more current sensors. Some hall effect sensors for AC current measurement. Will start testing them tonight.
They will be used to determine 240V power use and if consumption goes close to the limit the system will automatically switch off secondary circuits with lower priority.

Above is a picture of one of the sensors.. I have different ones depending on amperage to be measured to keep resolution good for reasonable accuracy.

That’s it for today.
Will be a busy long weekend. One of my relations bought a new Prado and wants all the stuff she had in here previous car done […]

DMX Shield Test

By |April 24th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Yesterday evening and today I tested the Arduino DMX shield and after a few issues with conflicting libraries I got it to work.

Above is the DMX-Ethernet client. I decided to use this concept for pretty much all my lights and not the PWM shield with the PWM drivers. I have 5 drivers I might use them but the DMX shield is far more elegant. I have small DMX clients coming which drive to strip lights and the installation and wiring is much more elegant with the DMX bus instead of star configurations with the PWM shield or individual Arduinos. The DMX bus […]

More Welding

By |April 24th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Yesterday and today I was working on the chassis.
The rubber membrane for the separation of the steel suspension hangers from the alu mount plate has arrived.
The neck SHS is back from my machinist with all the holes drilled.

I have tacked up some cross members and work on fitting the suspension hangers but have to do a slight modification. Not enough clearance for the 1.5mm membrane. The last version of the new counter plate (I had that redone) is still no good. I was sloppy in calculating the total width and forgot to take one layer of membrane into account. I did not […]

Waterproof Connectors

By |April 17th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

I received a bunch of connectors from China via AliExpress.

I had been looking for such connectors for quite some time. Panel connectors – meaning you mount the female side in the wall of a box and the other side is the male plug and all is waterproof. They are brilliant. 3,4,5,7,9 pole , the 3 pole ones for the tank senders and the one wire temperature senders, the 4 pole for the CAN bus with power and also the RGB strip lights, 5, 7 and 9 for other connections, mainly analog and digital input signals. I am really happy […]

Welding Chassis Frame

By |April 17th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Busy day, had a few beers after work and got too late for pics.. was dark by then.
The suspension hangers are welded up, no problem at all .. no bending – easy
The trailing arms are tacked, the axle sleeves are welded to the hub adaptors and we
put the the outer cross members on the chassis after we did set it on the saw horses
and got it level. That took actually only a few minutes, totally surprising, once we had
the main rails on the saw horses and just eye balled the levels and direction and the measured it with the laser […]

PWM Shield

By |April 16th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

I have finished programming the PWM shield. This is mounted on a Visduino with a CAN bus shield and can drive 27 channels of PWM signal to drive LED lights. This can be used for up to 9 RGB strip light channels. The outputs are amplified to 12V outputs and are connected to strip light drivers which are good for up to 8A RGB.

Above is an image of the extended test program with the UI for the PWM client. Since I have now finished the communication framework for the gateway and the CAN bus clients it is quick and easy to […]

Cutting Steel Parts

By |April 16th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today I did cut all my steel parts for the trailing arms.
I prepared the steel parts we intend to weld tomorrow including the suspension hanger plates.
Above is an image showing all 4 suspension hanger plates lined up through a 1.5″ steel rod to keep them perfectly aligned when we weld.

The mounting blocks for the trailing arms will be pressed between the hanger sides with a couple of blades from a feeler gauge to give it just a tiny bit of play(0.05mm) and more importantly all the same. The hanger plate is 8mm steel and will be bolted to a 10mm alu plate […]

Arduino Analog Extender Shield And Others

By |April 15th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Some more electronic stuff came today and I have done more testing. I started to put the configurations together for my network nodes, mainly the CAN bus.

I received my prototype/screw terminal shields and can now finalise the stacks of boards I am going to use for the different type of clients.

I have tested a digital extender with additional 16 digital IOs and 8 analog IOs and another extender with 28 digital IOs and 16 analog inputs.

I also have configured and tested a 27 channel PWM shield.

I now have tested all the components I need and only need a few […]

Second Chassis Rail

By |April 11th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today we finished the second main chassis rail.
Went really well and was good working in pleasant conditions, a bit rain once in a while but nice temperature.

After finishing the main rail we started the neck section.
The two side pieces first.

Tacked up to keep them nicely symmetric and then fully welded on both sides to keep them aligned. If one side should pull in a bit the other would follow.
The heat and the smallest of gaps can distort a perfectly aligned angle.

Massive brace under the neck will hold everything together.


Chassis Rail Finished

By |April 10th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

We have finished one rail 8650mm long and 5.80m at 9″ high and 2.85 at 12″ high.
Massive beam, which is calculated to carry 5.5t at a required strength of 1/6th of the yield strength of the material.
The whole trailer is calculated at 6t maximum capacity at off road standards.

We will do the second rail tomorrow.

I also received another bunch of Visduinos today from China and am doing a few more compatibility tests.
The Visduinos appear to be better than some of the Arduino clones I got from an Australian seller (most likely also from China).

The First Weld

By |April 10th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Today (10-4) welding started in earnest. First step was tacking the main rail and the sub rail carefully from both sides. We marked the intended welds, staggered on both sides with some gaps and the tacked the two pieces carefully to keep them straight. Not paying attention to evenly spread the welds, and not too close in the beginning, might result in a banana shape. It is quite amazing when you see how this big beam can bend by just misplacing a couple of welds.

The main rail is 9″ high with a long section behind the suspension of 12 […]

Ready For Welding

By |April 9th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

All the pieces are cut and the shed is ready to start welding tomorrow. My mate is coming in the morning and we will start putting it all together. Will be interesting.

So finally it is going to happen and the actual build commences.


Arduino Shields

By |April 9th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Also today came two more shields for my Arduinos to try out.

The first one is a 27 channel PWM shield. This will reduce the number of Arduinos I need to drive the strip lights, since  one RGB strip will need 3 channels to drive it, unless one uses it in a single colour, which defeats the purpose.
I still am experimenting with DMX, and have not yet decided if I use the Arduinos or DMX for the RGB lights.
I have also a bunch of monochrome lights where I use these wireless RF switches with a single channel driver. I have ordered […]

Suspension Hanger

By |April 9th, 2015|CHASSIS BUILD|0 Comments

Little gussets, the main alu plates (10mm) for hanging the suspension mount, the newly made counter plates in 6mm (they fit perfect now) and the components for the coupling mount. Those big pieces at the right top are the two braces for the coupling mount. The neck itself is with my machinist at the moment and gets a few more holes. 4.5″ square steel 1/4″ thick is nothing
you work on with an amateur drill stand. I also have bought the stainless steel bolts, mudguard washers and lock nuts to fit the suspension mounts and the coupling mount. The coupling […]

CAN Bus Node

By |April 6th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

Above is an image of a CAN bus node. This is an Arduino with a CAN bus shield and on top of that is a DIY shield, which connects to the OneWire bus, the relay board for the gate valve and the analogue input for the tank senders. This is what I have used for testing so far.

I have added the current sensor below and used it to determine if the gate valve is moving (current draw of the motor or running against the end when open) because the open signal comes already when the gate is open a […]

CAN Bus Gateway

By |April 4th, 2015|COMPONENT BUILD|0 Comments

This week I have been working solely on the electronics apart from a few business meetings and some work on that commercial website I am doing.


Above image shows  the gateway to the CAN bus from Ethernet.
I finished the communication from the desktop through the gateway to the CAN bus clients. I also finished implementing the first client sketch for the motorised valves. Have found motorised ball valves in cr-05 configuration meaning they have feedback signals at closed and open state, not just motor wires. I can connect 5 of such valves to one Arduino using an IO expansion shield. It is […]