IR remote LED switch for my Millenium Falcon

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vixr

Active Member
hello all, new guy here...
I finally talked my wife into letting me buy a fine molds 1:72 Millenium Falcon, then the photoetched fan grilles and landing gear baffles, paint, sheet polystyrene...on and on...:lol
I made up an IR remote switch that turns on with any button from a TV remote, it included a pair of flasher circuits but turned out to be too large to fit inside the MF hull so I pared off the flashers and just went with a remote controlled LED switch. I will route the light from the LEDs with fiber optic strands. The board also supports the inverter for some EL tape. The whole thing will be powered by 10 NiMH AAA cells.




I like the way the switch works but I didn't like the form, so I used the PCB drawing tool and custom fit the PCB to the hull...





then etched up another PCB that I will cut out at work tomorrow and populate. I will post some pictures of the finished board...





the smaller board in the picture is the flasher circuit that will be much easier to mount inside the hull. It measures 1.2" x 1.8" and will be powered from the IR board.
 

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vixr

Active Member
well, I am happy with the new PCB in place, it fits and functions perfectly.





the flasher/fader board in place...

 

jedimaster

Sr Member
Wow.... You should sell these as kits. Nice neat work. mine would look like a bowl of spaghetti. Looking forward to seeing this bird lit up.
 

jedimaster

Sr Member
Nice work. If this was a kit I might just actually build my fine molds falcon instead of just letting it sit in a box.
 

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vixr

Active Member
Once my probation is up, I suppose I could make up a few kits...PM me if you are interested. Here is some of the basic stuff I've done on the model so far.
filed some notches...



modded the exhaust port, only 5 more to go...


 
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Aurora

Well-Known Member
Always impressed by people who know how to create boards an know all the electrical jargon. While be fun to watch
 

vixr

Active Member
thanks for the kind comments...I am so impressed with this forum and all the talented people.
 

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opal1970

Well-Known Member
Hi Vixr,
Welcome to the forum. That is some nice work you are doing, both with the detailing (love the pics of the exhausts) and the PCB. I really enjoy it when someone makes their model a little more interactive. I will be trying to add IR to my build as well, however, I will (probably) be using the IR Module/shield for the Arduino board depending on how much space I have.

Which PCB Software are you using? Do you etch the boards yourself? I know there are suppliers out there that will take your schematics and make your boards for you (even layered) for a fairly resonable price. As all the chemicals needed to etch are hard to come by here in Germany I will end up going that route.

Which microcontroller are you using? I tend to use ATtinys from Atmel and am happy with the results. At the moment I am trying to get a TLC5940 programmed to run various LEDs that require PWM but I have not had the time to invest as I would have liked... meaning work in progress. :)
 

vixr

Active Member
opal1970,
I use expressPCB (free download) to draw the schematics and boards. Its a very simple program to learn and they will make the boards too if you wish. Im using the CD4017 decade counter IC which requires no programming. I'm just using the 38K carrier signal from the remote. The first press of any button on the remote drives the CLK pin on the chip high which causes the chip to output a signal from the first output pin to the relay, causing it to close. The second press on the remote causes the chip to activate the second output on the chip to drive the reset pin high turning the relay off. Its a pretty dumb system but the parts are dirt cheap and requires no programming. The down side is it only one channel. I do etch the boards at home using the toner transfer method. I use muriatic acid (for swimming pools) and hydrogen peroxide in a 1:2 ratio. It works like a charm. It is very caustic and has some strong fumes so I do it outside in small batches.
 

opal1970

Well-Known Member
Hi Vixr,
understood, keeping it simple definatly has its advantages. :) as mentioned I have a couple other bridges to cross before I get that far but I would like to try to add different modes that are controlled via IR, that is the main reason for putting an arduino board in it.
as for etching, there was a thread not too long ago regarding electro-etching... I may or may not give that a try...

http://www.therpf.com/f11/electro-etching-brass-143249/
 

vixr

Active Member
opal1970,
I tried using saltwater and my bench power supply to etch a circuit board, and it does work. My problem was the copper would etch away around the wire I had soldered to the board first and not etching the whole board...I gave up after a few tries, although it worked very well to etch some brass accents I made for another project I did, a steampunk themed vacuum tube amplifier.


 

opal1970

Well-Known Member
Hi Vixr,

lets forget for just one moment that I haven't the slightest idea what a "steampunk themed vacuum tube amplifier" is :lol... other than that, I have to say it turned out very impressive!
 

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DS Operative

Well-Known Member
I think this PCB is awesome, and I would certainly be interested in one if they were ever offered. Especially if they were customizable.

I'm still doing research for my build, but I am planning on displaying mine in a "parked" position, so I am going to light the underside with position lights, flood lights, landing ramp, head lights, cockpit lights, engine lights, and possibly the gun wells.
 

vixr

Active Member
DS Operative,
the PCB will be very customizable...your choice of LED colors, how many LEDS (up to 10 LEDs) Pads for the EL tape inverter, which will limit the input power to above 12 volts. The PCB can be powered internally or externally. I'm choosing to install 4 of the LEDs directly to the board and routing the light via fiber optic strands and the rest of the LEDs will be mounted off board, connected to the board via wires. The off board LEDs will require a resistor. 6 additional items could be added to the board instead of LEDs as long as they meet the power option chosen. The 12 volt voltage regulator could be changed if the 12 volt inverter for the EL tape were not needed, this would allow for lower total voltage from a smaller battery pack, as long as it is at least 5 volts for the CD4017 IC and relay. I will have a total current draw for the items I'm adding soon and we can then estimate current requirements from there for other configurations.
 

vixr

Active Member
Just a quick post to say that I could make a custom PCB for just about any model to allow for the IR remote switch. I only have a Vader TIE fighter, Xwing and the tydirium which I could take exact measurements from...If I had exact measurements I could possibly build any PCB someone wanted for a model...I will post some drawings of the boards I can do for the models I have ASAP.
 
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DS Operative

Well-Known Member
Just a quick post to say that I could make a custom PCB for just about any model to allow for the IR remote switch. I only have a Vader TIE fighter, Xwing and the tydirium which I could take exact measurements from...If I had exact measurements I could possibly build any PCB someone wanted for a model...I will post some drawings of the boards I can do for the models I have ASAP.
ROCK ON (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
 

vixr

Active Member
I have added the fast charger circuit to the lighting system, it is based on the MC33340 battery management IC. It allows for a 120 minute charge and then latch to trickle charge mode. The trickle charge is more a "float charge" since it pushes just enough current to the cells to stay slightly above the self discharge rate of the NiMH cells, so they could stay plugged into the wall wart as long as one wished.
I have used a 10K thermistor to remote sense the battery pack heat and terminate the fast charge if the cells get too hot. With a very controlled charge of the cells, the pack should last for years. The aluminum heat sink on the voltage regulator is hardly needed and will be removed before I install the boards in the Falcon.



 

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