IR remote LED switch for my Millenium Falcon

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by vixr, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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.

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    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...

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

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    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.
     
  2. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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

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    the flasher/fader board in place...

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  3. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    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.
     
  4. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Wow, thanks for the vote of confidence... here is a piece of video...

    CLICK HERE
     
  5. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    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.
     
  6. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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...

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

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    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  7. Aurora

    Aurora Well-Known Member

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    Always impressed by people who know how to create boards an know all the electrical jargon. While be fun to watch
     
  8. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Agreed! Awesome stuff. I want one too!
     
  9. crackerjazz

    crackerjazz Sr Member

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    Fantastic stuff, vixr! Good to know there's an electronics whiz on board.
     
  10. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    thanks for the kind comments...I am so impressed with this forum and all the talented people.
     
  11. opal1970

    opal1970 Well-Known Member

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    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. :)
     
  12. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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.
     
  13. opal1970

    opal1970 Well-Known Member

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    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/
     
  14. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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.

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  15. opal1970

    opal1970 Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  16. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  17. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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.
     
  18. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  19. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    ROCK ON (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
     
  20. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    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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  21. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Its been awhile since I've posted to the forum, and I have had a few PMs from people interested in the IR switch. I will put together some parts lists and price lists with explanations of what each version of the switch would involve with regard to configuration, if anyone is still interested. Please post to this thread with any and all questions and we can get an interest check underway. I am still a few posts shy of the requirement for a new member to post in the for sale forum. I think if there were enough interest, I would have the PCBs made professionally by express PCB.
     
  22. Dao2

    Dao2 Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive :eek:, wish I had the ability (ie not lazy :<) to do this stuff.
     
  23. Scratchy

    Scratchy Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's impressive, I'll certainly be following along with your build up thread vixr,.... and welcome to the RPF.
     
  24. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I have been doing this stuff for awhile now, and I've always loved scale models, now I get to do both!
     
  25. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    thank you...I will be posting some pictures of the whole lighting scheme soon.
     
  26. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Does anyone have an idea for hiding the power connector for the charging circuit? I thought of hiding it inside one of the landing gear wells...
     
  27. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I have added a dozen parts to the forward area between the mandibles and I can hardly tell...hahahaha!!! this model is going to take a long time to build...
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  28. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    just a few more pics of my progress today...

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  29. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I am loving this airbrush...I tried to paint these grilles with a tiny brush and clogged em up, the airbrush worked like a charm...

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  30. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    did some more work on her this evening... I am very impressed with the level of detail on the FM Falcon.

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  31. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    played with my airbrush a bit more tonight...Tamiya flat acrylic, deck tan and white 50/50, thinned with alcohol.

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  32. skidoosnopro

    skidoosnopro New Member

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    Beutiful work !!!!!
     
  33. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    thank you... I got half of the back deck done and squirted some primer on. Wow, there are a lot of parts...

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  34. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    The biggest concern that I have when I do my own build is that the lights will be too bright. Specifically the boarding ramp well, and the position lights around the underside. Is there a way to make the brightness adjustable? Great work so far!
     
  35. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    You can use a variable resistor (trim pot) instead of a fixed resistor for LEDs...start with a 2K ohm trimmer. That should give you plenty of adjustment... you could use a 1/2 watt trimmer and wire all the grounds together thru the trimmer for 3 or 4 LEDs. If you decide to try this, I will send you a simple schematic to use.
     
  36. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    here is the scheme...

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  37. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    well, I made some pretty good progress today, got all the parts added to the area around the exhaust vents and under some primer...

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  38. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Guys...there looks to me to be more "soot" coming from the small vent holes behind the 6 large exhaust vents in this picture of the 3 footer. There is actually very little soot streaking back from the large vents...does anyone have better pictures of the studio model?

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  39. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I found the pictures I needed in the studio scale models forum...
     
  40. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    hahahahaaa!!! I glued these on backward... I pulled them off and turned them around. I know you guys saw this, thanks for not slamming me.

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  41. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    So, here is what I ended up with...

    I glued the A23 parts in place for spacing, and cut a slot in the E42 part.

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    I trimmed the EL tape to fit and pushed it in the slot...

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    the EL tape has a sticky backing that will hold it in place...

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    I will end up using some double side sticky tape to install the EL tape for a bit more spacing and I really dont trust the stuff that came on the EL tape to hold it in place...
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  42. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I'm done with the little parts on the bottom hull... Getting close now.

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  43. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I used a small drill bit to drill a thru hole, then a second larger bit to countersink and a third bit to chamfer the top edge...and used a small surface mount LED from inside the hull to act as the large spot light just under the escape pods. The LED is pretty tiny, I think it should look fine. The LEDs are the type used to backlight the buttons on keypads. They will be wired to the off board LED pads on the PCB I etched. I will use the same ones to light the landing gear wells.

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  44. MandoMan531

    MandoMan531 Active Member

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    Excellent work! I'm slowly building one of these, mainly because I'm trying to figure out some of the electronics. I have a Madman kit, but I have no idea where to put the battery pack, I don't wanna button her up until I know I can change the batteries, etc.

    Do you have a diagram of the hull lighting? I had one awhile back but can't find it for the life of me.
     
  45. Hoot35

    Hoot35 New Member

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    vixr,

    I can't wait to see the finished product. What you have is very cool. :cool :cool
     
  46. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Thank you for the kind comments.
    Here is a link to the lighting diagram that I am using... CLICK HERE
     
  47. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Thank you...I hope to have it done soon. There are so many little parts and tweaks. :lol
     
  48. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    I finally have 99% of the parts on the top hull and under some primer...

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  49. MandoMan531

    MandoMan531 Active Member

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    Thats the diagram i had! Thanks a ton! Upper hull looks good. How did you go about filling the sink mark around the outer perimeter? I've been having some trouble there sanding without removing the detail.
     
  50. vixr

    vixr Active Member

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    Could you please show me the sink mark? I cant see it...but in answer to your question, I haven't done anything with it yet. :confused
     

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