MPC X-Wing - Internally Motorized S-Foils

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Hagoth

Sr Member
Worth a shot asking. I have made good research progress since my last post. Taking various tips from 4 different video tutorials I have found I think I know how to do this now. Testing out theory to take place this week. Getting a new variable power supply tomorrow. Hope to avoid smoking anything else.
 

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Tanolucas

Active Member
Here is the video of the wing action. Enjoy!


As mentioned in the video manually positioned units are available for purchase now. Just email me (contact info at the end of the video) or PM me here to place an order.

PM-1A (exposed spindle bearings) is $36 plus shipping.
PM-2A (folding wings root panels) is $41 plus shipping.

As a special offer to those on this thread I will make the mechanism STL files available for the same prices as above if you want to print your own. Limited to personal use only please. Keep in mind that the mechanism is a small model kit in and of itself and finish work will be required for assembly and fit.

I'm confident enough in the effectiveness of motorization method that I can make purchase of the motor driver pack components as it currently stands open to discussion. Depends on how much of your own work one is willing to do at this point.

These announcements do not end this project. They just mark a milestone in the progress of it.
The end of this project will eventually be a completed Red 11 X-wing with an internal power source and driver boards. Still a long ways to go.

Thanks for following along!
Wow man, what an excellent job you did, I really consider that adapting parts to an existing model is a very complicated task and you are doing it sensational!
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
Success! :cool: (y)
At least when it comes to proving that you can run stepper motors off an Arduino driving transistors.
The notion of putting them in series to increase the torques turned out to be a load of bunk... at least for this project. In series did not work driving them with an Arduino but in parallel did just fine and at 5V to boot. This explains why I had to jack the voltage when installed in the model for the manual test which had them in series.

Now to rewire them for insertion back into the model and test it again. I'll add video of it working in the body with what I took today and post it next week. Here are stills of the PM-2A closed and opened with a single button push each way. Takes 2 seconds to move in either direction.

IMG_6150.JPG

IMG_6151.JPG


And here is the driver system I built for this and for which my nephew wrote the code. The cool thing about our efforts today is that once the program was uploaded to the hardware we drove a single motor both directions on the first try! We added buttons to allow for manual switching of the motor directions to open and close the mechanism on command. I'm considering placing one under the R2 unit so that pressing him down will toggle the wings open or closed for a manual operation option if not using the BlueTooth module which still needs to be integrated. The rest of the time today was spent figuring out why it would not work with two motors in series. I kept the original manual push button driver intact (lower right corner of the board) for testing to make sure things still worked. Now that the issue of code driven steppers is solved I can continue to move forward with this project.

IMG_6145.JPG


Oh, and a very important benefit of this is very little heat is generated or dissipated with this stepper driver technique. Barely could detect any warmth on the components after opening and closing the mechanism about 20 times. The commercial stepper driver got very hot with just a few operations which is a bad thing to have happen in a model. These components can be compacted down to a very small foot print for placement in the model.

Today was a landmark day!
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
How can I sleep with exciting progress such as this...
Wired up in parallel and installed in the body with the PM-2A.
Running off of 5 V.
Still shots of the mechanism closed and open.
IMG_6152.JPG

IMG_6153.JPG


IT WORKS!!! (y) (y)

Single button push to activate is soooo nice.

Now I can sleep. Video editing will have to wait till later.

Thanks for stopping by to check out the progress.
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
I'm delaying posting the video of the transistors driven steppers in action to take the testing to the next level with the wings fully wired for the engine LED's and attached to the PM-2A mechanism with the folding wing root panels. I tested out powered function with a 6 volt battery pack and it worked. Looks like two 3V coin batteries will fit nicely in the back of the model between the bulkhead and the servo butt plate so that planning is looking good. Also tweaked the Arduino code to open the wings in about 1 second. Motion is much better looking.

Here's the progress tonight. I really like how this whole motorizing concept is fitting together in such a small package.
And yes, my workbench tonight is the kitchen table.
IMG_6217.JPG


Thanks for stopping by to check out the progress.
 

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Searun

Active Member
Incredible mix of mechanical actuators, electronics and computer programming. A real challenge given such a small model. Far exceeds my remote control model experience. I do understand your “smoke test” terminology quite well.
 

JediMichael

Master Member
Very cool work getting this to open and close. I have never attempted using any type motors and moving parts because it's totally out of my range with thinking.
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
Beautiful...this set-up is going to be a must for fans of that bird (y) (y)
Won't argue with that statement! Thanks for the declaration.
Very cool!
Thank you!
Incredible mix of mechanical actuators, electronics and computer programming. A real challenge given such a small model. Far exceeds my remote control model experience. I do understand your “smoke test” terminology quite well.
Thanks! It has been a challenge but really fun to pull off. Have not released any more of the magic smoke with the latest driver design.
Runs cool and smooth!
Very cool work getting this to open and close. I have never attempted using any type motors and moving parts because it's totally out of my range with thinking.
And yet you put together a great fireworks show! Very satisfying watching this function as imagined.

New vision: Four X-Wings hanging in formation. All powered up with engines glowing. Upon command the wings on the lead fighter open with the other three following after a slight delay between them. Remember that scene in ANH?
I could recreate it all in one go. :cool:

Progress for the night. Engine lights all wired up and tested. Four small LED's all wired in parallel with a 100 ohm resistor in the circuit. Not so bright that they leave a laser like spot on the wall but plenty bright to light up the exhaust nozzles.

And completely smooth operation.

IMG_6269.JPG
IMG_6270.JPG


The backlash is gone with some of the wing mechanism glued together.

IMG_6268.JPG

IMG_6267.JPG

Working on the Video now. It will be posted later tonight or tomorrow depending on how fast I can edit and upload.

Wish I could take off a couple days in a row to spend on this. I get a happy spike inside every time I look at it sitting on the table waiting for the next step of progress. :)

Thanks for following along with my excitement.
 
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Hagoth

Sr Member
And here is the video link of it in action! Single button opening and closing of the wings with a 6V power pack. Backlash eliminated!


Direct link to video

In my excitement to share the progress and make the video I forgot to install the folding wing root panels back in and didn't realize it until I was nearly finished editing. So I added in close up details of them at the end of the video from my previous tests before installing the engine light wires. You still get the idea. I also show the driver layout and the activation sequence manually and with the Arduino. I may make a more detailed video on that aspect later so others can replicate it.

The engine parts are only set in place so you will see them wiggle a bit but it makes for a good look to include them in the test and proved that even with the wings out of balance the motors still have the required torque to function.

Enjoy!
 
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Searun

Active Member
Thanks for the wiring tutorial: circuit card, sequence slide, and the clever use of a tooth pick pointer to indicate the tiny electronics.
 

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Hagoth

Sr Member
Thank you everyone for your comments and complements!

Not sure why my videos in these posts suddenly became unavailable. Seems to be forum wide for all video links. Don't know if it will get fixed or not so I have now put direct links below them so they can still be viewed.

Anyway, the reason for this update. This project has generated a couple fully working PM-1A (exposed spindle) prototypes of the mechanisms. Ones that I will no longer be using for my various tests.
Here they are.
IMG_6275.JPG


The surfaces are not fully cleaned up and smoothed out but they do work just fine as they are. They do not have the vertical wire shields mentioned in post #26. They do not have any wires inserted through them for the engine lights. The wing positions will not be locked in place. They will work great for a manual positioning of the wings that eliminate the body wobble and synchronize the motion. With the clever placement of small magnets in the wing tips and body the position lock can be compensated for. The motor pack does fit on them so they are fully capable of being motorized which will also lock the wing positions.

I'm offering them to anyone following along at a discounted price of $25 each plus shipping which generally runs between $8 and $13 depending on where it is going. PM me if interested. First come first serve.
 

Hagoth

Sr Member
Sorry to break news that I need to put this project on hold for the time being. Need to pay some extra attention to matters of life.
Hobby time being reallocated. I will be back at this eventually, just can't say when.

This dream is not dead... in fact it is expanding.
I'm still going to do this X-Wing as never before seen Red 11.
Then I will add Red 1, 2, 3, and 5 for the "Lock S-foils in attack position" live motion sequence shot mentioned above.

In the mean time take care.
 

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