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Events => North America => SCRC (Saskatoon Combat Robotics Club) => Topic started by: FingerTech on June 21, 2017, 01:14:09 am

Title: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 21, 2017, 01:14:09 am
Here is the list and discussion for upgrades we would like to do this year.

Numbered so we can easily refer to items.
1. Four TVs on top of the arena for displaying schedule, brackets, and highlight videos. [Travis has 1]
2. Double-stack the sponsor signs so we can fit the TVs up there. [Kurtis]
3. A 2ft metal post/stand that raises the spinning red light above the sponsor signs. [Travis]
4. A new control box that can run fights independently of a laptop (but can still take laptop inputs, etc).
5. New arena lights - 12V RGB LED strips that can be controlled via control box.  Possibly individually addressable.
6. Audio system with cues from the control box
7. Run permanent ready/tap out cables inside frame with connectors on the end.
8. Replace inner lexan walls (maybe just the broken side? Or all?)
9. Repaint everything again because slushy salty January events are the devil.  Get a paint shop to prep it properly!
10. New hazard heads, embiggen or harden the shafts (one is currently bent)
11. Hazard motors run from ESCs
12. New 12V battery (42Ah) and charger
13. Door lock interrupts so the control box can disable hazards and not start fights until locked.
14. Quick-release locking pins for doors [Test Travis's]
15. Ref controlled count-out trigger
16. Stainless steel floor? (Wouldn't need to be repainted as oftne)
17. 3 judging tablets/phones, tied into the laptop software.
18. Audio recordings of the announcer and inside arena (camera sound is not good)

Anything missing?  New ideas are welcome!
Let's work out the logistics - what needs to get started right away, when people are available, etc.  Starting with what needs to be done before the parade (August 8th)?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 21, 2017, 01:33:58 am
14. Quick-release locking pins
Like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Release-Finish-Button-Diameter-Usable/dp/B009P7MA3E/ref=pd_sbs_328_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B009P7ND1M&pd_rd_r=TMNTS6KBMSFRGVVEMRW4&pd_rd_w=f1JYS&pd_rd_wg=Fimh8&refRID=TMNTS6KBMSFRGVVEMRW4&th=1
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 21, 2017, 01:59:01 am
We can put down "wants" too right?

15. Ref controlled countdown system. I noticed that its difficult to time a countdown with the actual timer, I'm either off speed or I'm paying too much attention to the timer. A button that the ref can press to start/cancel a countdown would be pretty cool, but I don't really know the best way to implement it.

Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 21, 2017, 02:16:52 am
16. Stainless steel floor
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 21, 2017, 03:33:49 am
Of course, brainstorm!  Dream big!  I've added those two to the list. 

I think the count-out thing is a good idea but also haven't thought out the way it would work exactly.  Maybe a handheld button that starts counting as soon as it's pressed but resets if released?  We don't really have a referee for matches.  Should it be a designated judge, or should it be a separate person (actual ref)?

A stainless floor appeals to me because we wouldn't have to keep repainting it!  And I think we are well past the era when robots needed magnets just to move themselves around.  :P  (People will think that's a joke but go watch fights from 10 years ago!)
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: ACME on June 21, 2017, 10:01:08 am
9. Paint - I wonder if we could get a deal with a local paint shop to do the entire metal part of the arena? I've been fighting with paint quality and specs at work (street sweepers are a rust nightmare) and what I've found is that preventing rust is really just a matter of a quality prep job, which I'm not sure we've ever done. We strip all the non-metal bits and then get it blasted, primed, and painted black. At least in Winnipeg, most paint shops do a black paint run 2-4 times a week, and we don't care which "black" we get. We'd still have to touch up the floor (unless stainless) but that should keep the tubes looking nice for much longer.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: DBM on June 21, 2017, 10:25:00 am
Do we have any old lexan left to use on the roof so that the new lights can stay on the outside of the arena?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: nathanwiebe on June 21, 2017, 10:34:24 am
17. Rather than simple white 12V LED strips, we could go with addressable RGB LED strips that could be animated to attract attention in the parade, or just before a round of fights is starting at a busy and loud event like Nationals.  These lights could possibly be used on the inside and outside of the arena, and can actually provide a significant level of white illumination during fights for an economical price.  This could also drastically cut our power consumption compared to halogens, and alleviate the breaker tripping problem.  (also that pesky electrical code/CSA issue of mains powered lighting, if we care about that).
18. Scott suggested a web-app on 3 tablets/phones dedicated to judging, tied into the main system.  It would have the fight details, and could automatically gather and log all scoring data.  It could also be used by a judge/ref to trigger the automatic KO count down timer.  I have already volunteered to work on this if we figure this is something we want to go forward with.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: srw on June 21, 2017, 02:06:24 pm
Thanks Nathan... I was already formulating my reply before I read yours.  Yes, the judging tablets could certainly trigger the "show motion" countdown.  Maybe it could be a two of three situation.  Do we need another "shot clock"? or would audio cues be cool for this?  Can we hire Allison Smith to do all our audio voicing?

Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 21, 2017, 02:29:49 pm
I think we have 100% decided we are replacing the halogens. RGB should be used in at least some extent to do cool effects and can replace the light tower thingy if we want.

I think a visual shotclock is necessary for countouts, but I don't really want a second display. Is it feasible to have the timer shotclock keep time but cycle the countout in too?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 21, 2017, 03:24:41 pm
Stainless on top of the old floor or just stainless?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 21, 2017, 04:46:34 pm
Who are you Darkwynter?

Stainless floor idea is kind of a joke, we would definitely need to club vote on making changes to the floor. But if I had my way it would be just stainless (i.e. not very magnetic). Other problems is cost and even finding an non standard size sheet (8x6)
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: srw on June 21, 2017, 04:53:15 pm
Travis: the existing clock could definitely switch to a count-out mode.  What would be a good visual cue that it's no longer match time?  Should it refuse to count down a countout if there is not enough match time left?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 21, 2017, 04:56:21 pm
It's Brandon Wiebe. I've had this account for a while, but I guess I hadn't posted yet. I have no objection to stainless even if it eliminates magnet use. I just was wondering whether I'd need to modify the new chassis for Scary Thing or just make it the same. If stainless is still a pipe dream for the moment then I'll go ahead with it as is.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 21, 2017, 05:36:33 pm
Would hardening the hazard shafts be easier than embiggening them?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 21, 2017, 06:46:43 pm
Its safe to say the floor will be the same for September.

Scott: If we have accent lighting, maybe the arena could change to yellow or orange or something when countdown activates? Locking out the countdown in the final seconds seems fine.

Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 12:38:32 am
I'm happy to try that if it means not repainting everything every year!  Does anyone have an 'in' with a paint shop?  Maybe Dennis with your racing stuff?  Or even just an idea who might be a good place to ask?

9. Paint - I wonder if we could get a deal with a local paint shop to do the entire metal part of the arena? I've been fighting with paint quality and specs at work (street sweepers are a rust nightmare) and what I've found is that preventing rust is really just a matter of a quality prep job, which I'm not sure we've ever done. We strip all the non-metal bits and then get it blasted, primed, and painted black. At least in Winnipeg, most paint shops do a black paint run 2-4 times a week, and we don't care which "black" we get. We'd still have to touch up the floor (unless stainless) but that should keep the tubes looking nice for much longer.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 12:44:03 am
We might?  If we did it that way, how can we mount TVs up there?

Do we have any old lexan left to use on the roof so that the new lights can stay on the outside of the arena?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 12:55:02 am
We had spoken about RGB strips and I think that's a good idea. (Updated original post #5.) Have "neopixels" come down in price?  I would have thought they were prohibitively expensive.  The RGB strips were intended to be separately controlled, and possibly even splitting them in half lengthwise so we could light up quarters or the ceiling.
For creative fun, what kind of cool things could/would we do with an individually addressable RGB LED ceiling?

Adding the judging tablets as #17 to the original post.  What is the cheapest we could get three tablets?

17. Rather than simple white 12V LED strips, we could go with addressable RGB LED strips that could be animated to attract attention in the parade, or just before a round of fights is starting at a busy and loud event like Nationals.  These lights could possibly be used on the inside and outside of the arena, and can actually provide a significant level of white illumination during fights for an economical price.  This could also drastically cut our power consumption compared to halogens, and alleviate the breaker tripping problem.  (also that pesky electrical code/CSA issue of mains powered lighting, if we care about that).
18. Scott suggested a web-app on 3 tablets/phones dedicated to judging, tied into the main system.  It would have the fight details, and could automatically gather and log all scoring data.  It could also be used by a judge/ref to trigger the automatic KO count down timer.  I have already volunteered to work on this if we figure this is something we want to go forward with.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 01:03:42 am
I know a number of English people if we wanted some fancy custom cues.  :)
Also, you can hire someone on Fiverr that will do English accent robotic-synthed voice acting for a reasonable rate.

Thanks Nathan... I was already formulating my reply before I read yours.  Yes, the judging tablets could certainly trigger the "show motion" countdown.  Maybe it could be a two of three situation.  Do we need another "shot clock"? or would audio cues be cool for this?  Can we hire Allison Smith to do all our audio voicing?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 01:06:47 am
I'm not writing off a stainless floor.  I'm curious what the cost would be.  Where could we get an estimate?
I would think we take off the top layer of steel and put the stainless onto the bottom layer.  Any reason to keep the extra layer in there?

Stainless floor idea is kind of a joke, we would definitely need to club vote on making changes to the floor. But if I had my way it would be just stainless (i.e. not very magnetic). Other problems is cost and even finding an non standard size sheet (8x6)
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 01:09:00 am
Dunno, would it?  I've never hardened anything.  If that part is easy, it would save us from replacing the bearing blocks and pulleys in the hazard assembly.

Would hardening the hazard shafts be easier than embiggening them?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 22, 2017, 11:44:04 am
As I go through the videos from last weekend, I've decided to add "18. Audio recordings of the announcer and inside arena (camera sound is not good)"
Bad audio really suckifies the videos.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 22, 2017, 09:54:17 pm
I can't promise they'd come out dead straight, but I could give my best shot at hardening the existing hazard shafts if the other option is just to scrap them anyway. Also, I'm still happy to donate my SM57 for the in arena mic.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 23, 2017, 12:22:36 pm
I believe the shafts are 1018 steel from Princess Auto now. We could also look at getting a stronger steel from McMaster or something.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on June 23, 2017, 05:05:26 pm
What do the hazard shafts look like? I'll start there before throwing out ideas.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 23, 2017, 07:09:27 pm
Its just plain old keyed 3/4" rod.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on June 23, 2017, 07:14:34 pm
so would 1045 keyed shafting from Mcmaster or similar work, then heat treat it?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 24, 2017, 02:41:31 am
2. Double stacking signs.

I'm thinking we glue magnets onto the signs and make some simple steel frames that screw into the existing 2x2s.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 24, 2017, 11:24:58 am
Not arena related, but just so it doesn't get lost on Facebook or forgotten - the official scale might be magnet damaged. It seemed to weigh about 1g heavy per lb which isn't necessarily a problem, but on one attempt to weigh Scary Thing it gave a reading 20g low.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 25, 2017, 01:10:22 pm
 I should just get a calibration weight to use at events, I think they are pretty cheap.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 25, 2017, 03:46:06 pm
Would truck bed liner be better than paint for the arena floor? For the steel floor, it's tougher than paint, and if/when we do switch to stainless, bare non-hot-rolled metal is super slippery, so some extra traction might be nice. It also looks nice and matte on camera.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on June 25, 2017, 07:34:22 pm
I've got a 200g calibration weight I can bring in september. I figure I'd make my bots weigh in correctly to it so I shouldn't need to worry about scale discrepancies. They are pretty cheap though, I think I got mine on amazon for around $5. I'm not hardcore enough though to only handle it with tweezers or gloves though :P
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on June 25, 2017, 10:21:15 pm
Never used truck liner but isn't it usually applied pretty thick, and then could craters form if it gets ripped up at all? Also need to make sure paint can stick to it as well.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on June 27, 2017, 07:56:06 pm
Regarding the LED strips, I have a price list from one China company (SE-LED.com) that sells 5050 sized RGBW strips.  They are 60LEDS/m, 17W/m.  Works out to around $7.50/m (CAD currency).  Part number is SELS-5050RGBNW30-12 if you're looking.
If we space them every 6", that's <40m which would cost $300.  15% cheaper if we don't want silicone coating to waterproof it, but I'd think we want that.
I'm not married to this company so feel free to find cheaper or different strips.

Scott, I've dug up our Facebook thread and copied it below in case you wanted to reference:
Back of napkin here, because I'm totally guessing at most of the numbers, but... those halogens are probably about 350W because we trip breakers if we add anything else, but can run them continually on a single 15A. (So they're probably not 500W.) A typical 350W halogen is around 5000 Lumens. The arena is 6 feet by 8ft? If all of the light from those four halogens is landing in the 4.5M^2 of arena, we have a light level of around 4500lux. That's pretty bright, and I doubt we are actually that high, but I guess that would be a design target for any replacement lights. (Well, since the M^2 doesn't change, we can just aim for 20,000 lumens total.)
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on June 27, 2017, 10:59:37 pm
I looked into bed liner more, and yeah, I didn't realize how easy it is to just cut it off unless you get the really pricey stuff that has to be applied at a special shop, so that's not a good idea.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on July 16, 2017, 02:08:45 pm
8. Replace inner walls. I'm going to try and get a headstart on this one. I'm going to see about visiting the arena this week and take the walls with me. I'll figure out what we need and then hopefully WD can get us a deal on some lexan. I will cut, drill, assemble the walls at my house an then we just have to bolt them on after floor painting.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on July 16, 2017, 08:41:15 pm
Does the arena need new lexan? If so I can get you guys in touch with the guy who bought the lexan for the Ontario arena from china. Its a bit of a process but cheaper and the same stuff, the stuff we got is made using Bayer raw materials, same as Makrolon
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on July 19, 2017, 12:28:09 am
Its just for the inner walls, less than a full sheet. We have a good relationship with WD Plastics who is local and one of our sponsors so we usually get rather good deals.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on July 19, 2017, 03:02:56 am
ah, certainly not worth shipping/importing from overseas.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on July 22, 2017, 03:38:53 pm
Plus I want you guys to test out the Chexan polycarb first :) How do you know they are using real Bayer products?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: rcjunky on July 22, 2017, 06:32:57 pm
Thy got it from a reputable china supplier (oxymoron?) but I believe theres plans on doing some testing just to confirm. I don't think its any more questionable then chitanium or china '6061' or '7075'
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on July 25, 2017, 12:54:23 pm
14. Quick-release locking pins (so the doors can't open while driving down the highway)

Any objections to buying these?
https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Release-Finish-Button-Diameter-Usable/dp/B009P7MA3E/ref=pd_sbs_328_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B009P7ND1M&pd_rd_r=TMNTS6KBMSFRGVVEMRW4&pd_rd_w=f1JYS&pd_rd_wg=Fimh8&refRID=TMNTS6KBMSFRGVVEMRW4&th=1

What length do we need?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on July 25, 2017, 01:02:43 pm
1. Four TVs on top of the arena for displaying schedule, brackets, and highlight videos.
Does anyone have a large flat TV they can bring in Sept?

3. A 2ft metal post/stand that raises the spinning red light above the sponsor signs.
Who wants to earn some easy brownie points?

12. New 12V battery and charger
I'll purchase them, but what do we need?
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: FingerTech on July 25, 2017, 01:12:58 pm
Scott, these are all control box related.  What do you need to make them happen?

4. A new control box that can run fights independently of a laptop (but can still take laptop inputs, etc).
6. Audio system with cues from the control box
1. ...displaying schedule, brackets, and highlight videos (on the TVs).
5. New arena lights - 12V RGB LED strips that can be controlled via control box.  Possibly individually addressable.
7. Run permanent ready/tap out cables inside frame with connectors on the end.
11. Hazard motors run from ESCs
13. Door lock interrupts so the control box can disable hazards and not start fights until locked.
15. Ref controlled count-out trigger
17. 3 judging tablets/phones, tied into the laptop software.

Let's pick out some LEDs so they can be installed asap.  Re individually addressable: That might actually be easier for you to control versus a pile of fets.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: srw on July 25, 2017, 03:05:37 pm
Scott, these are all control box related.  What do you need to make them happen?

4. A new control box that can run fights independently of a laptop (but can still take laptop inputs, etc).
This is actually in slow progress.  I got a donated Pelican 1400 case with panel frame.  This is exactly what I wanted, so I'm happy about that.  I have started ordering parts to build an entirely new control box.  My initial goal is to build an exact replacement but better, and with expansion thought in.  The "run independently" is a good goal, but I'm not sure how achievable it will be before September.  It will require a complete rework of both the computer software and the box firmware.  I want to see that, but I'm going to suggest we don't attempt to do it for September.  One of the bits that will make this possible is the addition of an LCD screen to the box.  That is in my initial plans.

Quote
6. Audio system with cues from the control box
I'm considering this and it will be an addition to the new control box when it happens.  I don't think we need much for this... a chinese computer controlled mp3 from sd card player is only a few bux.  I probably have a few in my junk bins already.

Quote
1. ...displaying schedule, brackets, and highlight videos (on the TVs).
This is done already, isn't it?  Do we need to tweak it or add something?

Quote
5. New arena lights - 12V RGB LED strips that can be controlled via control box.  Possibly individually addressable.
are we married to the idea of RGB for the general lighting?  I haven't actually researched it, but my hunch would be that RGB aren't as bright as just normal white LEDs.  I love the idea of colour accents, but could that be a separate thing from the boring white lights?

Quote
7. Run permanent ready/tap out cables inside frame with connectors on the end.
I'm putting this on hold until I've had a chance to start testing out the RS485 stuff.  If we can wire everything RS485 it will make wiring so much simpler.

Quote
11. Hazard motors run from ESCs
I have all the bits.  I just need time on the arena.  Maybe need to discuss options, here, too.  Do we keep the solenoids in addition to ESCs?  Do the solenoids act as the "safety" cutoff? (see next question)

Quote
13. Door lock interrupts so the control box can disable hazards and not start fights until locked.
I have no idea what we would need for this.  Some sort of mechanical or opto switch that is triggered either by all four doors being in position, or of the two pins being in position.  In my opinion, this should be readable by the control box, but they should also disconnect the hazard motor drive somehow outside of software. 

Quote
17. 3 judging tablets/phones, tied into the laptop software.
15. Ref controlled count-out trigger
This will require tablets, and Nathan and RevEng to coordinate on getting it done.
Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Travis7s on July 25, 2017, 09:55:39 pm
1. Four TVs on top of the arena for displaying schedule, brackets, and highlight videos.
Does anyone have a large flat TV they can bring in Sept?

3. A 2ft metal post/stand that raises the spinning red light above the sponsor signs.
Who wants to earn some easy brownie points?

12. New 12V battery and charger
I'll purchase them, but what do we need?

I have a ~40" TV I can bring.

I will handle the post/stand. I have some iron pipe and mounting flanges that I think will do the job. (maybe we glue a big magnet to the light?) I also have one of those quick release pins. 1/4" dia by 2.75" pin length. The balls are not really aggressive at all, I'm not sure they will be any better but we could test it. I'm looking at making a small Mcmaster order next week so we could look there too.

I believe the current battery was 12V 42Ah so we probably want something at least that big.



Title: Re: SCRC Arena Upgrades 2017
Post by: Darkwynter9 on July 27, 2017, 11:34:03 am
Travis, let me know if you want a big magnet for the light. I can give you one along with that carbon fiber (which I haven't forgotten about).