Saturday, April 28, 2018

UCI NICU Reunion Carnival

Today R2 joined Mike and Amy Senna with BB-8, and a number of characters from the Star Wars and Marvel universes to welcome former patients to the University of California Irvine Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit's Reunion Carnival. As usual with these things, no pictures with the former patients, but there were plenty of people in attendance.

We found a shady spot for photos, and were joined by our two other Star Wars characters, Rey (Liz Perales) and Kanan (Sal Perales).

We were also joined by a pony. Fortunately, a continent pony.

Mike Senna's BB-8 gives my droid the thumb's down. What does he know.

We also did photo ops with the other characters (and the continent pony), a few of which are represented here.

It was a good visit for a good cause, and I hope to do similar events soon.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Updated Speed Controller

After over 10 years on the Vantec RDFR23, I've decided to move on to the Sabertooth 2x32 speed controller from Dimension Engineering. Why? No, the Vantec did not die, but it is older technology, and I have seen some peculiar behavior off and on, so I decided it was time to make a change.

Here's the Sabertooth 2x32 out of the box. 2x32 means it controls two motors continuously at 32 amperes.

Dimension Engineering recommends using standoffs when mounting the speed controller to wood for ventilation, so I pulled out the old Vantec speed controller and used its mounting bracket for guidance on making a new one from PVC for the Sabertooth.

I used the mounting holes on the 2x32 itself as a template for drilling the holes in the PVC. The user manual provides a template to print, but my printer wasn't calibrated accurately enough to use it.

Speed controller mounted to PVC with #4 machine screws.

And finally, the PVC is screwed down to the wooden frame. Ignore the messy wiring. I know I do.

I ran into a little trouble when I used the 0v and 5v lines coming out of 2x32 to power my receiver, I think it created a ground loop with my dome and sound automation circuit that Mike Senna helped me to troubleshoot. I unplugged those wires and used the battery elimination circuit to power the receiver that I used previously, and I *think* that eliminated the problem, but I will keep an eye on it.