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Intro to the Open Panzer Project - and a new Tank Control Board

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Intro to the Open Panzer Project - and a new Tank Control Board

Old 07-09-2017, 09:58 PM
  #151  
bradgreene
 
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Everything is explained in the open panzer wiki page. I think under the Motor control section. The most affordable ESC is the hobbyking xcar which cost around $15 each. You'll need two, one for each gearbox. I bought them and have been testing them using an Arduino Uno loaded with the open panzer firmware. Just like what Luke said , read the wiki from start to finish, everything is explained there, there're even pics of the ESC and how to connect them.

Danny
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:36 AM
  #152  
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Ok, I have put a TCB on order. The $58.00 is a great delivered price in my opinion. I already have a Sabertooth - so ESC is covered. But, this setup will never go beyond my bench without the OSS unit. That is the next hurdle.....for me anyway.

Another aspect I am starting to think about is where or what tank to apply it too. Lets face it, I don't think your going to wedge the TCB+ESC+OSS boards into some of the 1/16th or smaller tanks out there - like the 1/16th Pershing would not be a tank of choice..... A King or Jagd Tiger would be a good ones...... The Sturmtiger would be, but I am committed to using a IBU2U on it. And, I am no so sure i would even attempt it in a Sherman - I think I would be a squeeze with a smoker and a good battery. The IMEX Panther Kit? - that seems a good venue. But, alas, I must say that the IMEX/Taigen Jagdtiger would most likely be my vehicle of choice on this combo....hope they are available when the OSS comes.

Best Wishes,

Springman
Old 07-10-2017, 10:41 AM
  #153  
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This is exactly my point. To make this work you need the TCB, some expensive sound card, or a cheap one + amplifier, 2x ESC... it it all becomes a jungle of connections and wires that could be easily eliminated in a modular design, and after getting a decent speaker (bigger than HL or Taigen), battery, smoker, etc. you're out of space in half the 1/16th tanks out there.
I'm not familiar with individual ESCs, I would now need to do additional research and hope that, without any experience, based alone on info found online, what I buy will work; then worry about all individual connections and configurations of all the separate components, and after spending hours and hours of time and hopefully getting everything to work I'd end up most likely spending more money for all the components + shipping than I would for the all-around ASP solution, for example.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to discourage anyone from this solution, it has an amazing array of configurable options, I definitely see the good things in it, just as I explained in the past. But at this time, for me, the negatives outweigh the positives. Unless I know the total price of all components and I know they will work well together, fit into my tank, and can be configured without any complications, I can't risk investing money and time into it.

I know and understand everything that Luke explained, I understand the limitations he's met with, and available options, but I'm providing the big picture feedback here, and that is, that unless both ScoutESC and OP sound card are available, the TCB alone for me is an incomplete solution.
Old 07-10-2017, 05:32 PM
  #154  
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I am out of town atm but a quick search on ebay will net you some very nice waterproof escs at $14 for some decent looking ones. The Taigen escs are 10A BTW, and run our leopard metal chassis no problem. Anything over that isnt really needed for stock tanks.
The TCB is in its first revision right now and already offers more features than any other board. However (as been stated a few times) the first incarnation of the board is not for the faint of heart and will be targeting advanced users. If you want a plug and play then this (currently) is not for you. However if you don't mind a bit of extra wiring this board provides some amazing features and has the option to expand grow with the community involvement as the software is free and open source. The hardware is as well, you never know, someone just might redesign it and make it an all in one.
I would read the wiki and see if this is for you. If sourcing Escs is a problem then maybe this isn't the board for you. OP will be relying on us for feedback and ideas as well as coding. Open source is a community effort and tankers are a very close knit community. I run open source on my pc, TX, quads, planes, and more.
The reason escs were not included I think are (correct me if I'm wrong here Luke) 1- it would limit the application to a certain scale or platform. 2- modularity and user choice allow for much more varied and customizable setups. 3-. Much easier to diagnose and repair.
My TCB tank is fully loaded and has plenty of room for extra stuff. I have a T1 with the TCB, fpv, sabertooth, airsoft recoil WITH infrared emitter, led flash, individual led control, and a few other little things like metal fuel tube guards for the wires and 360 works just fine. This is the kind of things the TCB is capable of. Think past a few extra wires and look at the end result this board is a beast!

TL;DR: check on ebay for some cheapies
Old 07-10-2017, 08:37 PM
  #155  
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I'm not one of the faint of heart, but I am very hard pressed for time. Tanking is my hobby / addiction, but I have so many responsibilities in a daily life, putting any time for my hobbies takes time away from more critical priorities I should be working on. I have no problem researching ESCs, testing all components and experimenting.. I just don't have the time for that (this may not be easy to understand for someone who's not a sole provider to a family with kids, mortgage, car payments, and an ongoing home reconstruction, to list just a few...).
Erik, thank you for confirming the Taigen ESCs are 10A. This is an important piece of a puzzle for me. If I find the time, perhaps I'll start the research sourcing out all components I would need and evaluating all options. But at this point I haven't even had time to do pending mods on my Tiger and KV1, so we'll see how it goes...
Old 07-10-2017, 09:01 PM
  #156  
LukeZ
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Originally Posted by Peregrine7
I'm not one of the faint of heart, but I am very hard pressed for time. Tanking is my hobby / addiction, but I have so many responsibilities in a daily life, putting any time for my hobbies takes time away from more critical priorities I should be working on. ... (this may not be easy to understand for someone who's not a sole provider to a family with kids, mortgage, car payments, and an ongoing home reconstruction, to list just a few...)
Believe me, this is plenty easy to understand... and probably describes most of the people on here.

You've said three times now you're not going to buy the TCB and I think that's a good decision. If you read the FAQ I posted the other day, under the heading of How to get involved, item number 1 is "Don't buy the TCB if you don't want one!" This should be common sense but surprisingly I've had a lot of people complain about this free gift, as if they were being forced to buy something.

And for sure if you can't / don't want to / don't have time to read the documentation, I especially beg of you not to buy the TCB. Give your money to my competitors instead, any competitor, all competitors! I can't afford to support that kind of customer, for the very same reasons you just described.


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Old 07-10-2017, 10:28 PM
  #157  
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OMG... this is getting out of hand...
Let's establish some logic here:
If I didn't want the TCB, I'd not be participating in this discussion, trying to figure out how to get the full TCB working solution without sacrificing days of time I don't have (not to mention total price that could be easily surpassing competitors' bundled solutions).
And then you start jumping to conclusions and misinterpret my statements.
My goal was to provide feedback from perspective of many users like me, where time and required effort will be a big factor in getting this solution complete. That is what I've been asking about since the very beginning - modular design and all components available, not just 1 of 3 and go get other 2 elsewhere.
I realize you've tried and can't do anything about it right now, I'm not asking you to, I'm just telling you what would make this solution succeed more. And I know and appreciate the extent of your efforts to even get this thus far. I do believe I voiced this in my previous posts.
For the sake of not complicating things, and saving myself from unnecessary aggravation continuing a discussion that starts making no sense, I'm stopping here.
Old 07-11-2017, 12:09 PM
  #158  
LukeZ
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Just to let you guys know HobbyKing got the Tamiya Adapter Set posted finally, you can get it here. These are not such a great deal price-wise, you could almost make them yourself for less, especially if you were making several sets at once (instructions are on the Downloads page).

You only need these if you want a plug-and-play solution for the Tamiya IR Apple / Tamiya recoil unit.


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Old 07-11-2017, 01:10 PM
  #159  
Tanque
 
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LukeZ, is it practical for any of us to take on building a DIY OP Scout ESC? I saw a list of materials but didn't see
if there's a supplier of the double sided boards...? Making - printing- a board that complex is not something many are prepared to do.

Jerry
Old 07-11-2017, 01:26 PM
  #160  
LukeZ
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Actually the board is only single-sided (by which I mean the components only go on one side). And yes, you can order bare PCBs from OSH Park for a very reasonable price, this is true not only of the Scout but all the Open Panzer designs including the TCB. The links are all on the Downloads page, but here is where you can order the Scout ESC PCBs ($24 for three boards).

The Scout is relatively easy to assemble if you are experienced with such things, but the motor driver chips have heatsink pads on the underside that can't be accessed with a soldering iron, so you really need to reflow them. Honestly once you try it you realize reflow is even easier than hand soldering. I use a cheap $20 hot plate I got from the grocery store and this solder paste. It also definitely helps to have use a stencil, you can purchase one from OSH Stencils.

Obviously this is not for everyone but if you are comfortable soldering and can place small components, it is straightforward.

If anyone decides to tackle such a thing please feel free to start a thread over on the OP Forums and I will try to give tips and advice throughout the process.

PS: This guy ordered a bunch of boards so you can see what they look like.


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Last edited by LukeZ; 07-11-2017 at 01:32 PM.
Old 07-11-2017, 06:01 PM
  #161  
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Ok I ordered 1 already have a sabertooth motor controller for it next is a sound card .
Thanks
Jimmy
Old 07-11-2017, 09:22 PM
  #162  
Tanque
 
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Originally Posted by LukeZ
Actually the board is only single-sided (by which I mean the components only go on one side). And yes, you can order bare PCBs from OSH Park for a very reasonable price, this is true not only of the Scout but all the Open Panzer designs including the TCB. The links are all on the Downloads page, but here is where you can order the Scout ESC PCBs ($24 for three boards).

The Scout is relatively easy to assemble if you are experienced with such things, but the motor driver chips have heatsink pads on the underside that can't be accessed with a soldering iron, so you really need to reflow them. Honestly once you try it you realize reflow is even easier than hand soldering. I use a cheap $20 hot plate I got from the grocery store and this solder paste. It also definitely helps to have use a stencil, you can purchase one from OSH Stencils.

Obviously this is not for everyone but if you are comfortable soldering and can place small components, it is straightforward.

If anyone decides to tackle such a thing please feel free to start a thread over on the OP Forums and I will try to give tips and advice throughout the process.

PS: This guy ordered a bunch of boards so you can see what they look like.


.
LukeZ

I looked at OSH Stencils' website and they don't seem to have a list of stencils but rather require customer upload a design.
Never having used nor purchasing a solder paste stencil( but understanding how to use them) not sure what they need- just the PCB layout I'm guessing
- would make sense?

I'm actually willing to give a go-go as it sound fun. I have a Corning lab hotplate I'd use.

I'd try to order the parts manifest from Newark Element 14 unless you have a recommendation. I should reread the Wiki.

Jerry
Old 07-11-2017, 10:09 PM
  #163  
LukeZ
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Right, I really need to write OSH Stencil and ask them to let me set up a shop there like I have at OSH Park.

But in the meantime you can order from them yourself, all you have to do is upload the Eagle board file. This can be obtained from the downloads page in the "Eagle Board and Schematic" zip file, it's the one with the ".brd" extension. Upload that to OSH Stencils and they will create a stencil automatically. They have several options for thickness, I just use the standard 3 mil film.

The Bill of Materials (also on the downloads page) already has links to each item at DigiKey which is where I usually get my stuff. That would be the easiest, just click on each item and add it to your cart. But they are standard parts so I'm sure you could get them wherever you prefer.

Note the ATmega328 and the motor driver ICs can be gotten for considerably less money if you buy them from eBay or Banggood or AliExpress (ie, China). You take a slight risk with those suppliers but on the main I have had rather good luck with them.

If you do proceed let me know how you get on, and again, feel free to start a thread specifically for assembly. I don't want to frighten the lay people here too much with stuff that sounds ominous.


Luke


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Old 07-11-2017, 10:12 PM
  #164  
LukeZ
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PS: I just Googled "Corning Lab hotplate" and boy do I wish I'd had such a thing! You should have no problem with temperature control (I try not to exceed ~ 200* celsius).

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Old 07-12-2017, 01:17 AM
  #165  
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I see a few people seem to be caught up on the ESC and I am sort of puzzled by it. I have to confess that given all the ESCs out there that would work with a TGB, I did not give the SCOUT's availability a second thought.... And, I have to also confess that I personally would never integrate a ESC with the TCB (I think i would like the OSS and TCB integrated - ultimately) . My reason is "SCALE-ABILITY" lets face it, to drive an all-metal 1/6th scale tank takes a heavier-duty ESC than a 1/16th tank; so. lets keep the ESC separate and thus always flexible in its targeted purpose.

The SCOUT is a nice design, but I sort of prefer the Sabertooth anyway (I have some past experience with one). I just don't think we should get hung up on an ESC in our reasoning to support the OpenPanzer project - or our efforts to try it.

There are some negative aspects to this first edition; but, there are negative aspects to ALL the existing RC Tank control systems out there - if there wasn't this project would have never got this far..... I am sure we all have suffered similar road-blocks and limitations before in our past projects.... We just have to think and apply ourselves as we have done in the past... If you look at Openpanzer as being the "PERFECT-FIT tank control system for a any/all RC tanks, then i think you are sort of misleading yourself because there never is going to be such an animal....we will have to suffer through some adaptation.

Springman
Old 07-12-2017, 05:14 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Springman65
I see a few people seem to be caught up on the ESC and I am sort of puzzled by it. I have to confess that given all the ESCs out there that would work with a TGB, I did not give the SCOUT's availability a second thought.... And, I have to also confess that I personally would never integrate a ESC with the TCB (I think i would like the OSS and TCB integrated - ultimately) . My reason is "SCALE-ABILITY" lets face it, to drive an all-metal 1/6th scale tank takes a heavier-duty ESC than a 1/16th tank; so. lets keep the ESC separate and thus always flexible in its targeted purpose.

The SCOUT is a nice design, but I sort of prefer the Sabertooth anyway (I have some past experience with one). I just don't think we should get hung up on an ESC in our reasoning to support the OpenPanzer project - or our efforts to try it.

There are some negative aspects to this first edition; but, there are negative aspects to ALL the existing RC Tank control systems out there - if there wasn't this project would have never got this far..... I am sure we all have suffered similar road-blocks and limitations before in our past projects.... We just have to think and apply ourselves as we have done in the past... If you look at Openpanzer as being the "PERFECT-FIT tank control system for a any/all RC tanks, then i think you are sort of misleading yourself because there never is going to be such an animal....we will have to suffer through some adaptation.

Springman
Mt interest in the Scout was twofold. I rather like the idea of making my own and I wanted to try it on some of my smaller 1/10 scale models which somewhat heavier than the largest
1/16 scale models. I plan on using a fan but even though I don't expect heavy current draw. I have no doubt that there are quite a few compatible ESCs but the configuration, capabilities
and general layout of the Scout appeal to me. If that's being hung up then so be it.

Jerry
Old 07-12-2017, 06:59 AM
  #167  
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I like this mostly cause putting it together is half the fun that's why I like building kits and one I was younger I use to build them electronic kits so I know how to use a soldering iron my eye site is not the greatest now for small items at this age with diabetes .
I do still like to tinker around with mechanical and electrical and electronic stuff hell I just finished building a refurbished RepRap i3 Printer and changed from a acrylic frame to a steel frame still working out some kinks but it works .
The TCB looks like it will be perfect for the modular tank setup after the TCB you can pick and choose the other components you need by price or preference yes some day someone can put all these features all on one PCB for the person who may not want to have multi components and have different versions with upgraded components and still have the TCB as it is now so you still can tinker tell your hearts content .
Thanks
Jimmy
Old 07-12-2017, 09:42 AM
  #168  
LukeZ
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Jerry, I think Springman was probably referring to previous comments about ESCs and not speaking about you specifically!

Some general comments on the Scout ESC for those who might be interested. The other serial controllers, namely the Sabertooth line and the Pololu ESCs are excellent products and the only reason I even attempted my own design was because I knew it could be made for far less than what those are being sold for. I understand they are in business to make a profit but when you know the component prices the markup they are charging is really drastic. Of course, a cheaper price is only an advantage if you can actually buy the Scout, which right now you can't. So that's really only a hypothetical advantage. (I'm afraid building them by hand in small quantities won't save you very much.)

The secondary reason was to have control of the operation that open source software allows. At first this didn't seem like such a big deal since after all, how often do we want to re-program our ESCs. But in fact it has already been beneficial. For example, the new Taigen gearboxes, when installed in heavier models, simply do not allow the model to turn with anything other than a turn-in-place (super spin). This is kind of a big deal breaker if you can only drive your model in a straight line. But by modifying the firmware on the Scout we are able to compensate for this deficiency. That's not something you can do with any other controller.

If you want to tweak your Scout you can also set a custom current limit to anything you want. Perhaps you don't want your model drawing more than 7 amps, set the limit to 7 amps. The Scout will stop when it hits that level. Or maybe you don't need a fan, but you'd like to fade an LED or control some other small unidirectional motor (maybe a rotating antenna array). Since we have control of the software, we can easily re-purpose the fan output to those uses instead.

Most people don't need any of this sort of foolishness and the Scout works as-is. But it can also accommodate those who like to tinker. And who knows what novel ideas someone may come up with, that we could incorporate in the future.

So that's the story on the Scout... which for now however remains in un-obtainium purgatory.


.
Old 07-12-2017, 01:35 PM
  #169  
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Jerry - OSH Stencils gave me direct URLs to purchase stencils for them for both the TCB and Scout. I've posted these on the Downloads page which FYI to others is the central repository for anyone looking for technical details on any of these projects.

Here is the direct link to purchase the Scout stencil: click here


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Old 07-12-2017, 03:18 PM
  #170  
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I've had the luck of testing the Scout and multiple Sabertooth ESCS and I can easily say the Scout is by far my favorite. The layout is much cleaner, it's easier to add heatsinks if needed, offers more features, and drives the same if not better than Sabertooth.
I also like multirotor ESCs flashed for 3d firmware as they are super tiny, cheap, and handle a lot of power but they are brushless and sourcing a good motor in that size and kv is hard. Just an example of what can be done...
Old 07-12-2017, 05:39 PM
  #171  
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One of the best things about the Scout is the size. Even a 2x12 sabertooth is HUGE!!
Old 07-13-2017, 09:10 AM
  #172  
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Got my TCB today and I have to say the packaging is quite nice from HK.

I'll be posting updates on my experience @ My TCB project
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Old 07-13-2017, 09:23 AM
  #173  
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I really hope HobbyKing sells a whole bunch of these things really fast, because that would be a great argument for why they should produce the scout.
Old 07-13-2017, 01:50 PM
  #174  
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I might grab one to put in my 1/6 KV-2 project to play with since I already have a Vantec RDFR38E ESC for that tank. The Vantec already does dual channel mixing, but I think it can be disabled with a jumper to let the TCB control it. Otherwise I think there would be issues if I couldn't turn off the channel mixing. Of course I could still test it using a set of IFI 883 Victors instead. Then I could eliminate my IMX-1 channel mixer I have for those.

I guess not right at the moment...seem to be sold out. Status is backorder.
Old 07-13-2017, 01:56 PM
  #175  
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Derek - the HobbyKing website is sort of a mess since their upgrade last year. It's not out of stock, you just have to look at the correct warehouse, select "GLOBAL" (which is the Hong Kong warehouse). That's the only one they have stock in at the moment.

I was told yesterday they are sending stock to all the other warehouses (UK, US, etc) so those should appear shortly. Probably what happened is they activated one of the other warehouse listings before stock arrived there.

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