1.26.2009 (Monday) – Day 5 –
I went shopping at fabric stores looking for some kind of netting to catch the soccer balls as they fall through the maze and return them to a loading area. I was looking for something with a mesh about the size of a tennis court net. I didn’t find anything that big but found a couple of candidates.
The receipt calls this fabric Mesh White. It looks like the material of some laundry bags we’ve bought. I’m a little afraid that this material won’t hold up to daily use with soccer balls.
This fabric is called Rug Liner, it is used underneath rugs as a non-slip material. It is rubberized and feels stronger than the other material. There is a sale on this material until the end of the month (five days from now).
If anyone has suggestions about where to get a suitable mesh please let me know.
Game Platform Components
I spent a few hours today looking for parts to use with the game platform. We need to create holes through the platform for the soccer ball to fall through. A reinforcement is needed at the edge of the hole which supports the top and bottom aluminum skin. Our first thoughts were to use the Sonotube cardboard concrete form tubes. Home Depot didn’t carry that brand but they did have a similar product. The only sizes they carried were 8″ and 12″ tubes, too small and too large. I asked but they don’t carry a 10″ size.
Since Lowes is across the highway I decided to check there too and the 10″ size was in stock so I bought it here instead.
There is a discussion among our group about making the game maze removable. I checked with my plastics supplier, Laird Plastics, about possibly using Sintra on the surface. I can get it in 4′ x 10′ sheets in a 3mm thickness. Each sheet weighs about 14.78 lbs. with a cost of around $28-$30 per sheet depending on market prices.
Game Base Progress
Tom sent this update,
Ok, an update on my end of things. I talked to the metalsmith union guy on Sunday and it looks like I can get 1 or 2 apprentices from the union shop to help out. It looks like part of the gig is to do community service as well as general fabrication work.
So, tomorrow I am going to meet with them and see about getting a cad file for the base that we discussed. We will then pass that around for approval and start our cost estimates as well.
After getting hold of a drive shaft and U joints, I have come to the conclusion that it is not going to give use the type of independent movement that we are going to need for tilting the table the way we need to. I have calls into the bearing person that we know and am looking into a table spring connector.
You can think of it as a square plate (2 top and bottom) that has four stiff springs sanwiched inside of them. I will be going over this with the metalfab guys as well for any suggestions.
Stepper Motor Controller Boards
Terry has developed his own electronics to control stepper motors.
Since Saturday, I’ve decided that the motors Rich wants to use are too large for my small stepper motor board. I’ve built a large stepper board (the same one that drives my CNC) and I’m testing the board for soldering errors. I’ve also started coding the commands that Jestin and I talked about where the commands are N(orth) S(outh) E(ast) and W(est) followed by an angle 0 to 30. I’ve reserved the command Z for zero and eventually that command will read the accelerometers and level the board. The large stepper board also has the ability to handle 8 switches (either input or output) as well as 5 A/D (voltage) sensors.
I ordered three stepper motor controller boards from the RepRap Research Foundation today. These probably won’t be used in this project because they only support up to 2 amp motors but I may end up using a couple on my Steampunkt WebCam project.
I’m looking for a location where we can assemble the game platform. Bob wants a perfectly flat floor that doesn’t have to be level but it must be planar. I’m trying to get in to see some space that Science City has to see if it might be suitable.