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Everything posted by NeoMorph

  1. There were a LOT of changes made from Block I to Block II. And surprisingly there are a lot of different versions of the FDAI (even without accounting for the fact that the LEM and CM versions were different too). In fact just look at these two pictures and spot the difference (sorry for the poor quality of the Margaret Hamilton one... it's from a newspaper... and no, I have never been able to figure out why it's like that... my only thought it was a change between Block I and II). EDIT: The newspaper picture filename tells the whole story lol... She's sitting in Apollo 2 which WAS Block I. Guess the pilots decided they felt that the 8-Ball wasn't right in that orientation because only the Command Module was mounted that way and switching over to the LEM meant having to rotate their mindset 90 degrees. Makes sense. KISS principle in action.
  2. Actually the needles are orange. Fluorescent orange. The ball is off white and the flat horizon bar in the centre is fluorescent white. So even someone with red/green colour blindness can read it.
  3. Holy *Bleep*... THATS IT! (or the closest I’ve seen so far) The 4 is the correct one too which is what confirms it. Thanks a million. 6 years searching and I could just have looked on here. DOH! Off to download it now. Edit: Got it and its the one all right. When I saw you said Mil Spec I was imagining something like the spray one they use on all military containers of the time... not this stick font (which is perfect for engraving). There are several versions of the ball and some have rounded 3's which make it tough to choose... but I have always liked the look of the engraved balls. Thanks again... I'm really going to have to work on doing the template for the sphere now... oh and finish building the Spherebot to engrave the ball. I got the silicon mould today to make the resin version. That's going to be a challenge too.
  4. Actually it’s nothing like Earth based artificial horizons. Those are made to show pitch, roll and includes slip and turn indicators. They have a small gyro inside the instrument itself that it uses to display pitch and roll. What took me a while to figure out is that the Apollo 8-Ball is a TRUE 3 axis instrument with the gyro located outside of the instrument because it’s much bigger and much more complicated. Just look up “Apollo IMU”. The inside of the Flight Director Attitude Indicator show pitch, roll and yaw as well as showing fly-to needles for pitch, roll and yaw and also rates of change for all three axes too. The “ball” is actually 2 hollow hemispheres either side of a fixed disk. The hemisphere rotate around an axis that goes through the middle of the plate. The above screenshot is what started me on truly realising what the Navball was and what made me want to make a working one that could be linked to KSP... but while I could find text on the formulae that drove the navigation system, I couldn’t find hardly anything on how Honeywell actually made the thing.
  5. I’m still working on my Real Navball Project to have a real 8-Ball to use with KSP but need to shout out to the greater KSP social group. you see I’ve been trying to find out what font was used on the ball itself and I think I’ve looked but just can’t find anything on the actual building of the FDAI/8-Ball whatsoever. Either it was filed under top secret or the CIA ordered it shredded like a lot of the stuff about Apollo (like the F1 engines). I’ve been looking for the past 6 years on and off to find this font. Does anyone know the font they actually used? I have made one close-ish match... what do you think? The 3 doesn’t curl as much as on the real FDAI but the rest of the font looks pretty close. It’s called Brown... if one colour the 60’s was known for is brown ... or was that the 70’s lol. I really wanted to have a Kerpollo cockpit built for the 50th but it was harder than I thought. The research takes AGES to compile for a start.
  6. I just noticed something... I was looking for a reference shot of the original FDAI case when I spotted the original's tag... Wouldn't that make it an IAFD and not an FDAI... I wonder who changed the name... and were Honeywell peed off that they changed the name lol.
  7. Regarding the absolute angle sensor... it all works on a custom hall-effect chip. Use a diametrically magnetised magnet on the end of the axle and you can tell what angle the axle is at. Because the axle is actually going to have the two sides of the spheres attatched for the pitch access, the yaw access is going to be blocked by the motor on one side and the wires through the slip ring on the other and the final axle is just blocked by the slip ring on the one end and not having access to the other as it's going to be rotating... well the fix for it is... gears. Just take a pair of gears of the same size and make a second axle... then you can attatch the magnet to the second axle and you can read the angle from that. As it's a mirror of the primary axle you just have to put the sensor on opposite the direction to what you would if you were reading direct from the primary (that's a bit of a mouthful lol). Oh and can someone tell me why diametrically magnetised magnets are a load more expensive than normal magnets? This little breakout board works great with an arduino and only requires VCC, GND, SDA an SEN to read it. There are two of these inside the ball and one on the outside. As each one needs a separate address so the correct one can be read you need to be able to do some microsoldering Here are the two zero ohm resistors (basically a wire but in an 0805 package... look for the little grey rectangle with the 0 on top) that are basically hardwired switches. The I2C switches are in the correct place but for the ADDR SEL I have to change two of the the boards by moving the resistor so that board one is as below, board two has the lower resistor moved and for board three the upper resistor is moved. You need a steady hand and good eyes... or cheat like me and have a kickass microscope for microelectronics work. It even has a port to output to a camera so I can look at what I'm seeing on a large monitor. So yeah, it's taken me since 2013 to find a suitable solution to what was done back in the 1960's. Granted they had millions of dollars behind them but were held back by the technology of the time. Oh and before I found this little chip for £11 the cheapest absolute sensor I could find was over £600 (which was why I was having problems)... and I need to use three of them... plus extras in case of failure and/or me breaking them. I always thought flight sim hardware was a rip-off but I can honestly say I understand it now.
  8. I think a lot of the duplication was to make sure the contacts actually kept in contact (as is the fact that while the ball is in motion and the spacecraft itself moving meant the connectors actually bounce leading to possible intermittent breaks in signal. Inside the ball are two motors and two angular resolvers (as in sensors that detect what angle the ball is at. I found that my incremental sensors were occasionally resetting to zero when the movement was rapid. The Block I command module only had a single 8-Ball and the astronauts weren't confident about the build quality of the hardware (which was sadly what led to the Apollo 1 fire and the loss in life of Grissom, White and Chaffee) so the Block II command module and LEM both had dual 8-Balls for this very reason. In fact they called the Block I command module a "Lemon" and Grissom actually attatched a lemon to the NASA logo to point this out. Not a single Block I manned mission was flown. Was the Apollo 1 fire a tragedy... yes, but I truly think the redundancy they included in the Block II flight hardware is what meant they succeeded in getting to the moon, and more importantly, safely BACK from the the moon.
  9. Some of you oldtimers here will know that I have been working on building a working FDAI (Flight Director/Attitude Indicator - the Apollo 8-Ball) system since 2013... As I can only work during the summer months when my disability isn't playing up the progress has been sloooooooooow... but I'm actually getting closer to a prototype that is actually closer to the original Apollo Navball/8-Ball that I expected. You see I started out trying to use stepper motors... they worked, sort of, but the sheer bulk of them meant the damn ball was unbalanced. You also have a problem in that they draw a bunch of power too and I burned out a slip ring doing it that way. For those not knowing anything about robotics, a slip ring is used to transfer electrical signal from a stationary part into a rotating part without twisting up wires. The Apollo slip ring is actually easily visible in the opened up original FDAI. There is also a slip ring at the back of the unit... this image is taken from the 8-ball used on the shuttle. You can see the contact whiskers clearly here as they have been moved out of the rotating part. (Note: All images are from the Historic Space Systems website - http://www.space1.com/Artifacts/Apollo_Artifacts/FDAI/fdai.html ) Making slip rings for my model was out of the question (I just don't have the skill)... but luckily, thanks to robotics and even wind power (yeah, they use them on rotating windmills) I found small slip ring modules on ebay cheap enough and small enough to fit my model. The reason my slip ring burned out is that the contracts were only rated for for 2 amps and the steppers I used actually peaked higher than that when I was seeing how fast I could go. Then I went to motors and incremental angle sensors. The problem with that version was that you had to calibrate the thing every time you turned it on... and it also tended to lose position after a while so it would need to get updated often. So that version was a fail Then I worked on 360 servo driven with a differrent incremental rotation sensor... and it worked... but the big breakthrough was when I found a little sensor package that actually knew the ABSOLUTE angle all the time... so you could turn off the thing and turn it back on and it would instantly know what angle the ball is at. With an incremental sensor you could have the Roll axis at 40 degrees but when you turned the thing off and on again the angle would now read 0 degrees. With the Absolute sensor it would say 40 degrees right away. Makes this sooooooooooo much simpler. The test version of a single axis worked great but the roll axis burned out the servo... It was also too slow when I put the capsule in a roll so im going with a proper geared DC motor instead and making my own servo system. So that's this years task... buid a full scale version of the 8- ball, engrave the ball itself and make and laser engrave the front bezel. I'm also using 6 servos to drive the rate and "Fly to" needles so that's a simple enough task. I just need to design a stepped housing for them. Currently I'm working on updating my CNC machine to do laser engraving work as well as doing the part cutting. I'm also raising the gantry (which I've been putting off for over a year now) to allow my to cut taller parts..
  10. I was just checking to see if it was working as the version I was testing on was KSP 1.3.1 hehe.... it's just a stripped down KSP just used to test hardware/software communication... I went to upgrade to the latest version of KRPC and was worried when I didn't see an update since 1.4 and panicked a bit. I do want to have the thing working after all the money, research and time I've spent on the project.
  11. It's kind of essential if I want my Navball project to keep on progressing you see. I've just been busy working on the new design and build of the hardware and then get the data pulled of the game and passed to the Navball CPU when I have it working properly... but I don't really want to end up with an paperweight that just looks good. The good news is my last prototype worked... It just wasn't fast enough for me and could lag out if I got into a spin. I'm actually going ahead and building my own custom servos this year and want to see if that fixes the speed and overheating issues (oh yeah, forgot to mention the overheating). This project IS doable... It's just that the goalposts keep moving lol. I can't believe I started this in 2013... but I did take a year off in 2018...
  12. Got to wait for them to fix my missing expansion... all I see is Away With Words MK II darn it.
  13. Actually that centre bit pops out, leaving a hole that you can then pop out the entire red area. The screws are hidden underneath. ... oh and I don't have one... I just have done an insane amount of research and hours of lying in bed thinking about how to do it. Doing 3d manipulation in my head is something that used to help me a lot during maths and the only thing that stops it is the morphine I have to take... so I've gritted my teeth and taken my dose late so that I can have a couple of hours of mental exercise... problem is that when I do that I get hyper... and if I answer on here I end up doing damned monologues lol. Old girlfriend called it my "Verbal Diarrhea" mode. The only thing that was problematic was designing the the axle and hubs that connect with the three screws and then gluing them to the sphere itself. It's easy to epoxy it but metal to plastic ends up with a weak joint. That is why I finally decided on using an acrylic disc with the screw holes in would be cut by the CNC for a perfect fit and acrylic welded to the sphere so they in essence become a single piece. I even planned on using casting acrylic to make the disk support but found that when you cast in a mould the darn thing shrinks too much. So I cut the disc out of 6mm of solid acrylic. If it ends up not being strong enough I will use 10mm. But it's going to be cramped in there as it is. Two steppers, hall effect sensors, Slip ring wiring connectors and bearing mounts... Going to be hard. So I'm still going to try and make a larger version first (I had a bunch of larger spheres arrive from an ebay order I had forgotten... must have taken 8 months lol).
  14. The reason the screws wouldn't be visible is that there is a cover that goes over them on the real 8-Ball. In fact you have probably seen it multiple times and never realised. Can you spot the end cap cover in this image (hint: red marks the spot heh)? You can see how the shuttle 8-ball attatched in this image... now recess it slightly and think of one hemisphere as a wheel bent over the axle and fixed like an normal wheel would. The red cap has a pin in the centre on the inside which fits into the end of the axle with a keyway to hold it aligned. Little bit of locktite blue would hold it in place nicely and when you need to access the screws (also held in place with loctite blue) would still allow access to the internals. This was one of the big reasons I went ahead and got the CNC. Making parts like these manually would need more expensive tools and more skill than I have to build to fit to a tolerance that would hold together and not rub against the inside of the frame. With a CNC built sturdy enough I can make slightly domed axle mounts with perfectly centred mounting points that would be a right pain to do on a lathe. Ideally it would be done on a small CNC lathe (and yeah, I would love to get one of those as well). There has been a lot of thought gone into this build over the years and to think that they built the original by hand by expert machinists to a tolerance so small is mind blowing. Mind you, when I first started doing the CNC research I needed I was regularly bouncing my jaw off the floor at how fast and accurate the machines are. I've had to go without painkillers just so my brain could learn loads of different things that will all come together to make this final machine. I think I might even get a bit depressed when I complete it finally as this has been so many years in the making, from the early research to just figuring out how to make one, to the design of the multiple failed prototypes I made. But with each one I learned something new which led to the next one. It's hard to realise the above picture is showing NINE axes of movement.
  15. As is normal, during winter I have a TON more pain... so progress slows... but I wanted you to see the current state of my baby.. I've had the stepper motors for inside the ball since the beginning of last year (and yeah, I have a dual axis one). When I have finalised and tested the mechanics of the system I will be going onto the ball itself... and yeah, the extrusion at the right hand side is actually to make the dedicated ball engraver. Regarding the ball outer sphere I have designed a mount that attaches to the shaft and then used keyways and three screws to hold them in place. You don't want magnets in there because it will mess up the hall effect sensors as the ball spins and the zeroing system would malfunction... and yeah, I originally designed it with magnets holding the ball in place too... good idea, but not with the overall plan with the sphere rotating in all directions. The hall effect sensor would pick it up and then think it was at the zero point and lock the ball in place. As you can see in the picture, the majority of the CNC is done. All the electronics work great. The computer can even control the speed of the router and turn the vacuum on and off. Talking about the vac, you can see a cyclone extractor so that no dust reaches the filters and blocks them. The dust and bits get dropped through the top board and go into a sealed box inside the lower unit. When the box is half full I will empty it by just disconnecting the lower flexy pipe from the box and pulling the whole box out. Simples. The routing of the upper pipe was screwed up because I didn't leave myself enough of an overhead so I had to use knicker elastic to create a way to force it to retract and not get tangled up. Works fine so far with the test cuts I have made but will have to keep an eye out. I did have to add those extra pieces of extrusion under the spoil board because it was warping with only two supports underneath. Now I have 5 and it's rock solid when I do up the bolts. I can also remove it to fit a vice directl to the support bars. Oh and as everything is bolted down securely, it's as solid as a rock. The CNC machine doesnt move, the whole darn structure moves (which is why I am going to be adding extra feet and sand bags. To finish the unit I need to make the front frame carcass and put in the doors. Don't know yet if I am going to use sliding or not... but I am leaning towards sliding on the top unit main door and normal hinges for the rest. The lower left opening will have drawers that I have got to make (got the parts at least) that will hold all my router bits. Ultimately this will do the job that I want nicely... and let me make stuff even when I am feeling crappy. I do want to ditch the SuperPID eventually though as I think a Spindle would be better and allow me to do tapping. I MIGHT be able to do it with the router but being able to reverse and run at much lower speeds is a big bonus. If I manage to actually make a real working Nav-Ball I will be really happy because this build was a poodle because I have had to do a whole load of custom stuff due to making sure it is safe (ie no static and you can see the earth lead that connects to the copper wire in the extractor lol... before I did that the dust was lining the pipe due to static). Bit of an info dump but I hate winter (or precisely my body hates winter). I've mainly been doing 3D training in Fusion 360 when I can and when I can think clearly I do some coding. Just finished part of the remote control board code today that will let me run it like a larger machine (as in Manual Pulse Generator to jog the head precisely). Ironically it was done in a game utility (autohotkey rocks for how simple it is). Just add a Leo Bodnar Universal USB Joystick Interface Controller and you are rocking. Will probably finish this when there is some warmer weather and my shoulder doesn't keep falling out of its damned socket. Sides and roof pieces just need to be screwed on (after adding the foam soundproofing) and then the doors... Oh and the temperature control system (basically fans that kick in when the temp rises too much and feed them through serpentine tunnels lined with foam to reduce noise getting out) and then I will start cutting the Nav Ball framework. There are loads of differnt layers to get the data across on the front of the unit that you don't realise just how many bits of data are actually being linked in. I really should type up the system specification and put it on here and maybe someone will be able to beat me. That would be okay as I am going to be giving the plans away for free anyway... I would get a kick out of seeing someone build a Nav Ball that fully works. Building the hardware is only one stage of the problem. Then comes the coding to receive and interpret the data from the systems and then align the ball... the needles will be the feedback from the navigation system and the rate of change (as in if the craft is spinning) means there are 9 channels of basic data to work with. Then there are sensitivity settings so you can fine tune your course, systems needed to zero and then align the ball to a fixed angle. And finally adding in random failures... including that red pop out flag that says the unit has lost power. Fun times ahead for this year... because I also want to make a cockpit for Elite Dangerous... can you tell I love space games heh.
  16. Heh... I just have tooooooooo much crap and the sign of a clean desk is a crazy mind...but the sign of a chaotic desk(like mine) is 10,000 times worse. Well after tracking down some problems with my build (loose grub screws, intermittent contacts in connectors etc, etc) and then designing some custom interface bodges (isolating systems so if one goes boom then the others don’t) I’m now just doing the finicky bits to get it working... like wiring up the multi core wires that DOES MY HEAD IN. I think I wired and unwired this one connector FOUR FLIPPING TIMES this morning because of some reason or other. There are also some mods I’m adding as well that should help increase the rigidity, stop gear slippage and it’s all to make it as accurate as possible. Problem is, I should have bought this thing last Spring but I was faffing about... and now we are heading for winter... FAST. The problem is that I’m having to up my goddamn pain meds again plus my nerve spasms are rising. Normal winter stuff for my disability but disastrous when I need to solder tiny, tiny wires to connectors and make sure there are no shorts. It’s the curse of making it modular but the benefit is that if I need to fix or remove something in future I just unscrew the box and can take it to my desk rather than trying to do soldering upside down in a cabinet. The one cool thing is I got my XPro v3 GRBL board to talk to the SuperPID2 and can start and stop it, set the speed from 5000rpm to 30000rpm. I’ve also got the system set so it can start and stop the vacuum dust extractor too. I guess I’m just a geek who refuses to go small lol. For a home machine it’s going to kick ass. Once I’ve finished wiring all the connectors into their final place it will be testing, aligning, testing, tramming and more testing and the first proper job will be using the machine to make a Control Panel that will give me shortcuts to some of the more current functions. Once that is done... I can start working on the first CNC cut parts of my NavBall. Ultimately it will me progressing and making the ball engraver CNC from scratch but I think that is next years problem.
  17. Dammit... was sure I posted... Anyway I AM making progress but I had to go ahead and make my own version of this build so the wiring was tricky... but here is where it is so far. Hell, I even made the units it sits on (if you call a couple of tables “units”).
  18. Well it's slow coming (I'll show you why when I finish it... but the bits are coming together... this is the 80% completed gantry. It's got to get the brains attached and wired up.. then the base completed and attached... then I will be able to "make some chips" as they say in the industry... probably why machinists are chubby Hmmmm (Please excuse the crappy hallway... I'm doing umpteen things at once... including decorating and getting rid of the horrible 90's wallpaper).
  19. Holy crap... I have to admit that I took the pee out of people who took sooooooo long to put their CNC machine together... I mean, it's just grown up Meccano after all. It's simple. NOPE! I've had one nut go spanging off into the stratosphere already and I've only just put one side of the gantry together. What takes the time is tuning it so there is no play in any direction at all... it's either too tight or too loose... took ages to get it in goldilocks. Oh and I've realised that I should have resorted the packets of parts so that I only have the bits I need. Before I go any further I think that's what I will do. You live and learn. Also my friend asked me how much I've spent on this project since 2013 and after doing some rough ballpark figures I was shocked to realise it comes to nearly £3,500. Granted a lot of that has been getting the tools to make the parts and the CNC came to £1,500 on its own without any bits or even the spoilboard. Add onto that are some mods and a unit that will dampen out the sound of it in my one bedroom flat and that's another £500-£600 (the foam alone came to £70). But I did save for 4 years so I had enough to not go into debt. Oh and the tools are going to be used on a bunch of other projects too. I will be able to make my own custom panels that I had to Order from New Zealand last time. Anyway, I am just doing the CNC subassemblies for now as I need to finish the housing unit first. It's just that assembly is quiet in the evenings (well other than me cursing when I drop a part). Peace, out!
  20. Well I Kerballed it yet again... So the router bits I bought don't fit the Dewalt collets. The 6mm shaft bits I have just float in the 6.35mm collet. The 4mm bits don't fit in the 3.125mm collet... and when I looked up replacement collets I realised that I was double stuffed as they are rarer than dodo doodoo. I've put the 4mm bits to one side but have bought a 6mm collet to fit the bits I have... and the damn thing came to £26 (that's nearly $34) for a collet and the router itself only cost £159. That's bonkers. I think eventually I will switch to a spindle with a standard collet and chalk this up to learning steps. I do know that I really should have done more research on the collets ahead of buying the bits but I have a 1/2" and 1/4" router that each came with an entire collet set. I just never thought it would be a problem.
  21. Nahhh... totally chill here... I'm not that bothered really.... WHO AM I KIDDING... I'M REALLY PUMPED, ESPECIALLY WHEN THIS JUST ARRIVED!!!! I'm going to be taking it slow as I have so real custom stuff for it on the way (from the other side of the planet in fact). Saving up for this thing has been something I knew I would buy IF I figured out how to 100% make the navball... but not only that, I can now make my own custom flight sim panels (or I will when I get it put together. I'm going to be running it in a dust proof, sound reducing cabinet so I've actually got to build that first. I just hope I can get it all together before the winter pain levels skyrocket again. But first thing though is itemising EVERYTHING in this kit and there is a ton of stuff in there... it's like being a kid with his first Meccano set (and yeah, I had one of those when I was a kid). It's Xmas... in September... and Destiny 2 is out in 3 days as well lol. WHAT DO I DO?
  22. Disaster Time... LOL... In a typical Kerbal event, the laptop I was thinking of using to drive my CNC machine decided to have a meltdown... Quite literally. I had used hot glue to keep some parts in place due to the plastic breaking into lots of little bits and the laptop got sooooooo darned hot... THE GLUE ALL MELTED. So I decided that I needed to trash the thing... It is 12 years old after all... but I do like to keep old PCs... I still had an old Windows 98 PC running on my network as just a storage server until I finally retired it about a month or two ago. All the stuff on it is over 15 years old or there about. I hoarded data as well as other physical things. I might keep the case and refurb the innards. That way if I ever get robbed they thieves will go "Ewwwww... what a load of crap" and ignore it heh. So anyway, I couldn't afford much and the CNC machine will be arriving next week so I wanted something to drive it (without having to relocated my main gaming PC from my bedroom to the living room)... so I spend a whopping £95 on a refubished Core 2 Duo Desktop. All it's got to do is run the control routines for GRBL after all. If it's powerful enough I might do some CAM on it too. But it doesn't have to be really uber powerful. So the next task will be learning CAD/CAM/CNC parts production. I've been spending my time learning Fusion 360 and banging my head on the desk heh. I could use Sketchup and SketchUCam but Fusion is sooooo much more powerful.
  23. I was thinking of that function but I'm not sure they would have enough oomph. I will have to try when I have 5 minutes spare... unfortunately I have soooooooooo much on my plate at the moment that I doubt I will have time for ages. I am learning Fusion 360, learning CAD/CAM and G-Code, getting ready to build my first CNC machine, build a noise-reducing enclosure and then putting it all together... and I can only do a little bit each day due to my damned messed up joints. I will try to document it though. Cool part is that every day for the last few weeks I have received parts in the post for various things I have bought online. I gave up putting it off due to Brexit... I didn't want to get hit by high import taxes.
  24. LOL... another of my random purchases arrived today and these really powerful steppers finally arrived.
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