How to program Animatronic Tail Control Board (Version 2.0)


Step 0.  Get a control board

0.0  The following assumes that you have built a tail, and have opted to buy a tail control board from me, they are available here

Step 1.  Connecting the control board to the tail

1.0  Connect the servos to the control board

    1.0.0  The wag servo connects to pin 12

    1.0.1  The tuck servo connects to pin 13

1.1  Connect the switch to the control board

    1.1.0  Any normally open switch can be used

    1.1.1  B1 is connected to pin 8

    1.1.2  B2 is connected to pin 7

    1.1.3  B3 is connected to pin 6

1.2  Connecting power

    1.2.0  Connect 6 volt power to the positive rail

    1.2.1  Connect ground to the ground plane

Schematic for Animatronic Control Board Version 2.0

1.3  Note: If you just build the above schematic it will not work, you need to program the microcontroller, initially with a computer first.  This requires you to write a program, complie it, and then download it into the microcontroller.  This initial programming then allows the microcontroller to understand the input buttons, what type output should be generated, and how to save user settings.


Step 2.  Test factory settings

2.0  Version 2.0 control board has built in factory settings (the values that work with my animatronic tail)

2.1  Make sure all connections are correct

2.2  Apply power to the board, both servos should go to their center locations (State 0)

2.3  Using the following Finite State machine, you can test the factory settings:

Finite State machine

2.4  States:

  Servo 1 Servo 2
State 0 Center Normal
State 1 Slow Wag Normal
State 2 Fast Wag Normal
State 3 Center Tuck
State 4 Center Raise

2.5  To navigate the State Map: 

    2.5.0  If you are at State 0, pressing B1 will take you to State 1 (Slow Wag), then pressing B2 will take you to State 3 (Tail Tuck), etc...

2.6  You may find that the factory settings are not compatible with your servo motors, or your design, hence the reason for the next part


Step 3.  Programming

3.0  Unlike version 1.0, version 2.0 is 100% user programmable, with out the use of a computer, or any other electronic device

3.1  Press B3 to enter Program Mode

3.2  The following Table shows the program modes, and what the buttons do

  Button 1 Button 2 Button 3
Servo 1 Slow Wag Left Stop Move Tail Left Move Tail Right Enter
Servo 1 Slow Wag Right Stop Move Tail Left Move Tail Right Enter
Servo 1 Slow Wag Speed Decrease Wag Speed Increase Wag Speed Enter
Servo 1 Fast Wag Left Stop Move Tail Left Move Tail Right Enter
Servo 1 Fast Wag Right Stop Move Tail Left Move Tail Right Enter
Servo 1 Fast Wag Speed Decrease Wag Speed Increase Wag Speed Enter
Servo 1 Center Move Tail Left Move Tail Right Enter
Servo 2 Tuck More Tail Forward Move Tail Back Enter
Servo 2 Normal More Tail Forward Move Tail Back Enter
Servo 2 Raise More Tail Forward Move Tail Back Enter

3.3  After entering program mode, the tail will move to the "Slow Wag Left Stop" using buttons B1 and B2 you can adjust this location, press B3 when done

3.4  After pressing B3, you will move to the "Slow Wag Right Stop" you may adjust it, or press B3 again, to advance to the next programmable item

3.5  The Tail will now wag between the "Slow Wag Left Stop" and the "Slow Wag Right Stop" you can adjust it to the desired slow wagging speed

3.6  When completed with all programmable items, the last press of B3 will save all the new settings to the EEPROM and then exit Program mode

3.7  Have fun wagging your tail


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