[Part 4] Electrical Component Gathering


I've got few more components since the last post. First of all, I received all the 60 batteries. Each rated at 1.2V 2.5Ah. My plan is to buy a battery casing that can hook 10 of them in series so that I can output 12V at 2.5Ah. From there if I hook up four so-made battery packs in series, I will get 12V steady output at 10Ah. Before I chose to go with this battery scheme, I did a lot of calculations to figure out how much energy to weight (and volume) ratio I will get. It turns out going with the Li-Ion AA batteries tops the list, but they are not cost efficient. If I go with the Ni-Mh batteries, I can get a result that's pretty close to the result I would get by using the Li-Ion scenario (In fact, the ratio is almost identical). Besides, Li-Ion batteries are slightly explosion hazard upon short-circuiting (check out some YouTube videos on this if you want). So for both safety and economic reasons, I chose Ni-Mh batteries. These battery cases have several mounting holes which is just a bonus point!


This pictures shows sixty Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries, a battery charger, an Aluminum casing, and a roll of 10-wire ribbon cable (50ft). The Aluminum casing is to make a control station that will sit on top of navigation bar. It is comprised of an LED module, a linear potentiometer for gain control, a potentiometer pot for directional control, a key starter for ignition, and an optional RFID module for near-field ignition). So my UPC will house two different method to start. I can use a key to start it (just like a car) or I can have my RFID chip near at the control station (< 50cm) and it will start right away automatically.


This is the LED module which I'm going to embed into the Aluminum case shown above. So through this display, a user can interact with the UPC by checking its angular position, speed, gain, and other safety information which will be updated real-time. 


I did a quick test on the LED module. Unfortunately, it turns out the module is defective (2nd and 4th lines are dead). So I requested another one from the company. Back-light and contrast are controllable, but I will not make that function available to the user just to make the coding and hardware fabrication simple.

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