Saturday, November 10, 2012

Solenoid Madness!

Finally - the solenoids are in place and everyone of them working properly!

I've also remade the control cables for the power boards since several of the pins I planned on using for control didn't work since they were shared with other functions, such as the SD card loading etc. This is a drawback on the Chipkit-board since the actual PIC32 chip has a lot more I/O's than the board has, so some of them are shared.

I programmed a simple but effective diagnostics page as well in order to test each of the solenoids which has already proven very useful (I can't believe I originally thought I wouldn't need a diagnostics mode...) since I can properly diagnose how much power is needed for each coil, and of course - verify that they work.

Unfortunately I noticed that some of the coils are a bit too weak, while some are far too strong. So I'll probably switch around some of the solenoids to get the best power usage possible. Worst case scenario, I'll buy a couple of new ones.

Here's a short clip of the adjustments menu and, of course, the coil diagnostics page -

Feels good to see some movement from the machine after all this time!

Dramatic music is dramatic!


  1. the whole pic32 PPS pin selection really annoys me and how things are grouped etc.

  2. Yepp. Very rarely it's possible to get a continuous range of pins. Hopefully the next revision allows for programmable pins...

    Now if I can find three pins for lights control and at least 3 for servos I'd be all set...