Help! Making an Iron Man helmet remote controlled.

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Dan Lexie, May 7, 2016.

  1. Dan Lexie

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 7, 2016
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    I have a motorized iron man helmet I'm trying to operate remotely.
    My plan was to make a remote small enough to hide in the piece of armor that covers the top of the hand with wires to a momentary button on the thumb. My hope was to use an infrared emitter and detector. Having the emitter coming out from the armor piece covering the top of hand and having the detector stashed under the chin of the helmet allowing for line of sight for ir signal.
    The helmet is operated by a picaxe 8 pin proto board. This was copied nearly completely from xrobots.co.uk helmet instructions found on youtube. The boards operation comes from a single momentary switch that I replaced with a Detector (photo-diode) from radio shack #276-0142.
    https://www.radioshack.com/products/radioshack-infrared-led-emitter-and-detector?variant=5717550213
    This photo-diode works well as a switch when hit with a signal from my tv remote as well as a single led bulb flashlight at a range of 2-3 inches/ 5-8cm.
    I had tried their (radio shacks) 38kHz 3 pin module in various circuit patterns that I found while searching a remote circuit. None worked as a switch and many of the circuits made the module get extremely hot. Through trial and error I have found the following circuit to work: using a 1 AA battery holder and a high output infrared led also from radio shack,
    batt + to switch, switch to ir led +, ir led - to batt -. but this only has a range of 4 inches/ 10cm. Which is sadly not good enough. I'm looking for about 2.5 ft/75cm range(roughly arms length). Last thing I tried to increase range was putting a resistor of different sizes both before and after the ir led which I found suggested in other forums and resulted in nothing happening at all, even after replacing the single batt 1.5v with a 3 AAA 4.5v.
    Please let me be clear, I have no idea what I'm doing. Up until a month ago when I started this project I could only expertly change batteries and plug things in. I'm an artist by trade, I could paint a photo real image a diode but couldn't tell you what the h it does. I spent most of today looking through previous posts on this forum as well as others and I'm no closer to making a remote with better range.
    Help me All about circuits your my only hope.
     
  2. Dan Lexie

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 7, 2016
    3
    0
    Even though I ordered a Make: super tv b gone to hopefully use as a controller for this I would still like some advice. Does anyone think the tv b gone won't work for what I want? Better ideas, anyone?
     
  3. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
    2,345
    1,025
    Welcome to AAC!

    Can you post a sketch of the circuit you are using ?- Hand drawn will do. Sometimes a photo works too.
    The photo-diode is meant to be a detector only - you have to add some circuitry to drive a motor.
    While a simple IR link is possible by just turning on the IR LED and looking at it with the IR photodiode, IR control is usually done by a modulated IR source (push the button and it emits a 38KHz or 56KHz signal) and detectors such as this one to avoid problems with ambient IR light (like sunlight). The remote control emits pulsed bursts of this modulated IR light (your maker tv b gone does this..) which are decoded to do the function.
    Yours is a simple toggle control - visor up, visor down - so you could get away with a lot less than that but in any case, you'll have to use the photo detector/IR detector as well, a detector, then add circuitry to drive the motor.

    The good news is that you've come to the right place. Post what you have and we'll take it from there.
     
  4. Dan Lexie

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 7, 2016
    3
    0
    The picaxe proto board runs the servo. The photo diode/ir detector acts as the switch (attach via the red and black wires on far left of attach image) for the board but only form a distance of a few inches. I suppose what my trouble boils down to is, is this photo diode not sensitive enough to pick up ir signal from a distance greater than 4 inches (distance my tv remote works to as a test)? Will the tv b gone be strong enough and pulse enough to reach the photo diode to get it to click over the picaxe? Is there a more reliable circuit for the 38kHz detector than the ones I found via Google search that won't make the detector heat up as it shouldn't? image.jpeg
     
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