GCSE electronics/ engineering

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by LauraGrearson, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. LauraGrearson

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 3, 2009
    your probably goning to look at this and then dismiss it, without noticing the real importance. . .
    im studying GCSE double award engineering, and as i am only at GCSE standard, compared to 99% of the readers on here im a total newbie-but ive been scowering the internet for help, and came across this website, which people seem to know what theyre talking about...
    my project is to come up with a fully working design idea for a mechanincal buggy that uses PIC technology, and i was woundering if a 6v power supply, combined with some form of solar cell power supply would work? as i dont actually have to make the buggy, i just need the paper designs and that- i have it in my portfolio as an initial idea, but would it be worth persuing as a full idea? as i know that solar cells would boost the effiency of the buggy, i just lack the knowledge of doing so!
    my idea is a spherical buggy, using no wheels, just a rotational moulded sperical shell. inside the shell a circut using a PIC 24x chip, and 8-figure light display, a loudspeaker, and somehow solar cells. (obviously facing outwards to get light) but to move the buggy my idea is to use some sort of solenoid/s to push a weighted lever, which will act like a pendulum would in a clock- which oud definately get the bal rolling... haha :)
    but yeah, has anyone got any ideas about this ? or am i just wasting my time, aswell as my GCSE's? .... please write back as soon as possible... as im tearing my hair out!!!
  2. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
    Hiya Laura:

    I'm not sure that a solar panel would increase the efficiency, but it would make power available when the batteries run down.

    A spherical "hamster ball" sounds like a neat idea, though the control might be a real bear to implement. To propel it, you would need a fixed inertial source, like a massive gyroscope on a three-axis gimbal.

    You might want to experiment with a beach-ball sized device....model aircraft radio control servos are readily available and pretty cheap.

    Are you pretty familiar with gyroscopes? Do you know how the force vectors and all that work?

  3. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    I'm going to spoil your illusion " that we know what we are talking about". Using the battery as a weight supported on L shapped arm would be swung by pull type solenoid. Wheels for now have ratchets on one way brakes to provide one way movement.For S it"s pull-pause-release. On its rearward swing, spring is compressed, switch [mechanical or multi-step photo-electric ]closes signaling control unit to start another cycle. If a hard stop, attached to cart, or sled, were provided, battery would pound on it driving it forward. Problem: how to keep a sled from moving backward. Wheeled version directional control by differential control of electric brakes.
  4. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    How does a hamster go about steering and propulsion? If anything like a gerbil, there is a forward mounted drive and a rear mounted drive. There is also a flexible section between the drives allowing them to be oriented at an angle to one another.

    If you have fun with it you are NOT wasting your time. If you enhance your life or someone else's with it you are NOT wasting your GCSE's.