The Craftmans Shop => Radio Control Models => Topic started by: ddmckee54 on November 14, 2019, 01:36:27 PM

Title: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 14, 2019, 01:36:27 PM
This is going to be a slow build.  I've got a boat-load of other projects going on, along with that 4 letter work that starts with "W" and sounds like werk.

I got the starting point of this project in the mail a couple of weeks ago, see first attachment.  I got it used off Ebay.  It's missing a few parts, but most of those parts would have been heavily modified anyway.  At $11 plus shipping I couldn't resist it.  The missing hood and door are available from Bruder as spare parts. as is the missing extendable part of the boom.  I'll probably order the door and hood, the rest of the missing parts I may try to 3D print.

I've been working on the 3D model of this thing, I'm nowhere as good as Joules, and not nearly as fast, but it's good enough to print the parts I'll need - see second attachment for 3D PDF.  I'm using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC version 2019.021.20056 to view this and it seems to work just fine for the 3D PDF.  I'm able  to manipulate the model and turn various parts on and off in the model tree.  I can see I'll need to change how I've got the components grouped together to make it a little more user-friendly in the PDF version.

I'm planning on working on the running gear first and get that operational.  The current plan is the print 3D replacement parts that are as close to the Bruder originals as possible.  I'll print the front and rear axles, the rear axle will be fixed to the lower half of the body and the front axle will pivot up and down to follow the ground contour, I think that's the way the real thing works too.  I'll keep the 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering as on the original.  I'm planning on using four N20 gearboxes at 100 RPM, one for each wheel.  That will give me a scaled top speed of about 16MPH, the real thing has a top speed of about 22 MPH so I'm close-ish.  The current plan is to 3D print inner rims that will allow me to adapt the N20 gearboxes to the Bruder wheels.  These motors only pull a couple hundred milli-amps at stall, so I should be able to run all 4 motors with one 10 amp brushed ESC, at least that's the plan.

One of the big problems with Bruder conversions is that they are too light in weight, being made of plastic and mostly air. I plan on adding weight to this model wherever I can, starting with the wheels.  I'm going to fill the empty space in the Bruder wheels with BB's and silicon.  I should get some added weight, and wheels that won't collapse under load.

If the "plan" turns to crap, well then I won't feel too guilty about it since I won't be out that much.  Mostly just my time, and I work cheap - when it's for myself.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on November 14, 2019, 07:13:03 PM
Looks like good fun, and a nice model!
Was it designed to be RC, or just a nice show model?

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on November 14, 2019, 07:13:53 PM
Oh, you might just machine some steel doughnuts for the wheels if you want some real weight...

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 15, 2019, 10:47:09 AM

The Bruder line of "toys" were designed to be "sort of" detailed kids toys, in 1/16 scale.  They make reasonably well detailed models and are not too fragile.  The not TOO fragile part is a necessity to be kid-safe, they are also not too expensive.  I want to build a construction fleet, but I don't want to spend mega-bucks doing it.  I've got 7 vehicles in my fleet to be converted so far, and I'm still looking for more.  I don't think I've spent more than $250 so far.

Regarding the steel donuts in the wheels, I don't have anything that size, the tires have an outer diameter of about 84mm, or about 3.3", depending on which side of the pond you are on.  I do have a 3D printer and plenty of BB's.  Silicon caulk of various colors is fairly cheap.

There won't be much traditional machining in this build, mostly it will be amputating various bits of the original model and 3D printing replacement parts.

Right now I'm tearing down the original model and making the 3D model.  An accurate 3D model will help me determine what will fit where.  It also will tell me what, if anything, needs to be removed in order for it to fit.  It also lets me design the replacement 3D printed parts at the same time.

I made some more progress on the 3D model last night, see attachment.  I did some work on the upper body and on the fenders.  I still need to split the Body components into the Upper Body and the Lower Body.  That way you'll be able to turn then off to see the inside of the model, along with the various Bits and Bob as they are added.

I got ahead of myself on the fenders, the front and rear fenders are almost the same.  I copied and pasted them into place before I should have.  As I was quitting last night I realized that I hadn't completed the design of the lower part of the fender before I duplicated them.  Now I've basically got 4 times the work to do to correct  that issue.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 18, 2019, 02:42:16 PM
I made some more progress on the 3D model, I fired my shop gnome and hired a shop elf.  I swear the elf looks just like the gnome did, but he gets a lot more done - Crueby swears there's a difference between the two and I believe him.  I tried firing the shop gnome last year but it didn't take, apparently all I had to do was use a bigger cannon.  With the elf's help I made what feels like significant progress on the model.  I think I've got the model tree organized a little better, using Adobe reader you can manipulate the model and turn parts on/off.  I've made a good start on the outriggers.  The outriggers pivot/drive units are identical front to back and the extendable outriggers themselves are all identical - that's why I only show one. And I'm starting to fill in the details on the upper half of the frame - it's not just a rectangular block anymore.  The new 3D PDF is attached, it's still a WIP so it'll get better.

I haven't said yet what I want to make functional by radio control on this model, here's my wish-list:
1) 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering with at least the front axle able to pivot to follow the ground contours.
2) Fully functional outriggers, extend/retract and raise/lower to level the unit.
3) Functional slew of the crane/telehandler body.  (I think of this thing more as a crane than a telehandler since it rotates.)
4) Raise-lower the boom.
5) Extend-retract the boom.  The real deal has 2 or 3 sections of the boom that can be extended.  I think the single movable section that Bruder has moving will be enough trouble for now.
6) Tilt the forks.
7) Working winch for the crane option.  I REAALLLY want this one since I always picture this as a crane.
8) Lights, I'd really like all the lights to be functional, but I'd settle for head and tail-lights that light up.

I got some more of the N20 gearboxes last week, up to this point everything has been theoretical with the 3D model, but I decided to print out the gearbox covers that I've got designed so far.  I found a couple of clearance issues between the covers and the gearboxes that I corrected in the model.  I don't know how I could read 4.25mm as 3.5mm, that was probably one of the measurements that the shop gnome took before he was fired.  Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I also printed out a test version of one of the axles and the covers for the wheel gearmotor.  I found out that I needed to put in a line-up key between the upper and lower axle halves.  I didn't have that before and when I bolted the axle halves together, they would slip around a little.  Only about 0.5mm, but it was enough to irritate me.  I also decided that I need to add a counter-bore for the bolt heads, and pockets for the nuts to press into.  I need to modify the steering arm on the wheel gearmotor covers, extending it out a bit.  All 4 wheels will steer on this model and in it's current position the steering arm will not allow enough travel before the gearmotor cover would foul the steering tie-rod.  I'll also need to print out prototypes for the other replacement parts to see how well my 3D model matches reality.

I didn't take any pictures, these are all proof of concept prints that were done with leftover partial spools of PLA that I have laying around.  At this point I still consider these printed parts as completely disposable.  Once the parts fits are verified I'll print out the parts that will actually be used.  I know I'm not lucky enough, or skilled enough, to get the design right the first try.  At least this keeps me off the streets and out of trouble at night.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 20, 2019, 03:46:19 PM

Is there anybody out there, besides WeldingRod?  I feel like I'm talking to myself here and II do that enough in real life - talking to the smartest person in the room and all that.

I've currently got a 6 channel programmable rig that I could use for the controls, or an 8 channel that isn't programmable - let's assume the 6 channel.  Looking at my wish list, and comparing it to what's available for transmitter and receiver channels, I can see that I'm going to have to get creative on this thing, REAL creative.

For instance, if I was to use a dedicated channel for every function, the outriggers alone would require 8 channels.  I think I've got way to do pare that down to 2 channels, along with just using a single 10 amp ESC to drive all the gearmotors.

I'll replace one of the variable position auxiliary channels on the transmitter with a multi-position rotary switch, at least 5 position.  You can get them from Allied or Digi-Key in a variety of flavors, including some that have two center poles.  The transmitter switch, using fixed resistors between the positions, would allow me to change a servo in the model to several different FIXED positions.  I could use this servo to rotate a similar multi position rotary switch to known positions.  5 positions - counting the end-points, gives me 30° between positions.  By using a 120° servo, this just happens to match the angle between the positions on the rotary switch, it's like somebody planned it this way.  I'm planning on using a single 10 amp ESC to drive whatever is attached to this switch.  The two center poles on the rotary switch would allow me to switch both poles in all 5 positions.

I'm planning on attaching ALL 4 of the gearmotors that will be used to extend/retract the outriggers to one of the 5 positions.  They are teeny-tine little things, 7mmx16mm coreless motors, planetary gearboxes, and run at 200RPM.  These motors have a running current of less than 20mA, the switch is rated at 2A, and the ESC at 10A - so I should be able to get away with this.  This will ONLY allow me to extend/retract all 4 outriggers simultaneously, not accurate to full scale but I'll live with it.  I could then attach the 4 raise/lower gearmotors to the other 4 positions on the switch.  These are N20 Type 7 gearmotors.  The motors are a little bigger, but not much, they each draw about 60-80mA when running. This will let me raise/lower each outrigger independently to level the crane.  I'll have to do it one at a time, which probably isn't accurate to full scale, but again - I'll live with it.

OK, that's 2 channels down and we haven't moved this thing yet.    Each wheel will be driven by another N20 gearbox. All 4 will all be wired to the another 10A ESC and we're off to the races.  All 4 wheels are also linked together for 4 wheel steering.  Forward/reverse and Left/Right steering, that's 2 more channels down and now we've only got 2 left.

What's still on the wish-list: Slew crane, raise/lower boom, extend/retract boom, tilt forks up/down, raise/lower crane, and the lights - too much.  All right, the lights can be wired into the receiver power.  So that the lights are on whenever the receiver is on.  Not accurate to full scale, but SOME sort of working lights are better than NO working lights.

Hmmmm….  That leaves us with 5 motors that we want to control, and an already designed solution for a 5 position switch - now isn't that a coincidence?  Each of these motors can be run one at a time and then left in that position while moving something else.  I know it's not accurate to full scale, but it IS do-able.  And it won't cost me mega-bucks for a bazillion channel rig that would need at least 4 arms for accurate scale operation.

Now that I've got the gearmotors for the outriggers, I can start the 3D design for their covers and mounts.  Last night I got the re-design done on both of the N20 gearmotor types, the standard and the Type 7.  I also got the axle modifications done last night.  It was too late to try printing them out before I went to bed - so I'll try printing them tonight.

That's enough for today, tomorrow I might even be able to provide some pretty pictures.


Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: millwright on November 20, 2019, 05:49:05 PM
Following this Don, as an rc car builder and racer I have an interest in your project, just hope you have enough room in there for all the motors and switchgear. Waiting to see the pictures. carry on posting others are reading as well.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: Will_D on November 21, 2019, 04:37:25 AM
Following this with interest, just that I don't have anything to add!!
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: Joules on November 21, 2019, 05:23:40 AM
Likewise, if its got 3D printing I'm watching the thread.  Oh, and talking to yourself comes with the territory.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on November 21, 2019, 09:08:13 AM
Do you have any on/off signals? 
You could set the legs up to go to fixed positions one at a time.  Or, if your insanity knob is broken off, you could make it self leveling ;-)

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 12:48:54 PM
I know a lot of people have trouble opening my 3D PDF's, so I know I've got to get a handle on adding pictures to a thread.  I know there's a sticky on this site somewhere that'll tell me how to do that, just have to find it.  I'd recommend opening the 3D PDF if you can.  You can do some  pretty cool stuff with the 3D PDF using the Adobe reader, manipulate  the viewing angle, turn bits on and off to see what's behind or under them, and today I found out you can change the model rendering and lighting.

For those of you that can't open the 3D PDF, I'm working on saving different views of the model as a JPEG, which I will add to the thread, when I figure out how to do that.

My insanity knob isn't broken off - at least not yet.  I've been wondering about using an Arduino, or several of them, to control this thing.  The RC Tractor Guy has done AMAZING things with 1/32 scale die-cast tractor models using Arduinos and his own custom built control system.  But that's a whole 'nother can'o'worms that I'm not ready to kick over quite yet.

Hopefully back in a bit wiff some pix,
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 01:50:07 PM
This is a test, I want to see where it puts this when I insert it in the thread.( That way I know what to allow for when referring to the images.  Hopefully it shows up.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 01:53:35 PM
Well, since all I've got is a damned box with an X in it, I've got to back to school and figure out what I did wrong.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 03:03:04 PM
Well the first try was definitely underwhelming.  I made an album in Google Photos called Bruder Manitou 2150 and added 2 JPEG files to it.  They showed up in the album, but when a added the link to one of those images we got the dreaded Black box nolinkum seen above.  When I look for the tutorial on adding images to threads I can find that Divided head made one, but either I don't have permission to view it, or it's not here anymore.

I got to wondering if the album I created was a private album.  To test this theory I created a shared album called Bruder Manitou 2150 and uploaded the same 2 images to it.  We are about to put that theory to the test.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 03:18:45 PM
Well, that test was also un-inspiring.

Can I not use Google Photos?  Do I need to use some other 3rd party for image storage?

Can somebody please explain to me in small words of 2 syllables or less, grunts and smacks to the head are perfectly acceptable, how to post a photo/image in a thread?

Or maybe tell me where I get a copy of "Posting Photos in MaddModder Threads for DUMMIES"?

I've been working with these high speed morons called computers for 40 years, and they're STILL smarter than me.  Those programmers are devious people, I ought to know, I were one.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: Joules on November 21, 2019, 04:34:16 PM
Don, I attach photos in my post.  I used to embed them using photobucket, but that went tits up and ruined lots of my threads.  The attachment button below is used to attach upto 10 photos at the end of your post, so I name each one and refer to it in the post.   Not as nice as embedded photos, but safer to have them here on forum storage.

Hope that helps, posting 800x600 jpeg seems to be a good size these days.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: sorveltaja on November 21, 2019, 05:19:54 PM
Don I'm not a specialist, just plain ordinary computer user, but don't the internet service providers on that side of the pond offer an option to host your own pictures/files?

In the past, I used Photobucket, but something went wrong with it, and most, if not all of the links to the pictures didn't work anymore. I don't remember, how temporary it was, but I remember, that a lot of photobucket users were upset by that.

Of course there is also a chance for that to happen for a local ISP. Computers here and there and everywhere...

Without knowing much about it, I wonder, why the Google Photos don't work. A company that big should have an endless resources to make their services easy to access for the end user.

I'll bet they also have a lot of 'terms of uses', which are changed many times in a year.

Perhaps the problem, that you have, has something to do with privacy(or who knows what) settings in Google Photos?

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 21, 2019, 05:28:47 PM
Embed, that's the word I was looking for - thanks for reminding me.  Until somebody can clue me into a REALLY simple way of embedding images in a thread, I'll attach them.  I'm pretty sure I can do that.

The first attachment will be the overall view of the 3D model.  In this view I've changed the model's rendering to 3D Outline.  I think it makes it a little easier to see the individual parts of the model like this.

The second attachment shows the outriggers and the various Bits and Bob associated with them, also rendered in the 3D Outline format.  Most of what you're looking at in the 2nd attachment will be 3D printed.  The outrigger housing, re red part at the bottom is roughly 15mm wide by 20mm tall and about 120mm long.  The extendable outrigger, the black part on the right, is about 135mm long overall and will extend about 110mm.  The outrigger will pivot from the red block on the left.

The blue rectangle at the top is the cover for the N20 Type 7 gearmotor that will turn the screw to lower and raise the outrigger.  I've printed test examples of the covers, found Boo-Boos, and hopefully fixed same.  The entire gearmotor, with covers, will fit in a space that's 12x25x25mm.    Other people have used these gearmotors in linear actuators that seem to be handling higher loads, so I'm hoping that these will work out.  The hole that runs through the gearbox covers is for the M3 bolt that will be the pivot for the ram.  I'm a little concerned with these covers only being 1mm thick. but that's all the room I had.  Time will tell if these covers will handle the loads.  I'm not going to be lifting tons, just ounces, so I THINK I'll be OK.

The yellow part below the gearmotor is the "cylinder" of the ram.  This will be a piece of 5/16" brass tubing that will be fastened to the gearmotor's output shaft by a set screw, a grub screw if you're from the other side of the pond.  The other end of the cylinder will be threaded M3 to fit the threaded rod that will be the "piston" of this ram - the piston will be fixed.  I know, I know, the cylinder is spinning and the piston is fixed - so sue me.  I'm pretty sure that the crankshaft for the LeRhone rotary was fixed to the firewall and it worked fairly well.  I'm not the first one to get things backwards.  Back on subject, the Bruder outrigger rams move about 20mm, I've got about 25mm of travel in what I've designed.

That's enough for today, tomorrow - the axles!
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on November 22, 2019, 03:57:42 PM
I know that I said today would be the axles...  Well I lied may have stretched the truth a little.  I WAS going to print out the updated axle last night, but by the time I got all the modifications to the gearmotor covers done it was late enough that I'd have had to leave the printer on all night.  It would only need to run an hour or so after I went to bed, wasn't worth it.

I did get a little accomplished, and I can prove it.  I've got pictures so it DID happen.  I'm attaching several pictures:
1) The first attachment is all 4 gearmotor covers on the printer when it got done printing.
2) The second attachment is the gearmotor covers for what will be one of the 4 wheelmotors.
3) The third attachment is all the parts for the wheelmotor, along with a penny for a size reference.
4) The fourth attachment is the wheelmotor hiding behind a penny.
5) The fifth attachment shows how the Type 7 gearmotor fits in the cover, along with a quarter for a size reference.  It almost fit like a glove.  I've got to figure out why the pivot hole in one half of the cover fit properly while the other side was too tight.  I know that the picture is badly washed out - sue me, I'm an engineer not a photographer.
6) The last attachment shows the ram motor trying to hide behind that same quarter, and almost succeeding.

I modified the covers for both the wheel gearmotor, and the ram gearmotor.  I was concerned about how thin the covers were. in some areas the covers are only 1mm thick.  I had plenty of room around the gearmotor for the wheel, so I increased the sidewall thickness to 1.5mm and I increased the top and bottom thickness to 2mm.  The top and bottom is where to joint with the king-pin is located.  I also radiused that joint, don't want any stress-risers at that corner now do we?

The Type 7 covers are also only 1mm thick, over the motor and in other parts of the gearbox, but I absolutely cannot increase this.  The motor is 10mm across the flats.  I allowed 0.25mm clearance on both sides of the motor - because FDM printers can get a little sloppy.  When you add 1mm on each side of the motor to that 10.5mm total, you're at 12.5mm.  I've got 13mm of space that I can fit this assembly into - JUST fit it into.  From the fifth attachment you can see that I've got NO room inside the cover to add any material.  I know if I got an SLA printer that I could get away with tighter tolerances, but that is another can of worms that I am NOT going to kick over at this time.  Worst case, I just print out replacement covers if/when they break.

Maybe Monday the axles.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 02, 2019, 05:33:23 PM
I made some progress over the weekend, this was the first Thanksgiving in several years that I wasn't involved in a shutdown project or two at work.  Anyway, between laundry, cleaning and the other day to day necessities at home, I got a fair amount of prototyping accomplished.  I now have usable 3D models for most of the printed replacement parts that I need to make to convert the lower non-rotating part of the Bruder Manitou 2150 frame to radio control.  I didn't take any pictures yet, these are prototype parts to test for fit and interference, and in most they will not be used on the actual model.  I printed most of these parts using left over partial rolls of PLA from other projects.  I will reprint the correct amount of these parts in the appropriate color for use on the model.  I was going to include a list of the parts I had test printed, but since I don't have pictures that would be  worthless.  I think I'll take some pictures tonight to go with the list tomorrow. 

I did model the front and rear steering servos and an 8 channel receiver.  The receiver sits under the engine cover.  At first I will be using a 6 channel receiver which will probably allow me to use the original Bruder "engine cover".  I do also have an 8 channel receiver which will not fit under the Bruder engine.  It's too wide  to fit in the engine compartment when laying on its' back, and when turned on its' side, it's too tall to fit under the original cover.  I have designed and test fitted a replacement cover that will work, but is very ugly - good thing the engine hood will hide it.

The next step is designing the switching assemblies that will allow me to control 10 functions with 4 channels. One of these switch assemblies will allow me independent control of these functions:
1) Extend/retract all 4 outrigger arms simultaneously.
2) Raise/lower the Left front outrigger.
3) Raise/lower the Right front outrigger.
4) Raise/lower the Left rear outrigger.
5) Raise/lower the Right rear outrigger.

The other of these switch assemblies will allow me independent control of these functions:
1) Left/Right slew of the boom assembly.
2) Raise/lower the boom.
3) Extend/retract the boom.
4) Tilt the forks Up/down.
5) Raise/lower the cable when the forks are replaced with the crane winch.

I won't be able run more than two of those functions simultaneously, one from each set of five, but I can live with that.  I'm not that good at multi-tasking anyway.

I've found a likely candidate for the multi-position switch in my Allied catalog.  It's less that $20 each, so it won't break the bank either.  I'll need four of these things, two for the transmitter, and two on the model.

I was going to list out the parts that I have printed and the parts that I need to design yet, but I think I'll take some crappy pictures tonight so I can show you what I've got.  After all... If you ain't got pictures it didn't never happen - right?

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 03, 2019, 01:14:32 PM
OK, I took a BUNCH of crappy pictures, threw the worst away and still have 15-20-ish.  Since I can only attach a limited number to each post, I'll break this up into 3 posts.

This post will cover the main frame of the beast and a little more.  The first attachment, Manitou 2150 001, shows the main frame of the model, this is split into the upper and lower frame.  The upper frame is about 30mm deep and the lower frame is about 24mm deep.  The second attachment shows the lower part of the frame.  You are looking at the engine side of the frame, and this would be on the operators right side when the cab is facing the front of the machine.  This is about 330mm long, about 55-60mm-ish wide, and 24mm deep.  The top part of the frame, because of the overhangs that support  the outriggers, is about 50-60mm longer than the lower frame.  That's a quarter for size reference.

The third attachment shows the front of the Bruder wheel.  It's a fairly well detailed wheel, on this side.  The next attachment, Manitou 2150 005 shows the back side of the wheel, my 3D printed "Inner Rim", and a quarter for size reference.  As you can see the detail on the back side of the wheel is not QUITE as good as the front.  You can also see that the wheels are hollow.  Bruder RC conversions are notorious for being "light-weight's", that's why I intend to fill the empty space between my printed inner rim and the shell of the tire with BB's and silicon seal.  That should add a significant amount of weight, and put the weight where the model doesn't actually have to carry it. The next attachment shows the assembled Bruder wheel and printed inner rim.  It's standing proud of the tire because the 6 ribs in the center of the wheel still need to be removed.  The quarter is still there for size reference.

The next attachment, Manitou 2150 008, is the two parts of the gearmotor cover that turn this into a wheelmotor.  You can see the kingpin sticking up from the part on the left, the part on the right shows the cavity printed for the gearmotor.  The gearmotor is a 6 volt 100 Rpm gearmotor which will give me a scale speed of about 16 mph.  You can also see the holes for the 2mm bolts that will hold these parts together.  The two nearest the center will hold the covers together, while the other will be the attachment point for the tie-rod.  The next attachment shows the assembled wheelmotor and the hub that will adapt it to the wheel.  The last attachment shows the wheelmotor and the assembled axle.  Both the front and rear axles will be identical.  The front axle will pivot while the rear axle will be bolted solidly to the frame.

That's enough for this post,

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 03, 2019, 03:14:13 PM
This post is the second in a series to three that show the modifications required for my RC conversion of the Bruder Manitou 2150 Rotating Telehandler.  This post will cover the modifications required to add my 3D printed axles to the original model.

The first attachment, Manitou 2150 014, shows the front of the lower frame.  You can tell it's the front because of the chamfer seen in the lower right of the frame, the rear does not have this chamfer.  This picture shows the front portion of the lower frame, you can see the molded in portion of the front axle sticking out.  About 16-17mm of the lower frame will be removed, including the lower front axle.  In the picture you can see the 3D printed part that will be used to bridge the front and main parts of the lower frame back together.  There will be four M3 bolts that hold these parts together.  The next attachment, Manitou 2150 023, shows the drilling guide that I have printed out to allow me to get these holes in the proper locations. Attachment 015, I'm not going to bother typing the Manitou 2150 anymore, shows the 3D printed part for bridging the lower frame main and rear parts together.  The 3D printed parts are sitting too high because I still need to cut the molded in ribs down to 3-4mm.  Then all will be  right with the world, at least with my little part of it.

Attachment 016 shows the 3D printed cover I made to hide the receiver.  I THOUHT that this one was a keeper, I was wrong.  Last night was the first time I've had both the upper and lower parts of the frame together for a while.  I've been working on this 3D model for a while and have been modeling the inside of one or the other for a couple of weeks.  If you look at the left rear part of my 3D printed part, you'll see two slots in the Bruder lower frame.  These slots are about 3mm wide and 6-8mm deep, forming a tab in the middle.  A molded in box on the upper frame fits over this tab, guess what I didn't allow for?  Yup you got it in one, this 3D printed part is junk.  I need to put a notch in the modeled part and re-print the stinkin' thing.

OK, that's it for this post.  The next one will deal with the outriggers and their attaching points.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 03, 2019, 03:55:36 PM
We're almost done for the day, just the outriggers left.  But this is where it starts to get interesting, at least I think it does.

Attachment 017 shows the front of the upper frame, it's got the grill in it and the rear doesn't have the grill.  Other than the grill, the front and rear outrigger mounts are mirror images of each other.  The three parts sticking up are the outrigger ram pivots.  There should be four, but one was broken off when I got it - that's why I got this thing cheap.  Most of the sticky-up and out bits will need to be amputated anyway, so that pivot being busted off is OK.

Attachment 018 shows my 3D printed outrigger replacement parts prototypes, at least the latest versions.  I went through several iterations of just the outrigger before I got a version that I was happy with.  It's funny, a part can look just fine on the screen, but when you actually print it out you realize that either A) it looks like crap, or B) it's WAY to thin to survive for very long.

The rectangular bit just to the left of the clamp is the gearmotor that will drive the screw that will raise/lower the outrigger.  This motor is a 6 volt 100 Rpm Type 7 gearmotor which, using a portion of M3 threaded rod for the screw, will let me fully raise or lower the outrigger in about 30 seconds.  There is one of screw rams for each outrigger.  The black bit on the right hand side is the gearmotor that will drive the screw to extend/retract the outrigger arm. 

Attachment 022 shows  the outrigger arm in its' fully extended position.  The gearmotor driving the outrigger arm screw is a 6V 200 Rpm gearmotor.  The screw will again be a portion of M3x0.5 threaded rod with a total length of about 120-125mm, and a usable length of about 100-110mm.  If I'm doing the math right it should take about 30 seconds to fully retract or extend the outriggers.

Thus endth the rant for the day,
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 04, 2019, 10:17:41 AM
Somebody say something, I feel like I'm talking to myself here.  Which is sort of OK, at least I'm used to it.

I didn't build anything last night, but I did order a couple of things.  I ordered some translucent red filament that looks like it will be a closer match to the Bruder red plastic than the solid red filament that I've been using.  I also ordered some silver colored filament, we'll see how close of a match it is to the Bruder plastic.

And lastly I ordered a couple of 12 circuit slip rings, I need one for the Manitou and one for the Liebherr crane I got in my pile stash of future projects.  The 12 circuits will allow me to run everything I want to and still leave me with plenty of spare circuits for lights and a couple of servo channels - if I want to do that.  They are only 2 amp slip rings so I've got to watch how much load I put on them.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: kayzed1 on December 04, 2019, 01:20:57 PM
Well i like it a lot, i have been considering getting all the hydraulic kit to do a big digger dozzer for one of the Great grand kiddies.. Plus i get time to play Eer! i mean iron out the snags :ddb:
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 05, 2019, 01:02:21 PM
I ordered some more stuff last night, an assortment of 5 colors of both 3mm and 5mm LED's, a couple of Arduino Nano development kits, and a couple extra Nanos.  It's Christmas time, cut me some slack.

I used to program PLC's in industrial control systems as a living for many years.  That was, I did the programming until the higher-ups decided that I should have minions to do the programming and that I should be sure they did it right.  I don't even remember how many programming languages I've learned over the last 30+ years, but I can handle one more.

I've never done any Arduino programming, but I know that I've used it, one of my 3D printers is a Prusa clone and is running on a version of Marlin.  I think that I've come up with a way that I can use an Arduino Nano to monitor 2 of the receiver channels and operate some lights in a mostly realistic manner.  As Baldric would say, "Here's my clever plan M'lord."

I believe that a Nano has 14 digital I/O pins that can be configured as either inputs or outputs.  I'll be using 2 pins as inputs to monitor the 2 receiver channels.  That leaves me with up to 12 digital pins that I can use for outputs, that's a lot of different lights.  The maximum load for a Nano output channel is 40 mA, but 20 mA is recommended.  That 20 mA will happily drive most LED's, just gotta' remember to use a current limiting resistor or we're gonna' let the MAGIC SMOKE out of something.  I've found that using an Arduino to monitor an RC channel is a fairly trivial thing to do.  The typical RC system uses a separate pulse for each channel and these pulses will vary in length from 1-2 milli-seconds, depending on the transmitter's stick position.  There's lots of open-source Arduino sketches out there on the ole' Interweb to do the monitoring, just grab one, copy, paste and edit.

I'll use the Arduino to monitor what would be the aileron and elevator channels for an RC airplane.  For this model I'll use the aileron channel to control left/right steering and the elevator channel to control forward/reverse direction and speed.  The way I figure it, by monitoring these 2 channels I'll be able to get semi-realistic operation for these lights:
Work lights
Headlights/Tail lights
Brake lights
Turn signals
Back-up lights
Rotating warning beacons

Work lights - This one will be the least realistic.  If the power is on, and the transmitter's on, and there's no forward/reverse motion, then turn on the work lights.  You don't really need the work lights on if you are inching the unit into position, or moving the unit from site to site.  I suppose that I could add a daylight sensor into this too, I've got a few I/O pins to spare yet.  Don't need no work lights if it's high-noon.

Headlights/Tail lights - If there's forward/reverse motion, then turn on these lights.  Day-light don't matter, like the Wal-Mart drivers - Lights On for Safety.

Brake lights - It there is forward/reverse motion, and if the absolute value of the speed decreases X amount, and the turn signal is off (or if the turn signal is on and the blink is on), then turn on the brake lights for a short time?  The X amount of decrease should keep the brake lights from turning on due to normal noise in the system.  I'll make this brake light time on a variable that I can play with until it feels right, probably start it at about 1-2 seconds.

Turn signals - If there's forward/reverse motion, and if the speed is greater than X, and the left/right stick is not centered, and blink is on, then turn on the appropriate turn signal until the stick is centered.  The "blink" will allow me to use one set of timers for ANY light that needs to blink at the same rate.  I'm using the speed variable to keep the turn signals from being turned on at low speeds.  I've rarely seen turn signals used in a construction site. This logic will also take into account whether this is a front turn signal where I will need to turn on/off a separate light, or the rear turn signal where I will need to turn on/off the appropriate brake light.  The biggest glitch that I can see in this one is that you won't be able to signal your intentions.  Instead you'll be that irritating guy the turns on his turn signal AFTER he's started turning the corner.  Definitely won't pass driving school.

Back-up lights - If direction is reverse, the turn on the back-up lights.

Rotating warning beacons - I'll use these to indicate when the unit is traveling at speed.  If there is forward/reverse motion and the speed is greater than X, turn on the beacons.

Any better ideas?
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: kayzed1 on December 05, 2019, 02:45:33 PM
That sounds very interesting :zap: :clap: well that would be the outcome of me trying to do it.. Hydraulics and mechanics are ok but those little electronicy thingies...
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 05, 2019, 05:30:59 PM

With me it was the other way around, hydraulics and pneumatics baffled me.  Then I started to think of them as electrical/electronic circuits.  Now I can find my way around in either, but I also know when to throw in the towel and talk to a pro.

Besides, these Nanos are almost dirt cheap.  So if I let the magic smoke out of one or two, I'm not out that much.  They will be run either from the 5 volts that's available on a USB for testing, or from a 2S Lipo battery pack in the model at about 6-7 volts.  If I throw a 1/4 amp or 1/2 amp fuse in to protect the wiring not too much can happen, other than a little smoke that will smell REALLY bad.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 09, 2019, 02:49:46 PM
Some neat stuff vitally important material arrived over the weekend, I got my 6 position 2 pole rotary switches from Digi-Key, they're cute LITTLE suckers.

I designed a bracket that will hold a sub-micro servo and the switch, I also had to design the control arm the servo will use to change the switch position.  The first attempt didn't work out so well, things mostly fit, but I didn't have the switch oriented correctly,  The switch needs to have the number 1 position 60° ccw of vertical for all of the detent positions to line up correctly with the servo throw.  There are 2 flats on the switch that keep the switch body from rotating, and a flat on the switch shaft to properly orient the knob, or in my case control arm.  When I modeled the switch flat on the switch, my calibrated Mk I Eyeballs didn't notice that the flat on the shaft did not line up with the switch detent positions - it's halfway in between.

I'm going to be using 5 positions of the switch and I want the #3 position to be vertical, this will make getting the linkages set up sooooo much easier.  I initially had the bracket 3mm thick, I had 4.5-5mm of available threads on the switch body and the nut is 1.5mm thick so I thought I was in like Flynn.  Not so much, no room for the lock washer.  I also discovered my original assumption, that the flats on the switch body would be enough to properly orient the switch, doesn't exactly work in the real world.  The switch comes with a keyed sheet metal locating ring with protruding tabs that will lock the switch into position.  I didn't think I'd need it, I was wrong.  By the time everything gets tightened down, the switch position can change by 10° or more, this is not acceptable. 

I redesigned the bracket, I cut out a section around the switch opening and rotated that section.  I couldn't figure out a way to measure the angles with what equipment I had.  I guestimated this angle at 10-15°, so I rotated the section 10° - turns out I SHOULD have rotated it 15°.  While I still had it loose from the rest of the bracket, I also thinned this section down to 2mm.  This gives me an additional 1mm of usable threads on the switch, along with the room for the locating ring AND the lock washer.  I also did a couple of other things to improve the print quality and reduce the print time, went from 70 minutes to 59.

I discovered that I couldn't get a programmer to modify the digital servos I had.  I had a couple of cheapies that I got from HobbyKing a couple of years ago - go figure.  So I ordered a couple of Hitec HS-5055 sub-micro's and a programmer to match.  They SHOULD be a drop in fit in the bracket.  If not, well, it's not like I haven't re-designed this bracket a couple of times already.

I also got my spool of "Translucent Red", and I'm a little disappointed, this stuff is more transparent than translucent.  I think you could print fairly respectable tail light lenses with this stuff.  The search for a redder red filament was on - again.  I found one that the reviewers consistently said was the "reddest red" they ever seen, and it's called...  "Enzo" Red, yup, it looks like Ferrari Red on a spool.  We'll see how close it comes to matching the Bruder red plastic.  If this one doesn't work, then screw it -  I'm just gonna get a can of rattle-can red and paint everything to match.

I'll take some pictures tonight, after I've got the switch oriented correctly.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 10, 2019, 03:43:39 PM
I took some pictures last night and kept the best two, they are attached below.  You've got a view of the actuator arm side of the switch, and the pins side of the switch.  The actuator arm is in the #3 position.  Positions 1 & 2 are CCW of center, and positions 4 & 5 are CW of the center #3 position.  A quarter is shown as a scale reference.  The servo shown is one that I had in my junk box, but it's supposed to be the same size as the Hitec servos I've got ordered.

This will probably be the last of the pictures for a while, I got my Arduino Nano's last night so I'll be busy learning how to program them, doing the programming, and testing/debugging my programming.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 11, 2019, 12:32:05 PM
And it just keeps getting better and better.

When I try hooking up to the Nano my set-up for the Com port selection is greyed out.  If I'm understanding what I've found on the Interweb correctly, my Chinese clone Nanos are using a counterfeit communication chip that the driver for the real chip doesn't recognize.  Some kind soul figured this out, and wrote a special driver just for these chips.  I've now got this driver and tonight I'll try loading it.  I'll find out if I can actually talk to the Nano.  All I'm trying to do at this point is get the Nano to blink the built-in LED.  That's the Arduino equivalent of the "Hello World" program in C++. (Baby steps donchaknow.)

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 12, 2019, 10:27:56 AM
Well..... It took until after 10:00 last night but I finally got it to run the Blink program, the Arduino equivalent of "Hello World".

I found out many things last night, primary among them is that Google is your friend,

I found out that I DO have the CH340G communication chips on my Chinese clone Nanos and also that not ALL CH340 drivers are created equal.  I had to go through several different drivers before I found one that even appeared to work.  That got me up to the point where the error message was that it couldn't sync up.  Back to the Interweb and Google's still being my friend.

I found out that some chips used 57600 baud and others use 115200 baud.  Wait a minute, I"VE got to set the speed?  I've gotten spoiled by software packages that do the minion work for me.  Oh well, we'll do this the hard way, what's my serial port set at?  9600 baud, NOBODY's used 9600 baud for years and years.  We'll try 57600 and see if that works... No Joy, let's try 115200....  And EUREKA, I got a different error message!

This time it's telling me the programmer's not responding.  Back to the Interweb and Google's still being my buddy and pal.  It seems that some Chinese ATmega328s are being shipped without bootloaders, one of the reasons they are so cheap.  WTF, do I NEED a bootloader?  How do I get one if I do?  Turns out I can use a Nano to burn a bootloader on another Nano...  As long as I've got a working Nano - so that option's out.  Does it seem like I'm stumbling around in the dark here?  If so, you're absolutely right.  A little more research and it seems that you don't really NEED a bootloader if you set up the IDE programming software correctly.  Go through and check the appropriate boxes and... NOPE, still doesn't work, programmer is STILL not responding.

Back to the Interweb, and while Google is not being my bestus Bud anymore, he still kinda likes me.  It seems that while some Chinese ATmega328s are shipped with the NEW bootloader, some are still shipped with the OLD bootloader.  And guess what, there's an option in the software for an ATmega328 with the OLD bootloader.  OK, we'll give it a shot, if this doesn't work I'm goin' to bed!!….  Ah - VIOLA, "Hello World", I have a Nano with a blinking green light, on for a second, off for a second and repeat 'til I tell you to quit.  Just like the program says - it's bedtime.

Tonight I'll start picking away at getting it to do what I want it to do.  Is an Arduino always this much fun getting the communications set up?

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 13, 2019, 10:54:16 AM
I found out a few things about the Arduino Nano, and the Arduino programming language last night.  If you're not interested in programming, mostly just the basics, then you probably want to just skip to the end.

I set up a simple input/output program and the hardware to match it.  I declared a couple of digital pins to be inputs and a couple more to be outputs.  Then wrote a conditional statement - If the X input is on, then turn on the Y output.  Easy-peazee right - not so much.

I found out that this programming language is REALLY case sensitive.  For instance, I can type pinmode(), or pinMode(), and some languages will recognize that I want the pinMode() command.  (Declaration?  It's been too many years, and I had trouble keeping them straight in college.)  But NOOOOO...., not this one.  It took me a while to figure out what the "pinmode not declared" error message was actually trying to tell me.

A little lesson in binary, and integers, and other fun stuff.  Binary is all 1's and 0's right?  Ummm…. no so much.  A binary condition will either be HIGH or LOW, right? Those statements are the same, right?  In some programming languages you can get away saying 1 is equal to HIGH, and 0 is equal to LOW, but not this one.  I had declared Ch_1 as an integer variable and did a digitalRead(2, Ch_1).  I assumed that this would put a value of 1 into Ch_1 whenever the digital pin 2 was at +5V.

My conditional output was this; if Ch_1 is equal to 1, then turn on the output.  I got nuthin'.  I jumpered the LED to +5V and the LED came on, so I knew the hardware worked.  The problem was in the programming, but where?  I even tried to use the built-in LED - no difference.  It's been 20+ years since I did any electronics design and I am a LITTLE rusty.  I was figuring that I screwed up somewhere, but since I could jumper it and it would work then apparently I had got the hardware right.

Then I started wondering, since this is a digital input, maybe it assigned a Boolean value to the digitalRead()?  OK, let's try that. Declare Ch_1 to be Boolean and the digitalRead(2, CH_1) stays the same.  But the output condition changes to this -  if Ch_1 is equal to HIGH, then turn on the output.  Try it again, and SHAZAAM, the output comes on.

Wait a minute, why isn't it turning off?  A couple of seconds later it turned off.  WTF is going on here?  After scratching my head for a while, I've been in this industry since the 70's and I've scratched most of the hair away, I started wondering if I needed to add pull-up or pull-down resistors?  Google is my buddy once again, and I find out there's a version of the pinMode() declaration that will activate the built-in pull-up resistors on the digital pins used for inputs.  Since the pin is always HIGH now, I've got to jumper the pin to 0V to test my programming and invert the output conditions.

Download the updated program, test it, and HOT CHACHACHA...  I've got control of an LED, and it only took me how long???  Holy-Crap, it's past my bedtime.  Time flies when you're having fun?
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 16, 2019, 05:02:35 PM
I did something stupid over the weekend, I broke my communications between the Nano and my PC.

I'm not sure how I did it but somehow the wrong drivers got loaded and now it won't talk anymore.  I think I may have plugged it into the wrong USB port, and that's what started this mess.  I saw that instead of the CH340 driver on COM5, I had the Ramps driver on COM4.  The Ramps driver is what the IDE software will load when it detects a Nano on the USB.  The only problem is that the Ramps driver is for the FDTI chip and I've got the CH340G chips on my Nanos.

I reloaded the driver that I thought worked but now no joy.  Back to the Interweb, and hope that Google still likes me.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 18, 2019, 03:48:27 PM
Once again I'm beyond the "Hello World" stage, not much to see except a couple of blinking lights.

I discovered a couple of things:

If I disconnected the communication cable at the PC end nothing bad happened.  If I disconnected the cable at the Nano end, the IDE software loads the Ramps driver for the COM port.  This is onna-conna that Ramps has the FTDI drivers in it and that's what Nanos are SUPOSSED to be using since a real Nano uses the FTDI chip.  Except that I've got Chinese clone Nanos with the CH340G chip, and I need the CH340SER drivers.  (Note to self - NO more disconnecting the Nano without FIRST disconnecting the cable from the PC!!!)

One other thing I discovered is that I've got 2 different flavors of Nanos, which kinda makes sense  - since they were from 2 different suppliers.  They both have the CH340G chip, but one type of Nano requires the "Old" style bootloader at 115200 baud, and the other type of Nano requires the new style bootloader at 128000 baud.  Oh frabjous day...

At least I know what I did wrong, and how to fix it  - now.

Now that I've got the communication going again, I'm back on track and I've got a bunch of logic tested and de-bugged.  I've got the NANO set up on a bread-board with outputs for headlights/tail-lights, left front turn signal, left rear turn signal, strobe/beacon, and back-up lights.  I've got digital inputs for moving (Yes/No), turning left(if we're not turning left we gotta be turning right), brakes(Yes/No), and direction(For/Rev).  The brake lights, rear turn signals on steady, are currently being triggered off a digital input, when I get the R/C logic working this will be changed.  I'm planning on looking at the average value of the For/Rev stick pulse.  If the speed, either forward speed or reverse speed, is decreasing then the brake lights will be turned on for a couple of seconds.  When I'm turning and the brakes are on, I flash the appropriate rear turn signal off instead of on.

I haven't got the R/C receiver pulse logic done, that's the next step.  I HAVE got the logic done that looks at the pulse length values for the for/rev channel and the left/right turn channel, and then decodes this for the various LED functions.  I won't bother with the right turn signals until I start putting the lights on the model.  The RH turn will just be a copy/paste/edit of the LH turn-signal logic. 

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 19, 2019, 01:31:10 PM
I did a little more testing and debugging last night.  I've got the programming working correctly on all the LED functions except one, the rear turn signal.

The rear turn signal is a red LED that does double duty, it is on steady when braking, and it flashes when turning.  The turn signals flash on for 250 milli-seconds and then are off for 750 milli-seconds.  If we're still turning when this cycle is complete, then the cycle is repeated, and repeated, and repeated - just like that old guy you followed that had his turn signal on for 5 minutes. The brake lights are a cycle that is triggered by a speed set-point reduction.  They will be turned on for about 4 seconds and then turned off.

What about if you are turning and braking?  Funny you should ask, that's the one that isn't working correctly.  When braking and turning, the rear turn signal is flashed, off when the front turn signal is on and on when the front turn signal is off - so that the light is on more than it is off.  At the end of the braking cycle the rear turn signal is SUPPOSED to sync up with the action of the front turn signal.  Sometimes the rear turn signal will complete the braking cycle and sync up with the front turn signal - just like it's supposed to do.  Sometimes it stays in the braking cycle WAYYYY longer than it supposed to.  And sometimes it completes the braking cycle, syncs up, and then eventually resets itself and starts the whole thing over again.

Somewhere I did something stupid and I've got a race-condition/timing issue. I think what's happening is sometimes it's event A before event B, and sometimes it's event B before event A.  I just need to find my Boo-Boo and fix it.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: Pete. on December 19, 2019, 01:53:16 PM
Isn't there some kind of gui that you can point and click and it will spill out code for the nano? That all seems like a whole lot of effort.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 19, 2019, 03:48:46 PM

GUI, not that I know of.  There's similar stuff out there that I could copy and paste, but where's the challenge in that?  Just yesterday I stumbled across a thread in ( of a guy that was doing something similar with a Nano.  But I've always wanted to learn how to program an Arduino, and this gave me a perfect excuse reason to do it.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: AdeV on December 19, 2019, 06:06:32 PM
Hi Don,

Interesting work with the Nanos... would you be prepared to show your code? I'd be interested in how you've achieved your various functions.

I've done a few bits and pieces with Arduinos (including Nano and Mini Pro sized boards, both with/without FTDI and/or USB interfaces); I'd probably work this one as a finite state machine, or more likely as a set of FSMs - one per function, or one per light, whichever worked out easier.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 20, 2019, 11:31:27 AM

When I've got the code working, I plan on posting it.

This isn't my first programming rodeo, I've been programming PLC's for 30 years.  However this IS my first rodeo programming Arduinos.  Consequently, the programming will have more brute force than eloquence.  I find myself thinking of the programming in terms of a PLC's ladder logic programming, and then converting that in my head to something the Nano can understand.

Let me ask you this, what do know about the timing of the pulsein function?  I'm not sure, but from what I read it sounds like if I tell the Nano to do a pulsein on a particular digital pin, it's going to sit there and wait until it sees that pulse.  Program execution basically stops?  Does program execution also stop during a delay, like I think it does?

If that's what happens then I can see why everyone says you should use interrupts instead of the pulsein function.  At 2 milliseconds per channel, when you add in some time separation between channel pulses, and some time at the end so the receiver knows there's a new pulse string coming - then we're looking at a 20-30 millisecond time for a complete pulse string.  That's a longggg time for the Nano to be sitting there twiddling it's proverbial thumbs.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: russ57 on December 21, 2019, 04:52:18 PM
Delay certainly executes a loop. Not sure about pulse in, I've not used that.
Pulsein long notes it uses interrupts, so that may be better.
If you are looking for pulses on many pins you may be better writing your own routine.


Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: AdeV on December 22, 2019, 05:44:20 AM

Let me ask you this, what do know about the timing of the pulsein function?  I'm not sure, but from what I read it sounds like if I tell the Nano to do a pulsein on a particular digital pin, it's going to sit there and wait until it sees that pulse.  Program execution basically stops?  Does program execution also stop during a delay, like I think it does?

Can't say I've ever used pulseIn - I'd have to go read up on it. Delay certainly stops program execution, and IMHO is to be avoided at all costs (except in the very very simplest of applications).

If that's what happens then I can see why everyone says you should use interrupts instead of the pulsein function.  At 2 milliseconds per channel, when you add in some time separation between channel pulses, and some time at the end so the receiver knows there's a new pulse string coming - then we're looking at a 20-30 millisecond time for a complete pulse string.  That's a longggg time for the Nano to be sitting there twiddling it's proverbial thumbs.

I guess it would depend on whether the Nano has other stuff to be getting on with, whilst it's waiting on pulses to come in. If there's literally no processing except when a pulse is received, then a blocking operation is OK. I suspect that isn't the case, so yeah, you'd be better off using interrupts. The usual rule is, keep your interrupt processor as tight as possible (this usually means incrementing or setting a variable only), and let the main loop pick up the fact it's changed. That's why I try to do FSM style programming on Arduinos, so the main loop can run around quickly, which makes it responsive to changes of state. The interrupts are what trigger the new state.

Gotta go, visitors arriving.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: kayzed1 on December 22, 2019, 01:45:51 PM
AdeV, if knock on door=visitor then GoTo door :thumbup:
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: AdeV on December 23, 2019, 02:05:46 AM
So.... this morning, whilst waiting for my brain to warm up, I had a quick read of pulseIn and pulseInLong - and it does look like they are blocking calls.

A quick google around showed a few options; my go-to option would be to use interrupts. In the interrupt handler, simply set a variable to the current value of the clock (IIRC micros()), and possibly a variable showing whether the pin went high or low (although you could do that in the main loop). Then, in the main loop, examine the clock variable & compare to your last known variable; if it's changed, either a pulse just started, or just finished; either way, process as applicable.

Another option - useful if you're not bothered about getting precise pulse timings, and you've got a fairly tight main loop; is simply to scan the pin states on every loop & process accordingly. However, you definitely don't want to use digitalRead() for that - it's too slow. There's a register you can examine directly which will give you the pin states without all the overhead; I can't remember what it is off the top of my head, but a bit of googling should give you the answer. The nice thing about that is you can read all the pin states in one op; then either spin through them using a bit shift, or even do a bitmap comparison for patterns of interest.

Either way - lots of ways to skin that particular cat! (poor cat)
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 23, 2019, 04:23:47 PM
I'm only going to be monitoring 2 channels, and all I care about is the width of the channel pulse in micro-seconds.  By the very nature of the RC channel pulse train, those pulses can NEVER occur at the same time so I can use brute force on this and have these 4 interrupts:
Channel 1 rising - record the current program time in microseconds
Channel 1 falling - calculate the channel 1 pulse width in microseconds
Channel 2 rising - record the current program time in microseconds
Channel 2 falling - calculate the channel 2 pulse width in microseconds
If the pulse width value is less than 1000, I'll just shove 1000 in for the pulse width.  That way I don't need to worry about what's going to happen when the program time rolls over in the middle of a pulse.  Eazee-Peazee.

I got my assortment of "robot" parts over the weekend, I'm now the proud owner of a variety of gears, all in Mod 0.5, with bores of 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm.  Along with some mostly useless pulleys, wheels, and I think they're supposed to be paddle-wheels?  My slow boat from China also brought me my slip-rings.  The bottom line, I was working on the design for the slew drive over the weekend and I've just about got it done in CAD.  If I've got my numbers right, I'll be able to slew the cab at a little over 2 rpm at full speed - which I think is about right?
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 24, 2019, 02:15:33 PM
I just about got the design for the cab/turret slew drive done last night.  I thought I was done, until I realized that while my turret drive gear has 6 reinforcing ribs in it's design, the turret base actually had 8.  Silly me, I had ASSUMED that they both had 6.  Fixing the 3D model took a while, and it sort of hurts when you have to throw away a perfectly good design - just because it's WRONG.

On to bigger and better, or at least different, things.  I'm going to use the 9 channel Turnigy transmitter and 6 channel Turnigy receiver that I've got, which are currently laying around doing nothing.  They were both low cost units so I don't feel too bad about tearing into the transmitter to replace the current 5th and 6th channel inputs with my 5 position switches.  I think that currently one is a 2 position switch for retracts, and the other is a variable pot.  My digital servos and programmer also arrived last week, so once I get this easy stuff out of the way, I've still got those 5 position servo selectable switches to deal with....  Oh Frabjous day!

I keep getting the "Switch in wrong position" error on power up of the transmitter.  I need to Google that error again, I know that there is a specific combination of switch settings this transmitter needs on power up - or it pukes out the error message.  This time I'm gonna make a tag of the correct settings and stick it to the transmitter.

I'll get the transmitter talking to the receiver, and the receiver talking to the Nano, then I can use the Nano to decode the desired receiver channel pulse widths into the light controls - EAZEE-PEAZEE.  Or so I've been told.

For my two 5 position servo selectable switches, I'm going to use the 5th and 6th channels to set the selector switch settings.  I'm then going to use what would normally be the Rudder stick to control one of  the ESC's, and the modified Throttle stick will control the other ESC.  I'm also going to need to see what I need to do to make the throttle stick self-centering.  My 5 position selector switches have 2 center poles, and with a separate ESC wired to each switch, this allows me variable-speed directional control up of to 5 different motors with each switch.  This way I'm not trying to send servo signals through the slip-ring, just 6VDC motor power that's well within the power limits of the slip-ring and is not as susceptible to electrical noise.  Even though the slip-rings were designed for instrumentation, CCTV and camera gimbal controls, I don't want to push my luck.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: AdeV on December 24, 2019, 06:26:02 PM
You can only service two interrupts on the Nano, and you can only have one ISR active per interrupt - although you can swap it in code, which is pointless because it's pretty easy to use the CHANGE type, and use the ISR to reset the time if the pin has gone HIGH, and record the time if it's gone LOW. So long as your main loop can get around to reading them before the next pulse arrives, you're good to go. Remember that the value from MICROS() wraps fairly frequently (every ~72 minutes, according to a post I read on the forums), so your best bet is to use a "start time" variable (on rising edge) and an "end time" variable (on falling edge); subtracting the former from the latter will ALWAYS give you the correct number of microseconds, thanks to the magic of binary logic - so no need to worry about the clock rolling over.

A third (boolean) variable could be used to indicate that a pulse is "in progress", so you don't accidentally subtract the old pulse end time from the new pulse start time during a pulse. I'd have to sit down with an Arduino in hand to figure the logic, but I'm sure you can do that anyway.

I had wondered if you could do some electronic trickery to multiplex the pulses for the interrupt handler; but I guess with 2 channels, it's entirely possible that 2 pulses will overlap, which would give erroneous readings.

If you ever wanted to monitor more than 2 channels, I'd be tempted to set up a timer interrupt at a suitable resolution for your need (100uS maybe, given your statement about setting a pulse width of 1000uS if it came out less than that) which would scan each channel & set/reset the clocks as applicable. Yes, you'd lose a little accuracy, but not so much that it mattered, I'd wager, and you could monitor 8 channels with ease.  Of course.... whether your main loop actually got enough program time is another matter; and I don't know if you can trigger an interrupt on a timer with Arduino; you may need an external trigger for that.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: AdeV on December 24, 2019, 06:37:16 PM
Hah! A few moments of googling show that timer interrupts are entirely possible on Arduino, although you can/do lose the use of some functions....

Good intro here:

But since you're only doing 2 channels, it's more for academic interest than actual use :)
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on December 26, 2019, 02:53:30 PM

Thanks for the info, when I started this I didn't know enough about Arduino interrupts to be dangerous,  Now I know WAYYYYY more than enough to be dangerous.  Starting from your link I stumbled upon a discussion of the fast servo library.  There's some good stuff there, it's way more sophisticated than I need for this project, but definitely food for thought.  It gives me a good idea of what I need to do in order to make this work,  And how I need to set up my ISR's.  You've probably saved me a bunch of time and much tearing of hair, something I can ill afford to do anymore.

All I really need to know, is if the steering channel and for/rev channel pulses are centered or not.  They are centered if the pulse is approximately 1500uS long.  Assuming a deadband of ±50µS then then if the value is below 1450µS, or above 1550µS then I know the stick is not centered.  I'm not actually trying to control a servo from the Nano, just turn on a bunch of LED's.  But it's still nice to know that the fast servo library is out there, for use in future projects.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on January 06, 2020, 04:05:54 PM
Not too much progress since last time.  In my day job the two busiest times of my year are the Christmas shutdown and the July 4th shutdown.  When the plant's not running, you've got to cram in as much process improvement work as you absolutely can.  The plant's up and running again now so we can all take a couple of deep breaths - and then start getting ready to do it all over again in July.

I did get a little time to do some more work on the turret slewing gearbox.  For a little while I thought that I had it completed, then I turned on the steering servos in my CAD drawing.  The slewing gearbox and one of the steering servos were trying to occupy the same volume of space - not a particularly good idea.  I wound up rotating the gearbox CCW 90° around the turret pivot axis, and letting the gearbox stick out the side of the frame - into the unused space inside the model fuel tank.  That was mighty considerate of them, putting that big, well - relatively big, empty space right where I needed it.

I started printing out the parts for the turret slewing gearbox, when I've got it complete I'll take a family photo and I'll update the 3D PDF.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on January 17, 2020, 04:36:00 PM
Not a lot accomplished on THIS project during the past week.

My home cable modem puked on me sometime Wed. night.  The cable repair tech is scheduled for Monday, between 1 and 5PM.  This was the earliest I could get scheduled, wonder if I'll get compensated for the time that I've paid for but can't use due to their hardware failure?  (Not gonna hold my breath waiting for that to happen.)

Most of my software packages need to phone home to verify the licenses, so until that modem is replaced I'm pretty much screwed.  I hope to get the RC receiver patched into the Arduino breadboard and get some more work done on the code for the Nano - time will tell.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on January 23, 2020, 09:59:07 AM
Are you printing the ring gear for the turntable?  How about the bearing system?

I've used geared skewing ring bearings professionally, with a few curses due to me using them for things the manufacturer never intended;-)

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on January 23, 2020, 09:59:38 AM
Argh.  "Slewing" ring bearing.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on January 23, 2020, 01:02:53 PM

For the gears I'm actually sorta taking the easy way out - maybe.

I ordered an assortment of 0.5 mod plastic "Robot" gears from Fleabay.  Or maybe it was Amazon - I don't remember which.  The gear assortment came in a variety of nominal bores, 2.0mm, 2.5mm and 3mm - along with a couple of pieces of 2.0mm and 2.5mm shaft stock.  I figured that a cheap injection molded gear would probably be better than anything I could print at that size.  I started with a 6VDC 100 rpm N20 gearbox and then geared that down so that I should get about 1-2 rpm out of the turret.  It's at least a 3 stage reduction, maybe  4, I can't remember - it's a Senior Moment type thing I guess.   I have the shell of the gearbox designed and I will be printing that.  The gear assortment had a couple of larger gears, 60 and 72 tooth.  I'll be using the 72 tooth gear as my final ring drive gear.  I have designed and printed the adapter parts the will allow my ring gear to mate up with the modified Bruder turret.  This all gets bolted together with M3 button-head bolts - courtesy of my 3D printer repair/modification parts.  The model originally had a gear drive steering mechanism that ran down through the turret pivot.  I was going to try to use it for the ring gear, but it was just too big.  Those gears did wind up in the "I can use this someday" box though.

The ring bearing, well that's kinda the same answer.

This model is made out of nice slippery plastic.  It's not styrene since it's not brittle, and I don't think it's ABS since it is somewhat resistant to acetone.  (Had to repair a  boo-boo with the X-Acto knife while dis-assembling the model.)  The model was designed to be turned by a kid - A LOT, and I figured that I'm not going to be slewing it THAT much.  Initially I'm just going to use the model's ring bearing as designed by Bruder.  If it starts to wear too much, of if there's too much friction for my homebrew gearbox to overcome, then  I'll have to come up with a proper ring bearing.  One that will work with my ring gear and still accommodate the slip-ring assembly.  The slip-ring assembly is about 13-14mm in diameter and its' got 12 circuits that are good for 250mA each. 

I'll try to remember to post an update of the 3D PDF either tonight when I get home, or tomorrow.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on January 23, 2020, 10:38:51 PM
Yeah, gears that small would be a major printing challenge!
Keep us posted!

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on January 24, 2020, 11:37:44 AM
Attached is the 3D PDF as it currently sits.  If you can open it, you can manipulate the viewing angle.  You can also turn bits and pieces of the PDF ON or OFF.

I haven't 3D modeled the entire Bruder model, just the parts that I've been working on.  I don't model any parts until I need to, makes working with the 3D CAD a little faster.

So far what I've been working on amounts to designing the following modifications:
1) The upper and lower frame halves.  Including determining what had to be amputated to fit the new axles, AND still be able to put the frames back together.  I'm trying to keep as much of the internal structure of the Bruder model as possible.  I don't want to compromise the strength of the model any more than I have to.
2) The front and rear axles.  I replaced the existing axles because the Bruder "suspension" was nothing more than allowing all the spindles to float up and down about 5mm.  My version has the rear axle fixed to the lower frame while the front axle can pivot about 5-10° up and down.  I will still be a rough ride, but it should keep all 4 wheels planted on the ground - MOST of the time.
3) I replaced the steering, the original Bruder steering had WAY too much slop in it.  It had to have slop in it due to their suspension.  Now the model should go the direction I want it to go, not just sort of in that direction.
4) I designed the axles around the N20 gearmotor, and modified original Bruder wheels.  This model will have 4WD from 4 wheel-motors, just like the real deal.
5) I found a home for an 8 channel RC receiver, that goes where the model's "engine" would be.  I can run the model on 6 channels, but I designed the changes around an 8 channel receiver.
6) I've designed the servo controlled 5 position switch and its' mounting bracket.  Although when I look at the PDF I see that I still need to find a permanent home for a pair of them.  I believe that I had planned on putting them in the upper frame, in the open bays next to where the outriggers mount.
7) I've got the slewing system designed, that required modeling part of the turret.  The slewing gearbox is the blue object sticking out the side of the model.  The area that it protrudes through, and into, is actually the "fuel tank" on the model.

Still to go, but probably all based on N20 gearmotors:
Boom lift mechanism - an N20 gearmotor with probably a 5mm or 8mm 3D printer lead-screw.
Boom extension mechanism - ditto on the gearmotor/lead-screw.
Fork tilt mechanism - ditto on the gearmotor/lead-screw.
Winch mechanism - don't know, maybe start with one of the 3D printing pen worm drive gearboxes used for filament feed?

That's enough Yakking for now,
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: Will_D on January 25, 2020, 04:36:56 AM
Really looking forward to the video at the end of this. Amazing level of detail and info in all your posts.

Always wanted to make a large Groves-Cole mobile crane in Meccano. It was the biggest at the time 450T lift, and about 8 axles. Scale was based on the largest roller ring bearing you could builds out of (iirc) the 6" ring girders and blue circular plates.

That was built and I still have it some where and also a bag of suitable tires. That's as far as i got
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on February 19, 2020, 05:45:02 PM
No progress on the project in the last month.  I've been buried with the demands of the day job, we're going to be tearing out 2 existing production lines and installing 2 new lines.  The next couple of weeks don't look any better - actually worse.  I try not to bring the work home with me, but for the last week I haven't had a choice.  I already know what I'll be doing THIS weekend, and relaxing is not an option.  Once we get the electricians and systems integrators cut loose on this project the hardest part for me is over, then all I've got to do is ride herd on them so THEY stick to the schedule.

I'll get back to this project when I'm not so completely fried from work that all I want to do is sit down and veg-out.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 05, 2020, 03:59:55 PM
OK, update time.  For the first time in probably months I printed out a test part for the Manitou.  I printed the right front fender when viewed from the front of the machine, and guess what?  It took about 2 hours to print and it didn't fit!  One of the locating tabs was off by about 1mm - maybe a little more.

Not only did the fender not fit, the bridging layer screwed up.  For some reason the bridging filaments were parallel to the support filaments, so in between the supports they was able to twist in the breeze.  Every couple of mm the air from the cooling fan would twist that layer and it would cool twisted up.  It took about 3-4 layers of mostly crappy adhesion before the layers settled down and printed correctly.  That part of the fender is only about 5-8 layers thick.

I also found out that I need to modify the openings for the headlights and turn signals.  I might have been able to install the LED's in the current configuration, but it would have been a struggle.  Since I copied the light buckets onto the rear fenders, they also need to be modified.

I think I found the parameter in the slicing software that allows me to rotate the angle of the supports.  They were at 0°, I'm going to try rotating them 45°.  Just one more detail to pay attention to when slicing a part.  I'm going to make the changes to the part and print it out again tonight.  I'll take a picture or two of the new and improved fender, and see if I can get any decent pictures of the funkiness caused by the bridging layer twisting in the wind.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 06, 2020, 01:31:14 PM
No pictures yet -  I rotated the supports but it didn't help.  When the printer got to the bridging layer, it did the same thing.  My current theory is that this is due to the fact I have the slicing program configured to give me a layer of separation between the supports and the bridging layer.  This makes it MUCH easier to remove the supports.

So.... About 9:30 last night I changed the vertical upper separation to 0 layers and was going to reprint the part.  I knew it took a little over 2 hours to print the part so I planned on just starting the print then going to bed and letting the print finish. 

I've said before that my printer is in my living room, but I haven't said that I use the sneaker-shuffle to transfer files from my work-horse PC to the printer.  I don't want to tie-up/bog-down that PC by printing from the PC via USB, so I print from files on a micro SD card.  Apparently I actually DO shuffle, because last night I noticed I was getting a shock after I walked across the room.  I don't get a shock when wearing my work boots, just my moccasins.  I try to touch a part of the grounded frame so that I don't ZAPP the electronics but Murphy reared his ugly head. 

Apparently I forgot to ground myself on the frame, because when I went to plug in the SD card I felt a shock through the fingers holding the card.  At the same time my screen on my printer went black.  I said "Oh Fudge", or something like that, and cycled power to the printer hoping it was only a temporary thing and the screen would come back to life after a re-boot.  Yeah... Not so much. 

I tried the shut the power of for 15 seconds then turn it back on trick,  I tried the shut the power of for 30 seconds then turn it back on trick - neither worked.  By this time I had pretty much cycled completely through all the expletives that I've learned in the last 65+ years.  So I went to bed thinking I'd try it again in the morning, and if that doesn't work then I'm going to need to order the proprietary control boards.  When I powered up the printer this morning the screen obligingly came to life.  I haven't tried printing yet so I'm still not sure if I actually dodged the bullet or not.

Yeah I know, I SHOULD be wearing a grounding strap.  When I'm handling IC's or other static sensitive electronic parts I do, didn't think I needed one just to walk across the room.  Tonight I think I'll try printing with my boots on instead of my moccasins - see if that helps.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 09, 2020, 03:48:19 PM
Well it's official, I killed the printer.  When I fired it up Friday night it booted up normally, the screen came to life and was on the proper screen for having completed its' boot up.  What I didn't have was a cursor, or any way of controlling the printer.

I started tearing the printer down to get to the electronics and found out that like most 3D printers that use the flavor of the RAMPS board, this printer also the electronics divided into 2 sections, the control board and the motherboard.  This printer is a Monoprice which is a rebadged Wanhao D6 by the way, but more on that later.  However unlike the vast majority of printers, Wanhao uses proprietary boards.  What they call the control board contains the SD card hardware, the LCD screen hardware and the control knob/button hardware.  I think this is probably the board that I ZAPPED since the SD card plugs into it.  I was trying to find a supplier on this side of the pond that had a control board, no such luck.  The one place that did list it was out of stock.

The Wanhao D6 motherboard, where to start?  This thing is flippin' expensive, I found one on Ebay for $185 USD, the Wanhao 3D printer parts site wanted about $250 USD. I also found that this board has a built in flaw, a 2 buck relay that controls the 24VDC to the printer.  That relay's contacts are rated at 10A for 30VDC, when both heaters are on at the same time the load is 12.5 amps - just for the heaters.  These relays are known to fail, but they do warn you they are failing, they display one of several different error messages.  I would periodically get a heater failure message that would require me to reboot the printer - this message was on the list of error messages caused by the failing relay.

Aliexpress was the ONLY place I could find both the control board and the motherboard.  the cost was about 1/2 to 2/3 of the cost anywhere else, but I won't see my parts until 3/31 with UPS Expedited shipping.  I could have paid twice as much for DHL shipping, but it only saved me 2 days so it wasn't worth it.

So bottom line, I've definitely got a busted control board, and I've got a motherboard that's most likely failing.  With repair parts 3+ weeks away, in order to keep from going into 3D printing withdrawal, I fired up the old printer which has been sitting and gathering dust since I got the Monoprice - almost 2 years now.  Other than having to re-level the bed, not uncommon with that printer, it took right off with no problems.

I printed out the front fenders using the Prusa Clone, and after a couple of modifications and reprints they actually looked pretty good and fit in their desired location.  Ummmm… yeah, make that they fit - not so much.  The fit problem showed up when I put the turret on the frame and swung it around to check clearances.  It didn't quite clear, the turret would interfere with the top of the fenders.  One more re-design to lower the fenders by 2mm and I should be good to go.

What lies ahead for the D6 clone - not sure.  I'd like to get rid of the expensive proprietary boards but with the way the control board is laid out, in particular the slot location for the SD card, I don't think that's likely to happen.  I found a version of Marlin on GitHub that's specifically for the Wanhao D6 motherboard, I think that is definitely in the future for the D6. (I got used to Marlin on my Prusa clone.)   I never did like Wanhao's proprietary menus, and their info screen leaves a lot to be desired.  Small things, like useful information.  The Wanhao info screen basically is just an estimated time to print completion - in hours at first, then minutes when the remaining time is under an hour.  If I keep the proprietary motherboard I will still have to deal with the relay problem, but there's plenty of room in the base of the printer to wire in a remotely mounted 5VDC relay with contacts that are actually rated for the real load.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 11, 2020, 03:52:20 PM
I re-designed the LF fender, only one I've got re-designed so far.  If you're familiar with the terms chopping and channeling, I channeled the fender by 2mm.

I also decided to scrap the software generated supports and put in some sacrificial supports only where needed, I did this for 2 reasons.  First reason, I wasn't happy with the finish on the bottom of the part.  I know it's only the bottom of the fenders, but I"LL always know the problem is there.  Second reason, by only putting the support where it's needed I cut the print time almost in half.  The print time went from 163 minutes down to 83 minutes.  Since it takes about half as much time to print, I'm guessing that I'm probably using about half as much filament with my supports as opposed to the software supports.

I'm hoping to get the RF fender and supports designed and printed tonight.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 12, 2020, 02:06:48 PM
I got the RF fender redesigned and printed last night, I think I've got a pair of keepers.

Just for funsies I weighed the fender I could find with the software generated supports, it weighed 13g.  The fender I found wasn't complete yet so I'm guessing that it probably would weigh in at around 14g complete.  I also weighed the part printed with my supports, after the supports had been removed and it weighed 7g.  So in addition to taking an extra hour to print, the software generated supports generated about 50% waste with every part printed.  I'll have to weigh one of mine with the supports still attached to see how much waste I have.

By next Monday I should have all 4 of the fenders printed in their final version.  If I don't get any pictures before then I WILL take before and after pictures with the original fenders, all 3 of them, and all 4 of my final printed fenders.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: russ57 on March 13, 2020, 07:49:45 PM
For the sd slot issue, I understand you can get 'extension' cables so you could locate the slot where convenient and plug the cable to wherever the replacement m/b is.
Then print a nice little bracket for it...


Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on May 14, 2020, 02:18:32 PM
I've got my Wanhao D6 clone 3D printer running again.  I didn't need to replace the motherboard, just the input board.  I did want to find out if I fried the original motherboard when I static-zapped the input board - I did not.  Since it's still the original motherboard I occasionally get a fatal heater error due to the failing relay.  However I DO have enough replacement relays for the motherboard, that are PROPERLY rated, to last me well into the next decade.

I'm printing out parts for the Manitou again, I've got the front and rear axle parts printed, along with most of the wheel motor parts, and the parts needed to install the axles.  Last night I started printing the parts required to modify the original Bruder wheels.  I'll take some pictures when I've got this thing sitting on its' own wheels again.  Until then it's just parts, and like the old commercial said - "Parts is parts".

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on May 15, 2020, 12:14:03 PM
OK, I need to hear some opinions - from someone other than the voices in my head.

I has originally planned to fill the hollow portion of the original Bruder wheels with a BB/silicon seal mixture that would have been basically troweled into the hollow wheel.  The Bruder wheels have about half of the sidewall cut away on the back of the wheel.  The BB mixture would have been troweled into what's left on the inside.

Me and the voices are starting to think that's a bad idea for a couple of reasons:
1 - It would probably stiffen up the tire sidewalls too much.  You want to have some give in the tire sidewall because every tire has some degree of "squat" to it.  A BB/silicon mixture wouldn't flex that much.
2 - Troweling that mixture onto the inside of an existing wheel opening would be messy at best.
3 - I did some off the cuff calculations and depending on how well the BB's packed together, an estimated 50-75% fill, the common copper coated steel BB would add between 1-1.5 pounds per wheel.  I'm using the same gearmotor that RCMODDER used in his CAT Telehandler conversion.  They might NOT handle the extra load, 4-6 extra pounds could be overkill.

Plan B is to redesign my 3D printed rim.  I think I can remove a good chunk of that part and still keep a 2-3mm wall thickness everywhere.  I'm estimating that a cylinder with a 60mm OD, a 50MM ID, and a height of 15mm could be removed.  This should give me a usable volume for the BB mixture of about 130cc or roughly 8 cubic inches - IF I did my arithmetic right.  Using my 50-75% fill guestimate, I should get an additional weight of an estimated 0.5-0.75 pounds per wheel.  Plus, since the inner rim still has to fit in the available sidewall opening, I could 3D print mold parts to ensure the inner rim would fit in the wheel opening.   

Do I hear any Plan C's?

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: russ57 on May 15, 2020, 07:11:04 PM
Think I need pictures of the wheels.
 But what about a polyurethane foam as filler?


Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on May 15, 2020, 09:36:15 PM
I would load test the wheels to see what you think of the loaded shape!
You could glue short bars into the tires with space between them to get weight with less change in stiffness.
If you can find/make small foam pellets you could make your bb/silicone more flexible.  A close packed bb/rubber thing will be very stiff.  Adding compressible stuff to the mix will help that.  A monolayer of BBs glued in would be less stiff but still rim weighted. 
A loose steel doughnut in the tire with clearance equal to the squish you want might be an improvement.  It would allow squish but still keep the tire on the ground AND be dense.  Do you have a lathe?  Cast lead or solder doughnuts are another possibility...
You might mould one to roughly the right shape and test its flexibility!
Hub weight makes sense!
RC truck folks use foam doughnuts in the tires to adjust stiffness.

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on May 20, 2020, 03:37:19 PM
I've been working on the design for the attached garage that I want to have built this summer, so I haven't got a lot done on this project lately.

What work I have done, has made me revise my original estimate of the inner rim volume available where I can add weight downward - a lot.  Instead of a tube with an OD of 60mm, that's 15mm tall, with a 10mm wall thickness - the wall is only 5mm thick.  I may actually need to find another spot to add weight to the tires.

The room inside the model is kinda' limited and I don't want to waste any of it on dead weight.  I might be able to add some weight in the upper body, but I'm building this thing from the ground up so I want to keep all the interior volume open in case I need to jam something in there.  You know, the unnecessary stuff like batteries, receivers, servos, light controllers... that kind of stuff.

I'll try to remember to get a couple of cross sections from my 3D model of the wheel.  Pictures don't turn out that well.  Since I'm printing most of the wheel parts in black filament, there's not a lot of color contrast between the Bruder wheel/tire and the parts I've printed.  Which I guess is really a good thing.  The last time I worked on this project I had found a spot where I might be able to add additional weight without affecting the sidewall stiffness.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on June 23, 2020, 04:58:44 PM
A disappointing update.

A couple of weeks ago I went into Cabela's to look at some shotgun shell reloading supplies, I wanted to check into getting some lead shot to use for wheel weight instead of BB's.  Cabela's is a large chain of stores supplying hunting/fishing goods - for those not on this side of the pond.

I was talking to the nice man at the counter and we got to looking at what size shot was available, and what they had in stock.  I wanted something smaller than an ordinary BB.  A BB has a 0.177 caliber so there would be a lot of air between the BB's.  That's what got me to thinking about shotgun shell reloading supplies.  The smallest shot that Cabela's had in stock was 25 pound bags of #6 shot, way too much in both quantity and physical size.  25 pounds would probably be a 2 or 3 lifetime supply for what I want to do, and #6 shot wasn't THAT much smaller than a BB.  Plus I didn't want to spend $50 just to find out it wouldn't work.  We determined that #12 shot would be just the ticket, if I could find it because Cabela's didn't stock it - anywhere.  #12 shot is a maximum of 1.3mm in diameter and is used for "snake loads".  The round will blow the hell out of a snake at a few meters, but not do much damage to anything over 10 meters away.  I went on-line to the only reloading supplier that had #12 shot and ordered an 11 pound bag.  Surprise-surprise, with shipping it STILL cost me about $50.

Anyway, I printed up some containers that fit in some of the unused volume within the wheel.  Even with the small volume that I initially printed I'm getting an additional 85-90g per wheel, and I can make the containers a lot bigger.

Last weekend I got the brilliant idea to bury the motor leads within the axles that I printed.  So I spent Friday night and Saturday morning redesigning the axles to hide the motor leads, I had some other improvements that I wanted to make to the axles anyway.  I even redesigned the gearmotor housing to cover and route the motor leads - it was BRILLIANT!  Then that little voice in the back of my head made itself and its' question heard.  "Does this clear the frame of the crane?"  AWWWW CRAPPP!!!!  IT DON"T FIT!!  The motor leads are entering the axle within the frame where's there's absolutely NO clearance.  Not only that , but the gearmotors JUST clear the frame.  That's just the gearmotors, NOT the gearmotors AND their wires.  Not enough clearance, maybe a mm.  And the ribbon cable is 1mm x 2mm, 1-2mm more clearance and I'd be happy.

My Brilliant Idea turned out to be a Brain Fart.  I wound up throwing away 90% of 2 days work.  Plus I now know that I've got to redesign the back of the gearmotors, and this time ALLOW for the wires coming off the back of the motor when I check clearances.  (Remember to CHECK the clearance to the frame too ya dummy!)  I really am getting closer to putting this thing back on its' wheels - at least that's what I keep telling myself.

It's always the simple things that bite you in the butt.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: David Jupp on June 25, 2020, 06:44:06 AM
It might not be worth too much effort chasing a particular size of shot.  The reason being that for a particular regular shape, the absolute size of the particle does not change the bulk (packing) density achieved - as long as the container is reasonably large compared to the particles.

To get a higher bulk density you need a distribution of sizes - so the smaller particles can occupy some of the gaps between larger ones.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on June 25, 2020, 05:36:17 PM

I went with the #12 shot, 1.3mm diameter, because that allowed me to print a container and add about 25-30g of extra weight into a space where I couldn't even fit a #6 shot or a BB.  Which are about 2.8mm and 4.5mm in diameter respectively.

I carved a chunk out of my 3D printed part that fills the gaping 62mm hole Bruder left in the back-side of the tire.  I then hollowed that part out to the thinnest wall I was comfortable printing.  I've got my filament width fixed at 0.3mm.  I'm a bit ham-handed at times so I set the wall thickness at 0.6mm.  This left me with a container with an OD of 61mm, walls 0.6mm thick and about 15-20mm deep.  The rest of the wheel support structure has about a 3mm wall thickness, I know that's over-kill but so what.

If I can remember to do it, I'll try and set up an exploded view of the internal 3D printed parts for the tire.  Designspark 3D is not real friendly for exporting partial views of a model, let alone an exploded view.(It just plain doesn't do it!  When I try exporting a 3D PDF with parts of the model hidden, it exports the ENTIRE model.)  But at least I can wrap my head around it and make it work, Fusion 360 is just too frustrating for me at this point.  Maybe after I retire in a few years I'll be able to spend a week or two doing nothing but Fusion 360, then it might be less frustrating.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: awemawson on June 26, 2020, 02:20:43 AM
Get your view on screen and ‘screen grab’ - control / print screen in windows - then paste it into Paint or whatever, trim, resize, save as a file.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on June 26, 2020, 11:29:18 PM

Thanks, I've used that trick before.

OK, before I forget about it - AGAIN....  I've attached several files, the first is the 3D PDF of the revised wheel, for those of you that can open it and actually see something. 

The second file is a cross section shown through the centerline of the wheel.  The silver/grey part with the purple cross section is the only part in this view that isn't 3D printed.  This is the rim of the Bruder wheel.  The Bruder rim and tire are one piece.  I believe that the rim is molded first and then the tire is molded over the rim.  Probably using an over-molding method similar to the way hand grips are molded on some tools.

The third file shows the weight containers and the inner part of the tire, with the containers oriented so that you can see the openings.  It took 4 design iterations of my inner tire before I got the Bruder tire to stretch over my 3D printed inner tire and then snap back into shape with a relatively smooth transition in all directions.  With a flexible tire and a 62mm diameter opening you'd think it wouldn't make much of a difference, but you'd be amazed the difference 0.5mm in diameter can make.  For reference in this view I have also shown 3 different sized spheres.  NO, they are NOT beryllium spheres - these are smooth not dimpled.  The smallest is the 1.3mm diameter of the #12 shot.  The mid-sized sphere is the 2.8mm diameter of #6 shot.  And the largest sphere is the 4.5mm diameter of the BB.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on June 27, 2020, 12:52:36 PM
On maximizing the density, you want what's called an apollonian sphere packing.  Look for a dense object that is 0.29 times the shot diameter.  Sand, maybe?
A three level packing with just a touch of water will turn into a fluid.  Very weird to convert stiff mud into free flowing slurry by ADDING super fine sand...  we used to.give our clients kits to try this out; it simulated one of our oilfield cements.

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on July 10, 2020, 03:35:07 PM
I'm trying to find a 1.75mm PLA filament that's a close color match to the plastic Bruder uses in their injection molding.  I'm going to post this on a couple of different forums and hope for the best.

I've been trying to find a close match to the red they use for my Manitou 2150 RC conversion. I've found a lot that aren't red enough, I've got three or four 1Kg spools of various shades of red to use up now. I bought a spool of what was claimed to be the REDDEST red available - it's called Enzo red. Looked great on the screen, in real life on the spool - not so much!(Couldn't tell the difference between the Enzo red and the bargain basement Solid red.) I found that E-Sun's Fire Engine Red is TOOOOO red, it needs a little yellow. But, it's close enough I can live with it if I have to.

I got the Manitou 2150 at a bargain price, but it was missing few pieces - among the missing was a fender. The only replacement piece I couldn't get from Bruder was the fender, so I printed all four fenders in the grey that I had. The grey that I've got is a little too light, but it also is close enough that I can live with it.

I've got models on the shelf waiting for future conversion where I'll need the yellow that they use for their CAT models and their Liebherr models. Who knows, there might even be a need for a John Deere green in the future. (Even though I was raised on IH red and Ford blue.)

So, anybody know of any close filament matches in PLA? I'm not set up tp do ABS, and I don't want to have to deal with the smell in my living room where the printers are.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on August 03, 2020, 11:43:29 AM
Nothing of interest accomplished in the last few weeks.  I did order yet another spool of Red from e-sun, it's not a close match to the Bruder red plastic either.  I'm gonna call the e-sun fire engine red close enough even if it is too dark of a red.  I've been gathering parts to put the steering linkages together.  What a comedy of errors, MOSTLY my errors. 

I ordered a bunch of M2 ball links for the steering.  You'd think that would mean that it would be threaded for an M2 threaded rod wouldn't you?  I know that's what I thought, so I ordered an M2 tap and die so I could thread the ends of the tie rods.  I  ordered them from a US supplier so that I would not have to wait weeks for the shipping.   I apparently didn't pay enough attention to what I was doing when I ordered the tap and die set, because I ordered a LH tap and die.  I then ordered a RH M2 tap and die set, and had to wait another week for it to arrive.  By this time the ball links had arrived and I found out that while the ball is drilled to fit an M2 bolt, the link itself was un-threaded.  Not only was it un-threaded, it's ID is molded in the correct tapping diameter of an M2.5 tap.  So I ordered an M2.5 RH tap and die set and some 2.5mm rod.

On the bright side, IF in the future I EVER need to make M2 turnbuckles, I'm all set up.

I've kept the printer busy cranking out parts for a CNC router I'm designing.  I've got over half of the parts that I need to print completed.  The total printing time for the parts is about 153 hours and I have about 121 hours of that printed.  If I don't have a mess when I get home that will go to 131 hours of printed parts.  When I get all the parts printed that will be another build thread.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on September 23, 2020, 11:48:54 AM
I've been taking a break from the Manitou for a while.  I built one of these, a photoetech kit of a Gatling gun, see the 1st attachment.  This is not a picture of mine, it's a stock photo of the model.  Mine isn't quite that good, but it's close.

Now I'm working on the cutaway model of the Allison 501-D13 turbo-prop, see the 2nd attachment.  The military version of this engine it the T56 which just happens to power the C130 Hercules, my favorite cargo aircraft.

Next on the hit parade will be the little jewel that's in the 3rd attachment, a 1/3 scale visible model of the Ford 289.  I build one of the Revell Visible V-8 kits when I was a kid.  I think I saved my money for most of a year to buy that kit.  I actually got it to work which is something of a surprise since I was probably about 12 at the time.  I looked into the new version of the Revell V-8 but wasn't impressed, since it's no longer motorized.  Besides I believe the Revell Visible V-8 is based on a GM engine, the 283 I think?  I'm a Ford guy, so the 289 being Ford blue sealed the deal.

I'll get back to the Manitou when I've got this modeling phase out of my system for a while.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on July 23, 2021, 02:26:31 PM
This project isn't dead, but is is definitely off the back burner and probably even off the stove.  The bigggest problem that I had with it was the number of channels that leveling the crane properly would require.  I had come up with a work-around, but I was never really happy with it.

I recently stumbled across the work that Mick thebass has done on his YouTube channel. (   Check out his Asua dumper and CAT telehandler builds.  The man is a genius when it comes to putting 10 pounds into a 5 pound sack, AND working with Arduinos.  Since I've already got an Arduino Nano running the lights for the Manitou, at least on a breadboard, it wasn't much of a leap to start thinking about making it do more.

I've dived down the Arduino rabbit hole once again and from the research I've done, I know that having the Arduino control the servos is ALMOST dead easy.  Using the Arduino as the receiver and controlling the servos and lights are the easy parts.  I think with a few bucks worth of sensors it should be entirely possible to have the Arduino control the leveling sequence.  They are already being used in projects for autonomous control of drones.  I don't need active 3 axis control, all I need is slow speed control of the roll and pitch axis.  Yaw doesn't really matter when your vehicle is firmly planted on the ground.

I've ordered a couple of rolls of red filament that should closely match the Bruder red.  At least I think I have, but nothing has shown up yet.  I'll need to check the credit card statements to see if I need to start yelling at somebody to find out where my filament is.  Or maybe make a doctor appointment about my memory?  AHH... I'm sure it'll be fine.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on September 15, 2021, 04:35:13 PM
OK, no pictures but I do have an update.

I found several examples on the Worldy-Wide-Web illustrating how to make an Arduino level using a 6050 IMU sensor, or at least how to get the pitch and roll angles.  Most of the examples are aimed at making autonomous quad-copters using an Arduino so they need to worry about high-speed responses, dealing with propellor vibration, and gyro drift.  None of those are going to be a worry for me since this is a crane with it's feet planted firmly on the ground - figuritively speaking.  ALL movements will be SLOW and at a known rate so the gyro isn't really needed.  There will be some vibration as the leveling feet are being lowered, but since I'm only dealing with one foot at a time that should be minimal.  The gyro was used to help deal with the vibration effects on the 6050.

With the pitch and roll angles it's a short step to auto-leveling a crane.  Last night I started out-lining how to have an Arduino auto-level a crane on command.  I also ordered a bunch of parts so that I could get the system working on a breadboard.

Now I've got to find the red, grey, and black filaments and print up a bunch of parts to build a mock-up.  Then machine some parts to turn the gearboxes into linear actuators, and test all that crap.  Then rinse, lather and repeat, if/when those parts fail.  Gotta be able to test this and get all the bugs worked out before installation.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on September 23, 2021, 12:16:39 PM
Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is that all the parts have come in so I can start experimenting with the 6050 IMU and my Nano clone, to see if I can work out an auto leveling system for the Manitou.

The bad news is that last night I did some drawing to determine how much of a pitch and roll angle the crane could be at and I would be able to level it using the outriggers with no blocking.  Turns out it’s not so much.   I’ve attached a JPG of the 3D PDF since some people seem to not be able to view the PDF.   

In its’ current configuration the outrigger pad, circled in brown, will extend about another 3” to the right, actually 77mm for those of you that are Imperially challenged.  The outrigger will pivot around the location circled in blue.  The outrigger assembly is driven up and down by the ram, the yellow part right above the outrigger.  The ram will have about 3/4” of travel, call it 20mm.  This translates to about a 1-1/4”, call it 30mm, vertical travel of the leveling pad.  In itself, this is not bad.  However there’s almost 1” of ground clearance to the leveling pad, call it 24-25mm, so there’s less that 1/4” of actual vertical movement before the ram reaches the end of its’ stroke.  I’m going to have to either use blocks almost all the time, or I need to redesign the outrigger rams.

I think I’ve got 3 options on the redesign:
1) Raise the ram motors a lot – maybe 20-25mm!  I don’t know if I’ve got room to do this and still clear the molded in counterweight.

2) Move the ram motor assembly from centered on the outrigger to the far side of the outrigger.  The far side would be away from the 2 outriggers.  This would allow me to move the point where the ram attaches to the outrigger from the top of the outrigger to the bottom.  This would give me approximately an additional 20mm of ram travel.  The additional ram travel would give me an additional 30mm of vertical travel on the pad.  The problem with this option is I’m not sure I’ve got enough clearance between the wheel and the outrigger for the ram.

3) Move the ram motor assembly from centered on the outrigger to the inside of the outriggers.  The inside would be between the 2 outriggers.  The problem with this option is I’m not sure where the ram would be in relation to the outrigger extension motor.

If I can get another 20mm of ram travel, that translates to 30mm of vertical movement for the leveling pad at full extension.  I could lower the leveling pad about 1-1/2".  Which if I measured it right means I would be able to correct for a +/-13° roll angle and/or a +/-9° pitch angle on the crane.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on September 23, 2021, 12:27:42 PM
Move the blue circled pivot point inward?

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Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on September 23, 2021, 12:54:36 PM

That might help, what might help more is dropping the outriggers down so that they're even with the bottom of the axles.  This would move the pivot down not in.  That would effectively give me 10-12mm more of vertical travel just by eliminating some of the ground clearance under the outriggers.  But it wouldn't be eliminating any of the crane's ground clearance since the axles are that low already.  When you add in the additional 10-12mm of ram stroke that would give me I'm probably close to the 1-1/2" movement that redesigning the ram placement would have given me - with a lot less hassle.

It's a change from the Bruder original, but they were designed as toys - not scale models.  I can live with it.
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on September 24, 2021, 01:54:56 PM
I looked at the model last night, both the 3D version and physical one, and I came to the conclusion that my options 1-3 will NOT work.  I can't raise the outrigger ram motor, option 1, because that will interfere with the crane counterweight as it swings around.  I can move the rams to what I called the outside, option 2, because that will interfere with the fenders and wheels.  And I can't move the rams to the inside, option 3, because that will interfere with the outrigger extension motor.

WeldingRod suggested moving the outrigger pivot point in, and I thought about that, but I wasn't sure if that would be a help or a hinderance.  It did get me to thinking about moving things though.  Last night I played worked with the 3D model and lowered the outriggers 11mm so that the bottom of the outrigger was even with the bottom of the axle. 
That way I can accomplish several things.  I don't lose any ground clearance on the model, I reduce the amount of travel between the UP position of the outrigger and the ground, and I extend the outrigger ram - giving me more travel on the ram.  I'm gonna give WeldingRod the blame credit for this idea.  I've attached a screenshot of the revised 3D model.  Ignore all the extra crap - I forgot to turn it off before I saved the PDF last night.

The second attachment is a HIGHLY simplified front view of the Manitou.  Can’t see it?  Well, at least all the important bits are there anyway.  The white rectangle at the top is the upper frame of the crane.  Below the upper frame is the outrigger, it is shown in with the outrigger fully extended,  The horizontal line that runs all the way across from one side of the screen to the other is the level “ground”.  The vertical line on the left is the outside of the tires on that side.

Inside the orange blobby-circly-thingy is the outrigger pivot point, this point never moves with respect to the upper frame.

Inside the magenta blobby-circly-thingy is the outrigger ram lower pivot point when the ram is retracted, the angled white line is the ram centerline when retracted.  The small white circle to the upper-left of the magenta thing is the outrigger ram upper pivot point – this point never moves with respect to the upper frame.  The green circle shows the path the end of the outrigger ram would follow as it is swung around the ram’s upper pivot point.  The cyan circle shows the path that the ram’s lower pivot point will follow at the outrigger is swung around it’s pivot point.  The white line, the green circle, and the cyan circle all conveniently intersect at the same spot, the fully retracted position of the ram.

I determined that the outrigger ram has 27mm of usable travel.  Offsetting the green circle 27mm. and I get the red circle.  The stuff shown in green is with the ram fully retracted.  The stuff in red is with the ram fully extended.

The tan blobbish thing on the right contains the simplified outrigger pad, that’s the green inverted T, the pad pivot point, and line that shows the center-to-center distance between the pad pivot point and the outrigger pivot point.  The large white circle is the path the pad pivot point will follow as the outrigger ram extends and retracts.  All this crap just to get a couple of angles, and we’re still not done.

Where the red circle and the cyan circle intersect will be the position of the outrigger ram lower pivot point when the ram is fully extended.  Looking at this in the light of day I can see I made as boo-boo  19.6° does NOT equal 19.21°.  I think I know where I screwed up, when I changed the angular dimension style halfway thru the drawing - I changed it from X° to X.XX°.  I measured the angle between the two green lines so I could determine where the pad pivot point would be with the ram extended.  It measured 5°, but it was actually 5.39° - I just measured it.  That means my measured maximum pitch&roll angles will slightly too small, probably by less than Ľ - ˝ degree.

OK – focus!  Back to draining the swamp.  With the pad pivot point‘s lowest position now fixed we can find where the pad touches the ground, the red inverted T.

Assuming that the crane will pivot on the outside of the tire, we draw a line from that point to the pad’s assumed contact point and measure the angle.  VIOLA, we get 9.11°-ish, remember I makada slight boo-boo way-back-when.  That’s the maximum roll angle I can hope to correct without blocks.  The vertical line on the right represents the distance between the front and rear outriggers.  When I connect the dots and measure the angle I get 7°-ish degrees as the maximum pitch angle that I’ll be able to correct without blocks.

I actually thought it would be more, but numbers don’t lie.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on October 07, 2021, 05:43:48 PM
I was looking through this thread from the beginning, and WAAAAYYY back in Post#9 I found that WeldingRod had suggested this...

You could set the legs up to go to fixed positions one at a time.  Or, if your insanity knob is broken off, you could make it self leveling ;-)

WeldingRod are you physic or sumfin?  I think the insanity knob has been turned way past 10 to maybe 15, or 25. 

The current plan is for the Arduino to extend/retract, raise/lower the outriggers.  To do this without breaking anything I'll need at least a fully retracted limit switch for outrigger extension.  I think I can get by with just timing the extend,  I'll just have to find the maximum safe extension time.  I'll use the fully retracted limit switch so that the outrigger will always be starting its' extension from a known position.  I'll need a full up limit and a full down limit for the outrigger raise/lower ram so I don't break anything on it.  That's 3 limit switches per outrigger or 12 total for all the outriggers.  When you add in the I/O for the lights and communicating with the radio this is WAAAAYYY beyond an Arduino Nano, probably need to go with a Mega.

I'll start the auto leveling sequence by leveling the back of the machine.  I was going to start at the lowest corner, but then I realized the rear axle is fixed, while the front axle pivots.  If the lowest corner is at the front of the machine and I try to correct the roll angle, then the machine has to pivot on ONE of the rear tires - putting a lot of stress on things.  I know, this is a MODEL and the stress will be minimal - but still...  Anyhew, lower the high side rear outrigger until the roll angle changes, then lower the low side rear outrigger until the roll angle changes.  At that point both the rear outrigger pads are on the ground.  Continue to lower the low side outrigger until the roll angle is 0° or at least crose-enuf, or until we hit the outrigger max down limit - which-ever comes first.  The low side outrigger will also need to be slowly extended as it is being lowered to keep the pad in approximately the same spot.  The end of the outrigger swings in arc as it is lowered which will try to pull the pad closer to the machine - can't have that.   (We gots an Arduino, it can keep track of such trivia so we don't have to worry about it.)

Next we lower the front outriggers until they touch the ground.  I was planning on lowering one at a time until I saw a change in the roll angle, but with both the rear outriggers planted firmly on the ground I don't think it's going to want to roll much, won't know until I get a test rig built.  It'll probably be best to look for a slight change in pitch angle, the outrigger will be lifting the machine after all.   Do this for both sides up front.

Once both front outriggers are on the ground we determine from the pitch angle if we're nose up or nose down.  If we're nose up then lower and extend both of the rear outriggers until the pitch angle is crose-enuf to 0°.  If we're nose down, then do that to the front outriggers instead.  We may have to do some correction to the roll angle as we are correcting the pitch angle, but that's for later when we decide to get elegant with this instead of just hitting it with a 2x4 to make it work.  Same for alerting the operator that it's too far out of whack to do an auto-level without some help.

I need to do some more digging into the 6050 IMU that I'll be using for the pitch and roll sensor.  I need to find out when it initializes, whether it's on power-up, or if it's on command.  I think that the pitch, roll, and yaw angle offsets are determined on initialization - and all angles are based on those offsets.  I seem to remember one video where the unit was initialized and then yawed 90°, the IMU was showing what was actually a pitch angle as a roll angle, and vice-versa.  If it initializes on command then I'm golden as I intend to keep this thing brain-dead until I tell it to level.  If it initializes on power-up then I'll have to do what the quad-copter guys do and correct the pitch and roll angles based on the yaw angle.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I need to figure out what I'm going to use for limit switches, and where I'm going find room to put them.  I'm going to need to get plenty of inspirsation from Mick thebass, and the rctractorguy.  Mick does Bruder conversions, check out his YouTube channel. (  He has no problems putting 10 pounds into a 5 pound sack. 

The rctractorguy converts 1/32 scale die-cast tractors and equipment to RC, and that's more like putting 25 pounds in a 5 pound sack.  This is his channel. (

I wanna be just like those guys when I grow up, right down to the cool accents.

I know, I know,,,  No pictures so this didn't really happen, but there's been a LOT of skull-sweat involved, does that count?
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: jiihoo on October 08, 2021, 07:53:54 AM
For the outrigger limit switches, could you get by connecting all the limit switches of one outrigger in series and only using one Arduino input for the three of them?

Since the Arduino already knows (approximately) where in the range the outrigger is and in what direction it is moving, it should be able to deduce which of the three limit switches was hit. This does require some minor housekeeping in the software, but if it prevents the need for a Mega it might well be worthwhile.

The tricky situation would be if the SW crashed and needed to restart or if it would be starting up after an improper shutdown and any of the limit switches was active at that time. In this case it would need to halt and you'd manually have to solve the situation... In normal operation it would always need to back away from a limit switch right after hitting it: i.e. when retracting and hitting the limit switch the motor would need to spin the other direction for a short while to de-activate the limit switch before parking the outrigger; the same when leveling up or down.

You have a nice project going here!
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on October 08, 2021, 12:52:55 PM

You might be onto something there.  I can see a couple of problems with that, but they can be solved.

1) What if the unit gets powered down with the outriggers not "Homed" - fully raised and fully retracted?  I can see a couple of solutions:
a - If the Arduino has non-volatile memory that can be accessed, store a Direction bit for each outrigger's extension/retraction and raise/lower.  I'd planned on using these direction bits anyway, so the Arduino will know what it's supposed to do when it sees a limit.
b - Probably the simplest solution would be to have a routine that will Home the outriggers on power-up - similar to what you suggested.

2) Second potential problem I can see with a single input would be during the outrigger raising/retracting cycle.  If I raise and rectact at the same time, I could potentially hit both limits at the same time.  I can see a couple of ways around this problem.
a - Completely the cycle on one of these, then do the other.  This is the simplest solution, but the slowest.
b - I can see a way to retract and raise the outriggger at the same time, and do it safely.  The outrigger extension will be single speed.  Or at worst case 2 speed, and they will move fairly slowly.  The screw is an M3x.5, the outrigger maximum extension is about 75mm, and the gearmotors run at 100rpm - it should take about 1-1/2 minutes to go from fully extended to fully retracted at full speed.  The minor houskeeping in the software that you mention will be keeping track of the time from fully retracted until the pad touches the ground.  For instance, if the outrigger extends for 55 seconds before it touches down then it would be safe to retract the outrigger for 50 seconds, while raising the outrigger at the same time.  The outrigger would then wait while the raise cycle was completed, at which time it would fully retract.  I believe that the raise/lower gearmotor runs at the same speed, will use the same thread on its' screw, and its' maximum extension is 27mm - so if the default extension if the outriggers is far enough, the raise cycle should ALWAYS complete long before the ourigger would be near the fully retracted limit.

You just saved me 9 I/O pins and maybe a bunch of wiring.  There's actually a lot uf unused volume inside this thing.  There are a lot of cross braces to keep a kid from crushing it but for the most part they can go.  Unless I do something REALLY stupid with this model I should be safe getting rid of a lot of the cross bracing.

Maybe I actually can run this thing with Nano's, in a Master/Slave setup.  I've already got a slip-ring for the rotating part of this beast and I think it's 12 circuit.(At least 6 circuit.)  That way I'd use a master to handle the communications with the radio, a slave in the rotating section, might want to use a slave in the upper main frame to handle the lights and slew motor ESC and outriggers.  The master would be in the lower frame and could also handle the steering and drive motors.  OOOOHHHH, this is gonna work out better than I thought.  Might need to go with an Uno in the upper frame - there's a lot of lights.

I've got plenty of room in the counter-weight to stash a slave controller for the rotating portion.  The rotating portion controls will consist of boom raise/lower ESC(And limit input.), boom extend/retract ESC(And limit input.), fork up/down tilt ESC(And limit unput.) a winch ESC, and a flashing beacon.

The upper frame controls will be the slew motor ESC, headlights, tail-lights, and turn signals.  To get brake-lights I need separate turn-signal outputs for each corner.  That's a minimum of 6 outputs for lights, 7 if I use hi-lo beams.  I almost forgot about the outriggers, this is where it coulld get ugly.  Using the brute force approach I'd need 8 PWM outputs for ESC's and 4 limit inputs, just for the outriggers.  Using a slightly more elegant approach and switching between the front and rear outriggers - that drops to 4 ESC's, 2 limt inputs, and at least one output to do the switching.  I've got a lot of usable volume in the in the upper frame, but not THAT much - I've still got to get a battery pack in there somewhere.

This thing is 4WD, and 4 wheel steer, can a Nano handle 4 PWM signals, left side ESC, right side ESC, front steering servo and rear steering servo?  I'm liking this, using an Arduino for this will make switching between normal steering and crab steering SOOOO easy.(With a 6 channel radio - 10 with open source upgrades - I had given up on the ability to crab steer.)

All the gearmotors, even the winch, are N20's - so even an itty-bitty 10A ESC is overkill for them.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: russ57 on October 09, 2021, 01:34:36 AM

May help with the limit switches


(i2c expander - 16 io pins on the i2c bus for future searches when the ebay link expires...)
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on October 09, 2021, 02:46:21 PM
You could monitor/limit current on the leg motors and detect end of travel by stalling.  Maybe with something springy in there for a little reaction time ;-)

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on October 11, 2021, 01:42:30 PM
You could monitor/limit current on the leg motors and detect end of travel by stalling.  Maybe with something springy in there for a little reaction time ;-)

I'd thought about doing that, but all the current sensors that I could find were rated for 1-30A.

The motor info that I could find for the N20/GA12 gearmotors suggests a running current somewhere in the range of 0.04-0.1A and a stall current of somewhere between 0.2-0.67A.  I'd need a current sensor that's an order of magnitude more sensitive than what I've been able to find.

The other isssue I had with the current sensor was that I only have a hard stop in one direction of travel.  I haven't been able to figure out a way to have a hard stop in the other direction.  At least I haven't come up with a method that would be reversible when repairs are needed, and still be within my somewhat limited capability to make.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: WeldingRod on October 11, 2021, 02:56:03 PM
Just use a small series resistor and measure voltage across it...  you need to make sure that the analog input can measure to the rails, though.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 15, 2022, 03:02:01 PM
OK, not so much of an update on the 2150, more of an update to a thread I started on another site.  That site seems to have vanished without a trace.  I have been looking for color matches in filament to the plastic that Bruder uses.  I swore that I wasn't gonna do it anymore, but...  I ordered another spool of another color of red, to see if it matched.  It didn't, too dark and more of a wine color.   Iron Red this one was called from Paramount.  OH well, yup - I swore all right.  I suppose I can always use it to print stuff for use in my shop.

The Pantone 3546C filament from Matterhackers is about the closest match I can find for the red, it's a little too bright but I'll live with it.  The closest match that I had been able to find for the yellow was Coex's Construction Yellow, I got a sample from them but it's a little too dark.  I see that they now have a Green Bay yellow that might be an even better match, I'll try getting a sample of that and see how it matches up to the yellow Bruder uses.

Busy getting my dust collector set up - so that I can get to work on putting my CNC router together.  A CNC router without dust collection is a mess waiting to happen.  Currently that CNC router is a box of printed parts, and hopefully all the other Bits and Bob that I'll need to build it.  That box has been sitting in my living room mocking me for just about long enough now.  Some of those parts will be pretty good sized when bolted together.  I printed them on my D6, so I had to print them in multiple pieces, now that I've got my MP10 - HMMMM....  Nope, that'll be the MkII version.

Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: vtsteam on March 15, 2022, 06:32:20 PM
Good to see you return!  :coffee:
Title: Re: Bruder Manitou 2150 - RC conversion
Post by: ddmckee54 on March 16, 2022, 04:22:50 PM
Oh, I LURK here most every day.  I've just been working on other projects and haven't done anything related to this project for a while - other than finding ANOTHER shade of red filament that's not a match to the Bruder color.  I did ask Coex about getting a sample of their Green Bay yellow to see how close a match that is to the yellow Bruder uses for their construction equipment, it's on its' way.

I stumbled across the files on Thingiverse for an RC Benchy, in a much larger scale than the original.  I loved it, and I've got most of the big pieces printed.  Mainly just the cabin left to print.  Maybe I'll start a new thread on that project.