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Old 01-13-2014, 02:33 PM #1
HollowLefty
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DIY hopper, school project

I am lucky enough to take both mechatronics and composites this semester and as I have to do projects for both I'm thinking I could use a shiny new one off hopper. there's a lot of different ways I could go about doing this but right now I'm looking for suggestions (preferably with accompanying measurements) on components, mechanics, logic or anything else. My current hopper is a rotor meaning that I will probably draw a lot of inspiration from there but the more I can frankenstein this thing the better.

my functional concept is mostly driven by the constraints of my mechatronics midterm. this requires the use of at least one micro controller, a sensor, an lcd screen and a keypad. My idea for implementing all this is for the system to be tension based and use the keypad and screen on an external 'programmer' that will allow for setting adjustment. That way I can implement components necessary for the grade but not have a lot of useless stuff stuck on my hopper.
I intend to use as many standard parts as possible, particularly in instances of more obnoxious shapes. Additionally carbon is really bad at taking a thread so I will try to avoid having to screw anything into it. For that reason I am leaning toward using a spire back shell for the lid assembly. For drive cone I am deciding between using a halo or a rotor drivetrain. halo because cheap and simple, rotor because I have one so why not.

So for now this is another one of my theoretical exercises. In any case the decision on this needs to be made by wednesday night so I will be coming up with functional concepts through then. Assuming I can figure out a way to make this thing possible I will be doing phase one design work before the weekend.

and for those who remember my last hypothetical thread I'm just waiting on financial aid to come in so I can start building that project.

all input is appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-13-2014, 03:09 PM #2
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I would stick to the halo because its cheaper and simpler.

Another easy thing to add would be a ball counter, you'd get a reset button for your keypad. Or I guess a shot counter if its sound activated.
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Old 01-13-2014, 05:17 PM #3
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Agree with the Halo idea, it's simple and easy to work around. Standard Halo parts would be handy to use, or at least the measurements for them.
You should do something cool with the feedneck like make it cast iron so it doesn't snap, then sell a prototype to me.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:15 AM #4
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You mentioned carbon, so I'm guessing you're planning on building this out of carbon fiber, right? I don't think you'll be able to make a latch (for Spire-esque lid system) out of carbon fiber like you can with plastic, since carbon fiber is much stiffer than plastic.

And what do you mean by "the system will be tension based?" Are you talking about how the Rotor works by stopping the motor after enough tension is applied to the ball stack? If so, you don't need a microcontroller. You need just a microswitch, just like the Rotor. Unless you want to measure tension digitally, which would make things way overcomplicated.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:37 AM #5
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Do a new take on the empire reloader. Those things are classic and probably a lot easier to get a working concept than something more complicated.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:07 PM #6
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You can always do carbon fiber and press fit some threaded bushings in for screw holes. You can also use a spring loaded latch for the lid instead of the traditional lid that probably wouldn't work with carbon fiber.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:52 AM #7
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In response to some of the commentary and to share my current thought process. The use of a microcontroller is certainly an over complication when one considers the system used in the rotor. That being said the microcontroller component is my midterm and is what is validating my decision to put time into this project. With that in mind I intend to use a kinematic system very similar to the rotor but rather than triggering a micro switch that disconnects the motor I would like to use a linear position sensor. This will enable me to adjust the tension parameter via the use of a handheld programmer (IE doing all the other stuff I need to for my midterm grade). I might also consider integrating a sound sensor a la reloader just so I can experiment with the different logical methods.

On to carbon talk. It looks like unless I want to machine and polish full production quality metal molds (not happening) then I will be able to get a nice finish on one side and lousy tolerances on the other. Fitting points (threads/clips etc) will have to be bonded in place after the molding process. still looking into how to do a one off project with the necessary specs in place. The tolerances brought into play by the vacuum bagging are really problematic. on a side note, in response to 2nwyka, I could make metal necks easy in the machine ship. However I tend to avoid metal necks as my favorite gun right now is pretty old school and doesn't have a clamping neck. However you got me thinking, I was already going to do a removable neck for this project, but it would be easy to do a really thin piece of metal for a removable neck and then give it a carbon wrap to prevent scratching. Good thinking man.

The current thought on stuff is that even if I can't make the carbon shells I will go ahead and make the drivetrain as a theoretical exercise just for my midterm grade. Thanks again and all input is always appreciated
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:22 AM #8
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Does it have to be a hopper? What about a custom board for one of your guns? Doesn't require too much hardware and uses a lot of microcontroller programming (esp. PSP mode).
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:32 PM #9
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I have considered it and am open to the idea, granted anything I make would be a pretty major downgrade. If I were to go that route I would try to do a board for the ghetto fabulous DM98 in my other VW thread.
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