So it's been a while... sue me. I've been heckabusy recently what with that EngD thing you are likely to have heard me going on and on about. So why now? Well partially because I had an opportunity to take a 1 day break due to some MH issues (which gave me some much needed headspace) and the rest is just procrastination while some simulation results come back.

2 Digital Pins = 4 States for Steering

So I finally got round to getting the steering sorted. Simply connect the input pins to the H-bridge controller, toggle the states of said output pins between HIGH & LOW to achieve one of the following behaviours: dead short, disconnected, turn to the left and turn to the right. As we have already seen, the steering system in this model suck. No servo control so very minimal steering flexibility.

As an aside I'm definitely going to investigate a combination of dead-shorting the motor (which essentially locks it in place) and fast PWM-driven pulses to try improve the binary steering options.

So what else have I done?

  • Well I burnt my thumb...
Much pain, many wow.
  • I swapped out the SiPy Micro-controller board for an ESP32-Cam Micro-controller board. Why?

Well the why is actually pretty obvious when comparing the schematic and the block diagram (done because the ESP32-block diagram isn't a thing...).

  1. They use the same micro-controller as the base (ESP32)
  2. I don't need Sigfox connectivity
  3. ESP32-CAM comes with built in voltage regulator (AMS1117) with a maximum input voltage of 15V (perfect for two 18650s in series without an additional LDO).
  4. Oh and the ESP32-CAM came with an OV2640 Camera Sensor

Yeah you heard right, a camera sensor... in addition to the built in WiFi/Bluetooth combo stack, that little microcontroller has the ability to use a camera. Admittedly a low resolution, jpg compressed image output but it is still a camera.