27 September 2020

PROJECT: Half-Life 2 AR2, Update #6 - Now with Sound


Quick update... I have the sound part of the AR2 prototype working :D

To give you a quick rundown. Initially I went with a VS1000 based dev-board but soon found that this chipset does not support polyphonic playback, as in a sound must finish playing before another can be played. Well this is where the WAV Trigger (a crazy flexible WAV player designed by Jamie Robertson) comes in, as this STM32 based dev-board allows you to play up to 14 tracks at the same time! Which is perfect for blending the firing/reloading sounds the AR2 makes 

Also with the current prototype I am using a Class AB amplifier to drive a 4Ω 3W speaker. I did have a quick play around with a Class D amplifier, but found that it slightly distorted the firing sound

With all that said, the next step is to fix up the 3D model (note all the black marker markers...) and start thinking about combining all these dev-boards into one (as in put my Altium hat on)

05 September 2020

PROJECT: Half-Life 2 AR2, Update #5 - The Prototype


The Rundown

After burning a few months getting the MMU2S up and running, figuring out the MMU2S is not multi-material, and releasing my custom firmware for the MK3S... I have finally got back to working on the AR2 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

In my last update I had figured out the shell reload movement, so now it was time to 3D print the remaining parts and test how well everything works together. But before we get to the cool footage I want to show the functional blocks I plan to implement in the AR2. Currently I have the basic blocks (in green) up an running, these include things like servo/solenoid drivers as well as the main controller itself. In the future I plan to add extra features (in red), these are things like lights, sound, and safety measures

The Assembled Prototype

With all the "boring" stuff out of the way, here is some footage of the current AR2 prototype. You might notice that the body has strange arrows/scribbles, this is me marking what needs to be fixed in the final model...

Some Advice

Whatever you are working on, don't be afraid of making a rough prototype!

A personal example is that with my first professional job I was tasked with making a lead-acid battery charger. I recall spending many weeks simulating the circuit to make sure it was perfect. Looking back, I could have easily halved my development time by making up a crude prototype, and if anything this prototype would have shown me things that my simulation could not...

So the lesson is, don't be afraid of making mistakes and get that prototype out there ASAP