09 January 2022

PROJECT: Half-Life 2 AR2, Update #16 - Barrel Flex PCB

So there are a couple of ways to add RGB LEDs to the AR2 barrel, and since I prefer to use SMD components I can either use a rigid PCB or a flex PCB. Normally I would go the rigid route, but this time I chose to use flex as I have never used them for hobby projects


Next up I simulated the possible LED viewing angles in SOLIDWORKS (just like I did with the IR LEDs). From this I was able to see that the RGB LEDs need to have a viewing angle of at least 120° to have a good barrel coverage

NOTE: Below simulation is super crude as it only looks at the 50% angular/spatial distribution (as in angle at which the brightness is at 50% maximum value), and does not account for the bright spot in the LED centre or the light diffusion within the material. Normally you would simulate all this with something like OpticStudio, but hey using SOLIDWORKS is better than nothing ;^)

05 January 2022

PROJECT: Half-Life 2 AR2, Update #15 - Barrel Planning

With the AR2 Receiver at 95% completion (just need to fix up loom runways once all electronics are finished) the next step is the AR2 Barrel. So below is me scoping out what's involved:


I am hoping to closely match the barrel & muzzle light colours, though I can already tell this is going to be difficult using a single colour/wavelength LED. So suspect will be using a bunch of RGB LEDs to mix the colours till I have something close

One thing to note about RGB LED colour mixing is that you can approximate a target wavelength BUT you can't match it 100% (think RED, GRN, & BLU peaks combining to give a wide spectrum rather than a sharp peak at target wavelength). This won't be an issue for me as it's not like I am making a medical device that requires a specific wavelength of light 

With that in mind I tried recording the RGB values from the game screenshots and then using this neato tool to get approximate wavelengths. Note how some wavelengths are "impossible" (shown with a ★) due to the RGB value being a mix of all 3 primary colours instead of 2; for example the YLW RGB value is comprised of 254/255/134, so here it's the BLU 134 that is being the "issue" as the resulting light colour is not continuous along the visible spectra

Lastly, the barrel has bugger all space for a large PCB (and by extension a large heatsink), so I might have to add a temperature sensor (like I did with the solenoid inside the AR2 Receiver) to make sure things don't get too toasty


The servo used in the AR2 prototype is the Turnigy TGY-R5180MG and as with most servos this is controlled by varying the pulse width. So the plan is to use an I²C compatible PWM generator like the NXP PCA9685 (suspect I will be using the spare channels to drive the RGB LEDs)

And to top it all off I will also add an end-stop sensor to make sure the servo does not do weird stuff. This will likely be the same IR LED & sensor combo that I used on the AR2 Receiver

02 January 2022

UPDATE: Ashes 2063 & Afterglow (Doom II Mod)

Have just finished playing the latest expansion of Ashes: 2063, titled Ashes: Afterglow

I gotta say, it's criminal how good this Doom II mod is!!! The maps are semi open-world like S.T.A.L.K.E.R with the environments detail of Metro (within Doom II's limits of course), and then on top of that you have a story line that's so easy to be absorbed into AND to top it all off a banging soundtrack :D

Plus the mod now runs on Freedoom, so you don't even need to own the original copy of Doom II