All Mowers - Latest Updates

 

ReP_AL Robot Updates

31.05.24 - PCBs for Mower Build

The Mower PCB's are back in stock. 

26.05.24 - PCBs for Mower Build

The PCB's for the Mower are currently out of stock.  I have ordered a new batch of PCB's and will add them back into the store as soon as they arrive. Probably within the next week or two.

Sorry for this delay if you want to buy this item.

06.01.2024

 

Due to new work commitments I have not been able to dedicate the time to this project that it deserves.  I'm therefore looking for a disciplined and creative maker to take over the project and the webshop.  All the rights to code, files and stock from the shop will be transferred to the new owner to take this project to the next level.

If you interested in this challenge and have a serious offer, please contact me at info@repalmakershop.com

If you are in the middle of a build, don't worry. I will continue to support all projects until a new developer is found

03.07.2023 - BTS7960 Version for Wheel Motors

I am still working hard on the stepper version, but I realise that I need even more torque for this to be a working solution. This means working on the gearbox some more.  

In the mean time I have swapped out the L298N Wheel drivers for some BTS7960 boards.  These are the smaller fit versions.  I am in testing now and hope that the increased amperage these boards can handle has a positive effect on the wheel motors. This should also allow an easier 24v conversion of the mower which many people have asked about.

The code needed to be modified as the BTS7960 drivers work a little differently than the L298N drivers.  This code will be in the next release along with the stepper code so far.

The BTS7960 drivers are working with some 12V planetary motors.

03.07.2023 - Step it Up!

I have designed and built a prototype of a 330 Mower using NEMA23 stepper motors.  The mower is currently running around my garden in a very much prototype test phase. It uses 2xNEMA23 steppers with a 3:1 gear reduction to give extra torque. 

The steppers are driven from an additional Arduino Nano breakout board which can be connected to the original PCB on the motor pins.  I am perfecting the code and solving issues as they arrive.

At the moment the mower can run forward, backwards, left right and mows the lawn very well.  The motors run about 50rpm so the mower is much faster than the 30rpm spur gear motors (at 50rpm the steppers are the quietest. Lower speeds induce nasty vibrations...(!?) ). 

The motors are not as powerful as the 30rpm spur motors but are perfectly fine on light slopes.

I still need to add wire tracking, which could be very difficult to achieve as I need to transfer the running speed data to the steppers quickly enough to not interrupt the stepping function of the Nano, but I will have a go :).

I made a rough measurement of the noise level and its around 58-62db (non-scientific with my phone app approx 1m away). This is of course a totally different sound (more a whirring noise) than the spur gear motors.

When I have the mower running satisfactorily I will update the BOM, STL and CAD files for the 330. 

   

12.05.2023 - App Customisation

The Blynk APP offers a dark mode. So I used this and made the buttons green to match the mower colours.  Looks pretty nice I think. :)

I will now work on improving and expanding the settings menu to give the APP more power over the mower.

09.05.2023 - Robot V9.751 Uploaded

The Robot9.751 Code has been uploaded.  I have done a lot of testing but there may be a few small bugs in there. Please let me know if something stands out that need to be fixed.  Please update all boards with the new code.

Features of 9.751

  • Works with the Blynk2.0 Free App Plan (see new App build instructions)
  • App dynamic buttons (buttons change function according to the mower mode) to cover as many features with as few datastreams as possible
  • Manual mowing with Blade ON/OFF feature (integrated into the 2 sliders)
  • Setup menu in mobile APP for main features (to be expanded)
  • TFT now displays a Manual Mode and App Setup Mode screen when in these modes
  • Clean up of code, some small bug fixes and initial setup of features tailored for beginner users

Please be patient with the APP setting menu.  It takes a few seconds to update the ON/OFF status...

 

08.05.2023 - Blynk2.0 Free APP 

Adding the final touches to the APP. It was raining the last few days which unfortunately didn't allow much testing.  I also added the ability to turn on the blade on in Manual.

The settings menu is working but there is quite a delay between the setting being changed and the APP updating.

Hope to upload the code very soon. Sorry for the delay.

 

02.05.2023 - Blynk2.0 Free APP 

Instructions are updated on the Website.  I am still working on the SETUP menu to give as many features as possible.  I'll upload the code this week.

29.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 Free APP Testing

Spent the day testing and de-bugging the APP.  Everything seems to be working well now.  The APP is updated by the serial communication so all the settings are synced with the mower, even if the APP is shutdown and restarted.

I had to remove the joystick as it was spamming the cloud with inputs and crashing the NodeMCU.  I reduced the datastreams even further.  Now the APP just uses 8 datastreams.  I'm now working on the scroll menu so you can adjust all the mower settings via the APP.

 

28.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 APP Scroll Menu ??

I think that using the joystick widget and the LCD screen widget I can create a scroll menu within the APP (like the LCD was used on the mower).

The user can then scroll through setup options (SONAR ON/OFF, GPS ON/OFF etc..) and choose.

This would open up a limitless amount of commands the APP could send to the mower and a good way to get around the 10 datastream limitation   :)

 

27.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 Free Plan Mower APP

The new APP is up and running. Its still a little buggy so I want to spend the next few days improving the reliability.   Even with the limit of 10 datastreams in the free plan, there's actual (in my opinion) an improvement over the old Blynk2.0 App.  The 2 LCD's give lots of space for extra information.  The sliders are not my favorite widget, but they are the only free widget which can serve this purpose.

 

 

 

Im also working on the Mower V9.751 code in parallel.  The code is set up for a lot of custom options at the moment.  I want to bring back to the standard setup which most people will use at the beginning so it gives a nice easy entry point.

Hope to have it uploaded soon.

 

26.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 Free Plan Mower APP

For this APP so far I'm using 8 datastreams and it seems that all the functions can be covered (2 datastreams still available for extra functions)

 

4 Buttons for starting stopping etc (4 datastreams)

1 LCD in Advanced mode (1 datastream) with 2 text info lines

1 Joystick (2 datastreams)

1 Slider for mode selection (1 datastream)

 

 

 

Hope to iron out the bugs and upload the code soon.

24.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 PCB Wire Module Instructions / Mower APP

I updated the instructions on how to build the APP in Blynk2.0 for the PCB wire module. Please let me know if there is something not clear or I missed a step.

Next step is to design an APP for the Mower using 10 datastreams so we can all continue to use the free plan. I have a first version running using the joystick and an LCD widget to combine many of the datastreams used by seperate buttons and LED's.  This will take some time to perfect but I hope to have a first version uploaded soon.

 

22.04.2023 - Blynk2.0 Updates

Today I was getting the mower ready for the next season and realised that the Blynk2.0 change has caused some problems.

1. There is no PCB Wire code for the WEMOSD1 using the new Blynk2.0 App to turn on/off the wire via WIFI

2. The free plan of Blynk2.0 only allows 10 inputs (not enough for the current mower controls)

I have written new wire code for the WEMOSD1 (download here) to support Blynk2.0 and will upload instructions very soon how to configure the APP and get it up and running. (Its basically 2 buttons ON (V0) and Off (V1) and 2 LEDS (V3 & V4) to confirm the selection has gone through.

Luckily the free plan of Blynk2.0 allows 2 apps to be created.

 

I will now try and make a 10input version of the Mower App so we can still enjoy the free plan.  (Maybe with sliders there is the opportunity to combine some buttons)

 

 

 

07.02.2023 - Updated BOM Files

The BOM (Build of Materials) files have been updated for the Mowers. As we all know there have been a lot of changes in electronics prices due to the chip shortages and global supply chain issues.

The new BOM has all the latest links to the parts and an estimated cost of the parts with shipping costs.  This also gives a good ESTIMATE of the total cost of the electrical build out of the mowers assuming all the electronics parts need to be purchased. This will cost around (updated Feb 2023) €225 (Little Monster) €232 (220 Model) €274 (330 Model) and €330 (LAM Model)

To add high quality Panasonic 18650B batteries to the build will cost €92 for the LM and €137 for the 220/330/LAM builds.

The total cost could be significantly lower if shipping can be combined for parts from the same supplier.

 

17.01.2023 - Robot code V9.75

A new beta version of the Robot Code V9.75 has been uploaded.

This code is updates the NodeMCU to work with the latest Blynk software while combining it with the speed up code created by Radek. I have removed V9.74 as this did not include a NodeMCU version to work with the new Blynk App.

The last stable version of the code working with the new Blynk software is 9.731

 

29.12.2022 - PLA / Mower Review (Year 5 complete)

Here's the regular update on how the PLA printed parts are holding up on my mower.  5 years of mowing have now been completed 👍

The lower frame looks fine with no issues to report.

 

The top LH Cover may finally need replacing.  A split had formed at the start of the year (I think a baseball or something hit it when the kids were playing).  This split has opened up and now the cover is on its last legs.   

 

I'm not sure if I will only print a new LH Main Cover or replace all the covers front and back (due to the sag that formed).  The other option is to just patch it up with a 3D printer pen.  

Well that's the advantage of the 3D printed design.  Infinite spare parts 😊

 

28.12.2022 - Blynk Legacy App

The original Blynk App will be shutdown at the end of the year.  This means from 2023 onwards only the Blynk2.0 app will be supported. Code and instructions for the Blynk2.0 App is included in the software package.

 

18.09.2022 - Code V9.74 

I've been testing the 9.74 code for the last few months.  Everything seems to be working well so the release version is on the Arduino Code page.  Big thanks to Radek who wrote the updates and sped up the serial communication and loop speed.

As the loop speed is now a lot faster the counters need to be set much higher.  i.e. if the number of loops before before the mower turns around was 200, it might be 1000 loops for a comparable distance.  Please keep this in mind when setting up your mower.

 

06.06.2022 - Code V9.74 

Radek Veselý has released code with improved serial communication and faster loop times (see forum discussion here).  We are working together to combine the code into the general release code this way everyone can benefit from these improvements.

  • Better and faster serial communication
  • Better response on the TFT touch display
  • Radek E-Stop button feature included in the code
  • Webserver options
  • Watch Dog timer on the MEGA incase it freezes to reset it.

I already have a test version running and want to make sure everything is nicely combined before releasing.  Hope to have this done soon for the V9.74 release.

Thanks to Radek for this excellent update!

03.06.2022 - AERator Counter

For fun I added a hole counter to the AERator software.  Each drill action makes 3 holes.  On the standard 20400maH battery pack the AERator made a total of 897 Holes before the LOW BATT error kicked in!

Quite an impressive amount of air holes drilled on 1 charge. A standard garden fork has 4 spikes, that's 224 "spikings"  done Automatically :) meaning more free time for me in the future.

This feature will be included in the next software release.

 

 

01.06.2022 - V9.73 ooopss! now  V9.731

Careful eyes spotted that I used the same pins as the tilt sensors for the PIXHAWEK GPS serial.  I uploaded the V9.731 version to correct this.  Alternatively change the software serial pins to

SoftwareSerial Pixhawk_Serial(A10, A11);  // RX, TX7

in the V9.73 version.

Please use the A10 and A11 pins from now on for the PIXHAWK serial.

30.05.2022 - FORUM Upgrade

I promised that if the FORUM is well used I would upgrade the plan. Well today I upgraded the plan.  This should allow searching for posts which is really necessary considering all the information already in the FORUM.

Thanks for all your community support !

 

29.05.2022 - PIXHAWK Build Pages

To decribe the PIXHAWK project in more detail I created dedicated pages for the PIXHAWK integration.  I see this as a vey powerful tool for GPS mowing and hope to develop the software integration further.

 

28.05.2022 - Code V9.73

Robot 9.73 (28.05.2022) is uploaded with basic support for the PIXHAWK. Please see the PIXHAWK GPS pages for more details.

19.05.2022 - PIXHAWK Continues

Check out the updates on the Pixhawk Updates Page

 

 

17.05.2022 - Blade Height Adjustment

I printed and tested the 330 Mower height adjustment mechanism, but it wasnt succesfull.

The mechnaism was not sturdy enough and caused a lot of vibrations, secondly the height of the motor now meant it collided with the PCB in the hood.

I have posted the design here so if you want to you can improve on the design.  Please share any results you have with the community.

 

 

 

05.05.2022 - Blade Height Adjustment

There have been several requests for an easy height adjustment of the mower blade.  This is my first idea which now is being test printed.

It works on the same principle as a height adjustment screw for the 3D printed bed.  I need to confirm that the construction is rigid enough to support the blade motor and control the heat build up.  I will print the 2 motor clamps in ABS to help with the heat management.  This design can be retrofitted to the 220, 330 and LAM mowers.

 

29.04.2022 - Filament Info

I have added tables to the 220 and 330 build instructions showing the filament usage and grouping of parts.  This is how I print the parts and group them on my printers.  This maximises the printer capacity and groups colours together.  Hope this information is useful.

 

I will add the Little Monster and LAM at a later date and update the current charts with actaul print times as I get them

 

28.04.2022 - PLA / Mower Review Year 4

As promised here's the pictures of my 330 Mower after 4 years of mowing.

Underside:

All parts are in good condition.  There is a noticeable separation of the 2 back base plates and some sag in that area.  I think the connecting bar at the back could possibly be printed with more infill to give it more support in that are.

 

Covers 

On the topside the LH Main cover has developed a split in it.  I will use a 3D printer pen to patch this up.  I don't see the need to print a new cover yet.  The 2 back plates sag has been transferred a little to the upper chassis, but all covers open and close as normal.

 

I charged the batteries up and the mower went back to work with no problems.

Year 5 of "no more mowing the garden manually" can now begin :)  and I can use my time for better things in life :)

 

11.03.2022 - Sunny Days Again :)

In Europe the days are getting warmer and the grass is getting greener again. Soon it will be time to start running my Mower and Aerator setup

As always I will post pictures of how the mower is holding up, but so far 4 years of service with only a few parts which needed re-printing (mainly the mower disk due to hitting toys and stones in the garden by accident).

But thats the great advantage of having infinite spares!!

 

Ive been very busy with work and had hoped to be further along with the PIXHAWK development.  This will be my focus in 2022.

 

14.01.2022 - DUINO Mining Rig

Updated the Duino Rig Arduino Code to point to the new server.

25.12.2021 - Happy Holidays

Wishing everyone a great festive holiday and lots of time for printing and building fun!  Thanks to everyone who supported the project in 2021!!

 

 

21.11.2021 - PIXHAWK Update

I have integrated the PIXHAWK test code into the Arduino Robot Code (V9.73 to uploaded soon).

The Arduino code can now transfer PWM signals from the PIXHAWK to the mower wheel motors and Arm and Disarm the PIXHAWK via the Arduino serial monitor.  These are the first steps in running autonomous missions created in Mission Planner via the PIXHAWK.

Next step is to create the logic of when the robot will use PIXHAWK control (armed and mission started) or when the Arduino will take control (e.g. obstacle avoidance and docking)

I will update the GPS instructions to show the PIXHAWK project as a separate way to add GPS to the mower.

 

01.11.2021 - Community Forum Added

I have added a community forum to the website.  Here is a place where everything ReP_AL can be discussed and posted.  The current FORUM platform is a basic plan.  If the platform is used a lot I will upgrade the plan to include better features.

Please keep all content friendly and appropriate.  

Please post the following

  • Posts about your achievements, so we can celebrate with you.
  • Posts about your struggles, so the community can offer support.
  • Your questions — the more specific the better.
  • Your suggestions and ideas for this community.
  • Lively conversations! Go ahead and comment.

What I don’t allow

  • Discrimination, harassment, and hate speech.
  • Self-promotion, or marketing spam.
  • Sexually explicit, violent, or disturbing content. Anyone who goes against these guidelines may receive a warning, or be removed from this community.

I hope this feature is a great addition.

 

31.10.2021 - DUINO COIN : Happy Halloween.

I uploaded instructions how to build a DUINO Mining coin server.  The project is 100% free and includes links to parts, PCB files, Code and STL's.

DUINO coin is a great project and learning experience for crypto currencies.  I hope this small contribution from my side helps develop the project and open it to more people in the Arduino / 3D printing community.

 

30.10.2021 - Aerator Update

The BOM file and the charging station for the Aerator have been updated. You should receive an email notification to download the latest version.

 

25.10.2021 - Robot V.972 & BOM Files Updated

The 9.72 code is uploaded with support for the new Blynk 2.0 IoT.  Please be sure to use the right library version with the Blynk App.

A new version of the STL and CAD data should be available with an updated BOM list to update product links that were no longer available with that link.

 

24.10.2021 - Blynk 2.0 Code & App

I have the code and APP working. Im working on the instructions and will have the package released in the next few days.  Ive found a few work arounds for the missing widgets to keep the full use of the mower within the free Blynk package.

17.10.2021 - Blynk 2.0 Code & App

I've been studying the new Blynk 2.0 IOT and have the first version of the APP working on my Phone.  It seems like 90% of the original code can be used.  There is a new way to connect the NodeMCU to the WiFi and a new way to create the APP on the phone.  

I will have an update soon with new code and detailed instructions how to create it.

15.10.2021 - Blynk Legacy App

It seems that the Blynk Legacy App is no longer accepting new registrations.  If you already have the Blynk APP running it seems there are no changes required.

I will work on transferring the code to a new system.  Looking at the new Blynk APP it seems like all the features can be transferred to a free of charge plan.

If anyone has already started coding the new APP it would be great to receive the code so far, so I can share it quicker with the ReP_AL community.

There is also the option of the Arduino IoT cloud.

I need to check which offers the best solution (Blynk new or Android IoT) for the projects based on how Blynk have modified their offer to us makers and how easy it is to transfer the code.

More info to follow soon.

10.09.2021 - New Tracking Boost Code 9.7

Code 9.7 is released for download.

  • Tracking Boost - The tracking code now allows a boost of turn on sharp corners which gives the mower more ability to stick to the wire.  This is only configurable up to now in the Arduino Code. (See Boost_Turn = 1  line 701)
  • Fixes for LCD screen users in the code which wouldnt compile in 9.6
  • More code for the Aerator model

 

 

02.08.2021 - Aerator STL Available

The STL Pack and CAD data for the Aerator is now available Online.  I will be finishing up the build instructions in the next few days.

the design has now been tested for a few months and I'm happy to release the files.  Hope you enjoy the build!

I will continue to re-write the code and improve the overall performance of the Aerator, but this can happen in parallel to the robot being constructed.

02.08.2021 - Aerator Update

Ive working hard on completing the final open items on the Aerator before release.  Next up has been the charging station.

 

Part of this problem is also the tracking algorithm to guide the Aerator back to the station which now has the option to control 4 wheels to give steering (or maybe it doesn't really need that..).  Anyway this is the problem I'm working on now.  As soon as I have the design frozen I will release the files on the site, but I want to have a high certainty and test level before doing so,

22.07.2021  Website Re-Shuffle

I moved the All Mowers section into the various mower project build pages. (A. to G.)

Everything on the pages is the same, this just keeps the top directory clean ready for the build out of the Aerator instruction pages (which could have been confused as also referring to the All Mowers section previously.

 

17.07.2021 - AERator - PCB / MECANUM Wheels

The Mecanum wheels are now fully printed in PLA and TPU (except 1 roller) and installed.

The new Aerator PCB has been installed together with individual wheel motors and drivers and the code is updated to take advantage of the MECANUM range of movements.

The movement is very cool:

 

 

 

 

03.07.2021 - PIXHAWK

I've written the code and connected the PIXHAWK to the Mower Mega.  I can now use a pass thru to control the wheel motors of the Mower from the PIXHAWK. All the sensors are controlled by the Arduino and wheel drivers by the PIXHAWK for steering.

That allows the PIXHAWK to guide the mower and perform missions with the Arduino interrupting missions and taking partial control if a sensor is activated. A great team!!

Now I need to work on the whole user interface and find a way for the Arduino to start missions in the PIXHAWK.  Also connect the RTK GPS to get a better signal and program logic for what happens to a mission if for example a sonar is activated...

Anyway..one step at a time...

I will post a video soon showing the mower in PIXHAWK mode, being steered by the Mission Planner software.

It's very cool and will open many possibilities for GPS guidance with powerful software to plan missions.

 

25.06.2021 - E-Stop Mod

Check out the community STL Files for a great new mod from Radek Veselý.

If anyone has mods they would like to share, please send them and I'm happy to upload them for all to use.

23.06.2021 - New Code Robot V9.61 & Aerator Update

The new code Robot V9.61 is available to download.  Its called Robot because the code now supports the Mower and the new Aerator project.  Read the instructions before uploading.  Everything is setup to upload straight to the mower with no changes but its good to understand how to activate the various parts of code.

New features:

EEPROM Clear Function
Bug fixes to V9.6 Beta.
See txt file in the code

 

The Aerator is being tested, tested, tested and the code upgraded to match.

I found the best time to Aerate is early morning when the lawn is still damp as this really helps with the drilling. Here some pictures:

The V1.0 PCB for the Aerator is finished and being manufactured now.  I hope to have it soon so the electrical instructions can be completed.  At that point I think the design can be released to build.

 

17.06.2021 - General Update

Ive been working hard testing the Aerator and trying to destroy it.  (Its the best test I think  :) ).  I have modified some parts for additonal strength and will continue to test.  The PCB for the Aerator is almost finished and I hope to have a complete design soon.

 

22.05.2021 - AERator Covers Test Fit

Printed the covers for the Aerator.  RH Side didn't have enough support.  LH Side I adjusted the settings and it came out much better.

 

22.05.2021 - PIXHAWK Master Plan :)

Here's an overview of the development plan.  There are 2 basic modes.

1. Normal Arduino Control.

2. Arduino Control (Sonars, Bumpers etc) but with steering and GPS navigation from PIXHAWK

 

The plan is to exit the docking station as normal.  Arduino will ARM the PIXHAWK and let the PIXHAWK/GPS/ Mission Planner have control of the wheel motors.  This will guide the mower via GPS waypoints to the mission area where it can perform a mowing mission (e.g. mowing lines) .

 

At the end of the mow the reverse happens.  Once the mower is inside the small docking wire loop it will swap back to Arduino mode and dock as normal..

 

 

Lets see if this can be realised....

If so this could be scaled to have many mowers performing individual missions.

 

21.05.2021 - Pixhawk Update

Yesterday the PIXHAWK arrived and with a simple Arduino sketch i was able to Monitor the PWM Signals coming from the Pixhawk. 

This means the PIXHAWK PWM wheel motor signals can be transferred to the  Arduino which controls the mower wheel motors.  This is perfect and how I imagined to link it all together.  Now I need to find a way to control the Pixhawk from the Arduino to activate missions etc... 

 

15.05.2021 - Introducing ReP_AL Aerator

Here's an introduction to the new garden machine.  As you can see its already functional but still needs some development (Covers, Software, Wheels etc...).  There are currently only 2 Mecanum wheels installed as the rear 2 are still printing.  They require a lot of print time with 10 TPU rollers per wheel.

This machine will work alongside the ReP_AL Mower using the same perimeter fence. 

I've never seen an automatic aeration robot mower before so maybe its a worlds first...?

Instructions, STL, CAD Data will all follow once it been tested.

 

13.05.2021 - V9.6 Beta 2

Anyone who wants to test along with the 9.6 Beta code heres ths second version of it.Mower V9.6 Beta.

Im always happy to get feedback on the code and improvements to be made.  The more testing the better it will be.

 

06.05.2021 - V9.6 Code

Started working on the V9.6 code.  V9.5 already fixed a lot of niggly bugs.  I still have the following feedback which needs to be fixed.

  • MEGA can hang depending on the PCB Clock or seprate RTC clock access methods at the i2C address - FIXED
  • Mow time selected not shown correctly in the LCD display (related to first point) - FIXED 
  • If a perimeter wire isnt being used, then the mower has an error even though the *'Wire Sesnor = OFF' is selected.
  • Pattern mowing is not selected/saved corrrectly in the TFT Menu.
  • After a double wire detetction in series, the sonar may sometimes be activated sending the mower off course - FIXED (I think)

 

If you have discovered any more bugs please let me know (best via email).  My goal is to have a bug free software so everyone can fully enjoy the project.  As soon as all issues above are fixed and tested I will release V9.6

 

 

02.05.2021 - PIXHAWK

I think that the best way to combine RTK GPS and a good planning experience is to combine the fantastic ARDUPILOT with the ReP_AL Mower.

I've been studying it for a while and think it will be possible to use the pin outs from the PIXHAWK to control the motors on the mower.  This would be great team, allowing easy planning in the Mission Planner and mowing via the REP_AL Mower.

 

 

02.05.2021 - New Garden Machine

The new project is coming along.  I'm still in testing but the general concept works really well.

 

 

27.04.2021

I have uploaded the final version of V9.5 Code with any bugs removed that have been found.

 

15.04.2021

Thanks to all the testers of 9.5 Beta.  There was a mistake which slipped in to the wire detection function in 9.5 which I corrected. (Wire was shon as off even though it was on).  Now the wire MAG is also shown in the docked status on the Serial Monitor so it can be directly monitored.

Here is the latest version (3) off the V9.5 Beta.3

The change is only on the MEGA code so you only need to update this board if the 9.5 beta 2 is already loaded.

 

09.04.2021

Here is a Beta version of Code V9.5 if you want to test it.  I have tried to implement as many bug fixes as possible. Thanks for your input.

If you want to test it please use with caution and let me know if there are still bugs to work out.

  • Fixed alarm functions using PCB clock and Arduino Clock Module
  • New Alarm Menu (Green = Alarm is active)
  • Fixed Go To Dock button when stop mow TFT button is pressed.
  • Fixed TFT buttons remaining on screen when Exit Dock is selected.
  • Error handling improvement and communication between TFT and Mower
    • Pause when wire tracking
    • Wire OFF Error doesn't block mower from further communication
    • General screen updates are improved
  • Improved compass home turning function
  • Added new pins and touch calibration for newer TFT Touch screens .Seems like they changed the pin assignments (Use setup 1 or 2 in Code)
  • Auto wire ON/OFF function for PCB wire via NodeMCU WiFi board (Enter your WEMOSD1 Blynk code into the NodeMCU code)
  • "Mow the line" option working from TFT Menu
  • New Go Home Screen (more visible)
  • More mower settings can be selected via the Blynk APP (Alarms, Wheel Amp sensor, etc.....)

 

04.04.2021

Working on the V9.5 code.  Found a lot of time related issues due to the 2 methods of clock (Pcb onboard clock and Arduino module).

The alarms menu is revised, and the alarms linked again to the clock type used.

A serial input has been started so you can give commands to the mower via the serial monitor.  This helps a lot for testing.

Hope to release V9.5 soon.  If you have other bugs please let me know as I'm back into the code and can probably fix them easier now.

Happy Easter!

 

 

29.03.2021

My 330 Monster mower is running again full time and I am working on code V9.5.  I have tried to solve any small bugs still in the code.

    • Sonar Test - improved - All sensors are activated before the test
    • Alarm 1 - stop TFT crashing when pressing this button - DONE

If you have any other bugs you've discovered please let me know.

V9.5 will also have some additional improvements

    1. Automatic "Wire ON" for people using the PCB version of the wire transmitter when Exiting Dock via App.
    2. Maybe Automatic WIRE OFF feature - needs testing to make sure its nicely integrated. (could also be tricky if you have more than 1 mower running)
    3. Manuel Dock feature so in manual mode you can aim the mower and dock in that direction (Wire Find).

Any other features you want to see?  Please let me know.

Best

ReP_AL

 

 

27.03.2021

Uploaded V9.4 Code.

This fixes the transfer of the compass power and Gyro power values between the TFT settings screen and the mower MEGA.

I think most of the little code bugs are fixed now.  If there is anything else please let me know and I'm more than happy to look into it and make a fix.

 

23.03.2021

Mowing season is here again, so I'm able to resume testing code and new features.

Just uploaded Software version V9.3

- Includes a PWM Ramp up code for the wheel motors to reduce stress on the gear boxes. at the moment this setting can only be set inm the Mower settings options in the MEGA code  bool Ramp_Motor_ON.     1 = ON and 0 = OFF

- Fixes a transfer problem of the P tracking value and wheel amp value from the TFT menu to EEPROM.

15.03.2021

I'm working on new garden machine. No its not a mower but it will be for  lawn care. Watch this space for more updates.

 

14.03.2021

I updated the axles page with the Planetary Axle Design.

 

I am also working on a new 18650 battery holder.  There are many cheap spot welding machines available which make it easier to make batteries.  This new design will better take advantage of that and house the BMS better.

 

 For any one who wants to test print this design the STL files are here.

 

21.01.2021 - XL Motor Rear End

Im working on the design to incorporate the XL Planetary Geared motors.  This involves widening the whole rear end of the design and then refitting it back to the font end.  This design will work for the LAM.  (I think these motors are unnecessary for the 330 and smaller mowers - but it might also work on the 330 Model).

 

 

 

If any one has already got the LAM CAD or STL kit and is interested in test printing this design please let me know.

 

 

 

10.01.2021 - BOM Included in STL and CAD Files

I have had many request to sell/give/include a Build of Materials (B.O.M.) for the project.  I didn't know until now how to include this and still fund the project via selling bundles.  As these requests for a BOM are more frequent I've decided to change the strategy a little.

1. The complete B.O.M. with hyperlinks links to all parts will be included in the CAD and STL data packs for the Mowers.  This B.O.M. will be updated regularly and sent in the updates as new motors and parts are tested and integrated into the project

2. As this means less bundles will be sold to fund this project, the price for the STL data and CAD data will increase.

3. If you have already purchased an STL pack or CAD pack the BOM will be included in the next update download.  Happy late Xmas.  :)  !!

4. For those who want to start building immediately and don't want the hassle of shipping from China I still offer the Ship DE bundles which will be shipped next day and arrive according to the shipping option chosen (typically within a few days).

5. For those who don't want the hassle of ordering parts and chasing them down so that they arrive, I will still offer the Direct Ship parts.  I receive very good shipping conditions due to the amount of orders I send via Direct Ship etc.

I hope this strategy gives everyone who has been involved in the project so far something back and opens up the project to more builders,

Best

ReP_AL

 

04.01.2021 - Code 9.1 + Planetary STL

Happy New Year to All!

Here is the latest update to the code.  This fixes some issues when using a PCB and the old LCD screen and keypad.

Code Version 9.1

I had some request for the planetary motor brackets. Here's a download link for the 2 STL files.

Planetary Motor Brackets 

16.11.2020 - Planetary Motors 1st Tests

Here are the first test results:

The noise measurements were taken at approx 10-15cm distance from the mower. Please consider the motors are free spinning so not under real load conditions. Next step is to test outside when the weather improves for noise and durability.

To me the first tests look promising.

If you already want to try the motor its available here via Direct Ship.  Please remember you will need to make a new axle.

 

 

 

 

10.12.2020 - Planetary Install (Motor Type 1)

The new motor is almost installed.  A new motor clamp was required and the new planetary gearbox has an 8mm shaft, so new axles need to be turned.  This is a little trickier as the 8mm shaft doesn't give much metal to hold the grub screw.  This will now be stepped axle from 20mm to 15mm to fit through the bearing.  I'm turning these now on the lathe then will machining the holes on the CNC Router.

 

The planetary gearbox adds to the motor length.  For the 330 Monster its no issue.  I need to check the 220 Monster Mower version....

 

 

09.12.2020 - PLA Update

Finally getting around to installing the motors.  I've been busy in the shop building a 3D Printer enclosure for my 4 printers with an automatic temperature control.  they are all now housed in an Alu profile enclosure with perspex windows.  An Arduino measures the temp and automatically turns on fans to ensure all the electronics are cooled.

Anyway... as I was installing the planetary gearbox I took some pictures of the PLA again to see how its holding up (this is a question that comes up a lot... which material to print in...).  The rear section parts and hood were installed 15.05.20 (Monster Upgrade). The front section is now 3-4 years old.  The blade disc is new as I tried to mow some stones that had been unfortunately left in the garden and had to print a new one...

 

28.11.2020

Experimenting with planetary motors. Thanks to everyone who spent money in the shop which allows me to develop the project further.  I have 2 different types (lower motor is the existing one for comparison) which I want to test for noise level and fit in the mower.  The larger style ones will require some modifications to the chassis to get them in...

12.11.2020

Additional instructions added to the 220, 330 and LAM Printing and Construction pages.  Re-labelled the mower instruction page steps to give them a better sense of flow.

10.11.2020

I have added new Mower Bundles in the Shop to reflect the developments of the PCB.  It is now possible to order a PCB bundle which has only the new components to build the PCB's (PCB version of DC Step down, Clock etc..).

 

 

I hope this simplifies everything.  It was getting confusing for new makers to understand the requirements with all the options. 

08.11.2020

The instructions for the PCB wire transmitter are now uploaded.

STL Files for the case to follow.

I have also located many of the files to directly download from the corresponding build pages.  I had a lot of questions where to locate files on the GITHUB site which is in my opinion not very easy to navigate and download files from.

All the software versions and libraries will now be updated here:

 

 

06.11.2020

The Wire Transmitter PCB is now available in the online shop.  Build instructions and the case STL files will follow shortly. 

This new transmitter allows ON/OFF power function of the transmitter via the BLYNK APP. (requires WIFI connection)

 

 

22.10.2020

Still working on the perimeter wire transmitter PCB.  There were a few things that needed optimising with the design.  The final board design is now completed and I will do some testing before releasing it on the website.

 

25.09.2020 - Code V9.0 / WIRE WIFI

V9.0 Code is uploaded to GITHUB.

(Update 27.09.2020 There was an error on the Sonar button and the transfer of PID values which are now fixed.  Please download the V9.0 code again)

To add the new WIFI features please follow the instructions at the end of the WIFI Instruction Page.  I hope to expand this feature to cover all the major settings on the mower.  This will make the mower truly remote and configurable from anywhere in the world. 

 

I am also working together again on a project to produce a PCB for the wire transmitter.  This will include a WIFI switch so the wire can be turned on and off remotely via the BLYNK APP.  (you may have noticed the TAB Wire in my APP).  I am testing the pre-production version now and hope to have this released soon.  I also plan to link the wire ON/OFF feature to the mower so the wire is automatically activated and shutdown.

 

 

22.09.2020 - Code V9.0

I have been further developing the code.  For 9.0 I have been working on the following code upgrades:

  • Clean up of the TFT MEGA code and Mower MEGA code. Reduction in used program memory size to allow for more features.
  • Improved communication between Mower MEGA and TFT and reduction/elimination of long flashing "Please Wait" sequences.
  • Additional features in the WIFI APP to control the Mower sensors remotely via a new tab.  This settings tab in the Blynk APP will be able to control the main settings of the mower on the fly.  (Sonars 1/2/3 ON/OFF Compass ON/OFF, Gyro ON/OFF etc...) This will allow a much more flexible remote operation of the mower.
  • Ultimately it is the goal to have all settings within the Blynk APP.

 

I hope to release the 9.0 in the next few days.

 

05.09.2020 - Code V8.9

I will be releasing the V8.9 Code in the next few days.  The code will have the following features

  • NODEMCU will be used to monitor the Arduino Mower MEGA for board freezes and can automatically reset the Mower MEGA board.
  • Manuel reset possibility of the Arduino MEGA via the WIFI Blynk App via button press in the APP.
  • Relay switch controlled by the NodeMCU and WIFI Blynk APP to turn ON/OFF features within the mower.  (I'm using it to turn on and off the FPV camera).  This feature can also be expanded to have many ON/OFF switches for lights or whatever you can think of...
  • Fix on the rain sensor = disabled
  • Fix on the wheel Amp sensor to block bad messages from the NANO
  • Other Serial monitor mower MEGA print out improvements.

 

I will be updating the additional features section to explain how to implement these new features

 

17.08.2020 - Code V8.8

Sorry but here's another code update.  I have been testing, testing, testing and trying to eliminate any bugs in the code.  In the 8.71 I found out the Max amp for the wheel sensor was not writing correctly to EEPROM with a higher value.  This is fixed.

I was also getting a lot of WIFI disconnects with the ESP32 boards.  (There are lots of threads online about this issue).  Anyway... I found what looks like a good solution to always get a reconnect of the board.  This is also included in V8.8

Also I have improved the communication between the MEGA and TFT when mowing that the screen doesn't switch to the home screen while still mowing (well its been quickly tested anyway).

Please use this version.

 

 

 

17.08.2020 - Code 8.71 and Motor Amp Sensor

The amp sensor for the wheel motors is now in the latest code release V8.71.

Instructions on how to install the sensor are here. Scroll down to find the Motor Amp sensor instructions. (I have created a page for all additional features otherwise the WEB Site starts to become cluttered.)

The 8.71 code also have some other improvements including an option to select PCB and some other fixes

(19.08.2020 if you downloaded the 8.71 code before today please download it again.  There was a mistake in the wheel amp sensor which is now corrected on the GITHUB site.)

 

14.08.2020 - GY282 Compass

Ive tested this compass in all modes possible and I didnt have single issue with it.  This module uses a reliable HMC5883 chipset and is worth the investment.

Going forward all packs ordered will come with this compass module.

I quite confident this solves this annoying "freezing compass" issue for good.

In testing i found that the GYRO controls the mower better on steep climbs and the compass is better at keep th mower in a stright line on flatter ground.  I will be updating the software to use these features.

 

( also a maker reported that a https://www.makeblock.com/project/me-compass Makerblock compass works)

 

 

09.08.2020 - COMPASS GY-282

The GY-282 Compass module is recognised as a HMC-5883L compass.  I will be testing this module and if successful will swap the build packs over to this module.  Its significantly more expensive than the HMC/QMC module but I think this is worth the extra money for the safety of it.

It also runs with the standard code so all in all a nice option.

 

31.07.2020 - Wheel Amp Sensor

I am working on the amp sensor for the wheels.  I know its been requested many times so I"m finally on it.

Its really just an amp sensor to monitor the amps pulled by the wheels.  When the motors get stuck the amps increase which sends the signal to turn the mower around.  Code is written and amp sensor is installed.  Just needs some testing. Should be ready in the next code release.

 

Bumper and Sonar OFF for this quick test.  Maybe the settings need to be fine tuned a little for the Max Amp allowed before activating a turn.

 

 

 

 

30.07.2020 - CODE V8.6 / GYRO

I uploaded V8.6 code to the GITHUB siteIf you are using a PCB then you will need to use this code.  The PCB onboard clock and relay are setup differently so need new i2C address's etc to work correctly.  Please select PCB = 1 in the Arduino settings to activate these features.

PLEASE UPDATE THE LIBRARY FILES FOR THIS RELEASE

Code also has support for a GY521 GYRO module (at least a beta version of it).

If the GYRO module is selected this will override the compass module as the method for tracking straight.

If you have a 220/330 or LAM data pack you should also have received an STL / CAD update link with a new STL / CAD files for the PCB board.

 

24.07.2020 - Compass and GYRO

I'm working on the QMC5883 compass issue.  I think we all problems with this sensor freezing randomly.  If you can get an original HMC5883L module then everything works fine, but both compass modules are sold as the same without really knowing what you have until you connect it.

 

 

I am trying out a few GYRO's to keep the mower running straight and using the compass just to orientate the mower for heading home.

I'm also trying to directly access the compass without a library and test many different QMC5883 compass libraries to see if this can fix the issue. 

Alternatively maybe a different compass module is necessary.  If anyone knows of a better compass that can be used id be happy to hear about it via email.

17.07.2020 - MOWER PCB Pre-Order

The final design is being manufactured. You can pre-order a PCB which will be sent as soon as the boards arrive.

Please see the PCB build instructions added to the site

 

14.07.2020 - New Code on GITHUB

Just uploaded Code V8.5

If you have a QMC5883 compass module which sometimes freezes I would be interested to hear your feedback with this code version.  Does the QMC5883 module still give problems?  

 

 

10.07.2020 - MOWER PCB

Together with a talented maker from France we have been working on a PCB design (I say we .... its 100% his design).  The PCB features

  1. Clearly labelled with connections for all the sensors and motor drivers
  2. Built in Real Time Clock and Battery
  3. Built in relay
  4. Future proof as all the GPS inputs are pre-designed into the board.   

The board is in the final stages of design improvement and will be available to order soon.

That should make all that wiring a lot simpler! :)

 

06.07.2020

Continued working on the GPS project

Started a small side project to add a mower camera.

  

26.06.2020

I uploaded the 8.3 Code.  

This code has a lot of bug fixes when navigating the TFT menu.  It also completes the Clockwise Counter-Clockwise exit from dock and orientates the mower corrctley based on the tracking direction.

Pattern mow is also fixed in the TFT with more options and save to EEPROM.

I also added some wheel bolt strengtheners to the design.  When printing the wheel with 15% infill the bolt hole is not very strong.  My wheels started to crush in the bolt area.  This strengthener can be printed with 100% infill and will transfer the load to the spokes of the wheel and hold the bolt better.

The files will be included in the next STL release. Or can be downloaded here on GITHUB

 

24.06.2020

I uploaded the 8.2 Code.  This includes the GPS work to date.

I will update the GPS site ASAP to give instructions how to use it.  Please remember this release has a basic GPS feature with many improbements to make.

The 8.2 code also has improvements for none GPS mowers.  Please read the txt file in the release.

** From now on i wont be adding any features to the LCD keypad version of the mower.  I need to slim the code the support the TFT dispaly so I will be comcentrating on this version combined with GPS capability. **

 

 

 

 

 

19.06.2020

Check out the RTK GPS update here

I will be posting updated code and instructions soon.

10.06.2020

Seems like Arduino made an update and now the boards manager is not working.  The ESP8266 function cant be loaded.  I hope there will be a solution soon.  To get the Arduino IDE working you can delete the following file in the Arduino15 folder.

C:\Users\AppData\Local\Arduino15\package_index.json

The latest BETA version 1.9.0 is working and can be used as normal.

 

09.06.2020

Working on the GPS. Please visit the GPS updates page to see more,

04.06.2020

Invested in a metal lathe.  I am still learning but i hope to offer the metal parts in the shop soon.

 

03.06.2020

All Monster conversions are completed.  To do list

  • GPS RTK System
  • Amp sensor on the wheel motors.

 

02.06.2020

Continuing the change over to the Monster design the LAM has now been updated.  The charging station will follow next, but I wanted to get the mower online so people can print this version if they choose.

25.05.2020

The new LAM design is progressing well.  I am now test printing and checking fit of the parts.  Luckily a customer who ordered the LAM to be printed has kindly agreed to use his LAM mower print to check all the parts :)

 

Remaining chassis parts are on the printer.  Then come the main covers.

Then its good to be released.

 

 

20.05.2020

Due to a customer print order I've been working heavily on the LAM Monster design.  There have been a few changes to the design (in other words if you bought the STL file and didn't start printing yet and want to print the new design - wait. . .)

 

The middle cutting blade has been moved to the back. Why?

1. The Monster design means that the front covers are too long for a 330mm bed.  I don't think many people have a larger bed size than that.

2. A shorter wheel base is easier to turn and runs better on rough ground.

I think the shorter compacter design is an improvement over the previous LAM.

 

 

20.05.2020

I just uploaded the 330 Monster STL and CAD packs.  From now only the 330 Monster will be developed. The previous 330 verison and mods are included in the STL pack as described on the 12.05.2020.  Anyone who bought the 330 CAD pack will have received the new Monster CAD data.

15.05.2020

Took my 330 mower running since 2-3 years and made the conversion to the new Monster design. 

 

I get asked a lot of times if PLA is ok to use.  Here are the pictures of my PLA Mower after 2-3 years of mowing.

 

14.05.2020

Test printing the 330 Main Covers.  

 

Below the new electrical insert plate which will be located under the hood (like on the little monster).  This houses the MEGA, Nano, NodeMCU, Volt/Amp Sensor/Motor Drivers/Relay/DC Convertor/RTC).  This will be common to the 220/330 and LAM.

 

In this version the 3D printed part arranges the components in the optimum positions.  I also used a MEGA PCB with screw terminals to make the connections easier.

 

I hope to announce some more developments on a more complete project PCB idea soon.

 

12.05.2020 - Monster Upgrades

I wanted to give an update on the monster upgrades to the mowers and some information on my plan how to introduce these models.

 

 

My plan in the future is to carry on just with the "Monster" versions of the lawn mowers.  It is becoming to difficult for me to manage all the different versions and upgrade options.  In the end too many options will just slow progress.

How will this happen.... 

  • If you purchased
    • 220 Mower STL (9.99)
    • 220 CAD pack (29.99)
    • LAM STL (12.99)
    • LAM CAD Pack (39.99)
    • 330 CAD pack (34.99)
you will soon get an email with the upgraded monster version (as soon as I can finish and test print them) to download if you wish and print at no extra charge. It will just be like the current emails you get with design changes but this time it will be a complete new monster version of your model.
  
  • As soon as the monster upgrade is available for that model I will retire the current model (means if you want to use the upgraded features like the sliding door then please get them now).  I will still include the older model in the STL zip so you can choose to build the old one if you wish (but see the next point why it makes sense to buy the upgrades now).
  • The new upgraded monster models will then increase in price as the monster version already comes with bumpers and TFT protection etc (they will also include a full version of the previous models + upgrades).
  • IF you buy one of the packs above (point 1) before the switch you will be entitled to receive the upgrade email mentioned in point 1.
  • The 330 Monster STL will no longer be free of charge.
  • The website will be updated to show how to build the Monster versions of the models.  So if you want to continue with the older model design, please print off the instructions.  (I will try and pdf them and put them on the site somewhere also)
  • The build packs are already updated on the website so if you buy one you already have all the parts you need to build the monster design.

I hope you all think this is fair and feel that the new monster design is an improvement over the current model.  If not please let me know... 

I hope this transition can happen in the next few weeks and months.

 

 

06.05.2020

Just uploaded 8.0 Beta 2 version of the Code (if thats even a number :) ).  Its a zip file so it looks a little different on the screen.

Made a decision that speeds the code up with the TFT screen.  No transfer of data to the TFT when the mower is moving.  That means at each wire turn or sonar turn the TFT screen is updated.  I think this is a good decision.  The mower is now super reactive (perhaps even better than with the LCD screen).

The volts are now also updated at each turn.

Sending the data at the turn gives time to ensure all the packages are received, so there is no rush to throw the data towards the TFT while the MEGA is trying to control the mower.

a huge improvement IMHO

 

(Make sure the TFT is 0 and LCD is 1 in the settings if your using the LCD screen and keypad)

 

04.05.2020

Just uploaded a Beta version of the 8.0 Code.

I have had so many requests to test it .... so there it is as it stands.  I have been testing it none stop but there are still some known issues (see read me file).

Please use the code at your own risk.

 

01.05.2020

Monster Upgrades for the 330 and 220 Mower??

It would use as many original parts as possible.  New Prints are the 2 Rear Floor plates, Wheel Arches, Back Facia and Covers.

What do you think?

 

 

27.04.2020

Updated the instructions for the TFT screen

Started on the Little Monster Build Pages

22.04.2020

Update with the first test run of the Little Monster and the TFT screen.

A few modifications to make.  I'm not happy about the ability of the mower on steep hills.  A modification to the weight distribution will help.

17.04.2020

Little Monster Update.  

Still a few things to sort out, but overall the test monster is coming along.

03.04.2020

Latest renderings of the little monster design:

The parts are being printed now to test for printability, fit, & finish.

 

 

02.04.2020

Uploaded the 220 Sliding Cover Mod.

 

31.03.2020

Just messing about on the CAD today and ended up with the following design.  I tried to integrate all the lessons learned so far on this project.  I call it the little Monster for obvious reasons.  My thoughts were more weather protection (control panel flap), ease of maintenance (hood) and simplicity to print.  

Let me know if you think its worth pursuing the idea.  It would use all the same components as the current 220/330 Mower.  Needs a lot of work on it still (sensors, electrical install) but the general form is almost complete.

 

26.03.2020

Some build pictures of the TFT touchscreen upgrade I'm working on.  Im now in the test phase using the LAM as the test bed. 

The programming work has been enormous to design all the menu screens and the difficulty that the TFT communictaes with the mower via a TFT shield, seperate Arduino MEGA and TX RX communication to the Mower main MEGA board.  It took a while to have a 100% reliable code that could transfer the data between boards.

The installation is really easy with just 5V & GND to the MEGA Shield and a TX and RX wire to the mower MEGA.

I think the TFT screen just looks amazing and its a pleasure to operate compared to the keypad...

This mod will be available (in the end) for the 220, 330 and LAM mowers

The TFT insert for the sliding door mod includes an extra USB jack which can be used to program the TFT screen or another board in the mower.  (hole above the USB port is for the ON/OFF switch)

 

 

 

14.03.2020

220 bumper and 330 sliding cover are completed.

See the 220 and 330 build instructions.

 

 

09.03.2020 - 330 Sliding Cover.

Working on a new modification.  A sliding door for the Mower controls.

This should protect the LCD screen and switches from initial rain until the mower senses it and travels to the home station.

This modification will be followed by a new control system which I'm working on using a full colour 3.5" TFT touchscreen with graphical menu :).  

 

 

 

 

I will try and make this work for the LAM and 220 Mowers once its been tested and proven out. 

 

08.03.2020 - 220 Bumper Bar

220 Mower Bumper Bar.  I did the CAD and I am currently printing it and testing.

10.02.2020 - 330 BUMPER BAR

Designed a bumper bar for the 330 Mower.  This mechanism is a last line of defense for the front of the Mower and uses limit switches and a bumper bar.  If the mower crashes into something the bumper bar will register the hit and maneuver the mower away.

 

 

 

 

The mechanism is all 3D printed apart from some hinge screws and springs (borrowed from a click pen).

Code is written.  I just need a chance to test it

13.01.2020

Added code 7.0

Alarm actions can now be chosen in the settings menu.

Fixed some menu issues and time set issues.

 

11.01.2020

Uploaded Code 6.9 to GITHUB with some major improvements.

Redesign of the Mower LCD menus.

Nearly all major mower settings can now be set using the keypad and LCD.  These settings are saved in EEPROM and will be transfered to any new code updates.

Code 6.9 on GITHUB

 

06.01.2020

Uploaded Code 6.8 to GITHUB with some small improvements.

12.11.2019

A version of the mower to print on a 220x220x250h mm printer is now available. 

 

11.10.2019

Just uploaded Code V6.6 to the GITHUB site.

See readme.txt for info

Please be careful using the spiral cut mode.  This is very new and only tested a little. It's not advised to use it on gardens with a heavy slope.

Please dont use the parallel cut or the tilt safety code you might find in this release. They are not working yet.

 

02.10.2019

I'm working on the latest code version 6.5 which i hope to have ready for release soon. Features:

  • Improved compass home feature
  • More settings can be customised in the LCD menu and save to EEPROM 
  • Spiral mowing pattern option.
  • More stable Mobile app

 

  

01.09.2019

Just uploaded Code V6.4 to the GITHUB site.

See readme.txt for info

15mm Wheel Bearing

Looking at my mower after approx 8months running the direct motor version i notice that the wheel are starting to sag a little.  The weight of the wheel hanging on the motor shaft seems to be too much.  I'm working on a design using a 15mm bearing and a longer 70mm 15mm diameter shaft.  The shaft runs from the motor, through the bearing and into the wheel

You can see the design here

 

Update July 21st - EEPROM

Code has been uploaded.  EEPROM is now implemented.

Various other improvements are included.  See the release txt on GITHUB

 

 

Update July 18th - EEPROM

Working on saving the settings given through the membrane keys and LCD screen to EEPROM.  this means any modified settings (Alrams, PWM settings etc...) will be saved and loaded into the mower when the power is cycled.

I believe this will make the mower more user friendly and ease small changes in settings rather than having to connect the Laptop and upload new settings.

This will also allow easier changes between software versions as your settings should be carried over to the new software version.

Hope to have the new code uploaded soon :)

Update July 16th - New Code

Just uploaded software 6.2

- Fixes the Alarms which were not working anymore

- More options for a timed mow

- Mower displays the off time in the LCD screen

- Compass mowing has not been developed any further

 

 

Update June 26th - New Code

Just uploaded software 6.1

- Menu options have been improved. Scrolling in both directions and easier coding.

- More Test options have been added including a compass test and a volt amps test

- First trials at compass mowing (very initial stages - not working well and not advised to use it yet)

- Stabilised the heading hold by using compass degrees instead of heading.

Update June 18th - New Code

Just uploaded software 6.03

- Improved docking logic

- Docking can now be cancelled with the APP by pressing pause.

- Compass now uses degrees instead of heading for heading lock motion (better stability)

 

 

Update May 28th - On Board Camera

To have a 100% reliable system for mowing the grass when I'm away, I couldn't help but think a camera would be a great addition.  The mower is quite robust and customisable for each garden, but there's always the small chance that the mower will get stuck on some thing.  That small chance is not good if your away for 2 weeks and the mower is stuck in the garden.

Solution - the APP manual control + an on-board camera....   :)

 

I intend to use an off the shelf 5V WIFI camera.  I have printed the new front facia and will test the setup.. Shouldn#t be too difficult to hook up a 5V camera as the 5V system is already there....

Result - the interferance from the camera results in the wire detection amp being destroyed after about 2 days - project is shelved :(

 

 

Update May 25th - WiFi and APP

The instructions for the WiFi upgrade can be found here.

Ive tested the APP as best I can, but its still my first APP so please be patient if anything is not quite right.

Update May 8th - Weatherproofing

As the mower will be left to fend for itself in the rain I decided to make the covers as weatherproof as possible.

  

Sealed all the joints with PVC glue and hot glue.

Added a thin transparent cover to the LCD screen. Glued around the opening for the membrane keys.

This of course wont make it waterproof, but i think splash proof is sufficient so the mower can return to the home garage. :)

 

Update May 6th - New Code

I uploaded the latest code version V5.9 to the GitHub site .  The latest code has:

  • Rain sensor option
  • Integrated test sketches to test the mowers components
  • Improved MEGA / NANO communication
  • New code structure to allow easier integration of new features (i.e Mobile APP)
  • Wire detection options and lost wire safety features.
  • Vastly improved charge detection at the docking station

Upload the MEGA code to the Arduino MEGA

Upload the NANO code to the Arduino Nano

Update May 3rd - Rain Sensor

Many people have requested a rain sensor which makes perfect "sense".  I just couldn't find a place to put it that didn't ruin the design. Thanks to Jeremy Chilton who pushed me a little to think outside the box.

 

I added the STL file to the Thingiverse site and the rain sensor is on the web shop.  Code is on the way.

The next code version will have a lot of new features so please hold tight.

 

 

Update April 23rd - Power Motors

I have added some more powerful motors to the shop for gardens with strong gradients.  Together with the 3D printed rear wheels (good traction) the new motors perform really well and pull up almost any slope.

I updated some of the covers to be stronger and redesigned the back panel to accept 2 motor drivers.  I also re-spaced the holes for the RTC and Arduino.

Update March 1st 2019 - Heading Hold

There were a lot of requests for a heading hold function for people with sloped gardens.  I have written this code and it works well on my relatively flat garden.

Upload MOWERV5.2 to the MEGA and NANO. 

This is a BETA version, has only been tested a few days so please be careful !!

 

 Mower Path No Compass Support

 

 

Mower Path Compass Heading Hold Code.

 

 

Update Feb 26 2019 - Wiring

I am working on the optimum wiring setup for the Mower.  I don't like cables going everywhere so I'm looking at the best position for the components.  This is the current status:  (Yes I'm also working on WIFI connection with the cell phone)...

See this page for the results of this setup

 

Update Feb 24 2019 - Rear Wheel

The wheel design is finished and tested on my mower.  Files are uploaded to Thingiverse.  There are new wheel guard files LH/RH, motor holders LH/RH and the rear wheel.

A small adapter is still needed for the rear wheels and is described in this section

 

 

 

Update Feb 5 2019 - Rear Wheel

I have been working on a direct connection between motor and wheel.  The wheel in this design is also 3D printable without any support material required.

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

3D Printed parts and construction

Circuit Diagram with Components Overview

Detailed Circuit Diagrams with Components

Perimeter Wire Build

Arduino Code

Parts Required for the build

Videos

Makes