Contributing to giving sight to AV's

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to design and build an "open source" radar system. The premise is that while we have the hacked Neato and the RoboPeak system, I've not found anything for outdoor use. So I've built this scanner pictured below.


The parts list so far is

1) Hobbypower BGM5208-200T-12 HS Brushless Gimbal Motor

2) AlexMos 8 bit controller

3) Arduino Uno

4) Sparkfun Line follower (as a simple rotary encoder)

5) 12vdc power supply

The design criteria is that no special tools (lathe, mill, tap & die) are required. All parts shall be easily available from reputable sources. From this I hope more people will build one and begin to give real sight to their AV.

My question is how to best promote this project and share files like these two versions for the Lightware SF02 and Lidar Light units I made with Solidworks.


I'm a real NOOB with Github and blogs, so any suggestions would be helpful.




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    • Hi Ovidiu,

      Sure thing... Happy to...  I have not done any docs so far, which is wrong. I need to start now before I forget what the heck I did. :-)

      I'll upload it here along with the BaseCam config file.


  • Hello again,

    Here is a pic of the LIDAR Lite (LL) from PulsedLight (PL) installed on the gimbal motor. 


    I've uploaded the PL sketches to my Arduino Uno and observed the readings. When the LL is static, the readings appear to be fine, but when I turn on the gimbal motor,I sometimes get very large or zero readings... i.e. I think its noise from the slip rings. I'm trying to verify this.... with a very old and out of calibrationTektronics 465M.


    • Here is a quick pic of the LL at 60 degrees per second sweep rate.


      I'm convinced its the slip rings. I took this pic after manually spinning the slip rings to "clean them" That greatly reduced the zero readings. 


    • Okeydoke, just wondered since altho you put a supressor on the wires, you are pretty close to the motor.

      Noise due to the contacts in the slip ring was my main concern aboug using them. I might stay away and just sweep back and forth.
    • Hi Phil,

      The LL folks are also aware of the slip ring problem and have suggested using a wireless controller. The slip ring would be just for power. Way cool!


    • Only passing power/ground through the slip ring would be a good idea.  I thought I could see you had a suppressor on the lines? perhaps they were different lines to the motor.  Had my LL confirmed as in the post and had a good chat with the guys I want to buy the NC machine through so I aim to go ahead with that.  Will be able to get going fairly soon.

      Another possibility if you wanted to go wireless could be an NFC card?

      This one does P2P transmission:

    • Hi Phill,

      I put a suppressor on both sides of the slip ring assembly. I'm now building the two arduinos with transceivers now. (I have these parts from a previous project). Will report back ASAP.  


    • I've built the LL with Arduino/XBee to eliminate the slip ring noise. I'm not getting good readings outdoors. I think I need to tweak the LL settings and am awaiting help from the LL people.3702903448?profile=original


    • Howdy Phil,

      I think its the measurement of the LL PWM signal that's the issue here. One possible fix .... mounting the Arduino on the upstream side of the slip ring. I believe this will work because I used both the analog and serial connection on the SF02 and it didn't appear to have any slip ring issues.

      I'll look at one of those mini Arduinos on Sparkfun.

      I will also follow your advice and put a suppressor around the gimbal motor wires.


    • What about noise from the motor?

      I wonder if you could hand crank it and see if you still get the odd readings with the gimbal power cables disconnected?

      If its not that, you could hand crank through 360 degrees and then back after removing the slip ring?

      The gimbal motor you are using has given me an idea - I'm waiting for the LL to turn up, and am seriously thinking of getting a table top NC router as they seem to be ideal for prototyping where 3D printers fall down - and it seems its easy to put a print head on the table anyway.  Then I can mess around with some ideas.

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