So finally the golf is completed, it was a mad rush at the end to get it all built before we had to shift it with the 3 of us were up until 4:30 on friday (the day of the party) morning. It gets to the point where you think "I'm not only not making any progress but I'm also wrecking things that do work".
the last part of the course that wasnt complete was the Ball Portal, to recap : Its a portal for golf balls, there is an entry portal with projected-portal graphics and a tracking camera to calculate the balls position and direction. That then sends the angle/position information to a gantry system that replicates it and launches a ball out of the exit portal.
I'd already written the software for it and built the gantry system to launch the ball but had never got the two talking to each other. In fact the gantry didnt work properly at all...
The problem with it was that I'd used a continuous rotation servo to drive the head left and right, this has no idea where it is at any time making it hard to position properly.
I first tried an optical encoder on the motor drivewheel,
oddly enough from an old Atari ST mouse. It failed pretty badly and kept missing teeth and skipping tooth counts. Eventually I desoldered a rotary encoder from some dead audio gear and botched it onto the gear:
Yes thats a lot of hot glue. Yes I was up against a deadline and didnt care. It actually held together quite nicely, the resolution on the counter was fairly low but it allowed the head to move to any one of 16 different locations. The head rotation started working as well, giving 16 different angles and allowing me to pack all of the position and angle info into a single character across the serial port
There it is installed in the base
and again with a terrible ball dispenser installed. At this point I didnt care what it looked like as long as it worked and it did well enough.
Heres where the photos end, the rest of the time was spent swearing, drinking coffee and helping Chris and Charles with their holes.
I did manage a nice little Test Chamber sign though
So the portal worked.... well enough. We loaded it all up into the van and dragged it all to Limehouse Town Hall slightly later than we planned for (mid-day vs 6:15pm...).
and of course, Tom knocked up an awesome video of the whole night
Fucking good night all round!