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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Hey guys,

Yes, Ive been super busy lately. I would love to have it powered off of mains power, but the plan is to have it travel around on a track above the track, so I could do some sort of power transfer to the blimp, similar to a slot car system.

Unfortunately I think this would be too complicated for my comfort, and I would like to finish this project up before too long.

So I decided to order a 9v with a built in USB charger. My plan is to have the cord easily accessible for charging between races.

I had a panic last night when one of the motors didnt work. Apparently some glue from the propeller had clogged it up a bit. Luckily, I took the prop off and wa able to get the motor shaft moving again with a pair of pliers.

I have been working on getting the blimp sealed up now, and the gap is not too terrible...

Gas Engineering Cylinder Electrical wiring Machine

Next, I will be attaching the bottom of the gondola, then paint. I just ordered some smaller GoodYear stickers, as the ones I have are too big to fit with the LED maxtrix window.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Glad you are still tuned in and thank you for your support. I recently had to disassemble the internals to fix a short. I replaced the chip for the LED matrix with a smaller chip. I now have the smaller chip, and I'm working on getting the wiring connected up again. Then I'm FINALLY ready to paint it up. I'll hopefully get some pics up soon.

Heath
 

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I've started a new project for the track. I've been thinking about some of the cool things that happen on a track that could perhaps be replicated in scale for my track to add some sense of place and visual interest.

I've noticed that a lot of people have blimps hanging above their track, and I thought that would be a cool, but I wanted it to move as opposed to just sitting there.

So my idea is to run it on conduit tubing above the track. I plan to have the blimp hanging from a small cart that will run using the conduit as a rail, with the cart driven by a stepper motor at a very slow speed. A regular motor would work, if I could find one slow enough for my purposes, so if anyone has ideas, I'm all ears.

This is the stepper motor I am planning on using...

#4 5v stepper motors from eBay... as cheap as chips... 28BYJ-48 + ULN2003 Driver

I have ordered the blimp model...

View attachment 252941

Given that my track has a modern vibe, I'll be repainting it to the top blimp of this image (the bottom is too far away from the model for my modeling skills.)

View attachment 252943

I am also going to replace the "light panel" in the model with an actual LED matrix panel (hopefully hooked up to bluetooth), so I can add messages. Here's a video Arduino Text Scrolling Display | MAX7219 Dot Matrix 4-in-1., If I get really crazy, I may do a flexible LED matrix like this...

View attachment 252945

I also want to put running lights on it, so I'm going to need some pretty small LEDs or fiber optics to do that.

Model is on its way, so I am waiting until I have it in hand before making any decisions on lighting.

Should be a cool fun project though. Let me know what you think.

Heath
I bought this one last year.
It is a tethered hard wire RC model that per my calculations 1/32 scale and is huuuuge!!

279906
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Font Gadget
 

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What’s the latest on the blimp? I’ve recently acquired the same kit And need an update on your progress for inspiration. I’m thinking of using one of the early 1960s liveries, if I can figure out decals. The middle photo is from the 1965 Sebring race, which continued despite a torrential downpour. I read that the blimp was stood on its nose on the mooring when the storm hit. The blue in the latter two Goodyear logos looks lighter than later years.

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Thanks for following up on this guys, you have inspired me to get back on it. I had to replace one of the chips with something smaller, and I had some problems with my computer recognizing the chip. Turns out it was the cord :) The one that they sent me for it was not a data version. I used a different cord and didn't have a problem. I did have to redo the wiring to match up with the previous wiring, and that took a bit of time.

I now have it all wired up and ready to go back into the blimp...

Electrical wiring Gas Engineering Circuit component Wire


Now I just have to get the wires back in to the blimp and put the lights back in their spots, as I had to take them all out to fix the wiring. Hopefully that won't be too bad, then it's on to the painting.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
All the electronics are now back inside the shell. Both of the batteries are now hooked up to a USB charging cable, so they are easily accessible through the front panel. Unfortunately chip reprogramming is not as easily accomplished now, but I’m okay with leaving what’s on the matrix in place.

Now that everything is back in place, final paint prep has begun…

Engineering Gas Bicycle part Cylinder Machine

Hopefully have final sanding wrapped up here tonight. It’s way too windy today to paint anyway.

Heath
 
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