The Hovercraft operates using two powerful fans, one pointed towards the undercarriage of the vehicle to inflate the skirt and provide lift, and the other pointing towards the back of the hovercraft to provide thrust. The fan on the back is mounted on a servo motor with a limited range of motion to allow for turning.
Area of Interest
Ardsley High School
For my Second Milestone, I began construction of the prototype. Before I could start building the prototype, I first needed to connect the second fan to the battery pack. To do this, I soldered an ESC to the second fan, and then cut and soldered that ESC to the same battery pack that the first fan was connected to. I used a multimeter to ensure that the output of the battery would be enough to power both fans. Once connected to the battery, I connected both of the ESC’s and the servo motor to the receiver so that I could control them using the transmitter (controller).
My First Milestone for the Hovercraft was to create a CAD design of the chassis to aid me during the construction of the prototype and final project. I marked down all of the dimensions of the frame given on the CAD program and used them to begin construction of my prototype. Additionally, I set up and tested the motors to make sure that they were functional before moving on to the prototype.
Testing The Motors
To safely test the motors, I first needed to secure them in a rigid frame. I made a cardboard frame with super glue and cut the cardboard to the right dimensions to ensure that the fans would not be able to break loose. Before fitting the motors into place, I soldered one of the motor to the ESC (electronic speed controller), and then the ESC to a Lipo battery connector so I could easily connect and disconnect the battery from the ESC when I need to charge it or in case of an emergency. I connected the motor and the servo to the radio receiver and then paired the receiver to the transmitter (the controller). After that, I was ready to test.
How it works
The Mini POV 4 is powered by a 4.5V source. The 100μF and 0.1μ F capacitors work together to stabilize the current and filter out noise. The potentiometer, also known as a variable resistor, controls the amount of current that flows to the microcontroller. When the dial is turned, the input to the micro controller changes, which changes the output (the LEDs’ blinking speed). The 2.2k resistors limit current flowing to the 3 transistors. Because the micro controller’s signal is not strong enough to communicate with the LEDs, the transistors amplify the signal. Each LED has it’s own 47 ohm resistor that prevents the LED from overheating. In between the resistors is a ceramic resonator which acts as the board’s metronome and makes sure that the LEDs blink at a consistent rate. The board also has two diodes to make sure electrostatic discharge does not occur. Electrostatic discharge is when static electricity is released when two objects come into contact. The diodes also ensure that the data being transferred from a computer to the POV does not get interrupted. Last of all, there is the USB type B port that allows the user to customize the image on a computer by using the Mini POV 4 software. Users are able to draw their own 8 pixel tall image and download it to their POV.