Automated Model Dredger


Thought I would just share the project which I have been working on for the last 18 months with you.

I originally built the model of the Mannin dredger about 8 years ago, with everything being operated via radio control. Unfortuantely sailing the model (controlling throttle & rudder) and controlling the dredger (operating the crane & grab) at the same time was quite a challenge and regularly resulted in crashing the model!

I started looking at how I could automate the dredger part of the model so that it could look after itself whilst I concentrated on sailing. Enter a Picaxe 18x and SD21 servo control board.

The model works in two modes. In Manual mode the 18x counts pulses from the receiver and outputs it to control the crane as if radio controlled. In automatic mode the 18x runs through a pre set routine to perform dredging operations automatically.

The video clip show the model operating at a public exhibition (hence the background noise) dredging gravel from a barge and dropping it into the hopper.

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