Measuring distance and controlling position, what method?

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Measuring distance and controlling position, what method?

Postby claude.rivet » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:58 pm

Alright so I need to be able to track moving screens on a distance of 120feet on one axis and change the position of a layer accordingly so that the image is always on the screen while it moves.

What would be the Coolux way of doing this?

Right now I thought of methods which uses an arduino board but it is either expensive or too complex or both;

-use a laser rangefinder and convert the output to MIDI 15bit so that I could move the image 1 pixel at a time. Seems fun but it's expensive if you want your laser rangefinder to go above 50m, it's my case. Also those update the value slowly (a few times per second if you are lucky, nowhere close to 60fps, not even 12 fps) so even though I can accurately track the position of the screen it needs to be moved slowly, not good.

-use a wire draw encoder, seems like a good method but not only are pretty much all wire draw encoder don't go over 50m I will also need to find a way to prevent the wire from hanging as distance increases, which in turn will give innacurate readings.

-use an absolute encoder with fast reading, seems like a very solution but I have no clue how to work with these so the learning curve will be very high for me especially since I need to convert the reading to MIDI 15 bits and transmit it over ethernet. Then again maybe someone here did this already and can show me how.

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby JustynR » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:51 pm

I haven't used it on a show yet, but I think that the "Coolux" way of doing this would be to use the Sensor Link device found here at the top of the page: http://www.coolux.de/products/accessories/

With this you can plug in industrial encoders - a "Shaft Encoder" could be plugged into the Sensor Link which would transmit the encoder's information over ether-net. You can connect this encoder to what ever is moving your screen. If it is a motor, it would be a little tricky, but if it was something like a pulley, it would be a little easier. This way, the tracking device doesn't need to move.

Taking this information into Widget Designer is a little advanced, but with a little work and checking out the manuals, you can make the system track a screen.

I hope that points you in the right direction.
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby claude.rivet » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:41 pm

That could be part of the solution indeed, at least no need to build and program an arduino project. That still leaves the question of what sensor to use exactly (although if an absolute encoder can be connected to this it probably would be the solution) but at least the biggest part of the problem is solved, it seems. There is only one thing, I cannot find any documentation on it on this site, I get to the sensor link page, I find reference to it in the manual but I cannot find the sensor link manual itself (detailed spec for input and output, example scripts, etc).

Thanks again!
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby alverman » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:55 pm

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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby claude.rivet » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:06 pm

I found these toys:
http://www.sick.com/us/en-us/home/produ ... iturn.aspx

Absolute multiturn encoders. One of them is already Ethernet so my guess is I could work without the sensor link even, just connect a wi-fi bridge to the encoder and read the output from WD, use range to bring back the value to what is needed and affect that to the layer position.

I just can't find pricing and connectivity info for the sensor link and I need to give a ballpark price for the project today so I almost have to consider the project without it. Also, I know I will need a rail and gear system to prevent the encoder from skipping but other than that it does seem like the easy mode solution.

If you guys have any better idea please suggest them, even after today, I can always refine the chosen method for next events.

And thank you for the arduino project, very cool of you, it will be useful for sure.
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby Dennis Kuypers » Mon Aug 12, 2013 3:54 pm

Hi,

You can use the TrackScan we sell. It is a scanner which scans a barcode tape and has about 1-3mm accuracy. A RS232 connection is required.We recommend PCI adapters, USB will (in 90% of the cases) NOT work. The Widget Designer has special nodes for it.

Best regards
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby claude.rivet » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:38 pm

Ok this is silly, using the search tool or the menu system I cannot find the TrackScan information, price and specs...

I am interested, anything that makes it easier/cheaper I am for, I'd really like to evaluate the TrackScan option but for that I will need some informations, any link, pdf that could be provided?

Thanks much!
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Re: Measuring distance and controlling position, what method

Postby Daniel Kaminski » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:27 am

Hi,

For prices you will have to contact the distributor in your country.
A full list with contact information can be found here:
http://www.coolux.de/contact/

You are correct: Trackscan information are currently not on the website. Sorry for that.
Please send an short email to support(at)coolux.de with the request for more information on the trackscan and we will get you the information you need and send it to you.

As Dennis said, the trackscan reads a Barcodetape and figures out its postions with an accuracy of 1-3mm for that.
You connect it to a WD Pro using a RS232 Connection.

Daniel
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