Automating on/off Vector Charger Light
Having the vector charger light turn on/of when Vector is docked has been a bit of a challenge. I initially tried to use a latching mechanism one one of the charging contact pins, but it was too unreliable and I don’t really have that much space underneath – I tried using a spring to keep pin in contact with the +’ve wire tied to the LED and when weight is on the pin it breaks the contact, but that was not reliable.
The next option was to create some sort of “object” detection circuit that could turn off the light when Vector was docked. One benefit of this is that it will always reliable and can be used to notify the user how often their vector docks /undocks if they connect the
trigger pin to a raspberry pi if they wanted to…overengineering much?
Creating the circuit brought the challenge in what parts to use since I had limited space. I planned to use an IR sensor to detect Vector and it worked great and I could detect when Vector was docked reliably
The OUT pin would be used to trigger to turn off the circuit responsible of keeping the light on – I could use a relay to do this or build a circuit myself. Building the circuit was difficult for me cause most tutorials are all for turning things on, rather than keeping them off. Using transistors might would be able to get this done, but my Elelctrical Engineering skills are at their limit 🙁
The alternative would be to use a Normally Closed (on) relay, that would switch to Normally Off when triggered to turn off the light, but the only relay small enough for this is only available from China and I would have to wait for me to test this out
So I might have to revisit having the auto turn off circuit at a later time, and adding this feature might not be worth the cost.
Manual on/off Vector Charger Light
My plan now is to have a slide switch on the left side that will cutoff power to the light. I should have integrated this into the design from the start regardless of the auto on/off feature being implemented – manual overrides are always welcome.
In my next post I plan to wrap things up and present the final design that I will be putting up for sale.