About the article

Compass Sensor for Lego RCX

never get lost again

Compass Sensor for Lego RCX
Mindstorms, the by now well-known series of robot construction materials from Lego, has already been the subject of several articles in Elektor Electronics. In 2000, we presented a series of five articles dealing with all the ins and outs of the RCX module, which is a microcontroller block with three sensor inputs and three outputs for controlling items such as motors and lamps. Following this came a light sensor, a proximity sensor and a sensor multiplexer, and recently a design for an I2C interface appeared in our magazine. This month it’s time for a compass sensor, which enables us to give our robots a sense of direction.If a robot has to travel through a space, this can be implemented in a variety of manners. The first option is to allow the robot to search out its own path. Proximity and contact sensors allow the robot to independently avoid obstacles in order to prevent damage and/or prevent the robot from ending up in a situation that it cannot get out of on its own. The Mindstorms package includes the sensors that we need for this approach.
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor GREEN and GOLD members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service.

Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

Component list
R1 = 47kOhm
R2,R5-R8 = 100kOhm
R3 = 150kOhm
R4 = 220kOhm
C1 = 22µ F 16V radial
D1-D6 = 1N4148
D7 = BAT85
IC1 = 74HCT4066
Sensor1 = Pewatron 6945 (Pewatron AG, www.pewatron.com)
BT1 = 9V PP3 battery with clip-on lead
Lego connection cable (cut in two):
length 26.6cm, Lego order code 5311
length 9cm, Lego order code 5041
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