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Author Topic: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade  (Read 10055 times)

enauman

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Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« on: August 16, 2010, 10:46:13 PM »

The ninja pan speed is so slow, it's useless for security purposes.  An easy upgrade for those who have a little electronics experience would be for X10 to offer the EM78P156ELP microcontroller for purchase that has upgraded code for a faster pan speed.  The motors are able to operate at 5 or 6 times the speed that is currently programmed and I'm sure the micro can handle the code required to speed it up.  X10 could offer the reprogrammed micro as a user installed item with no guarantee so the user assumes the risk.  From what I have read in the forums, there is a significant number of users that are dissatisfied with the pan speed.  Offering this solution would be a cheap and easy way to provide some better customer satisfaction for this otherwise good product.  If anybody at X10 actually reads this, I would be more than happy to do the programming for free if you can provide me with the source code as a starting point.  I will be happy to sign a non disclosure statement if there is an issue of propriety. I would appreciate a response.
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Brian H

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 06:23:43 AM »

Since we are a user to user forum.
I doubt X10 will reply, but there is always a chance.
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enauman

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2010, 04:57:35 PM »

I spent some time researching and testing the Ninja Pan speed (or lack of).  My intent was to write some code for a PIC to see if I could drive the stepper motors at a faster rate than X10 uses.  I took apart a Ninja and pulled the motors and the RF reciever out of it.  I used a PIC development board that I bought from Micro-Engineering labs a while back.  I wired a prototype board with similar drive circuitry for the steppers that X10 used on the Ninja.  I wrote some code to exercise the X10 gearmotors such that I could change the pulse widths on the steps to see what they were capable of.  Sure enough, they performed just like the manufacturers website said they would...  :)  The bummer is that with the reduction gear ratio in the motor itself, coupled with the final drive ratio in the Ninja housing, the step rate is already at it's maximum.  They chose a motor with a really high gear ratio and a low maximum step rate.  Unfortunately, there is no margin left to increase the step rate in software.  If it is increased even by 10%, the motor starts missing steps. Bummer! 

From here, the only way to increase the pan speed would be to find a more capable motor with the same form factor (which is a long shot) , or make some gears with a different drive ratio for the final drive in the ninja housing.  Both options would exceed the worth of the Ninja.  The motor manufacturer does offer the motor with different gearing ratios if you want to buy 25,000 pieces or so...   B:(

On a different subject,  I used the RF receiver from the ninja to decipher the command set from the pan and tilt remote if anyone is interested.  I wrote some code for my PIC development board that will decipher the remote control signals and process them.
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dave w

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2010, 05:31:57 PM »

Man, I applaud your fortitude! And I don't even have a P&T base!   #:)
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Brian H

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2010, 06:21:25 PM »

Wow. I also say you did much research to find out the data.  >!
I gave you a helpful.
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nybuck

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 06:36:41 PM »

From here, the only way to increase the pan speed would be to find a more capable motor with the same form factor (which is a long shot) , or make some gears with a different drive ratio for the final drive in the ninja housing.  Both options would exceed the worth of the Ninja. 

Let's see.....  New Ninja with remote...  $16.99 
http://www.x10.com/promotions/vk74a_ed_1m_promo.html

Yeah, not a whole lot of room to replace parts without exceeding the price of the unit...  If you get paid $20/hr for development, they owe you money already!   ;D
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>!

HA Dave

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Re: Ninja Pan Speed Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2010, 08:36:02 PM »

...... From here, the only way to increase the pan speed would be to find a more capable motor with the same form factor (which is a long shot) , or make some gears with a different drive ratio for the final drive in the ninja housing.  Both options would exceed the worth of the Ninja. 

I (as do others) have used non-X10 cameras on the Ninja. I have used one somewhat heavy IR camera. I wonder if you couldn't just mount one Ninja on another (or maybe configured on a turntable of some sort) to at least double the speed.
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