Chromatic Ferrocore

Filled under: Art, Electronics, Projects

Date posted: March 18, 2017

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Overview:

This is a simplified user interface and auto-control system for the highly experimental chromatic ferrocore. Although the official details of the chromatic ferrocore itself has not been released to the public, we were granted special permission under the Unification VX Treaty of 1976 Part B Subpart 13 to disclose the prototype control panel in order to generate hype for the future release of the chromatic ferrocore.

The chromatic ferrocore differs from a standard ferrocore by force injecting omicronic photon-spectrum particles into the stabilizing sub-matrix to create the divergent hyper-inductive gaussian fields. The omicron injector relies on Dorsian style omega and lambda spectrum d-filters tuned to within 13mF/sH (microFerks per semiHeli) and an i-term redux filter (just an plain old 650nm wavelength inductive polycapacitor) to super charge the chromatic sub-core of the chromatic ferrocore. A critical component of the system is the Delorean Multiplexer (yes, the same guy!) which is a torvex helix-wave manipulator that allows for impulse acquisition of the micro-oscillations of the omicronic photon-spectrum particles. Once the Delorean Multiplexer has a sigma sync-lock the gold-plated capacitor graphenic-waffers are mechanically closed thus transferring the phase-shifted spectrum lattice into the chromatic core’s various spectrum garnvalves. Using the chromatic method allows for a 76% transconductivity efficiency (at maximum microhertz output) versus only 61% transconductivity efficiency of traditional ferrocore methods (even the newer VX-23F model).

A novel feature is that the user may directly control the injected omicronic particles’ hyperspin intensity (from 10 to 4023 microFlarks) by using a harmonic vibrosion wrapping layer around the dorsal injector micro-array.

In the spirit of full disclosure, even with using the chromatic method the ferrocore is still susceptible to Dormison’s Paradox due to classic skew of the palladiums valence. Typically this does not occur unless quantum delineation begins to break apart the phasic tri-bonds of the mylar photonic layer. (rare, but not that rare) Although the system monitors for this phenomenon, flushing the Yalgeth cache typically resets the zero-array and allows the photonic spread to redux into a stable non-synaptic state (per Habseen’s 2nd Law of Synaptic Half-Life). Also, it’s fair to mention that on rare occasion spectrum breakdown occurs, for why is unknown. Dr. McGamber postulates the reason is fluiatic-flux waves convalescing along the chrono-phasic phontonic joints and penetrating into each sub-chomatic core causing a chain reaction of spectrum contamination. There is currently no working solution.

Notes:

The mechanical locking plates of the graphenic-waffers have a limited life span of passing 56 million megaT particles and at nominal rates the plates need replaced all but every 3.4 years. Talks are in motion to license non-mechanical phasic-waffers from the Amsterdam VX Lab that may last up to 12.1 years! The times we live in. :)

The terro generator is an off-the-shelf model TG-2.3 with modern forced Halifax detector kill-switches.

Flaxentic radiation is a constant 9.1f Rads/nB, which is below the international safety limit of 13.7 fRads/nB. (future versions are slated to drop down to 7.9 fRads/nB).

Acknowledgements:

Dragonai, the Director of R&D, Terradex[M] – His tireless pioneering research on modern ferrocores paved the way for the next generation of ferrocore technology and has been a instrumental in providing a functional foundation of the chromatic ferrocore.

A big shout out and thank you to my fellow VXJunkies at https://www.reddit.com/r/VXJunkies/ for without you my foray into the VX world would not be as bright.

 


DIY:

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The acrylic front plate is made from cheap 0.8″ thick extruded Optix brand plastic sheets (from Lowes) painted black then laser etched on my laser engraver. After painting two medium thickness layers using Rustoleum matte black spray paint I held the sheet up to the sun to confirm that paint would properly block out the LED back lighting. As you can see the result was a mess! After mulling it over a bit I remembered old painters advice for painting wood and/or applying a second layer of lacquering… scuff sanding. If the work surface is sanded down too fine the paint will not be able to adhere to the slick surface and create the texture as above.

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For the second try I sanded the surfacing using a random orbit palm sander with 320 grit sand paper. The above is the result after three medium thickness layers of paint. No sun!

 

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The resulting surface texture is nice and even.

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Using a laser engraver the paint is etched away leaving area where the LED back light can shine through the acrylic panel. The above is many trial runs at finding the optimal laser intensity, scan gap, and speed to allow the cleanest cut.

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The first attempt result was a horrible mess with many scorch marks, uneven engraving marks, and melted acrylic instead of clean cuts. This quick attempt used cast 3mm green acrylic which does cut different than extruded acrylic.

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A second attempt had much better results. In this attempt the laser power was reduced and the scan gap decreased. In case you are not familiar with how a laser engraver operates, the laser head typically swings on the X axis and blasts the material during the swing (actually the laser sublimates the material, neat). After each swing the Y axis is decreased or increased by the scan gap value. A smaller scan gap allows for greater resolution but also may cause double passing (sometimes good, sometimes bad depending on the desired result).

 

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The scorch marks are a constant pain to deal with as you can see above the CENTRIPETAL text. A simple way to eliminate marking is placing a layer of contact paper on the engraving surface. This works great 99% of the time, but this is the 1% where although there are no marks, other effects diminish the resulting engraving. When using contact paper with painted extruded acrylic during engraving  (likely when in gas form) adheres to the molten acrylic leaving behind black marks on the engraved area. Without the contact paper the engraved area has noticeably less markings.

 

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Without the contact paper there are scorch marks but the cut is clean, with contact paper there are no scorch marks but the cut is dirty. Sigh. But inspiration struck and I attempted clean experimental cuts with scorch marks with various cleaners such as acrylic polish and denatured alcohol. Luckily using a micro-fiber cloth with denatured alcohol and gently polishing the affected area removes the scorch marks enough where they become almost unnoticeable. Caveat, too much denatured alcohol melts the paint and causes dull areas. The above cut is pretty much the best outcome giving my machine and the material. Cast acrylic will  likely have a better result, but cast cost 3x more than the extruded I am using. But I might look into using frosted cast acrylic despite the cost if the light diffusion is noticeably better than using a extruded and velum combo.

 

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The resolution is pretty good here and I am happy with the quality of the cut. You can see the engraved area has patches of darkness but over it’s not to bad but I really want to try cast acrylic to test the result quality. If you look closely to the right, before the arrow portion, you can see cracks due to crazing. Crazing is caused by applying alcohol to laser cut extruded acrylic by releasing stress in the material after being heated. Between the dark markings and crazing I am thinking about springing for the more expensive acrylic for the next larger version control panel.

 

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The wood frame is made from box store solid poplar planks cut on a miter saw and jointed using simple butt joints with counter sunk course thread drywall screws.  The screw holes were pre-drilled to avoid splitting the plank ends and I used a laser cut template to ensure consistent and even placement of the guide holes. The joints are solid and the frame is sturdy thanks to precise 90 degree cuts from the miter saw. The frame size is 10.75″ wide x 8.75″ tall.

 

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The design was created in AutoCad in 2D mode. During the design process I frequently branch my work so I can refer back to older versions to determine if I like the current direction of the design or scrap my current direction completely without sacrificing previous work. The design process began by rounding up the features I know I wanted to include such as a rotary power switch, a LED voltage meter, four chrome indicators, and several illuminated push buttons. After digging into my bag of tricks, aka box of electronic goodies such as LED strips, servos, displays, etc., I slowly added more features and played around with their layout until the design started to take shape.

 

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Here’s the final design I settled on. A good mix of indicators, buttons, toggles, and features as well as having white space. Features being the center rotating arrow, the LED bar graph display, the  lower right warning indicators, and the upper right LED strips of the Chromatic Core.

 

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There was more work to be done before the design was ready to be cut on the laser engraver. The engrave portion has two colors: green for engraving and red for vector cutting. The electronics mounting area was designed later after control panel assembly began because there was not enough room for the electronics to be mounted directly to the back panel as originally intended.

 

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More parts designed for the feature mounting apparatuses.

 

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Here are raw pieces of the feature mounting apparatuses after they have been cut out. The material is 3mm Baltic birch plywood.

 

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Each feature was dry fitted together to test for fit and clearance before gluing.

 

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Here are the raw components all together minus a few odds and ends such as zip ties, more wiring, tape, etc.

 

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I first began assembly by attaching the features and laying out the LED strips for the back light.

 

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After wiring the bar graph display, the warning indicators, and LED back lighting I tested the system using an Arduino Uno to make sure everything was wired corrected. Nope, I made a few mistakes. I had the ULN2003a darlington array backwards but luckily it only took a few minutes to resolder the connections.

 

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The front panel with tidy wiring. The white material is velum which is a translucent plastic sheet of paper used to diffuse the LED backlight.

 

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A goal was to reduce the amount of wires leading into the main power bus so along the way I combined common anodes of the indicators, volt meter, etc. Above is just a shot of the solder joint before applying heat shrink tubing.

 

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All wire up and looking good! Being able to open up the panel for assembly and maintenance was important. So all the wires were bundled together in a single location that allows the back panel to swing open and when closed the wiring would tuck inside not interfering with the back lighting.

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The system is controlled by an Arduino Nano powered by a LM2596 based DC-DC converter (plugged into a 12vDC  wall power adapter). The LEDs are driven by a PCA9685 16-channel PWM controller connected to the Arduino via I2C. Since the indicators required 12v the PWM signals were used to drive several ULN2003a darlington transitor arrays that provided the 12v to the indicators. The black tape on the PCA9685 module is to cover the bright power led so it does not interfere with the back lighting. In retrospect I should of cut a hole in the wood frame so I can plug in the USB cable into the Arduino for programming without needing to open the back panel.


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Looks great! I am happy with the outcome. The size is 10.75″ wide by 8.75″ tall and the panel can be wall mounted or set on a desktop.

A few mistakes have been made here and there but with learned lessons for the next larger version that is in the works. This control panel is actually a prototype to a 9 times larger control panel which was mostly designed before this control panel was created. I figure it’s better to make mistakes and learn lessons on a smaller and less expensive panel before moving on the larger version.