Instructable First Draft (Rough)

The Mini Star-Shooter!

A fully controllable desktop disc launcher—

If you love to throw a disc (whether you call it Ultimate, Flatball, Fetch, or Frisbee) chances are you love it so much it’s hard to put the thing down before you go to sleep at night. You may even be one of those people that always has one in their bag, looking for any opportunity to toss during the day. But a 175 gram UltraStar can be hard to get away with throwing inside if you work in a tight office space. That’s probably one of the reasons DisCraft makes the Mini-Star, a 4.5” disc you can throw around in smaller spaces.

Mini-StarPhotoTK

Here, you’re going to learn to up your indoor disc game with the Mini Star-Shooter!

The Star-Shooter is a desktop disc launcher for all your indoor disc launching needs! Controlled with a Wii nunchuck plugged into an Arduino, the Star-Shooter is an accurate, 3 axis disc cannon built for your desk.

AwesomeVideoorAction Photo TK

Here’s What you’ll need:

Materials:

1+ Discraft Mini-Star Discs    Where to buy

4  ModelNumberTK Servo Motors – Where to buy

1 Nintendo Wii Nunchuck – Where to buy

1 WiiChuck Adapter for Arduino + header pins    Where to buy

Arduino Nano/Min/TK  – Where to buy

Soldering Iron with Solder  – Where to buy

Brushless DC motor  – Where to buy

Structure Materials  – Where to buy

Structure Materials  – Where to buy

Structure Materials  – Where to buy

Code:

PhotoMaterials TK

So, first things first! Gather the materials and take a look at what you’ve got and what you’ll be using it for!

Obviously, the disc is the projectile. Put it aside for now.  Yes… I know it’s hard not to throw around when you’re procrastinating.  It’s super cute and we love the Mini-Star. But you’ll have to curb your excitement just a little to focus on the task at hand!

Take a look at the nunchuck. This will be your command center. Before this is over, you’ll be able to use a combination of the joystick, trigger buttons, AND the accelerometer inside to precisely control your launcher. Don’t worry! You won’t have to damage the controller to get this done. Thanks to Tod at tidbit.com, you can plug it directly to your keyboard with the WiiChuck adapter.

InfographicphotoTK

What’s actually being controlled by the nunchuck is the servo motors and the DC motor.

Three of the servos run the three-axis movement of the launcher, the fourth drops the disc into a track, and the DC motor spins the disc out of the track. The functionality is pretty linear. Aim, start launcher, fire!

BasicDemoVideoTK

All of these functions funnel through an arduino board.

PhotoOfBoardHookedUpTK

So Let’s get started!

First, we’ll go through the construction of the structure and housing.

3 axis servo structure

Launcher electronics housing

hopper

launching track

Now that we’ve finished the housing parts, let’s construct the electronic portion, wire up the arduino, and fit the whole thing together.

We’re putting it together before coding it so we can make sure it functions correctly as we code.

Here’s how to put it all together correctly.

Now, here’s the code:

I’ll walk you through all of the different functions and what physical controls and processes they reflect.

Variables

Understanding the nunchuck functions

controlling servos

controlling the DC motor

Thanks for sticking it out through my Intructable, everyone!  I hope to hear Mini-Star Sales start to go up in coming weeks. Please check back in as you make improvements or cool modifications! I’d love to see what anyone can do with this to make it even more fun! 

Bonus track!

Trash Can Horse!