View Full Version : Spinneret Contest Entry - Laser Locator Network (LLN)

03-22-2011, 10:31 PM
Laser Locator Network (LLN)

My real name is Jon and I am a robotic hobbyist. I would like to thank Parallax for giving me the opportunity to give back to the same community that has provided me with a wealth of knowledge and also the parts, books (especially), and online community. The reason I picked this “invention” as my project is because it can do real work such as making repetitive tasks easy, and fun!

This is my official forum entry for the Laser Locator Network (LLN) device. The project is in the first stage of prototype, so I would like to start sharing information and getting feedback. I have been considering building this for awhile, but it wasn’t until the Spinneret came out that I took action. The device consists of a wall or ceiling mounted unit with a Spinneret network connection. The four unused pins are as follows;

Pin 24 = Pan Servo
Pin 25 = Tilt Servo
Pin 26 = Laser Power Relay
Pin 27 = Expansion Port

Why am I putting a visible laser on a pan tilt device connected to network?

Simple, it’s efficient, and I think its “cool”. It can also guide you out of a smoke filled building, by handing you off to other lasers! I can now, in my office load the IP address of the Spinneret, find the part I’m looking for via HTTP, click a button for the part and the laser dot takes me right to it. Now imagine an assembly line, timing is key. When you use the laser to locate something, the time it spends doing so is programmable as well. It's a great visual cue system. It also has entertainment purposes as well, but for this contest I will not label it "multi-purpose".

SAFETY- As you know, lasers hurt eyes, including pets! A low powered red laser doesn’t mean safety is not an issue. I have been working with an OSHA representative on making laser use safe(r) and I’m open to suggestions as well. I have developed two devices (on paper still) to plug into the expansion port that will serve as a warning system to end users, both of which are not located by the physical unit itself.

Here is a video of the initial servo testing, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oDAOH2M1Jo This is all I have right now.

I’m sure some things come to mind when you think about the application of this project. I would like to state that the scope of my project does not extend to building this system for installation by end users, at this time.

LLN needs to be installed and configured by someone with at least my level of programming. That makes it PERFECT for this community, if I can set this up, so can you!

More to come very shortly, thank you for reviewing my application!

03-22-2011, 11:40 PM
I dropped my camera on it's lens and it's in for repair. I will replace this video with something much higher quality as soon as I get my camera back.


The video is unlisted on youtube because I do not intend to talk about this project anywhere but this forum thread.

Again, sorry about the quality of the video, but I wanted to show everyone how it worked, for the most part. Thanks for watching!!

03-23-2011, 03:03 AM
That is going to be neat project with with real uses later on.

03-26-2011, 10:58 PM
Here are my plans for controlling the Laser with the Spinneret. Comments and suggestions are appreciated.


I am using a 1N4001 diode (D1). In most relay circuits I see people using 1N4007. Looking at the datasheet I think it should be fine for a 5vdc relay coil, but I'd love some input because I don't have much experience in this area, thanks!

EDIT- Scratch this design. I'm going with a solid state relay. At first I was thinking to use the surplus parts I have laying around but I'd like to use stuff that other people might consider first.