Electronics – the second project!

This week's components - somewhat more than last week

This week’s components – somewhat more than last week

I made a red LED flash. The next project was to make a series of 8 LEDs flash – in sequence up and then in sequence down. The programming for this was still simple. It got more complicated when I was playing with the code to make just the green LEDs flash, then just the red. I reprogrammed to all the lights come on, in sequence, then go off again in sequence. That coding was a little more challenging.

The completed project

The completed project

Still, I am learning a bit about circuits and I guess I am halfway back to remembering how to code in C.

Next project I think will have some switch built in, so that I can turn the thing on and off. Each of the circuits gets just a little more complicated as does the coding so it is a good learning process.

And now … watch the little lights flash.

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 2 – British Grand Fleet – The Battlecruiser Fleet

The Battle Fleet of the GRand Fleet has been identified by its squadrons and flotillas. It is now time for Beatty’s Battlecruiser fleet.

Following is the Order of Battle for the Battlecruiser Fleet part of the Grand Fleet:

British Grand Fleet
The Battlecruiser Fleet

1st Battlecruiser Squadron 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron 5th Battle Squadron 1st Light Cruiser Squadron
 HMS Lion  HMS New Zealand  HMS Barham  HMS Galatea
 HMS Princess Royal  HMS Indefatigable  HMS Valiant  HMS Phaeton
 HMS Queen Mary  HMS Warspite  HMS Inconstant
 HMS Tiger  HMS Malaya  HMS Cordelia
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron Seaplane Carrier
 HMS Southampton  HMS Falmouth  HMS Engadine
 HMS Birmingham  HMS Yarmouth
 HMS Nottingham  HMS Birkenhead
 HMS Dublin  HMS Gloucester
1st Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Fearless HMS Defender
1st Division
1st Destroyer Flotilla
2nd Division
1st Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Acheron  HMS Badger
 HMS Ariel  HMS Lizard
 HMS Attack  HMS Goshawk
 HMS Hydra  HMS Lapwing
9th Destroyer Flotilla – attached Harwich Destroyers
1st Division
9th Destroyer Flotilla
 2nd Division
9th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Lydiard  HMS Moorsom
 HMS Liberty  HMS Laurel
 HMS Landrail  HMS Morris
13th Destroyer Flotilla
 Flotilla Leader:  HMS Champion
 1st Division
13th Destroyer Flotilla
 2nd Division
13th Destroyer Flotilla
3rd Division
13th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Obdurate  HMS Nestor  HMS Narborough
 HMS Nerissa  HMS Nomad  HMS Pelican
 HMS Temagant  HMS Nicator  HMS Petard
 HMS Moresby  HMS Onslow  HMS Turbulent

The Battlecruiser Fleet is now sorted I think. There were less issues with its OOB than there was with the Battle Fleet. The two destroyers, HMS Termagant and HMS Turbulent were attached to then 13th Destroyer Flotilla from the 9th Flotilla, the Harwich force.

I’m looking forward to getting some paint on these.

The next step will be to sort the High Seas Fleet of Germany.

WIP – The Jutland Project – Part 1 – British Grand Fleet – The Battle Fleet

I mentioned somewhere before that one of the wargame projects I was planning for 2015 was to paint both the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet from the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrakschlacht in the German). Rather than chasing up the history of the battle as there are quite a number of books concerning this battle, I thought, that as this was a fairly well-known and studied battle, I would start with getting the Order of Battle of both fleets worked out.

Now that turned out to be a challenge. So far, I think I have sorted the British Grand Fleet although I must admit that part of the order is a little confusing. There are four destroyers, namely HMS Shark, Acasta, Christopher, and Ophelia. These four vessels are sometimes listed in the 4th Destroyer Flotilla and at other times attached to the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron as its destroyer flotilla. I am assuming that the latter is the case. I started with the Battle Fleet and have therefore assumed the following Order of Battle for the Battle Fleet part of the Grand Fleet:

British Grand Fleet
The Battle Fleet

 2nd Battle Squadron  4th Battle Squadron
1st Division 2nd Division 3rd Division 4th Division
 HMS King George  HMS Orion  HMS Iron Duke  HMS Benbow
 HMS Ajax  HMS Monarch  HMS Royal Oak  HMS Bellerophon
 HMS Centurion  HMS Conqueror  HMS Superb  HMS Temeraire
 HMS Erin  HMS Thunderer  HMS Canada  HMS Vanguard
1st Battle Squadron
6th Division 5th Division 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron Attached Light Cruisers
attached from Harwich Force
 HMS Marlborough  HMS Colossus  HMS Invincible  HMS Canterbury
 HMS Revenge  HMS Collingwood  HMS Inflexible  HMS Chester
 HMS Hercules  HMS Neptune  HMS Indomitable
 HMS Agincourt  HMS St Vincent Attached Destroyers from the 4th Flotilla
 HMS Shark  HMS Christopher
 HMS Acasta  HMS Ophelia
1st Cruiser Squadron
(Armoured Cruisers)
2nd Cruiser Squadron
(Armoured Cruisers)
4th Light Cruiser Squadron Attached Light Cruisers
 HMS Defence  HMS Minotaur  HMS Calliope  HMS Active
 HMS Warrior  HMS Hampshire  HMS Constance  HMS Bellona
 HMS Duke of Edinburgh  HMS Cochrane  HMS Caroline  HMS Blanche
 HMS Black Prince  HMS Shannon  HMS Royalist  HMS Boadicea
 HMS Comus
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Foltilla Leader:  HMS Tipperary  2nd half-flotilla 4th Destroyer Flotilla
  1st half-flotilla
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Group 8
4th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Broke  4th Division
4th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Spitfire  HMS Owl  3rd Division
4th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Achates
 HMS Sparrowhawk  HMS Hardy   HMS Porpoise  HMS Ambuscade
 HMS Garland  HMS Mischief  HMS Unity  HMS Ardent
 HMS Contest  HMS Midge  HMS Fortune
11th Destroyer Flotilla
 Flotilla Leader:  HMS Castor  2nd half-flotilla 11th Destroyer Flotilla
 1st half-flotilla 11th Destroyer Flotilla  Flotilla Leader:  HMS Kempenfelt
 2nd Division
11th Destroyer Flotilla
3rd Division
11th Destroyer Flotilla
4th Division
11th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Ossory  HMS Mystic  HMS Marne  HMS Moon
 HMS Martial  HMS Mons  HMS Milbrook  HMS Mounsey
 HMS Magic  HMS Mandate  HMS Manners  HMS Morning Star
 HMS Minion  HMS Michael
 12th Destroyer Flotilla
 Flotilla Leader:  HMS Faulknor
1st half-flotilla 12th Destroyer Flotilla 2nd half-flotilla 12th Destroyer Flotilla
 1st Division
12th Destroyer Flotilla
 2nd Division
12th Destroyer Flotilla
 HMS Obedient  HMS Maenad  HMS Marksman  HMS Menace
 HMS Mindful  HMS Narwhal  HMS Opal  HMS Munster
 HMS Marvel  HMS Nessus  HMS Nonsuch  HMS Mary Rose
 HMS Onslaught  HMS Noble
 Miscellaneous
 HMS Abdiel
(Minelayer)
 HMS Oak
(Destroyer tender to HMS Iron Duke)

OK,  so that is the Battle Fleet sorted I think. The next major step will be to sort the Battle Cruisers and attending support vessels. Last will be the High Seas Fleet of Germany. The steps after that will be:

  1. Preparing the name tags – both temporary names for under the bases and the permanent names for the sides of bases
  2. Cutting the bases
  3. Adding magnets to the bottom of the bases
  4. Creating a sea surface on the base
  5. painting the Ships and ocean base
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all vessels painted
  7. Add name tags to the side of the bases
  8. Varnish the vessels
  9. Play a game and swear never to paint so many ships in a project again (of course, that will only last until I paint my World War 2 Pacific stuff – three fleets – US Navy, British and Commonwealth Forces and of course, the Japanese

Anchors aweigh!

The one more project continues – the megalomania strikes!

I mentioned that there was one more project being planned. Doug and I had decided on the American Revolution (or in his case, the American War of Independence), The plan was to purchase a few packets of plastic figures, paint them up and have them ready for battle overChristmas 2015. We decided to each buy a set or two of figures and swap the British and the Americans. We had decided on 2 boxes of Infantry, half a box of artillery and a handful of Indians each. 40mm frontage, rules to be decided!

Doug ordered some Highlanders, Indians, cavalry and the mixed grenadiers and light infantry. He also ordered the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse Revolutionary War from IMEX and some Italeri British Light Cavalry

He was then going to package the americans and half the Indians and send them on so I could get painting – oh, and  half the artillery.

He noted that

As far as I can tell, we will end up with:

British
16 cavalry (+ 1 wounded)
88 usuable british infantry (+ spares) + 4 mounted
16 british grenadiers
16 light company skirmishers
4 guns + 24 figures
42 usable scots figures
24(48) indian figures

American
84 usable militia + 4 mounted
24(48) indians
4 guns + 24 figures

Doug also suggested that I may need a box of French.

I must admit, that I may have misinterpreted his original email because when I ordered some British Infantry to do a paint conversion to French. I also ordered 2 boxes of American War Of Independence – American Infantry from Italeri, an American Revolution War Of The Patriots Set from IMEX and two boxes of IMEX British Redcoats

I would have ordered IMEX Americans instead of Italeri but they were out of stock.

A calculation was made by Doug last night and his email noted:

“You do realise just how many infantry you are going to have? rough count, each box is 50 and the set around 100, so with the ones here, 100, you will have another 100 in the boxed set, another 100 from your two Italeri boxes, and with the Brits painted up as French – you could have up to 150 of those!”

All up, then we will have (approximately):

Redbox Highlanders – 50
Indians – 50
Dragoons – 32
Grenadiers & Lights – 32
16 artillery & crew
Americans – 300
British – 300

So if 50 Brits were used as French … that would be approximately:

American
25 Indians
16 Light Dragoons
50 French Infantry
8 artillery pieces
300 ‘Patriots’

roughly 375 foot

British
25 Indians
16 Light Dragoons
50 Highlanders
32 Grenadiers & Lights
8 artillery
250 Line Infantry

roughly 357 foot

Megalomania indeed!

Yet one more project

OK, Christmas, the odd beer or ten too many, a late night and a brilliant idea. All these items conspired to have Doug and myself decide that we were going to leap into a new period, a new project, in a scale that was at least new(ish) to me and in a medium that apart from World War 2 and the odd aircraft model, neither of us work in.

The image to the right is a pretty good hint.

So, Doug has sent an order off for some appropriate plastic figures in 1.72 scale, and I am in the process of doing the same thing As we hae been buying some sets, there is a period of figure swapping going to occur.

The plan is to shape up for the battle next Christmas, over the aforementioned odd beer or 10 too many!

Just what I needed, another project in the year that I decided to paint the fleets of Jutland!

Still, it is a good book, especially if you have an interest in that period.

Electronics? How hard can it be?

The Kit - all the bits!

The Kit – all the bits!

When I was back in Oz over Christmas I noticed that both Jeffro and Steve were mucking around with some electronics stuff. Now, I’d always had a passing interest. Dad was a plumber and really, electronics can’t be all that different can it? After all, what goes in must come out, mustn’t it?

So, armed with the $89 electronics kit, I started on my road to understanding the vagaries of electronics tonight. It was just a little something to play with after working on a proposal and before sleeping.

And just the bits for the first, albeit simple, project

And just the bits for the first, albeit simple, project

I grabbed the bits I needed.

Now to understand what they were. I needed a diode (red or green). That was easy to find. I also needed a 470 ohm resistor (sounds like I know what I am talking about doesn’t it). Now, resistors have bands of colour on them and the combination of colours tells you what size they are. Fortunately my desk lamp has a magnifying glass in the middle of it so it was easier to determine which were the 470 ohm resistors as compared to the 1K and 10K ones.

And so the assembly begins into the breadboard.

And it's built. Now to muck around with the code that makes it blink

And it’s built. Now to muck around with the code that makes it blink

Now I know this doesn’t look that complicated. Whack the red LED into the breadboard, run a resistor in series from the negative end of the diode, ground all that from the breadboard to the microcontroller board (that’ll be the black wire) and then connect the active (blue) wire from microcontroller header number 13 back to the positive end of the LED.

Plug it in and it should work. To make life simple, the first project is pre-coded into the microcontroller so if everything has been done correctly, then the LED blinks about once a second for a second.

Easy. I then went into the editor that you can download with this kit and started hacking the code around, changing the blink sequence and so on. What appears below is the final output with a half second blink, half second off, one second on and then one second off.

Now I am looking forward to the next project … controlling 8 LEDs (oh, and I have a couple of painting projects coming up as well).

General Quarters – World War 1 – Destroyers – Part 2

I posed the question yesterday about the basing of destroyers and TBDs for my 2015 Jutland project. I mentioned that in the past, I would have based them all individually but given the number of destroyers present at Jutland, I was thinking about a number of different basing options:

  • Base them individually – but there are a lot of them – in fact on the British side, 26 × Light Cruisers and 79 × Destroyers with the Germans deploying 11 × Light Cruisers and 61 × Torpedo Boats
  • Base a single leader for each flotilla instead of all the vessels individually and scale up the armament on the base to represent the full flotilla’s firepower
  • Base the whole flotilla (that is, all the vessels that make it up) on a single base, and scale up the armament for the full flotilla’s firepower – but this is a lot of vessels.
  • Base by half flotilla
  • Base by division (which is where I am leaning towards at the moment)

I did like the options of basing either by half flotilla or division. After playing with the ships on a cm square grid, I came to the conclusion that if I was going to bulk base, that I would need to base by division. A half flotilla (two divisions) would just take up too much area. Basing by division would give me a base approximately 4cm wide with four vessels based, either in line abreast or oblique.

However, I think I am going to opt for single basing of the destroyers and TBDs, along with all the other vessels. The destroyers will be on a base 1cm wide which is big enough to handle, also big enough to model a little sea on the base and to carry the vessel’s name down the side.

The pictures below give and idea of the relative size of the destroyers to a battle ship (in this case, HMS Agamemnon). You can also see the full 4th destroyer flotilla laid out with flotilla leader and half flotilla leaders shown. I used a number of Admiralty M-class destroyers for the testing.

General Quarters – World War 1 – Destroyers

With the Pope visiting the Philippines, I have some spare time over these days to consider some of my hobby tasks for the year. Why can I do that? The Philippines declared public holidays for yesterday, today and Monday. Of course, I will be working for some of this time as our project moves towards some deliverables (not quite a sprint but more like a fast paced jog) but I also have some extra spare time. This will allow me to finish some stuff for Mal (set for this afternoon) as well as starting to look at the Jutland Project for this year.

Yep, a wargamer with a project. Actually, a wargamer with a number of projects and I will get around to writing up this year’s crop soon. However, I have started to thinking about the Battle of Jutland. It is the 100-year anniversary of that battle next year and as I have both the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet sitting around in 1/3000 scale waiting for paint, I thught I would do them this year.

Of course, in addition to painting them, I will also be looking at playing the odd game with them. Some battleship vs battleship, of course, along with the struggle of the battle cruisers come to mind. I also enjoy small ship actions like a good swirling destroyer/TBD fracas.

My question at the moment relates to the destroyers as well. In the past, I would have (and did) base them all individually. However, with Jutland, there are a lot of them. I am therefore thinking about a number of basing options, namely:

  • Base them individually – but there are a lot of them – in fact on the British side, 26 × Light Cruisers and 79 × Destroyers with the Germans deploying 11 × Light Cruisers and 61 × Torpedo Boats
  • Base a single leader for each flotilla instead of all the vessels individually and scale up the armament on the base to represent the full flotilla’s firepower
  • Base the whole flotilla (that is, all the vessels that make it up) on a single base, and scale up the armament for the full flotilla’s firepower – but this is a lot of vessels.
  • Base by half flotilla
  • Base by division (which is where I am leaning towards at the moment)

Now, I like the fourth and fifth options above. If basing the half flotilla or division I am not worrying so much about the distance between vessels and would base them line abreast, otherwise, if line astern, I guess it would be a very long thin base.

Now, the problem with a flotilla base is the sheer numbers. For example, let’s take the 4th Destroyer Flotilla. It consisted of:

HMS Tipperary as the flotilla leader

The flotilla was then divided into two half flotillas which were further subdivided into two Divisions of three to five vessels. The First Half-Flotilla consisted of two divisions:

HMS Spitfire
HMS Sparrowhawk
HMS Garland
HMS Contest

HMS Owl
HMS Hardy
HMS Mischief
HMS Midge

The second half flotilla had as its flotilla leader HMS Broke with the two divisions consisting of:

HMS Porpoise
HMS Unity

HMS Achates
HMS Ambuscade
HMS Ardent
HMS Fortune

I can see me getting out some models and spending some time with a piece of paper and pen trying out various flotilla configurations – perhaps line abreast, perhaps an oblique structure.

I do have smaller figures Anthony

Anthony has often teased me about my love of 6mm figures, with the usual remarks about too small to paint, too small to see and so on.

I thought then I should show him some of my 2mm figures. These are painted for Land Ironclads and Aeronefs. The figures are from Irregular Miniatures and form part of the French contingent for my Peshawar project, when I get around to doing some more on that.

The grid in the pictures is 10mm square. There is also a beer bottle top there for reference to size.

 

2015 Non Wargaming Projects

My Raspberry Pi

My Raspberry Pi

I had been considering one of these for a while. Jeffrey managed to read my mind and sent me one for my birthday but that appears to have disappeared into the aether, possibly because of the moves from Singapore to Indonesia to the Philippines. He decided to make it a Christmas present and organised another one to be delivered. This time he sent it to his address in Oz. Yep, he gave me a Raspberry Pi for Christmas.

My immediate plans for this little beauty, once I get back to Manila that is, is for a few nights just playing with it, then develop it into a media server for the apartment. I can then use it as a portal into what he describes as “JBOD” storage (JBOD – Just a Bunch Of Disks). Those disks hold my music collection as well as TV series, movies etc. I can’t quite take the step of switching off my copies and purely streaming but then I also spend time away from the Internet.

Anyway, the Raspberry Pi will also allow me to ease access into the collection from outside the apartment so perhaps I will head in the streaming direction.

The electronics kit

The electronics kit

When I was at Jeff’s, before heading to Canberra for Christmas, I noticed that he had an electronics kit that he was building models of things from. Steve down in Canberra also had a kit. Now I have always been interested in electronics but never really got around to having a close look at it, rather outsourcing my electronic needs in my younger days to Doug Reid who understood these things.

I stopped into Jaycar in Coffs Harbour the other day and there was the Freetronics kit. $90 or so. I bought it and will take this back to Manila with me as well. This way I can spend a couple of nights each week mucking around with the computers and electronics, away from the project work that I am doing and at the same time learn something I have been meaning to do for the last 30 years or so.

I shall have a cup of tea before approaching security checks in Sydney on Sunday though! :-)