So, today was supposed to be the day I tackled mobile power on the robot... You know, getting this thing to drive around without a tail.
I decided the best way to do this would be to build my own power supply, running off the 24V batteries from the wheelchair... Great Idea! Right? ... No.
Two fires later, I've learned I am absolutely not an authority when it comes to building power supplies... In fact, I could easily give lessons, quite well, on how NOT to build a power supply.
The real problem was I bought this great little case enclosure for all of my electronics, and thought to my self, "You MUST build a power supply that will fit within this box, alongside the Arduino and Interface controller to drive the chair." Afterall, a robot isn't a robot unless its purty as well.
I bought myself the wrong size capacitors, which caused one to blow up... LITERALLY. I didn't even know that was possible.
After I beefed those up, I plugged in the joystick, using a stick to turn on the power supply... (That should have been the first red flag, no? I mean... if you don't even want to touch what you just built...) To my surprise, the power supply came to life! Hooray!... Or, wait, no. Why does it smell like smoke? Apparently I shorted out the ground to the joystick and the actual wheel chair joystick was now on fire.
After quickly turning off power and assessing damage, it appeared to have just been a wire that burnt up... cleaned that up, replaced the wire and the chair now starts again... with out my power supply.
I'm in the process of finding the short now, and then will start looking for a bigger stick to turn it on.