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Sharing some project planning phase: A (digital) ELECTRO-MECHANICAL Network

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(Inspired by coppercone2's thread, on various 3-D arrays, pls see '...Space-Time Simulation Network, (eevblog Technical Chat section).

   Some 'niche' applications benefit when alternate solutions are applied, as, for example: a data transfer network having sensors, and some digital 'logic', but also immersed in harsh a volcano interior...
   At any rate, a fairly simple process, designing interconnecting path 'switches' allows for a series string network of (separate) stations, each individually accessable. The concept has each station in one of two modes: An active or controlled (rotary) output, or, a mode 'transparent' where some mechanical signal set is merely let 'through' to drive a same-format set (of rotary signal shafts).
   So, one of those 'rotary signals' is either used as 'data', of sorts, or can be used to do 'work' as CW and CCW rotations (CCW = counter clockwise).
   In this (current) plan, for the network construction project, there are 3 separate parallel signals, called simply 'A', 'B', and 'C'.
The plan theory of operation, resembles 'Leap Frog' actions where, for example, a first signal, 'SEL', or 'SELECT' enables a next use of the 'A' column, then a second signal, 'A' enables column 'B', and that X shaped 'leap frog' crosses and re-crosses, between the two columns, progressing (upwards direction on paper diagram). Meanwhile, signal column 'C' outputs get switched, along with 'B' column. This is why the passively switched signals in 'C' are termed as 'CLIENT' function signals. A Client signal, or rotary 'shaft' output would be doing any actual work, such as winding up (or down, release) of a string winding bobbin.
  PICT illustrates, the approximate type of 'Worm Gear' type useful as mechanical 'outputs', with position 'holding' power when any (rotary) forces have stopped.
   Plans include a series connected string of, perhaps 8 such stations, featuring 8 separate, individually accessable shaft outputs, each considered a digital 'zero or one's resolved number.

Pict showing small electric DC PM motor, driving a nylon worm gear. (Example from toy having reciprocal CCW-CW movements).

Here is a second example PICT, included is the small PC board and custom micro-processor under a 'blob'.
  With larger mechanical networks, there might be several sub-system controller IC's. This picture also conveys approximate view and size, of ONE mechanical station, of 8, in one version. Then, of course, there can be 8 rows, for a 2-D network (8 by 8,)
and a possible 3-D configuration having (8 by 8 by 8), if the 2-D arrays are repeated 8 times...
  Now, so that is 512 individually accessable, (or addressable), but motor total count being 64...BUT, each string gets 4 motors, not one.
So, that's 256, actual, motors, when multiplied out.

You can appreciate, how such networks get impractical, past a point. A (5 by 5 by 5) network has much less shear bulk, but even a 5 X 5 X 5 network, gets big enough to demand special approaches. The concept here, is to use many, many plastic -printed parts, gears and rubber wheels, while reducing motor count requirements.

So I'm treading on 'failure ground' a bit: but a lot accomplished, and better defined the problem, when 3-D ARRAYS component counts skyrocket...
   The best, is ability to skip some number of motors, then creating systems, mainly looks like strings of variable length, (station count) and requiring 4 motors, usually small DC PM toy size motors.
  Check out the waveform diagram, a processor output
causes rotary 'transfer' from (actual) motor, which can be either direction, CW or CCW.
   A 3.3 V system or 5 V system could do the switch move actions.
   Interesting, the 'A' signal shown, acts ahead, causing the stage '2' ahead to position that switch stage, actually. The set-up means that the 'A' signal travels into the following path switch, and emerges as a 'local' signal. That's what acts, then, to Select, the stage 2 ahead of present.

Please see picture, features one 'stage' as a 3 pole path switch, for rotation signalling.
By putting a brief CW or clockwise rotation of 200 milliSec. the path is changed, into 'local'.
That will mean, using a term 'JOB' for example in a stage 5, then an output can be labeled 'JOB5'.
That output, on column 'C', is grouped with col B as both are Col B type signals.
By omitting that motor, shown on left side, the rotary input that positions the SWITCH itself can be just another rotary input, from previous stage, usually.

Here is a fun application, those turn over tags, are similar to the old memory error latching flags.
Here, that's a 7 by 7 array, where you control each flag, along a horiz line row.
So, you have 4 motors  per row, that in itself would need 28 motors !
Shown is a crude attempt to draw a '2' on that 7 x 7 dot matrix.


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