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To modify the order of scenery packs, open the scenery_packs.ini file with a text editor of your choice, and simply move the scenery pack line to a different location in the list (i.e., higher for those packs you most want to see and lower for those it is less important to see). Additionally, the XAddonManager utility may be helpful for managing a large amount of custom scenery or downloaded objects.
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Though a significant percentage of robots in commission today are either human controlled or operate in a static environment, there is an increasing interest in robots that can operate autonomously in a dynamic environment. These robots require some combination of navigation hardware and software in order to traverse their environment. In particular, unforeseen events (e.g. people and other obstacles that are not stationary) can cause problems or collisions. Some highly advanced robots such as ASIMO and Meinü robot have particularly good robot navigation hardware and software. Also, self-controlled cars, Ernst Dickmanns' driverless car, and the entries in the DARPA Grand Challenge, are capable of sensing the environment well and subsequently making navigational decisions based on this information, including by a swarm of autonomous robots. Most of these robots employ a GPS navigation device with waypoints, along with radar, sometimes combined with other sensory data such as lidar, video cameras, and inertial guidance systems for better navigation between waypoints.
Once you've selected your drivers it's time to begin planning out the cabinet. Work with your component provider to choose a box design that best matches your specific components. If you're building a kit, a box design should have come along with your drivers and crossover plans. Box design can make a $5 driver sound like a speaker that costs $500 retail, but if it's not designed and built correctly, it can also make a $500 driver sound like it was ripped out of an old transistor radio. DIY speaker builders can't make their own drivers very easily, but we do build our own speaker cabinets, so that's where we tinker, innovate, build with care, and shine. As a result, it's the cabinet design and execution that we spend the most time on. Cabinet design decisions start at the basics, like the volume of the cabinet, whether it will be sealed or ported, how much bracing the cabinet needs, what thickness material it should be made out of and what height the tweeter should be mounted at so that it's in line with the listeners ears.From there, it progresses to more complex and acoustic decisions like rounding over the corners to reduce interference, building elaborate horn structures to amplify the sound, using exotic materials to further dampen resonant frequencies, line arrays to gain efficiency, mounting drivers at different distances from the listener to accommodate for the fact that high frequencies travel slightly faster than low frequencies, and eliminating parallel faces - the surfaces that create resonant frequencies, by building poly-faceted cabinets, or better, spheres, rather than the standard rectangular cabinet. That being said, the vast majority of DIY speaker builders start with a straightforward, rectangular cabinet design that even though lacks the bells and whistles, and highly engineered elements listed above, still sounds fantastic.An example of a MTM bookshelf speaker speaker design appears below from Zalytron.
With the sides, top and bottom of the cabinets drying, it's a good time to start work on the front and back panels. First time builders may choose to simplify this step and simply cut a large circle opening for the speaker driver to mount in. In that case, the speaker drivers' frame will rest on the surface of the speaker, protruding an 1/8" or so. For a truly professional look, however, you'll want to recess the drivers so that they mount flush with the front face. In either case, the first step is to cut out a circle that accommodates your driver. I use a plunge router fitted with a Jasper Circle Jig. This Jasper Jig allows be to cut a circle of just about any size up between 2" and 18". If you don't happen to have this handy router and circle jig set up, the old drawing a circle using a piece of string tied around a nail works pretty darn well too. Then, simply cut carefully along your line with a jig saw and you're in business.If you are using a router, use a 1/8" or 1/4" straight bit to cut out the circle so you end up removing as little material as possible. The wider the bit, the more material you have to eat through, the more dust you create, and the slower the process goes. Make multiple passes, incrementally plunging deeper and deeper through the front face.Once the circles are cut, it's time to tackle the optional recess.To do this you need to create a pattern template. Carefully trace, draw, plot, copy, CNC cut, or laser cut the outer pattern of your driver onto a thin piece of material creating a template. Technical drawings for speaker components can usually be found on the manufacturers or resellers website. Recreate a pattern in a drafting program of your choice from the drawings and produce the actual pattern piece. Remember, this step is totally optional!Once the patterns have been created, center and mount it into place on the front face. I'm using some simple wood screws in the photos below. Then, using a good router and a sharp straight bit fit with a pattern bushing collar on it, simply trace the pattern at the proper depth to create the recess.Elliot from Zalytron has been kind enough to use his vast library of patterns to route the driver recesses for me when they're too complex for me to generate on my own - so if you're sourcing components from him, see if he can help you out.
After all the glue has dried, there will likely be a small amount of hardened glue that was squeezed out by the clamps. Use a power sander to take this off and sand all edges flush. Try not to sand off too much, since the more that you do, the more out of true and square your cabinet becomes. Also, be careful to sand only one surface at a time and never round over the corners. You'll want those crisp lines when you apply our finishing material.
Before any of the actual components get installed, you've got to do all of the finishing work. Most speaker cabinets are finished with a wood veneer that's got some kind of lacquer, varnish, or polyurethane product applied to it, but don't let that limit your imagination. These are you speakers and you can make them look however you like! It won't affect the sound quality really at all, as that's all in the cabinet construction, so go nuts and make them look beautiful!Some creative ideas I've seen around the web are linked to below. Since the speakers I made were built as the prize for the Art of Sound contest, we went with something unique, bold and festive...in other words, bright orange and white upholstered vinyl with black edge piping for the towers, spray on pickup truck bed liner, 3" chrome plates spikes and waterjet cut steel flames for the subwoofer, and fur covered, eye patch toting, horned and toothed monster treatment for the bookshelf speakers.Creative designs:Tree SpeakersTIE FightersRubiks Cube SubwooferConcrete Speakers}The process of veneering requires an entire Instructable on it's own. The basic concept can be described as taking a very thin layer of a good looking hard wood, like maple, cherry, oak etc., and adhering it onto a less beautiful substance, in this case MDF or MEDEX. For the basic concept check out Rockler's Veneering page.For more info you can also read Veneering: A Foundation Course on Google Books.
With all the driver mounted and all components in position, it's time for the big moment, the first real test run of the speakers.Assuming that you can bare the suspense, carefully carry them to a good quality amplifier in a well dampened room, or wherever you plan on keeping them. Hook up speaker wire, power up your amp, and reach for your best mastered, best sounding CD, record, or dare I say, iPod.There's virtually endless debate on what to play to "break speakers in" or test them with, but I've found that it's just best to play what you like, and what you've listened to most. You ears will remember what it has sounded like in the past, and hopefully, if all has gone to plan, will notice the huge improvement that you're now hearing.I've found that Pink Floyd The Wall Disk 1, and more specifically "Mother" is an excellent track to test with. It starts off slow and low, so you're inclined to crank the volume up higher than you should at the beginning (this is a good thing), and then, around a minute or so into the track, it explodes in a rich sound stage, excellently mastered, and beautifully balanced, giving your speakers a real chance to shine. While the list of well mastered and arranged music is constantly growing, many DIY enthusiasts can agree that even though it's a bit dated at this point, Pink Floyd just sounds bigger and better then a lot of what's out there.Speakers need a break-in period of time, or at least the industry big wigs claim that they do. I've found that the sound does tend to break in a bit, but for the most part, how the sound for the first time is a pretty good indicator of how they'll sound in 5 years.Once the test is complete you should be grinning ear to ear, proud of your achievement and excited to re-listen to all of your music, knowing that it's not only sounding better then it ever has before, but that you made the whole thing possible, from start to finish.