Arduino Snowblower chute control

Author: Dave
Date: 02.13.16 - 6:30am

I am always looking to make things more efficient, one thing I have been thinking in particular is how to make my snowblower experience smoother.

Every time I get to the end of the line I have to come to a stop, take a hand off the machine, and turn the chute to the opposite direction. they've made easy at least it's not crank anymore it's just a lever that I have to throw from left to right, but still I have to stop and it's kind of a pain to move.

I was thinking about adding a thumb joystick so I could move it as I'm turning around. That doesn't seem too bad except it would have to be ergonomically and rugged and waterproof.

So I was out there this morning and I just had a great idea, what I need is to tell the chute, always faced West for example. This way it automatically adjusts itself to the desired direction right while i am moving. They should be able to be done pretty easily with an accelerometer, Arduino, small DC motor, and a couple limit switches.

There will still be times that I need to manually adjust it, as well as a way to specify which direction I want to always point, maybe these two are one and the same. So maybe it still gets a joystick to set the lock direction, and then the accelerometer takes over from there.

That sounds like a pretty good system, that way you don't have to hold the joystick, you just tap it in the direction you want and the microcontroller does the rest. With a lock button so that you can specify absolute direction and then it won't move until reset.

Seems like I should handle most problems. Probably won't get to this until the fall, but I at least wanted to write it down now so I don't lose it.

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