Let's Make Robots!

Dagu Rover 5 2WD + 2Encoders + PCB + Arduino Mega + Pan & Tilt with IR

Hi All, As a complete novice at this I thought it would be a great idea to get a Dagu Rover 5 with the addons for the kids at school and start up a club to program it. How wrong I was! I am in need of some serious help guys... I've managed to plug everything in, the 2 motors and encoders on the underside of the PCB board and have chosen not to use the 6xAA battery pack (9V) in favour of a single 9V battery (fits better under the PCB with all the cables). Problem number 1 is this: I think I am plugging in the black and red cables into the PCB in the correct locations - on the top side of the PCB are 6 inserts for cables (GND, 3.3V, GND, VOC, GND, +UB) Am I right in thinking that the black goes to GND and the red goes to 3.3V? It makes the red 'LED2' come on so I'm presuming it is right, the only issue is that the power switch won't turn the LED off? Problem number is this: I cannot find any documentation anywhere online that shows me how to wire up the Arduinio Mega with the PCB with the Pan and Tilt with the IR sensor. If I can't do this I don't think the kiddies in school will be able to, although they probably could at some point in time. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated guys. Sidenote: Also have some Asuro robots just getting soldered together with snake eyes :)

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I don't have a seperate motor controller as I have the below item http://www.thelittlebritishrobotcompany.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=100 I can change the battery pack that isn't an issue but the rest of it i.e. where do all the cables plug in and where the arduino code for basic programming is located. The other Dagu products seem to have much more support than this model.
9V - Could I use that battery as a power source for the Arduino Mega instead of the Rover 5?

First off, you should NOT connect any power supply to the 3.3v pin. This is 3.3v regulated OUT from the board. Now, beyond that...

Disconnect everything. With everything connected, you simply have a much higher chance of frying something. Now, as with all robot stuff, you need to break this into steps. Each step must be learned individually. I would start with the mega and power. Research the Mega, read its data sheet, etc. You will find that it needs somewhere around 7-12 volts or so for its on-board regulators to work. Give it this power and confirm that it is on. Put your finger on some of the parts and be sure they are not hot. (Hot is bad (generally))

Start with the simple blink program, it is in the Arduino IDE. Get good ol' pin 13 to blink. 

Next, move on to your motors. Read data sheets (for the mega, motor shield and robot itself). Get just your motors going. Learn how to change direction, speed etc.

Now, add a servo. Just one servo. Learn how to sweep it etc. Learn For-loops. Add the second servo.

On to your sensor...

Etc. etc. 

 

There is no other way of doing this my friend.

Connected the 6xAA to the PCB Connected the PCB 3.3V to the arduino switches on and charges via the 9V in Have run the led test on pin 13 and that works. Motors are next I guess
Where did I say i was using Alkaline? I'm using 6xAA NiMh for the Rover and piggy backed that via the 3.3V to the Arduino i.e. 6x AA > PCB Power Input > PCB 3.3V > Arduino 3.3V input
Thanks for the offer, much appreciated. The Arduino seems to be working as expected, the blink program works fine, going to test it a little bit more tomorrow by doing the sciguy's youtube tutorial with some LEDs and a breadboard. I have a backup UNO just in case though. As I said earlier, I have the Rover 2WD + Encoders with the addon PCB + Arduino Mega + Pan & Tilt + IR Head Kit. If it is possible for anyone to do an illustration of where the wires all get plugged in and the sketches as a starting point as the kids (or myself for that matter) have never looked at C programming or this cut dow version in Arduino. They can have a bash at understanding it (and I can break it down into plain English for them) from that point. Thanks in advance.