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Thu 11 January 2007


Sun 25 February 2007


Mon 26 March 2007

Also spent another couple of hours re-doing the LED annunciator PCB layout. I think I have a workable solution using a double sided board. 

Sat 26 May 2007

With a slow day on other things I spent a bit more thought and design work on some of the PCB designs. Another test board was laid out to confirm the voltage regulator / LED balast resistors and I started the fabrication process.

Sun 27 May 2007

Only a few hours with other commitments - I did finish making the test PCB - the dimming levels work well and the small bit of custom logic seems to work ok. Just a stepping stone for the bigger solution.

Wed 13 June 2007

Getting real cold outside and am in a low productivity mode at the moment - started the dual layer LED board - this is the 3x2 matrix for the critical indicators - P1 side.
The 'vias' between top and bottom layers are just small wire links - seems to work ok although the alignment is very fiddly.
Finished board, ready for wiring and the additional LEDs. LEDs are currently on order from RS components (deliveries from Auckland, Sydney and London!) and the wire I got from Stein last week.

Sat 16 June 2007

Laid out and twisted the multi core cable bundle for the LED panels. Dog comb worked well for keeping the tangling to a minimum.
Wired up for testing - looks good. Currently using white paper as the mask, provides a good dead facing solution, but intensity of colour is a little less than I would like. More research / would like to try a translucent mylar if possible.
The finished 3x2 board from the side, you can see the PCB, carriers, LEDs, standoffs, paper mask, plexi-glass sandwich.

Mon 18 June 2007

I decided a temperature control soldering iron was needed - so another chance to buy more tools.....
Then onto the 3x3 LED board - a few extra photos, one for each of the steps.
Top and bottom accete masks.
Attached to glass plate. The actual laser 'soot' is on the bottom surface and therefore in contact with the PCB board.
Expose to light (UV I think is the important bit) - normally for about 14 mins, repeat on second side.
Develop the mask - the white spacers are to help prevent scratching of the lower surface.
Etch in ferric chloride for ~15 mins and you get a base board
Then lots of drilling, mixture of .6mm, .75mm and #60 and #57 used for the components, #33 for the mounting locations. Via's soldered first, then the DIL sockets.
Finished board ready for LEDs - Forward surface / back of board)
Aft surface / front of board.
Then 4 spacers, #4 thread through the center and parted to the right length to keep the LEDs up tight against the plexi-glass surface.

Tue 19 June 2007

More spacer creation and then assembly.
The finished product - only a single LED lit for this photo, but you can see the final 'look'. Now I need to work on the driver / control board and think about mounting.
Next was the FADEC RS422/RS232 PCB. This is a simple single sided board, and a bit smaller than the others.
After drilling and soldering up - has dual supplies, a fixed voltage regulator and a couple of ICs.

Wed 20 June 2007

PCB design and research. Also looking at the AVR microprocessor chipset 

Fri 22 June 2007

More chip research but also design / layout work is actually productive progress! 

Sat 23 June 2007

Dual speed, dual trim PCB boards - expose, develop and etch step
Drill, populate and solder. Seems to be about a 4-6 hours process for each PCB - that is after the multiple hours doing the design and track layout work.

Sat 30 June 2007

Finally back to plane work - only a couple of hours, but got the annunciator control board masked, developed and etched.

Sun 01 July 2007

Annunciator PCB drilling / layout.
Worked round the smaller (cheaper) resistors and diodes then the connectors, voltage regulators etc. All finished after a few hours. Testing was limited but seems to be working fine.

Sun 08 July 2007

Got the mouser order - including the new AVR microprocessor chips. Still cold / grotty outside so started playing. Took it one step at a time, got a basic power supply, reset line and led connected.

Mon 09 July 2007

The basic "hello world" of embedded system now works - it is a simple flashing LED!

Fri 13 July 2007

More serious AVR work - starting looking at the SD card interface and thinking about coding for FAT file systems.

Short version of multiple days work - I was struggling to understand frequency generation settings, lots of people provided information, but it took about a week of frustration and support from the factory to identify my mistake and the solution. All rather frustrating but part of the learning process of a new technology.

Wed 25 July 2007

This is the planned layout of the new PCB boards on the RHS drop down panel. Annunciator control, dual trim control and RS422/232 convertor at the top.
Spent most of the day turning up threaded spacers for the PCB. Slow but the right solution for a neat finish.

Thu 26 July 2007

The finished layout with spacers. The two left locations are for the CO detector and flap control board.

Thu 16 August 2007

More PCB fabrication - this is a power supply for the ANR headset I have on order. It is a isolated 9V DC supply.
Very simply, when you can find a supplier of the C & D Technologies componenets.

Fri 17 August 2007

Also made a switch mode power supply which can handle up to 3A. This is planned for a DV video camera.

Sun 26 August 2007

More PCB fabrication - UART datalogger - this is double sided which complicates things a little.
The etch was a little problematic, but the alignment came out really well. I tinned the surface mount pads and fixed a problem track. Then started the via and component drilling - a slow process.

Mon 27 August 2007

Finished drilling and soldered up the data logger. The surface mount card adapter actually went well in the end - a nice surprise.

Wed 26 September 2007

Mounted and testing the ANR power supply.

Fri 26 October 2007

We've been chasing a couple of minor electrical bugs for a while - finally managed to work out the issue on the EIS warning light. Simple pull up resistor fix needed.
Carl Morgan