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Well, another step forward - just ordered my first PCB

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  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,760 posts
Well, another step forward - just ordered my first PCB
Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 7:40 PM

 Yeah right, you might say. First PCB? Aren't you an EE? Yeah, but I never woorked as an EE, and thus far anything I built for myself I just point to point wired it.

 Frankly, I could have done the same here. But I wanted to see how this goes before starting a more complex circuit (which I already have a schematic for). This one is super simple, actually, it's a programmer for ATMega 328P micros, which will be in all my other circuits. With a nifty ZIF socket for the chip to be programmed. It's basically the same as the one I made for ATTiny85's, except that one I hand wired on a protoype shield to plug into an Arduino Nano. The ATMega programmer firs an Arduino Nano on the board to be the driver.

 Assuming it all checks out, in a week or soo I'll have 10 boards. I only need 1, so if they are good I guess I'll have 9 boards for anyone interested. Not selling anything, heck it only cost me $2 for the 10. The schematic comes right from an Arduino sketch included with the IDE as an example - it's the Arduino as ISP sketch. I used EasyEDA for this one, since they are tied to a large parts supplier as well as a board maker, and they have libraries and footprints for every part they sell, though in this case I don't need to buy any components, I have plenty of everything on hand. Since my project is on EasyEDA, and I made it public, anyone can go take a look. Use this link (I think)(you might have to sign up to actually open anything - it's free though, sorry)

https://easyeda.com/megaslug/Atmel-Programmer-using-ArduinoISP

Next up, if this proves successful, will be my turnout controller. I have some mods to make to the schematic because I figured out how to use the same circuit to control 2 turnouts via central control or 3 using only local control, so I can use the same circuit for the mainline dispatcher controlled turnouts (with local control buttons that can be locked out) and for places like yards where the turnouts will always be manually activated. Insteadof designing 2 different circuits. It will simply depend on what components you populate as to which function the board will have.

 That one is wholly my own design and will also be freely made available as Open Source Hardware for anyone to make and use. The software for it is still a work in progress, but that will also be made freely available. I have no desire to get into the model railroad business, I'm making this stuff for my own use, and if someone else wants to use them as well - be my guest.

                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Northeast OH
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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 8:23 PM

While I don't have the knowledge base and understanding you have in EE, Randy, I did work as an electronics tech for nearly 4 years and enjoyed wiring/ski wiring and repairing prototype PCBs.  Yea, 0402 & 0603 resistors and caps were regular items on the menu for me.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this project turns out.  And I hear what you are saying about sharing your knowledge/projects with other modelers.  That's part of the enjoyment of the hobby for me.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,760 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 1:28 PM

 Boards arrived today. They look good, have to see if I got it all correct when I wire one up. Hopefully over the weekend.

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,629 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 8:57 PM

rrinker
Boards arrived today. They look good, have to see if I got it all correct when I wire one up. Hopefully over the weekend.                                    --Randy

I'll cross my fingers!

Dave

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,760 posts
Posted by rrinker on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 9:43 PM

 Doh! Was SURE I had some female header pins around - but no. I don;t want to solder the Arduino Nano right to the board, if something goes wrong it will be a real pain to desolder 30 pins (one of these days I will get a proper desoldering station - I should just order the darn thing, it actually is a 3 in one, pencil iron, desoldering vacuum gun, and a hot air gun - this would relegate my existing soldering station to the railroad bench).

 So luckily there are many packs of female headers on Amazon with Prime shipping, so I will have them Friday.

 I STILl think I have female headsers somewhere - why I woould have ever bought them escapes me. I found my supply of male straight and right angle, and 2x3 (for ICSP headers on Nanos). I need to lable my stoorage bins - I have most of my parts and subassemblies inventoried in a really neat onine inventory system, just don;t have all my resistors and caps in it. No female headers listed as in stock there, so maybe i was just dreaming I had them.

                                       --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,760 posts
Posted by rrinker on Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:58 AM

 And .......

 It works!

Took a little fiddling to get the settings all correct to program an ATMega328P, but once I got it all set up properly, I was able to program both of the extra chips I had. No modifications needed to my circuit on the board, just solder in all the parts and it worked.

                                    --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 8,629 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:53 AM

rrinker
 And .......  It works!

Congratulations Randy!

Dave

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Omaha, NE
  • 9,262 posts
Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:44 PM

Polychlorinated biphenol (PCB) is a hazardous oil used to cool electrical transformers and electrical equipment.

 

Dave H. Painted side goes up.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 24,760 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 7:01 PM

 And PCP is a dangerous drug - what does that have to do with circuit boards? Laugh

 PCBs are why there are no operational GG1s. All those on display have had the hazardous materials removed.

                                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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