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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 07, 2017 3:29 am 
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Lou,

Just a quick question. I need to buy a wall wart to power the unit, and wondered if you could tell me what the current consumption is?

Thanks,

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 07, 2017 3:34 am 
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I believe the current drain is maybe a 1/2 amp at most so I am using a 9volt 1 amp unit got it on Amazon cheap.

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 07, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Thanks Lou.


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Fri 09, 2017 5:46 pm 
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More progress....
I have made some software changes to make the settings more clear and useful.
1. The marker setting affects the intensity of the marker on the external oscilloscope. I had a bug in the code that made the sweep delay for the bright spot far too long. That is now fixed. The marker is now used to vary the intensity of the marker dot/line when using the external scope display. For the internal display, operation is the same as before.
2. I changed the setting of the bias from a single digit to 2 digits, i.e. from a 0-9 to a 0.0 to 4.9. This will allow for a more precise setting of the bias and level shifting to help set the display centerline while on the internal sweep operation.
3. I changed the Rate control to go from slow at 0 to fast at 9, making it more intuitive.

These changes at contained in a new software release, V1.1, which can be downloaded here:
http://louhaskell.com/data/generator/generator_v1.1.zip
This file contains a v1.1 folder which can be copied into your Arduino directory and then compiled. I addition, I have the .hex file there to be loaded with the XLoader program if you wish to sue that method.

I also have a photo below of the new GUI. Also note that you will see the board mounted in the first prototype of the clear enclosure. I have been designing the enclosure and did the first cutout with the laser last night with my friend who is helping me. If is pretty dramatic seeing the laser cutting the plastic. It does a great job.
Here is a YouTube video of part of the operation. The full cutting and engraving of the lettering takes about 5 minutes.
The case is not yet correct; I have changes to make so will likely have a final in a week or so.

Laser YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMp2gZYHiSc


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 14, 2017 3:32 pm 
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I figured out my errors on the case design and got another laser session with my buddy Tom. The 'final' case is shown below.
There are still a few things that I wish were a bit better. The hole for the connector to reprogram the Arduino will allow for the business end of the connector to fit but not the whole molded body of the connector. On my computer, the Arduino gets power but I cannot program it without taking off the bottom plate of the case. I can enlarge that if I make more cases. The other item that still bugs me is the amount of shaft sticking up above the case top for the 4 controls. With this case, that is right about 0.3". As you can see from the photo, the limiting factor is the height of the heat sink, but that thing is really needed to keep the regulator from getting too hot. I have not found a low profile heat sink but even at that, the current one is only about 0.1" above the tab on the regulator chip itself. I do not have any knobs that fit tightly on those shafts. Ideally, a knob with set screws would be great since those can be adjusted and tightened down. However, I need to do more research to try and find some for a decent price. The bigger issue is the selector knob. That needs to be tight because it is pushed down when changing the value of a digit that is selected. I have no knob for that now. So just putting that out there. If anyone comes up with a good knob, please post!


I had to schedule 2 sessions for laser rental which is pricey at $35/hr and burn though some clear acrylic sheets to do some trial and error.
So I ate that money a bit. However, I have the design now and can make new cases for $15 each (plus shipping) in lots of 2 or more, i.e. I would make some if 2 or more folks wanted one.

I am working on a new software release to kill some bugs and an updated user guide with more info in it. I have updated screenshots of alignment scenarios including both AM and FM radio work.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 14, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Thanks Lou!

I will take a case myself.

I found a few errors on the BOM.

You have R17 listed twice. Once as a 10K and second as a 100 ohm. I believe 10K is the correct value.

Missing D3 and D4 1N4007

Missing C12 100uf

I have the passives installed, just working on it as time permits.

Thanks!
-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 14, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Thanks Lou. I am at the same stage as Steve, all passive components installed. Before I go any further I am going to buy an anti-static mat and wrist strap, because I have a lot of static in the room where I am working, and I don't want to destroy any of the more sensitive components. Still waiting for the display to arrive from China. I also found the errors on the BOM a couple of days ago but did not got around to reporting them. Shame on me :oops:
I do need to find a heat sink for the voltage regulator. Not sure what to do about a case yet.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 14, 2017 5:40 pm 
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Steve & Colin, thanks for the update on the errors in the BOM. I will fix that.

I searched around a lot for knobs. Recall I said that the shafts stick up 0.3" above the front of the case. I figured I needed knobs with a set screw.
I found this knob at Jameco and ordered 4 of them. The set screw is 0.2" from the bottom of the knob so that "should" work. When they arrive I will report on how well they do.
Fingers crossed.

http://www.jameco.com/z/GKB-214-R-Knob-1-4-Shaft-Round-Black-55-x-52-with-Set-Screw_136241.html

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Wed 14, 2017 7:39 pm 
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louhaskell wrote:
I had to schedule 2 sessions for laser rental which is pricey at $35/hr and burn though some clear acrylic sheets to do some trial and error.
So I ate that money a bit. However, I have the design now and can make new cases for $15 each (plus shipping) in lots of 2 or more, i.e. I would make some if 2 or more folks wanted one.
Image

Hello Lou.

I will take a case.


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Thu 15, 2017 5:16 am 
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Hi Lou
I would also like to buy one of those cases. You are doing a great job on this.
Thanks so much for all of your hard work.
Bill

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 2:53 am 
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How much for one fully assembled and ready to use, with nothing else to buy?

Just think, if a test equipment company made such a thing, it could cost even less, as there would be fewer parts. Instead if that AM only generator BK makes, they could make what is really needed and wanted.

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 6:04 pm 
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In response to a price for a fully assembled unit, I had not planned on offering that up. The parts cost about $100 as noted in the BOM I published, so I would have to charge at least $150 for a unit to make the effort worthwhile. I expected not many here would want to pay that, so that is one reason that I put this thread on HomeBrew section instead of doing the whole development and then announcing the availability of units or kits. I published everything in open source.

As for the look of this thing by a big time manufacturer, there is much to speculate about. Yes, I would expect fewer parts total since I would use just want is needed on the 3 modules, even though they are cheap. The board would be smaller since most parts would be small surface mount piece parts. The size would be governed by the display and the 5 BNC connectors. I would expect it would like something like the unit I published earlier in the thread as shown below. I expect the parts cost could then be lowered to maybe $50 and the price of the unit could come in under $100. Just a guess. Out of China, could go lower. But at this point, I am not likely to want to make a business of this and manufacture many units for folks.


Image

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 7:32 pm 
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I'm over at a friends place, so I took time to finish assembling the board.

I still need to modify one of the DDS modules.

Here it is. I probably will do something different with the heat sink.
I don't like what I have. Maybe a "U" shaped one?

-Steve


Attachments:
gen.jpg
gen.jpg [ 135.8 KiB | Viewed 3484 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Hope you did not solder in DDS2. You need to cut a pcb path per instruction on the bottom of board.

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 9:04 pm 
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Nope, Like I mentioned at Radiorama, I used plug-in headers.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Sat 17, 2017 10:48 pm 
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knobs, knobs, knobs....
As I mentioned, the shafts of the knobs extend only 0.3" above the top of the front cover. Therefore I looked for knobs with set screws since I doubted I could count on friction fit to work.
I found these knobs after a long search on the web from Jameco.
https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&freeText=136241&langId=-1&productId=136241&storeId=10001&krypto=7zqSe3hVOFneEFvVebyFyNjEv0xWfU23XOsRq%2B6%2BI6%2BSyXnBJrjMS0brjBXSkiWkQmgTxpzXnpXiNmZVbtUd28bcmJisbcteEa3zEyRlHmY%3D&ddkey=https%3AStoreCatalogDrillDownView

They work well even the rotary with the push switch. Here is the final photo

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 12:29 am 
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azenithnut wrote:
I used plug-in headers.

-Steve

Steve,
It looks as though your headers are low profile, which I think they would need to be. Can you please tell me where you found them? I ordered some and then realised that they are round hole, which won't work with square pins. Adafruit have them, but their shipping charges are outrageous. I was hoping to find another source, but have been unsuccessful so far.

Thanks in advance,
Colin


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 12:34 am 
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Colin, I got them from a friend. I will ask where they came from.

I'm suspecting they came from Midwest Electronics Surplus in Fairborn. If so I'll pick up some and send them your way.
Give me a PM.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 1:22 am 
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Steve,

Thanks for the offer of help. Much appreciated.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: Microcontroller Based Signal Generator
PostPosted: Jun Mon 19, 2017 1:42 am 
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Colin Ames wrote:
I ordered some and then realised that they are round hole, which won't work with square pins. Adafruit have them, but their shipping charges are outrageous.

All of my recent orders to/with Adafruit have been small orders and shipped usps for less than $5 each time so it depends on what you order as to how much shipping costs but I requested usps shipment each time and they came quickly and at a reasonable price.
Jim


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