Archive for the ‘pcb’ Category
Some people ask me about how to do hand soldering on smaller parts, like on my OLED Display Board. It uses a “TAB” (tape automated bonding) or “COF” (chip on flex) style flex tail mated with a “COG” (chip on glass) display. Normally, TAB connector is soldered directly to corresponding pads on your PCB using a hot-bar soldering machine.
I don’t have that hot-bar soldering machine, so my hand’s can make the job. The first time I’ve done this soldering, I was a bit scare about damage the connector. My only tip is “don’t spend much time over the fragile contacts.”
For help us, I’ve recorded my last OLED soldering. Maybe can help some people about SMD soldering (as some internet videos help me some years ago).
Someone send to me a question, about how much current my OLED board consumes at all. Well, after measure with a multimeter the answer is: 660μA (aprox.) with display all ON and contrast at 0xFF (max). But this question make me thinking about how measure that current myself, without a multimeter.
When I’m in graduation (some good years ago) I made a little circuit to measure how much current my power supply project output. The circuit is based on “high-side current-sense” methodology. See my hand-drawn circuit above:
This circuit is a classic high-side current-sense, where the voltage drop across Rs resistor is isolated by a operational amplifier (op amp) in a differential configuration with unitary gain. The many implementations of technic were based on discrete components or semidiscrete circuitry. In their simplest form, such high-side monitors require a precision op amp and a handful of high precision resistors.
The resistor value should be low (like mΩ scale), to minimize power losses, but don’t be too low, because stability problems. And don’t forget about power dissipation across the resistor.
One common approach for high-side measurements has been the use of the classic differential amplifier, which is employed as a gain amplifier.
So, after reading a lot of theory, I’ve going to search my integrated differential amplifier.
Integrated Differential Amplifier
- Tiny SOT23-5 package;
- Low cost;
- 3 gain options (20V/V, 50V/V and 100V/V);
- +2.7V to 28V range of operation;
- Consumes only 30μA;
- 0.18% full-scale accuracy with 100mV Vsense input (This is equivalent to only 0.18mV input offset voltage);
The MAX4372, in a tiny SOT23-5 package is a very good device to make a current sense device. You can set the full-scale current reading by choosing the device:
- MAX4372T: 20V/V Gain;
- MAX4372F: 50V/V Gain;
- MAX4372H: 100V/V Gain;
What means 20V/V Gain? If you have 1A current flow through a 100mΩ Rs resistor, you gave only 0.1V drop. But with 20V/V, you multiply this and obtain 2V. Obviously? The design goal with Gain is thinking in terms of full scale design. If your A/D converter uses 3.3V was reference, you can consider this to check what the max current value you can measure with determined gain value.
A test circuit
I’ve designed a test circuit to test my idea. Basically is a MAX4372T with a 100mΩ Rs. I’ve mounted it in universal board, and my idea is connect it to my USB Low Pin Kit:
To test them, I’ve used a PIC18LF2520 and a great character LCD from Electronic Assembly. See my test circuit working:
The pictures show that the global idea works great. Now I need some work to improve stability and other features.
The next step is create a USB device for read, store and show the current measurements:
Some people have contact me about my projects, with questions and support. I’m very happy because when I started blog I can’t imagine that my little stuff has been useful to other people.
And now I like to share my Eagle project files with us:
I hope this files may help you with your design, with your project. If you need some help, email me.
So long I finish some source codes, I’ll post my codes too. I promise! 🙂
Some mounts ago I’ve bought a PIC24F Starter Kit. It’s a very nice development kit from Microchip for who wants know about USB OTG, Capacitive Touch Sensor and more. But I really like is the OLED display it comes.
The OLED is very small but with a good resolution (128×64 pixel). It’s monochrome black and white and, believe or not, very bright but without backlight! Well, I’m very impressed and obviously imagine what I can do if I have a small OLED like that.
So I’ve started to find the manufacture of OLED. I find some information at Microchip driver code and with some Google research:
- It’s use a Sino Wealth SH1101A controller;
- Parallel or SPI interface. Very nice feature for a display;
- The controller logics operates with 2.4V – 3.5V, but OLED requires 7.0V – 16V. It’s have a internal simple DC/DC Booster for that;
- The display is constructed with COG (Chip-On-Glass) technology;
- There’s a version where 128×16 pixels being yellow OLED, and 128×48 pixels as blue OLED;
- Crystalfontz sells this Yellow/Blue with code CFAL12864N-A-B1;
- Univision has the Black/White and Yellow/Blue version;
After that, I’ve started design a board to this OLED. Oh, if you don’t know what OLED means visit Wikipedia page. My design concentrates in a breadboard friendly board. The circuit is little variation of the circuit founded in Microchip PIC24F Starter Kit schematics. I’ve substituted some components for more flat and foundable items. Basically I change the inductor, the N-Channel MOSFET and the diode. You can see the design bellow:
- 0.1″ pin space and breadboard friendly;
- It comes with SPI interface preseted. If you want use 8080 parallel interface, simply pull-up “P/S” pin;
- Very flat design with only SMD parts;
- Clear pin identification;
- Small size (don’t increase OLED size too much);
- Can be hand soldered (whitout hot-bar or even hot-air station);
That’s my board finished:
I really like this board because it’s work at first time, and it’s not so common in electronics word with your first board design. After some tests, I’ve learning some useful information about the OLED displays in general:
Most of OLED displays have SPI interface. But most of them don’t let you read the display RAM data with SPI interface, because it’s a SPI 3-Wire interface. When you cannot read display RAM, should be impossible make functions that read display RAM and alter only one pixel (for example). So, some simple functions (like line creation) became very complex if you like to use it without modify some graphics already displayed. Example: if you have a picture and draw a line, you will change some blocks of RAM, don’t only the line pixels. I’m working on that problem.
If you like this board, email-me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve five empty boards and five OLED yet.
Well, my board comes to me yesterday and I’ve soldered all parts. The board is really small, very compact, very robust. I’ve made a little test only to check if are something wrong, but not. Everthing works well. Very good for version 0.
See the photos:
Now, I (and you, please contact me if you like it) can test and make nice devices, without boring with crystals, capacitors, reset, USB it self. You can attach it on a breadboard or your own prototype PCB with your circuit.
I’ve created a kind of pin card, for rapid pinnout reference. I got the card idea from Mbed project. It’s very useful, with all pins and ports plus the information about device peripherals.
Think the nice things you can do… I want to make a test with USB Mass Storage Device, yes, a Flash Drive. I’ve a little project where this really help me with configuration storage, etc.
For test, I’ll show us some application example, like a USB RFID reader.
If you like this board and want to get one, email me to talk about. It’s a zero version, so some errors could exist.
Eagle files here.
I few months ago, I started a prject of a little robot, to be able to self study some control, resolve maze algorithms and do something fun. The robot needs to be small with very quickly and smart movements.
The prototype was a success, made with some materials that I already have and with little issues, work’s great!. It can do:
- Move, turn and gyro with speed and agility;
- Speed up and Stop when you need;
- Generates little sounds/alerts (and some music too, like a old cell phone);
- Detects and follow a black line over white plane;
- Easy programs changes, via USB/Serial adapter connection and a bootloader on the microcontroller;
This is my prototype, called GUI v1 (honor my son, Guilherme), build with universal PCB and some wires:
The chassis was made with PCB it self, because I don’t like spend time to find some special enclosure to it. The universal PCB was cutted with Dremel and all components are soldered with a common solder iron. I need to confess: when the prototype was finished, it’s length and robustness impressed me. I don’t spect. See it in action:
After some tests that comprove some abilitys, I started to design a well polished and projected PCB. Now the hard work begun. I used Eagle software to design the circuit and PCB, but I don’t have all parts I want. So, I’ll go at SparkFun to find some devices I like to use in the robot. They have all really nice stuff you can think.
The processor (a Microchip PIC18F452) running at 20MHz and control motors speeds, LEDs, Buzzer, Wireless and all the embbeded stuff. It’s using a Bootloader to facilite the program upload, so the user don’t need complex flash programers to load their own software on the board. Just compile your program and upload via USB cable using a serial program like Hyperterminal or Putty.
Now, with the PCB designed, I’m going to BacthPCB and ordering some pieces. BacthPCB do a nice and decent job to amateurs designs, because they accept even a one board was order. The time to process your order is about 20 days. You can view my design (up board) and the processed PCB below:
After have almost all parts soldered and load some basic program to test, the result is:
It’s power come from a little 3,7V Lithium-Polymer battery, charged via USB mini-B connector. I’m calculating the robot autonomy, as son as possible I’ll post this important data.
And if you can see this little robot in action:
As you can see, your movements are clean and fast, but with the control it’s can be smooth and slow. Now I need finish the Wireless comunication. I’m wonder if the program upload can be done via wireless…
The total cost of the robot it’s about $200 (excluding post services of board and components). The robot don’t stay in comercial prodution…maybe after some corrections and testes I change my mind.