Archive for the ‘Hacks & Mods’ Category
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Saleae Logic16 – Logic Analyzer
I purchased the Saleae Logic16 a few months back to “sniff” a SPI bus and since then I keep on using it as my default Logic Analyzer — that’s when you know it’s money well spent. Saleae offers two models — a 8 channel ($149) and a 16 channel ($299). I went for the 16 channel version because it offers a bit more bandwidth (sample 2 channels at 100MHz, 4 channels at 50MHz, 8 channels at 25MHz, or all 16 channels).
The hardware is solid and well made and ships with everything you need — a nice hard case, USB cable and color coded wiring harness with micro-hook probes. The best part, however, is the software — I use a MacBook Pro (also running WindowsXP via VMWare) with 16gb ram and it’s always better to run native apps as much as possible but most companies don’t provide native apps for OSX, hence VMWare. Saleae actually offers ports of their software that runs on all major platforms (Windows, OSX, Linux). The software offers almost endless sample captures but the most useful feature is the protocol analyzer. It currently supports I2C, Async Serial, SPI, 1-Wire, CAN, I2S, PCM, UNI/O, Manchester, and MP Mode — making it easier to see the decoded results along with the waveform So far I have used I2C, SPI, I2S/PCM and Async Serial with it working flawlessly.
- Saleae Logic 16 [ Buy Now @AMAZON ]
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
What’s The Best Soldering Iron?
I currently have a Weller WES51 Soldering Station that I’ve owned for about 10 years. While it have served me well all these years — I feel like the thermal recovery time can be a lot better. Hand soldering prototype boards with many different types of footprints is the latest challenge my WES51 is having a harder time with. It feels like it cannot keep up and I have to pause a few seconds while the temp recovers — I believe this is caused by the LEAD FREE solder I’m using that requires higher temp than the old LEAD based 60/40.
So I’m asking the readers of Mavromatic for their recommendations of “Best Soldering Iron”. I’m leaning towards the JBC CD-1BC (or the 2012 JBC-CD-1BB) — what do you think?
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
DIY: Building a Solder Reflow Oven – Part 2, The Oven.
… continued from Part 1
The donor oven arrived and I began the modifications to make it turn on when it’s plugged into power bypassing all the safety and panel controls. This unit will be plugged into an outlet switched by the PID controller which will control the temperature and feature a safety override switch (to be covered in Part 3). The modifications to the oven were pretty easy. Here are the steps needed to turn the Black & Decker Infrawave oven into a Reflow Oven:
1) To get access to the board and relays that control the heating elements you first need to remove the following screws from the bottom of the oven.
2) Once the six screws are removed the bottom panel comes off easily. The board is mounted to the plastic bottom with screws. You can chose to remove the board or work with it mounted. I removed it and soldered 12 gauge stranded wire, you could use anything from 12 to 16 gauge (as the power cable on this unit is 16gauge, I wouldn’t run anything smaller). There are three bridge points you need to make. You can also ground the relay to keep it permanently on, I like the idea of bypassing any electronics completely as the solid state relay/PID will be doing all the controlling. Here is a photo of which points you want to bridge:
3) Once you solder everything, mount the board and bottom panel back to the oven. There is one last thing you need to do. There is a safety door switch which turns off the oven if the door is open. You will want to disable this. I drilled an 1/8″ hole and used a screw to hold it down.
4) Plug in the oven, the heating elements should turn on automatically. You have completed the oven mod.
In Part 3 we will be drilling the back of the oven and installing the thermocouple and wiring up all the electronics in our project box. Stay tuned…
Please Note: Your safety is your own responsibility. These projects are not intended for use by children. Use of the instructions and suggestions on Mavromatic is at your own risk. Mavromatic, disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense. It is your responsibility to make sure that your activities comply with applicable laws and building codes.
Friday, April 15th, 2011
DIY: Building a Solder Reflow Oven – Part 1
I’ve needed to step up production of Myro:Bridge and that means I need a better way to solder all the small SMD components on the boards quickly and with higher quality. After hours of researching reflow ovens, I decided instead of purchasing one (which can cost thousands) I’ll do it in the tradition of Mavromatic and build one myself. I compiled a list of components needed and placed the orders.
Here is a list of what I’m getting:
> Black & Decker Infrawave Oven – This will be the donor oven. What led me to this oven was the folks over at Silicon Horizon. They have a reflow controller and recommend using the IR based oven because it seems to work with many reflow profiles nicely. It seems like they are on hiatus right now so ordering their controller was not possible. And that led me to the following critical component…
> Shinko JCL-33A PID Controller with Ramp/Soak function – I searched high and low for a controller that offers MM:SS timing as the typical seems to only be HH:MM. This controller only offers one program and up to 9 steps which works perfect for my application. I also wanted a RS485 (programming and charting via PC) interface and SSR driver output. The end result was the JCL-33A from Shinko. (I went with a true PID controller versus an Arduino or PIC based controller because I wanted something more reliable and the programming and charting software comes free with the JCL-33A).
> 25A Rated SSR DC/AC – Solid State Relay - This pretty little device is what the PID controller controls and the SSR (solid state relay) controls the IR element in the oven.
> Omega K-Type Thermocouple Probe with Fitting – This is what connects to the PID controller and reads the temperature very accurately.
A few other parts (which I already have) include: outlet with box, wiring, RS485 to USB converter, project box to mount PID and SSR in.
Now, I just need to wait for all the parts to arrive and begin the modifications to the oven.
… Continue to Part 2, The Oven >>
Please Note: Your safety is your own responsibility. These projects are not intended for use by children. Use of the instructions and suggestions on Mavromatic is at your own risk. Mavromatic, disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.
Friday, October 1st, 2010
Myro:Bridge – Russound RNET to Apple iTunes (Remote)
Lots has been going on over the past few weeks… final PCB designs have been sent out for production. A new product web site is reaching completion leaving final assembly and testing left before I can start shipping the Myro:Bridge (that is going to be the final name). As promised, I have a video of the newest firmware which offers Russound RNET to Apple iTunes control. This is like the Russound RNET to Sonos except that you can pair, control and get metadata two and from Russound Keypads via iTunes. Enjoy!…
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