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Thursday, 1 November 2012

RO Machine - Part 4

With the measurement parts on hold at the moment, waiting for some parts and calibration solutions to arrive. I turned my attention to the electronics side of the system.

I have had the Arduino board, LCD and a host of components on my breadboard for a while now, and its time they were built into something a little more practical.

01-Ro Machine.03

I did mention using the project box as shown to store the solenoids inside, but decided to purpose it back to being the main controller box, as it was originally intended.

First of all i marked out a hole for the screen and a series of push switches that will be used to control the system.

02-Ro Machine.16

Then set about roughing out the bulk of the material, thankfully the plastic is generously thick on this project box so doesn't vibrate and crack when up against the multi tool…

03-Ro Machine.07

Test fitting took several  attempts but i got there in the end. It wont win any beauty competitions but i will look at sourcing a bezel to at least tart up the way the LCD sits on the box…

04-Ro Machine.29

With a snug fit, nothing more than a couple of layers of thick double sided tape were required to hold it in place…

05-Ro Machine.20

With the buttons installed, a bit wobbly, but as long as they work…

06-Ro Machine.03-001

Next to get the soldering iron heated up and start making some connections…

07-Ro Machine.27

An hour or so later i had all 6 switches ready with heat shrink and header connectors…

09-Ro Machine.39

The next stage was to do a bit of recon on how everything was to fit together in the box. I have various relay boards, and have decided on two banks of 8 to give plenty of option and control with some possibility of future expansion. These also fit nicely into the width of the box, rather than larger and more bulky 16 relay boards.

There is also plenty of provision for a large strip board in the centre for additional circuits. This is originally where the buttons would be connected to. But after a bit of thought i came to the conclusion that it could be tricky to open and close the box and potentially end up needing to squash lengths of wire into the case as the two halves are closed up.

10-Ro Machine.50

The Arduino itself will be mounted on the underside of the “lid” or the same half that the LCD and buttons are mounted, due to its small form factor it will fit neatly out of the way and not require positioning in the midst of everything.

With the decided all the button wiring would also need to be in that top section, so i cut a section of strip board to make and interface board that will then connect with the Arduino. As a result all the button wiring will be confined into the one half, hopefully making assembly a little easier.

11-Ro Machine.57

I made a brief start on the interface board before it suddenly started to get very cold working in the garage. Not good when you need dexterity holding a soldering iron!

I also have a bunch of header connectors and pre crimped wires on the way to make up some swish looking leads.

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