Sunday, January 25, 2009

Advances in indicators

Lots to show you so let's get started.

While I'm still waiting for the rest of the parts for the new Logic Display flasher circuit, I decided to return to the Processor State Indicators (see very early postings). The originals I made work great, but after making them I realized I needed the LEDs separate from the circuit. The LEDs need to be mounted in a small box which will be attached to the inside of the skins. I will then run wires from the LEDs to a new circuit mounted somewhere inside the head. The box needs to be 1-1/2 inches in diameter (size of the light on R2-D2). I used a PVC pipe cap. To mount the LEDs, I first drilled a 5/16 hole on either side of the cap. I then screwed in two chrome LED holders I got from Radio Shack into those holes. Next I inserted a 5mm super bright LED (one blue or green and one red or yellow) into each LED holder. Connect to circuit and tada, your droid has PSI lights.

In between working on that, I was also designing the first version the LED circuit for the Logic Displays. I found this company that provides a free Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design program with the option to have them make your design for a fare price (ExpressPCB). I tried it out and the results are amazing, highly recommend them. The PCB I designed and ordered arrived recently and so I soldered on six 3mm LEDs (3 white, 3 blue). The circuit works, but I already have found a couple of things I want to change. First, the holes for the wiring are too small to fit any wiring through. Second, the shape of the PCB is not square enough for me to trim into a circle to fit into the fiber tubes (see previous post). I've already made the changes to my design, but won't order it until I can test the LED blinking pattern with the fiber optics, which I can't do until the rest of the parts arrive for the flasher circuit. In the mean time, I semi-tested the LEDs using the Flip-Flop circuit from the PSI's.

So that's all I've got for now. Soon I will try this LED arrangement with the fiber optics.


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