Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've got control! When I turn the power on...

Much has happened since the last update!

The backbox received some love and got bolted together. I afterwards realized that the wood was bent and the backbox is tilting to the left. Not nice, but it'll have to do for now. If it still looks tilted when finalized I'll probably redo it.

I did some tidying up of the electrics inside - much nicer and a lot less risk of unwanted electrocution.

Left: Protected high current areas

I also finished soldering my first version of the solenoid control board. It turned out very messy and not at all as I had hoped. My soldering pen stopped working (oxidation deluxe) and I had to turn it sideways to solder. On top of that I didn't test my PCB design before soldering and it turned out I was outputting too little current to open the MOSFET gates. Doh.

After a little experimentation I found out that it was the resistor and LED's that caused the current drops and after these were removed it worked as intended. But messy!

I also found out that the MOSFET gets REALLY hot after a little use. Need some serious cooling there...

Frankenboard. No love could ever save this PCB.

So, I visited the local electronics store and bought myself a real soldering station, and man - it's worth its weight in gold! Soldering like a pro, no messy stuff, no premature oxidation etc. This of course made me want to redo the entire board with a new design - Meet the Wonderboard:

The Wonderboard. Oh yes, daddy loves you!

It's still not finished, but it's a lot cleaner and less error prone than the old version. It will look awesome with the cooling fins mounted! 

If you're going to solder something - Buy a good soldering station. Period.

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