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60 channel dmx board

Discussion in 'The Development Lab' started by AAH, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    As a number of people in chat are aware I have under production a 60 channel DC DMX dimmer pcb. This board is still a few weeks away from prototype and a good way before it goes into production. At this very early stage I'm thinking that it may be released at the Melbourne mini. As well as having 60 channels it is to have a number of features that aren't available on any controller available at the moment. A few of the features are on the Ray Wu 27 channel board and on David_AVC DC48 but my pcb has features out the kazoo. The following is a list of them so far.
    • 60 channels
    • 4 voltage zones
    • 4 power inputs (1 per zone)
    • 4 fuses (1 per zone)
    • 3 amp per output with a maximum of 30A per zone. This is limited by the fuse and power input terminal sizes
    • USB thumbdrive firmware updates
    • dipswtch selectable start address
    • test mode with cycling between outputs and fades across outputs
    • signal loss fade to zero
    • jumper to terminate DMX signal
    • jumperable selection of ESTA or LOR wiring of RJ45 plugs. The 2 plugs can be ESTA, LOR or 1 of each. No need for adaptors.
    • full 5V to 35V operating range (this may be extended to 40V)
    • jumper selectable output voltage. Each of the 4 zones has a jumper bank to allow the output to be set to a voltage of the same or lower than the input voltage. At the moment the setting will be 5V, 12V, 24V, 27V and 100% if no jumper is installed. There is monitoring of the supply voltage and maths done on the micro so that it is possible for instance to run the whole board off 27V and have a 5V, 12V, 24V and a 27V bank to allow for different LED/light types

    At the moment I'm getting reasonably close to finalising the pcb layout subject to working out what fuseholder will get me 30A, what terminal block will handle 30A and a source of 5V DC-DC converters that is both cheap and reliable. I would also like to find a box similar to the Masters $10 one mentioned in these forums or the LOR PC plastic boxes so that I can offer the boards boxed and the mounting standoffs will match a specific box. The pcb is looking at being approximately 225mm x 125mm. On a somewhat lesser note I'm also trying to think of a nice catchy short name to call this board :)
     

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  2. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    great to see it all coming together allan look forward to seeing the end results
     
  3. David_AVD

    David_AVD Bite my shiny metal ass!

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    Excellent work Alan. Great to see this project finally out in public. :)
     
  4. pipersmall

    pipersmall Full Time Elf

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    Sounds great. Can't wait to see it become available.
     
  5. Robbo

    Robbo Full Time Elf

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    some nice features in there.....look forward to seeing it in action at the mini :)
     
  6. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    Sounds like this is turning out to be an excellent project, I look forward to hearing more details as they develop, great work Alan
     
  7. DeeJai

    DeeJai Is that Magic Smoke?!?

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    whilst a majority of this make very little sence to me, i am very eager to see the outcome. 60 channels from one board with 4 different possible voltages on the one board. Sounds very very interesting.

    Good job.
     
  8. Robbo

    Robbo Full Time Elf

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    this sounds good so let me see if I got it right, you have 1 power supply say a 33V and have 4 zones and can have different voltages on each zone say zone 1 33V (100% zone 2 27V zone 3 12V and zone 4 5V all off the 1 power supply?
     
  9. cenote

    cenote Suburbs of Philadelphia

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    Looking forward to see this, sounds like a lot of nice features I would be interested in, specially the 30amps!
    Nice Job
     
  10. cscool36

    cscool36 Full Time Elf

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    Can't wait to see.
    Keep up the good worl Alan.
    Colin
     
  11. dropbear_luke

    dropbear_luke Full Time Elf

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    these sound really good. cant wait to see the price
     
  12. ԆцряєсϮ

    ԆцряєсϮ Senior Elf

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    I too am awaiting with anticipation....... looks great.

    do you plan on releasing these as DIY or only in prebuilt form?
     
  13. Slite

    Slite Full Time Elf

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    And what price do you think it will be?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    To answer a few questions.
    The 4 zones can all be off the 1 power supply with different output voltages controlled by the micro. Alternatively you can have up to 4 different power supplies as long as the -ve output terminal can be commoned together. This is usually the case as most power supplies have a low resistance between the -ve terminal and Earth.

    As far as DIY goes there is little hope of a novice or even a skilled amateur putting these together. There is over 200 components with some of the surface mount components having a pin pitch of 0.8mm which is under 1/3rd of the pitch of a standard through hole component.

    The price is aimed at being under $250 Aussie. As I'm still sourcing parts this is only a super rough guesstimate. At the moment a reasonable amount of the cost will be the assembly. I'm looking at getting a smd reflow oven and a basic pick and place system as for small quantities the tool up cost for an assembly firm to load the boards is a bit horrendous. Likewise if i hand load and solder each of the boards the cost will be higher than i like as well as going crosseyed from working with so many tiny components.

    As a general note the 30A is a bit of a nightmare because of 2 parts. Getting a pcb mount fuseholder that will hold a 30A fuse and a terminal block that can handle 30A cuts the available choices down considerably.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    AAH

    AAH I love blinky lights :) Community Project Designer

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    The pcb layout is expected to be finished this weekend with prototypes being sent off for production on Monday. Pretty well all I have to do now is add some details to the overlay on what the jumpers and switches do and the channel info. I also need to work out a name of the board that makes it easily identifiable and when googled doesn't match anything else but instead leads here. The board is probably going to be the 1st in a series of boards with possibly larger and smaller channel counts and possibly low current or reduced feature versions so the name needs to fit with that in mind. I've asked in chat for suggestions but as yet I haven't had anything that really grabs me. If anyone has some suggestions then chuck them in here and if i go with that name then I'll look after you with a half price board when they come out later this year.
    So far I've rejected a few of my ideas of AAH60, ALS60, ACL60 and from chat (YagoonaLights) Megalite60, GoliathDMX60, Lightningdmx60 and Lightningpro60.

    At this point I'm leaning towards AlsMega60 or AahMega60 which leaves room for the mini versions later.
     

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